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Herbs & Plants

Dysphania anthelmintica

Botanical Name: Dysphania anthelmintica
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Chenopodioideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales
Tribe: Dysphanieae
Genus: Dysphania

Synonyms: Ambrina anthelmintica (L.) Spach Atriplex anthelmintica (L.) Crantz Botrys anthelmintica (L.) Nieuwl

Common Names: Wormseed

Habitat: Dysphania anthelmintica is native to S. America – Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; C. America – Panama to Mexico; southern N. America. It is mainly found on dry wasteland and cultivated ground. Sand dunes, pinelands, meadows, roadsides, and other waste areas; at elevations up to 1,100 metres in southern N. America.

Description:
Dysphania anthelmintica is an erect, multi-branched, annual to short-lived perennial plant (herb) growing around 1 metre tall. It is irregularly branched, with oblong- lanceolate leaves up to 12 cm (4 .7 in) long.The bruised leaves emit an unpleasant foetid odour. The flowers are small and green, produced in a branched panicle at the apex of the stem. The flowers bloom all the year round.Fruiting during summer to fall. Seeds are horizontal or vertical, reddish brown, ovoid, 0.6–0.8 × 0.8–1 mm; seed coat smooth.The plant is a popular and very effective vermifuge, as well as having many other medicinal properties.

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Cultivation:
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.
A plant of the tropics and subtropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,500 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 15 – 22°c, but can tolerate 4 – 31°c. It can be killed by temperatures of -1°c or lower. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 800 – 1,500mm, but tolerates 300 – 4,200mm. An easily grown plant, succeeding in most soils but disliking shade. It prefers a moderately fertile soil. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 – 7.5, tolerating 5 – 8.7.

Propagation:
Through seed – whilst it can be sown in situ in mid to late spring, we have had better results by sowing the seed in a cold frame in early spring. Put a few seeds in each pot and thin to the best plant if necessary. Germination rates are usually very good and the seedlings should appear within a few days of sowing the seed. Plant out in late spring, after the last expected frosts.

Edible Uses:
Leaves are edible they are cooked and eaten. The tender leaves are sometimes used as a potherb. Used as a condiment in soups etc, it is said to reduce flatulence if eaten with beans. The leaves have a rank taste due to the presence of resinous dots and sticky hairs. The raw leaves should only be eaten in small quantities, see the notes above on toxicity. Seed – cooked. The seed is small and fiddly, it should be soaked in water overnight and thoroughly rinsed before it is used in order to remove any saponins. An infusion of the leaves is a tea substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
Wormseed is a Central American herb that has been used for centuries to expel parasitic worms from the body. The seed, or the essential oil obtained from the seed and flowering stem is used for this, though all parts of the plant are used medicinally. The plant, especially the essential oil, is toxic in larger doses and so should be used with care and preferably under the direction of a skilled practitioner. This remedy should not be prescribed for pregnant women. See also the notes above on toxicity. Until fairly recently, this was one of the most commonly used vermifuges, though it has now been largely replaced by synthetic drugs. The seed, or the essential oil, was used. It is very effective against most parasites, including the amoeba that causes dysentery, but is less effective against tapeworm. Fasting should not precede its use and there have occasionally been cases of poisoning caused by this treatment. The essential oil is used externally to treat athlete’s foot and insect bites. This is at its highest concentration in the flowering stems before seed is set, these contain around 0.7% essential oil of which almost 50% is the active vermifuge ascaridol. The essential oil is of similar quality from plants cultivated in warm climates and those in cool climates. The whole plant is analgesic, antiasthmatic, carminative, febrifuge, stomachic and vermifuge. An infusion can be used as a digestive remedy, being taken to settle a wide range of problems such colic, diarrhoea and stomach pains; it is also used to treat conditions such as coughs, fevers and internal haemorrhages. The leaves are added in small quantities as a flavouring for various cooked bean dishes because their carminative activity can reduce flatulence. Externally, it has been used as a wash for haemorrhoids, as a poultice to detoxify snake bites and other poisons and is thought to have wound-healing properties. The macerated leaves and flowers are mixed with a pinch of salt, and used as a poultice for treating persistent sores. The essential oil is high in ascaridol, a nematicidal terpene peroxide which is active against ascaris, worms and ankylostomes.

Other Uses: The plant is used as a fumigant against mosquitoes and is also added to fertilizers to inhibit insect larvae. Gold/green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant.

Known Hazards: The essential oil in the seed and flowering plant is highly toxic. In excess it can cause dizziness, vomiting, convulsions and even death. The plant can also cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions. The leaves and seeds of all members of this genus are more or less edible. However, many of the species in this genus contain saponins, though usually in quantities too small to do any harm. Although toxic, saponins are poorly absorbed by the body and most pass straight through without any problem. They are also broken down to a large extent in the cooking process. Saponins are found in many foods, such as some beans. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish. The plants also contain some oxalic acid, which in large quantities can lock up some of the nutrients in the food. However, even considering this, they are very nutritious vegetables in reasonable quantities. Cooking the plant will reduce its content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

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/Dysphania_(plant)
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Dysphania+anthelmintica

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Herbs & Plants

Dysoxylum spectabile

Botanical Name: Dysoxylum spectabile
Family: Meliaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Dysoxylum
Species: D. spectabile

Synonyms:
*Alliaria spectabilis Kuntze
*Hartighsea spectabilis A.Juss.
*Trichilia cauliflora Sol. ex A.Cunn.
*Trichilia spectabilis G.Forst.

Common Names: Kohekohe

Habitat: Dysoxylum spectabile is native to tropical forests of their range, such as New Guinea, the lowland New Caledonia rain forests and the tropical forests of northern Australia. It grows on the lowland forest in coastal regions of North and South Islands.

Description:
Dysoxylum spectabile is a handsome tree, growing 5-10m, often with the smooth greyish brown trunk forming small buttresses at the base. The leaves are made up of large oval glossy green leaflets that are prominently veined and have paler undersides.

They are arranged pinnately, with 3-4 pairs and a terminal leaflet. Small waxy white flowers arise in loose panicles directly from the branches and trunk in early winter. The fruit take 15 months to ripen, when they split to reveal the scarlet capsules that contain the seed.

Male and female flowers are borne on separate trees, so a female tree is required to obtain fruit. Provide shade, shelter and a good moist soil for best results. Frost tender. Propagation by seed.

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Cultivation:
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Growth and survival of Dysoxylum spectabile seedlings planted in forest gaps and in non-gap micro-environments were monitored in Kauaeranga valley, near Thames, New Zealand. Seedlings in gaps and on gap edges grew faster than seedlings in darker forest environments.

Propagatiion: Through seeds:

Medicinal Uses:
The fruits and wood are used in traditional medicine. A decoction of the wood is useful in the treatment of arthritis, anorexia, cardiac debility, expelling intestinal worms, inflammation, leprosy & rheumatism

Its wide therapeutic use, after making a decoction of the bark is for curing arthritis, anorexia, cardiac debility, to remove intestinal worms, inflammation, leprosy and rheumatism. Its oil is used for curing ear ache and eye diseases.

Other Uses:
Wood is light, soft, fairly durable. It is used for cabinet work.Thr tree works as a very good sed tree. Kohekohe is a favourite food of possums, which eat both the leaves and fruit, sometimes stripping the trees bare. Rats also eat most of the seeds produced. Kohekohe flower in the winter and the fruit contains usually 3, sometimes 4 pairs of seeds

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/Kohekohe
https://www.kauripark.com/plant-library/p/dysoxylum-spectabile.

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Herbs & Plants

Dyera costulata

Botanical Name: Dyera costulata
Family: Apocynaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales
Genus: Dyera
Species: D. costulata

Synonyms:
*Alstonia costulata Miq.
*Alstonia eximia Miq.
*Alstonia grandifolia Miq.
*Dyera laxiflora Hook.f.

Common Names:Hill Jelutong, Jelutong, Jelutung, Button to view the previous items of the carousel.

Habitat: Dyera costulata is native to Southeast Asia – Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia.It grows in Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra and southern Thailand. Its natural distribution is scattered locales in low-elevation tropical evergreen forest. It grows on the lowland or hilly forest up to 300 metres. In undisturbed forests at elevations up to 400 metres. Usually on hillsides and ridges on clayey to sandy soils. In secondary forests usually present as a pre-disturbance remnant.

Description:
Dyera costulata is a large, deciduous tree with a spreading crown that grows up to 75 m in height with diameters to 3 m (10 ft), The trunk is not buttressed and can be up to 3 m in diameter and up to 30 m unbranched. And boles clear and straight for 30 m (90 ft). Smooth dark grey bark with quadrangular scales and branches arranged in verticils; all parts of the plant contain a white latex that exudes abundantly from the wounds.Simple leaves, arranged in verticils of 6-8, oblong-elliptic with entire margin, obtuse or slightly pointed apex and prominent veins, coriaceous, 5-30 cm long and 3-12 cm broad, glossy green above, greyish below; the new leaves are of bronze colour.

Axillar and terminal cymose inflorescences, on a 3-8 cm long peduncle, bearing numerous tiny flowers, that last one night only, with hemispherical calyx with 5 rounded lobes, white or yellowish green imbutiform corolla with 1-3 mm long tube and lobes 3-8 mm long and 1-2 mm broad.

The fruits are woody follicles in pair, 20-40 cm long and of 2,5-3,8 cm of diameter, dehiscent, covered by tiny scales of rust colour, containing numerous winged flat seeds, 5 cm long and 2 cm broad, wing included, dispersed by the wind.

It propagates by seed, that has a germinability lasting less than one year, previously kept in water for one day, in sandy loam maintained humid at the temperature of 24-28 °C; it reproduces also by cutting.

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Cultiivation:
A plant of the wet, lowland tropics, where it is usually found at elevations up to 400 metres, exceptionally to 800 metres. Requires a sunny position – the tree develops a wide crown when growing in the sun in order to ‘claim’ its territory. Prefers a well-drained soil, often growing on hills and ridges in the wild.

Propagation:
Seed – the small seed has a limited viability of less than a year. Pre-treatment is not necessary, but soaking the seed in water for 12 hours prior to sowing can speed up the germination process[ 325 ]. Germination rates are usually good, with 80 – 90% of the seeds sprouting. Seedlings can be potted up when the first pair of leaves has emerged and planted out when 30cm tall.

Medicinal Uses:
The resinous fruits are used for medicinal purposes.

Other Uses:
The latex, obtained by tapping the trunk, is used for the production of chewing gum, celluloid, linoleum and the insulation of electric cables. Beside this it serves as admixture for cement, paints and paper. The latex has a number of speciality uses such as pattern making in foundry work, for drawing boards, pencils, picture frames, dowels, carving, blackboards, wooden toys, clogs, brush handles and battery separators, and it is also used for furniture parts, door knobs, ceilings, partitioning, matchsticks, matchboxes and packing cases. The resinous fruits serve as torches. They are also burnt to repel mosquitoes. The roots are used as a substitute for cork. The heartwood is creamy white to pale straw coloured with the frequent presence of large latex canals; it is not differentiated from the sapwood. The grain is mostly straight; texture moderately fine and even; slightly lustrous; without taste but with a slight sour odour that is distinctive. The wood is very light in weight; soft; it is not durable, being susceptible to fungi, dry wood borers and termites. It seasons rapidly with only a slight risk of checking or distortion; once dry it is stable in service. The wood works easily with hand and machine tools, but they need to be kept very sharp in order to obtain a smooth finish; latex in the wood may clog the sawteeth; nailing and screwing are poor; gluing is correct. The wood is excellent for carving and is also used, among other things, for making patterns, pencils, matches, match-boxes, boxes and crates, furniture components, interior joinery and panelling, drawing boards, blockboard and veneer.

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/Dyera_costulata
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Dyera+costulata
https://www.monaconatureencyclopedia.com/dyera-costulata-2/?lang=en

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Herbs & Plants

Dryopteris schimperiana

Botanical Name : Dryopteris schimperiana
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Subfamily: Dryopteridoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Division: Polypodiophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Suborder: Polypodiineae

Common Names: Wood fern, Male fern (referring in particular to Dryopteris filix-mas ), or Buckler fern

Habitat: Dryopteris schimperiana is native to E. Asia( Japan and south-central and southeast China) – Himalayas around 2000 metres.It grows on Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge.

Description:
Dryopteris schimperiana is elegant, deciduous, semi-evergreen or evergreen ferns noted for their shuttlecock of arching fronds originating from erect or branching rhizomes. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from dwarfs for rock gardens to dramatic and architectural plants that are the sentinels of the garden.

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
Dryopteris schimperiana prefers an acid to neutral soil, succeeding in ordinary fertile soil in a shady position. Prefers a moist soil, but plants are drought tolerant when established. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Through spores – can be sown at any time of the year in a greenhouse. Surface sow on a sterilised compost and keep moist, possibly by placing the pot in a plastic bag. Germinates in 1 – 3 months at 20°c. Pot up small clumps of the plants when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a shady part of the greenhouse until large enough to plant out. Division in spring. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Edible Uses: Not known>

Medicinal Uses:
The root contains 4.4% ‘filicin’, a substance that paralyses tapeworms and other internal parasites and has been used as a worm expellent. It is one of the most effective treatments known for tapeworms – its use should be immediately followed by a non-oily purgative such as magnesium sulphate in order to expel the worms from the body. An oily purge, such as caster oil, increases the absorption of the fern root and can be dangerous. The root is harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use, it should not be stored for longer than 12 months. This remedy should be used with caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The root is toxic and the dosage is critical. See also the notes above on toxicity.

Other Uses:This is an ornamental fern and it beautifies the garden. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society ‘s Award of Garden Merit as an ornamental.

Known Hazards: The fresh plant contains thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its 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. However, there have been reports for other species of ferns suggesting that even cooked fronds can have a long term harmful effect. Some caution is therefore advised.

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/Dryopteris_sieboldii
https://pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Dryopteris+schimperiana
https://pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Dryopteris+schimperiana

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Herbs & Plants

Dryopteris oreades

Botanical Name: Dryopteris oreades
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Kingdom :Plantae
Clade :Tracheophytes
Division :Polypodiophyta
Class :Polypodiopsida
Order :Polypodiales
Suborder :Polypodiineae

Common Names:Mountain Male Fern, Wood ferns, Male ferns

Habitat: Dryopteris oreades is native to Western and central Europe, including Britain. It grows on the rocky places on mountains, in open or slight shade, scree slopes.

Description:
Dryopteris oreades can be deciduous, semi-evergreen or evergreen ferns, with stout, erect or decumbent rhizomes and shuttlecock-like rosettes of lance-shaped to ovate, pinnately divided fronds. It grow to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in). The seeds ripen from July to September.

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Cultivation:
Dryopteris oreades is an easily grown plant, it prefers an acid to neutral soil, succeeding in ordinary fertile soil in a shady position. Prefers a moist soil, but is drought tolerant when well established. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Propagation:
Through spores – can be sown at any time of the year in a greenhouse. Surface sow on a sterilised compost and keep moist, possibly by placing the pot in a plastic bag. Germinates in 1 – 3 months at 20°c. Pot up small clumps of the plants when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a shady part of the greenhouse until large enough to plant out. Division in spring. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Edible Uses: Not known.

Medicinal Uses:

The root contains ‘filicin’, a substance that paralyses tapeworms and other internal parasites and has been used as a worm expellent. It is one of the most effective treatments known for tapeworms – its use should be immediately followed by a non-oily purgative such as magnesium sulphate in order to expel the worms from the body. An oily purge, such as caster oil, increases the absorption of the fern root and can be dangerous. The root is harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use, it should not be stored for longer than 12 months. This remedy should be used with caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The root is toxic and the dosage is critical. See also the notes above on toxicity. The root is also used in the treatment of dandruff.

Other Uses:
Dryopteris species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Batrachedra sophroniella (which feeds exclusively on D. cyatheoides) and Sthenopiseauratus . Many Dryopteris species are widely used as garden ornamental plants, especially D. affinis, D. erythrosora, and D. filix-mas, with numerous cultivars.

Known Hazards: Although we have found no reports for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[200]. The fresh plant contains thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its 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. However, there have been reports for other species of ferns suggesting that even cooked fronds can have a long term harmful effect. Some caution is therefore advised.

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/Dryopteris
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Dryopteris+oreades
https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/6191/dryopteris-oreades/details

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