Herbs & Plants

Coriaria myrtifolia

Botanical Name: Coriaria myrtifolia
Family: Coriariaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales
Genus: Coriaria
Species: C. myrtifolia

*Coriaria hermaphrodita Turra
*Coriaria tinctoria Dulac

Common Names: Redoul, Myrtle-leaved sumach, Myrtle-leaved tanner’s tree, English redoul.

Habitat: Coriaria myrtifolia is native to Europe. It grows in the Mediterranean coastal Spain and Southern France (from the Gironde to the Alpes Maritimes), penetrating into Italy as far as part of the Apennines.It prefers to grow on dry woods, hedges and rocky places.

Coriaria myrtifolia is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.8 m (6ft) with branches greyish square section. The leaves are sessile, mostly opposite but sometimes in groups of three or more, oblong, acuminate, with three ribs. The small greenish flowers, which appear from April to June in racemes, have five reddish highlights styles, five sepals and five petals, with ten stamens. The black fruits are formed of five fleshy carpels, each containing one seed.
The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).

The root nodules of this plant carry out symbiotic nitrogen fixation, Coriaria myrtifolia is one of the 13 Coriaria species known to bear actinorhizae.


Prefers a fairly good loamy soil in a sunny sheltered position. Succeeds in light shade[200]. Plants are hardy to about -5°c, succeeding outdoors in Britain from London and south-westwards. The stems are often cut back by winter cold but the plants usually resprout from the base. This new growth does not flower in its first year. The roots of plants in this genus bear nitrogen-fixing nodules[218]. Whilst much of the nitrogen will be utilized by the growing plant, some of it will become available for other plants growing nearby.

Seed – sow February/March in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months at 15°c. 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, 7cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Fair percentage[

Traditionally, leaves of redoul were intensively collected for their tannin content, for tanning and dyeing purposes. During the medieval period, ecclesiastical institutions and the aristocracy clearly sought to establish some royalties on this resource, the samples are being especially on the distribution and sale of material first. These uses are due to the wealth of Coriaria spp tannin, particularly concentrated in the root and the bark of the stem, but also present in leaves, where they coexist with yellow dyes from the chemical group of flavonoids. These tannins are part of the group of hydrolyzable tannins, such as gall tannins. The chemical composition of redoul thus makes a tanning substance, capable of transforming recently flayed animal skins into leather, which is rot resistant, flexible and relatively impermeable, known as Basil leather. These properties allow for its widespread use in many industries. Moreover, the well-known chemical reaction of tannins with iron salts, producing black precipitates, is the basis for the manufacture of some inks used since the Middle Ages, and is also used to dye a variety of textiles black or gray. Until the mid-fourteenth century, the material was the subject of extensive trade between the north of Catalonia and Languedoc. The M?ori used species of Coriaria from New Zealand: they produced traditional tattoo inks from the fruit juice, made musical instruments from the hollow stems, and despite its extreme toxicity ate the fruit sparingly due to its sweet taste; using it to sweeten drinking water or jellies made from seaweed.

Coriaria myrtifolia is also used as an ornamental plant,

Known Hazards: This plant is very poisonous, the poison having the same effect as alcoholic intoxication.


Herbs & Plants

Cnestis ferruginea

Botanical Name: Cnestis ferruginea
Family: Connaraceae
Order: Oxalidales
Genus: Cnestis
Species: C. ferruginea

Habitat: The shrub Cnestis ferruginea is native to Africa. Western tropical Africa – Senegal to West Cameroons and in other parts of tropical Africa.

Cnestis ferruginea is a shrub or a tree growing to around 6 metres tall.It has simple, broad leaves. Individuals can grow to 6.5 m. Definition: A quality inhering in a plant by virtue of the bearer’s disposition to retain foliage.

The plant is a popular traditional medicine in Africa. With its scarlet fruits, it has value as an ornamental.


Edible Uses: The stems are cut to yield a potable sap.

Mediciinal Uses:
The tart, astringent fruit is chewed for oral hygiene. Extracts from the fruit have been found to have antimicrobial effects, especially against gram-positive bacteria.

The leaves are abortifacient and laxative. A decoction is used to treat bronchitis and also in cases where a laxative is of benefit.

The leaf is rubbed onto the body in the treatment of eba (fever), whilst the whole the pulped plant is similarly used for treating all manner of pains, mange, asthenia and as a sedative in insanity.

The sap expressed from leafy twigs is taken by draught for treating fevers.
The leaf-sap is placed on the eyelids and instilled into the eyes in the treatment of eye-troubles.

The leaves, or the roots, are used for treating dysmenorrhoea.

The powdered bark is rubbed into gums in the treatment of pyorrhoea.
A paste of the root-bark is rubbed on the forehead for treating headaches and, with the addition of the ash of the burnt bark of Calpocalyx Aubrévillei (as a vegetable salt) is given as an appetite stimulant in cases of illness.

The roots are purgative. A decoction is taken by draught as an aphrodisiac, and by enema for gynaecological troubles, and for dysentery and urethral discharge.

The roots enter into remedies for treating skin-infections, often applied as an ointment, and examination has shown action against Sarcina lutea and Staphylococcus aureus, but no action against Gram -ve organisms, nor fungi.

The fruit pulp is taken as a tonic, and is used to treat bronchial affections, especially whooping-cough and tuberculosis. A medicine of this, and allied species, is given to weakly children to encourage them to walk.
The fruit pulp is rubbed on the skin and is used as a medicine for the throat. The juice is used as an eye-instillation for various eye-complaints, principally conjunctivitis. The juice is applied to wounds.
The fruit, together with the seeds, is ground up with alcohol or boiled in wine to produce a remedy for snake-bite.

Other Uses:
The bitter fruits are used to clean the teeth. The fruit contains a soft, juicy, somewhat bitter and acid pulp. This is widely used in many parts of Africa to rub on the teeth to clean and whiten them. It leaves a refreshing taste in the mouth.

The bark yields a red dye which is used for dyeing clothing.

The stems are used to make bows.

Known Hazards:
Although widely used as a medicine and tooth cleaner in many parts of Africa, the fruits are considered toxic in Senegal.

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.


Herbs & Plants

Boswellia sacra

Botanical Name: Boswellia sacra
Family: Burseraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Boswellia
Species:B. sacra

*Boswellia bhaw-dajiana Birdw.
*Boswellia bhaw-dajiana var. serrulata Engl.
*Boswellia carteri Birdw.
*Boswellia carteri var. subintegra Engl.
*Boswellia carteri var. undulatocrenata Engl.
*Boswellia undulatocrenata (Engl.) Engl.

Common Names: Frankincense or Olibanum-tree

Habitat: Boswellia sacra is native to the Arabian Peninsula (Oman, Yemen), and horn of Africa (Somalia). It often grows on rocky slopes and ravines, up to an elevation of 1,200 m (3,900 ft), mostly in calcareous soil. Boswellia sacra is abundant in Oman in arid woodland, on the steep, precariously eroding slopes in the mountains of Dhofar, but it is most prevalent in Eastern and northern Somalia.

Boswellia sacra is a small deciduous tree, which reaches a height of 2 to 8 m (6 ft 7 in to 26 ft 3 in), with one or more trunks. Its bark has the texture of paper and can be removed easily. It has compound leaves and an odd number of leaflets, which grow opposite to one another along its branches. Its tiny flowers, a yellowish white, are gathered in axillary clusters composed of five petals, ten stamens and a cup with five teeth. The fruit is a capsule about 1 cm (0.39 in) long. The new leaves are covered with a fine down.

Individual trees growing on steep slopes tend to develop some buttressing that extends from the roots up into the base of the stem. This forms a sort of cushion that adheres to the rock and ensures a certain stability.


The resin is entirely edible, with many beneficial health properties associated with oral ingestion. … High-quality frankincense isn’t “rocks” it’s a gum which can be chewed. Folks have been consuming this resin for a very long time.

Boswellia, or Indian frankincense, is a resin herbal extract from the boswellia tree, which natural medicine practices have used for centuries. Its anti-inflammatory effects mean that it may help with inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and asthma.

Mainly used for brain injury, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain, swelling of the fluid-filled pads in the joints (bursitis), and swelling of tendons (tendonitis)

It can be an effective painkiller and may prevent the loss of cartilage. Some studies have found that it may even be useful in treating certain cancers, such as leukemia and breast cancer.

People use Boswellia serrata for osteoarthritis. It is also used for many other purposes, including asthma, diabetes, and stroke, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these other uses. There is also no good evidence to support using Boswellia serrata for COVID-19.

The sap from Boswellia serrata is sometimes used to make Frankincense. Frankincense is typically applied to the skin or inhaled as aromatherapy.

Known Hazards:
people have gastritis or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), may not be able to take boswellia. Two case reports describe dangerously elevated INR (a test used to measure blood clotting) in people who were taking warfarin (Coumadin), a type of drug often referred to as a “blood thinner.

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.


Herbs & Plants

Bacopa crenata

Botanical Name: Bacopa crenata
Family: Plantaginaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Bacopa
Species: B. crenata

*Bacopa calycina (Benth.) Engl. ex De Wild.
*Erinus africanus Pers.
*Herpestis calycina Pennell
*Herpestis crenata P. Beauv
*Herpestis thonnginii Benth.
*Moniera calycina (Benth.) Hiern

Common Names: Waterhyssop, Brahmi, or Moneywort

Habitat: Bacopa crenata is a marsh plant native to India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, West Africa, Angola, Madagascar, Kenya, and Tanzania and Florida. Moneywort has bright-green leaves that make for a nice contrast with other plants in the aquarium.

Description: Bacopa crenata is a perennial or annual medicinal herb. It is a non-aromatic, growing up to 40 cm (16 in) in height. It grows very fast. Its leaves are opposite, oblong, slightly serrated on their margin, and 1.4–1.5 cm (0.55–0.59 in) thick. Its leaves are also lanceolate to ovate and are arranged oppositely (opposite deccusate) on the hardy stem. The leaves are bright-green that make for a nice contrast with other plants in the aquarium.Its flowers are small, actinomorphic, and range from white to blue or purple, with four to five petals. Its ability to grow in water makes it a popular aquarium plant. To reach optimal growing conditions, Bacopa crenata requires a minimum of 2 to 3 watts per gallon from full spectrum (5000K-7000K) bulbs in addition to quality liquid nutrient dosing, and a rich substrate. CO2 injection is not required, but will enhance growth and vigor.


Medicinal Uses:
The leaves of Bacopa crenata are used in Africa to treat conjunctivitus and headaches, and to heal wounds.In Indian Ayurveda Brahimi is said to increase brain power and increase memory.

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.


Herbs & Plants

Artemisia herba-alba

Botanical Name: Artemisia herba-alba
Family: Asteraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Genus: Artemisia
Species:A. herba-alba

*Artemisia aethiopica L.
*Artemisia aragonensis Lam.
*Artemisia lippii Jan ex Besser
*Artemisia ontina Dufour
*Seriphidium herba-alba (Asso) Soják

Common Names:In Arabic, it is Sh?e?, in Old Testament Hebrew it is called La’anah and in the Bible it is named as Wormwood.

Habitat:Artemisia herba-alba grows commonly on the dry steppes of the Mediterranean regions in Northern Africa (Saharan Maghreb), Western Asia (Arabian Peninsula) and Southwestern Europe. It is used as an antiseptic and antispasmodic in herbal medicine.

Artemisia herba-alba is a chamaeophyte that grows to 20–40 cm (8–16 in). Leaves are strongly aromatic and covered with fine glandular hairs that reflect sunlight giving a grayish aspect to the shrub. The leaves of sterile shoots are grey, petiolate, ovate to orbicular in outline; whereas, the leaves of flowering stems, more abundant in winter, are much smaller.

The flowering heads are sessile, oblong and tapering at base. The plant flowers from September to December. The receptacle is naked with 2–5 yellowish hermaphrodite flowers per head.


Artemisia herba-alba is a plant of semi-arid regions in the Mediterranean and is not very harding in regions with cold winters.
Species in this genus are generally easily grown, succeeding in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position. They tend to be longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil.

Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates within 2 – 26 weeks at 15°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. They can be planted out in the summer, or kept in pots in a cold frame for the winter and then planted out in the spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame.

Medicinal Uses:
Artemisia herba alba is widely used in Iraqi folk medicine for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. However, very few scientific and medical studies were carried out to assess the efficacy and toxicity of A. herba alba. In this study feeding diabetic rats and rabbits with 0.39 body weight of the aqueous extract of the aerial parts of the plant for 2–4 weeks shows a significant reduction in blood glucose level, prevents elevation of glycosylated haemoglobin level and possesses a hypoliposis effect, in addition to the protection against body weight loss of diabetic animals.

People take Artemisia herba-alba for cough, stomach and intestinal upset, the common cold, measles, diabetes, yellowed skin (jaundice), anxiety, irregular heartbeat, and muscle weakness. It is also used for parasitic infections such as roundworms, pinworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and flukes.

Artemisia herba-alba is a popular herbal treatment in N. Africa, where it is considered to be a remedy for all kinds of ailments. The plant is considered to be carminative, cholagogue, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue, sedative, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge. It is used in the treatment of conditions such as diabetes, coughs and colds, lung problems, diarrhoea, vomiting, flatulence, fever, measles, jaundice, poisoning, cardiac arrhythmia, and muscle weakness. It is also used for treating parasitic infections such as roundworms, pinworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and flukes.

The plant is burnt, and the fumes inhaled, as a treatment for coughs, chest, stomach and muscular pains.
The plant is crushed and applied to the hair to strengthen it and prevent hair loss. The crushed plant is also applied to cuts and various skin disorders. The macerated leaves, combined with olive oil, is applied to the skin to treat lesions.

The leaves and stem contain an esential oil with irregular monoterpene alcohols; the sesquiterpene lactone santolin; herbolides A, B and C; thymol;.
The leaves contain non-glycosidic flavonoids.
Preliminary evidence suggests that taking a water extract of the herb might reduce fasting and postprandial blood sugar in some patients with type 2 diabetes.

Preliminary evidence suggests that taking a water extract of the herb might reduce symptoms and cure pinworm infections in adults and children after 3 days of treatment.

An essential oil extract from aerial plant parts also appears to have antibacterial activity against some Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria in vitro. Santolina alcohol constituent in the essential oil appears to be responsible for this antibacterial activity.
A water extract of Artemisia herba-alba aerial parts and root appears to have a variety of pharmacological effects. It appears to affect blood glucose levels, lowering it in cases of diabetes.

Artemisia herba-alba water extract also appears to have an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects; plus a weak antibacterial activit

Known Hazards:
To be on the safe side and avoid use. Diabetes: There is evidence that Artemisia herba-alba might lower blood sugar. Some experts worry that taking Artemisia herba-alba along with drugs used for controlling diabetes might lower blood sugar too much.

Side effects of Artemisia absinthium are nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, seizures, kidney failure, insomnia, hallucinations, and tremors.

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.