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Herbs & Plants

Verbascum phlomoides

Botanical Name: Verbascum phlomoides
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Verbascum
Species: V. phlomoides

Common Names: Orange mullein, Wooly mullein, Verbascum thapsus, or Pale yellow mullein

Habitat: Verbascum phlomoides is native to S. Europe. It grows on dry sandy or stony ground.

Description:
Verbascum phlomoides is a biiennial/perennial herb growing to 1.2 m (4ft). This dicotyledonous plant produces a rosette of leaves in its first year of growth. … All parts of this plant are covered with star-shaped trichomes. This covering is particularly thick on the leaves, giving them a silvery appearance.

It is in flower from June to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

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Cultivatiion:
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most well-drained soils, including dry ones, and prefers a sunny position. Dislikes shade and wet soils. Thrives on chalk.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. This species is hardy to at least -15°c. Hybridizes with other members of this genus, though the progeny are usually sterile. Plants can perennate when growing in light well-drained soils.

Propagation:
Seed – sow late spring to early summer in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 2 – 3 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots and plant them out in late summer. The seed has a long viability.

Medicinal Uses:
The seed is used to expel tapeworms from the body. The seeds probably contain saponins and so should be used with caution. The flowers and leaves are anodyne, antiseptic, astringent, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, pectoral and vulnerary. An infusion is used internally in the treatment of various respiratory complaints including coughs, bronchitis, asthma and throat irritations. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowers in olive oil is used to treat earaches, sores, wounds, boils etc. The plant is harvested when in flower and should be dried quickly and with care or it will lose its medicinal qualities.

Other Uses: The whole plant is used to repel mice and rats. Dynamic accumulator.

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/Verbascum_phlomoides
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Verbascum+phlomoides

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Herbs & Plants

Veratrum album

Botanical Name: Veratrum album
Family: Melanthiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales
Genus: Veratrum
Species: V. album

Synonyms: Veratrum lobelianum Bernh.

Common Names: False helleborine, White hellebore, European white hellebore, or White veratrum

Habitat: Veratrum album is native to Europe and parts of western Asia (western Siberia, Turkey, Caucasus). It grows on moist grassy sub-alpine meadows and open woods.

Description:
Veratrum album is a tall herbaceous perennial plant with alternate, pleated leaves. The flowers are white, marked with green on the top portion of the stalk. The fruit is a small pod containing winged seeds. The stout, simple stems are 50–175 cm (20–69 in) tall. It is in flower from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, flies, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plants have an estimated lifespan of several centuries and often achieve dominance in wild areas as they are unpalatable to grazing herbivores.

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Cultivation:
Requires a deep fertile moisture retentive humus-rich soil. Succeeds in full sun if the soil does not dry out but prefers a position in semi-shade. Dislikes dry soils. Grows best in a cool woodland garden or a north facing border. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Plants are long-lived and can be left in the same position for years without attention.

Propagation:
Unless stored in damp sand at around 4°c the seed has a short viability. Where possible it is best to sow the seed in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed needs to be stratified but can be very slow to germinate. Germination can be erratic even for seed sown when it was fresh, it usually takes place within 3 – 12 months at 15°c but can be much longer. The plant produces just one seedleaf in its first year, this forms an over-wintering bulb. It takes up to 10 years for the plant to reach maturity. Sow the seed thinly so there is no need to thin or transplant them, and grow the seedlings on undisturbed in the pot for their first two years of growth. Apply a liquid feed at intervals through the growing season to ensure the plants do not become nutrient deficient. At the end of the second year plant out the dormant plants into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for a further year or two before planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division in March/April or in October. Establish the plants in pots in a shaded frame before planting them out. Division is best carried out in the autumn because the plants come into growth very early in the spring. Root cuttings, 6mm long with a bud, rooted in a sandy soil in a cold frame.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is analgesic, anthelmintic, cathartic, emetic, errhine, expectorant, hypnotic and sternutatory. The root is very poisonous, with a paralyzing effect on the nervous system, and is scarcely if ever used internally, though the alkaloids it contains are used in the pharmaceutical industry. It is occasionally used externally as a local analgesic, though even this is not without its dangers since it can be absorbed through broken skin. It is also used in veterinary medicine. The root is harvested in early autumn and is dried for later use.

USE OF Veratrum album IN HOMEOPATHY

Other Uses:
The dried and powdered root contains pyrethrums and is used as an insecticide and a parasiticide. It is also effective against caterpillars and mammals so great caution is advised. Extracts from dried rhizomes of Veratrum album were briefly used as a pesticide against the Colorado potato beetle.

Known Hazards:All parts of the plant are highly poisonous.

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/Veratrum_album
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Veratrum+album

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Valeriana jatamansi

Botanical Name: Valeriana jatamansi
Family: Valerianaceae

Common Names: Indian Valerina
*Ayurvedic name: Tagar
*Unani name: Tagar
*Hindi name: Mushkbala, Tagar
*Trade name: Mushkbala, Tagar

Habitat: Valeriana jatamansi is native to E. Asia – Afghanistan to S.W. China. It grows in forests, shrubberies and on open slopes, 1500 – 3600 metres.

Description:
Valeriana jatamansi is a perennial aromatic herb growing up to 50 cm high. Rootstock is thick, with 6–10 cm thick, long fibrous roots knotted by uneven circular ridges. The plant has several stems, that are 15–45 cm long. Leaves are of two types, radical and cauline. Radical leaves are cordate–ovate, 2.5–8 cm, toothed or sinuate, long stalked, while cauline leaves are few, small, entire or lobulate. Flowers are white or tinged with pink and occur in flat-topped corymbose clusters on erect, nearly leafless peduncles. Flowers are unisexual; male and female flowers appear on different plants and is pollinated by Insects.

Corolla is funnel shaped with five lobes. Fruits are crowned with a persistent pappus-like calyx.Flowering and fruiting occur in March–April. Seeds ripen in April–May.

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Cultivation:
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed because it requires light for germination. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant out into their permanent positions in the summer if sufficient growth has been made. If the plants are too small to plant out, grow them on in the greenhouse or frame for their first winter and plant them out early in the following summer. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is antispasmodic, carminative and stimulant. It has many of the properties of V. officinalis and could therefore be employed as a nervine and sedative. It is used in Nepal to treat hysteria, insomna, nausea, pimples, rheumatism and cholera. They are cooling, stimulant, hypotensive, and sedative.
They are useful in epilepsy, hysteria, hypochondriasis, nervous unrest, and skin diseases. The juice of the root is applied to the forehead in the treatment of headaches, and is dripped into the eyes for treating eye problems. A paste of the plant is applied externally to boils. This species is an effective substitute for V. officinalis. The uses of that plant are as follows:- Valerian is a well-known and frequently used medicinal herb that has a long and proven history of efficacy. It is noted especially for its effect as a tranquilliser and nervine, particularly for those people suffering from nervous overstrain. Valerian has been shown to encourage sleep, improve sleep quality and reduce blood pressure. It is also used internally in the treatment of painful menstruation, cramps, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome etc. It should not be prescribed for patients with liver problems. Externally, it is used to treat eczema, ulcers and minor injuries. The root is antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, hypnotic, powerfully nervine, sedative and stimulant. The active ingredients are called valepotriates, research has confirmed that these have a calming effect on agitated people, but are also a stimulant in cases of fatigue. The roots of 2 year old plants are harvested in the autumn once the leaves have died down and are used fresh or dried. The fresh root is about 3 times as effective as roots dried at 40° (the report does not specify if this is centigrade or fahrenheit), whilst temperatures above 82° destroy the active principle in the root. Use with caution, see the notes above on toxicity.

Other Uses: The dried rhizome is used as an incense. The root contains 0.8% essential oil. It is used in perfumery and in preparations for the hair.

Known Hazards: Some caution is advised with the use of this plant. At least one member of the genus is considered to be poisonous raw and V. officinalis is a powerful nervine and sedative that can become habit-forming.

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://vikaspedia.in/agriculture/crop-production/package-of-practices/medicinal-and-aromatic-plants/valeriana-jatamansi
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Valeriana+jatamansi

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Herbs & Plants

Valeriana hardwickii

Botanical Name: Valeriana hardwickii
Family: Valerianaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dipsacales
Genus: Valeriana
Species: V. wallichii

Common Names:
*English…..Indian Valerian
*Kannada…..Jatale
*Sanskrit….Tagara
*Tamil…….Takaram

Habitat: Valeriana hardwickii is native to E. Asia – China to the Himalayas.It is usually found amongst herbaceous vegetation on humus-rich soils, 1900 – 3100 metres in Kashmir. Grassy slopes, forest margins, by streams; 900-3800 m. Chongqing (Nanchuan), Fujian (Chong’an), Guangxi (Damiao Shan), Guizhou, SW Hubei, W Hunan (Qianyang, Xinning, Xuefeng Shan), Jiangxi (Wugong Shan), Sichuan, S and SE Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, N Vietnam].

Description:
Valeriana hardwickii is a perennial herb, growing to 1.5 m (5ft). Caulescent, erect herb; stem ribbed and hollow. Leaves cauline, decussate, pinnate, chartaceous; petiole to 4 cm; leaflets 5-9, lower ones alternate, ovate, to 6 x 4 cm, base cuneate-truncate, margin serrate-dentate, apex acuminate; petiolule to 15 mm. Cymes diffuse, 16 x 11 cm; peduncle to 15 cm; bracts to 10 mm. Calyx-limbs more than 10. Corolla white, 5 mm wide; lobes 5, broadly ovate. Stamens 3. Ovary 1-celled; ovule 1. Achene 3.5 mm.

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). and is pollinated by Insects.

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Cultiivation:
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed because it requires light for germination[200]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant out into their permanent positions in the summer if sufficient growth has been made. If the plants are too small to plant out, grow them on in the greenhouse or frame for their first winter and plant them out early in the following summer. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is bitter, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, nervine and stimulant. It is used as a nerve tonic and in the treatment of conditions such as epilepsy and hysteria. It is also used in the treatment of rheumatism and low blood pressure. The pounded rot or leaves are used as a poultice to treat boils. The plant is antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, emmenagogue, diaphoretic and stimulant. This plant is an effective substitute for V. officinalis. The uses of that plant are as follows:- Valerian is a well-known and frequently used medicinal herb that has a long and proven history of efficacy. It is noted especially for its effect as a tranquilliser and nervine, particularly for those people suffering from nervous overstrain. Valerian has been shown to encourage sleep, improve sleep quality and reduce blood pressure. It is also used internally in the treatment of painful menstruation, cramps, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome etc. It should not be prescribed for patients with liver problems[238]. Externally, it is used to treat eczema, ulcers and minor injuries[238]. The root is antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, hypnotic, powerfully nervine, sedative and stimulant. The active ingredients are called valepotriates, research has confirmed that these have a calming effect on agitated people, but are also a stimulant in cases of fatigue. The roots of 2 year old plants are harvested in the autumn once the leaves have died down and are used fresh or dried. The fresh root is about 3 times as effective as roots dried at 40° (the report does not specify if this is centigrade or fahrenheit), whilst temperatures above 82° destroy the active principle in the root. Use with caution, see the notes below on toxicity.

Known Hazards: Some caution is advised with the use of this plant. At least one member of the genus is considered to be poisonous raw and V. officinalis is a powerful nervine and sedative that can become habit-forming.

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://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/264092
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Valeriana+hardwickii

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Vachellia tortilis

Botanical Name: Vachellia tortilis
Family: Fabaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales
Clade: Mimosoideae
Genus: Vachellia
Species: V. tortilis

Synonyms:
*Acacia heteracantha Burch.
*Acacia raddiana Savi.

  • Acacia spirocarpa Hochst.
  • Acacia tortili

Common Names: Umbrella thorn and Israeli babool

Habitat: Vachellia tortilis is native to Africa – semi-arid areas from S. Africa to the Sahel and also to Israel and Arabia. It grows widespread in the Sahel, in woodlands and in the savannah. It generally forms open, dry forests in pure stands or mixed with other species.

Description:
Vachellia tortilis a medium to large evergreen tree growing to 15 m (49ft) by 15 m to 21m in height at a fast rate. It has a large, spreading, umbrella-shaped canopy. The leaves are pinnate, with each leaf composed of about 15 pairs of leaflets. Flowers are small, white, fragrant, and occur in tight clusters.They are polinated by bees. Seeds are in flat pods. V. tortilis is tolerant to drought, high alkalinity, high temperatures, sandy and stony soils, strongly sloped rooting surfaces, and sand blasting.

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Cultivation:
Vachellia tortilis is a plant for semi-arid tropical and subtropical areas, succeeding at elevations from sea level to 2,000 metres. It grows best in areas where the mean annual temperature is in the range 23.4 – 31.3c, with a mean annual rainfall of 100 – 1,000mm. It tolerates a maximum temperature of 50c and a minimum temperature close to 0c, though trees less than 2 years old are very susceptible to frost damage. The tree favours alkaline soils and grows in sand dunes, sandy loam, rocky soils and other soils that drain well. It also does well on light brown, sandy soil with little or no calcium carbonate, and pH ranges of between 7.95-8.30. Tolerates pH in the range 6.5 – 8.5. A drought resistant plant, it can tolerate strong salinity and seasonal waterlogging. The long taproot and numerous lateral roots enable it to utilize the limited soil moisture available in the arid areas. Plants can grow fairly well in shallow soil, less than 0.25 m deep, though they develop long lateral roots that can become a nuisance in nearby fields, paths, and roadways. A fast-growing tree, it develops a long lateral root system and creates problems in marshy fields, paths and roadways. It grows fairly well even on shallow soils less than 25cm deep. However, the plant assumes shrubby growth and must be widely spaced for the lateral root growth. It responds vigorously to felling by producing numerous coppice shoots, provided there is no interference from browsing animals. Lopping of entire branches does not seem to affect the vitality of the tree. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. Carbon Farming- Cultivation: regional crop. Management: standard, coppice.

Edible Uses:
A porridge is made from the pods after extracting the seed. The immature seeds are eaten. An edible gum is obtained from the stems. Of moderate quality.

Medicinal Uses:
The dried, powdered bark is used as a disinfectant in healing wounds. In Senegal the powdered bark is used as an anthelmintic and is dusted on to skin ailments. The stem is used to treat asthma. Seeds are taken to treat diarrhoea.

Other Uses:
Agroforestry Uses: Due to its drought hardiness and fast growth, this is a promising species for afforesting shifting sand dunes, refractory sites, hill slopes, ravines and lateritic soils. It is the tree most recommended for reclaiming dunes in India and Africa. It has been grown successfully with Azadirachta indica in shelterbelts. Other Uses The pods have been used as beads in necklaces. The source of a resin called Gomme Rouge. The bark is reported to be a rich source of tannin. A strong fibre is obtained from the bark. A powerful molluscicide and algicide, the fruits are placed in fish ponds to kill the snail species that carry schistosomiasis, without affecting the fish. The thorny branches are suitable material for erecting barriers. The sapwood and heartwood are white and lustrous, with the heartwood aging to reddish-brown. Growth rings are distinct and separated by brown lines. The wood is moderately soft, not very strong, and is readily attacked by decay-causing fungi and insects. It should be promptly converted after felling and subjected to rapid drying conditions. The timber is not durable in the open but moderately so under cover. It is used for planking, boxes, poles, moisture-proof plywood, gun and rifle parts, furniture, house construction and farm implements. It is believed that Noah of the Old Testament made his ark from the wood of this tree. The root of this tree is traditionally used to make quivers for arrows. A piece of wood about 40 – 60cm long is placed in the spent ashes of a warm fire and left overnight. The next morning, a short section of the bark of the root is removed at one end; a circular groove is carved into the exposed core wood; a piece of wire is wound around the groove at one end whist the other end is attached to a tree; the bark (having already been loosened from the wood by the drying action of the warm ashes) is then simply pulled whole off the root. The core of wood remaining is then often used as a pestle. The plant starts producing fuel wood at the age of 8 -18 years, at the rate of 50 kg/tree. Its fast growth and good coppicing behaviour, coupled with the high calorific value for its wood (4400 kcal/kg), make it suitable for firewood and charcoal. Carbon farming – Industrial Crop: biomass, tannin. Agroforestry Services: nitrogen, windbreak, crop shade. Fodder: pod, bank. Other Systems: parkland.

Known Hazards: There are unconfirmed allegations that the foliage can be toxic to livestock.

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/Vachellia_tortilis
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Vachellia+tortilis