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Achillea millefolium

Botanical Name: Achillea millefolium
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Achillea
Species: A. millefolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Achillea albida Willd.
*Achillea alpicola (Rydb.) Rydb.
*Achillea ambigua Boiss.
*Achillea ambigua Pollini
*Achillea anethifolia Fisch. ex Herder

Common Names: Yarrow, Boreal yarrow, California yarrow, Giant yarrow, Coast yarrow, Western yarrow, Pacific yarrow . Also known as Bloodwort, Carpenter’s weed, Common yarrow, Hierba de las cortaduras, Milfoil, Plumajillo.

Habitat : Achillea millefolium is native to Europe, including Britain, north to 71°, and east to western Asia. It grows on meadows, pastures, lawns etc. on all but the poorest soils.

Description:
Achillea millefolium is an erect, herbaceous, perennial plant that produces one to several stems 0.2–1 m (0.66–3.28 ft) in height, and has a spreading rhizomatous growth form. Leaves are evenly distributed along the stem, with the leaves near the middle and bottom of the stem being the largest. The leaves have varying degrees of hairiness (pubescence). The leaves are 5–20 cm (2.0–7.9 in) long, bipinnate or tripinnate, almost feathery, and arranged spirally on the stems. The leaves are cauline, and more or less clasping.

The inflorescence has 4 to 9 phyllaries and contains ray and disk flowers which are white to pink. The generally 3 to 8 ray flowers are ovate to round. Disk flowers range from 15 to 40. The inflorescence is produced in a flat-topped capitulum cluster and the inflorescences are visited by many insects, featuring a generalized pollination system. The small achene-like fruits are called cypsela.

Bloom Color: Pink, White. Main Bloom Time: Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer.

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The plant has a strong, sweet scent, similar to that of chrysanthemums.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Container, Ground cover, Massing, Seashore, Woodland garden. Succeeds in most soils and situations but prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position. Shade tolerant. Plants live longer when grown in a poor soil and also do well on lime. Established plants are very drought tolerant, they can show distress in very severe droughts but usually recover. It remains green after grass has turned brown in a drought. Plants succeed in maritime gardens. The plant has a very spreading root system and is usually quite invasive. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -25°c. Yarrow is an excellent plant for growing in lawns, meadows, orchards etc., it is tolerant of repeated close cutting and of being walked on. It works to improve the soil fertility. A very good companion plant, it improves the health of plants growing nearby and enhances their essential oil content thus making them more resistant to insect predations. There are some named forms, selected for their ornamental value. ‘Pink’ (syn. ‘Rosea’) has very aromatic foliage and deep pink flowers. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. A good bee plant, it is an important nectar source for many insects. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Edible, Fragrant foliage, Invasive, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or early autumn in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, the divisions can be planted direct into their permanent positions. Divisions succeed at any time of the year. Basal cuttings of new shoots in spring. Very easy, collect the shoots when they are about 10cm tall, potting them up individually in pots and keeping them in a warm but lightly shaded position. They should root within 3 weeks and will be ready to plant out in the summer.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

Leaves – raw or cooked. A rather bitter flavour, they make an acceptable addition to mixed salads and are best used when young. The leaves are also used as a hop-substitute for flavouring and as a preservative for beer etc. Although in general yarrow is a very nutritious and beneficial plant to add to the diet, some caution should be exercised. See the notes above on possible toxicity. An aromatic tea is made from the flowers and leaves. An essential oil from the flowering heads is used as a flavouring for soft drinks

Medicinal Uses:
Yarrow has a high reputation and is widely employed in herbal medicine, administered both internally and externally. It is used in the treatment of a very wide range of disorders but is particularly valuable for treating wounds, stopping the flow of blood, treating colds, fevers, kidney diseases, menstrual pain etc. The whole plant is used, both fresh and dried, and is best harvested when in flower. Some caution should be exercised in the use of this herb since large or frequent doses taken over a long period may be potentially harmful, causing allergic rashes and making the skin more sensitive to sunlight. The herb combines well with Sambucus nigra flowers (Elder) and Mentha x piperita vulgaris (Peppermint) for treating colds and influenza. The herb is antiseptic, antispasmodic, mildly aromatic, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, emmenagogue, odontalgic, stimulant, bitter tonic, vasodilator and vulnerary. It also contains the anti-inflammatory agent azulene, though the content of this varies even between plants in the same habitat. The herb is harvested in the summer when in flower and can be dried for later use. The fresh leaf can be applied direct to an aching tooth in order to relieve the pain.

Due to the flavonoids they contain, yarrow flowers encourage circulation, lower blood pressure and help stop bleeding anywhere in the body. A couple of cups of hot yarrow, peppermint and elder flower tea is an old remedy for reducing fevers and treating colds, measles, and eruptive diseases. It also helps relieve urinary tract infections and stones. The tea benefits the kidneys. Cramps and rheumatism are treated with the tea, as are intestinal gas, diarrhea, anorexia and hyperacidity. In China, yarrow is used in poultices and to ease stomach ulcers. It is said to stop excessive blood flower especially well in the pelvic region, so is used to decrease excessive menstruation, postpartum bleeding, and hemorrhoids. Chewing the fresh leaves relieves toothache. Yarrow contains a chemical also present in chamomile and chamazulene, that helps relax the smooth muscle tissue of the digestive tract, making it an antispasmodic.

Other Uses:
Compost; Cosmetic; Dye; Essential; Hair; Liquid feed; Repellent.

The growing plant repels beetles, ants and flies. The plant has been burnt in order to ward off mosquitoes. A liquid plant feed can be made from the leaves. You fill a container with the leaves and then add some water. Leave it to soak for a week or two and then dilute the rather smelly dark liquid, perhaps 10 – 1 with water though this figure is not crucial. This plant is an essential ingredient of ‘Quick Return’ herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost. The fragrant seeds have been used to impart a pleasant smell indoors. An essential oil obtained from the leaves is used medicinally. The leaves contain from 0.6 to 0.85% essential oil. The leaves have been used as a cosmetic cleanser for greasy skin. Yellow and green dyes are obtained from the flowers. A good ground cover plant, spreading quickly by its roots.

Known Hazards:  Extended use of this plant, either medicinally or in the diet, can cause allergic skin rashes or lead to photosensitivity in some people. Theoretically yarrow can enhance the sedative effects of other herbs (e.g. valerian, kava, German chamomile, hops) & sedative drugs. Possible sedative & diuretic effects from ingesting large amounts.

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/Achillea_millefolium
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Achillea+millefolium

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Cenothera biennis

Botanical Name : Cenothera biennis
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Oenothera
Species: O. biennis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Synonym: Tree Primrose.

Common Names: Evening primrose, Common evening-primrose, Evening star, or Sun drop

English Names: It is also known as Weedy evening-primrose, German rampion, Hog weed, King’s cure-all, and Fever-plant

Parts Used: Bark, leaves.

Habitat: The Evening or Tree Primrose, though originally a native of North Arnerica, was imported first into Italy and has been carried all over Europe, being often naturalized on river-banks and other sandy places in Western Europe. It is often cultivated in English gardens, and is apparently fully naturalized in Lancashire and some other counties of England, having been first a garden escape. It is found grows in dunes, roadsides, railway banks and waste places in Britain, often in sandy soils.

Description:
Oenothera biennis has a life span of two years (biennial plant) growing to 30–150 cm (12–59 in) tall. The leaves are lanceolate, 5–20 cm (2.0–7.9 in) long and 1–2.5 cm (0.39–0.98 in) broad, produced in a tight rosette the first year, and spirally on a stem the second year.

Blooming lasts from late spring to late summer. The flowers are hermaphrodite, produced on a tall spike and only last until the following noon. They open visibly fast every evening producing an interesting spectacle, hence the name “evening primrose.”

The blooms are yellow, 2.5–5 cm (0.98–1.97 in) diameter, with four bilobed petals. The flower structure has an invisible to the naked eye bright nectar guide pattern. This pattern is apparent under ultraviolet light and visible to its pollinators, moths, butterflies, and bees.

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The fruit is a capsule 2–4 cm (0.79–1.57 in) long and 4–6 mm (0.16–0.24 in) broad, containing numerous 1–2 mm (0.039–0.079 in) long seeds, released when the capsule splits into four sections at maturity.

Cultivation: Prefers a dryish well-drained sandy loam and a warm sunny position, though it is tolerant of most soils[4]. Heavy clay soils may induce winter rots. Grows well on very poor soils. Established plants are drought resistant. Formerly cultivated for its edible roots, the evening primrose is being increasingly cultivated for the oil contained in its seed which contains certain essential fatty acids and is a very valuable addition to the diet. See the notes on medicinal uses for more details. The flowers open in the evening and are strongly scented with a delicious sweet perfume, attracting pollinating moths. The seeds are a good food source for birds. Plants usually self-sow freely if they are growing in a suitable position, they can naturalize in the wild garden.

Propagation: Seed – sow in situ from late spring to early summer
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Oil; Root; Seedpod.
Edible Uses: Oil.

Root – cooked. Boiled and eaten like salsify. Fleshy, sweet and succulent. Wholesome and nutritious. A peppery taste. The taste somewhat resembles salsify or parsnips. Young shoots – raw or cooked. Mucilaginous, with a peppery flavour, they are best used sparingly. Another source suggests that the shoots should not be eaten. Flowers – sweet. Used in salads or as a garnish. Young seedpods – cooked. Steamed. The seed contains 28% of a drying oil. It is edible and a very good source of gamma-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that is not found in many plant sources and has numerous vital functions in the body. The seed, however, is very small and difficult to harvest, it has to be done by hand. Overall yields are low, making the oil very expensive to produce.

Parts Used in medicines: Bark and leaves. The bark is peeled from the flower-stems and dried in the same manner as the leaves, which are collected in the second year, when the flowerstalk has made its appearance.

Medicinal Uses:
Anticholesterolemic; Antipruritic; Astringent; Hypotensive; Miscellany; Sedative.

The bark and the leaves are astringent and sedative. They have proved of use in the treatment of gastro-intestinal disorders of a functional origin, whooping cough and asthma. A syrup made from the flowers is also an effective treatment for whooping cough. The bark is stripped from the flowering stem and dried for later use, the leaves are also harvested and dried at this time. Evening primrose oil has become a well-known food supplement since the 1980’s. Research suggests that the oil is potentially very valuable in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, pre-menstrual tension, hyperactivity etc. It is also taken internally in the treatment of eczema, acne, brittle nails, rheumatoid arthritis and alcohol-related liver damage. Regular consumption of the oil helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower the blood pressure. The seed is a good source of gamma-linolenic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid which assists the production of hormone-like substances. This process is commonly blocked in the body, causing disorders that affect the uterine muscles, nervous system and metabolism. The poulticed root is applied to piles and bruises. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of obesity and bowel pains.

Other Uses:
Cosmetic; Dye; Miscellany; Oil.

The oil from the seed is added to skin preparations and cosmetics. It is often combined with vitamin E to prevent oxidation. A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. A finely ground powder made from the flowering stems is used cosmetically in face-masks to counteract reddened skins.

Known Hazards: Lowers the threshold for epileptic fits (avoid). Caution if on anticoagulants. Combining with phenothiazines (allopathic medication) can trigger seizures. Adverse effects: may cause headaches and nausea on an empty stomach. Diarrhoea with high doses. Seizures in schizophrenic patients on phenothiazines (allergy antihistamines)

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/Oenothera_biennis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Oenothera+biennis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/primro70.html

Lactuca serriola

Botanical Name: Lactuca serriola
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. serriola
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name: Common Name: Prickly Lettuce. milk thistle (not to be confused with Silybum marianum, also called milk thistle) compass plant, and scarole.

Habitat :Lactuca serriola is native to Europe, Asia, and north Africa, and has become naturalized elsewhere. It grows in waste places, walls, occasionally on more or less stable dunes.

Description:
Lactuca serriola is an annual or binnial plant. It has a spineless reddish stem, containing a milky latex, growing from 30 to 200 cm. The leaves get progressively smaller as they reach its top. They are oblong lanceolate, often pinnate and (especially for the lower leaves), waxy grey green. Fine spines are present along the veins and leaf edges. The undersides have whitish veins. They emit latex when cut. The flower heads are 11 to 13mm wide, are pale yellow, often tinged purple. The bracts are also often tinged purple. It flowers from July until September. The achenes are grey, tipped with bristles. The pappus is white with equal length hairs….CLICK  &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

Cultivation: Prefers a light sandy loam in a sunny position. The wild lettuce is cultivated for the oil in its seed in Egypt. A compass plant, the top leaves align north-south.

Propagation:..…Seed – sow spring in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly quick.

Edible Uses: Young leaves are eaten raw as salad or cooked. A bitter flavour. The young tender leaves are mild and make an excellent salad, but the whole plant becomes bitter as it gets older, especially when coming into flower. As a potherb it needs very little cooking. Large quantities can cause digestive upsets. Young shoots – cooked. Used as an asparagus substitute. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. The oil must be refined before it is edible. A pleasant flavour.

Medicinal Uses:
Anodyne; Antipyretic; Diuretic; Homeopathy; Hypnotic; Narcotic; Sedative.
The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium’, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. This species does not contain as much lactucarium as L. virosa. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. Lettuce, White: (Nabalus albus): The Chippewa doctor considered this a  milk root and used the root as a remedy for female complaints, possibly as a douche in leucorrhea, to help arrest the discomforting white discharge of the vagina. At the same time a tea of the leaves was taken as a diuretic to flush the poisons from the urinary organs. To the Indians, the oozing bitter juice also corresponded to the pus of a sore, for which purpose he applied a poultice of the leaves to the bites of snakes and insects. In time, the herb became better known for its content of the astringent tannic acid and was used not only in dysentery but as an everyday vulnerary, to heal cancerous and canker sores. The powdered root is sprinkled on food to stimulate milk flow after childbirth. A tea made from the roots is used as a wash for weakness. A latex in the stems is diuretic it is used in female diseases. It is also taken internally in the treatment of snakebite. . Used in diarrhea and relaxed and debilitated conditions of the bowels.

Other Uses: The seed contains 35.2% of a semi-drying oil. It is used in soap making, paints, varnishes etc.

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/Lactuca_serriola
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+serriola

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

Paris quadrifolia

Botanical Name: Paris quadrifolia
Family: Melanthiaceae
Genus: Paris
Species: P. quadrifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales

Synonyms: Herba Paris. Solanum quadrifolium. Aconitum pardalianches. True Love. One Berry.
(French) Parisette.
(German) Einbeere.

Common Names: Herb Paris, True Lover’s Knot

Habitat: Paris quadrifolia occurs in Europe, Russian Asia, and fairly abundant in Britain, but confined to certain places. It grows in moist places and damp shady woods.

Description:
Paris quadrifolia is a herbaceous perennial plant. It has a creeping fleshy rootstock, a simple smooth upright stem about 1 foot high, crowned near its top with four pointed leaves, from the centre of which rises a solitary greeny-white flower, blooming May and June with a foetid odour; the petals and sepals remain till the purply-blackberry (fruit) is ripe, which eventually splits to discharge its seeds.The flower is borne above a single whorl of four or more stem leaves. It prefers calcareous soils and lives in damp and shady places, especially old established woods and streamsides……..CLICK  &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

Each plant only produces one blueberry-like fruit, which is poisonous, as are other tissues of the plant. Paris quadrifolia poisonings are rare, because the plant’s solitary berry and its repulsive taste make it difficult to mistake it for a blueberry.

Cultivation:
Easily grown in a humus-rich soil in woodland conditions. Prefers a light sandy loam. Plants are hardy to about -15°c. The presence of this plant in a truly wild state in Britain is an indicator of ancient woodland. Plants are very slow to flower from seed. The flowers are very long-lived. The flowers emit a strong unpleasant smell rather like decaying meat.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in late summer in a cold frame. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as soon as it is received. The seed is very slow to germinate. It produces a primary root about 7 months after sowing, this pulls the seed deeper into the soil. Leaves are produced about 4 months later. Sow the seed thinly so that it does not need to be thinned and grow the young plants on undisturbed in a shady part of the greenhouse for their first two years of growth. Give an occasional liquid feed in the growing season to ensure the plants do not become nutrient deficient. At the end of the second year’s growth prick out the young plants into individual pots and grow them on for another year or two in a shady part of the greenhouse before planting them out in the spring. Division.
Part Used: The entire plant, just coming into bloom.
Constituents: A glucoside called Paradin.

Medicinal Uses:
Antianxiety; Antidote; Antirheumatic; Aphrodisiac; Detergent; Homeopathy; Narcotic; Ophthalmic.

The entire plant, harvested just as it is coming into flower, is antirheumatic and detergent. In large doses the herb is narcotic, producing nausea, vomiting, vertigo etc. It should be used with great caution, overdoses have proved fatal to children. In small doses it is of benefit in the treatment of bronchitis, spasmodic coughs, rheumatism, colic etc. The plant is also used in the treatment of headaches and neuralgia. The seeds and the berries have something of the nature of opium, they have been used as an aphrodisiac. A tincture of the fresh plant is useful as an antidote to poisoning by mercurial sublimate and arsenic. A cooling ointment made from the seeds and juice of the leaves is applied externally to wounds, tumours and inflammations. The juice of the berries is used to treat eye inflammations. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant.

It has been used as an aphrodisiac – the seeds and berries have something of the nature of opium. The leaves in Russia are prescribed for madness. The leaves and berries are more actively poisonous than the root.

Herb Paris is useful as an antidote against mercurial sublimate and arsenic. A tincture is prepared from the fresh plant.
Other Uses:..Dye…..A red dye is obtained from the berries. A yellow dye is obtained from the leaves

Known Hazards: The plant is poisonous in large doses. This refers to the fruit.

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/Paris_quadrifolia
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/paris-08.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Paris+quadrifolia

Sisymbrium officinale

Botanical Name: Sisymbrium officinale
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Sisymbrium
Species: S. officinale
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonyms: Singer’s Plant. St. Barbara‘s Hedge Mustard. Erysimum officinale.

Common Name: Hedge mustard

Habitat : Sisymbrium officinale is native of Europe and North Africa, it is now well-established throughout the world. It grows in hedge banks, uncultivated ground, waste ground, the sites of ruined buildings etc. It is a fairly common weed of cultivated land.

Description:
Sisymbrium officinale is an annual plant. It gros to 2ft. by 1ft. It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Self.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife…….CLICK  &  SEE THE  PICTURES

Cultivation:    An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils but prefers a moist to dry acid to alkaline soil in full sun or light shade[238]. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c[238]. Hedge mustard grows well near oats but it inhibits the growth of turnips[18]. The plant has a peculiar aptitude for collecting and retaining dust[4]. This means that when growing near roads or other polluted places the leaves are seldom edible[K]. A food plant for the caterpillars of several butterfly and moth species.

Propagation:   Seed – sow spring or autumn in situ

Part Used: Whole plant.

Edible Uses:
This plant is widely cultivated across Europe for its edible leaves and seeds. It is widely used as a condiment in Northern Europe (particularly Denmark, Norway and Germany).

The leaves have a bitter cabbage-like flavour and they are used either in salads or cooked as a leaf vegetable (in cultivar versions). The seeds have been used to make mustard pastes in Europe.

Medicinal Uses:
Antiaphonic; Diuretic; Expectorant; Laxative; Stomachic.

The whole plant is said to be antiaphonic, diuretic, expectorant, laxative and stomachic. This plant was at one time known as the ‘singer’s plant’ because of its use in treating loss of the voice. A strong infusion of the whole plant has been used in the treatment of throat complaints. Excessive doses can affect the heart. The dried plant is almost inactive, so it should only be used when freshly harvested

Traditional medicine:
The Greeks believed it was an antidote to all poisons. In folk medicine, it was used to soothe sore throats – indeed one name for it is singer’s plant. This plant “grows by our roadsides and on waste ground, where it is a common weed, with a peculiar aptitude for collecting and retaining dust…it is named by the French the ‘Singer’s Plant,’ it having been considered up to the time of Louis XIV an infallible remedy for loss of voice. Jean Racine, writing to Nicolas Boileau, recommends him to try the syrup…in order to be cured of voicelessness.” It is “good for all diseases of the chest and lungs, hoarseness of voice…the juice…made into a syrup with honey or sugar, is no less effectual…for all other coughs, wheezing and shortness of breath…the seed is held to be a special remedy against poison and venom.” It was “formerly used for hoarseness, weak lungs and to help the voice.” Herbalists use the juice and flowers for bronchitis and stomach ailments, among other uses, and as a revitalizer. In Tibetan medicine it is used to repress the symptoms of food poisoning.

Other Uses:
Soil conditioner….Alkaline secretions from the growing roots help to sweeten an acid soil.

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/Sisymbrium_officinale
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mustar65.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Sisymbrium+officinale