Herbs & Plants

Mallotus philippensis

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Botanical Name :Mallotus philippensis
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Acalyphoideae
Tribe: Acalypheae
Genus: Mallotus
Species: M. philippensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Other scientific names :Croton philippinense,Echinus philippinensis Rottlera manilensis,Rottlera philippinensis

Common Names:Apuyot (Sul.),Pikal (Sbl.), Buas (Ilk.), Rohini, Darandang (Tag.), Sala (Tag., Bis.), Kamala (Engl.)  Tafu (Ibn.)
Kamela (Engl.), Tagusala (P. Bis) ,Panagisen (Ibn.)  Tutula (Tagb.) ,Panagisian (Ibn., Klg., Neg.)  Rottlera (Engl.) ,Pañgaplasin (Ilk.),Indian Kamila,Banato

Habitat ;
It occurs in India, China (South), Malesia to Australia, Melanesia, Japan (Ryukyu), Thailand, Indochina, Laos (Khammouan).
. The southern most limit of natural distribution is Mount Keira, south of Sydney. The species name refers to the type specimen being collected in the Philippines, where it is known as Banato.

A tree growing to a height of 4 to 10 meters, with the branchlets, young leaves and inflorescence covered with brown hairs. Leaves are alternate, oblong-ovate, with a pointed tip and rounded base, 7 to 16 cm long, with toothed or entire margins. Upper surface of the leaf what two smooth glands; the lower surface, glaucous and hairy with numerous, scattered crimson glands. Male flowers are numerous, 3 mm in diameter, axillary, solitary or fasicled spikes, 5 to 8 cm long. Female flowers are in solitary racemes. Fruit is spherical, 6 to 8 mm in diameters, densely covered with red or crimson powder, with three cells, each containing a dark grey, rounded seed that is flattened on one side.

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Chemical Constituents and properties:
Considered antibacterial, anticancer, antihelminthic, antifertility, antispasmodic, astringent, contracepticeptive, laxative, vermifuge, and purgative and vulnerary.

Extract of kamala from the glands and hairs yielded a resin, a wax, and the crystalline compound rottlerin.
Kamala also contains a minute amount of essential oil, which when gently warmed emits a peculiar odor.

The principle constituent, rottlerin, is from the kamala resin.
Rottlerin (reddish-yellow resin), 47-80%; fixed oil, 5.83-24%; citric acid; mallotoxin; kamalin.
The seed contains a fixed oil, camul oil and a bitter glucoside.
According to Ayurveda, leaves are bitters, cooling and appetizer.
Fruit is anthelminthic, vulnerary, detergent, maturant, carminative

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used and preparation: Leaves, bark and seeds.
Fungal skin infections: Pound leaves or seeds and apply on affected areas.
The red glands of the fruit is antiherpetic and antihelminthic.
Poulticed leaves and bark used for skin diseases – ringworm and scabies; poulticed seeds used for wound healing.
Powder taken with milk for tapeworms, repeated as necessary.
In india, used for bronchitis, abdominal diseases, spleen enlargement.
Elsewhere, used for constipation, anorexia, cancers, dermatosis, cramps, dysmenorrhea.

• Antifilarial Activity: The effect of aqueous and alcoholic extracts of the leaves of Mallotus philippensis was studied on the spontaneous movements of the whole worm and nerve-muscle preparation of Setaria cervic and on the survival of microfilariae in vitro.
Antimicrobial: In an ethnopharmacological screening in Nepal, the bark from Mallotus philippensis was found to be active against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
* Anti-allergic: Two new phloroglucinol derivatives were isolated from the fruits of Mallotus philippensis. They inhibited histamine release from rat peritoneal mast cells suggesting the new phloroglucinol derivaties have anti-allergic effects.
• Antibacterial / Phytochemical: (1) Study showed excellent inhibition with chloroform and methanol extracts of the stem barkn testing with E coli, K pneumonia, P aeruginosa, S typhi and B subtilis, (2) Mallotus philippinensis was one of plants in a study of 61 Indian medicinal plants that exhibited antimicrobial properties, supporting its folkloric use as antimicrobial treatment for some diseases.
• Antifertility: Study showed when females treated with Kamala seed extract were mated with non-treated males, rate of infertile mating increased in a dose-dependent manner with reduced pregnancy rate and number of implantation sites. Data indicate, Kamala reduced levels of FSH and LH and affected various reproductive parameters of female rats.

Other Uses:
Kamala, the powder obtained from the glands and hairs, besides its medicinal properties, is valued as a dye.
Dye is used for coloring silk and wool.
The oil derived from the seeds is used in paints and varnishes, as hair-fixer, and ointment additive.
Antioxidant for ghee and vegetable oils.
Wood pulp used for making writing and printing paper.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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Herbs & Plants

Adina Rubella

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 Botanical Name:Adina rubella
Family:    Rubiaceae
Tribe:    Naucleeae
Genus:    Adina
Kingdom:    Plantae
Clade:    Angiosperms
Clade:    Eudicots
Clade:    Asterids
Order:    Gentianales

Common Name: Chinese buttonbush, glossy adina

Habitat:Adina rubella   is native to China, E. Asia – China  &  Japan.  It grows on the edges of streams, ditches and ponds.Woodland Garden; Sunny Edge; Situate Chinese buttonbush in full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil.


.This 6- to 8-foot-tall, deciduous shrub is grown for its glossy leaves and spiky, round, creamy-white flowers that appear in early to midsummer. It has smaller leaves and similar but smaller ball-like flowers in early summer.  The flowers could give it the name “Sputnik Shrub”.   It may grow to 10 feet in warmer climates and is soil and moisture tolerant.The flowers give way to small brown fruit clusters several weeks later. Chinese buttonbush is closely related to the North American buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), but is finer-textured and more compact.


The small lustrous, dark green leaf has reddish margins.  Small ½ inch white, mildly fragrant flowers, appear in June-July and persist into October, giving the plant the appearance of being covered in small white buttons.  Very pleasing.  This plant is very adaptable to most planting sites, except those with consistently wet soils.   Good choice for summer flowering in shady locations. Propagated from rooted stem cuttings.

Click & see the pictures

An annual plant. Radical leaves are 10-14cm long, pinnate, and parted. Lobes are wide, having thin hairs on the edge, shaped in rosette. Cauline leaves have narrower lobes and upper part of them are almost filiform. Fruits are clavate, 5-10cm long, 1.2mm wide, without hair, and fruit stalks are 6-8mm long. Flowers bloom in May-June, raceme on the edge of boughs. Flowers are light yellow, 8mm diameter, cruciate. Flowers have 4 calyxes, 2 of which on the outer part have short horn-shaped projections. Petals are 6-9? long. 4 of the stamens are long and 2 are short. Stem is 20-70cm long, with or without hair.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

Height : 6 ft. to 10 ft.
Spread : 6 ft. to 10 ft.
Growth Pace :   Moderate Grower
Light  :   Full Sun Only;Full Sun to Part Shade;Part Shade Only
Moisture :  Medium Moisture
Maintenance :  Low
Characteristics:    Showy Flowers; Showy Seed Heads
Bloom Time  :   Summer
Flower Color :   White Flower
Uses  :   Low- Maintenance
Seasonal Interest :   Summer Interest

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Propagation: Root cuttings in summer, protect through winter, and plant out the following spring.

Medicinal Actions & Uses
Astringent, carminative, haemostatic, stimulates the circulation

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.


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What You Need to Know About Farmed Fish

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Declining ocean fish stocks have led to a rapid growth in fish farming. But if you think farmed fish are the answer, you might want to take a second look at its effects.

Carnivorous farmed fish are fed on high levels of fish meal and fish oil. In fact, they require a fish biomass input greater than the fish biomass produced. For the 10 species of fish most commonly farmed, an average of nearly two kilograms of wild fish is required for every one kilogram of fish raised.

Unfortunately, there is an increase in the production trend of carnivorous fish (such as salmon or shrimp) rather than herbivorous or filter feeder fish. Small pelagic fish, such as herring, sardines and anchovies, mainly provide the fish meal and fish oils used for aquaculture feed, increasing pressures on wild fish.

Numbers of popular species such as cod have plummeted; in the Mediterranean, 12 species of shark are commercially extinct. Swordfish in that area, which should grow as thick as a telephone pole, now must be caught as juveniles and eaten when no bigger than a baseball bat. The fish in the seas surrounding Africa and Asia are also in steep decline.

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Herbs & Plants

Elephant Yam (Bengali Ol)

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Botanical name: Amorphophallus Campanulatus
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe: Thomsonieae
Genus: Amorphophallus
Species: A. paeoniifolius
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales


Subfamily: Aroideae
A. paeoniifolius

Synonyms: Amorphophallus campanulatus (Decne.)
Sanskrit name
: Soorana
English name:
Elephant Yam
Tamil name:
Pidikarunai kizhangu
Bengali Name: Ole,OOL  OR OL
Other Names:
Dragon Arum , Kembang Bangah , Saranah , Soeweg , Whitespot Giant Arum ,
Habitat: Loose leafy detritus in moist shady habitats.Common throughout the Luzon provinces and in Mindoro, in thickets and secondary forests, at low and medium altitudes in settled areas. India, Bangla Desh,Burma, Sri Lanka,Thailand, Philippines
Parts Used:
Corm, roots.

The plant had three leaves, with one that was smaller and yellowing. The other two healthy and sturdier ones are rather pretty and the leaflets that emerge from each petiole may lead those who are unfamiliar with the plant to think that it is a papaya plant instead. The petioles are also beautifully mottled. The whole plant looks quite ornamental in a strange way.

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· A perennial growing to 0.75m. It is hardy to zone 10. The scented flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Flies. We rate it 2 out of 5 for usefulness.The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil. stemless herb.Corm is globose, up to 30 cm in diameter.The leaf stalk develops from the corm, usually about 1 meter high.Leaves are solitary, blades up to 1 meter in diameter, trisected with dichotomous segments. Spathe is sessile, campanulate, purplish up to 30 cm in diameter.The spadix (a spike of flowers contained in the spathe) sulcate and depressed, up to 15 cms long, are malodorous when flowering.

Flowers: When ripe for pollination, the flowers have a foetid smell to attract carrion flies and midges. This smell disappears once the flower has been pollinated.

Cultivation details:
Requires shade and a rich soil in its native habitats, but it probably requires a position with at least moderate sun in Britain.Cultivated for its edible tuber in Asia, plants are not winter hardy outdoors in Britain but are sometimes grown outdoors in this country as part of a sub-tropical bedding display.

The tuber is harvested in the autumn after top growth has been cut back by frost and it must be kept quite dry and frost-free over winter. It is then potted up in a warm greenhouse in spring ready to be planted out after the last expected frosts. The tubers are planted 15cm deep. It is unclear from the reports that we have seen whether or not this root can be divided, it is quite possible that seed is the only means of increase[K].

The plant has one enormous leaf and one spadix annually. It requires hand pollination in Britain. When ripe for pollination, the flowers have a foetid smell to attract carrion flies and midges. This smell disappears once the flower has been pollinated.
Seed – best sown in a pot in a warm greenhouse as soon as it is ripe and the pot sealed in a plastic bag to retain moisture. It usually germinates in 1 – 8 months at 24°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least a couple of years. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away strongly.

Chemical constituents and nutritional value:Corm is 74% moisture; 0.73% ash; 5.1% protein; 18% carbohydrate providing about 1,000 calories per kilo; comparable in food value to kalabasa, superior to singkamas.Petioles of young unexpanded leaves are edible when thoroughly cooked.

Medicinal Uses: Corms are Carminative; Expectorant; Restorative; Caustic, Stomachic and Tonic. Roots are emmenagogue.Poultices of corm are antirheumatic. Also used for hemorrhoids.Roots are used for boils and hemorrhoids. Tubers are also used for hemorrhoids.

The Root is dried and used in the treatment of piles and dysentery. The fresh root acts as an acrid stimulant and expectorant, it is much used in India in the treatment of acute rheumatism. Some caution is advised.

Click to see more medicinal uses of Elephant Yam ( Amorphophallus Campanulatus)

Edible Uses: Leaves; Root, Rhizome – cooked. Acrid raw, it must be thoroughly boiled or baked. A very large root, it can be up to 25cm in diameter. Caution is advised, see notes above on probable toxicity.
Leaves and petioles – they must be thoroughly cooked. Caution is advised, see notes above on possible toxicity.


• Leaves and roots.
• Rhizomes preferably cooked, acrid when raw. May cause perioral burning and itching.
· Poultices of corm are antirheumatic. Also used for hemorrhoids.
· Roots are used for boils and hemorrhoids.
· Tubers are also used for hemorrhoids.
• In India, tuberous roots are used for treatment of piles, abdominal pains, tumors, spleen enlargement, asthma and rheumatism. source

• Antibacterial / Cytotoxic: Amblyone, a triterpenoid isolated from A campanulatus showed to have good antibacterial activity and moderate cytotoxic activity.
Hepatoprotective: Study on the hepatoprotective activity of AC corm on carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.
• Antioxidant / Hepatoprotective: Study on ethanolic and aqueous extracts of Amorphophallus campanulatus showed antioxidant activity. Results showed potent hepatoprotective action against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatic damage. The possible mechanism of antioxidant activity may be due to the free radical scavenging potential from the flavonoids in the extracts.
• Analgesic: Study on the methanol extract of A campanulatus tuber showed significant analgesic activity.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a family where most of the members contain calcium oxalate crystals. This substance is toxic fresh and, if eaten, makes the mouth, tongue and throat feel as if hundreds of small needles are digging in to them. However, calcium oxalate is easily broken down either by thoroughly cooking the plant or by fully drying it and, in either of these states, it is safe to eat the plant. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones and hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.