Herbs & Plants

Ammi majus

Botanical Name : Ammi majus
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Ammi
Species: A. majus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Common Names : Bishop’s flower,Bishop’s weed, False bishop’s weed,Bullwort, Greater ammi, Lady’s lace, Queen Anne’s lace or Laceflower

Habitat :Ammi majus is native to  C. Europe to W. Asia and N. Africa. A casual in Britain. Grows in waste places in Britain

Annual growing to 0.75m by 0.4m.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from June to October, and the seeds ripen from July to October.Elegant, large flat umbels of lacy white flowers grace strong uniform stems of dark fern-like foliage all summer. Stunning in borders or as a cut flower. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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Ammi majus fruits can be distinguished by the presence of four prominent secondary ridges and by the absence of lacunae outside the vascular bundles, as seen in the transverse section of fruit. The plant is self-fertile.  Germination: 7-21 days, 65-85F. Rich, sandy soil. 40-56in.

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.

Prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position, succeeding in ordinary garden soil. This species is often cultivated for its attractive flowering stems which are often sold in markets. It is cultivated in India as a medicinal herb

Seed – sow spring or autumn in situ

Edible Uses
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Seed – used as a condiment.

Medicinal Uses:
The seed is contraceptive, diuretic and tonic. An infusion is used to calm the digestive system, whilst it is also used in the treatment of asthma and angina. A decoction of the ground-up seed, eaten after intercourse, appears able to prevent implantation of the fertilized ovum in the uterus. This decoction is also used as a gargle in the treatment of toothache. The seed contains furanocoumarins (including bergapten), which stimulate pigment production in skin that is exposed to bright sunlight. The plant is widely cultivated in India for these furanocoumarins which are used in the treatment of vitiligo (piebald skin) and psoriasis.
In ancient Egypt, this plant was used to treat skin diseases. Ammi majus is being studied for potential cancer and AIDS treatments.

The seeds in an infusion or as a tincture, calm the digestive system. They are also diuretic and, like visnaga, have been used to treat asthma and angina. Bishops’ weed reputedly helps treat patchy skin pigmentation in vitiligo. It has also been used for psoriasis. The seeds in an infusion or as a tincture, calm the digestive system. They are also diuretic and, like visnaga, have been used to treat asthma and angina. Bishops’ weed reputedly helps treat patchy skin pigmentation in vitiligo. It has also been used for psoriasis.

Other Uses
Weather protection.

The root is chewed to give protection from strong sunlight. It contains 8-methoxypsoralen which stimulates production of pigment in skin exposed to U.V. light. Caution is advised, however, since it can cause side-effects. Other reports suggest that it is the seeds that are used.

Scented Plants……....Seed: Crushed Dried..……..The seed is strongly aromatic.

Known Hazards: The root contains 8-methoxypsoralen, this stimulates the production of pigmentation in skin exposed to ultra-violet light, but it can cause side-effects. Use with caution. Skin contact with the sap is said to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people

Disclaimer : 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

Ligustrum lucidum

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Botanical Name : Ligustrum lucidum
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Ligustrum
Species: L. lucidum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names : Glossy Privet, Chinese Privet or Broad-leaf Privet

Habitat :Native to  the southern half of China, Korea, and Japan

It is the largest species in the genus, growing as a tree up to 25 m tall. The leaves are opposite, glossy dark green, 6-17 cm long and 3-8 cm broad.


Form: large shrub or single-stemmed tree, open, less dense than L. japonicum

Seasonality: evergreen

Size: 3-12ft, spread varies with training; taller if trained as tree

Leaves: simple, opposite, ovate to lancolate, 3-6in long, end point curves backwards; when held up to light leaf margin is transparent

Flowers: perfect, creamy white, in pyramidal clusters; blooms later than L. japonicum

Fruit: terminal, smaller than pea, blue-black, poisonous

Stems/Trunks: gray

Medicinal Uses:
Was first mentioned in traditional Chinese medicine in a text that was probably written before AD1000.  The plant increases the white blood cell count and in recent years it has been increasingly used to prevent bone marrow loss in cancer chemotherapy patients and it has potential in the treatment of AIDS.  Chinese research has also shown good results in the treatment of respiratory tract infections, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease and hepatitis.  Acts as a tonic for the kidneys and liver.

Other Uses:
The plant is often used as an ornamental tree, sometimes as a cultivar.

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


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Botanical Name :Polyalthia suberosa Roxb.
Family : Annonaceae
Other scientific names: Uvaria suberosa Roxb.  ,Phaeanthus cumingii Vidal ,Phaeanthus malabaricus
Common names Baling-manok (Tag.),  Lanutan (Tag.),Duhat-duhatan (Tag.,) Tagputagpuan (Tag.),Naves Duhat-matsing (Tag.) Munat (Ilk.),Duyat-nasi (Pamp.)

Habitat : Duhat-matsing is rather common in thickets at low and medium altitudes in Luzon (Cagayan to Laguna ); and in Mindanao. It also occurs in India to southern China and Malaya.

This is a Perennial  shrub or small tree growing to a height of 2 to 4 meters. The leaves are oblong to narrowly obovate-oblong and 5 to 11 centimeters long. The flowers are solitary, pale-yellow, 1 centimeters long or less, on slender pedicels, and 1 to 2 centimeters long. The sepals and petals are slightly hairy. The fruit is numerous, ovoid or globose, 4 to 5 millimeters long, purple, fleshy and edible.

You may click to see the pictures

Edible uses:The fruits are eaten.

• Study yielded an azaanthracene alkaloid, kalasinamide, from the stems of P. suberosa., together with the known N-trans-feruloyltyramine and N-trans-coumaroyltyramine.
• Study isolated two new 2-substituted furans from the stems of P. suberosa.
Leaves contain alpha- and beta-amyrin, lupeol, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol and campesterol. Stems and leaves contain triterpene, suberosol, which have shown anti-HIV replication activity. Stem bark yields alkaloids, oxostephanine and lanuginosine, which has shown antibacterial activity.

• Anti-HIV replication activity and antibacterial activity.

Medicinal Uses
Parts used : Fresh roots
Decoction of fresh roots used as abortifacient.


Furans / Antiviral Activity: 2-substituted furans from Polyalthia suberosa: Two new 2-substituted furans, 1-(2-furyl)pentacosa16,18-diyne and 23-(2-furyl)tricosa-5,7-diynoic acid, were isolated from the stems of P. suberosa. These compounds, with kalasinamide, N-trans-feruloyltyramine and N-trans-coumaroyltyramine showed anti-HIV activities.
• Anti-HIV Activity
: Anti-AIDS Agents, 9. Suberosol, a New C31 Lanostane-Type Triterpene and Anti-HIV Principle from Polyalthia suberosa: In the course of searching for anti-HIV agents, a new triterpene, suberosol, was isolated and studied for anti-HIV activity. (Publ.1993)
• Cytotoxic: Study isolated four new styryl-lactones, crassalactones A-D together with seven known compounds from an extract of leaves and twigs of PC. Cytotoxic evaluation against mammalian cancer lines were done on all the new isolates.

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.


Click to access duhat-matsing.pdf

News on Health & Science

Say No to Pneumonia

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This year once again Pneumonia Day (November 12) came and went without much fanfare. Although great progress has been made in preventing and treating the disease, it still affects three in 1,000 people annually and has a 10-15 per cent rate of mortality.
Pneumonia can occur as a result of infection with a wide spectrum of organisms, with viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites implicated. Infection can be acquired from others in the community. It can develop as a complication of prolonged hospitalisation for other illnesses or surgery.

In infants less than three weeks, the organism is often acquired from the birth canal. School-going children may get it from their peers. Adults are more likely to develop pneumonia if they smoke, drink, are obese or have diabetes. People who are immune-compromised (the system doesn’t work as well as it should) as a result of steroids, treatment for cancer or if they have AIDS are also at a higher risk.

Our stomach contains partially digested food that is held back by sphincters (muscles that constrict or relax passages as required). Sometimes the sphincters become lax and the food may regurgitate into the lungs. This is “aspiration pneumonia” and can occur with loss of consciousness or a stroke, after surgery, or when a person is fed through a tube. The infection is “mixed” with a bouquet of organisms and is difficult to treat.

The mouth contains many organisms, which proliferate with dental caries or gum disease. These organisms may pass inadvertently into the lungs during sleep causing pneumonia.

Influenza can cause viral pneumonia. This is seasonal and is often associated with conjunctivitis or diarrhoea. It can be severe like in SARS, avian flu or swine flu. Initially, it is difficult to distinguish between a viral pneumonia (which doesn’t require or respond to antibiotics) and a bacterial infection. Many viral pneumonias progress to bacterial infections.

The cilia (fine hair) lining the lungs initially try to push out infecting organisms. The lung cells then secrete antibody-containing mucous in which the organisms get trapped. Cough reflexes set in trying to expel the organism. When this fails, the organism gains a foothold, starts to proliferate and causes pneumonia.

Tobacco contains nicotine which paralyses the protective cilia. They became inactive, inefficient and ineffective. This is why smokers develop pneumonia frequently. Others (particularly women and children) who live with smokers are also affected similarly by the smoke filled environment.

The common signs of pneumonia are fever, rapid breathing, a cough, breathlessness, sweating, chills, headache, muscle pain and tiredness. The chest overlying the affected portion of the lung may hurt while breathing.

These typical symptoms may not occur in older people. The temperature may fall below normal instead of rising. The breathing may become shallow and ineffective. Coughing may become difficult.

Pneumonia was a dangerous and fatal disease before the antibiotic era. Timely, adequate and appropriate treatment has considerably reduced its mortality. It can still be life threatening.

If you have been diagnosed with pneumonia, take the medication as prescribed without resorting to alternative systems of medicine. Seven to 14 days of antibiotics may be required to eliminate the infection. Pneumonia can recur if inadequately treated. Also, drink plenty of fluids. This helps keep the secretions fluid, making it easy to cough out. Do not be in a hurry to return to school or work. If you do so before you are fully cured, you will spread the infection.

Pneumonia is often a complication of seasonal influenza. A vaccine is available against seasonal flu and certain types like swine flu. Timely immunisation prevents infection.

Two of the common bacteria casing pneumonia are H. infuenzae and Strep pneumonia. Immunisation is available against both and should be given to children. Pneumococcal vaccine is available for adults too. It should be taken after the age of 55, preferably by all adults and definitely by those with diabetes, asthma, kidney or liver disease.

Contaminated hands efficiently carry bacteria. Washing your hands frequently helps remove disease-causing bacteria and reduces the incidence of pneumonia.

Visit a dentist regularly and take care of your teeth. Maintain your health and immunity. You can do this not by consuming tonics, rejuvenators and health supplements, but by maintaining your ideal body weight, exercising regularly, and adding fresh fruits and raw vegetables to your diet.

Source : The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Vitamin B3 Identified as a Potential Antifungal Treatment

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A team of scientists have identified vitamin B3 as a potential antifungal treatment. Infections by the yeast Candida albicans represent a significant public health problem and a common complication in immunodeficient individuals such as AIDS patients, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and recipients of organ transplants. While some treatments are available, their efficacy can be compromised by the emergence of drug-resistant strains.

The current study shows that a C. albicans enzyme, known as Hst3, is essential to the growth and survival of the yeast. Researchers found that genetic or pharmacological inhibition of Hst3 with nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3, strongly reduced C. albicans virulence in a mouse model. Both normal and drug-resistant strains of C. albicans were susceptible to nicotinamide. In addition, nicotinamide prevented the growth of other pathogenic Candida species and Aspergillus fumigatus (another human pathogen), thus demonstrating the broad antifungal properties of nicotinamide.

“There is an urgent need to develop new therapies to kill C. albicans because it is one of the leading causes of hospital-acquired infections and is associated with high mortality rates,” explains study author Martine Raymond. “Although many issues remain to be investigated, the results of our study are very exciting and they constitute an important first step in the development of new therapeutic agents to treat fungal infections without major side effects for patients.”

: Elements4Health

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