Herbs & Plants

Solidago nemoralis

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Boytanical Name : Solidago nemoralis
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Solidago
Species: S. nemoralis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

*Aster hispidus (Muhl. ex Willd.) Kuntze not Thunb. 1783

*Doria pulcherrima (A.Nelson) Lunell

Common Names: Gray goldenrod, Gray-stem goldenrod, Old-field goldenrod, Field goldenrod, Prairie goldenrod, Dwarf goldenrod, and Dyersweed goldenrod

Habitat : Solidago nemoralis is native to North America, where it is widely Canada (every province except Newfoundland/Labrador) and the United States (all states wholly or partially east of the Rocky Mountains). It grows on the dry open places in foothills, valleys and plains.

Like other goldenrods, this species is a perennial herb. One of the smaller goldenrods, It grows 20 centimeters to one meter (8-40 inches) tall from a branching underground caudex. There are 1 to 6 erect stems, sometimes more. The stems are reddish to gray-green and have lines of short, white hairs. The lower leaves are up to 10 centimeters (4 inches long and the blades are borne on winged petioles. Leaves on the upper half of the stem are narrower and shorter and lack petioles. The spreading inflorescence can carry up to 300 flower heads. The head contains 5 to 11 yellow ray florets each a few millimeters long surrounding up to 10 yellow disc florets. Flowering occurs in late summer and fall. The fruit is a rough-texured cypsela about 2 millimeters long tipped with a pappus of bristles slightly longer….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

There are two subspecies:
*Solidago nemoralis ssp. decemflora – tetraploid taxon with larger flower heads and narrower basal leaves in west-central North America
*Solidago nemoralis ssp. nemoralis – diploid or tetraploid taxon in the eastern regions of the species’ range.

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will succeed in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in any moderately fertile moisture retentive soil in sun or semi-shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A rather greedy plant, it is apt to impoverish the soil. The plant attracts various beneficial insects such as ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies to the garden, these insects will help to control insect pests in the garden.

Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on for their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Seed.
Edible Uses:…….Seed……Native American people, the Goshute used the seeds for food.
Medicinal Uses:
The plant had various uses among Native American peoples. The Houma people used it medicinally to treat jaundice. The Navajo used it as incense.
An infusion of the dried powdered herb can be used as an antiseptic.

Other Uses.: Mustard, orange and brown dyes can be obtained from the whole plant. It is cultivated in landscaping and gardens, such as butterfly gardens.
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

Argemone mexicana Linn

Botanical Name :Argemone mexicana Linn
Family : Papaveraceae
Common Names :Bharband, Siyal kanta, Bramadandi,  Pitapushpa, Mexican poppy, Prickly poppy, Yellow thistle, Shialkanta, Darudi, Pila-dhatura, Kanta dhotra, Kantakusham.Danarese: Balurakkisa, Datturi, Pirangi, datturi, Daruri, Firangi-kote-pavola, dhotara,  Brahmadandi, Pitopushpa, Srigalkanta, Svarnakshiri, Ponnummattu, Kantankattiri, Kutiyotti, Ponnummuttai, Brahmadandicettu,Satiyanasi.

Bengali Name:: Shyal kanta

Habitat: It is introducd in India and naturalised and occur as wasteland weed in almost every part of India.Weed in waste places, widely scattered in the Philippines, in and about towns. Introduced, now pantropic. In many parts it is repoorted as crop weed also.

It is a prickly, glabrous, branching herb with yellow juice and showy yellow flowers, The Sanskrit name svarnakshiri is given because of the yellow juice (Svarna – Gold; Kshiri – Juice ). The height of this plant varies between 0.3 to 0.12 meters, Leaves are thistlelike. Stem clasping, Oblong, sinuately pinnatifid, spinous and viens are white. Flowers are terminal, yellow and of 2.5–5.0 cm diameter. Fruits are capsule. Prickly and oblong ovoid. Seeds numerous, globose, netted and brownish black. Flowering time is all round the year in Indian conditions. The plants is toxic to animals and cattle avoid grazing this plant. Harmful allelopathic effects of Argemone mexicana on germination and seedling vigour of wheat, mustard, fenugreek, sorghum, fingermillet, tomato, cucumber etc. (important crops in India ) have been reported. The allelochemicals cinnamic and benzoic acid are identified as harmful chemicals responsible for inhibition of germination and seedling vigo

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Constituents: The plant contains alkaloids as berberine, protopine, sarguinarine, optisine, chelerytherine etc. The seed oil contains myristic, palmitic, oleic, linoleic acids etc.

Phytochemical screening yielded the presence of reducing sugars, flavonoids, sterols/terpenes, tannins and alkaloids.
– Seed analysis yielded 36% oil, 49% carbohydrate and albumin, 9% moisture and 6% ash.
– Seeds contain a pale yellow non-edible oil, 22-36%, called argemone oil or katkar oil, which contains the toxic alkaloids sanguinarine and dihydrosanguinarine.
– Plant contains alkaloids berberine, protopine, sarguinarine, optisine, chelerytherine, among others.
– Seed contains myristic, palmitic, oleic, linoleic acids.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used : Roots, leaves,stems, seeds and yellow juice.

Considered analgesic, antispasmodic, antitussive, demulcent, emetic, expectorant, hallucinogenic, purgative and sedative.
Berberine is a bitter yellow substance with an effect on circulation; an overdose can cause death by paralysis of the central nervous system.
Protopine is narcotic.
Root is considered alterative.
Leaves considered narcotic and sedative.
Flowers considered pectoral and sedative.
Seeds considered laxative, emetic, nauseant, expectorant and demulcent.

According to Ayurveda the plant is diuretic. purgative and destroys worms. It cures lepsory, skin-diseases, inflammations and bilious fevers. Roots are anthelmintic. Juice is used to cure ophthalmia and opacity of cornea. Seeds are purgative and sedative. Seeds resemble mustard seeds and in India it is used to adulterate mustard seed. Seed yield non edible toxic oil and causes lethal dropsy when used with mustard oil for cooking.

In Homoeopathic system of medicine, the drug prepared from this herb is used to treat the problem caused by tape-worm.

Popular Ayurvedic Formulations: Svarnakshiri churna and tail.

Infusion of roots is given to women at the start of parturition pains.
Roots given for various skin diseases.
Decoction of roots given for blenorrhagia.
In French Guinea, decoction of roots or stems given for vesicular calculus. Decoction also used as an eye-wash and a lotion used for inflammatory swellings. Also, used as a mouthwash for toothaches and taken internally for gleet.
Powdered root used for tapeworm.
In French Guinea, stem used as diuretic.
In Gambia, infusion of leaves used for coughs.
Leaves used as narcotic and sedative.
Latex with slightly corrosive property, applied to warts, chancres, etc. Also used for eczema.
Yellow juice of the plant used for dropsy, jaundice, cutaneous affections.
Used as a diuretic, relieves blisters, heals excoriations and indolent ulcers.
Used as externally application for conjuctivitis.
In Konkan, juice is given with milk for leprosy.
In Jodhpur, the yellow juice is used for eye affections and rubbed on the body to relieve rheumatic pain.
In the West Indies, used as a substitute for ipecacuanha.
Seeds used for catarrhal affections of the throat, cough, pertussis and asthma.
In Mexico, used as an antidote to snake venom.
In French Guinea, used as a cathartic and emetic.
In Delhi, smoke from burning seeds used to relieve toothaches; also, for preventing dental caries.
Oil is aperient, used for herpetic lesions and other skin diseases.
In Delhi and Sindh, oil is used on indolent ulcers and eruptions and as an external application for headaches.
Oil of seeds is considered purgative.

In many “fringe” and tribal cultures, leaves are smoked or made into tea, for its sedating and psychoactive properties. Euphorant and aphrodisiacal properties have been reported. Also, used as tea for its beneficial effects as a smoking-cessation aid.
Cold remedy: Leaf extracts being recommended as new-age cold remedy.

You may click to see :

Pharmacognosy of Argemone Mexicana Linn. (Ghamoya):

Digest Journal of Nanomaterials and Biostructures

Traditional Medicine

Other uses:
The plant is found suitable for the reclamation of alkaline soils.

Dried and powdered plants are recommended as green manure as it contain sufficient amount of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.

Oilcake is used as manure.

Seed oil, popularly known as Satyanashi oil is used as an illuminant, lubricant, in soapmaking, and for protection from termites.

A plant used as “nourishment for the dead” by the Aztecs. The plant latex is collected into a pliable mass and fashioned into an image of an Aztec god. In a sacrifice ritual, the “god” image is killed and its “flesh” distriburted among the worshippers. Its became cemented into the culture of poppy when Chinese residents in Mexico extracted from the latex a product with opium-effects.


• Antibacterial: Study on the extracts of seeds and leaves of Amexicana all showed activity against S aurues, B subtilis, E coli and P aeruginosa; the methanol extract showed maximum inhibition.
Toxicity / Neuro-entero-hepato-nephropathy: Rats receiving seed, seed oil and ethanolic extracts of A. mexicana suffered hyperesthesia, inappetence, intermittent diarrhea, emaciation and decrease body weight, with hepatorenal lesions and increase in BUN and SGOT. Results suggest that the seed and seed extract toxicity in rats are more of neuro-enterohepatonephropathy.
Epidemic Dropsy / Toxicity Report: Four cases manifesting epidemic dropsy following massage with contaminated mustard oil was reported. The oil was found adulterated with Argemone mexicana oil, and the diagnosis confirmed a transcutaneous route of absorption of the toxin with the presence of sanguinarine in the serum and urine of all four cases.
• Anti-Malarial: A study compared the Argemone mexicana decoction versus artesunate-amodiaquine (artemisinin combination therapy [ACT]) for the management of malaria. In view of the low rate of severe malaria and good tolerability, AM may also constitute a first-aid treatment when access to other antimalarials is delayed. (2)
• Larvicidal / Insecticide: Study showed the crude methanol extract of P minima and the methanol leaf and flower extract of Argemone mexicana might be used as larvicide and insecticide.
• Effect on Ileum Contraction: Study showed CHCl3/MeOH and MeOH extracts dose-dependently reduced the contractions of isolated guinea-pig ileum. The effects were attributed to the active compounds identified as protopine, allocryptopine and berberine.
• Phytochemical Screening: Phytochemical screening yielded reducing sugars, flavonoids, sterols / terpenes, tannins and alkaloids. Its biological active compounds could serve as a potential source of vegetable drugs in herbal medicine.
• Anti-Stress / Antiallergic / Anti-Asthma: Study of various extracts showed the aqueous extracts of Argemone mexicana stems caused a significant decrease in leucocytes and eosinophils, results suggesting a usefulness as antiallergic in asthmatic conditions.
• Neurotoxicology of Argemone Oil / Neuroprotective Extract: Argemone oil shows acute and subacute as well as dose-dependent toxicity in whole brain as well as discrete areas of the brain. Oral supplementation of aqueous extract of A mexicana stem and leaves showed a protective effect on the brain and liver.

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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Health Alert

Get Food Fit


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Following these simple eating habits will sure make you feel a whole lot better.

Take your vitamins every morning

Study by study, evidence is mounting that a standard multi-vitamin fills enough of the gaps in your diet to make a real difference . For example, a recent study at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute in Seattle showed that people who took a multi-vitamin supplement and 200 IU of vitamin E for 10 years were half as likely to get colon cancer.

Drink two glasses of water before every meal

This will do two things – keep you hydrated and make you eat a little less. A Dutch study showed that drinking two glasses of water could make you feel less hungry, possibly reducing your food intake and aiding weight loss.

Try ordering your pizza with extra tomato sauce and lesser cheese

Men who eat a lot of tomato products tend to have less prostate cancer – probably because tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene , a type of carotenoid that’s believed to cut the risk of cancer. If you double the sauce on your pizza, you get double the lycopene.

Get lavish with onions (and keep a breath mint handy!)

Research has revealed that onions are very healthful – they’re a top source of heart savers called flavonoids – that it’s practically your duty to spread them lavishly on kebab rolls, pizza, burgers, and sandwiches. And speaking of junk food…

Whenever you eat fast food, drink two glasses of water afterwards

Junk food is loaded with fat and sodium, which can be hellish for your heart.
You can’t do much about the fat once you’ve eaten it, but you can flush away some of the excess sodium by drinking plenty

Source: The Times Of India

Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Mango Fruit is delicious

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Common Names: Mango, Mangot, Manga, Mangou. It is known as the ‘king of fruit’ throughout the world.Mangos are a good staple for your daily diet.
Origin: .Mangos originated in East India, Burma and the Andaman Islands bordering the Bay of Bengal. Around the 5th century B.C., Buddhist monks are believed to have introduced the mango to Malaysia and eastern Asia – legend has it that Buddha found tranquility and repose in a mango grove. Persian traders took the mango into the middle east and Africa, from there the Portuguese brought it to Brazil and the West Indies. Mango cultivars arrived in Florida in the 1830’s .Mangos were introduced to California (Santa Barbara) in 1880.

Mango trees grow up to 35–40 m (115–131 ft) tall, with a crown radius of 10 m (33 ft). The trees are long-lived, as some specimens still fruit after 300 years[citation needed]. In deep soil, the taproot descends to a depth of 6 m (20 ft), with profuse, wide-spreading feeder roots; the tree also sends down many anchor roots, which penetrate several feet of soil. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, 15–35 cm (5.9–13.8 in) long, and 6–16 cm (2.4–6.3 in) broad; when the leaves are young they are orange-pink, rapidly changing to a dark, glossy red, then dark green as they mature. The flowers are produced in terminal panicles 10–40 cm (3.9–15.7 in) long; each flower is small and white with five petals 5–10 mm (0.20–0.39 in) long, with a mild, sweet odor suggestive of lily of the valley. Over 400 varieties of mangoes are known, many of which ripen in summer, while some give double crop.  The fruit takes three to six months to ripen.

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The ripe fruit varies in size and color. Cultivars are variously yellow, orange, red, or green, and carry a single flat, oblong pit that can be fibrous or hairy on the surface, and which does not separate easily from the pulp. Ripe, unpeeled mangoes give off a distinctive resinous, sweet smell. Inside the pit 1–2 mm (0.039–0.079 in) thick is a thin lining covering a single seed, 4–7 mm (0.16–0.28 in) long. The seed contains the plant embryo. Mangos have recalcitrant seeds; they do not survive freezing and drying

Forms: The mango exists in two races, one from India and the other from the Philippines and Southeast Asia. The Indian race is intolerant of humidity, has flushes of bright red new growth that are subject to mildew, and bears monoembryonic fruit of high color and regular form. The Philippine race tolerates excess moisture, has pale green or red new growth and resists mildew. Its polyembryonic fruit is pale green and elongated kidney-shaped. Philippines types from Mexico have proven to be the hardiest mangos in California.

Adaptation: Mangos basically require a frost-free climate. Flowers and small fruit can be killed if temperatures drop below 40° F, even for a short period. Young trees may be seriously damaged if the temperature drops below 30° F, but mature trees may withstand very short periods of temperatures as low as 25° F. The mango must have warm, dry weather to set fruit. In southern California the best locations are in the foothills, away from immediate marine influence. It is worth a trial in the warmest cove locations in the California Central Valley, but is more speculative in the coastal counties north of Santa Barbara, where only the most cold adapted varieties are likely to succeed. Mangos luxuriate in summer heat and resent cool summer fog. Wet, humid weather favors anthracnose and poor fruit set. Dwarf cultivars are suitable for culture in large containers or in a greenhouse.The Mango tree plays a sacred role in India; it is a symbol of love and some believe that the Mango tree can grant wishes. In the Hindu culture hanging fresh mango leaves outside the front door during Ponggol (Hindu New Year) and Deepavali is considered a blessing to the house.

Mango leaves are used at weddings to ensure the couple bear plenty of children (though it is only the birth of the male child that is celebrated – again by hanging mango leaves outside the house).Hindus may also brush their teeth with mango twigs on holy days (be sure to rinse well and spit if you try this at home – toxic).Many Southeast Asian kings and nobles had their own mango groves; with private cultivars being sources of great pride and social standing, hence began the custom of sending gifts of the choicest mangos.The Tahis like to munch mango buds, with Sanskrit poets believing they lend sweetness to the voice.

Burning of mango wood, leaves and debris is not advised – toxic fumes can cause serious irritation to eyes and lungs. Mango leaves are considered toxic and can kill cattle or other grazing livestock.

The over 1,000 known mango cultivars are derived from two strains of mango seed – monoembryonic (single embryo) and polyembryonic (multiple embryo). Monoembryonic hails from the Indian (original) strain of mango,
polyembryonic from the Indochinese.

Mangos are an excellent source of Vitamins A and C, as well as a good source of Potassium and contain beta carotene. Mangos are high in fiber, but low in calories (approx. 110 per average sized mango), fat (only 1 gram) and sodium.

Mango Nutrient Information*
Serving size: 3 1/2 ounces mango slices
Total Carbohydrate
Vitamin A
Vitamin C

Medicinal Uses:
Mango is considered a very useful remedy and energizer in Ayurveda and used to balance all three humors or doshas (Vata, Kapha or and Pitta), especially Pitta dosha. Its medicinal properties are presented below.

The insoluble fiber, present in mangoes, helps the elimination of waste from the colon and prevents constipation.

The tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid found in the fruit help to maintain the alkali reserve of the body.

A milk-mango shake used in the summers help people gain weight.

Extracts of leaves, bark, stem and unripe mangoes are believed to possess antibacterial properties against some micro-organisms.

Dried mango flowers are used in the treatment of diarrhea, chronic dysentery and some problems of the bladder.

The stone (kernel) of the mango fruit is used widely in Ayurvedic medicines for treatment of different ailments.

Antioxidants and enzymes present in the mango fruits are believed to play an important role in the prevention/protection of cancer (colon, breast, leukemia and prostate) and heart disease. Serum cholesterol is regulated by the high content of fiber, pectin and vitamin C present in the mango.

Some of the flavonoids present in the fruit are believed to strengthen the immune system of human body. Presence of fiber and enzymes makes mangoes favorite for healthy digestion.

Every part of the mango is beneficial and has been utilized in folk remedies in some form or another
. Whether the bark, leaves, skin or pit; all have been concocted into various types of treatments or preventatives down through the centuries. A partial list of the many medicinal properties and purported uses attributed to the mango tree are as follows: anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-septic, anti-tussive (cough), anti-asthmatic, expectorant, cardiotonic, contraceptive, aphrodisiac, hypotensive, laxative, stomachic (beneficial to digestion)….

Mango is regarded as a valuable article of diet and one of the effective home remedies for various ailments. The ripe mango has antiscorbutic, diuretic, laxative, invigorating, fattening and astringent properties. It has been found effective in fighting infections. All bacterial infections are due to poor epithelium. Liberal use of mangoes during the season contributes towards the formation of healthy epithelium, preventing infections like cold, rhinitis and sinusitis. Mangoes are rich source of vitamin A. Mango barks is highly beneficial in diphtheria and other throat problems. The leaves of mango tree are an anti-diabetic food that controls the blood sugar levels. Raw mango is a rich source of pectin, oxalic, citric, malic and succinic acids. It also contains vitamin C, B1 and B2 in good amounts.

Home Remedies:
Using Aqueous extract of fresh tender mango leaves in the morning, prepared after soaking overnight and filtering in morning, is believed to be useful in the beginning of diabetes.

Alternately, people also use twice a day (morning & evening) half teaspoonful of powdered leaves after drying them in the shade.

It may also provide relief in the dysentery when taken with water 2-3 times a day.Mango and Jamun (S. cumini) juice taken in equal proportion is considered useful in controlling diabetes.

Ash of mango leaves is applied on burns for relief in pain and healing whereas juice of the roasted ripe mango (on hot sand)provides relief in cough.

Tooth paste, prepared from powdered mango kernal, is believed to strengthen gums.

Boiling 20 g mango bark powder in a liter water till volume reduces merely to 250 g (ml) and using the decoction after mixing 1 g black salt is believed to cure diarrhea.

Juice extracted from fresh flowers and taken after mixing it with curd is reported to be useful in diarrhea. Paste of decorticated kernel is found useful in leucorrhoea, veginitis and also as a contraceptive.

Mangiferin – rich in splenocytes, found in the stem bark of the mango tree has purported potent immunomodulatory characteristics – believed to inhibit tumor growth in early and late stage.

Mango seeds are of great value for treating leucorrhoea. Apply 1 tsp paste of decorticated kernel of mango inside the vagina.

Mango bark is efficacious in the treatment of a sore throat and other throat disorders. Its fluid, which is extracted by grinding, can be applied locally with beneficial results. It can also be used as a throat gargle. This gargle is prepared by mixing 10 ml of the fluid extract with 125 ml of water

Mango seeds are valuable in diarrhoea. The seeds should be collected during the mango season, dried in the shade and powdered, and kept stored for use as a medicine when required. A dose of about one and a half to two grams with or without honey, should be administered twice daily.

Known Hazards:  Dermatitis can result from contact with the resinous latex sap that drips from the stem end when mangos are harvested. The mango fruit skin is not considered edible.
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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