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Herbs & Plants

Pulsatilla vulgaris

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Botanical Name : Pulsatilla vulgaris
Family:Ranunculaceae
Genus:Pulsatilla
Species:P. vulgaris
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Ranunculales

Synonyms :  Anemone pulsatilla

Common Name :Pasque flower, Pasqueflower, Common pasque flower, Dane’s blood,European pasqueflower

Habitat:Pulsatilla vulgaris native to Europe.It is found locally on calcareous grassland.It grows in sparsely wooded pine forests or meadows, often on a sunny sloping side with calcium-rich soil. A large colony occurs on publicly accessible land in the Cotswolds, at the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust‘s Pasqueflower reserve.

Description:
Pulsatilla vulgaris is an herbaceous perennial plant. It develops upright rhizomes, which function as food-storage organs. Its leaves and stems are long, soft, silver-grey and hairy. It grows to 15–30 cm high and when it is fruit-bearing up to 40 cm. The roots go deep into the soil (to 1 m). The finely-dissected leaves are arranged in a rosette and appear with the bell-shaped flower in early spring. The purple flowers are followed by distinctive silky seed-heads which can persist on the plant for many months. The flower is ‘cloaked in myth’; one legend has it that Pasque flowers sprang up in places that had been soaked by the blood of Romans or Danes because they often appear on old barrows and boundary banks.
click to see the picture.>....(01)..…...(1).…...(2).…….(3).….…(4)….
This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.
Different varities of Pulsatilla vulgaris are available, while the main variety of Pulsatilla vulgaris has purplish flowers; variants include red (Rubra) and white (Alba) forms (see images).

Cultivation:
Requires a well-drained humus rich gritty soil in a sunny position. Lime tolerant. Prefers lime. Grows best in a well-drained chalky soil in a dry warm situation. Established plants are fairly drought tolerant. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -20°c. A very ornamental plant[1], there are many named varieties. The plant has become rare in its natural environment, due partly to over-collecting and partly to habitat loss. Large plants transplant badly. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in early summer in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in about 2 – 3 weeks. Sow stored seed in late winter in a cold frame. Germination takes about 1 – 6 months at 15°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in the spring. Root cuttings, 4cm long taken in early winter, potted up in a mixture of peat and sand. They can also be taken in July/August, planted vertically in pots in a greenhouse or frame. Some care is needed since the plant resents root disturbance.

Medicinal Uses:
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, pulsatilla is used as an anti-inflammatory and is considered specific for amoebic and bacterial dysentery. Externally, it is used as a douche for trichomonas.
Western herbalists and homeopaths, on the other hand, use minute doses of pulsatilla as an important remedy for premenstrual syndrome. Curiously, mainly fair and blue-eyed women are responsive to this remedy. It is generally used as an emmenagogue and to increase blood and energy circulation for both men and women. It strengthens sexual sensitivity while lessening the tendency towards morbid preoccupation. It is a good remedy to consider for disorders of the reproductive organs and the prostate, associated with nervous and emotional problems. Characteristically, the symptoms treated are nervousness, restlessness and an active imagination or fear of impending danger or disease. For menstrual irregularity or delayed menstruation, it is used to treat simple suppression due to atropy or shock. It is also good for some cases of heart disease, again with strong mental symptoms.

Pulsatilla is used for various inflammatory conditions, but especially if accompanied by nervousness, despondency, sadness, unnatural fear, weepiness and depression. It is used also for headache, insomnia, neuralgia in the anemic, thick tongue coating with a greasy taste, stomach disorders from over-indulgence in fats and pastries, various alternating and shifting signs such as diarrhea/constipation, amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea, pain from exposure to wind, toothache and styes.
In France, it has traditionally been used for treating coughs and as a sedative for sleep difficulties. Pulsatilla is also used to treat eye problems such as cataracts.

Pasque flower is considered by herbalists to be of highly valuable modern curative use as a herbal simple. The plant contains the glycoside ranunculin, this is converted to anemonine when the plant is dried and is the medicinally active principle in the plant. The whole plant is alterative, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, nervine and sedative. It is taken internally in the treatment of pre-menstrual syndrome, inflammations of the reproductive organs, tension headaches, neuralgia, insomnia, hyperactivity, bacterial skin infections, septicaemia, spasmodic coughs in asthma, whooping cough and bronchitis. Externally, it is used to treat eye conditions such as diseases of the retina, senile cataract and glaucoma. This remedy should be used with caution, excessive doses cause diarrhoea and vomiting. It should not be prescribed to patients with colds. See also the notes below on toxicity. The plant is harvested soon after flowering, it is more poisonous when fresh and so should be carefully preserved by drying. It should not be stored for longer than 12 months before being used. In homeopathy, the plant is considered to be specific in the treatment of measles. It is also used for treating nettle rash, toothache, earache and bilious indigestion.
Other Uses : ….Dye......A green dye is obtained from the flowers. Plants can be grown to form a ground cover, they are best spaced about 30cm apart each way.

Known Hazards  :  The plant is slightly toxic, the toxins are dissipated by heat or by drying the plant.   Repeated handling of the plant can cause skin irritation in some people.

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:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulsatilla_vulgaris
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pulsatilla+vulgaris

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Herbs & Plants

Allium tricoccum

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Botanical Name : Allium tricoccum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. tricoccum
Kingdom: Plantae
clade: Angiosperms
clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Common Name : Ramp, Spring onion, Ramson, Wild leek, Wild garlic

Habitat :Allium tricoccum  is native of Europe. The name spring onion can also refer to scallions (Allium wakegi).Ramps are found across North America, from the U.S. state of South Carolina to Canada. They are popular in the cuisines of the rural upland South and in the Canadian province of Quebec when they emerge in the springtime. Ramps also have a growing popularity in upscale restaurants throughout North America.

Description:
Allium tricoccum is a perennial plant produces basal leaves up to 8″ long and 3½” across on short petioles (usually 2 per bulb). The basal leaves are ovate-oval to ovate-elliptic, dull green, hairless, and smooth along the margins. Their petioles are reddish, hairless, and wrapped in a basal sheath. These leaves develop during the spring and wither away by early summer. During early to mid-summer, there develops a naked flowering stalk up to 1½’ tall. This stalk is terete, glabrous, and reddish to pale green; at its base, there is a papery sheath. The stalk terminates in a single rounded umbel of flowers spanning up to 2″ across. At the base of this umbel, there is a pair of deciduous bracts. Each flower is about ¼” across, consisting of 6 white to translucent white tepals, a light green to pale yellow ovary, 6 stamens with pale yellow anthers, and a single white style. At the base of each flower, there is a slender white pedicel. The blooming period occurs during the summer and lasts about 2 weeks. Both the flowers and foliage exude an onion-like odor. After the blooming period, the ovary of each flower matures into a 3-celled seed capsule; each cell contains a single seed. The root system consists of an ovoid bulb with fibrous roots at its base. Offsets often develop, producing vegetative colonies of plants.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
The preference is dappled sunlight during the spring when the basal leaves develop, while during the summer considerable shade is tolerated. The soil should consist of a rich loose loam with abundant organic matter, while moisture levels should be more or less mesic. It is easiest to introduce new plants into an area by dividing and transplanting the bulbs during the fall.

Edible Uses;
The flavor, a combination of onions and strong garlic, or as food writer Jane Snow once described it, “like fried green onions with a dash of funky feet,” is adaptable to almost any food style.

In central Appalachia, ramps are most commonly fried with potatoes in bacon fat or scrambled with eggs and served with bacon, pinto beans and cornbread. Ramps can also be pickled or used in soups and other foods in place of onions and garlic.

Medicinal Uses:
As a spring tonic in native N. American medicine, and to treat colds, sore throat, and worms in children.  Traditionally the leaves were used in the treatment of colds and croup.  The warm juice of the leaves and bulb was used externally in the treatment of earaches.  A strong decoction of the root is emetic.

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.

Resources:
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/wild_leek.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_tricoccum
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/wild_leek.htm
http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/alliumtric.html

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

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Chinese Chives

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Botanical Name :Allium odorum – L.
Family : Alliaceae
Genus   : Allium
Other scientific Names
: Allium porrum Merr. non Linn..  ,Allium tuberosum Roxb. ,Allium angulosum Lour. ,Allium tricoccum Blanco non Ait.
Common Names:Gana (Bis.),Kieu-tsai (Chin.),non Linn. Kuchai (Tag.), Kutsai (Chin.),Chinese chives (Engl.)
Habitat :E. Asia – China, Mongolia, Russia. Meadows and grassy slopes. Sunny hills and pastures at elevations of 500 – 2100 metres in northern China.


Description:

Plant is a kind of leek, ranked-scented, green, growing 20 to 40 cm high. Bulbs are small, white and clustered. Leaves are green, grasslike, narrowly linear, flattish, 15 to 30 cm long, 3 to 6 mm wide. Umbel has a few to many flowers. The perianth is bell-shaped. Fruits are on pedicels of 2 to 3 cm long, obovoid, 3-lobed, 5 to 7 mm in diameter. Seeds are black, depressed, globose or reniform, 2.5 to 3 mm in diameter. In the Philippines, the plant seldom flowers.

click to see the pictures…..>….(01)….(1)………...(2).……….(3)..

It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. A very ornamental plant, the flowers are especially attractive. Very closely related to A. tuberosum . Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Used like onion or food flavoring spice.

Bulb – raw or cooked. The small bulbs are about 10mm in diameter. Leaves – raw or cooked. The flavour is somewhat between that of garlic and chives. An excellent taste, the leaves have a pleasant sweetness mixed with a strong onion flavour. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves and bulbs contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour), saponins and bitter substances. They possess antibacterial properties and are used in Vietnam in the treatment of haemoptysis, epistaxis, cough, sore throat, asthma, dysentery, dyspepsia etc. When added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system. The seed contains alkaloids and saponins. It is used in the treatment of spermatorrhoea, haematuria, incontinence, lumbago etc.

Folkloric :-
• Externally, the fresh leaves and bulbs are used as antiseptic and vulnerary.
• Leaves taken internally, act as a cordial.
• In Indo-Chiina, whole plant used as a diuretic.
• In Manipur, used for hemolytic anemia and insomnia.

Studies
• Antoxidant: Study showed part of the Allium family possess antioxidant capability. Heat treatments reduced the antioxidant activity for most foods.
Antifungal: Study of extracts of 7 Allium plants, including Chinese chive, were examined for antifungal activity against three Aspergillus species: A niger, A flavus and A fumigatus. All the plants possessed antifungal activity, the inhibitory activity decreased with increasing incubation and heating temperature. Acetic acid plus heat treatment of the extracts resulted in greater inhibition.

Other Uses:
Repellent.
The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

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.

Resources:
http://www.stuartxchange.com/Kuchai.html
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Allium+ramosum

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Herbs & Plants

Allium humile

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Botanical name: Allium humile
Family: Alliaceae (Onion family)
Synonyms: Allium govanianum, Allium nivale
Common name: Small Alpine Onion, Ornamental Allium

Habitat :Grows naturally on slopes at high elevations in China. Small Alpine Onion is a species of onion found at high altitudes in the Himalayas.

Description:
It is a perennial  herb.Flowers are white, star-shaped, in a rather lax umbel 2.5-4 cm across, borne on a leafy stem. Narrow-elliptic petals, about 1 cm long, spread outwards, and are much longer than the stamens. Out flower stalks are usually longer than the flowers. Spathe lobes are broadly ovate. Leaves are many, flat, 2-5 mm broad, blunt, usually shorter at flowering than the stem. The stem itself is 7-25 cm tall. Bulbs are clustered, cylindrical, covered with fibrous leaf-bases. Small Alpine Onion is found on open alpine slopes, from Pakistan to W Nepal, at altitudes of 3000-4000 m. Flowering: June-August.

click to see the pictures

Medicinal Uses:

Allium humile is used for Asthma, stomach diseases,jaundice, cold, cough (noted from:http://www.indianscience.org/essays/20-%20E–Himalayan%20Medicine%20System%20fine12.pdf)

Dried leaves paste,root powder of saussurea costus mixed with ghee/butter is taken orally  to get relieve from asthma and pectoral  complaints.(noted from : http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/9778/1/IJTK%209(3)%20480-485.pdf

Click to see  :
In-vitro antibacterial activity of Allium humile :

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.

Resources:
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Small%20Alpine%20Onion.html
http://www.robsplants.com/plants/AlliuHumil.php
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp

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Herbs & Plants

Allium ampelopresum

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Botanical Name: Allium ampelopresum
Family: Alliaceae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. ampeloprasum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Synonym :Allium porrum L.
Common Name:Leek, Levant garlic
Vernacular names:-
Allium ampeloprasum comprises several vegetables, of which the most important ones are known as
*leek (English), poireau (French), alho porro (Portuguese);
*great-headed garlic, elephant garlic (English), ail à grosse tête (French);
*pearl onion (English), poireau perpétuel, petit poireau antillais (French), alho bravo, alho inglês (Portuguese)
*kurrat (English, French).
*Persian: Tareh (Allium ampeloprasum ssp. persicum)
*Tamil: (Iraakuuccittam)

Spanish Name  : allium, Broadleaf wild leek

Habitat :Native to Eurasia.Cultivated and escaped to roadsides, sandy fields and waste places  near the coast in south-west England and Wales. ] It has been differentiated into three cultivated vegetables, namely leek, elephant garlic and kurrat. In tidewater Virginia, the plant is commonly known as the “Yorktown Onion.”

Description :
Spanish alliums are statuesque beauties, towering a full 4 feet tall on strong, straight stems. The blooms are larger than softballs and reminiscent of sparklers, with dozens of tiny purple magenta florets. If you like the look of alliums but prefer plants with more movement, these are a good choice. The stems are flexible and allow the flower heads to sway sensuously in the breeze. Spanish allium bulbs are hard to find in this country, but widely grown in the Mediterranean and very popular as cut flowers in Israel. These plants are wonderfully tough, as evidenced by the fact that the farmer who supplies these grows them in a hot desert site an hour east of San Diego. Good naturalizers, these bulbs split every year or two (depending on conditions), with each new half being of flowering size. Spread them around your garden or give some to friends. Plant this fall and you’ll be rewarded with years of elegant, structural blooms that are first rate in the garden and long lasting in a vase. Priced for a trio of bulbs.

click to see the pictures….(01)......(1)……...(2).…...(3)..…..(4)
Color: Purple magenta 7-8″ blooms with subtle color variations
Height: 48″
Exposure: Full sun
Hardiness: Zones 7-10
Bloom Time: May to June, a full month of showy blooms
Bulb Size: 10-12 cm, the largest size commercially available!
Bulb Size: 10-12 cm, the largest size commercially available!

Cultivation details  :-
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil[1]. Prefers a dry position. Succeeds in clay soils. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.2 to 8.3. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. The wild leek is a rare native of Britain, found only in the south-west and Wales, though it should be hardy in most parts of the country. It comes into growth in the autumn, dying down in the summer, and makes a very pleasant winter leaf, either raw or cooked. It is a rather variable plant, especially in the amount of flowers and bulbils produced. The species produces mainly flowers with almost no bulbils, whilst the sub-species A. ampeloprasum babbingtonii (Babbington’s Leek) produces lots of bulbils and almost no flowers. The cultivated leek (A. ampeloprasum porrum) is believed to have been developed from this plant whilst, in Germany and Italy, other forms have been selected for their edible bulbils. The cultivar ‘Perizweibel’ is often used, the bulbils are solid rather than made up of layers and are popularly used for making pickles. This cultivar does not set seed. Another cultivated form of this plant produces very large, mild-garlic flavoured bulbs that are up to 500g in weight.They are known as elephant garlic. The wild leek grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other[201]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.


Propagation:-

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, though it can also be sown in a cold frame in the spring[200]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Well-grown plants can be planted out into their final positions in late summer or the autumn, otherwise grow them on for a further year in pots and plant them out the following summer. Division in late summer or early autumn. Dig up the bulbs when the plants are dormant and divide the small bulblets at the base of the larger bulb. Replant immediately, either in the open ground or in pots in a cold frame. Bulbils – plant out as soon as they are ripe in late summer. The bulbils can be planted direct into their permanent positions, though you get better results if you pot them up and plant them out the following spring.

You may click & see:

Wild leek  :
Ramsons :

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Root.

Bulb – raw or cooked[2, 27, 61, 105]. The small bulbs can vary considerably in size from 2 – 6cm[200], they have a fairly strong leek to garlic flavour and are nice as a flavouring in cooked foods[K]. The bulbs of selected cultivars are very large with a mild garlic flavour[183]. Leaves – raw or cooked[2]. A pleasant mild to strong garlic flavour, they are available from late autumn to the spring though they can become rather tough and fibrous as they get older[K]. Flowers – raw. A similar flavour to the leaves but they have a somewhat dry texture and are best used as a flavouring in cooked foods[K]. The bulbils have a mild garlic flavour and make a nice flavouring in salads and cooked foods. Although produced abundantly, they are quite fiddly to use because they are small[K]. They can also be pickled.

Medicinal Uses :
Anthelmintic;  Antiasthmatic;  Anticholesterolemic;  Antiseptic;  Antispasmodic;  Cholagogue;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Expectorant;  Febrifuge;  Stimulant;
Stings;  Stomachic;  Tonic;  Vasodilator.

This species has the same medicinal virtues as garlic, but in a much milder and less effective form . These virtues are as follows:- Garlic has a very long folk history of use in a wide range of ailments, particularly ailments such as ringworm, Candida and vaginitis where its fungicidal, antiseptic, tonic and parasiticidal properties have proved of benefit. It is also said to have anticancer activity. Daily use of garlic in the diet has been shown to have a very beneficial effect on the body, especially the blood system and the heart. For example, demographic studies suggest that garlic is responsible for the low incidence of arteriosclerosis in areas of Italy and Spain where consumption of the bulb is heavy. The bulb is said to be anthelmintic, antiasthmatic, anticholesterolemic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, stimulant, stomachic, tonic, vasodilator. The crushed bulb may be applied as a poultice to ease the pain of bites, stings etc.

Other Uses

Repellent.
The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles

Known Hazards :  Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible

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.

Resources:
http://alabamaplants.com/Bluealt/Allium_ampeloprasum_page.html
http://www.easytogrowbulbs.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=188
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_ampeloprasum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium%20ampeloprasum

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