Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Tradescantia zebrina

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Botanical Name: Tradescantia zebrina
T. zebrina

*Tradescantia pendula
*Zebrina pendula
*Zebrina pendula var. quadrifolia
*Tradescantia tricolor

Common Names: Wandering jew, Inchplant

Other common names: Silver inch plant

Habitat : Tradescantia zebrina is native to Mexico, Central America and Colombia, and naturalized in parts of Asia, Africa, Australia, South America, and various oceanic islands.

Tradescantia zebrina is a trailing evergreen perennial growing to 15cm, with lance-shaped, deep bronze-green leaves with two longitudinal silvery bands above, purple beneath; rosy-purple flowers in small terminal clusters appear sporadically throughout the year.

It has attractive zebra-patterned leaves, the upper surface showing purple new growth and green older growth parallel to the central axis, as well as two broad silver-colored stripes on the outer edges, with the lower leaf surface presenting a deep uniform magenta.

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.

It is commonly available and used as a houseplant and groundcover. Propagated by cuttings, this plant can be moved or manipulated easily as its runners cling lightly to the ground (if used as cover). It tends to become an invasive species if not properly maintained.

Propagation : From leaf cuttings

Medicinal Uses:
It is used in southeast Mexico in the region of Tabasco, as a cold herbal tea, which is named Matali.

Known Hazards: Skin irritation may result from repeated contact with or prolonged handling of the plant — particularly from the clear, watery sap (a characteristic unique to T. zebrina as compared with the other aforementioned types).

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

Arabis alpina

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Botanical Name : Arabis alpina
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Arabis
Species:A. alpina
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Common Names: Alpine Rock Cress, Alpine rockcress

Habitat : Arabis alpina is native to Europe. In Britain it is only found on the Isle of Skye. It grows on the screes and rocks in moist sites in mountains.

Arabis alpina is a perennial plant. The stems grow up to 40 cm (16 inches) tall, and are topped with loose heads of white, four-petalled flowers. The leaves in the basal rosette are long, strongly toothed and clearly stalked, although the stem leaves are stalkless and clasp the stem.


It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Mar to May, and the seeds ripen in June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Easily grown in ordinary well-drained soil. Prefers a sandy loam and a sunny position. Another report says that it prefers partial shade[134]. Plants resent root disturbance and are best put in their final positions whilst still small. The flowers are attractive to bees.
Seed – it is best to surface sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold fram. Seed can also be sown in spring. It usually germinates in 2 – 3 weeks at 21°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division after flowering. Very easy, the divisions can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required. Cuttings in a shady border in summer.

Edible Uses: ...Young leaves – cooked or raw. An agreeable cress-like flavour. Flowers – raw or cooked. A cress-like flavour.

Medicinal Uses: Could not find anywhere.
Other Uses:
Best when massed as a ground cover in rock gardens, on slopes or cascading over a stone wall. May also be used in the border front as an edging plant. A good compliment to early spring bulbs such as Narcissus.

A. alpina is believed to have originated in Asia Minor about 2 million years ago. From there it migrated twice into East Africa (500,000 years ago) where it grows today on the high East African mountains in the ericaceous belt. Another migration route led A. alpina into Europe which was then colonised periglacially. In genetic terms, the highest diversity is found in Asia Minor. In central and northern Europe, A. alpina seems to be genetically quite uniform .

There is growing interest to develop Arabis alpina as a model organism for genetics, population genetics, and molecular biology. The first genetic linkage map has been created and the first phenotypes, especially perenniality, are tackled by QTL mapping.

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

Lycopus Europaeus

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Botanical Name: Lycopus Europaeus
L. europaeus

Synonyms: Water Horehound. Gipsy-wort. Egyptian’s Herb.

Common Names : Gypsywort, Gipsywort, Bugleweed, European bugleweed and Water horehound. Another species, Lycopus americanus has also been erroneously called L. europaeus

Habitat: Lycopus Europaeus is native to Europe and Asia, and naturalized elsewhere. It grows primarily in wetland areas, along the borders of lakes, ponds and streams and in marshes.

Lycopus Europaeus is a rather straggly perennial plant with slender underground runners and grows to a height of about 20 to 80 cm (8 to 31 in). The stalkless or short-stalked leaves are in opposite pairs. The leaf blades are hairy, narrowly lanceolate-ovate, sometimes pinnately-lobed, and with large teeth on the margin. It is in flower from June to September, and produces seeds from August to October. The inflorescence forms a terminal spike and is composed of dense whorls of white or pale pink flowers. The calyx has five lobes and the corolla forms a two-lipped flower about 4 mm (0.16 in) long with a fused tube. The upper lip of each flower is slightly convex with a notched tip and the lower lip is three-lobed, the central lobe being the largest and bearing a red “nectar mark” to attract pollinating insects. There are two stamens, the gynoecium has two fused carpels and the fruit is a four-chambered schizocarp. Its carpels float which may aid dispersal of the plant and its rhizomeous roots also allow the plant to spread.


Tolerates most soil types so long as they are wet. Grows well in shallow water. Succeeds in sun or shade.

Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Edible Uses:

Edible Parts: Root.  Root – raw or cooked. A famine food, it is only used when all else fails
Part Used: The Herb.

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent; Miscellany; Poultice; Sedative.

The fresh or dried flowering herb is astringent and sedative. It inhibits iodine conversion in the thyroid gland and is used in the treatment of hyperthyroidism and related disorders. The whole plant is used as an astringent, hypoglycaemic, mild narcotic and mild sedative. It also slows and strengthens heart contractions. The plant has been shown to be of value in the treatment of hyperthyroidism, it is also used in the treatment of coughs, bleeding from the lungs and consumption, excessive menstruation etc. The leaves are applied as a poultice to cleanse foul wounds. This remedy should not be prescribed for pregnant women or patients with hypothyroidism. The plant is harvested as flowering begins and can be use fresh or dried, in an infusion or as a tincture. Current uses are predominantly for increased activity of the thyroid gland and for premenstrual syndrome symptoms such as breast pain . The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Lycopus for nervousness and premenstrual syndrome.

Other Uses: Dye; Miscellany….A black dye is obtained from the plant. It is said to give a permanent colour and was also used by gypsies in order to darken the skin.

Known Hazards: Known to cause the enlargement of the thyroid gland. Avoid in patients with thyroid disease or given concomitantly with thyroid therapy. Avoid during pregnancy

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

Blepharis edulis

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Botanical Name : Blepharis edulis / Blepharis persica
Family: Acanthaceae
Genus: Blepharis
Species: B. edulis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Sanskrit name : Sunishannaka, Uttagana

English Name: Rohida Tree

Hindi Name: Uttanjan

Habitat : It is found in India, Pakistan and Iran.In Thar desert and also in Africa

Description :
Blepharis edulis is a small, grey-pubescent or nearly glabrous perennial herb found in the Thar desert and in Africa...…CLICK & SEE…….………………………………….Click to see the picture

Click to see the picture
The stem is rigid and leaves are four in each node. The flowers are blue, in strobilate inflorescence. The capsules are 2-seeded. Blepharin was identified from the seeds. The seeds are considered aphrodisiac, and are also resolvent and diuretic.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: Seeds
The seeds of this plant are used for various medicinal purposes in India.

Click to see :
*Medicinal Uses of Uttanjan(Blepharis edulis )

*Investigation Of Aphrodisiac Potential Of Blepharis
edulis Linn.

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.


News on Health & Science

Iyengar yoga improves immunity

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A study, conducted by researchers at the Washington State University, has found that the immunity
system of breast cancer survivors improved significantly after practising the Iyengar form of yoga.


Created by B K S Iyengar, based on the traditional eight limbs of yoga as expounded by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras, this yoga form emphasises the development of strength, stamina, flexibility and balance, as well as concentration and meditation.

Considered to be a more active form of yoga, researchers reported on Monday at the American Physiological Society meeting in Washington DC that in breast cancer survivors, the Iyengar method not only promoted psychological well-being but also benefited the patients’ immune system.

According to lead researcher Pamela E Schultz, practising the yoga form resulted in decreased activation of an important immune system protein called NF-kB in patients, which is a marker of stress in the body.
“So it’s possible,” Schultz said, “that decreased activation of NF-kB indicates decreased stress in the body. NF-kB is activated in the body by physical or mental stress.”

Schultz randomly assigned 19 women, average age 61 years, diagnosed with stage I-III breast cancer and receiving antiestrogen or aromatase inhibitor hormonal therapy, to eight weeks of Iyengar yoga. Beginning level Iyengar yoga classes were conducted two times per week for eight weeks and included the following yoga poses: standing poses, chest and shoulder openers and inversions.

Blood sample to determine lymphocyte NF-kB activation were collected prior to and following the intervention.
“Psychosocial tests showed that the demands of illness, which reflects the burden of hardship of being a breast cancer survivor, lowered in the yoga participants. The survivors showed changes in the way their immune cells respond to activation signals. The function of genes in immune cells can be regulated by proteins called transcription factors. Transcription factor nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB) is linked to immune cell activation and to the stress response,” Schultz said.

Speaking to TOI, 89-year-old Iyengar said, “Similar studies in Mumbai found that certain asanas improve the quality of blood and results in better blood circulation. It also improved the production of proteins in the immune system called T-cell receptors that actually direct the immune system to attack specific targets. Immune cells that contain the engineered T-cell receptor better display targeted immunity with a few asanas.”

Cancer and its treatments are associated with considerable distress, impaired quality of life and reduced physical function, especially for women with breast cancer who receive multi-modality treatment over an extended period of time. “Yoga greatly helps to relieve and improve quality of life among cancer patients over time,” Iyengar said.

Dr Chidanand Murthy, director of Central Council for Research in Yoga, said, “A similar study conducted in AIIMS on 30 patients in 2006 found that Sudarshan Kriya and Pranayama greatly helped cut down the growth of breast cancer cells within the body. Through release of stress, adverse effects of chemotherapy were also avoided.”

Indian Council of Medical Research data shows that the incidence of breast cancer is high among Indians and is estimated that one in 22 Indian females is likely to develop breast cancer during her lifetime in contrast to one in eight in America.

According to Delhi’s latest cancer registry, breast cancer among women is rising by about 2% every year. It now affects 30 per 100,000 females.

Source:The Times Of India