Tag Archives: Antimicrobial

Ferula communis

Botanical Name : Ferula communis
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Ferula
Species: F. communis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms : F. brevifolia. F. linkii. ,Ferula communis ‘Gigantea’

Common Names: Giant Fennel, Meeting seed

Habitat : Ferula communis is native to Europe – Mediterranean. It grows on dry hills, walls, waste ground and limestone, often in soils that are damp in the spring.
Description:
Ferula communis is a tall herbaceous perennial plant growing to 2.5 m (8ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in). It is found in Mediterranean and East African woodlands and shrublands. It was known in antiquity as Laser or narthex.It has big, pinnately divided large leaves and compound umbels of small white, yellow or purple flowers; that may die after flowering.

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It is not frost tender. It is in flower in June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils including dry ones according to one report whilst others say that it requires a deep moist fertile soil in a sunny position. Established plants are drought resistant. This species is hardy to about -10°c, possibly lower if the rootstock is mulched in the winter. A very ornamental plant, though the flowers have a most unpleasant rancid smell. Plants are often monoecious. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance due to their long taproot. They should be planted into their final positions as soon as possible. The sub-species brevifolia is the form used for its gum.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as the seed is ripe in a greenhouse in autumn. Otherwise sow in April in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Plant them out into their permanent positions whilst still small because the plants dislike root disturbance. Give the plants a protective mulch for at least their first winter outdoors. Division in autumn. This may be inadvisable due to the plants dislike of root disturbance.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves. & Gums

Medicinal Uses:
One report says that the root yields a gum with medicinal properties but no details are are found in internet.

Other Uses :
Furniture; Gum; Miscellany; Tinder.

A gum ‘Gum Ammoniac‘ is obtained by notching the root. It is used as an incense[4], it also has medicinal value. The stems are used in furniture making. The dried pith is used as a tinder, it burns very slowly inside the stem and can thus be carried from one place to another.

Known Hazards: In Sardinia two different chemotypes of Ferula communis have been identified: poisonous (especially to animals like sheep, goats, cattle, and horses) and not-poisonous. They differ for both secondary metabolites pattern and enzymatic composition.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferula_communis#cite_note-4
https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/details?plantid=791
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ferula+communis

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Aconitum fischeri

Botanical Name : Aconitum fischeri
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Aconitum
Species: A. fischeri
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names: Fischer monkshood,Azure Monkshood

Habitat : Aconitum fischeri is native to E. Asia – Northern Japan, Eastern Russia. (Korea and Siberia and cultivated in gardens in temperate zones for its showy flowers.) It grows in riverside forests on alluvium, often in large groups, clearings, occasionally in birch and alder forests and very rarely on herb covered slopes in Kamtschatka.
Description:
Aconitum fischeri is a perennial plant, growing 61 to 66 cm (24 to 26 in) spreads 61 to 76cm (24 to 30 in). It produces upright spikes of lavender blue flowers in September. This species has particularly strong stems that do not require staking. The deeply divided dark green foliage is very attractive. Plants bloom early-late summer. This plant works well in perennial borders and cottage and woodland gardens and provides colour late in the season. It is pollinated by Bees.Colour of flowers are lavender blue. The plant is deer & rabbit registant.

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

Cultivation:
Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade. Prefers a calcareous soil. Grows well in open woodlands. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes. Cultivated in China as a medicinal plant, it has been said to have been rendered much less toxic through this cultivation.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year.

Medicinal Uses:
The dried root is alterative, anaesthetic, antiarthritic, deobstruent, diaphoretic, diuretic, sedative, stimulant. It should be harvested in the autumn as soon as the plant has died down. This is a very poisonous plant and should only be used with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.

Known Hazards: All parts of Aconitum are poisonous. Always wear gloves when working with this plant as simple skin contact has caused numbness 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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aconitum_fischeri
http://www.whitehouseperennials.com/catalogue/perennials/item/aconitum-fischeri
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Aconitum+fischeri

Centaurea melitensis

 

Botanical Name :Centaurea melitensis
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Centaurea
Species:C. melitensis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Maltese star-thistle in Europe, Tocalote or Tocolote

Habitat: Centaurea melitensis is native to Mediterranean region, eastwards to Greece and Tunisia.  It grows on wasteplaces and roadsides.

Description:
Centaurea melitensis is an erect winter annual with a spiny, yellow-flowered head that typically reaches 1 m tall. The stems are stiff and openly branched from near or above the base or sometimes not branched in very small plants. Stem leaves are alternate, and mostly linear or narrowly oblong to oblanceolate. Margins are smooth, toothed, or wavy, and leaf bases extend down the stems (decurrent) and give stems a winged appearance. Rosette leaves typically are withered by flowering time.

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It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
We do not have information on this species, but the following notes are based on the closely related C. solstitialis. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil and a sunny position. Tolerates dry, low fertility and alkaline soils. A good bee and butterfly plant the flowers are rich in nectar. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow April in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown in situ in the spring, and an autumn swing in situ might also be worth trying.

Medicinal Uses: The plant is used in the treatment of the kidneys.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centaurea_melitensis
http://texasinvasives.org/plant_database/detail.php?symbol=CEME2
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Centaurea+melitensis

Crataegus champlainensis

Botanical Name: Crataegus champlainensis
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Crataegus
Series: Molles
Species: C. submollis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Crataegus submollis, Northern downy hawthorn, Northern red haw, Quebec hawthorn, or Hairy cockspurthorn

Common Name : Quebec hawthorn

Habitat:Crataegus champlainensis is native to Northern N. America – Quebec to New York and Ontario. It grows in thickets, streambanks and hillsides. Limestone ridges.
Description:
Crataegus champlainensis is a deciduous Tree growing to 6 m (19ft 8in). It is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Midges.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
A very easily grown plant, it prefers a well-drained moisture retentive loamy soil but is not at all fussy. Once established, it succeeds in excessively moist soils and also tolerates drought. It grows well on a chalk soil and also in heavy clay soils. A position in full sun is best when plants are being grown for their fruit, they also succeed in semi-shade though fruit yields and quality will be lower in such a position. Most members of this genus succeed in exposed positions, they also tolerate atmospheric pollution. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Seedling trees take from 5 – 8 years before they start bearing fruit, though grafted trees will often flower heavily in their third year. The flowers have a foetid smell somewhat like decaying fish. This attracts midges which are the main means of fertilization. When freshly open, the flowers have more pleasant scent with balsamic undertones. Seedlings should not be left in a seedbed for more than 2 years without being transplanted. Closely related to C. submollis, and included in that species by some botanists. This species is possibly no more than a part of C. rotundifolia.
Propagation:
Seed – this is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, some of the seed will germinate in the spring, though most will probably take another year. Stored seed can be very slow and erratic to germinate, it should be warm stratified for 3 months at 15°c and then cold stratified for another 3 months at 4°c. It may still take another 18 months to germinate. Scarifying the seed before stratifying it might reduce this time[80]. Fermenting the seed for a few days in its own pulp may also speed up the germination process. Another possibility is to harvest the seed ‘green’ (as soon as the embryo has fully developed but before the seedcoat hardens) and sow it immediately in a cold frame. If timed well, it can germinate in the spring. If you are only growing small quantities of plants, it is best to pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in individual pots for their first year, planting them out in late spring into nursery beds or their final positions. When growing larger quantities, it might be best to sow them directly outdoors in a seedbed, but with protection from mice and other seed-eating creatures. Grow them on in the seedbed until large enough to plant out, but undercut the roots if they are to be left undisturbed for more than two years.
Edible Uses:

Fruit – raw or cooked. A nice sweet flavour, the fruit is about 1.5cm in diameter. The fruit can be used in making pies, preserves, etc, and can also be dried for later use. There are up to five fairly large seeds in the centre of the fruit, these often stick together and so the effect is of eating a cherry-like fruit with a single seed.
Medicinal Uses:

Cardiotonic; Hypotensive.

Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the fruits and flowers of many hawthorns are well-known in herbal folk medicine as a heart tonic and modern research has borne out this use. The fruits and flowers have a hypotensive effect as well as acting as a direct and mild heart tonic. They are especially indicated in the treatment of weak heart combined with high blood pressure. Prolonged use is necessary for it to be efficacious. It is normally used either as a tea or a tincture.

Other Uses :
Wood – heavy, hard, tough, close-grained. Useful for making tool handles, mallets and other small items

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crataegus_submollis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Crataegus+champlainensis

Antibody ‘Fixes Internal Bleeds’

Scientists say they have discovered an antibody that could minimise the major internal bleeding seen in traumas like bullet wounds and car crashes.
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The team at Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) has discovered that a protein called histone is responsible for much of the damage.

They say they have found a specific type of antibody that can block the ability of histone to cause damage.

They say it could lead to new ways to treat diseases and serious injuries.

‘Life threatening’
Writing in the journal, Nature Medicine, the OMRF researchers found that when mice had a bad blood stream infection (sepsis), their blood contained high levels of histones.

They checked this in primates and humans and found the same result.

The histone protein normally sits in the nucleus of a cell, packed around the strands of DNA.

It regulates the DNA, causing it to fold and form the characteristic double helix.


Bullet wounds often lead to severe internal bleeding

When the cell is damaged by injury or disease, the histone is released into the blood system where it begins to kill the lining of blood vessels, causing damage, the OMRF researchers said.

This, they believe, results in uncontrolled internal bleeding and fluid build-up in the tissues, which are life threatening.

Dr Charles Esmon, of OMRF who led the research, said: “When we realised that histones were so toxic, we immediately went to work looking for a way to stop their destructive tendencies.”

Mouse antibody
Marc Monestier, a colleague at Temple University in Philadelphia, had already discovered a specific type of antibody known as a monoclonal antibody that could block the histones.

It had been observed that patients with auto-immune diseases make antibodies to the proteins in their cell nuclei but it was not known why.

This antibody came from a mouse with an auto-immune disease.

The OMRF team have tested the antibody in mice with sepsis and it does stop the toxic effects of the histones and they recover, the researchers say.

They now want to test it in primates and eventually humans.

Dr Esmon said histones were similar in all mammals because they were such basic building blocks.

So a mouse antibody should work equally well in a human.

He said: “We think it was an adaptation during evolution.

“Millions of years ago, when people and animals got ill, they did not die of heart attacks or car accidents they died of infectious diseases.

“Their immune systems went into overdrive throwing everything at it and we believe the histones in the cell nucleus, part of the basic building blocks of life, were the last resort.”

Dr Stephen Prescott, president of OMRF, said: “These findings offer some clues as to why people suffering from one traumatic injury often experience a catastrophic ‘cascade’ of secondary traumatic events.

“If we can figure out how to control the initial injury, perhaps that will stop the domino effect that so often follows.”

Source: BBC News: 26th.Oct.’09

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