Categories
Herbs & Plants

Senecio erucifolius

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Botanical Name : Senecio erucifolius
Family:Asteraceae or Compositae
Tribe: Senecioneae
Genus: Jacobaea
Species: J. erucifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Syn: Jacobaea erucifolia

Common Names: Hoary Groundsel, Hoary ragwort

Habitat: Senecio erucifolius occurs in Central and southern Europe, including Britain, north to Denmark and Lithuania, east to W. Asia. It grows in dry banks, field borders, grassy slopes and roadsides, in limestone and chalky districts and especially on heavy soils.

Description:
Senecio erucifolius is a perennial herb, growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in).Medium to tall, grey downy plant, with a shortly creeping stock bearing terminal leaf rosettes. Stems erect, branched above the middle. Leaves pinnately lobed, the lower stalked and usually present at flowering time. Upper leaves with narrower lobes; all leaves with somewhat down rolled margins and woolly, especially beneath. Flowerheads bright yellow 12 to 15 mm with 12 to 15 rays, borne in a narrow flat topped cluster.It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on the cultivation needs of this plant but, judging by its native habitats, it is likely to require a sunny position and to succeed in most moderate to heavy soils, including those of an alkaline nature.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ. Division in spring
Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Antiscorbutic; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Poultice; Purgative.

The plant is used in plasters, ointments and poultices. This species is related to groundsel, S. vulgaris, and is said to have similar properties. These are:- The whole herb is anthelmintic, antiscorbutic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue and purgative. It is often used as a poultice and is said to be useful in treating sickness of the stomach, whilst a weak infusion is used as a simple and easy purgative. The plant can be harvested in May and dried for later use, or the fresh juice can be extracted and used as required. Use with caution, see notes above on toxicity.

Known Hazards: All parts of the plant are poisonous to many mammals, including humans. The toxin affects the liver and has a cumulative affect. Some mammals, such as rabbits, do not seem to be harmed by the plant, and will often seek it out. Various birds also eat the leaves and seeds.

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/Jacobaea_erucifolia
http://www.naturespot.org.uk/species/hoary-ragwort
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Senecio+erucifolius

 

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Allium schoenoprasum

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

Synonyms: Cives.
(French) : Ail civitte
(Old French) : Petit poureau

Common Name: Chives

Part Used in medicine : The Herb.
Habitat: The Chive is said to be a native of Britain, it is only very rarely found growing in an uncultivated state, and then only in the northern and western counties of England and Wales and in Oxfordshire. It grows in rocky pastures throughout temperate and northern Europe.

De Candolle says: ‘This species occupies an extensive area in the northern hemisphere. It is found all over Europe from Corsica and Greece to the south of Sweden, in Siberia as far as Kamschatka and also in North America. The variety found in the Alps is the nearest to the cultivated form.’ Most probably it was known to the Ancients, as it grows wild in Greece and Italy. Dodoens figures it and gives the French name for it in his days: ‘Petit poureau,’ relating to its rush-like appearance. In present day French it is commonly called ‘Ail civitte.’ The Latin name of this species means ‘Rush-Leek.’

Description:
Allium schoenoprasum is a hardy perennial plant. The bulbs grow very close together in dense tufts or clusters, and are of an elongated form, with white, rather firm sheaths, the outer sheath sometimes grey.

The slender leaves appear early in spring and are long, cylindrical and hollow, tapering to a point and about the thickness of a crowsquill. They grow from 6 to 10 inches high.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowering stem is usually nipped off with cultivated plants (which are grown solely for the sake of the leaves, or ‘grass’), but when allowed to rise, it seldom reaches more than a few inches to at most a foot in height. It is hollow and either has no leaf or one leaf sheathing it below the middle. It supports a close globular head, or umbel, of purple flowers; the numerous flowers are densely packed together on separate, very slender little flower-stalks, shorter than the flowers themselves, which lengthen slightly as the fruit ripens, causing the heads to assume a conical instead of a round shape. The petals of the flowers are nearly half an inch long; when dry, their pale-purple colour, which has in Parts a darker flush, changes to rose-colour. The anthers (the pollen-bearing part of the flower) are of a bluish-purple colour. The seed-vessel, or capsule, is a little larger than a hemp seed and is completely concealed within the petals, which are about twice its length. The small seeds which it contains are black when ripe and similar to Onion seeds.

The flowers are in blossom in June and July, and in the most cold and moist situations will mature their seeds, though rarely allowed to do so under cultivation

Cultivation:
Chives thrive in well-drained soil, rich in organic matter, with a pH of 6-7 and full sun. They can be grown from seed and mature in summer, or early the following spring. Typically, chives need to be germinated at a temperature of 15 to 20 °C (60-70 °F) and kept moist. They can also be planted under a cloche or germinated indoors in cooler climates, then planted out later. After at least four weeks, the young shoots should be ready to be planted out. They are also easily propagated by division.

In cold regions, chives die back to the underground bulbs in winter, with the new leaves appearing in early spring. Chives starting to look old can be cut back to about 2–5 cm. When harvesting, the needed number of stalks should be cut to the base. During the growing season, the plant will continually regrow leaves, allowing for a continuous harvest

Edible Uses:
Chives are cultivated both for their culinary uses and their ornamental value; the violet flowers are often used in ornamental dry bouquets.

Chives are grown for their scapes, which are used for culinary purposes as a flavoring herb, and provide a somewhat milder flavor than those of other Allium species.

Chives have a wide variety of culinary uses, such as in traditional dishes in France and Sweden, among others. In his 1806 book Attempt at a Flora (Försök til en flora), Retzius describes how chives are used with pancakes, soups, fish and sandwiches. They are also an ingredient of the gräddfil sauce served with the traditional herring dish served at Swedish midsummer celebrations. The flowers may also be used to garnish dishes. In Poland and Germany, chives are served with quark cheese.

Chives are one of the “fines herbes” of French cuisine, which also include tarragon, chervil and/or parsley.

Chives can be found fresh at most markets year-round, making them readily available; they can also be dry-frozen without much impairment to the taste, giving home growers the opportunity to store large quantities harvested from their own gardens.

Medicinal Uses:
The medicinal properties of chives are similar to those of garlic, but weaker; the faint effects in comparison with garlic are probably the main reason for their limited use as a medicinal herb. Containing numerous organosulfur compounds such as allyl sulfides and alkyl sulfoxides, chives are reported to have a beneficial effect on the circulatory system. They also have mild stimulant, diuretic, and antiseptic properties. As chives are usually served in small amounts and never as the main dish, negative effects are rarely encountered, although digestive problems may occur following overconsumption.

Chives are also rich in vitamins A and C, contain trace amounts of sulfur, and are rich in calcium and iron.

In traditional folk medicine Chives were eaten to treat and purge intestinal parasites, enhance the immune system, stimulate digestion, and treat anemia.

Garlic and scallions, along with onions, leeks, chives, and shallots, are rich in flavonols, substances in plants that have been shown to have anti tumor effects. New research from China confirms that eating vegetables from the allium group (allium is Latin for garlic) can reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Other Uses:
Retzius also describes how farmers would plant chives between the rocks making up the borders of their flowerbeds, to keep the plants free from pests (such as Japanese beetles). The growing plant repels unwanted insect life, and the juice of the leaves can be used for the same purpose, as well as fighting fungal infections, mildew and scab.

Its flowers are attractive to bees, which are important for gardens with an abundance of plants in need of pollination.

The Romans believed chives could relieve the pain from sunburn or a sore throat.

Romanian Gypsies have used chives in fortune telling. It was believed that bunches of dried chives hung around a house would ward off disease and evil

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/Chives
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/chives65.html

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Barosma betulina

Botanical Name : Barosma betulina
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Agathosma
Species: A. betulina
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonym: Agathosma betulina, Diosma betulina, Agathosma  crenulata

Common Names: Round leaf buchu , oval leaf buchu

Habitat: Barosma betulina is native to the lower elevation mountains of western South Africa, where it occurs near streams in fynbos habitats.

Description:
Barosma betulina is an evergreen shrub and a flowering plant growing to 2 m tall. The leaves are opposite and of pale green colour, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, 1/2 inch or less wide, leathery and glossy, with a blunt, strongly-curved tip and finely-toothed margin, with round oil glands scattered through the leaf. Frequently the small white or pae pink flowers, with five petals, and the brownish fruits may be found mixed with the drug. The leaves have a strongly aromatic taste and a peppermint-like odour. ; the fruit is a five-parted capsule which splits open to release the seeds……..click & see the pictures

Edible Use:
Wild plants of this species are still plentiful but are being harvested faster than they can reproduce. The threat of their becoming scarce has led to efforts to cultivate them. The essential oils and extracts of the leaves are used as flavoring for teas, candy, and a liquor known as buchu brandy in South Africa. The two primary chemical constituents of the oils of A. betulina are isomenthone and diosphenol. The extract is said to taste like blackcurrant.

Constituents: The principal constituents of Buchu leaves are volatile oil and mucilage, also diosphenol, which has antiseptic properties, and is considered by some to be the most important constituent of Buchu its absence from the variety known as ‘Long Buchu’ has led to the exclusion of the latter leaves from the British Pharmacopoeia.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant has been used by the indigenous people of South Africa to as a folk remedy for various disorders. Dutch settlers in early times used Agathosma betulina commonly called buchu to make a brandy tincture. The tincture is still used today. In gravel, inflammation and catarrh of the bladder it is specially useful.

The leaves are used locally for antiseptic purposes and to ward off insects.  In western herbalism, the leaves are used for infections of the genito-urinary system, such as cystitis, urethritis and prostates.  Internally used for urinary tract infections (especially prostates and cystitis), digestive problems, gout, rheumatism, coughs, and colds, often combined with Althaea officinalis.  Externally used in traditional African medicine as a powder to deter insects and in a vinegar-based lotion for bruises and sprains.

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/Agathosma_betulina
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/buchu-78.html

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

Categories
Healthy Tips

How to slow down Aging

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No one wants to grow old. The body constantly battles against this process. Free radicals are responsible for the changes and shortening of the DNA in our cells, which in turn causes the visible changes of ageing...click & see

Free radicals are compounds created when a molecule in our body gains or loses an electron, rendering it unstable. The commonest free radicals are known as ROS (reactive oxygen species).

Antioxidants act as scavengers, removing the destroyed or fragmented DNA caused by free radicals. These days they are being prescribed as the panacea of all ills. Conditions ranging from poor immunity, male infertility, heart attacks, diabetes, cancer to even ageing are said to benefit from antioxidant supplements.

Antioxidants occur in a variety of foods, especially coloured (red, yellow, green, purple) fruits and vegetables. They are not heat stable, so it is better to eat the fruits or vegetables raw. People who eat 4-6 helpings of fruits and vegetables a day have a lower incidence of cancer and live longer. On the other hand, they tend to be health conscious, exercise, have healthier lifestyles and are conscious of body weight.

A large amount of ROP is released during exercise. So taking antioxidant supplements should decrease recovery time. A number of studies have demonstrated that this is not the case. Ironically, taking antioxidant supplements actually slows down recovery.

Patients with cancer are often advised to take supplements of megavitamins and antioxidants. They may actually be detrimental. High doses of betacarotene increases the risk of lung cancer in smokers. Vitamin E can increase the risk of prostate cancer and high doses of vitamin C the risk of bladder cancer. High-dose supplements of antioxidants are linked to worse cancer outcomes, especially in smokers.

Instead of antioxidants, if we follow the following rules and do them regularly we could get better result....click & see

1)Do some freehand exercise (yoga) daily.

2) Walk, jog or run 40 minutes a day

3) Eat 4-6 helpings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day

4) Never smoke or spend time around smokers

Resources: http://www.telegraphindia.com/

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Fucus vesiculosus

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Botanical name :Fucus vesiculosus
Family: Fucaceae
Genus: Fucus
Species: F. vesiculosus
Kingdom: Chromalveolata
Phylum: Heterokontophyta
Class: Phaeophyceae
Order: Fucales

Common names:  black tang, rockweed, bladder fucus, sea oak, black tany, cut weed, dyers fucus, red fucus, and rock wrack,Kelp/Bladderwrack , Fucus, Seaweed, dried

Habitat ;Fucus vesiculosus is the most common algae on the shores of the British Isles. It has been recorded from the Atlantic shores of Europe, Northern Russia, the Baltic Sea, Greenland, Azores, Canary Islands, Morocco and Madeira. It is also found on the Atlantic coast of North America from Ellesmere Island, Hudson Bay to North Carolina

Description:
The fronds of Fucus vesiculosus have a prominent midrib and almost spherical air bladders which are usually paired but may be absent in young plants. The margin is smooth and the frond is dichotomously branched. It is sometimes confused with Fucus spiralis with which it hybridises
click tro see the pictures>....(01).....(1)…….(2).…...(3).……..(4).…….(5)..

Plants of F. vesiculosus are dioecious. Gametes are generally released into the seawater under calm conditions and the eggs are fertilised externally to produce a zygote. Eggs are fertilised shortly after being released from the receptacle. A study on the coast of Maine showed that there was 100% fertilisation at both exposed and sheltered sites. Continuously submerged populations in the Baltic Sea are very responsive to turbulent conditions. High fertilisation success is achieved because the gametes are only released when water velocities are low

chemical Constituents:
Primary chemical constituents of this plant include mucilage, algin, mannitol, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, iodine, bromine, potassium, volatile oils, and many other minerals.

Medicinal Uses:
Properties: * Analgesic * Antiscorbutic * Appetite Depressant/Obesity * Laxative

This herb is used for cancer prevention & a diet fore wetloss.

It  is commonly used in herbal medicine to stimulate the thyroid function, and can be effective in weight loss as part of a low calorie diet. The consumption of seaweeds has also been associated with lower cancer rates.

Kelp, dried seaweed Fucus vesiculosis, was the original source of iodine, being discovered as such by Courtois in 1812. Iodine does not occur in nature in the uncombined condition but is widely, though sparingly, distributed in the form of iodides and iodates, chiefly of sodium and potassium, in seawater, some seaweeds, and various mineral and medicinal springs. Kelp is an important part of the diet in Japan, Norway, and Scotland. For vegans (vegetarians who eat no animal products at all), it supplies vitamin B12, otherwise found almost exclusively in animal products, and is a concentrated source of minerals, including iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron. As a source of iodine, it assists in the production of of thyroid hormones, which are necessary for maintaining healthy metabolism in all cells of the body. The brown algae known as bladderwrack is a particularly common source of kelp.

The main use of bladder wrack (and other types of seaweed) in herbal medicine is as a source of iodine, an essential nutrient for the thyroid gland. Bladder wrack has been used in the treatment of underactive thyroid glands (hypothyroidism) and goitre.

Bladder wrack has been shown to help women with abnormal menstrual cycling patterns and menstrual-related disease histories. Doses of 700 to 1400 mg/day were found to increase the menstrual cycle lengths, decrease the days of menstruation per cycle, and decrease the serum levels of 17B-estradiol while was later carried out and showed similar effects.

Safety precautions:
Bladderwrack may contains significant amounts of iodine, which could cause an allergic reaction in sensitive 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://www.ask.com/wiki/Fucus_vesiculosus?o=3986&qsrc=999#Description
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail197.php

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