Tag Archives: Apiaceae

Inula crithmoides

Botanical Name : Inula crithmoides
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Limbarda
Species: L. crithmoides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Common Name :  Golden samphire

Habitat : Inula crithmoides occurs in the Coasts of Europe, including Britain, and western Asia. It grows in salt marshes, shingle banks and maritime cliffs and rocks on the south and west coasts of Britain.

Description:
Inula crithmoides is a perennial herb, growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. It has narrow fleshy leaves and large flower heads, with six yellow ray florets which may be up to 15 cm across. The flowers are self-fertile (able to pollinate themselves) and may also be pollinated by bees, flies and beetles...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation :
Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil in a sunny position. One report says that the plant dislikes shade whilst another says that it succeeds in a shady border. The plant needs to be watered frequently and given some salt occasionally.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed, it is worthwhile trying a sowing in situ in the spring or the autumn.

Edible Uses:
Young leaves are eaten raw or cooke as a leaf vegetable. . They are occasionally used as a potherb. The fleshy leaves and young shoots are pickled and used as a relish in salads etc. They are sometimes used as an adulterant of the true samphire, Crithmum maritimum

Medicinal Uses: Not known.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_samphire
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Inula+crithmoides
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/samgol11.html

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Daucus carota

Botanical Name: Daucus carota
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Daucus
Species: D. carota
KingdomPlantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms:   Birds’ Nest and Bees’ Nest.

Common Name:  Wild carrot, Bird’s nest, Bishop’s lace, and Queen Anne’s lace
Habitat: Probably originally a native of the sea-coasts of Southern Europe degenerated into its present wild state, but of very ancient cultivation. Now it is grown in   Britain, near the sea in greatest abundance, and in waste places throughout Europe, Russian Asia, America, and is even found in India.
Description:
Daucus carota is a biennial plant, growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a medium rate. The stems are erect and branched, generally about 2 feet high, tough and furrowed. Both stems and leaves are more or less clothed with stout coarse hairs. The leaves are very finely divided, the lowest leaves considerably larger than the upper; their arrangement on the stem is alternate, and all the leaves embrace the stem with the sheathing base, which is so characteristic of this group of plants, the Umbelliferae, to which the Carrot belongs. The blossoms are densely clustered together in terminal umbels, or flattened heads, in which the flower-bearing stalks of the head all arise from one point in rays, like the ribs of an umbrella, each ray again dividing in the case of the Carrot, in like manner to form a secondary umbel, or umbellule of white flowers, the outer ones of which are irregular and larger than the others. The Wild Carrot is in bloom from June to August, but often continues flowering much longer. The flowers themselves are very small, but from their whiteness and number, they form a conspicuous head nearly flat while in bloom, or slightly convex, but as the seeds ripen, the umbels contract, the outer rays, which are to begin with 1 to 2 inches long, lengthening and curving inwards, so that the head forms a hollow cup hence one of the old popular names for the plant – Birds’ Nest. The fruit is slightly flattened, with numerous bristles arranged in five rows. The seeds ripen from Aug to September.The ring of finely-divided and leaf-like bracts at the point where the umbel springs is a noticeable feature….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The Carrot is well distinguished from other plants of the same order by having the central flower of the umbel, or sometimes a tiny umbellule, of a bright red or deep purple colour, though there is a variety, Daucus maritimus, frequent in many parts of the seacoast in the south of England, which differs in having somewhat fleshy leaves and no central purple flower. In this case, all the flowers of the head have usually a somewhat pinkish tinge. There was a curious superstition that this small purple flower of the Carrot was of benefit for mitigating epilepsy.

Cultivation :          
Landscape Uses:Border, Seashore. Prefers a sunny position and a well-drained neutral to alkaline soil. A good plant for the summer meadow, it is a food plant for caterpillars of the Swallow-tail Butterfly. This species is the parent of the cultivated carrot. It can act as an alternative host for pests and diseases of the cultivated carrots. The plant has become a pest weed in N. America, where it is spreading rapidly and crowding out native vegetation. The whole plant, when bruised, gives off an aniseed-like scent. Special Features: Edible, Not North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers.
                                                                              
Propagation:     
Seed – sow August/September or April in situ. The seed germinates better if it is given a period of cold stratification.
Edible Uses:   Root – cooked. Thin and stringy. The flower clusters can be french-fried to produce a carrot-flavoured gourmet’s delight. The aromatic seed is used as a flavouring in stews etc. The dried roasted roots are ground into a powder and are used for making coffee

Parts Used in Medicines:   Whole herb, seeds, root.

Constituents: The medicinal properties of the seeds are owing to a volatile oil which is colourless or slightly tinged with yellow; this is procured by distilling with water. They also yield their virtues by infusion to water at 212 degrees F.; boiling dissipates them. No thorough analysis has been made.

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic;  Carminative;  Contraceptive;  Deobstruent;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Galactogogue;  Ophthalmic;  Stimulant.

This vegetable is a wonderful cleansing medicine. It supports the liver, and stimulates urine flow and the removal of waste by the kidneys. The juice of organically grown carrots is a delicious drink and a valuable detoxifier. Carrots are rich in carotene, which is converted to vitamin A by the liver. This nutrient acts to improve night blindness as well as vision in general. The raw root, grated or mashed, is a safe treatment for threadworms, especially in children. Wild carrot leaves are a good diuretic. They have been used to counter cystitis and kidney stone formation, and to diminish stones that have already formed. The seeds are also diuretic and carminative. They stimulate menstruation and have been used in folk medicine as a treatment for hangovers. Both leaves and seeds relieve flatulence and gassy colic and are a useful remedy for settling the digestion and upsets of the stomach. Many Pennsylvania Dutch have used wild carrot seed as both an emmenagogue and a morning-after contraceptive. Indian researchers have confirmed that carrot seed has anti-implantation activity in laboratory animals. One teaspoonful of the seeds is taken daily starting at the time of ovulation or immediately after unprotected intercourse during the fertile time and continued for up to one week to prevent pregnancy. Carrots contain 8 compounds that lower blood pressure. Scottish studies showed that over a period of three weeks, a daily snack of two carrots lowered cholesterol levels by 10-20% in study participants. Because the fiber pectin is the source of most of these benefits, don’t use a juicer which extracts most of the fiber.

Scientists in India have discovered that carrots afford significant protection for the liver in laboratory animals. When liver cell injury was induced experimentally with chemicals, paralleling the liver damage inflicted by chemical pollutants, experiments showed that lab animals could recover with the help of carrot extracts which increase the activity of several enzymes that speed up detoxification of the liver and other organs.

The wild carrot is an aromatic herb that acts as a diuretic, soothes the digestive tract and stimulates the uterus. A wonderfully cleansing medicine, it supports the liver, stimulates the flow of urine and the removal of waste by the kidneys. The whole plant is anthelmintic, carminative, deobstruent, diuretic, galactogogue, ophthalmic, stimulant. An infusion is used in the treatment of various complaints including digestive disorders, kidney and bladder diseases and in the treatment of dropsy. An infusion of the leaves has been used to counter cystitis and kidney stone formation, and to diminish stones that have already formed. Carrot leaves contain significant amounts of porphyrins, which stimulate the pituitary gland and lead to the release of increased levels of sex hormones. The plant is harvested in July and dried for later use. A warm water infusion of the flowers has been used in the treatment of diabetes. The grated raw root, especially of the cultivated forms, is used as a remedy for threadworms. The root is also used to encourage delayed menstruation. The root of the wild plant can induce uterine contractions and so should not be used by pregnant women. A tea made from the roots is diuretic and has been used in the treatment of urinary stones. The seeds are diuretic, carminative, emmenagogue and anthelmintic. An infusion is used in the treatment of oedema, flatulent indigestion and menstrual problems. The seed is a traditional ‘morning after’ contraceptive and there is some evidence to uphold this belief. It requires further investigation. Carrot seeds can be abortifacient and so should not be used by pregnant women.

Other Uses:  An essential oil obtained from the seed has an orris-like scent. It is used in perfumery and as a food flavouring. The oil has also been used cosmetically in anti-wrinkle creams.
Known Hazards: The wild carrot sometimes cause allergic reactions in some people. Skin contact with the sap is said to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people. Daucus has been reported to contain acetone, asarone, choline, ethanol, formic acid, HCN, isobutyric acid, limonene, malic acid, maltose, oxalic acid, palmitic acid, pyrrolidine, and quinic acid. Reviewing research on myristicin, which occurs in nutmeg, mace, black pepper, carrot seed, celery seed, and parsley, Buchanan (J. Food Safety 1: 275, 1979) noted that the psychoactive and hallucinogenic properties of mace, nutmeg, and purified myristicin have been studied. It has been hypothesized that myristicin and elemicin can be readily modified in the body to amphetamines. Handling carrot foliage, especially wet foliage, can cause irritation and vesication. Sensitized photosensitive persons may get an exact reproduction of the leaf on the skin by placing the leaf on the skin for awhile, followed by exposure to sunshine.

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/Daucus_carota
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/carwil25.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Daucus+carota

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

Echium vulgare

Botanical Name: Echium vulgare
Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Echium
Species: E. vulgare
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Boraginales

Synonym: Blueweed.

Common Names : Viper’s Bugloss or Blueweed, Common viper’s bugloss

Habitat: Echium vulgare is native to southern and western Europe and Western Asia. It has been introduced to North America and is naturalised in parts of the continent, being listed as an invasive species in Washington. It grows in calcareous and light dry soils, especially on cliffs near the sea is also found on walls, old quarries and gravel pits.
Description:
Echium vulgare is a biennial or monocarpic perennial plant growing to 30–80 cm (12–31 in) tall, with rough, hairy, lanceolate leaves. The flowers start pink and turn vivid blue and are 15–20 mm (0.59–0.79 in) in a branched spike, with all the stamens protruding. The pollen is blue but the filaments of the stamens remain red, contrasting against the blue flowers. It flo wers between May and September. It is found in dry, bare and waste places…..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation: Succeeds in any good garden soil but flowers best when the soil is not too rich. Requires a sunny position. The plant is very deep rooted. A good bee plant.

Propagation: : Seed sow February-May or August-November in situ. Germination usually takes place within 2 – 3 weeks at 15°c. If the seed is in short supply then it can be sown in pots in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.

Edible Uses: Young leaves – raw or cooked. They can be used as a spinach substitute. Mild and mucilaginous. Although somewhat hairy, when chopped up finely they are an acceptable part of a mixed salad. Eating the leaves is said to stimulate sexual desire. Use with caution, there is an unconfirmed report of toxicity.

Part Used in medicine: The whole Herb.

Medicinal Uses:
Antitussive; Aphrodisiac; Demulcent; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emollient; Pectoral; Vulnerary.

Viper’s bugloss was once considered to be a preventative and remedy for viper bites. It is related to borage, Borago officinalis, and has many similar actions, especially in its sweat-inducing and diuretic effects. In recent times, however, it has fallen out of use, partly due to lack of interest in its medicinal potential and partly to its content of pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are toxic in isolation. The leaves and flowering stems are antitussive, aphrodisiac, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, pectoral and vulnerary. An infusion of the plant is taken internally as a diuretic and in the treatment of fevers, headaches, chest conditions etc. The juice of the plant is an effective emollient for reddened and delicate skins, it is used as a poultice or plaster to treat boils and carbuncles. The leaves are harvested in the summer and can be dried for later use. The roots contain the healing agent allantoin. The plant is said to be efficacious in the treatment of snake bites. When chopped up finely, the fresh flowering heads can be made into a poultice for treating whitlows and boils.
Known Hazards: The leaves are poisonous. No cases of poisoning have ever been recorded for this plant. The bristly hairs on the leaves and stems can cause severe dermatitis.

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/Echium_vulgare
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/bugvip85.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Echium+vulgare

Sanicula Europaea

Botanical Name : Sanicula Europaea
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Sanicula
Species: S. europaea
Kingdom: Plantae

Synonyms: Poolroot. Self-Heal.

Common Names :Sanicle, Wood sanicle

Habitat:  Wood Sanicle  is most abundant in the middle and north of Europe and is found on the mountains of tropical Africa. It is the only representative in this country of the genus Sanicula, to which very few species are assigned. It grows  in woods and thickets and damp moist places, and generally distributel over the British Isles.It is widespread in shady places woodland across Europe.

Description:
Wood Sanicle is an umbelliferous perennial plant.The root-stock (the short underground stem from which each year’s new stalks grow upward) is shortly creeping and fibrous, with a few thick, brownish scales at the top, the remains of decayed leafstalks. The stem, erect, 8 inches to 2 feet high, is simple, often leafless or with a single leaf. The radical leaves are on stalks 2 to 8 inches long, the leaves themselves palmately three to five partite and divided nearly to the base of the leaf, the lobes, or divisions, often three-cleft again. The leaves are heartshaped at the base near the stalk and toothed like a saw.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are in umbels. Each little group, or umbellule, forms a hemispherical head. The little stalks, each bearing a head of flowers, join together at one spot again to form what is termed a compound or general umbel, as in most plants of this order. In the case of the Sanicle, the umbel is said to be irregular, as the converging stalks forming these rays are often divided into two or three prongs. The flowers are pinkish-white, 1/16 inch across, the outer flowers of the umbellules being without stamens; the inner, without pistils. They blossom in May and June and are succeeded in August by roundish seeds, which are covered with prickles, causing them to adhere to everything they touch.

The plant is glabrous and bright green, the leaves paler beneath and the stems often reddish.

The origin of the name of this genus is the Latin word sano (I heal or cure), in reference to the medicinal virtues.

 Cultivation:   
Succeeds in any moist moderately fertile well-drained soil in sun or semi-shade. Strongly dislikes poor thin soils. Prefers a loamy or calcareous soil. The seeds are covered with little prickles, enabling them to become attached to anything that brushes against them and thus distributing the seed.

Propagation           
Stratification improves the germination rate. If possible sow the seed in the autumn, sow stored seed as early in the year as possible. It is best to sow the seed in situ in a woodland soil under trees If seed is in short supply it is probably wise to sow it in pots of woodland soil in a shady place in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. 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:  Leaves and young shoots – cooked. They contain saponins so should not be eaten in large quantities. A famine food, it is only used when all else fails.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used:  The whole herb, collected in June and dried. Gather the herb only on a fine day, in the morning, when the sun has dried off the dew.

Constituents:  As yet no analysis has been made of this plant, but evidence of tannin in its several parts is afforded by the effects produced by the plant.

In taste it is at first very bitter and astringent, afterwards acrid, and probably partakes of the poisonous acridity which is so frequent in the Umbelliferae. In the fresh leaves, the taste is very slight, but considerable in the dry leaves, and in the extract made from them.

Astringent, alterative. Sanicle is usually given in combination with other herbs in the treatment ofblood disorders, for which it is in high esteem.

As an internal remedy, it is of great benefit in all chest and lung complaints, chronic coughs and catarrhal affections, inflammation of the bronchii, spitting of blood, and all affections of the pulmonary organs.

As an alterative, it has a good reputation, and it is useful in leucorrhoea, dysentery, diarrhoea, etc.

It effectually cleanses the system of morbid secretions and leaves the blood healthier and in better condition. The infusion of 1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water is taken in wineglassful doses.

Sanicle is used as a gargle in sore throat, quinsy, and whenever an astringent gargle is required. Culpepper mentions the use of Sanicle for disease of the lungs and throat, and recommends the gargle being made from a decoction of the leaves and root in water, a little honey being added.

In scald-head of children and all cases of rashes, the decoction or infusion forms an admirable external remedy.

Sanicle is popularly employed in France and Germany as a remedy for profuse bleeding from the lungs, bowels, and other internal organs and for checking dysentery, the fresh juice being given in tablespoonful doses.

Known Hazards:  The leaves contain saponins. Although toxic, saponins are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm, they are also destroyed by thorough cooking. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/sanwoo14.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanicula_europaea
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Sanicula+europaea

Cicuta virosa

Botanical Name : Cicuta virosa
Family: Apiaceae
Genus:     Cicuta
Species: C. virosa
Kingdom: PlantaeScan Settings
Order:     Apiales

Synonym: Cowbane.

Common Name :Water Hemlock, Cowbane or Northern Water Hemlock

Habitat :  Cicuta virosa is native to northern and central Europe, northern Asia and northwestern North America.It grows in wet meadows, along streambanks and other wet and marshy areas.

Description:
Cicuta virosa is a perennial herbaceous plant which grows up to 1–2 m tall. The stems are smooth, branching, swollen at the base, purple-striped, and hollow except for partitions at the junction of the leaves and stem. In cross section the stems have one flat side and the other sides are rounded. The leaves are alternate, tripinnate, only coarsely toothed, unlike the ferny, lacy leaves found in many other members of the family Apiaceae. The flowers are small, white and clustered in umbrella shaped inflorescences typical of the family. The many flowered umbellets have unequal pedicels that range from 5 to 11 cm long during fruiting. An oily, yellow liquid oozes from cuts to the stems and roots. This liquid has a rank smell resembling that of parsnips or carrots. The plant may be mistaken for parsnip due to its clusters of white tuberous roots.

click & see the pictures

TheCicuta virosa or  Water Hemlock may be distinguished from the true Hemlock as follows: (i) The pinnae of the leaves are larger and lanceshaped; (ii) the umbel of the flowers is denser and more compact; (iii) the stem is not spotted like the true Hemlock; (iv) the odour of the plant resembles that of smallage or parsley.

Both plants are poisonous; but while the root of the Water Hemlock is acrid and powerfully poisonous in its fresh state, though it loses its virulent qualities when dried, that of the true Hemlock possesses little or no active power.

The Water Hemlock produces tetanic convulsions, and is fatal to cattle. In April, 1857, two farmer’s sons were found lying paralysed and speechless close to a ditch where they had been working. Assistance was soon rendered, but they shortly expired. A quantity of the Water Hemlock grew in the ditch, where they had been employed. A piece of the root was subsequently found with the marks of teeth in it, near to where the men lay, and another piece of the same root was discovered in the pocket of one of them.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used: Root

The root is analgesic, antispasmodic, emetic, galactofuge and sedative. The whole plant is highly toxic and is not used in herbal medicine. A homeopathic remedy has been made from this plant in the past. It was used in the treatment of epilepsy, meningitis and other ailments affecting the brain

Known Hazards: The plant contains cicutoxin, which disrupts the workings of the central nervous system. In humans, cicutoxin rapidly produces symptoms of nausea, emesis and abdominal pain, typically within 60 minutes of ingestion. Poisoning can lead to tremors and seizures. A single bite of the root (which has the highest concentration of cicutoxin) can be sufficient to cause death. In animals the toxic dose and the lethal dose are nearly the same. One gram of water hemlock per kilogram of weight will kill a sheep and 230 grams is sufficient to kill a horse. Due to the rapid onset of symptoms, treatment is usually unsuccessful.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/h/hemwat19.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cicuta+virosa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicuta_virosa

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