Herbs & Plants

Calypso bulbosa

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Botanical Name : Calypso bulbosa
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Calypsoeae
Genus: Calypso
Species: C. bulbosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms : C. borealis. Cytherea bulbosa.

Common Names: Calypso orchid, Fairy slipper orchid or Venus’s slipper orchid

Habitat : Calypso bulbosa is native to N. Europe, N. America – Alaska to California, east to New York. It grows in Soils rich with decaying leaves and wood, in moist pine or spruce woods and by cool shady streams from sea level to the mid-montane zone.

Calypso bulbosa is a parennial orchid plant. It grows to 10 to 14 cm in height.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in leaf 7-Oct and it is in flower from May to June. It’s little purple blooms can be a pleasant sporadic sight on hiking trails from late March onwards, though in the more northerly parts of their range they do not bloom until May and June. The plants live no more than five years.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by InsectsCLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:  Grows well in half shade in a light moist organic-rich soil. Requires a lime-free soil, doing best in full shade. The plant comes into growth in the autumn and, although fairly hardy, is best grown in a frame or unheated greenhouse. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid. Plants can be naturalized in the woodland or bog garden. Apply a good organic mulch in the winter. Plants do not always grow every year, the bulb can remain dormant in the soil for 2 years.

Propagation :
Seed – we have no information on this species but, like all members of the orchid family, the seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. Surface sow the seed, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. Division in autumn. Make sure that you keep plenty of soil with each plant. It is also said to be possible to transplant orchids after they have flowered but whilst they are still in leaf. Grow on for at least the first year before potting up and do not plant out until the plants are 2 – 4 years old. Division of the tubers as the flowers fade. This species produces a new tuber towards the end of its growing season. If this is removed from the plant as its flowers are fading, the shock to the plant can stimulate new tubers to be formed. The tuber should be treated as being dormant, whilst the remaining plant should be encouraged to continue in growth in order to give it time to produce new tubers. Division can also be carried out when the plant has a fully developed rosette of leaves but before it comes into flower. The entire new growth is removed from the old tuber from which it has arisen and is potted up, the cut being made towards the bottom of the stem but leaving one or two roots still attached to the old tuber. This can often be done without digging up the plant. The old tuber should develop one or two new growths, whilst the new rosette should continue in growth and flower normally.

Edible Uses: Bulb – raw or cooked. Rather small. The corms have a rich, butter-like quality. They were usually boiled by the North American Indians before being eaten, though young maidens would eat them raw as they were believed to increase the size of the bust.

Medicinal Uses : Antispasmodic……The bulbs have been chewed or the flowers sucked in the treatment of mild epilepsy.

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

Gnaphalium Arenarium

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Botanical Name: Gnaphalium Arenarium
Family: Compositae/Asteraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Genus: Helichrysum
Species: Helicrysum arenarium
Class : Dicotyledones

Synonym : Stoechados citricum (inflorescences Hel. Arenarium – are used in a scientific compounding).

Common Name: Everlasting Flower

Habitat: Gnaphalium Arenarium occurs in Mongolia, Russia; Europe & Japan.
It grows mainly on sandy soils, on dry wood glades, coppices, hills, on mezhah and deposits, sandy and stony slopes. It is extended everywhere.

Gnaphalium Arenarium is a perennial herb.It is a Long-term grassy plant in height 10 – 30 see the Stalk of this plant sherstisto-felt, as well as all plant, single (and if it is some of them the secondary do not fructify), grows from a rhizome – idle time, direct or ascending. The Rhizome woody, more often thick, 5-7(-15) mm in diam., or much thinner, only 1-4 mm in diam.

Leaves radical – prodolgovato-obratnojajtsevidnye, tupovatye, top – linearly-lantsetnye, sharp. Flowers citreous, sometimes orange, happen brick colour, are collected in spherical small baskets. Blossoms from June till October. A smell, plants, original.

Capitula (5-)10-30(-100) arranged in compact or slightly branching loose corymb, subspherical or widely obovate, (3-)4-6(-9) mm in diam., on peduncles of indefinite length; in young state corymbs capitate, usually surrounded by a few terminal leaves. Phyllaries ca. 50, slightly loosely arranged in (3 or)4-6(or 7) rows, often with declined tip at end of anthesis, bright lemon-yellow, more pallid yellow, pinkish, or orange; outer ones obovate or elliptic, abaxially densely villous, apex rounded; inner ones widely oblong-spatulate to sublinear.


Inflorescences-baskets, usually in first two weeks of flowering Gather. It is necessary to dry longer as touch of dryness is deceptive, and nedosushennye inflorescences if are still stored compressed, zaprevajut and spoil.

It is applied in the people as zhelchegonnoe, glistogonnoe, disinfecting bilious channels and mochetochniki, krovoostanavlivajushchee.

Requires a well-drained, sunny sheltered position. Often cultivated for its flowers which are extensively used as a decoration and in wreaths etc. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Seed – sow February/March in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 2 – 3 weeks at 20°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 late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts

Medicinal Uses:
Cholagogue; Diuretic; Homeopathy; Skin; Stomachic.

The fresh or dried flowers, or the entire flowering herb, are cholagogue, diuretic, skin and stomachic. An infusion is used in the treatment of gall bladder disorders and as a diuretic in treating rheumatism, cystitis etc. A homeopathic remedy is made from the flowering plant. It is used in the treatment of gall bladder disorders and lumbago.

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

Typhonium trilobatum (Bengali Name:Ghet kachu)

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Botanical Name :Typhonium trilobatum
Family:    Araceae (Arum family)
Tribe:    Areae
Genus:    Typhonium
Order:    Alismatales

Synonyms: Arum trilobatum, Arum orixense

Common names: Bengal Arum, Lobed Leaf Typhonium • Tamil: karunai-k-kilanku, pitikarunai, karunai, karu karunai kilanku • Bengali: Ghat kanchu, Kharkon, Ghet kachu or Gher Kochu. • Assamese: Chema kachu

Tribal Names: Kharbas, Sarakao (Chakma); Kalman (Garo).

Habitat :Typhonium trilobatum is an aroid distributed throughout India,Burma & Bangladesh

Typhonium trilobatum is a  tuberous herb, with subglobose tuber up to 4 cm diam. Petiole 25-30 cm long; lamina hastate-subtrisect, segments all acuminate, front segment ovate, 8-18 cm long, lateral ones obliquely ovate, shorter, subbilobed at base. Peduncle thin, 5-7 cm long; tube of spathe oblong, 2.5 cm long, lamina oblong-ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, 15 or more cm long, 5-7 cm broad, inside rose-purple. Spadix nearly 15 cm long. Female inflorescence short-cylindric, about 7 mm long; male inflorescence 1.25-1.5 cm long, rose-pink, situated above the female. Flowering: August.
The plant has very narrow 3 ft flower heads emerging before leaves in spring, then unfurl into only kind of narrow, with intricate maroon and cream patterning. When the leaves do appear, they’re large and compound, similar to Cobra Lily, on a stalk that is light green and black-patterned. It emits a distinctive odour for a few hours when it first blooms, like most arums.

Edible Uses: Tubers are eaten in some tribal societies and the plant also has various medicinal uses.

Chemical Constituents:
Tubers and roots contain a volatile acrid principle, ?-sitosterol, two unidentified sterols and an unidentified crystalline compound (Ghani, 2003).

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is hypnotic. Fresh corms are very acrid and a powerful stimulant; employed as a poultice in tumours. The corms are reported to relax the bowels and provide relief in haemorrhoids and piles. They are eaten with bananas to cure the stomach complaints. The Garo of Madhupur applies root paste locally on ulcer of cattle.

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

Arum maculatum

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Botanical Name : Arum maculatum
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe:     Areae
Genus:     Arum
Species: A. maculatum
Kingdom:     Plantae
Order:     Alismatales

Synonyms: Lords and Ladies. Arum. Starchwort. Adder’s Root. Bobbins. Friar’s Cowl. Kings and Queens. Parson and Clerk. Ramp. Quaker. Wake Robin.

Common Names : snakeshead, adder’s root, arum, wild arum, arum lily, lords and ladies, devils and angels, cows and bulls, cuckoo-pint, Adam and Eve, bobbins, naked boys, starch-root, wake robin, friar’s cowl and jack in the pulpit. The name “lords and ladies” and other gender related names refer to the plant’s likeness to male ? and female ? genitalia symbolising copulation.

Arum maculatum is also known as Cuckoo Pint or Cuckoo-pint in the British Isles and is named thus in Nicholas Culpepers’ famous 16th Century herbal. This is a name it shares with Arum italicum (Italian Lords-and-Ladies) – the other native British Arum. “Pint” is a shortening of the word “pintle”, meaning penis, derived from the shape of the spadix. The euphemistic shortening has been traced to Turner in 1551.

Habitat :Arum maculatum is widespread across most of Europe, south and east of Sweden, including Britain, south to N. Africa.It grows in hedges, woodlands, copses etc, especially on base-rich substrata

The Arum family, Aroidae, which numbers nearly 1,000 members, mostly tropical, and many of them marsh or water plants, is represented in this country by a sole species, Arum maculatum (Linn.), familiarly known as Lords and Ladies, or Cuckoo-pint.


Arum maculatum is a perennial plant growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). and is not frost tender. It is in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Flies.

The purple spotted leaves of Arum maculatum appear in the spring (April–May) followed by the flowers borne on a poker shaped inflorescence called a spadix. The purple spadix is partially enclosed in a pale green spathe or leaf-like hood. The flowers are hidden from sight, clustered at the base of the spadix with a ring of female flowers at the bottom and a ring of male flowers above them.

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Above the male flowers is a ring of hairs forming an insect trap. Insects, especially owl-midges Psychoda phalaenoides, are attracted to the spadix by its faecal odour and a temperature up to 15 degrees celsius warmer than the ambient temperature. The insects are trapped beneath the ring of hairs and are dusted with pollen by the male flowers before escaping and carrying the pollen to the spadices of other plants, where they pollinate the female flowers. The spadix may also  be yellow, but purple is the more common.

All parts of the plant can produce allergic reactions in many people and the plant should be handled with care. Many small rodents appear to find the spadix particularly attractive and it is common to find examples of the plant with much of the spadix eaten away. The spadix produces heat and probably scent as the flowers mature and it may be this that attracts the rodents.

Prefers a humus rich soil and abundant water in the growing season. Prefers a shady damp calcareous soil. Succeeds in sun or shade. Plants are very shade tolerant  and grow well in woodland conditions. The inflorescence has the remarkable ability to heat itself above the ambient air temperature to such a degree that it is quite noticeable to the touch. Temperature rises of 11°c have been recorded. At the same time, the flowers emit a foul and urinous smell in order to attract midges for pollination. The smell disappears once the flower has been pollinated. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Seed – best sown in a greenhouse or cold frame as soon as it is ripe. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 6 months at 15°c. Stored seed should be sown in the spring in a greenhouse and can be slow to germinate, sometimes taking a year or more. A period of cold stratification might help to speed up the process. Sow the seed thinly, and allow the seedlings to grow on without disturbance for their first year, giving occasional liquid feeds to ensure that they do not become mineral deficient. When the plants are dormant in the autumn, divide up the small corms, planting 2 – 3 in each pot, and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for a further year, planting out when dormant in the autumn. Division of the corms in summer after flowering. Larger corms can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up the smaller corms and grow them on for a year in a cold frame before planting them out.

Edible Uses:
Tuber is cooked and used as a vegetable. A mild flavour, the root contains about 25% starch. A farina can be extracted from the root. Roots can be harvested at any time of the year, though they are best when the plant is dormant. At one time, the tubers of this plant were commonly harvested and used for food, but they are very rarely used nowadays. The root must be thoroughly dried or cooked before being eaten. (see the Known Hazards below) . Leaves – must be well cooked. Available from late winter. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: Root.

Antirheumatic; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Expectorant; Homeopathy; Purgative; Vermifuge.

Arum maculatum  has been little used in herbal medicine and is generally not recommended for internal use. The shape of the flowering spadix has a distinct sexual symbolism and the plant did have a reputation as an aphrodisiac, though there is no evidence to support this. The root is diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, strongly purgative and vermifuge. It should be harvested in the autumn or before the leaves are produced in the spring. It can be stored fresh in a cellar in sand for up to a year or can be dried for later use. The plant should be used with caution. The bruised fresh plant has been applied externally in the treatment of rheumatic pain. A liquid from the boiled bark of the stem has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea. A homeopathic remedy is prepared from the root and leaves. It has been used in the treatment of sore throats.

Other Uses:
Arum maculatum is cultivated as an ornamental plant in traditional and woodland shade gardens. The cluster of bright red berries standing alone without foliage can be a striking landscape accent. The mottled and variegated leaf patterns can add bright interest in darker habitats.

Starch from the root has been used as a laundry starch for stiffening clothes. Its use is said to be very harsh on the skin, producing sores and blisters on the hands of the laundresses who have to use it, though another report says that the powdered root makes a good and innocent cosmetic that can be used to remove freckles.

Known Hazards: In autumn the lower ring of (female) flowers forms a cluster of bright red berries which remain after the spathe and other leaves have withered away. These attractive red to orange berries are extremely poisonous. The berries contain oxalates of saponins which have needle-shaped crystals which irritate the skin, mouth, tongue, and throat, and result in swelling of throat, difficulty breathing, burning pain, and upset stomach. However, their acrid taste coupled with the almost immediate tingling sensation in the mouth when consumed mean that large amounts are rarely taken and serious harm is unusual. It is one of the most common causes of accidental plant poisoning based on attendance at hospital A & E departments.

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


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Herbs & Plants

Monstera deliciosa

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Botanical Nume: Monstera deliciosa
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Monsteroideae
Tribe: Monstereae
Genus: Monstera
Species: M. deliciosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales

Common Names : Ceriman, Swiss Cheese Plant (or just Cheese Plant), Fruit Salad Plant, Monster fruit, Monsterio Delicio, Monstereo, Mexican Breadfruit,


Habitat : Monstera deliciosa is a creeping vine native to tropical rainforests of southern Mexico south to Panama.

Monstera, split-leaf philodendron, Locust and Wild Honey, Windowleaf and Delicious Monster.It is epiphytic vine  A jungle climbing relative of the philodendron from Mexico and Guatemala. It is seen in gardens in tropical and subtropical areas, growing well in partial sun or shade. The plant begins bearing after three years. Popular as a houseplant, it seldom fruits in the home. The large pinnate leaves are perforated with oblong or oval holes, hence one common name. The 9″, dull, deep green, cone-like fruit is actually an unripened flower spike, covered with hexagonal scales that dry out and separate as the fruit ripens from the base upwards, revealing the white pulp. It takes a little longer than a year to mature to an edible  stage. Unripe fruit, if eaten causes irritation to the mouth and throat because of the oxalic acid. It can be induced to ripen by picking when the base has  started to wrinkle and wrapping in a bag for a few days. When unwrapped, the scales should have separated.
Another interesting characteristic of this plant is that the seedlings, upon germination, will grow in the direction of the darkest area (not just merely  away from light) until they encounter the base of a tree to grow on. They will then begin to climb toward the light which is generally up into the canopy of  the tree upon which it is growing.

This member of the Arum family is an epiphyte with aerial roots, able to grow up to 20 m high with large, leathery, glossy, heart-shaped leaves 25–90 cm long by 25–75 cm broad. Young plants have leaves that are smaller and entire with no lobes or holes, but soon produce lobed and holed leaves. Wild seedlings grow towards the darkest area they can find until they find a tree trunk, then start to grow up towards the light, creeping up the tree.

The fruit is up to 25 cm long and 3–4 cm diameter, looking like a green ear of maize covered with hexagonal scales.Fruits of plants of the Araceae (Arum family) often contain Raphides and Trichosclereids – needle like structures of calcium oxalate.

The fruit may be ripened by cutting it when the first scales begin to lift up and it begins to exude a pungent odor. It is wrapped in a paper bag and set aside until the scales begin popping off. The scales are then brushed off or fall away to reveal the edible flesh underneath. The flesh, which is similar to pineapple in texture, can be cut away from the core and eaten. It has a fruity taste similar to jackfruit and pineapple.

The plant is commonly grown for interior decoration in public buildings and as a houseplant. It grows best between the temperatures of 20 °C and 30 °C and requires high humidity and shade. Growth ceases below 10 °C and it is killed by frost. In the coastal zones of Sicily, especially in the Palermo area, where it is called “Zampa di leone” (“Lion’s paw”), it is often cultivated outdoors. In ideal conditions it flowers about three years after it is planted.

Flowering is rare when grown indoors. The plant can be transplanted by taking cuttings of a mature plant or by air layering.


Propagation:Propagated by cuttings of mature wood or air layering.

Edible Uses:
The spadix is develops over a year’s time into a fruit shaped like a miniature ear of corn; yellow scales drop off when ripe. It has a pulp that tastes pleasantly sweet with a pineapple-banana fragrance. Monstera deliciosa is most often used fresh.

Chemical Constituents: You may click to see

Medicinal Uses:

In Mexico, a leaf or root infusion is drunk daily to relieve arthritis.

In Martinique the root is used to make a remedy for snakebite.

Other Uses:
The aerial roots have been used as ropes in Peru, and to make baskets in Mexico.

Windowleaf may be grown as a garden plant in tropical climates or as a house plant. House plants require indirect light and moist, well-draining soil. Fertilize during the growing season, and wipe leaves down with a damp sponge. Use rainwater or demineralized water, and reduce watering during the winter.

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.