Categories
Herbs & Plants

Agrimonia parviflora

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Botanical Name: Agrimonia parviflora
Family:    Rosaceae
Genus:    Agrimonia
Species:    A. parviflora
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Rosales

Common Name: Harvestlice

Other Names: Burr Marigold, Church Steeples, Cockleburr, Sticklewort,Philanthropos,
Flowers: July – September
Parts Used: Aerial parts

Habitat:Agrimonia parviflora is native to  Eastern N. America – Connecticut and New York to Florida, west to Texas and Nebraska. It grows
on damp thickets and the edges of low woods, growing in clumps. Moist or dry soils.  

Description: Agrimonia parviflora  is a perennial that grows from 3 to 6 feet. The stems are hairy. The leaves are divided; the main stem leaves with 11 to 19 unequal leaflets. The leaflets are smooth above and hairy below; strongly serrated, and 1 to 3 inches long. The flowers, about 3/8 inch across, have five conspicuous and spreading petals, which are egg-shaped in form and somewhat narrow in proportion to their length, slightly notched at the end and of a bright yellow color. The stamens are five to twelve in number. The flowers face boldly outwards and upwards towards the light, but after they have withered, the calyx points downwards. It becomes rather woody, thickly covered at the end with a mass of small bristly hairs, that spread and develop into a burr-like form, which are the seed pods. These seed pods cling by the hooked ends of their stiff hairs to any person or animal coming into contact with the plant, thus the names ‘Cockleburr’ and ‘Sticklewort’. (This is not the generally known troublesome cockleburr, which is known as “Burdock”.)

click to see the pictures….>…..(01)....(1)….(2).……..(3).

Agrimonies have one to two foot branchy stems covered with a fine, silky down and terminate in spikes of yellow flowers. Both the flowers and the notched leaves give off a faint characteristic lemony scent when crushed. After the flowers fade they give place to tiny clinging “burrs” which will quickly adhere to your clothing if you brush by an it plant in a hedgerow.

Related species: (Agrimonia eupatoria) (European alien) is used similarly; in France it is drunk as much for its flavor as for its medicinal virtues. Tea of the European species is believed to be helpful in diarrhea, blood disorders, fevers, gout, hepatitis, pimples, sore throats, and even worms. In studies with mice, the European species Agrimonia pilosa has shown anti-tumor activity.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils, preferring a calcareous soil. Prefers a sunny position. Plants self-sow when growing in a suitable position.

Propagation:
Seed – can be sown in spring or autumn, either in pots in a cold frame or in situ. It usually germinates in 2 – 6 weeks at 13°c, though germination rates can be low, especially if the seed has been stored. A period of cold stratification helps but is not essential. When grown in pots, prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division in autumn[200]. Very easy, the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions.

Harvesting Information
Agrimony is usually common enough to harvest freely in the wild, as long as you take only a small portion from any given area. Tie in small bundles and hang in a dark, dry place for a few days to a week depending on temperature. Or place small amounts in large paper bags. Dry herbs in well ventilated areas away from smoke, pets, and rodents. Harvest Agrimony seeds in late summer or early fall, and plant right away or store in freezer.

Constituents:Tannins, bitter principle, essential oil, silica.

Medicinal Properties:
Properties:
Mild Astringent, Tonic, Diuretic, Deobstruent.
Main Uses: To stop bleeding. Agrimony is tonic to the digestive system, the gentle astringency of its tannins toning the mucous membranes, improving their secretion and absorption. Agrimony is a useful remedy for healing peptic ulcers and controlling colitis. The bitter principles in the plant regulate the function of the liver and gallbladder. It has been used to treat gallstones and cirrhosis of the liver. It has also been used to lower high uric acid levels in rheumatism and gout and it is said to have diuretic properties.

Agrimony is a major herb for stopping bleeding and it is used to treat profuse menstruation. Research indicates that Agrimony can increase coagulation of the blood by up to 50%. It is used internally for blood in the urine and externally for wounds and cuts. It is also used for inflamed gums and sore throat (mouthwash and gargle).

 Medical Uses: Agrimony contains essential oil, bitters and vitamins but it is large amounts of tannins that are responsible for most of it’s medicinal properties. Being astringent it has been used to stop bleeding. It has been prescribed by herbalist in the US and Europe for gastric problems including gas and diarrhea. Also for urinary disorders. There are historical accounts of it being used in the 1800s by doctors in the US to successfully treat incontinence.(Erichsen-Brown) The plant has been applied to skin irritations and cuts and used in baths.

In addition to it’s medical uses many people enjoy a tea from the leaves and stems for the flavor and the European species has been used to make a yellow dye.

Agrimony is not commonly used today, but has its place in traditional herbal medicine. This herb is safe for use for minor ailments in most healthy people. Like most herb simples, the uses to which it is put are remarkably varied. The English use it to make a delicious “spring” or “diet” drink for purifying the blood. It is considered especially useful as a tonic for aiding recovery from winter colds, fevers, and diarrhea.  Agrimony contains tannin and a volatile essential oil.

As Agrimony also possesses  an astringent action, it is frequently used in alternative medicine as an herbal mouthwash and gargle ingredient, and is applied externally in the form of a lotion to minor sores and ulcers. Agrimony has also been recommended, as a strong decoction, to cure sores, blemishes, and pimples.

Agrimony is called XIAN HE CAO in Chinese herbal medicine and is used to stop bleeding.
– Dr. Michael Tierrra L.Ac., O.M.D., The Way of Chinese Herbs

Caution: This is an astringent herb, do not use if constipated. Do not use internally during pregnancy without discussing with your obstetrician.
History and Folklore
Witches used it in spells to dispel negative energies, and to ward off hexes.  Agrimony was said to cause a deep sleep. When placed beneath a mans head this sleep would last until it was removed. This passage is from an old English medical manuscript:

If it be leyd under mann’s heed,
He shal sleepyn as he were deed;
He shal never drede ne wakyn
Till fro under his heed it be takyn.’

Author Jessica Houdret says The Anglo Saxons included Agrimony in charms and dubious preparations of blood and pounded frogs.

Herbal Tea Recipe
Agrimony Herb Tea: Infuse 1 teaspoon dried Agrimony root, leaves, or flowers in 1 cup of boiling water for 15 minutes. Strain and flavor with honey and a little licorice root if desired. Take up to 1 cup per day. Said to be a good blood purifier.

Bach Flower Remedies : Agrimony
Homeopathic Remedy for:  “The jovial, cheerful, humorous people who love peace and are distressed by argument or quarrel, to avoid which they will agree to give up much. Though generally they have troubles and are tormented and restless and worried in mind or in body, they hide their cares behind their humour and jesting and are considered very good friends to know. They often take alcohol or drugs in excess, to stimulate themselves and help themselves bear their trials with cheerfulness.”

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://2bnthewild.com/plants/H70.htm

http://www.indianspringherbs.com/agrimony.

htmhttp://accipiter.hawk-conservancy.org/images/200710/Agrimony.jpg

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Agrimonia+parviflora

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Categories
Positive thinking

The Art Of Focus

Energy Protection :
Many of us are sensitive to energy, so we make our homes a sanctuary and only leave when we have fully prepared ourselves. We may use gemstones, essential oil, or talismans, or perhaps we call on our angels or surround ourselves in a bubble of light. But we should be conscious of what we are seeking to accomplish. It is important to remember that if we want to shield ourselves, we might inadvertently keep out the good that is coming our way. All of our tools can be helpful if we use them wisely and keep ourselves engaged in all the world has to offer.

If we instead seek to filter distractions, than we can be like prospectors panning for gold. We learn to filter when we are children as we learn about the world around us. At first every leaf on the ground is a reason to stop and investigate. But as we learn where to focus our attention, the rest becomes background. We don’t cut ourselves off from the world, we merely shift our focus.

As humans, we don’t always know what is good for us. Sometimes what appears to be a negative situation contains a gem of wisdom that leads to our highest growth. Rather than focusing our thoughts on what we want to keep out of our experience, we may want to turn the light of our attention to the good we’d like to create while leaving room for something better. By doing this, we allow space for the wisdom of the universe to work its magic on our behalf. If we trust the universe, we know that good is present even if it doesn’t look good on the surface. When we shift our focus this way, we actually attract those things into our lives, and the rest falls away without the effort of filtering. By practicing the art of focus, we invest our attention and energy into making our lives a positive experience.

Source:Daily Om

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Eucalyptus

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Botanical Name:Eucalyptus globulus
Family: Myrtaceae
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Myrtales
Genus:
Eucalyptus
Species:
E. globulus

Common Name:Blue Gum

SynonymsBlue Gum Tree. Stringy Bark Tree.
Part Used—The oil of the leaves.
Habitat—–Australia. Now North and South Africa, India, and Southern Europe.The bark shreds often, peeling in large strips. The broad juvenile leaves are borne in opposite pairs on square stems. They are about 6 to 15 cm long and covered with a blue-grey, waxy bloom, which is the origin of the common name “blue gum”. The mature leaves are narrow, sickle-shaped and dark shining green. They are arranged alternately on rounded stems and range from 15 to 35 cm in length. The buds are top-shaped, ribbed and warty and have a flattened operculum (cap on the flower bud) bearing a central knob. The cream-colored flowers are borne singly in the leaf axils and produce copious nectar that yields a strongly flavored honey. The fruits are woody and range from 1.5 to 2.5 cm in diameter. Numerous small seeds are shed through valves (numbering between 3 and 6 per fruit) which open on the top of the fruit. It produces roots throughout the soil profile, rooting several feet deep in some soils. They do not form taproots.

The Tasmanian Blue Gum was proclaimed as the floral emblem of Tasmania on 27 November 1962. The species name is from the Latin globulus, a little button, referring to the shape of the operculum.
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Eucalyptus

Description:
The Tasmanian Blue Gum, Southern Blue Gum or Blue Gum, is an evergreen tree, one of the most widely cultivated trees native to Australia. They typically grow from 30 to 55 m (98 to 180 ft) tall. The tallest currently known specimen in Tasmania is 90.7 m tall. There are historical claims of even taller trees, the tallest being 101 m (330 ft). The natural distribution of the species includes Tasmania and southern Victoria. There are also isolated occurrences on King Island and Flinders Island in Bass Strait and on the summit of the You Yangs

The leaves are leathery in texture, hang obliquely or vertically, and are studded with glands containing a fragrant volatile oil. The flowers in bud are covered with a cup-like membrane (whence the name of the genus, derived from the Greek eucalyptos well-covered), which is thrown off as a lid when the flower expands. The fruit is surrounded by a woody, cupshaped receptacle and contains numerous minute seeds.
Eucalyptus trees are quick growers and many species reach a great height. Eucalyptus amygdalin (Labille ) is the tallest known tree, specimens attaining as much as 480 feet, exceeding in height even the Californian Big Tree (Sequoia gigantea). Many species yield valuable timber, others oils, kino, etc.

There are a great number of species of Eucalyptus trees yielding essential oils, the foliage of some being more odorous than that of others, and the oils from the various species differing widely in character. It necessarily follows that the term Eucalyptus oil is meaningless from a scientific point of view unless the species from which it is derived is stated.

The oils may be roughly divided into three classes of commercial importance: (1) the medicinal oils, which contain substantial amounts of eucalyptol (also known as cineol); (2) the industrial oils, containing terpenes, which are used for flotation purposes in mining operations; (3) the aromatic oils, such as E. citriodora, which are characterized by their aroma.

Related species:
Many botanists treat The Tasmanian Blue Gum as a subspecies of a broader species concept. This broader E. globulus includes the following subspecies:

*E. globulus subsp. bicostata = E. bicostata – Southern Blue Gum, Eurabbie, Victorian Blue Gum

*E. globulus subsp. globulus = E. globulus – Tasmanian Blue Gum

*E. globulus subsp. maidenii= E. maidenii – Maiden’s Gum

*E. globulus subsp. pseudoglobulus = E. pseudoglobulus – Gippsland Blue Gum, Victorian Eurabbie

The broader E. globulus concept is supported by Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne and the Tasmanian Herbarium , but not by Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney where the four taxa are considered distinct species.

Constituents-–The essential Oil of Eucalyptus used in medicine is obtained by aqueous distillation of the fresh leaves. It is a colourless or straw-coloured fluid when properly prepared, with a characteristic odour and taste, soluble in its own weight of alcohol. The most important constituent is Eucalyptol, present in E. globulus up to 70 per cent of its volume. It consists chiefly of a terpene and a cymene. Eucalyptus Oil contains also, after exposure to the air, a crystallizable resin, derived from Eucalyptol.

Other Uses:
Timber and Fuelwood
Blue gum is renown as a fast growing timber tree. It comprises 65% of all plantation hardwood in Australia with approximately 4,500 km² planted. The tree is widely cultivated elsewhere in the world. It is primarily planted as a pulpwood, and also as an important fuelwood in many countries. It has poor lumber qualities due to growth stress problems, but can be used in construction, fence posts and poles.
Essential Oil
The leaves are steam distilled to extract eucalyptus oil. E.globulus is the primary source of global eucalyptus oil production, with China being the largest commercial producer. The oil has therapeutic, perfumery, flavoring, antimicrobial and biopesticide properties. Oil yield ranges from 1.0-2.4% (fresh weight), with cineole being the major isolate. E.globulus oil has established itself internationally because it is virtually phellandrene free, a necessary characteristic for internal pharmaceutical use. In 1870, Cloez, identified and ascribed the name “eucalyptol” – now more often called cineole – to the dominant portion of E. globulus oil.
Herb Tea
Blue gum leaves are used as a therapeutic herbal tea.
Honey

Blue gum flowers are considered a good source of nectar and pollen for bees.
Environmental Weed:
It was introduced to California in the mid 1800s and is prominent in many parks in San Francisco and throughout the state, where it is currently considered to be an invasive species due to its ability to quickly spread and displace native plant communities.
Medicinal Uses:

Stimulant, antiseptic, aromatic.

The medicinal Eucalyptus Oil is probably the most powerful antiseptic of its class, especially when it is old, as ozone is formed in it on exposure to the air. It has decided disinfectant action, destroying the lower forms of life. Internally, it has the typical actions of a volatile oil in a marked degree.

*Best solution for blocked nose & sore throat.
*Excellent deodorant.
*Effective for acne and boils
*Acne & boils: Mix eucalyptus oil with mustard oil and apply on the affected zone


Eucalyptus Oil is used as a stimulant and antiseptic gargle. Locally applied, it impairs sensibility. It increases cardiac action.

Its antiseptic properties confer some antimalarial action, though it cannot take the place of Cinchona.

An emulsion made by shaking up equal parts of the oil and powdered gum-arabic with water has been used as a urethral injection, and has also been given internally in drachm doses in pulmonary tuberculosis and other microbic diseases of the lungs and bronchitis.

In croup and spasmodic throat troubles, the oil may be freely applied externally.

The oil is an ingredient of ‘catheder oil,’ used for sterilizing and lubricating urethral catheters.

In large doses, it acts as an irritant to the kidneys, by which it is largely excreted, and as a marked nervous depressant ultimately arresting respiration by its action on the medullary centre.

For some years Eucalyptus-chloroform was employed as one of the remedies in the tropics for hookworm, but it has now been almost universally abandoned as an inefficient anthelmintic, Chenopodium Oil having become the recognized remedy.

In veterinary practice, Eucalyptus Oil is administered to horses in influenza, to dogs in distemper, to all animals in septicaemia. It is also used for parasitic skin affections.
EUCALYPTUS GUM or KINO
E. nostrata and some other species ofEucalyptus yield Eucalyptus or Red Gum, a ruby-coloured exudation from the bark (to be distinguished from Botany Bay Kino).

Red Gum is a very powerful astringent and is given internally in doses of 2 to 5 grains in cases of diarrhoea and pharyngeal inflammations. It is prepared in the form of tinctures, syrups, lozenges, etc.

Red Gum is official in Great Britain, being imported from Australia, though the Kino generally employed here as the official drug is derived from Pterocarpus Marsupium, a member of the order Leguminosae, East Indian, or Malabar Kino, and is administered in doses of 5 to 20 grains powdered, or 1/2 to 1 drachm of the tincture.

In veterinary practice, Red Gum is occasionally prescribed for diarrhoea in dogs and is used for superficial wounds.

E. globulus, E. resinifera and other species yield what is known as Botany Bay Kino, an astringent, dark-reddish, amorphous resin, which is obtained in a semi-fluid state by making incisions in the trunk of the tree and is used for similar purposes.

EUCALYPTUS OINTMENTS
— A good ointment for the skin, containing antiseptic and healing properties. It produces very satisfactory results in scurf, chapped hands, chafes, dandruff, tender feet, enlargements of the glands, spots on the chest, arms, back and legs, pains in the joints and muscles.

Apply a piece of clean cotton or lint to wounds after all dirt is washed away. For aches and pains rub the part affected well and then cover with lint. Repeat two or three times, taking a blood-purifying mixture at the same time.
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:
botanical.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucalyptus_globulus

 

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Categories
Therapetic treatment

Aromatherapy

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Aromatherapy is the ancient science of healing, relaxing and energizing by the use of plants and their parts. The roots, barks, flowers, fruits, seeds and nuts play a crucial part in this science. It is one of the more popular branches of alternative medicines. The word aromatherapy is derived from two words aroma which means smell and therapy which stands for healing.

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Little to no significant scientific research has proven any combination of cause/effect solutions from aromatherapy aside from relaxation and clarity of mind, all considered similar to that of a nap or pause in conscious thought. Aromatherapy is also associated with astrological pseudoscience, and bases its medicinal beliefs on the alignment of stars, among many other aspects, to prescribe certain olfactory therapies. In truth, any odour can be considered a therapy by aroma, or aromatherapy.So in my openion, this type of Therapy should always be applied alongwith the modern scientific medication for curing a desies. This might speed up healing effect.
Some of the materials employed include:

Essential oils: Fragrant oils extracted from plants chiefly through distillation (e.g. eucalyptus oil) or expression (grapefruit oil). However, the term is also occasionally used to describe fragrant oils extracted from plant material by any solvent extraction.
Absolutes: Fragrant oils extracted primarily from flowers or delicate plant tissues through solvent or supercritical fluid extraction (e.g. rose absolute). The term is also used to describe oils extracted from fragrant butters, concretes, and enfleurage pommades using ethanol.
Phytoncides: Various volatile organic compounds from plants that kill microbes. Many terpene-based fragrant oils and sulfuric compounds from plants in the genus “Allium” are Phytoncides, though the latter are likely less commonly used in aromatherapy due to their disagreeable smells.
Hydrosols: The aqueous by-products of the distillation process (e.g. rosewater). Hydrosol used are limited to plants such as rose and chamomile since most hydrosols have unpleasant smells.
Infusions: Aqueous extracts of various plant material (e.g. infusion of chamomile)
Carrier oils: Typically oily plant base triacylglycerides that are used to dilute essential oils for use on the skin (e.g. sweet almond oil)

The basis of aromatherapy is the Essential oil Oils extracted from different plants and their barks and flowers.. These oils are the extracts of plants and their parts and form their life force. These oils are extracted by the means of steam distillation, cold expression, or fixed oil or alcohol extraction. They are highly concentrated and should not be used directly. These oils can be blended together and this blend is called synergy. The synergy is more potent than the individual oils combined. To reduce the potency of these oils, you can dilute them by mixing them with carrier oils.

These oils affect your mood. They enter through our olfactory system and affect the nervous system, thus improving mood and relaxing or energizing us. This helps is alleviating stress and speeding up healing. Most of these oils also have cosmetic properties and can be used in skincare and hair care products. Many of these oils have known anti-viral, antifungal and antiseptic properties. They are also used in household products for cleaning and antiseptic uses. These oils can be inhaled, massaged onto your body, added to the bath or shower or sprayed in the room.

When aromatherapy is used for the treatment or prevention of disease, a precise knowledge of the bioactivity and synergy of the essential oils used, knowledge of the dosage and duration of application, as well as, naturally, a medical diagnosis, are required.

In the Anglo-Saxon world, among alternative practitioners such as herbalists or naturopaths, aromatherapy is regarded as a complementary modality by some and a pseudoscientific belief by most others.

On the continent, especially in France, where it originated, aromatherapy is incorporated into mainstream medicine. There, the use of the anti-septic properties of oils in the control of infections is emphasized over the more “touchy feely” approaches familiar to English speakers. In France some essential oils are regulated as prescription drugs, and thus administered by a physician. In many countries they are included in the national pharmacopeia, but up to the present moment aromatherapy as science has never been recognized as a valid branch of medicine in the United States, Russia, Germany, or Japan.

Essential oils, phytoncides and other natural VOCs work in different ways. At the scent level they activate the limbic system and emotional centers of the brain. When applied to the skin (commonly in form of “massage oils” i.e. 1-10% solutions of EO in carrier oil) they activate thermal receptors, and kill microbes and fungi. Internal application of essential oil preparations (mainly in pharmacological drugs; generally not recommended for home use apart from dilution – 1-5% in fats or mineral oils, or hydrosoles) may stimulate the immune system.

CLICK TO READ MORE ABOUT  AROMATHERAPY
(Help taken from:……http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aromatherapy and http://www.aromatherapies.net/)