Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Valeriana dioica

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Botanical Name : Valeriana dioica
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Subfamily: Valerianoideae
Genus: Valeriana
Species: Valeriana dioica
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Class: Equisetopsida
Order: Dipsacales

Common Names: Marsh Valerian, Woods valerian

Habitat:Valeriana dioica is native to Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to N. Spain, N. Italy and central Russia. It grows on marshy meadows, fens and bogs.

Valeriana dioica is a perennial plant growing to 0.3 m (1ft). It is in flower from May to June. It produces tight clusters of pink five-petalled flowers, the petals joined at the base. Flowers are dioecious (male and female on separate plants, with male flowers typically 4.5mm across and female flowers about 3mm across.
Only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Insects.


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.


Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. A calcifuge plant, it requires a lime-free soil[200]. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed because it requires light for germination. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant out into their permanent positions in the summer if sufficient growth has been made. If the plants are too small to plant out, grow them on in the greenhouse or frame for their first winter and plant them out early in the following summer. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.

Medicinal Uses:
It is primarily used as a sedative, and several tribes used the root for nervous problems, hysteria, and cardiac palpitations. The leaves and the roots are the parts of the plant that are used to prepare teas and decoctions. Plants that have not yet flowered are preferred. It has a tranquilizing effect with few of the side effects found in many of the synthetic sedatives but as with all wild plants the concentration of the active ingredient is extremely variable. Large doses can cause vomiting, stupor and dizziness. The Blackfoot Indians used an infusion of American Valerian roots for stomach problems. The Thompson Indians of British Columbia found the plant useful as an external treatment for wounds. The dried roots were powdered and sprinkled onto the wound as an antiseptic; the fresh roots were pounded and applied to the injured area; and the fresh leaves were chewed and placed on the wound. The Bella Coola Indians used the oil from the flowers mixed with bear fat as a cure for baldness. The Cree Indians chewed the roots and rubbed them on their head and temples for headache. A poultice was also made and applied to the ears for earache.

Edible Uses:
Root – cooked. The odoriferous root is slowly baked for 2 days and then eaten as a vegetable, used in soups or made into a bread. Seed – parched.

Known Hazards: Some caution is advised with the use of this plant. At least one member of the genus is considered to be poisonous raw[161] and V. officinalis is a powerful nervine and sedative that can become habit-forming.

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

Phragmites australis

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Botanical Name :Phragmites australis
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Arundinoideae
Tribe: Arundineae
Genus: Phragmites
Species: P. australis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales

Common Name:Reed Grass, Common Reed

Habitat : Phragmites australis is  native to North America. The Eurasian genotype can be distinguished from the North American genotype by its shorter ligules of up to 0.9 millimetres (0.04 in) as opposed to over 1.0 millimetre (0.04 in), shorter glumes of under 3.2 millimetres (0.13 in) against over 3.2 millimetres (0.13 in) (although there is some overlap in this character), and in culm characteristics.

Phragmites australis, the Common reed, is a large perennial grass found in wetlands throughout temperate and tropical regions of the world. Phragmites australis is sometimes regarded as the sole species of the genus Phragmites, though some botanists divide Phragmites australis into three or four species. In particular the South Asian Khagra Reed – Phragmites karka – is often treated as a distinct species

*Phragmites australis subsp. americanus – Recently, the North American genotype has been described as a distinct subspecies, subsp. americanus,  and

*Phragmites australis subsp. australis – the Eurasian variety is referred to as subsp. australis.

Common reed, or Phragmites, is a tall, perennial grass that can grow to over 15 feet in height. In North America, both native phragmites (Phragmites australis ssp. americanus Saltonstall, P.M. Peterson & Soreng) and introduced subspecies are found. Introduced Phragmites forms dense stands which include both live stems and standing dead stems from previous year’s growth. Leaves are elongate and typically 1-1.5 inches wide at their widest point. Flowers form bushy panicles in late July and August and are usually purple or golden in color. As seeds mature, the panicles begin to look “fluffy” due to the hairs on the seeds and they take on a grey sheen. Below ground, Phragmites forms a dense network of roots and rhizomes which can go down several feet in depth. The plant spreads horizontally by sending out rhizome runners which can grow 10 or more feet in a single growing season if conditions are optimal.

You may click to see the pictures of  Phragmites australis

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is used in folk remedies for condylomata, indurated breast, mammary carcinomata, and leukemia. Reported to be alexeteric, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, refrigerant, sialogogue, stomachic, and sudorific, the common reed is a folk remedy for abscesses, arthritis, bronchitis, cancer, cholera, cough, diabetes, dropsy, dysuria, fever, flux, gout, hematuria, hemorrhage, hiccup, jaundice, leukemia, lung, nausea, rheumatism, sores, stomach, thirst, and typhoid.           The leaves are used in the treatment of bronchitis and cholera, the ash of the leaves is applied to foul sores. A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of cholera and food poisoning. The ashes are styptic. The root is taken internally in the treatment of diarrhea, fevers, vomiting, coughs with thick dark phlegm, lung abscesses, urinary tract infections and food poisoning (especially from sea foods). Externally, it is mixed with gypsum and used to treat halitosis and toothache. The root is harvested in the autumn and juiced or dried for use in decoctions.  The leaves and roots are renowned as a diuretic. Extracts of the rhizome have recently been found to be effective as ayahusca analogue and the dried extract (resin) has psychoactive properties when smoked.

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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