Herbs & Plants

Aconitum Violaceum

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Botanical Name : Aconitum violaceum
Family : Ranunculaceae
Genus  : Aconitum
Tibetan  Common Name:: bdud rtsi lo ma, bong nga nag po (Amrita leaves, black aconite)

Habitat : E. Asia – Himalayas.   Shrubberies and open slopes, 3600 – 4800 metres from Pakistan to C. Nepal

It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from August to October. The flowers are pollinated by Bees.

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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by the native range of the plant it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. It is a polymorphic species. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade. Prefers a calcareous soil. Grows well in open woodlands. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes.

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Roo

Root – cooked. It is eaten as a pleasant tonic. These reports should be treated with great distrust due to the poisonous nature of the genus.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses:

Antidote; Antiinflammatory; Febrifuge.

The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency. Antidote, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge, it is used in the treatment of snake and scorpion bites, contagious infections and inflammation of the intestines.

BONG NAG: Vermicide (tapeworms); infectious fevers; relieving pains of arthritis and rheuma. Ashes used to increase body heat. DUDSI LOMA: white, long root, slightly milky: Rheuma, artritis -pains, skin disease, gall disease ass. with nagas. Tonsilitis.

Used part:
in sommer whole plant is used. In autumn, when the flow of the sap is reversed, especially the roots are used.
Various species of Aconitum are being used in Tibetan Medicine. The one here is very poisonous and only very small doses are being employed. Pills with Aconite are usually much smaller than regular Tibetan pills. Usually they are not being crushed with the teeth but on swallows them as such. Compare it with the use in Homoeopathy!

Another species, Aconitum heterophyllum, apparently is only very little poisonous. Some people claim that its roots are even being eaten in times of scarcity. It’s used in indigestion medicines a lot.

Aconitum heterophyllum is specially regarded  as a very endangered species since it is also popular in Ayurveda and is being collected in big quantities. Mainly the roots of Aconium spp. are being used. Thus collectors have to dig up the whole plants and in many cases destroyed entire populations in certain areas.

Known Hazards : The whole plant is highly toxic – simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people. Another report suggests that the root of this species might not be toxic.

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.


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Herbs & Plants

Bear’s Breeches(Acanthus mollis – L.)

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Botanical Name:Acanthus mollis – L.
Family : Acanthaceae
Synonyms: Acanthus latifolius – Hort. ex Goeze.
Common Name :Bear’s Breeches,
Genus: Acanthus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Acanthaceae
Species: A. mollis

Habitat : South-western Europe – Portugal to the Balkans. Naturalized in Britain in W. Cornwall.  Woodland scrub and stony hillsides.Woodland Garden; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Ground Cover; Meadow;

It is a herbaceous perennial plant .It grows to 2 m tall, with basal clusters of deeply lobed and cut, shining dark green leaves up to 1 m long and 20 cm broad. The flowers are tubular, whitish, lilac or rose with spiny green or purplish bracts, and produced on stout spikes which grow up to 2.5 m (8 ft) above the leaves. It flowers in late spring or early summer. It grows in dry areas, and is tolerant of drought and shade. The plants are propagated from tubers and tend to form large, localized clumps which can survive for several decades. The leaves of this plant are generally considered by historians[who?] to have been the design inspiration for the Corinthian column capitals of Roman architecture.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES….>…....(01)…..…(1).
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from June to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.

Cultivation :
Prefers a deep loamy soil in a sheltered position in full sun but tolerates partial shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils if they are well-drained but dislikes heavy damp soils and will not overwinter in wet soils. Established plants are fairly drought tolerant. Hardy to about -15°c, though young plants may require protection in the winter and even older ones may need protection in cold winters. A very ornamental plant. The leaves can wilt on hot summer days when plants are grown in full sun. Plants can become invasive, spreading by suckers, and they are difficult to eradicate due to their deep roots. Does well in the lawn or wild garden. Plants can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut in the autumn. Members of this genus are not usually browsed by deer.

Seed – sow spring in a cold frame or outside as soon as the seed is ripe. It usually germinates in 3 – 4 weeks at 10°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for two years before planting out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, they can be planted straight out into their permanent positions. Root cuttings – winter in a coldframe

Medicinal Actions & Uses:

Astringent; Detergent; Emollient; Vulnerary.
The leaves and roots are astringent, detergent, emollient and vulnerary. The plant contains appreciable quantities of mucilage and tannin. Traditionally it was used as a treatment for dislocated joints and for burns. A paste made from the plant, when applied to a dislocated joint, tends to normalize the affected muscles and ligaments, simultaneously relaxing and tightening them to encourage the joint back into its proper place. The crushed leaves have been used as a poultice to soothe burns and scalds. For internal use, the plant’s emollient properties are useful in treating irritated mucous membranes within the digestive and urinary tracts.

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.

Other Uses:-
Ground cover.

The sub-species A. mollis latifolia makes a good ground cover plant. Relatively slow to cover the ground at first but it can eventually become invasive.


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Herbs & Plants


A picture of the flower of the {{BioLinkSpecie...
Image via Wikipedia

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Botanical Name: Abelmoschus manihot – (L.)Medik
Family: Malvaceae
Synonyms: Hibiscus manihot – L.Abelmoschus mindanaensis Warb. ex Perkins, Abelmoschus pungens (Roxb.) Voigt, , Hibiscus pungens Roxb., Hibiscus tetraphyllus Roxb. ex Hornem
Common Name: Sunset-Hibiscus,Sunset Muskmallow,  or Hibiscus Manihot. Neka (Simbo), Bele (Fiji), Pele (Tonga, Tuvalu), Aibika, Island cabbage, Baera, Bush Spinach, Peli, Slippery cabbage (Solomon Is.), Bush cabbage, Slipery kabisAibika, Gedi, Degi, Lagikuway, Barakue, Glikway, Po-fai.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales
Genus: Abelmoschus
Species: A. manihot

Habitat :E. Asia – South-eastern Asia to Northern Australia.    Wasteland and hum,id rocky hillsides. In Nepal it grows at elevations of 700 – 1700 metres in rocky places with shrubs. Grasslands, near streams and margins of farm land.

Perennial growing to 2m at a fast rate. A shallow rooted shrub reaching 1-7.5 m in height, with and erect, woody, branching stem, simple leaves and large, pale yellow flowers, 7-15 cm in diameter. . Harvest starts about 80-90 days after planting and the bush remains productive for at least a year. Shoots approximately 15 cm in length and with several leaves attached are harvested when the lower leaves have fully developed.
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It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavyEdible Uses.

Easily grown in any well-drained soil in a sunny position. Plants will tolerate occasional short-lived lows down to about -5°c so long as they are in a very well-drained soil. A perennial plant, it is generally tender in the temperate zone but can be grown outdoors as an annual, flowering well in its first year and setting seed[200, K]. Plants will occasionally overwinter in a cold greenhouse. It grows well in an ornamental vegetable garden.

Seed – sow March in a warm greenhouse. The seed should germinate with two weeks, when it is large enough to handle prick it out into individual pots and plant out after the last expected frosts. The seed can also be sown in situ in late April in areas with warm summers.

Uses: Young leaves and stem tips are used as cooked green vegetables. It has medicinal properties and plants are also grown as ornamentals.

Edible Uses:-
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves.
Young leaves – raw or cooked. Sweet and mucilaginous.  Flower buds – raw or cooked.

Hibiscus flowers are usually added to tea blends or used to flavor various alcoholic beverages, including certain beers.

Medicinal Uses :-
Emmenagogue; Odontalgic; Vulnerary.
The bark is said to be emmenagogue. A paste of the bark is used to treat wounds and cuts, with new paste being applied every 2 – 3 days for about 3 weeks. In Nepal the root juice is warmed and applied to sprains. The juice of the flowers is used to treat chronic bronchitis and toothache.


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