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Herbs & Plants

Liatris Spicata( Gayfeather)

Botanical Name:Liatris spicata
Family: Asteraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Genus: Liatris
Species: Liatris spicata

Synonyms: ‘Goblin’

Common Name:Gayfeather, Blazing Star, Dense blazing star, Spiked Blazing Star, Button Snakewot, Gayfeather, Spiked Gayfeather,
Habitat: Liatris spicata is native  to Eastern N. America – Pennsylvania and New Jersey to Wisconsin, south to Florida and Louisiana.Most open areas of North America east of the Mississippi; Canada to Florida and Mexico. It grows in meadows, borders of marshes, savannahs, damp slopes etc. Poor dry ridges.

Description:

Liatris spicata is a perennial plant, growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a medium rate.
Flower Color: Showy spikes on many tiny purple flowers
Plant Type: Perennial. Returns each spring from same roots, forming expanding clump. Blooms second spring from seed.
Flower Type: Tall spike of clustered tiny flowers
Bloom Time: Mid-season

Liatris spicata
Liatris spicata (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Cultivation :
Soil preference: Needs loose fast-draining soil.
Sun/Shade: Needs full sun.
Moisture Requirements: Average moisture, well-drained.
Instructions: This valued perennial takes some time. From seed, it is quite easy, as long as its native conditions of gritty, loose soil is there. If soil is heavy, it will take longer, since a bulbous root must develop.

This cultivar of a U.S. prairie plant offers the garden spikes of purple, fuzzy-looking flowers that open from the top down on plants up to 2 feet tall and 18 inches wide. The show starts in late summer and attracts butterflies and bees. Grow it in a moist meadow or border. The flowers are also beautiful in a vase.

Propagation
:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in autumn in a greenhouse[200]. Sow stored seed as soon as possible in the year in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in spring[1]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Basal cuttings taken in spring as growth commences. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Medicinal Uses
Anodyne; Antibacterial; Astringent; Carminative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Expectorant; Stimulant; Tonic; VD.

The leaves and root are anodyne, antibacterial, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant and tonic. The plant is said to be extremely efficacious when used as a local application in the treatment of sore throats and gonorrhoea. It is also used in treating kidney diseases. The leaves are harvested in the summer, the roots in the autumn. Both can be used fresh or dried.

Liatris stimulates the stomach mildly, and is used as a tonic and antispasmodic, relieving colic and soothing irritation.

Other Uses:...Pot-pourri;  Repellent….The aromatic leaves and roots are added to pot-pourri. The leaves and the roots are added to various insect-repellent herbal mixtures

Known Hazards:  Although we have no records of toxicity for this plant, one record says that the leaves contain coumarins. These have an anti-clotting effect on the blood and can prevent natural clotting of the blood when there is a cut.

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.gardenstew.com/plantstew/37944
http://wildflowerinformation.org/Wildflower.asp?ID=80&gclid=CIaRprjzupsCFRIeDQodlWRSAQ
http://www.finegardening.com/plantguide/liatris-spicata-kobold.aspx
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Liatris+spicata
http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Rooibos Tea

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Botanical Name :  Aspalathus linearis
Family :Fabaceae   or  leguminosae    (pea family)
Subfamily: Faboideae
Genus: Aspalathus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales
Tribe: Crotalarieae
Species: A. linearis
Common Names :Rooibos , Redbush Tea, Red tea

Habitat :Through the 17th and 18th centuries, European travellers and botanists visiting the Cederberg region in South Africa commented on the profusion of “good plants” for curative purposes. In 1772, Swedish botanist Carl Thunberg noted that “the country people made tea” from a plant related to rooibos or redbush. Since then, rooibos has grown in popularity in South Africa, and has also gained considerable momentum in the worldwide market. A growing number of brand-name tea companies sell this tea, either by itself or as a component in an increasing variety of blends.

Description:

Technically, Rooibos is not a true tea. It comes from the plant Aspalathus linearis, rather than the Camellia plants that produce traditional teas. The name Rooibos comes from the Afrikaans word for ‘red bush’.
The Rooibos plant is a small shrubby bush that only grows in South Africa. The bush grows anywhere from 1/2 to 1 metre in height, with very thin, needle-like leaves. The leaves are green, but turn the characteristic red after fermentation.

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The Rooibos seeds are precious, because the plants produce few of them. The seeds also pop out of the fruits as soon as they are ripe, making harvest difficult. Many farmers still raid anthills looking for Rooibos seeds.

It is a rather delicate plant, and the cultivation has not changed much over the years. The plants thrive best when left along in their natural soil. The farming of Rooibos has always been very close to nature and remains so today.

The locals have known that Rooibos can be used to make a delicious beverage for a very long time, but it was only ‘discovered’ in 1904 by a Russian immigrant named Benjamin Ginsberg. He was a settler in the area and thought that the tea was so enjoyable that it should be available to people everywhere. He was the first to market Rooibos tea.

Rooibos tea is a distinctive red colour and its taste is also unique with a very sweet and slightly nutty flavour. Its delicious taste and numerous healthful qualities has helped Rooibos become a popular tea all over the world. It is still fairly ‘new’ but more and more people are coming to love this unique red tea.

Rooibos has increased in popularity not only because of its wonderful colour and taste, but because of all the great things it can do for your health.
Rooibos has no caffeine and is low in tannin, so it can be enjoyed all day long without any unpleasant side effects. This also makes it a great tea for pregnant women and nursing mothers.

Nutritional and health benefits:
Rooibos is becoming more popular in Western countries particularly among health-conscious consumers, due to its high level of antioxidants such as aspalathin   and nothofagin, its lack of caffeine, and its low tannin levels compared to fully oxidized black tea or unoxidized green tea leaves.[citation needed] Rooibos also contains a number of phenolic compounds, including flavanols, flavones, flavanones, and dihydrochalcones.

Rooibos is purported to assist with nervous tension, allergies and digestive problems.

Traditional medicinal uses of rooibos in South Africa include alleviating infantile colic, allergies, asthma and dermatological problems.

Scientific study:
Although human studies of rooibos are scarce in the scientific literature, animal studies suggest it has potent antioxidant, immune-modulating and chemopreventive effects. In addition, rooibos tea has not been found to have any adverse effects.

It is often claimed that “Green” rooibos (see above) has a higher antioxidant capacity than fully oxidized rooibos. However, one study, using two different ways of measuring antioxidant activity, found conflicting data, with green rooibos showing more activity under one measure, and less activity using the other. The study also found conflicting data when comparing both forms of rooibos to black, green, and oolong tea, although it consistently found both forms to have less activity than green tea.

In 2010, eleven poison dart frogs were raised at WWT Slimbridge by amphibian keepers in pint glasses of water, topped up with shop-bought Rooibos tea. Rooibos was used because it contains antioxidants with anti-fungal properties. This successfully protected the frogs against infection by chytridiomycosis.

A recent study performed by Japanese scientists also suggests that Rooibos tea is beneficial in the treatment of acne. This is due to levels of alpha hydroxy acid, zinc and superoxide dismutase present in the herb.

Various studies have shown the many health problems that can be helped by drinking Rooibos tea:-

*Eases irritability, headaches, nervous tension and insomnia.

*Acts as an anti-spasmodic agent, to relieve stomach cramps and colic in infants ->

*Can be used to treat hay fever, asthma and eczema

*Placed directly on the skin, it can slow the aging process

*Boosts the immune system

Rooibos tea contains no oxalic acid, so it can safely be consumed by people who are prone to kidney stones.

There are so many minerals in the tea, that it can almost be considered a nutritional supplement:

*Copper

*Iron

*Potassium

*Calcium

*Fluoride

*Zinc

*Manganese

*Alpha-hydroxy (great for the skin)

*Magnesium

You may clock to learn more about Rooibos Tea..:->………....(1)...(2).……..(3)……...(4).…….(5)

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://coffeetea.about.com/od/typesoftea/a/rooibos.htm

http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail204.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rooibos

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