Tag Archives: Bark

Quillaja saponaria

Botanical Name : Quillaja saponaria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Fabales
Family: Quillajaceae
Genus:     Quillaja
Species: Q. saponaria

Synonyms: Soap Bark. Panama Bark. Cullay.

Common Names :Soap bark tree or Soapbark

Habitat: Quillaja saponaria IS native to Peru and Chile, and cultivated in Northern Hindustan.It has been introduced as an ornamental in California. Trees have been acclimatized in Spain but are rarely cultivated there. This tree occurs at altitudes to 2000 metres. The species is drought resistant, and tolerates about -12°C (10°F) in its natural habitat.

Description:
Quillaja saponaria is an evergreen tree  50 to 60 feet high. Leaves smooth, shiny, short-stalked, oval, and usually terminal white flowers, solitary, or three to five on a stalk. The tree has thick, dark bark, smooth, leathery, shiny, oval evergreen leaves 3–5 cm long, white flowers 15 mm diameter borne in dense corymbs, and a dry fruit with five follicles each containing 10-20 seeds. Bark thick, dark coloured, and very tough. In commerce it is found in large flat pieces 1/5 inch thick, outer surface brownish-white, with small patches of brownish cork attached, otherwise smooth; inner surface whitish and smooth, fracture splintery, chequered with pale-brown vast fibres, embedded with white tissue; it is inodorous, very acrid and astringent.
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Cultivation:  
Requires a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position. Plants are hardy to about -12°c in their natural range in South America but they usually require greenhouse protection in Britain. They can succeed outdoors in the milder areas of this country, often as small shrubs but making a tree in the very mildest areas. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts, so it is best to site the plant in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. This species is cultivated for the saponins in its bark in some warm temperate areas of the world.

Propagation:    
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in early summer and give some protection from the cold for at least their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of fully ripe wood of the current year’s growth, November in a frame

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used:  Dried inner bark.

Constituents: Its chief constituent is saponin, which is a mixture of two glucosides, guillaic acid and guillaia-sapotoxin. The latter is very poisonous and possesses marked foam-producing properties. Calcium oxalate is also present in the bark. The drug also contains cane-sugar and a non-toxic modification of guillaic acid. As the active principles of Soap Bark are the same as those of Senega, Quillaia has been suggested as a cheap substitute for Sarsaparilla.

Antiseborrheic;  Expectorant;  Skin;  Stimulant.

Soap bark tree has a long history of medicinal use with the Andean people who used it especially as a treatment for various chest problems. The saponin content of the bark helps to stimulate the production of a more fluid mucous in the airways, thus facilitating the removal of phlegm through coughing. The tree is useful for treating any condition featuring congested catarrh within the chest, but it should not be used for dry irritable coughs. The inner bark contains about 9% of complex saponins, known collectively as ‘quillajasaponin’. It also contains calcium oxalate and tannin. It has been used internally as a stimulating expectorant, though it can cause irritation and inflammation of the digestive tract and so is no longer considered safe. The internal use of this plant needs to be carefully overseen by a professional practitioner. Sap bark tree is used as a source of compounds for the pharmaceutical industry. It is still used externally as a cutaneous stimulant in the treatment of skin ulcers and eruptions, dandruff etc.

Other Uses:
The fresh or dried inner bark is a soap substitute. It contains about 9% saponins and is a very gentle and effective cleaner. It is used for cleaning textiles and the skin. It can also be used as a hair tonic. The saponins are also used in anti-dandruff shampoos and exfoliant cleansers. They are used as a foaming agent in fire extinguishers. The bark also contains considerable quantities of carbonate of lime.

Known Hazards:  The plant is toxic if taken internally, tending to dissolve the blood corpuscles. The bark, and possibly other parts of the plant, contains saponins. Although toxic, saponins are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm, they are also destroyed by thorough cooking. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quillaja_saponaria
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Quillaja+saponaria
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/soaptr60.html

Erythrophloeum guineense

Botanical Name : Erythrophloeum guineense
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Erythrophleum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms: Nkasa. Mancona Bark. Doom Bark. Ordeal Bark. Casca Bark. Saucy Bark. Red Water Bark. Cortex erythrophlei.

Common Name :Sassy Bark

Habitat:Erythrophloeum guineense is native to Upper Guinea and Senegambia.

Description:
The tree is large and spreading, and the bark very hard, breaking with a short, granular fracture. It varies in size and thickness according to the age of the stem or branch.(The bark is usually hard, curved or flat of about 8 to 10 cm long and 4 to 7 cm wide. ) It may be flat or curved, dull grey, red-brown, or almost black, with reddish warts or circular spots merging into bands running longitudinally. It is inodorous, with an astringent, acrid taste.

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In West Africa the drug is used as an ordeal poison in trials for witchcraft and sorcery.

Possibly other species yield the Sassy Bark of commerce, differences being noticed in its properties at different periods.

Cultivation: Sassy bark is extensively cultivated in west coast Africa, guinea and senegambia.

Meditional Uses:

Part Used: Bark of the tree and branches.

Constituents: Sassy Bark yields its proper ties to water. It contains toxic alkaloids erythrophloeine, resin, and tannin, small quantity of fatty acid, ipuranol and luteolin.

The bark is said to possess actions of astringent, analgesic and anodyne. The toxic compound found in sassy Erythrophloeine is considered useful in heart diseases. Hydrochloride found in sassy bark is useful for anesthetic properties and used in dental surgeries. There has been much controversy concerning its anaesthetic powers. It has not yet been obtained in crystalline form, and needs fuller investigation.

Known Hazards:Sassy Bark has been used for medicinal purpose by the natives of Africa as it possesses many properties but it is poisonous.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/sassyb21.html
http://www.spicesmedicinalherbs.com/erythrophleum-guineense.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythrophleum

Palicourea densiflora

Botanical Name: Palicourea densiflora
Family :   Lauracea /Rubiaceae
Genus :   Charpentiera
Kingdom :   Plantae
Phylum:    Tracheophyta
Class :   Magnoliopsida
Order :    Rubiales

syn:  Aniba coto, Colladonia, Novatilia, Oribasia, Rhodostoma, Stephanium

Common Name :Coto (in Brazil sometimes it is called Coto-cota)
A bark bearing this name came into the London drug market about 1893. The bark of a rubiaceous plant (Palicourea densiflors), known as Coto, is employed in Brazil for rheumatism, but it is not known if this is the true Bolivian plant; the outer surface is irregular, of a cinnamon brown colour. It is sold in pieces of 4 to 6 inches long, 3 inches wide and about 1 inch thick, and is sometimes covered with an adherent corry surface, free from lichens. The inner cross-sections of the bark are covered with yellowish spots, the odour is aromatic and much stronger if bruised, taste hot and biting; in powdered form the smell is very pungent. This description conforms with the barks sold in the American markets, but other barks are used under the same name, the chief being Paracote bark; this has an agreeable spicy taste, but is not so strong-smelling or tasting, and has deep white furrows on the surface.

Habitat :Palicourea densiflora is native to Bolivia.(The bark known as Coto bark is exported from the interior of Bolivia, but the tree from which it is derived is unknown.)

Description:
Coto bark reaches us in pieces of from 4 to 12 inches in length, 2 to 4 inches in width, and from 1/2 to 3/4 inch in thickness; the outer or corky portion is about 1/16 of an inch in thickness, dark-brown internally, rusty upon the inner surface, and externally grayish-brown or blotched with spots of white. The surface is somewhat rough. Beneath the thin cork it is of a dark-cinnamon color; fibrous upon its inner surface and intermixed with some granular matter; but, toward the outer part the granular matter increases in proportion until the reverse is true. Its fracture presents very numerous points of a golden yellow. The odor of the bark is aromatic, especially when freshly broken, reminding one of mace or of a mixture of mace and cinnamon. The taste is intermediate between that of mace and allspice, finally becoming acrid and biting. The dust is irritating when inhaled.

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Medicinal Uses:

Part Used:  The bark.

Chemical Constituents: Coto bark contains a volatile alkaloid, a pungent aromatic volatile oil, a light brown soft resin, and a hard brown resin, starch, gum, sugar, tannin, Cal. Oxalate and three acids, acetic, butyric and formic.

Coto bark is antiseptic and astringent. It is irritating to the skin applied externally. If taken internally it gives constant violent pain and vomiting. Its chief use is in diarrhoea, but it has a tendency to produce inflammation, so must be used with great caution, it is said to lessen peristaltic action. Paracota bark resembles it in action, but is much less powerful. In Japan, paracota bark has been successfully employed for cholera by hypodermic injection of 3 grains of paracotoin. The value of cotoin in diarrhcea is established, and it is also used for catarrhal diarrhoea and for diarrhcea in tubercular ulceration of typhoid fever. Has also a specific action on the alimentary canal, dilating the abdominal vessels and hastening absorption.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/coto-108.html
http://www.plantsystematics.org/cgi-bin/dol/dol_terminal.pl?genus=Palicourea
http://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/kings/coto.html

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Tsuga canadensis

Botanical Name : Tsuga canadensis
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Tsuga
Species: T. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Synonyms: Abies americana – Mill.,Pinus canadensis – L.

Common Names :Canadian hemlock, Pruche du Canada

Habitat :Tsuga canadensis is native to eastern North America. It ranges from northeastern Minnesota eastward through southern Quebec to Nova Scotia, and south in the Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia and Alabama. Scattered outlier populations occur in several areas east and west of the Appalachians. It is the state tree of Pennsylvania . Occurs in woods and swampy areas on cool moist sites, also in upland forests, often covering the north side of ridges.

Description:
Tsuga canadensis is an evergreen Tree .It grows well in shade and is very long lived, with the oldest recorded specimen being at least 554 years old. The tree generally reaches heights of about 31 meters (100 feet), but exceptional trees have been recorded up to 53 metres (173 feet).   The diameter of the trunk at breast height is often 1.5 metres (5 feet), but again, outstanding trees have been recorded up to 1.75 meters (6 feet). The trunk is usually straight and monopodial, but very rarely is forked. The crown is broadly conic, while the brownish bark is scaly and deeply fissured, especially with age. The twigs are a yellow-brown in colour with darker red-brown pulvini, and are densely pubescent. The buds are ovoid in shape and are very small, measuring only 1.5 to 2.5 mm (0.05 to 0.1 inches) in length. These are usually not resinous, but may be slightly so.

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The leaves are typically 15 to 20 mm (0.6 to 0.9 inches) in length, but may be as short as 5 mm (0.2 inches) or as long as 25 mm (1 inch). They are flattened and are typically distichous, or two-ranked. The bottom of the leaf is glaucous with two broad and clearly visible stomatal bands, while the top is a shiny green to yellow-green in colour. The leaf margins are very slightly toothed, especially near the apex.It is in  flower in May, and the seeds ripen from November to February. 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 Wind. The seed cones are ovoid in shape and typically measure 1.5 to 2.5 cm (0.6 to 1 inch) in length and 1 to 1.5 cm (0.4 to 0.6 inches) in width. The scales are ovate to cuneate in shape and measure 8 to 12 mm (0.3 to 0.5 inches) in length by 7 to 10 mm (0.3 to 0.4 inches) in width. The apex is more or less rounded and is often projected outward. Twenty-four diploid chromosomes are present within the trees’ DNA

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

 

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it thrives best when growing in a deep well-drained soil in the western parts of Britain where it appreciates the higher rainfall. However, it succeeds in most soils and positions, being especially good on acidic sandy soils[81] but also tolerating some lime so long as there is plenty of humus in the soil. Plants are very shade tolerant when young, but need more sunlight as they grow older. Plants are thin and poor when grown in dry or exposed places. A slow-growing but long-lived species in the wild, with specimens nearly 1000 years old recorded. It is occasionally planted as a timber tree in Germany. It is very slow growing in cultivation for the first few years, it then grows more rapidly with annual shoots up to 60cm long. This rate of growth soon slows as the tree loses apical dominance and it becomes slow growing again. Seed production commences around the age of 20 – 40 years, with good crops produced every 3 – 4 years. The crushed foliage has a sweet lemony scent. Another report says that it emits the unpleasant smell of hemlock. Many named forms have been selected for their ornamental value. Almost all of them are dwarf forms. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – it germinates better if given a short cold stratification  and so is best sown in a cold frame in autumn to late winter. It can also be sown in early spring, though it might not germinate until after the next winter. If there is sufficient seed, an outdoor sowing can be made in spring. Pot-grown seedlings are best potted up into individual pots once they are large enough to handle – grow them on in a cold frame and plant them out in early summer of the following year. Trees transplant well when they are up to 80cm tall, but they are best put in their final positions when they are about 30 – 45 cm or less tall, this is usually when they are about 5 – 8 years old. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Inner bark.

Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

Inner bark – raw or cooked. Usually harvested in the spring, it can be dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread. An emergency food, it is only used when all else fails. The leaves and twigs yield ‘spruce oil’, used commercially to flavour chewing gum, soft drinks, ice cream etc. A herbal tea is made from the young shoot tips. These tips are also an ingredient of ‘spruce beer’.

Medicinal Uses:
Antipruritic; Astringent; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Skin; Styptic.

Canadian hemlock was commonly employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints. It is still sometimes used in modern herbalism where it is valued for its astringent and antiseptic properties. The bark is rich in tannin and is astringent and antiseptic. A decoction is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, colitis, diverticulitis and cystitis. Externally, it is used as a poultice to cleanse and tighten bleeding wounds, as a douche to treat excessive vaginal discharge, thrush and a prolapsed uterus, and as a mouthwash and gargle for gingivitis and sore throats. The poultice has also been applied to the armpits to treat itchiness there. The inner bark is diaphoretic and styptic. An infusion is used in the treatment of colds and abdominal pains. A decoction of the inner bark has been applied externally in the treatment of eczema and other skin conditions. The pulverized inner bark has been applied to cuts and wounds to stop the bleeding. A tea made from the leafy twig tips is used in the treatment of dysentery, kidney ailments, colds and rheumatism. Externally, it is used in steam baths for treating colds, rheumatism and to induce sweating. A decoction of the branches has been boiled down to a syrup or thick paste and used as a poultice on arthritic joints. A poultice of the crushed branch tips has been used to treat infections on an infants navel. Hemlock pitch has been used externally as a counter-irritant in the treatment of rheumatism.

Other Uses:
Basketry; Dye; Ground cover; Hedge; Resin; Rust; Tannin; Wood.

Yields a resin similar to Abies balsamea, it is gathered by incisions in the trunk or by boiling the wood. A pitch (called hemlock pitch), is obtained by distillation of the young branches. ‘Oil of Hemlock’ is distilled from the young branches according to another report. The bark contains 8 – 14% tannin. The inner bark is used according to one report. The inner bark has been used in making baskets. A red to brown dye is obtained from the bark. A red dye is obtained from the inner bark according to another report. A little rock dust has been added to act as a mordant when boiling the bark. The boiled bark has been used to make a wash to clean rust off iron and steel, and to prevent further rusting. Tolerant of light trimming, plants can be grown as a hedge. This species does not make a good hedge in Britain. Some cultivars can be grown as a ground cover when planted about 1 metre apart each way. ‘Pendula’ is slow-growing but makes a very good cover. Wood – coarse-grained, light, soft, not strong, brittle, not durable outdoors. Difficult to work because it splits easily. The wood weighs 26lb per cubic foot. The trees do not self-prune and so the wood contains numerous remarkably hard knots that can quickly dull the blade of an axe. A coarse lumber, it is used occasionally for the outside of buildings. It should be used with caution as a fuel for outdoor fires because it can project embers and burning wood several metres from the fire.

Scented Plants:-
Leaves: Crushed
The crushed foliage has a sweet lemony scent. Another report says that it emits the unpleasant smell of hemlock.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsuga_canadensis
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Tsuga+canadensis

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Betula occidentalis

Botanical Name : Betula occidentalis
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Betula
Subgenus: Betula
Species: B. occidentalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Synonym: Betula fontinalis.

Common Names:Water Birch, Red Birch,Western water birch

Habitat : Betula occidentalis is  native to western North America, in Canada from Yukon east to western Ontario and southwards, and in the United States from eastern Washington east to western North Dakota,[citation needed] and south to eastern California, northern Arizona and northern New Mexico, and also possibly eastern Alaska. It typically occurs along streams in mountainous regions.

Description:
Betula occidentalis is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 10 m high at a fast rate, usually with multiple trunks. The bark is dark red-brown to blackish, and smooth but not exfoliating. The twigs are glabrous or thinly hairy, and odorless when scraped. The leaves are alternate, ovate to rhombic, 1–7 cm long and 1-4.5 cm broad, with a serrated margin and two to six pairs of veins, and a short petiole up to 1.5 cm long. The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins 2–4 cm long, the male catkins pendulous, the female catkins erect. The fruit is 2–3 cm long and 8–15 mm broad, composed of numerous tiny winged seeds packed between the catkin bracts.
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It is hardy to zone 0. 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 Wind.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained loamy soil in a sunny position. Tolerates most soils including poor soils and heavy clays. Fairly wind tolerant. A fast-growing but short-lived tree. A very ornamental plant, it hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. It hybridizes in the wild with B. papyrifera. A good plant to grow near the compost heap, aiding the fermentation process. Trees are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and place the pot in a sunny position. Spring sown seed should be surface sown in a sunny position in a cold frame. If the germination is poor, raising the temperature by covering the seed with glass can help. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed, it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, either as soon as it is ripe or in the early spring – do not cover the spring sown seed. Grow the plants on in the seedbed for 2 years before planting them out into their permanent positions in the winter

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers; Inner bark; Leaves; Sap.

Young leaves and catkins – raw. The buds and twigs are used as a flavouring in stews. Inner bark – raw or cooked. Best in the spring. Inner bark can be dried, ground into a meal and used as a thickener in soups, or be added to flour when making bread, biscuits etc. Inner bark is generally only seen as a famine food, used when other forms of starch are not available or are in short supply. Sap – raw or cooked. The sap can be used as a refreshing drink or beer, it can also be concentrated into a syrup by boiling off much of the water. Harvested in spring, the flow is best on a sunny day following a frost. An old English recipe for the beer is as follows:- “To every Gallon of Birch-water put a quart of Honey, well stirr’d together; then boil it almost an hour with a few Cloves, and a little Limon-peel, keeping it well scumm’d. When it is sufficiently boil’d, and become cold, add to it three or four Spoonfuls of good Ale to make it work…and when the Test begins to settle, bottle it up . . . it is gentle, and very harmless in operation within the body, and exceedingly sharpens the Appetite, being drunk ante pastum.”

Medicinal Uses:
Abortifacient; Antirheumatic; Astringent; Lithontripic; Salve; Sedative.

The bark is antirheumatic, astringent, lithontripic, salve and sedative. A decoction of the flowers and leaves has been used as an abortifacient

Some Plateau Indian tribes used water birch to treat pimples and sores.

Other Uses
Containers; Hair; Waterproofing.

An infusion of the plant is used as a hair conditioner and dandruff treatment. The thin outer bark is waterproof and has been used as the cladding on canoes and dwellings, and also to make containers. A brown dye is obtained from the inner bark. Wood – close-grained, soft but strong. Trees do not grow large enough to be of use for lumber, but the wood is used locally for fence posts and is also a good fuel. The bark can be used as a kindling.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betula_occidentalis
http://redbuttecanyon.net/trees/b_occidentalis.html
http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=Betula+occidentalis
http://www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/Tree%20Enlarged%20Photo%20Pages/betula%20fontinalis.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betula_occidentalis

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