Herbs & Plants

Plumbago zeylanica

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Botanical Name : Plumbago zeylanica
Family: Plumbaginaceae
Genus: Plumbago
Species: P. zeylanica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonymous.:   Plumbago zeylanica is a species of plumbago with a pantropical distribution. Carl Linnaeus described the paleotropical P. zeylanica and neotropical P. scandens as separate species, but they are currently considered synonymous.

Common Names: Ceylon leadwort, Doctorbush or Wild leadwort
Vernacular Name:
Hindi……..Cheeta, Telugu……Chitramulamu, English……..Leadwort, Bengali…….Chita, Marathi……Chitramul, Gujrati……Chitro, Tamil……Chittiri,Chittira, Arabian…..Sheetaraj, Farsi…..Sheetar

Sanskrit Synonyms: Anala, Dahana, Pithi, Vahnisajnaka, Agni, Agnika, Jyothi, Nirdahana, Vahni, Sikhi, Vyala, Hutasana……..all these synonyms names suggest towards fire. As because it helps the digestion strength. While collecting the herb, usually the palms get burning sensation due to hotness of this herb.

Habitat : Plumbago zeylanica is native to India. Now it is cultivated in several places in the world.

Plumbago zeylanica is a herbaceous plant with glabrous stems that are climbing, prostrate, or erect. The leaves are petiolate or sessile and have ovate, lance-elliptic, or spatulate to oblanceolate blades that measure 5-9 × 2.5–4 cm in length. Bases are attenuate while apexes are acute, acuminate, or obtuse. Inflorescences are 3–15 cm in length and have glandular, viscid rachises. Bracts are lanceolate and 3-7 × 1–2 mm long. The heterostylous flowers have white corollas 17–33 mm in diameter and tubes 12.5–28 mm in length. Capsules are 7.5–8 mm long and contain are reddish brown to dark brown seeds……...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 

Cultivation:  Plumbago requires full sunlight to partial shade with warm temperatures. This plant thrives in well drained with slightly acidic soil. The plants require frequent fertilizers and after flowering the plants should be cut back to let them grow vigorously. It is cultivated extensively in throughout the India.
Main Chemical Constituents: Chitranone, Plumbagin, 3-Chloroplumbagin, droserone, Elliptinone, Zeylanone and Zeylinone, Maritone,
Plumbagicacid, Dihydrosterone, B-Sitosterol etc. etc.

Medicinal Uses:
Ceylon leadwort root is acrid and stimulates sweating. In Nigeria, the leaves are used in soup as a remedy against intestinal worms and fever. In Ghana the root is administered as an enema to treat piles. In the Ivory coast and Upper Volta, the root is used to treat leprosy. In Nepal, a decoction of the root is used to treat baldness. In Indian herbal medicine, the leaves and root are used to treat infections and digestive problems such as dysentery. The root is used as a vesicant, appetizer, used in skin diseases, diarrhea, dyspepsia, piles and anasarca. A paste of the root made in vinegar, milk or salt and water is an external application in leprosy and other skin ailments. It is also used in influenza and black-water fever. The root bark used as a tincture is a sudorific and antiperiodic. The milky juice of the plant is used in scabies and ulcers. The plumbago root is an emmenagogue and is used to procure abortion by a piece of the root being introduced to Cervex Uteri. Externally, a paste of the leaves and root is applied to painful rheumatic areas or to chronic and itchy skin problems. The paste acts as a counterirritant. By raising blisters and increasing circulation, it speeds the clearing of toxins from the affected area. It is stimulant and strengthens the stomach and aids its action. It increases digestive powders and stimulate appetite

Other Uses:
Plant extracts have shown potent mosquito larvicidal activity against the larvae of Aedes aegypti while showing no toxicity to fish.

Hexane extracts of Plumbago zeylanica have shown activity against canine distemper virus.

Hexane extract of plumbago zeylanicaPlumbagin shows Antimicrobial activity.

Methanol extract of plumbago zeylanicaPositive inotropic activity.

Enzymatic spectrum of herbal Plants Plumbago Linn.

Bioactive spectra of Plumbagin.

methanol extract of plumbago zeylanica shows effect on root- knot nematode Meloidogyne spp

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.


Chitrak – Plumbago zeylanica Benefits, Dose, Side Effects, Research

Herbs & Plants

Dendrobium hancockii

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Botanical Name : Dendrobium hancockii
Genus: Dendrobium
Species: hancockii

Common Name : Shih Hu

Habitat :Origin: China

Plants look like a cluster of miniature 26″ bamboo canes with branching reddish purple stems, grass-like 1″ leaves, 1-1/2″ brilliant golden/yellow flowers with a velvet orange lip appear at random during winter and spring, overall a charming oriental appearance with beautiful flowers, easy grower


Winter,Spring Blooming Bright to Full Sun; 2750-3750 Footcandles (midday shade required) Warm,Intermediate to Cool;45°F min. to 98°F max.(tolerant of extremes,favoring warm)

Medicinal Uses:
Shih hu is the Chinese dendrobium orchid, a famous chi tonic of the sages.  It is cooling and mildly sweet and salty, restoring bodily fluids and alleviating fatigue.  Large golden stems are dried and simmered with licorice or ginger to restore sexual vigor.  This Chinese kidney yin tonic affects the lower back, knees and sexual vigor. To the Chinese, the kidneys rule the bone, bone marrow, memory, hearing and brain function. The kidneys store ancestral chi and heredity, as well as having both yin and yang properties, restoring fluids and enhancing vitality. The stem is used to treats fever, cough, thirst

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: – hancockii

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Herbs & Plants

Eupatorium odoratum

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Botanical Name : Chromolaena odorata/ Eupatorium odoratum
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Chromolaena
Species: C. odorata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names :Jack  in the Bush,Siam Weed, Christmas Bush, and Common Floss Flower.

Habitat :. Chromolaena odorata is native to North America, from Florida and Texas to Mexico and the Caribbean, and has been introduced to tropical Asia, west Africa, and parts of Australia.

Aromatic shrub; covered in fine grey hairs; stems rounded; blades ovate to diamond shaped, 5-15cm long, acuminate, with yellow dots below; flowers pale mauve or violet.

Click to see the pictures
.It is sometimes grown as a medicinal and ornamental plant.

It was earlier taxonomically classified under the genus Eupatorium, but is now considered more closely related to other genera in the tribe Eupatorieae.

Chromolaena odorata is considered invasive weed of field crops in its introduced range, and has been reported to be the most problematic invasive species within protected rainforests in Africa

Medicinal Uses:
It is used as a traditional medicine in Indonesia. The young leaves are crushed, and the resulting liquid can be used to treat skin wounds.

The leaves of the herb are used as tea to break up  the common cold  and  for intermittent  fevers and influenza. It is also a tonic and stimulant.For bronchitis of chindren  it is given with milk.
Toxicity :Chromolaena odorata contains carcinogenic pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

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

Durian (Durio zibethinus L./Murr)

Botanical Name :Durio zibethinus Murr.
Family: Malvaceae/Bombacaceae
Subfamily: Helicteroideae
: Durioneae
Genus: Durio
Order: Malvales

Scientific Names : Durio zibethinus Murr.,Durio acuminatissima Merr.

Common Names : Dulian (Lan., Sul., Mag., Bag.) ,Durian (Lan., Span., Engl.),Duren (Indonesia) ,Durio (Bag.) ,Duryan (Tag., Ilk.) ,Duyan (Sul.) ,Liu lian (Chinese) ,Civet-cat fruit tree (Engl.)

:The durian, native to Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia, has been known to the Western world for about 600 years. The 19th-century British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace famously described its flesh as “a rich custard highly flavoured with almonds”.

Tree grows to a height of 20 meter or more. Leaves are dark green, smooth and shiny above, oblong to obovate-oblong, about 20 cm long, 5 to 9 cm wide. The flowers are white to white-yellowish with a pouchlike calyx. Fruit is globular, large, 15 to 25 cm long, covered by a hard shell with stiff, sharp spines. The shell breaks into five parts to which the flesh adherent, with 2 to 4 large seeds in each section covered by the flesh. The flesh is soft and whitish with the consistency of soft cheese. The flesh has a characteristic unpleasant rank and repugnant odor, a quality that bans it from hotel lobbies and rooms. The flesh can be consumed at various stages of ripeness, and it is used to flavour a wide variety of savoury and sweet edibles in Southeast Asian cuisines. The seeds can also be eaten when cooke..

Click to see the pictures.>…....(001).....(01)...(1).(2).…..(3).…..(4).…..(5)

Durian flowers are usually closed during the daytime.The name durian comes from the Malay word duri (thorn) together with the suffix -an (for building a noun in Malay). D. zibethinus is the only species commercially cultivated on a large scale and available outside of its native region. Since this species is open-pollinated, it shows considerable diversity in fruit colour and odour, size of flesh and seed, and tree phenology. In the species name, zibethinus refers to the Indian civet, Viverra zibetha. There is disagreement regarding whether this name, bestowed by Linnaeus, refers to civets being so fond of the durian that the fruit was used as bait to entrap them, or to the durian smelling like the civet.

CLICK & SEE:  ……...D.zibethinus.…..Durian flower……….Seeds

Durian flowers are large and feathery with copious nectar, and give off a heavy, sour and buttery odour. These features are typical of flowers pollinated by certain species of bats that eat nectar and pollen. According to research conducted in Malaysia in the 1970s, durians were pollinated almost exclusively by cave fruit bats (Eonycteris spelaea). However, a 1996 study indicated two species, D. grandiflorus and D. oblongus, were pollinated by spiderhunters (Nectariniidae) and another species, D. kutejensis, was pollinated by giant honey bees and birds as well as bats.

Propagation & Cultivation:
Durian may be propagated by seed or grafting.  Seeds must be planted fresh, as they lose viability quickly, especially if allowed to dry out.  They germinate in about a week, and are fast growing.  Durian may be grafted by cleft, side veneer or approach.  Grafted trees begin to bear in 4-5 years, while seedlings can take 15 years or more.  In Thailand, ‘Chanee’ is commonly used as a rootstock.  Other species, such as Durio malaccensis, Durio mansoni and Durio lowianus are also used as rootstocks in order to impart disease resistance to the root fungus Phytophthora palmivora.  In India, the related species Cullenia excelsa is used as a rootstock to promote early fruiting.

Durian requires a tropical climate with relatively high rainfall which is fairly well distributed throughout the year.  It grows best in fertile, deep soils with abundant organic matter and a pH of 6-7.  Trees respond well to fertilizer, mulch and manure application, and supplemental irrigation during periods of drought.  Durian produces best from sea level to about 700 feet (213 m) elevation, but is reported to fruit as high as 2,600 feet (792 m) in elevation.  In Puerto Rico, durian flowers in April and May, and fruits ripen in August and September.  Average yield for mature trees is about 50 fruits per year, each fruit weighing from 3.3-9  pounds (1.5-4 kg).

Edible Uses: There are 30 recognised Durio species, at least nine of which produce edible fruit. Durio zibethinus is the only species available in the international market: other species are sold in their local regions. There are hundreds of durian cultivars; many consumers express preferences for specific cultivars, which fetch higher prices in the market.
The seeds are eaten, either boiled or roasted.

Medicinal Uses:
Properties and constituents:-
• Fruit is considered tonic, operative, depurative, and vermifuge.
• The odor of the flesh believed to be dues to indole compounds which are bacteriostatic.
• Study identified the three strongest sulfury durian odorants and one non-sulfurous odorant with the highest odor impact.

Parts used : Fruit. leaves and root.

Nutritional Facts
• Serving size: 1 – cup, chopped or diced (8.6 oz)
• Calories 357
• Total Fat 13.0 g
• Cholesterol 0 mg
• Total Carbs 65.8 g
• Fiber 9.2 g
• Protein 3.6 g
• Calcium 14.6 mg
• Potassium 1059.5 mg *

· Decoction of root and leaves taken for fevers.
· Leaves are used in medicinal baths for jaundice.
· The juice is used in a solution for bathing the head of a patient with fever.
· Fruit walls used externally for skin problems.
· In Malaya, decoction of leaves and roots used as febrifuge.
• Leaf juice applied on head for fever.
• Leaves used in medicinal baths for jaundiced patients.
• Decoction of leaves and fruits used for swelling and skin diseases.
• Flesh used as aphrodisiac.
• In China, decoction of leaves and roots used for fever. Used for colds, phlegm. Leaves used in medicinal baths for patients with jaundice. Ash of burned rind taken after childbirth. Used to improve sexual function.
• In Malaysia, leaf juice applied to head for fever.
• A Malay prescription for fever is a decoction or poultice of boiled roots of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Durio zibethinus, Nephelium longan, Nephelium mutabile and Artocarpus integrifolia. source.

The flesh is said to serve as a vermifuge. In Malaya, a decoction of the leaves and roots is prescribed as a febrifuge. The leaf juice is applied on the head of a fever patient. The leaves are employed in medicinal baths for people with jaundice. Decoctions of the leaves and fruits are applied to swellings and skin diseases. The ash of the burned rind is taken after childbirth. The leaves probably contain hydroxy-tryptamines and mustard oils.

The odor of the flesh is believed to be linked to indole compounds which are bacteriostatic. Eating durian is alleged to restore the health of ailing humans and animals. The flesh is widely believed to act as an aphrodisiac because it improves sexual function for those who are kidney yang deficient.

In the late 1920’s, Durian Fruit Products, Inc., of New York City, launched a product called “Dur-India” as a “health-food accessory” in tablet form, selling at $9 for a dozen bottles, each containing 63 tablets -a 3-months’ supply. The tablets reputedly contained durian and a species of Allium from India, as well as a considerable amount of vitamin E. They were claimed to provide “more concentrated healthful energy in food form than any other product the world affords”  to keep the body vigorous and tireless; the mind alert with faculties undimmed; the spirit youthful.

A toothpaste flavored with durian is currently marketed for durian fanciers. The Malays, besides looking on the durian fruit as tonic, consider the root medicinal, taking a decoction of it for a fever, which has lasted three days. The leaves and root are used in a compound for fevers. The leaves are utilized in medicinal baths for jaundice. The juice enters into a preparation for bathing the head of a fever patient. In Java the fruit-walls are used externally for ski complaints. Considered by many to be the strongest aphrodisiac in the world
Decoction of the leaves and roots is used as antipyretic; the leaves are used in medicinal baths for people with jaundice; decoctions of the leaves and fruits are applied to swellings and skin diseases; the ash of the burned rind is taken after childbirth.

• Lipid Lowering Effect: Lipid entrapment property of polysaccharide gel (PG) extracted from fruit-hulls of durian (Durio zibethinus Murr. Cv. Mon-Thong) : Results suggest that PG from fruit-hulls of durian may be a potential dietary fiber/ medicinal supplement for a blood lipid / cholesterol lowering effect.
• Durian-Alcohol Combination: Study investigated the adverse, and sometime lethal, effect of ingesting durian while imbibing alcohol with its Disulfiram-Ethanol type reaction arising from inhibition of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). (See Toxicity below)
• Immunomodulatory / Antibacterial: Polysaccharide gel from the fruit rind of D zibethinus has been characterized to be a pectic polysaccharide with immunomodulating and antibacterial activities.
• Hyperthermic Effect / Paracetamol Interaction: Believed to have body-warming properties with concerns on consumption with paracetamol. Rat study showed no significant body temperature elevation. Rats receiving a durian-paracetamol combination showed a significant drop in body temperature. No mechanism for toxicity was identified.
• Antibacterial / Wound Healing Effect: (1) Polysaccharide gel extracted from fruit-hulls of durian seems to have a beneficial effect on wound healing in a pig study.(2) Bactericidal effect of polysaccharide gel was clearly demonstrated against S. aureus and E. coli. Study showed accelerated wound healing.
• Phenolic Content / Antioxidant Effect: Study showed the durian cultivars’ high bioactivity and total polyphenols were the main contributors to the overall antioxidant capacity and provides a source of nutritional supplement.
• Fruit-Hulls Antimicrobial Activity: PG inhibited the growth of 2 bacterial strains tested: S aureus and E coli. The yeast strains were resistant.

• Durian with Alcohol: Reports have been made of believed adverse and sometimes lethal effects of ingesting durian while drinking alcohol. The scientific basis has not been established. A study showed a dose-dependent inhibition of yeast ALDH (aldehyde dehydrogenase) by sulphur-rich fruit extract. Results support the role of durian fruit’s high sulphur content in its ALDH-inhibiting property providing insight into the disulfiram-ethanol-like reaction with the simulataneous fruit ingestion and alcohol consumption.

Known Hazards:
As a potassium-rich food it could be a good fruit to supplement potassium needs for patients on diuretic therapy. However, it’s potassium content should be of concern in patients with kidney failure or varying degrees of renal impairment or those already taking other forms of potassium supplementaion or potassium-sparing diuretics.

Other Uses:
• Dried rinds burned as fuel and used to smoke fish>
• Ash used to bleach silk.

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

Styphnolobium japonicum

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Botanical Name : Styphnolobium japonicum
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Genus: Styphnolobium
Tribe: Sophoreae
Species: S. japonicum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Syn. Sophora japonica
Common Names :Pagoda Tree,Chinese Scholar, Japanese pagodatree or Scholar tree.

Habitat :Styphnolobium japonicum is native to eastern Asia (mainly China; despite the name, it is introduced in Japan), is a popular ornamental tree in Europe, North America and South Africa, grown for its white flowers, borne in late summer after most other flowering trees have long finished flowering.Open country between 300 and 1000 metres in W. China.

A decidious Tree growing  into a lofty tree 10-20 m tall with an equal spread, and produces a fine, dark brown timber.
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in September, and the seeds ripen in November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It can fix Nitrogen. Compound leaves with small leaflets.  Medium to dark green, with yellowish fall color.Stems are  Green, flowers are creamy white, bloom in late summer.  Flowers are shaped like flowers of pea plants and have a faint fragrance.

Click for more pictures

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires moist soil and can tolerate drought.It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Succeeds in a well-drained moderately fertile soil in full sun. Tolerates poor soils, atmospheric pollution, heat and, once established, drought. Hardy to about -25° when mature, but it can be damaged by severe frosts when it is young[200]. A very ornamental and fast growing tree, it grows best in hot summers. It grows best in the warmer areas of the country where the wood will be more readily ripened and better able to withstand winter cold. Trees take 30 years to come into flower from seed, but they do not often ripen their seed in Britain. Cultivated in China for the rutin contained in its leaves and ovaries. Plants should be container-grown and planted out whilst young, older plants do not transplant well. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Pre-soak stored seed for 12 hours in hot (not boiling) water and sow in late winter in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle into individual pots in the greenhouse, and grow them on for 2 years under protected conditions. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer of their third year. Cuttings of young shoots with a heel, July/August in a frame. Air-layering.

Edible Uses:-
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves.

Young leaves and flowers – cooked. The leaves need to be cooked in three lots of water in order to remove the bitterness. This will also remove most of the vitamins and minerals. The leaves are a rich source of rutin, they contain much more than the usual commercial source, buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum). The ovaries, before the flowers open, contain up to 40% rutin. A tea can be made from the young leaves and flowers. An edible starch is obtained from the seed.

Medicinal Uses :
Abortifacient;  Antibacterial;  Anticholesterolemic;  Antiinflammatory;  Antispasmodic;  Diuretic;  Emetic;  Emollient;  Febrifuge;  Hypotensive;  Purgative;
Skin;  Styptic;  Tonic.

This species is commonly used in Chinese medicine and is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. It came second in a study of 250 potential antifertility agents. Diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, tonic. The flowers and flower buds are antibacterial, anticholesterolemic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, haemostatic and hypotensive. The ovaries, especially just before the plant flowers, are a rich source of rutin and this is a valuable hypotensive agent. The buds, flowers and pods are concocted and used in the treatment of a variety of ailments including internal haemorrhages, poor peripheral circulation, internal worms etc. This remedy should not be prescribed for pregnant women. The seedpods are abortifacient. The seed is emetic and haemostatic. It is used in the treatment of haemorrhoids, haematuria, uterine bleeding, constipation, stuffy sensation in the chest, dizziness, red eyes, headache and hypertension.It should be used with caution since it is toxic. The leaves are laxative. They are used in the treatment of epilepsy and convulsions. A decoction of the stems is used in the treatment of piles, sore eyes and skin problems.

S. japonicum is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Other Uses :-
Dye;  Wood.

A yellow dye is obtained from the seedpods and the flowers. It is green when mixed with indigo. Wood – tough, light, strong, of superior quality. Used in carpentry.

The Guilty Chinese Scholartree was a historic Pagoda Tree in Beijing, on which the last emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Chongzhen, hanged himself.

Known Hazards : The plant contains cytosine, which resembles nicotine and is similarly toxic.

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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