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Herbs & Plants

Turnera diffusa

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Botanical Name :Turnera diffusa
Family: Passifloraceae
Genus: Turnera
Species: T. diffusa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Synonym:Turnera diffusa aphrodisiaca

Common Name:Damiana

Habitat :Turnera diffusa is native to southwestern Texas in the United States,  Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean

Description:
Turnera diffusa is a relatively small shrub that produces small, aromatic flowers. It blossoms in early to late summer and is followed by fruits that taste similar to figs. The shrub is said to have a strong spice-like odor somewhat like chamomile, due to the essential oils present in the plant. The leaves have traditionally been made into a tea and an incense which was used by native people of Central and South America for its relaxing effects. Spanish missionaries first recorded that the Mexican Indians drank Damiana tea mixed with sugar for use as an aphrodisiac

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Cultivation:   
Requires a dry soil in a warm sunny sheltered position. One report says that this species is hardy to about -5°c, though this needs to be treated with some caution considering its native range is entirely tropical. It is possible that, whilst the plant will be cut back to the ground by cold weather, the rootstock is hardier and will re-sprout in the spring. It will certainly be worthwhile trying the plant outdoors and giving the roots a thick protective mulch in the autumn.

Propagation:  
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and give some protection from winter cold for at least their first winter outdoors. Division in spring or autumn. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Overwinter the young plants in a greenhouse and plant them out in early summer.

Constituents:  leaves: greenish volatile oil consisting of cineole, p-cymene, alpha- and beta-pinene, thymol, alpha-copaene, and calamene. the dry matter of the leaf includes damianin as well as tannins, flavonoids, beta-sitosterol, and the glycosides gonzalitosin, arbu

Medicinal Uses: * Aphrodisiac * Libido * Prostate
Properties: * Aphrodisiac * Astringent * Bitter * Nervine * Stimulant * Tonic
Parts Used: Leaf

Turnera diffusa has long been claimed to have a stimulating effect on libido, and its use as an aphrodisiac has continued into modern times. More recently, some corroborating scientific evidence in support of its long history of use has emerged. Several animal testing studies have shown evidence of increased sexual activity in rats of both sexes. Damiana has been shown to be particularly stimulating for sexually exhausted or impotent male rats as well as generally increased sexual activity in rats of both sexes. It has also been shown that damiana may function as an aromatase inhibitor, which has been suggested as a possible method of action for its reputed effects.

Turnera diffusa might be effective as an anxiolytic.

Turnera diffusa is an ingredient in a traditional Mexican liqueur, which is sometimes used in lieu of Triple Sec in margaritas. Mexican folklore claims that it was used in the “original” margarita. The damiana margarita is popular in the Los Cabos region of Mexico.

Turnera diffusa was included in several 19th century patent medicines, such as Pemberton’s French Wine Coca. The leaves were omitted from that product’s non-alcoholic counterpart, Coca-Cola.

Turnera diffusa is used primarily as an aphrodisiac for both sexes 1, and as a stimulant that can boost mental focus and stamina.

The health benefits of damiana are for the most part only verified by folklore and long observation, not by scientific study, however chemical analysis shows that damiana contains alkaloids similar to caffeine that have stimulating and aphrodisiac effects, stimulating blood flow to the genital area and increasing sensitivity. Some people report feelings of mild euphoria. Damiana is often combined with saw palmetto in formulas that address male prostate health.

Known Hazards :  Tetanus-like rigidity and genitourinary irritation in one patient. Possible hallucinations. May affect the control of blood sugar in diabetic patients

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

Resources:
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail201.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnera_diffusa
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Turnera+diffusa+aphrodisiaca

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Herbs & Plants

Argyreia nervosa

Botanical Name : Argyreia speciosa
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Argyreia
Species: A. nervosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales
Synonyms: Argyreia speciosa, Convolvulus nervosus, Convolvulus speciosus.
Common Names: Baby Hawaiian Woodrose, Baby Woodrose, Cordon Seda, Coup D’Air, Elephant Creeper, , Adhoguda or Vidhara, Liane A Minguet, Liane D’ Argent, Samudrasokh, Silver Morning Glory, Woolly Morning Glory.

Habitat : Native to eastern India and Bangladesh, Argyreia nervosa, Baby Hawaiian Woodrose has become panTropical.  Now introduced to numerous areas worldwide, including Hawaii, Africa and the Caribbean, it can be invasive, although is often prized for its aesthetic value. Common names include Hawaiian Baby Woodrose,

Description:
Perennial climber, height of  vine is  10m.

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Flower: clusters of trumpets, 5cm (about 2 inches) violet/lavender inside with a deep coloured throat, white with fine hairs outside. The plant can start growing flowers as early as 18 months from seed. For this to occur, there must be sufficient watering and adequate room for the roots to grow; it can take up to five years for the first signs of flowering to become visible.
Fruit: “Woodrose”; globular berry, 1 to 2cm diameter, with rosette of “wooden” petals. Often sold for dried flower arrangements/pot-pourri.

Foliage: 15 to 40cm long cordate (heart-shaped) prominently nerved leaves, felted (tomentose) beneath with minute silky hairs.

Seeds :
The seeds are found in the pods of dried flowers. These cannot be harvested until the pods are completely dried. There are 3 to 5 seeds, commonly 4, per flower.

Roots

Some people place approximately 1 to 2 inches (2 to 4 cm) in rich potting soil with a good drainage system. It is very important during the first stages of growth to keep the soil moist, though well drained, as saturation will cause root rot and possibly rot. It is important to keep the mix well aerated.

The massive root system of this plant can cause the plant to become rootbound within the first year or so. For example, a 5-year-old plant in a 15-gallon pot (after only six months) will begin to show signs of becoming rootbound. It is suggested to use a 55-gallon drum or a feeding trough (commonly used for livestock and horses).

Cultivation:

Very easy !

Just soak the seeds in water overnight, then keep them on a moist paper towel until the roots start to poke out.

When you can see a little white root starting to push out from one end of a seed sow the seed into a water retaining but free draining growing mix – about an inch (2 cm) or slightly more below the surface with the little root pointing upwards !

Within a few days the first 2 leaves will pull themselves out of the ground.

Chemical constituents — The plant contains tannin and amber-colored resin, soluble in ether, benzole; partly soluble in alkalis; and fatty oil.103

The seeds have shown the presence of alkaloids, viz., chanoclavine, ergine, ergonovine, and isoergine by various workers.10

Pharmacological action — Alterative, aphrodisiac, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, tonic, and emollient.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used — Root and seeds.
Ayurvedic description — Rasa — katu, tikta, kasaya; Guna — laghu, snigdha; Veerya — ushna; Vipak — madhur.

Action and uses—Kapha vatsamak, branpachan,daran, sodhan, ropan, naribalya, dipan, pachan, ampachan, anulomon, rachan, hiridya sothahar, surkrjanan, pramehangan, balya, rasayan.

Powder of the root is given with “ghee” as an alterative; in elephantiasis the powder is given with rice water. In inflammation of the joints it is given with milk and a little castor oil. A paste of the roots made with rice water is applied over rheumatic swelling and rubbed over the body to reduce obesity. The whole plant is reported to have antiseptic properties.1 The leaves are antiphlogistic; they are applied over skin diseases and wounds;109 the silky side of the leaf is applied over tumors, boils, sores, and carbuncles;, as an irritant to promote maturation and suppuration.50 The leaves are also used for extracting guinea worms. A drop of the leaf juice is used in otitis.

The root of this plant is regarded as alterative, tonic and useful in rheumatic affections, and diseases of the nervous system. As an alterative and nervine tonic it is prescribed in the following manner. The powdered root is soaked, seven times during seven days, in the juice of the tubers of Asparagus racemosus ( satamuli) and dried. The resulting powder is given in doses of a quarter to half a tola, with clarified butter, for about a month. It is said to improve the intellect, strengthen the body and prevent the effects of age.1 In synovitis the powdered root is given with milk.2

Ajamod?di churna.3 Take of ajowan, baberang, rock salt, plumbago root, Cedrus deodara, long pepper root, long pepper, black pepper and dill seeds each two tolsa, chebulic myrobalan ten tolas, root of Argyreia speciosa twenty tolas, ginger twenty tolas; powder and mix. Dose, about two drachms with treacle. This preparation is said to be useful in rheumatic affections and hemiplegia

Other Uses:  Psychotropic, in India it is an Ayurvedic medicinal plant, ornamental (dried flower arrangements).

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/Hawaiian_baby_woodrose
http://b-and-t-world-seeds.com/365.htm
http://www.iamshaman.com/hbwr/ayurvedic.htm
http://chestofbooks.com/health/materia-medica-drugs/Hindus-Materia-Medica/Argyreia-Speciosa-Sweet-Syn-Lettsomia-Nervosa-Roxb-Sans.html

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Herbs & Plants

Castilleja linariaefolia

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Botanical Name : Castilleja linariaefolia
Family  : Scrophulariaceae / Orobanchaceae
Genus
;  Castilleja

KingdomPlantae
Order: Lamiales
Species: 
C. linariifolia

Synonym:Castilleja linearis/Castilleja traainii

Common Name: Wyoming Indian Paintbrush

Habitat :Native to United States and is the state flower of Wyoming. South-western N. America.   It grows on dry plains and hills, usually with sagebrush, and in hills to 3,000 metres.

Description:
Castilleja linariaefolia  is a  perennial   herbaceous   plant , grows up to 1 meter in height and has linear leaves which are between 20 and 80 mm in length and have up to 3 lobes. The flowers, which consist of a red to yellow calyx and yellow-green floral tube, appear in panicles or spikes between June and September in its native range.

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It is hardy to zone 0. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds. Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping.

Cultivation:The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) 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: Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season. Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

Propagation: From seed; direct sow after last frost

Edible Uses
Flowers

Medicinal Uses
Treats skin diseases, kidney disorders and leprosy. A decoction of the plant has been used in the treatment of excessive menstrual discharge and other menstrual difficulties, and also to prevent conception. A decoction of the leaves has been used during pregnancy in order to keep the baby small and thus lead to an easier labour. The root is cathartic. A decoction has been used as a blood purifier. When taken over a long period of time, a decoction of the root is said to be an effective treatment for venereal disease. The plant has been used to treat stomach aches.

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.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Castilleja+linariaefolia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castilleja_linariifolia

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/73750/index.html

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