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Herbs & Plants

Potentilla Tormentilla

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Botanical Name:Potentilla Tormentilla
Family:    Rosaceae
Subfamily:Rosoideae
Genus:Potentilla
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Rosales

Synonyms: Septfoil. Thormantle. Biscuits. Bloodroot. Earthbank. Ewe Daisy. Five Fingers. Flesh and Blood. Shepherd’s Knapperty. Shepherd’s Knot. English Sarsaparilla.

Common Names: Shepherd’s Knot, Tormentil

Habitat :Potentilla Tormentilla is native to Europe, western Asia and North Africa. It can be found in pastures, heaths, open woods and moorlands, preferring light acid soils.

Description:
Potentilla Tormentilla is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing 10 to 30 centimeters tall. It has erect and slender stems and pinnately compound, glossy leaves. Leaves have three obovate leaflets with serrated margins.  Leaves on the stalks are sessile and with shorter petioles than the radical ones. Flowering occurs from May to September. During this period a single flower appears at the tip. The flower is yellow and four-petaled.
Parts used: Dried rhizome and herb.

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In Potentilla Tormentilla the flowers are yellow as in P. reptans, but smaller, and have four petals instead of five, and eight sepals, not ten so separated as to form a Maltese cross when regarded from above.

From the root-stock come leaves on long stalks, divided into three or five oval leaflets (occasionally, but rarely, seven, hence the names Septfoil and Seven Leaves), toothed towards their tips. The stem-leaves, in this species, are stalkless with three leaflets.

A small-flowered form is very frequent on heaths and in dry pastures, a larger-flowered, in which the slender stems do not rise, but trail on the ground, is more general in woods, and on hedge-banks. From the ascending form, 6 to 12 inches high, this species has been called P. erecta, but even in this case the long stems are more often creeping and ascending rather than actually erect.

Medicinal use:

Parts used: Dried rhizome and the herb

Chemical Constituents: It contains 18 to 30 per cent of tannin, 18 per cent of a red colouring principle – Tormentil Red, a product of the tannin and yielding with potassium hydroxide, protocatechuic acid and phloroglucin. It is soluble in alcohol, but insoluble in water. Also some resin and ellagic and kinovic acids have been reported.

There is a great demand for the rhizome, which in modern herbal medicine. Common Tormentil is considered to be a very good astringent and tonic. It is a very beneficial remedy against acute and nervous diarrhea, and can relieve symptoms of mucous and ulcerative colitis. It is also useful in treatment of constipation. It also imparts nourishment and support to the bowels. Quinoric acid found in Common Tormentil is a powerful agent against malaria. Used as a gargle, the plant expresses its astringent properties and helps in cases of mucous membranes inflammations.It is employed as a gargle in sore, relaxed and ulcerated throat and also as an injection in leucorrhoea.

The fluid extract acts as a styptic to cuts, wounds, etc.  It can be also very helpful in the treatment of laryngitis, pharyngitis, bleeding gums and mouth ulcers. Used in a douche, Common Tormentil can be helpful in cases of vaginal infections. It can ameliorate the healing of wounds and cuts. A decoction is said to help in case of conjunctivitis.A strongly-made decoction is recommended as a good wash for piles and inflamed eyes. The decoction is made by boiling 2 OZ. of the bruised root in 50 OZ. of water till it is reduced one-third. It is then strained and taken in doses of 1 1/2 OZ. It may be used as an astringent gargle. If a piece of lint be soaked in the decoction and kept applied to warts, they will disappear.

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://health-from-nature.net/Common_Tormentil.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potentilla_tormentilla
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/tormen25.html

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Herbs & Plants

Chelidonium majus

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Botanical Name : Chelidonium majus
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus:    Chelidonium
Species: C. majus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:    Ranunculales

Synonyms: Common Celandine. Garden Celandine.

Common Names: Greater celandine; Tetterwort,  Sanguinaria canadensis, Nipplewort, Swallowwort
Habitat:  Chelidonium majus is native to Europe and western Asia and introduced widely in North America. Found by old walls, on waste ground and in hedges, nearly always in the neighbourhood of human habitations.

Description:
Chelidonium majus is a perennial herb with an erect habit, and reaches 30 to 120 cm high. The leaves are pinnate with lobed and wavy-edged margins, 30 cm long. When injured, the plant exudes a yellow to orange latex.
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The flowers consist of four yellow petals, each about 1 cm long, with two sepals. A double-flowered variety occurs naturally. The flowers appear from late spring to summer in umbelliform cymes of about 4 flowers.

The seeds are small and black, borne in a long capsule. Each has an elaiosome, which attracts ants to disperse the seeds (myrmecochory).

It is considered an aggressive invasive plant in natural areas (both woods and fields). Control is obtained mainly via pulling or spraying the plant before seed.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: The whole herb, collected in the wild state, from May to July, when in flower, and dried. Likewise, the fresh juice.

Constituents: The alkaloids Chelidonine and Chelerythrin, the latter narcotic and poisonous, also the two nearly allied alkaloids, Homochelidonine A, and Homocheli donine B. In addition, Protopine and Sanguinarine, and a body named Chelidoxanthin, a neutral bitter principle.

Alterative, diuretic, purgative. It is used in jaundice, eczema, scrofulous diseases, etc., the infusion of 1 OZ. of the dried herb to a pint of boiling water being taken in wineglassful doses. The infusion is a cordial and greatly promotes perspiration. The addition of a few aniseeds in making a decoction of the herb in wine has been held to increase its efficacy in removing obstructions of the liver and gall. Chelidonium majus has traditionally been used for treatment of various inflammatory diseases including atopic dermatitis. It is also traditionally used in the treatment of gallstones and dyspepsia.

Greater celandine acts as a mild sedative, relaxing the muscles of the bronchial tubes, intestines, and other organs.  In both Western and Chinese herbal traditions, it has been used to treat bronchitis, whooping cough and asthma.  The herb’s antispasmodic effect also extends to the gallbladder, where it helps to improve bile flow.  This would partly account for its use in treating jaundice, gallstones, and gallbladder pain, as well as its longstanding reputation as a detoxifying herb.  The tincture or infusion of the leaf will stimulate and clean the liver.  In one study, researchers gave tablets containing chelidonine to 60 people with symptoms of gallstones for six weeks.  Doctors reported a significant reduction in symptoms.  Greater celandine’s sedative action does not, however, extend to the uterusit causes the muscles of this organ to contract.  Externally the salve has been used to clear eczema, scrofula and herpes.  The juice applied to the eyes will clear the vision, and applied to wounds will promote healing.   The fresh juice is dabbed two or three times a day on warts, ringworm and corns. (Do not allow it to touch other parts of the skin.)  The fresh juice mixed with milk is used to help remove cataracts and the white spots that form on the cornea.  An ointment of the roots and leaves boiled in oil or lard is an excellent treatment for hemorrhoids.  Only the dried herb should be taken internally.  The fluid extract is made with the fresh herb.   Ukrain, a derivate of celandine, is used for solid tumors such as breast, lung, and colon, as opposed to leukemia and myeloma, It can be beneficial even when used in combination with Taxol plus supporting the liver function.

A fluid extract is also prepared, the dose being 1/2 to 1 drachm. Eight to 10 drops of the tincture made from the whole herb, or of the fresh juice, given as a dose three times a day in sweetened water, is considered excellent for overcoming torpid conditions of the liver. In the treatment of the worst forms of scurvy it has been given with benefit.

The orange-coloured, acrid juice is commonly used fresh to cure warts, ringworm and corns, but should not be allowed to come into contact with any other part of the skin.

In milk, it is employed as an eye-lotion, to remove the white, opaque spots on the cornea. Mixed with sulphur, it was formerly used to cure the itch.

An ointment made of the roots and lard boiled together, also of the leaves and flowers, has been used with advantage for piles.

Celandine is a very popular medicine in Russia, where it is said to have proved effective in cases of cancer.

It is still used in Suffolk as a fomentation for toothache.

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/Chelidonium
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/celgre43.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Berchemia Lineata

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Botanical Name : Berchemia lineata
Family : Rhamnaceae
Genus: Berchemia

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Species: B. lineata
Synonyms : Berchemia axilliflora – Cheng.,Berchemia edgeworthii – Lawson.,Berchemia nana – W.W.Smith.,Rhamnus lineatus – L.
Habitat:Range E. Asia – C. and N. China to the Himalayas.It occurs naturally in dry thickets in the rainshadows of the central Asian mountains. B. lineata is found from northern China to Nepal, but is also cultivated in gardens. On rocks and in forests, 2000 – 2700 metres in the Himalayas. Scrub thickets in dry places at elevations of 2400 – 4000 metres in Nepal.Hills, open places, roadsides; low elevations. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Taiwan [India, Japan, Vietnam].

Description:
A decidious Climber growing to 4m tall. Shrubs, prostrate or procumbent. Branchlets yellow-green, densely pubescent; older branches glabrescent. Stipules remarkable, reddish, lanceolate, 3-5 mm, persistent; petiole 1-3 mm, pubescent; leaf blade abaxially greenish and with minute dark pits, adaxially dark green, broadly elliptic or oblong-ovate, 5-20 × 4-12 mm, papery, both surfaces glabrous, lateral veins 4-6 pairs, base rounded, apex rounded or obtuse, with a mucro 1-2 mm, often slightly emarginate. Flowers white, very small, 4-5 mm in diam., in terminal cymose racemes or in fascicles of few to 10 in leaf axils. Pedicel 2.5-4 mm, glabrous. Calyx tube campanulate; lobes triangular-lanceolate, ca. 1.5 mm. Petals lanceolate, ca. 2.5 mm. Stamens slightly longer than petals, with very thin, flat filaments. Drupe yellowish green when young, dark blue and waxy at maturity, globose to ovoid to ellipsoid, 5-6 mm, to 3 mm in diam., with persistent disk and calyx tube at base; fruiting pedicel 4.5-5 mm, pilose. Fl. Jul-Oct, fr. Nov.
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The roots and leaves are used medicinally for relieving coughs and reducing sputum and for treating injuries, trauma, and snakebites.

It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen in November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained 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
Requires a good moist well-drained loam, succeeding in full sun if the soil does not dry out otherwise it is best in light shade. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. Suitable for growing along fences, against walls with wire supports or for growing through other shrubs. Plants climb by means of twining around supports. Closely related to B. edgeworthii.

Propagation

Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, November to January in a frame. Root cuttings in winter[200]. Layering of young stems in winter

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit.

Fruit. – raw or cooked. Only eat the fruit when it is black ripe. The fruit is not very freely produced in Britain[1]. The fruit is about 8mm in diameter.

Medicinal Actions & Uses:-
Antitussive; Febrifuge.

The plant has been used as a febrifuge. The roots and leaves have been used as a medicine to relieve coughs and reduce sputum, to treat injuries, trauma and snakebite.

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?Berchemia+lineata
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berchemia_lineata
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=620&taxon_id=200013327

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Herbs & Plants

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

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Botanical Name: Sanguinaria canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Sanguinaria
Species: S. canadensis

Common Names: Bloodwort, Redroot, Red puccoon, Pauson Tetterwort, although that name is also used to refer to Chelidonium majus.

Parts Used: Root and rhizome
Habitat: Bloodroot is  native to eastern North America. It  grows in Rich woods. Across Canada to Nova Scotia; south from New England to Florida; west to Eastern Texas; north to Manitoba.

Description:
Bloodroot is a perennial, herbaceous flowering plant. It grows from 20 to 50 cm (7.9 to 19.7 in) tall. It has one large basal leaf, up to 12 cm (4.7 in) across, with five to nine lobes. The leaves and flowers sprout from a reddish rhizome with bright orange sap that grows at or slightly below the soil surface. The rhizomes grow longer each year, and branch to form colonies. Plants start to bloom before the foliage unfolds in early spring. After blooming the leaves expand to their full size and go summer dormant in mid to late summer.

The flowers bloom from March to May depending on the region and weather. They have 8-12 delicate white petals and yellow stamens, and two sepals below the petals, which fall off after the flowers open. The flower stems are clasped by the leaves. The flowers are pollinated by small bees and flies. Seeds develop in green pods 40 to 60 mm (1.6 to 2.4 in) long, and ripen before the foliage goes dormant. The seeds are round and black to orange-red when ripe, and have white elaiosomes, which are eaten by ants.

You may click to see the pictures.

Cultivation:
Bloodroot is cultivated as an ornamental plant. The double-flowered forms are prized by gardeners for their large showy white flowers, which are produced very early in the gardening season. Bloodroot flower petals are shed within a day or two of pollination so the flower display is short lived, but the double forms bloom much longer than the normal forms. The double flowers are made up of stamens that have been changed into petal looking like parts, making pollination more difficult.

History:
American Indians used root tea for rheumatism, asthma, bronchitis, lung ailments, laryngitis, fevers; also as an emetic. Root juice applied to warts; also used as a dye and a decorative skin stain.
A bachelor of the Ponca tribe would rub a piece of the root as a love charm on the palm of his hand, then scheme to shake hands with the woman he desired to marry. After shaking hands, the girl would be found willing to marry him in 5 to 6 days.
One of the earliest reported uses of bloodroot, or puccoon, as it was then commonly known, was a dye. John Smith reported in 1612 that “Pocones is a small roote that groweth in the mountaines, which being dryed and beate in powder turneth red; and this they use for swellings, aches, annointing their joints, painting their heads and garments . . . and at night where his lodging is appointed, they set a woman fresh painted red with Pocones and oile, to be his bedfellow.”

Constituents: Sanguinarine, Sanguidimerine, Cholerythrine, Protopine, Berberine, Copticine, Red resin.The root contains several alkaloids, most notably sanguinarine, which has shown antiseptic, anesthetic and anticancer activity. American Indians used the root for rhuematism, asthma, bronchitis, lung ailments, laryngyitis and fevers. The red-orange juice from the root was applied to warts, used as a dye and a decorative skin stain.

Medicinal Properties:    Antiseptic, antispasmodic, cathartic, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, sedative, stimulant, and tonic.

Main Uses:

Bloodroot has been used as a diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, stimulant, and tonic. Bloodroot has been used historically in numerous topical preparations for the treatment of various skin cancers, and also for sores, warts, eczema, and other dermal & epidermal problems. It has also been used internally in herbal preparations for congestive lung conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Studies find that sanguinarine, a compound found in bloodroot, kills bacteria, stops them from converting carbohydrates into gum tissue-eating acid, and blocks enzymes that destroy collagen in gum tissue. Some studies have shown small amounts to be even more effective in reducing dental plaque than chlorhexidine, the active ingredient in mouthwashes and the effects can last up to 4 hours. Some companies are now making toothpaste and mouthwash using it as an active ingredient. The root in a vinegar extract makes a very good antifungal wash for athlete’s foot. Prepared as a powder, bloodroot may be sniffed to treat nasal polyps.

The paste of the root has been recommended to remove warts and the powder is used in a number of cancer salves (a process too complicated for this monograph). Carcinomas of the human nose and ear have responded to topical treatment with a preparation containing bloodroot extract.
It is used when bronchitis, sub-acute or chronic asthma, croup, laryngitis, pharyngitis and deficient capillary (blood) circulation is indicated. It is used as a specific for asthma and bronchitis with feeble peripheral blood circulation.
Bloodroot has been used for many years by American Indians and herbal practitioners as a remedy for skin cancer. The fresh juice from the root, a concentrated tincture, or a salve containing capsicum and fresh juice concentrate has been used.

Contraindications:   In some cases, excessive doses of Bloodroot can cause low blood pressure, vertigo, tremors, vomiting, reduced pulse, shock, and coma. Large doses can be poisonous.

Some experts recommend the following doses:
Steep a level teaspoonful of the fresh root into a pint of boiling water for half an hour. Strain. When cold, take a teaspoonful 3 times a day.
As a tincture (1:5 in 60% alcohol), 2 drops three times a day.
As an extract (1:1 in 60% alcohol), 1 drop three times a day.

Other Uses:
Commercial uses of sanguinarine and bloodroot extract include dental hygiene products. The United States FDA has approved the inclusion of sanguinarine in toothpastes as an antibacterial or anti-plaque agent. However, the use of bloodroot in oral hygiene products is associated with the development of oral leukoplakia, a premalignant lesion which may develop into oral cancer. On 24 Nov 2003, the Colgate-Palmolive Company of Piscataway, New Jersey, United States commented by memorandum to the United States Food and Drug Administration that then-proposed rules for levels of sanguinarine in mouthwash and dental wash products were lower than necessary. However, this conclusion is controversial.

Some animal food additives sold and distributed in Europe such as Phytobiotics’ Sangrovit contain sanguinarine and chelerythrine. On 14 May 2003, Cat Holmes reported in Georgia Faces that Jim Affolter and Selima Campbell, horticulturists at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, were meeting with Phytobiotics to relate their research into commercial cultivation of bloodroot.

Plant dye:
Bloodroot is a popular red natural dye used by Native American artists, especially among southeastern rivercane basketmakers. The blood of the root (when cut open) was used as a dye. A break in the surface of the plant, especially the roots, reveals a reddish sap.

Warning!
Bloodroot is dangerous. It should only be used with
guidance of a trained herbalist or physician.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanguinaria
http://ncnatural.com/wildflwr/blodroot.html
http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/sanguinariacana.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

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