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Jaboticaba

Botanical Name:Myrciaria cauliflora
Family:    Myrtaceae
Genus:    Plinia
Species:P. cauliflora
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:   Myrtales

Synonyms:Plinia cauliflora

Common Name:Jaboticaba

Other Common Names:Brazilian Grape Tree, Jaboticaba, Jabotica, Jabuticabeira, Guaperu, Guapuru, Hivapuru, Sabará and Ybapuru (Guarani).

Habitat: Jaboticaba is native to Minas Gerais and São Paulo states in southeastern Brazil. Related species in the genus Myrciaria, often referred to by the same common name, are native to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru and Bolivia.

Description:
Jaboticaba is a slow growing large shrub or small, bushy tree. It reaches a height of 10 – 15 feet in California and 12 – 45 feet in Brazil, depending on the species. The trees are profusely branched, beginning close to the ground and slanting upward and outward so that the dense, rounded crown may attain an ultimate spread as wide as it is tall. The thin, beige to reddish bark flakes off much like that of the guava.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The evergreen, opposite leaves are lanceolate to elliptic, 1 – 4 inches in length and 1/2 – 3/4 inch wide. In color they are a glossy dark green with a leathery texture. The size, shape and texture varies somewhat from one species to another.

Small yellow-white flowers dramatically emerge from the multiple trunks, limbs and large branches in groups of four. It has been reported from Brazil that solitary jaboticaba trees bear poorly compared with those planted in groups, which indicates that cross-pollination enhances productivity.

The fruit is grape-like in appearance and texture but with a thicker, tougher skin. Most California fruit is dark purple to almost black in color. Averages size is one inch in diameter but can run from 3/4 to 1-1/2 inches, depending on species and variety. The gelatinous whitish pulp contains from one to four small seeds and has a pleasant, subacid flavor markedly similar to certain muscadine grapes. The skin has a slight resinous flavor that is not objectionable. Fruit may be produced singly or in clusters from the ground up all over the trunk and main branches, and the plant may fruit up to five times per year. Fresh fruit is delicious eaten out-of-hand and can be made into jellies, jams and wine. The skin is high in tannin and should not be consumed in large quantities over a long period of time.

Propagation: Most seeds are polyembryonic, producing a plant that is true or close to the parent plant. The seeds germinate in about one month. A suggested potting mixture is 2 parts peat, 2 parts coarse sand and 1 part coarse perlite, wood shavings or compost. Selected strains can be reproduced by inarching (approach grafting) or air-layering. Budding is not easily accomplished because of the thinness of the bark and the hardness of the of the wood. Veneer or side grafts are fairly successful. The grafted plant will fruit considerably earlier than a seedling. One may expect a grafted plant to produce fruit within three years, It can take from 8 to 15 years for a seedling to mature into a fruiting tree. It is this very slow growth that has kept this plant from becoming as popular as it deserves to be. Grafting older trees over to a different variety is inadvisable because it is the trunk and inner branches which produce the fruit. One would have to cut the tree back to a one-inch stump in order to change its fruiting nature.

Edible Uses:
The Jaboticaba fruit is purple-black in color with plum-sized fruits cluster which is directly around the stem and main branches of the tree. These fruits are grape-like in appearance and also the flavor tastes as that of grapes, being sweet with an attractive sub acid tang. The fruits skin is tougher than grapes and this aids storage and handling.

The jabuticaba is a fresh juicy fruit that can be eaten fresh off the tree. It is also used in jellies, or left to ferment and become wine and hard liquor.

Taste-The fruit Jaboticaba’s appearance invited Trubus to taste those ripe fruits. Rosy Nur Apriyanti, Trubus reporter, picked up from the fruits. ‘It tastes sweet,’ as the grape like fruit flesh with soft texture was enjoyed by the tongue. “On the first day of the fruit picked, its flavour is like guava, and the second day it is like mangosteen, and the third day is lychee taste, the forth is passion fruit taste, the fifth is sweetsop fruit; the sixth up to the eighth is grape fruit nature of taste.” The best flavor impression is on the ninth day when fruit becomes perfectly ripe and it tastes sweet and smells good.

Medicinal Uses:
Jaboticaba is used for the treatment of hemoptysis, asthma, diarrhea and dysentery also as a gargle for chronic inflammation of the tonsils are by the caustic decoction of the sun-dry skins is agreed in Brazil. Such use of fruit also may lead to excessive consumption of tannin.

The fruit of Jaboticaba contain compounds similar to known to have positive biological effects in cranberries, grapes and other related species, including anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory and the antioxidant qualities.

It is discovered that several anticancer compounds in this fruit , so scientists hope to be useful in the fight against this disease.

Other Uses: The jaboticaba makes an attractive landscape plant.
Cultural aspects:
The name jabuticaba, derived from the Tupi word Jabuti (tortoise) + Caba (place), meaning the place where you find tortoises. The Guarani name is “Yvapuru”, where yva means fruit, and the onomatopoeic word pur? for the crunching sound the fruit produces when bitten.

A traditional song from the eastern region of Bolivia refers to a young woman as having “eyes like the guapuru” (because of their soft blackness) and a mouth “as sweet as the achachairu.”

The jabuticaba tree, which appears as a charge on the coat of arms of Contagem, Minas Gerais, Brazil, has become a widely used species in the art of bonsai, particularly in Taiwan and parts of the Caribbean.

In Brazil, it is common to refer to something allegedly unique to the country as a “jabuticaba” since the tree supposedly only grows in Brazil. It is usually a pejorative expression.

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.fruitsinfo.com/Jabotacaba-Exotic-fruits.php
http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/jaboticaba.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jabuticaba
http://www.thegardenguru.net/edible-fruiting-tropical-plants/jaboticaba-the-brazilian-tree-grape/

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Herbs & Plants

Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco

Botanical Name : Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus:     Aspidosperma
Species: A. quebracho-blanco
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Gentianales

Synonyms: Quebracho Bark. Quebracho-blanco.

Common Names :Kebrako or White quebracho,  (It must not be confused with other species also known as quebracho, but belonging to the genus Schinopsis.)

Habita: Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco is native to  Chile and Argentina, Bolivia, Southern Brazil.

Description:
Tree growing to 30m, with thick corky bark, leathery leaves and tubular white flowers.  Fools moths into pollinating it by looking like plants that reward pollinators, but not itself offering any reward.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
click to  see the pictures
Quebracho blanco wood is uniformly yellow-ochre, without differences between hardwood and sapwood. It is quite heavy (relative density = 0.885 g/cm³) and hard, and responds well to bending and shock. Upon drying it tends to collapse, producing deformations and cracks, so the drying process is slow; the wood must be treated with fungicides. It is easy to work and has many uses in carpentry (carts, wheels, floors, shoes, tool handles, furniture); it is also good for chess pieces, skis, etc. Preserved with creosote it can be used outdoors. In some places it is widely used as coal, since it does not produce sparks or large amounts of ash, and it burns strong and slowly.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: The Bark.

Constituents: Contains six alkaloids: Aspidospermine, Aspidospermatine, Aspidosamine, Quebrachine, Hypoquebrachine and Quebrachamine. All agree that quebrachine is the most active.

Two new sugars, quebrachite and laevogyrate inosite, tannin and starch have also been extracted.

Used as Tonic, febrifuge and anti-asthmatic.
Antispasmodic. Treats asthma and emphysema. Tonic. Reduces fever. Astringent – it has been used on burns and cuts. Contains yohimbine.

When a preparation of Quebracho or Aspidosperma is injected into the circulation, the rate and depth of the respiration increases largely, apparently due to direct action on the respiratory centre, and the blood-pressure falls.

Aspidosperma is used in medicine for the relief of various types of dyspnoea, especially in emphysema and in asthma. It is not generally useful to interrupt the paroxysm, but, as a rule, if used continuously, it will reduce the frequency and severity of attacks.

Under the name of amorphous aspidospermine, a mixture of the various alkaloids has become known in commerce.

Other Uses:Wood is very hard and is used for various purposes.

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/Aspidosperma_quebracho-blanco
http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Aspidosperma+quebracho-blanco
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/q/quebra02.html

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Fabiana imbricata

Botanical Name :Fabiana imbricata
Family: Solanaceae
Genus:     Fabiana
Species: F. imbricata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Solanales

Synonym: Fabiana.
.Common Name : Pichi

Habitat:Fabiana imbricata is native to Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentine Republic.It occurs on dry upland slopes.

Description:
A neat half-hardy evergreen shrub, very like a heath in general appearance. Fastigiate habit, has small branches covered with scale-like imbricated leaves, colour bluish green, leaves are smooth, entire, flowers solitary, terminal, corolla tubular, usually white, sometimes purple. A dwarf decorative plant; will grow in warmer parts of England; it needs a bright sheltered sunny spot, and would do well on a rockery. The fruit is a capsule containing a few sub-globular seeds. The odour of the drug is aromatic, the taste bitter, and terebinthinate. It grows to 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) tall and wide, it is a frost-hardy, heath-like evergreen mound-forming shrub. It has needle-like leaves and small white, tubular flowers in early summer. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:  
Succeeds in a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. Plants are not very hardy in Britain, growing best in areas that receive little or no frost. The cultivar ‘Violacea’ is generally faster growing and is somewhat hardier than the type, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c.

Propagation:  
Seed – sow in a well-drained sandy soil in the greenhouse. 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. Greenwood cuttings, rooted with gentle bottom heat, summer in a cold frame

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used: Dried leaf and twig

Constituents: Volatile oil, fat, resin, bitter fluorescent glucoside, and an alkaloid fabianine and tannin.

Tonic, cholagogue, a valuable terebinthic diuretic, largely used in acute vesical catarrh, giving very favourable results where urinary irritation is caused by gravel. Is said to ease the irritability and assist in the expulsion of renal, urethal or cystic calculi, very useful in the treatment of jaundice and dyspepsia due to lack of biliary secretion. Is contraindicated in organic disease of the kidneys, though cases of renal haemorrhages from Bright’s disease have been greatly benefited by its use; it has been used also for gonorrhoea and gonorrhoeal prostatitis.

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://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fabiana+imbricata
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabiana_imbricata
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/pichi-31.html

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Herbs & Plants

Palicourea densiflora

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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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Herbs & Plants

Dorstenia Contrayerva

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Botanical Name : Dorstenia Contrayerva
Family: Moraceae
Tribe:     Dorstenieae
Genus:     Dorstenia
Species: D. contrajerva
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Rosales

Synonyms: Dorstenia Houstoni (LINN.).

Common Name :contrayerva, carapia, carapá, chupa-chupa, conta-de-cobra, bezoar, bezoard, contraerva, contra-erva, contrayerba de las Antillas, figueirinha, liga-liga, liga-osso, tarope, tiu

Habitat:Dorstenia Contrayerva is native of Mexico, West Indies and Peru.It may be found in Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Uruguay, Paraquay, Venezuela and the three Guianas. It  grows wild throughout the Amazon rainforest.

Description:.
Dorstenia Contrayerva is a small herb growing about 8 or 10 inches high with distinctly veined leaves and small basket-shaped flowers. Dorstenia is one of the few genuses in the large Moraceae family that produces small herbaceous plants.It produces a reddish-brown cylindrical rhizome that is 2-4 cm long and about 1 cm thick with many small roots.

click to see the pictures

Name derived from a Spanish-American word signifying counterpoison or antidote. It is probable that the root sold as Contrayerva is derived from several species of Dorstenia, others being Dorstenia Houstoni and D. Drabena, the former growing near Campeachy, the latter near Vera Cruz. The official root is the product of D. Brasiliensis and comes from Brazil. The commercial root is oblong, 1 or 2 inches long, thickness varies, hard rough solid, outside reddish brown, paler inside, odour aromatic, taste warm, bitter, pungent, rootlets notas strong as main tubes. The root properties are extracted by alcohol and boiling water, and makes a very mucilaginous decoction.

Click to see:

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: Root.

Chemical Constituents: Cajupine and contrayerbine.

The root is used medicinally and it is considered in herbal medicine systems. It is stimulant, tonic, and diaphoretic.It is herbal remedy for fevers, typhoid, dysentery, diarrhoea, diarrhea and dysentery, skin problems, ear aches and ear infections, anemia, menstrual problems, high blood pressure, cystitis, malaria, upper respiratory problems, and digestive disorders. and other illnesses needing a stimulant.

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/contra95.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorstenia_contrajerva
http://www.rain-tree.com/carapia.htm#.UtypbfvhWt8

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