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Spigelia marylandica

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Botanical Name : Spigelia marylandica
Family: Loganiaceae
Genus: Spigelia
Species: S. marilandic
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Maryland Pink. Wormgrass. American Wormgrass. Carolina-, Maryland-, American-Wormroot. Starbloom.

Common Names: Pink Root, Indian pink or Woodland pinkroot

Parts Used: Dried rhizome and rootlets, or entire plant.

Habitat: Spigelia marylandica is native to South-eastern N. America – New Jersey to Florida. It grows in rich, dry soils on the edges of woods.

Description:
Spigelia marylandica is a herbaceous perennial plant. It has several smooth simple stems, arising from the same rhizome; these stems are rounded below and square above. Leaves, few, opposite, sessile, ovatelanceolate, at apex acuminate, tapering at the base. It grows 1 to 2 feet high with a spread of 0.5 to 1.5 feet. The flowers are borne in a brilliant red-pink spike at top of the stem, the long corollas (terminating in spreading, star-like petals), externally red, yellow within, surrounding a double, many-seeded capsule. It flowers from May to July. The entire plant is collected in autumn and dried, but only the rhizome and rootlets are official in the United States Pharmacopceia, though in several other pharmacopoeias on the Continent, in which Spigelia is official, a closely allied species is named and the flowering plant is specified. The rhizome is tortuous, knotty and dark-brown externally, with many thin, wiry motlets attached to it and the short branches on the upper side are marked with scars of the stems of former years; internally, the rhizome is whitish, with a darkbrown pith; the rootlets are lighter coloured than the rhizome, thin, brittle and long. Odour, aromatic; taste, bitter, sweetish, pungent and somewhat nauseous. It is usually powdered and then is of a greyish colour. Age impairs its strength. When imported from the Western United States, where it is very abundant, it is received in bales and casks……….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most fertile soils in semi-shade. Tolerates full sun if the soil remains reliably moist in the growing season, in a shady position it tolerates considerably drier soils. Plants are hardy to about -15°c. A very ornamental plant.

Propagation:
Seed requires stratification, pre-chill for 3 weeks prior to sowing. It will usually germinate in 1 – 3 months at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in the spring. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 – 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Constituents: A poisonous alkaloid, named Spigeline; also a bitter acrid principle, soluble in water or alcohol, but insoluble in ether; a small amount of volatile oil, a tasteless resin, tannin, wax, fat, mucilage, albumen, myricin, a viscid, saccharine substance, lignin, salts of sodium, potassium and calcium. The reactions of the poisonous alkaloid resemble those of nicotine, lobeline and coniine.
Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Narcotic.

The whole plant, but especially the root, is anthelmintic and narcotic. A safe and effective anthelmintic when used in the proper dosage, it is especially effective with tapeworms and roundworm. Its use should always be followed by a saline aperient such as magnesium sulphate otherwise unpleasant side effects will follow. Another report says that it can be used with other herbs such as Foeniculum vulgare or Cassia senna. These will ensure that the root is expelled along with the worms since the root is potentially toxic if it is absorbed through the gut. The root is best used when fresh but can be harvested in the autumn then dried and stored. It should not be stored for longer than 2 years. Use with caution and only under professional supervision. The plant contains the alkaloid spigiline,which is largely responsible for the medicinal action but side effects of an overdose can include increased heart action, vertigo, convulsions and possibly death.
Known Hazards: This plant is poisonous in large quantities.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spigelia_marilandica
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/pinkro39.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Spigelia+marilandica

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Herbs & Plants

Sagittaria sagittifolia

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Botanical Name :Sagittaria sagittifolia
Family: Alismataceae
Genus: Sagittaria
Species: S. sagittifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales

Synonyms : Wapatoo. Is’-ze-kn.,Sagittaria japonica.

Common Name:Arrowhead

Habitat :The Arrowhead is a water plant widely distributed in Europe and Northern Asia, as well as North America, and abundant in many parts of England, though only naturalized in Scotland. it is  native to wetlands throughout the temperate regions of Europe and Asia; in Britain it is the only native Sagittaria.

Description:
It is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing in water from 10–50 cm deep. The leaves above water are arrowhead-shaped, the leaf blade 15–25 cm long and 10–22 cm broad, on a long petiole holding the leaf up to 45 cm above water level. The plant also has narrow linear submerged leaves, up to 80 cm long and 2 cm broad. The flowers are 2-2.5 cm broad, with three small sepals and three white petals, and numerous purple stamens.

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Cultivation:        
A pond or bog garden plant, it requires a moist or wet loamy soil in a sunny position. Prefers shallow, still or slowly flowing water up to 30 – 60cm deep. Plants are fairly cold tolerant, surviving temperatures down to at least -10°c, though the top growth is damaged once temperatures fall below zero. They grow best in warm weather and require at least a six month growing season in order to produce a crop. A polymorphic species, the sub-species S. sagittifolia leucopetala is extensively cultivated for its edible bulb in China where there are many named varieties.

Propagation :   
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a pot standing in about 5cm of water. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and gradually increase the depth of water as the plants grow until it is about 5cm above the top of the pot. Plant out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Division of the tubers in spring or autumn. Easy. Runners potted up at any time in the growing season

Edible Uses:
Root – cooked. Excellent when roasted, the taste is somewhat like potatoes. The tubers are starchy with a distinct flavour[116]. The tubers should not be eaten raw[200].The skin is rather bitter and is best removed after the tubers have been cooked. Tubers can also be dried and ground into a powder, this powder can be used as a gruel etc or be added to cereal flours and used in making bread[55, 94].The roots (tubers really) are borne on the ends of slender roots, often 30cm deep in the soil and some distance from the parent plant. The tubers of wild plants are about 15cm in diameter and are best harvested in the late summer as the leaves die down. The dried root contains (per 100g) 364 calories, 17g protein, 1g fat, 76.2g carbohydrate, 3.1g fibre, 5.8g ash, 44mg calcium, 561mg phosphorus, 8.8mg iron, 2,480mg potassium, 0.54mg thiamine, 0.14mg riboflavin, 4.76mg niacin and 17mg ascorbic acid. They contain no carotene. Leaves and young stems – cooked. Somewhat acrid.

Medicinal Action and Uses:
Antiscorbutic;  Diuretic;  Galactofuge.
The plant is antiscorbutic, diuretic. The leaf is used to treat a variety of skin problems. The tuber is discutient, galactofuge and may induce premature birth.

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/Sagittaria_sagittifolia
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/arrow063.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Sagittaria+sagittifolia

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Blue Lettuce

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Botanical Name : Lactuca pulchella
Family :Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus: Lactuca L. – lettuce
Species: Lactuca tatarica (L.) C.A. Mey. – blue lettuce
Variety:Lactuca tatarica (L.) C.A. Mey. var. pulchella (Pursh) Breitung – blue lettuce
Kingdom :Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Lactuca tatarica (Linnaeus) C.A. Meyer subsp. pulchella (Pursh) A.P. de Candolle
*Mulgedium pulchellum (Pursh) G. Don
*Sonchus pulchellus Pursh

Common Name : Blue Lettuce,Chicory Lettuce

Habitat:
In Michigan this species is native only to Isle Royale, where it occurs in rocky openings on ridges. It is adventive elsewhere in the state. In other portions of its range, this species inhabits moist prairies, meadows, clearings, and riverbanks. The Isle Royale populations have not been collected since 1930.

Description:
General: plant with milky sap, 20-100 cm tall.
Growth habit: perennial from white, deep-seated, creeping root, often growing in patches.
Stems: erect, hairless or almost so.
Leaves: alternate, narrowly lance-shaped, 5-18 cm
long and 6-35 mm wide, entire, or the lower ones more or
less with triangular, backward-pointig lobes or sharply
toothed, often with waxy coating beneath.
Flowerheads: blue, showy, about 2 cm wide, with
18-50 ray florets only, several in open clusters. Involucre
15-20 mm high in fruit, with overlapping bracts in 3 rows.
Flowering time: June-September.
Fruits: achenes, 4-7 mm long, the slender body
moderately compressed, prominently several-nerved on
each face, the beak stout, often whitish, equaling or less
than half as long as the body. Pappus of white, hair-like
bristles.
CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Prefers a light sandy loam. This species is considered to be a noxious weed in N. America where it spreads freely by suckers in cultivated ground – even a small portion of the root can regenerate to form a new plant.

Propagation:
Seed – sow April in a greenhouse, only just covering the seed. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Root cuttings in spring.

Edible uses:
Young leaves – raw or cooked – of blue lettuce have been eaten by Native tribes. A gum obtained from the roots is used for chewing. However, caution should be used, because of the mild narcotic properties of the plant.

Medicinal Uses:
A tea of the roots and stems has been used by the Okanagan-Colville Indians of British Columbia in the treatment of diarrhea in children. Hemorrhoids have been treated by applying a moist, usually warm or hot mass of plant material. The whole plant is rich in a milky sap, containing ‘lactucarium’, which is used in medicine for its mildly pain-relieving, antispasmodic, digestive, urination-inducing, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has mild narcotic effects. It has been taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts. An infusion of the roots and stems has been given to children in the treatment of diarrhea. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts.

Other Uses: The Gum has several uses.

Precautions:
The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness, excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis.

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://montana.plant-life.org/species/lactuca_tatari.htm
http://web4.msue.msu.edu/mnfi/explorer/species.cfm?id=13578
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LATAP
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.wnmu.edu/academic/nspages/gilaflora/lactuca_pulchella.html

http://www.wildstaudenzauber.de/Seiten/Praerie.html

http://www.fromoldbooks.org/Fletcher-FarmWeeds/pages/033-Blue-lettuce/411×764-q75.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+pulchella

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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.
CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES..
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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