Categories
Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Lactuca sativa angustana

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Botanical Name: Lactuca sativa angustana
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. sativa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms : L. sativa asparagina

Common Name: Celtuce

Habitat: Garden origin, it is probably derived from L. serriola. Grown in cultivated bed.

Description:
Lactuca sativa angustana is an annual or biennial herb growing to 0.6 m (2ft). It is a surface-rooting plant, the roots can be damaged by hoeing. A good companion for strawberries, carrots, radishes and onions.
It is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 

Prefers a light sandy loam. Succeeds in most well-drained, humus-rich soils but dislikes acid conditions. Prefers some shade in the summer to slow down the plants tendency to go to seed and to prevent the leaves becoming bitter.

Cultivation:
Prefers a light sandy loam. Succeeds in most well-drained, humus-rich soils but dislikes acid conditions. Prefers some shade in the summer to slow down the plants tendency to go to seed and to prevent the leaves becoming bitter. Plants can resist some frost, they can also tolerate temperatures in excess of 27°c. They are fairly resistant to bolting, though they can run to seed prematurely in very hot conditions. The celtuce is a form of lettuce with a longer and thicker central stem, it is sometimes cultivated for its edible leaves and stems. There are some named varieties. It takes 3 – 4 months from sowing before the stems are ready to harvest. A surface-rooting plant, the roots can be damaged by hoeing. A good companion for strawberries, carrots, radishes and onions.

Propagation:
Seed – sow March to June in situ. Seedlings can be transplanted. Seed becomes dormant at temperatures above 27°c.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. A mild, slightly sweet flavour, they are rather more coarse than ordinary lettuce, though they make an acceptable ingredient in mixed salads. Old leaves become coarser and bitter. Stem – raw or cooked. Thick, tender, crisp and juicy, its flavour is variously described as being like lettuce, celery, artichoke, squash, asparagus or chard. It is usually peeled before being used. The stems can be harvested just before the plants flower without them turning bitter, though they might become hollow at this stage.

Medicinal Uses:
The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air[4]. The sap contains ‘lactucarium‘, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. The cultivated lettuce does not contain as much lactucarium as the wild species, most being produced when the plant is in flower. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used[9]. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts. The seed is anodyne and galactogogue. Lettuce has acquired a folk reputation as an anaphrodisiac, anodyne, carminative, diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, hypnotic, narcotic, parasiticide and sedative.

Other Uses : Parasiticide. No further details are given, but it is probably the sap of flowering plants that is used. The seed is said to be used to make hair grow on scar tissue.

Known Hazards: The mature plant is mildly toxic.
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:

Lactuca sativa


http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+sativa+angustana
Lactuca sativa angustana, Celtuce

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Lactuca sativa capitata

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Botanical Name : Lactuca sativa capitata
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. sativa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name: Cabbage Lettuce

Habitat: Of garden origin, probably derived from L. serriola. It is grown on caltivated bed.

Description:
Lactuca sativa capitata is an annual or biennial herb growing to 0.9 m (3ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Prefers a light sandy loam. Succeeds in most well-drained, humus-rich soils but dislikes acid conditions. Plants strongly dislike dry conditions, quickly running to seed in such a situation. Early and late sowings are best in a sunny position, but summer crops are best given a position with some shade in order to slow down the plants tendency to go to seed and to prevent the leaves becoming bitter. The garden lettuce is widely cultivated in many parts of the world for its edible leaves and is probably the most commonly grown salad plant. This is the heading form of lettuce, including the Iceberg and Butterhead varieties. There are many named varieties[183] capable of providing fresh leaves throughout the year if winter protection is given in temperate areas. Lettuces are quite a problematic crop to grow. They require quite a lot of attention to protect them from pests such as slugs, aphids and birds. If the weather is hot and dry the plants tend to run very quickly to seed, developing a bitter flavour as they do so. In wet weather they are likely to develop fungal diseases. In addition, the seed needs to be sown at regular intervals of 2- 3 weeks during the growing season in order to provide a regular supply of leaves. Lettuces make a good companion plant for strawberries, carrots, radishes and onions. They also grow well with cucumbers, cabbages and beetroot.

Propagation :
Seed – sow a small quantity of seed in situ every 2 or 3 weeks from March (with protection in cooler areas) to June and make another sowing in August/September for a winter/spring crop. Only just cover the seed. Germination is usually rapid and good, thin the plants if necessary, these thinnings can be transplanted to produce a slightly later crop (but they will need to be well watered in dry weather). More certain winter crops can be obtained by sowing in a frame in September/October and again in January/February.
Edible Uses :
Leaves – raw or cooked. A mild slightly sweet flavour with a crisp texture, lettuce is a very commonly used salad leaf and can also be cooked as a potherb or be added to soups etc. The plant forms a head of leaves in a similar way to cabbages. The whole head is usually harvested at one time. Seed – sprouted and used in salads or sandwiches. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. The seed is very small, extraction of the oil on any scale would not be very feasible.
Medicinal Uses :
The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium‘, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets[4], nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. The cultivated lettuce does not contain as much lactucarium as the wild species, most being produced when the plant is in flower. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts. The seed is anodyne and galactogogue. Lettuce has acquired a folk reputation as an anaphrodisiac, anodyne, carminative, diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, hypnotic, narcotic, parasiticide and sedative.

Other Uses :
The seed is said to be used to make hair grow on scar tissue

Known Hazards: Matured plant is littlebit toxic.

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/Lettuce
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+sativa+capitata

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Lactuca sativa crispa

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Botanical Name: Lactuca sativa crispa
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. sativa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name : Cutting Lettuce

Habitat: It is grown on the cultivated bed.

Description:
Lactuca sativa crispa is an annual or biennial plant, growing to 0.9 m (3ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Prefers a light sandy loam. Succeeds in most well-drained, humus-rich soils but dislikes acid conditions. Plants strongly dislike dry conditions, quickly running to seed in such a situation. Early and late sowings are best in a sunny position, but summer crops are best given a position with some shade in order to slow down the plants tendency to go to seed and to prevent the leaves becoming bitter. The garden lettuce is widely cultivated in many parts of the world for its edible leaves and is probably the most commonly grown salad plant. This is the curled or leaf lettuce. It does not form a central heart but produces a loose rosette of basal leaves and can be harvested on a cut and come again basis. There are many named varieties capable of providing fresh leaves throughout the year if winter protection is given in temperate areas. Lettuces are quite a problematic crop to grow. They require quite a lot of attention to protect them from pests such as slugs, aphids and birds. If the weather is hot and dry the plants tend to run very quickly to seed, developing a bitter flavour as they do so. In wet weather they are likely to develop fungal diseases. In addition, the seed needs to be sown at regular intervals of 2- 3 weeks during the growing season in order to provide a regular supply of leaves. Lettuces make a good companion plant for strawberries, carrots, radishes and onions. They also grow well with cucumbers, cabbages and beetroot.

Propagation:
Seed – sow a small quantity of seed in situ every 2 or 3 weeks from March (with protection in cooler areas) to June and make another sowing in August/September for a winter/spring crop. Only just cover the seed. Germination is usually rapid and good, thin the plants if necessary, these thinnings can be transplanted to produce a slightly later crop (but they will need to be well watered in dry weather). More certain winter crops can be obtained by sowing in a frame in September/October and again in January/February.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. A mild slightly sweet flavour with a crisp texture, lettuce is a very commonly used salad leaf and can also be cooked as a potherb or be added to soups etc. This variety forms a loose rosette of leaves and can be harvested on a cut and come again basis. Seed – sprouted and used in salads or sandwiches. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. The seed is very small, extraction of the oil on any scale would not be very feasible.

Medicinal Uses:
The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air[4]. The sap contains ‘lactucarium‘, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. The cultivated lettuce does not contain as much lactucarium as the wild species, most being produced when the plant is in flower. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts. The seed is anodyne and galactogogue. Lettuce has acquired a folk reputation as an anaphrodisiac, anodyne, carminative, diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, hypnotic, narcotic, parasiticide and sedative.

Other Uses :
Parasiticide. No further details are given, but it is probably the sap of flowering plants that is used. The seed is said to be used to make hair grow on scar tissue.

Known Hazards : The mature plant is mildly toxic.

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:

Lactuca sativa


http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+sativa+crispa

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Veratrum californicum

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Botanical Name: Veratrum californicum
Family: Melanthiaceae
Genus: Veratrum
Species: V. californicum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales

Common Names: California corn lily, white or California false hellebore

Habitat : Veratrum californicum is native to mountain meadows at 3500 to 11,000 ft elevation in southwestern North America, the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains, and as far north as Washington State and as far south as Durango. It grows in swamps, creek bottoms, moist woodlands and meadows, from lowland to the sub-alpine zone.

Description:
Veratrum californicum is a perennial plant. It grows 1 to 2 meters tall, with an erect, unbranched, heavily leafy stem resembling a cornstalk. It prefers quite moist soil, and can cover large areas in dense stands near streams or in wet meadows. It is in flower from Aug to September. Many inch-wide flowers cluster along the often-branched top of the stout stem; they have 6 white tepals, a green center, 6 stamens, and a 3-branched pistil (see image below). The buds are tight green spheres. The heavily veined, bright green leaves can be more than a foot long. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera....CLICK & SEE

Veratrum californicum displays mast seeding; populations bloom and seed little in most years, but in occasional years bloom and seed heavily in synchrony.

The plant has become a local Fourth of July parade tradition in Crested Butte, Colorado, where it locally referred to as “skunk cabbage.”

Varieties:
*Veratrum californicum var. californicum – from Washington to Durango..…..CLICK & SEE 

*Veratrum californicum var. caudatum (A.Heller) C.L.Hitchc. – Idaho, Washington, Oregon, N California….CLICK & SEE 

Cultivation:
Requires a deep fertile moisture retentive humus-rich soil. Succeeds in full sun if the soil does not dry out but prefers a position in semi-shade. Dislikes dry soils. Grows best in a cool woodland garden or a north facing border. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Plants are long-lived and can be left in the same position for years without attention.

Propagation:
Unless stored in damp sand at around 4°c the seed has a short viability. Where possible it is best to sow the seed in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed needs to be stratified but can be very slow to germinate. Germination can be erratic even for seed sown when it was fresh, it usually takes place within 3 – 12 months at 15°c but can be much longer. The plant produces just one seedleaf in its first year, this forms an over-wintering bulb. It takes up to 10 years for the plant to reach maturity. Sow the seed thinly so there is no need to thin or transplant them, and grow the seedlings on undisturbed in the pot for their first two years of growth. Apply a liquid feed at intervals through the growing season to ensure the plants do not become nutrient deficient. At the end of the second year plant out the dormant plants into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for a further year or two before planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division in March/April or in October. Establish the plants in pots in a shaded frame before planting them out. Division is best carried out in the autumn because the plants come into growth very early in the spring. Root cuttings, 6mm long with a bud, rooted in a sandy soil in a cold frame.

Medicinal Uses:

Although a very poisonous plant, California false hellebore was often employed medicinally by a number of native North American Indian tribes who used it mainly as an external application to treat wounds etc. It also had quite a reputation as a contraceptive. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism. Any use of this plant, especially internal use, should be carried out with great care and preferably only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The root is analgesic, disinfectant and febrifuge. A decoction has been used in the treatment of venereal disease. The roots have been grated then chewed and the juice swallowed as a treatment for colds. A poultice of the mashed raw root has been used as a treatment for rheumatism, boils, sores, cuts, swellings and burns. The dried and ground up root has been used as a dressing on bruises and sores. A poultice of the chewed root has been applied to rattlesnake bites to draw out the poison. The powdered root has been rubbed on the face to allay the pain of toothache. A decoction of the root has been taken orally by both men and women as a contraceptive. A dose of one teaspoon of this decoction three times a day for three weeks is said to ensure permanent sterility in women.

Use as prime material for medical drugs:
Cyclopamine extracted from V. californicum is being used in anti-cancer experimental drugs. One derivative of it, compound name IPI-926, is currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of various types of cancer, including hard-to-treat hematologic malignancies, chondrosarcoma, and pancreatic cancer. IPI-926 is the only compound in development/testing that is not fully synthetic
Other Uses:…....Disinfectant; Insecticide…….The dried and powdered root is used as an insecticide and a parasiticide. It is also effective against caterpillars and mammals so great caution is advised

Known Hazards:... All parts of the plant are highly poisonous. The flowers are poisonous to insects, including bees.
Teratogenic effects:
It is a source of jervine and cyclopamine, teratogens which can cause prolonged gestation associated with birth defects such as holoprosencephaly and cyclopia in animals such as sheep, horses, and other mammals that graze upon it. These substances inhibit the hedgehog signaling pathway.

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/Veratrum_californicum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Veratrum+californicum

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Senecio sylvaticus

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Botanical Name: Senecio sylvaticus
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Senecioneae
Genus: Senecio
Species: S. sylvaticus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name: Woodland ragwort, Heath groundsel, or Mountain groundsel

Habitat : Senecio sylvaticus is native to Eurasia, and it can be found in other places, including western and eastern sections of North America. It grows in open vegetation on non-calcareous sandy or gravelly soils, dry heaths and commons.

Description:
Senecio sylvaticus is an annual herb producing a single erect stem up to 80 centimeters tall from a taproot. It is coated in short, curly hairs. The toothed, deeply lobed leaves are up to 12 centimeters long and borne on petioles. They are evenly distributed along the stem. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife. The inflorescence is a wide, spreading array of many flower heads, each lined with green- or black-tipped phyllaries. The heads contain yellow disc florets and most have very tiny yellow ray florets as well. The plant has an unpleasant odour....CLICK  &  SEE THE PICTURES

Propagation:     Seed – sow spring in situ.

Medicinal Uses:
Antiscorbutic; Detergent.

The plant is detergent and antiscorbutic.

Known Hazards: All parts of the plant are poisonous to many mammals, including humans. The toxin affects the liver and has a cumulative affect[9, 65]. Some mammals, such as rabbits, do not seem to be harmed by the plant, and will often seek it out[4]. Various birds also eat the leaves and seeds.

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/Senecio_sylvaticus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Senecio+sylvaticus