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Burmese grape (Baccaurea ramiflora Lour.)

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Botanical Name : Baccaurea ramiflora Lour
Family: Phyllanthaceae
Genus: Baccaurea
Species: B. ramiflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Synonym : Baccaurea cauliflora Lour.,

Pierardia sapida Roxb.
Baccaurea sapida (Roxb.) Mull.Arg.
Baccaurea flaccida
Baccaurea propinqua Mull.Arg.
Baccaurea wrayi King ex Hook.f.
Baccaurea oxycarpa Gagnep.
Gatnaia annamica Gagnep.

Common Names :Lutco, Leteku, Lotqua.

Other names:-
English: Burmese grape
Thai: mafai, mak fai pa, khi mi, sae khrua sae, somfai, hamkang, pha yio
Vietnamese: giâu gia ??t
Burmese: kanazo
Cambodian: phnhiew
Local names: Phu noi: cha chouay see
Indian : Le-te-ku
Bengali : Lotkon

Habitat : Burma (Myanmar), South China, India (Assam, Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Malaysian Peninsula, Vietnam, Laos (Khammouan and many other provinces ).

Description:
Small evergreen tree of more than 10 m. high, branches sympodially developed.  Leaves simple, alternate and spiral. Petiole swollen at base and top. Flowers unisexual cauliflorous. Fruit fleshy, orange to purple.
click to see the pictures
Leaves : Leaves simple, 9-25 by 3-9 cm. alternate and spirally-clustered at intervals along the twigs, narrowly elliptic or obovate, apex acuminate, base acute, margin entire or slightly undulate, reddish when young, finely brown-hairy, becoming dark green and shiny above and glabrous when mature. Midrib flat above, prominent below, secondary veins oblique to the midrib, widely parallel, looped and joined at margin, tertiary veins reticulate.
Petiole slender swollen at top and base.
Stipules caducous.

Inflorescences or flowers : Flowers small grouped in raceme, axillary to cauliflorous, males and females on different trees. Males smaller arranged in slender clusters of 10 cm. long, mostly at the end of the branches, individual flower with short pedicel. Female slightly bigger, racemes clustered of 30 cm. long on old branches and main trunk.

Fruits : The fruit is a berry of 2.5 – 3.5 cm. in diameter, ovoid or ellipsoid, hanging along old branches and main trunk, pale orange ripening reddish to purplish.
Seeds :  2-4 large seeds surrounded by a juicy translucent or pinkish pulp.

They are the oblate fruits hanging in big trees; from the bottom of the branches to the top of the trees. They are so large in number that they even bend the branches. Some are green, some are yellow and some are red, they look like balls engraved with jades or beads made of agates. The fruits have a succulent, sour and sweet taste.

Edible Uses:
1.The fruit is usually eaten fresh, poached or made into wine.
2.The seeds are edible as well.
3.Though it is most commonly cultivated in India and Malaysia, it is also found throughout Asia.
4.The trees are usually found at a low density.
5.The fruit is harvested and used locally.
6.This can be used in variety of colors as a tinned or a sweetened fruit topping.
7.Eating too many fruits makes your stomach get upset.
8.More often it is nurtured in home gardens and intercropped with fruits like durian, rambutan and mango.
9.The trees have a poor regeneration capacity.
10.The tree shows a good example for the fruits which grows directly from the main trunk.

Fruits can be kept fresh for 4–5 days, or boiled and mixed with salt after which it is keeps well closed jars. Marginal importance of the fruit, locally used and sold.

How to eat the fruit?
To consume the fruit first we have to break the fruit by peeling off the skin. After that the pulp can be eaten directly, mostly the seeds are also swallowed.

Nutritions in fruit:
Most of the fruit contain ascorbic acid, enzymes, bioflavonoids. The fruit is rich in minerals like chromium, potassium, and magnesium etc as well as B vitamins to amino acids. The largest amount of iron, 5.34 mg/100g was observed in Burmese-grape,

Medicinal Uses:
1)  It is used medicinally to treat skin diseases.
2)  The roots, bark and wood are harvested for medicinal uses.

Bark, roots and wood are dried and ground before boiling in water.

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.biotik.org/laos/species/b/bacra/bacra_en.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burmese_grape
http://www.fruitsinfo.com/burmese-grapes-tropical-fruit.php

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Herbs & Plants

Aglaia odorata Lour

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Botanical Name :Aglaia odorata Lour
Family: Meliaceae
Genus: Aglaia
Species: A. odorata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Common Name :Pisshthparni, Pithavan, Chinese rice flower, Cinamomo (Span.) , Cinamomo de China (Span.) ,Sinamomong-sungsong (Tag.) ,Chinese perfume plant (Engl.) Mi zan lau (Chin.)

Local names in Borneo :
Bunga maniran, Mai tsai lan, Segera, Tjulan.

Habitat : It is found in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and possibly Laos.Cultivated as an ornamental tree for its fragrant flowers.

Description:
It is a small, much-branched, smooth tree growing from 4 to 7 meters high. Stipules absent. Leaves are 5 to 12 cm long, alternate, compound, leaflets penni-veined, glabrous  with the rachis slightly winged.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Leaflets are five, obovate to oblong, 2 to 7 cm long, the lower ones being smaller than the upper.. Flowersborne on axillary, lax panicles, 5 to 10 cm long, numerous, yellow, very fragrant, and about 3 mm in diameter. Fruit is ovoid or subglobose, about 12 mm long. ca. 1.5 mm diameter, white-yellowish, placed in panicles. Fruit is ovoid or subglobose, 14 mm diameter, orange, fleshy capsule. Seeds with aril.


Medicinal Uses:

Parts used: Roots, flowers, leaves.

Roots and leaves considered pectoral, stimulant, febrifuge, tonic and anti-convulsive.


Folkloric

*Infusion of flowers given as a cooling drink for eruptive fevers.
*In China, flowers and roots used as a tonic.
*In Java, infusion of leaves taken as tonic for excessive menses and for venereal diseases.

Other Uses:
Strongly perfumed flowers used for scenting tea or clothes. Ornamental tree.

Usually planted as an ornamental in gardens and along roads, but some specimens found in mixed dipterocarp forests up to 800 m altitude.

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/Aglaia_odorata
http://www.stuartxchange.org/Sinamomong-sungsong.html
http://www.asianplant.net/Meliaceae/Aglaia_odorata.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Himalayan mapple(Acer oblongum Wall.ex DC)

Botanical Name :Acer oblongum Wall.ex DC
Family : Aceraceae
Genus : Acer

Common Name :Himalayan mapple, Pharbanj, Mark, Pangoi.

Habitat:E. Asia – Himalayas from Pakistan to S. W. China and Burma.  Found in lime-free soils in forests at altitudes between1000 – 3000 metres[51, 200].

Description:
Trees evergreen, 12 to 15 m tall. Bark smooth to wrinkled. Trunk irregularly buttressed at base. Twigs red-brown or purplish, slender. Leaves ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, 5-18 cm long, 2-8 cm wide, glabrescent, reddish when young, later dark green above, paler to glaucous beneath; nerves pinnate in 6-8 pairs; base rounded to subacute; petioles slender, 2-10 cm long. Inflorescence corymobose, pubescent on leafy terminal and lateral shoots, 5-15 cm long. Pedicels pubescent. Flowers 5-merous, 7-9 mm across, greenish-white. Sepals linear, 1-2 mm wide, acute, pubescent. Petals narrowly lanceolate, 1-2 mm wide. Stamens 8, inserted on disc. Ovary pubescent, styles free nearly to the base. Samaras glabrous, 2-3 cm long; wings veined, divergent, constricted at base; nutlets gibbous, locules white-pubescent inside.  CLICK TO SEE

 CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is hardy to zone 7. The seeds ripen from October to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. The plant prefers acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Of easy cultivation, it prefers a good moist well-drained soil in a sunny position but tolerates some shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Chlorosis can sometimes develop as a result of iron deficiency when the plants are grown in alkaline soils, but in general maples are not fussy as to soil pH. This species is found on acid soils in the wild. This species is not hardy in all parts of Britain, forms from China are hardier but even then this species is better grown in the warmer parts of the country. Most maples are bad companion plants, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it usually germinates in the following spring. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours and then stratify for 2 – 4 months at 1 – 8°c. It can be slow to germinate. The seed can be harvested ‘green’ (when it has fully developed but before it has dried and produced any germination inhibitors) and sown immediately. It should germinate in late winter. If the seed is harvested too soon it will produce very weak plants or no plants at all[80, 113]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until they are 20cm or more tall before planting them out in their permanent positions. Layering, which takes about 12 months, is successful with most species in this genus. Cuttings of young shoots in June or July. The cuttings should have 2 – 3 pairs of leaves, plus one pair of buds at the base. Remove a very thin slice of bark at the base of the cutting, rooting is improved if a rooting hormone is used. The rooted cuttings must show new growth during the summer before being potted up otherwise they are unlikely to survive the winter. If seed is unavailable, the plant can be grafted onto A. buergerianum.

Medicial Uses:

You may click to see :
Encyclopedia of Himalayan Medicinal Flora, Vol.
I
Ethnobotanical Observations in the Mornaula Reserve Forest of Kumoun, West Himalaya, India :

Other Uses
Preservative; Wood.

The leaves are packed around apples, rootcrops etc to help preserve them. Wood – close grained, moderately hard. Used for agricultural implements, minor construction, cups etc

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://server9.web-mania.com/users/pfafardea/database/plants.php?Acer+oblongum
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=200013053
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp

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Herbs & Plants

Cornu Cervi

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Botanical Name :Cornu Cervi Parvum
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Genus: Phalaenopsis
Species: P. cornu-cervi
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Pinyin Mandarin Name: Lu Rong
Synonyms : Phalaenopsis devriesiana
Common English Name:  Velvet of Young Deer Horn
Part of Plant Used: Velvet of the horn
Nature: Warm
Taste : Sweet, salty
Habitat :Cornu Cervi is native to  Burma, Borneo, Java, Moloca, Sumatra, Thailand.
Plants grow on trees trunks in the dense forest in India, Myanamar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Nicobar Islands, Malaysia, Java, Borneo, Sumatra, and the Philippines at elevations of 1000 meters and below.
Description:
The very rare red form of Phal. cornu-cervi, the form known as fma. chattaladae, awarded a Silver Medal by the Taiwan Orchid Growers’ Association ! This form of the species is distinct in its solid suffusion of red pigment over every segment of the flower, as opposed to many which are actually Phal. cornu-cervi var. rubescens, where the yellow background of the flower is actually visible on the lateral sepals. These plants can flower and re-flower on the same flattened spikes for several years, so don’t remove them until they have turned brown. A fully mature plant can carry over 6 flowering spikes of fragrant flowers at a time, each spike blooming several times during a single year. Very Highly Recommended.
click & see the pictures
Plant flowers in the spring to fall with 9 to 12 flowers. Flowers are fragrant and 3 to 5 cm wide. The chromosome number is 2n = 38.

The plant was first described by Breda as Polychilos cornu-cervi in 1827. The plants were first cultivated in England by Messrs. Low & Co. when Rev. C. S. brought several plant back in living condition in 1864
Meridians Entered: Liver, Kidneys

Medicinal Usages:
This herb is used in formulas to treat anemia after chronic disease, impotence, and weakness of back and knees with cold intolerance; also used to treat children for failure to thrive, mental retardation, learning disabilities, and skeletal deformities (TCM: deficient :Yang, deficient Blood, and deficient Kidney Yang; deficient Essence).
Click for more information
Traditional Usages and Functions
Tonifies Kidneys and fortifies Yang; tonifies the Governing Channel, benefits Essence and Blood, and strengthens sinews and bones; bolsters the Penetrating and Conception Channels and strengthens the Girdle Channel; tonifies and nourishes Qi and Blood.

Processing is Required for proper use.

Cautions in Use: Do not use this herb when there is a strong Yin deficiency or heat signs caused by Yin deficiency.

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.acupuncture-and-chinese-medicine.com/cornu-cervi.html
http://www.phals.net/cornu-cervi/index_e.html

http://www.orchids.com/Phal-cornu-cervi-f-chattaladae-Red-Wan-Chiao-SMTOGA-x–P4208.aspx
http://orchids.wikia.com/wiki/Phalaenopsis_cornu-cervi

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalaenopsis_cornu-cervi

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Herbs & Plants

The Sweet Flag

Botanical Name: Acorus calamus L. (Araceae)

Family: Acoraceae

Syn : Acorus griffithii Schott., A. belangeii Schott, A. casia Bertol.

Other Names: It is known by a variety of names, including cinnamon sedge, flagroot, gladdon, myrtle flag, myrtle grass, myrtle sedge, sweet cane, sweet myrtle, sweet root, sweet rush, and sweet sedge

English name: The sweet flag.

Sanskrit name: Vacha.

Vernacular names: Asm, Ben and Hin : Boch; Gui : Godavaj, Vekhand; Kan : Baje, Baje gida; Kon: Waikhand; Mal: Vayambu; Mar: Vekhand; Ori : Bacha; Pun: Bari, Boj, Warch; Tam: Vasamboo; Tel: Vasa.

Trade name: Boch.
Habitat :Throughout India; ascending the Himalaya up to 2000 m; Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh.Acorus calamus is now found across Europe, in southern Russia, northern Asia Minor, southern Siberia, China, Japan, Burma, Sri Lanka, and northern USA.

Description:
Perennial, erect, aromatic herb, common on river banks and marshes, ascending to 3000 m; rhizome cylindrical or slightly compressed, about 2.5 cm in diameter, much-branched, externally light brown or pinkish brown but white and spongy within; leaves distichous, large, 1-2 m in length, base equitant, margin waved; spadix sessile, cylindric, densely flowered, not completely enclosed by spathe, spathe 15-75 cm in length, narrow, leaf-like; flowers small, bisexual; berries few-seeded; seeds oblong, albuminous.

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The morphological distinction between the Acorus species is made by the number of prominent leaf veins. Acorus calamus has a single prominent midvein and then on both sides slightly raised secondary veins (with a diameter less than half the midvein) and many, fine tertiary veins. This makes it clearly distinct from Acorus americanus.

The leaves are between 0.7 and 1.7 cm wide, with average of 1 cm. The sympodial leaf of Acorus calamus is somewhat shorter than the vegetative leaves. The margin is curly-edged or undulate. The spadix, at the time of expansion, can reach a length between 4.9 and 8.9 cm (longer than A. americanus). The flowers are longer too, between 3 and 4 mm. Acorus calamus is infertile and shows an abortive ovary with a shriveled appearance.

This perennial’s natural habitat is shallow water and it’s best grown in a pond, pool, or other damp setting.Sweet flag is propagated by rhizome division. This is best done in the spring and fall. Rhizomes should be lifted in the second or third year. If left longer they may become hollow. Harvest the leaves and hang to dry in the fall. The fragrance intensifies during the drying process.

Phenology: Flowering and Fruiting: July-August; fruiting very rare.

Ecology and cultivation: Probably introduced; found from the coast to 1200 m; often near village wells and along watercourses; confined to marshy areas; gregarious herb from a stout horizontal rhizome; wild and cultivated.

Chemical contents: Dry rhizome :1.5-3.5% of a yellow aromatic volatile oil-calamus oil; the oil contains β-asarone, small quantities of sesquiterpenes and sesquiterpenes alcohols; Rhizome: also contains choline (0.26%), flavone, acoradin, 2,4,5-tri-MeO­benzaldehyde, 2,5-di-MeO-benzoquinone, galangin, calameone, acolamone, isoacolamone, epoxyisoacoragermacrone; Aerial parts: lutcolin-6,8-c-diglucoside; chemical constituents vary in ecotypes and polyploides.Both triploid and tetraploid calamus contain asarone, but diploid does not contain any.

Medicinal Uses:
Traditional use: SANTAL: use the plant in the following ways: (i) they mix and grind black pepper, cloves, root of Carissa carandus lo along with little of the rootstock of A. calamus lo, then stir the same in pure mustard oil-the emulsion, thus prepared is anointed daily over the whole body of the patient suffering form epilepsy with foaming and groaning, as soon as the fit comes on; a few drops of this emulsion should be poured into the nose of the patient; (ii) for the treatment of indigestion, they take pills made by grinding 100 black peppers, little amount of ginger and the root of A. calamus together; (iii) also use in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, cold and cough, dry cough, epilepsy, haemopty­sis, indigestion, phthisis; BIRHOR : Rhizome in alopecia, Root as massage, in fever, hysteria, pain in neck, teething trouble of children, malaria and cancer.

AGNI PURANA : this plant is of great medicinal value; it recommends the following uses: (i) for treatment of epilepsy, this plant should be boiled with Costus speciosus, shankhapushpi, along with the juice of Bacopa monnieri ; the substance thus obtained should be administered to the patient; (ii) drinking the decoction of this plant, Piper peepuloides, Staphyles emodi Wall., and Cyperus parviflorus Heyne and pippalimula is good for the patient of rheumatic arthritis; (iii) the powder or decoction of this plant helps curing chronic enlargement of spleen; (iv) decoction of the plant is beneficial for the patient of dropsy; A YURVEDA: Rhizome: bitter, healing, emetic, laxative, diuretic, carminative; improves voice and appetite; good for oral diseases, abdominal pain, epilepsy, bronchitis, hysteria, loss of memory, rat bite and worms in ear.

SIDDHA SYSTEM: fresh root for bronchial asthma.

UNANI: an ingredient of the medicine called ‘Waje-Turki’; useful in flatulent colic, chronic dyspepsia, catarrhal, in burn wounds, carminative, anthelmintic and as bitter tonic.

Modern use: Rhizome: aromatic, bitter, carminative, emetic, stimulant, stomachic, useful in dyspepsia, colic, remittent fevers, nerve tonic, in bronchitis, dysentery, epilepsy and other mental ailments, glandular and abdominal tumours and in snake bite.The rhizome is used to alleviate stomach acidity.


Remark: Rhizomes are valued for indigenous medicine.

Culinary Uses:
Leaves can be used as a substitute for vanilla pods. Try leaving a few leaves in a jar of sugar for a few days for vanilla-flavored sugar. They can also be cut up and stored in dry foods to prevent infestation by weevils. Leaves and rhizomes are a nice addition to potpourri.

Click to see :Acorus calamus at Plants for a Future And Your Online Guide To Herbs

Click to Buy Plants Online

Adulterants: The powdered drug has been adulterated with siliceous earth, ground marsh mallow root and cereal flowers.

Regulations:
Calamus and products derived from calamus (such as its oil) were banned in 1968 as food additives and medicines by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

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.bsienvis.org/medi.htm#Acorus%20calamus
http://www.gardenguides.com/plants/info/herbs/sweetfla.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_Flag