Tag Archives: Calendula officinalis

Physalis pruinosa

Botanical Name : Physalis pruinosa
Family: Solanaceae
Subfamily: Solanoideae
Tribe: Physaleae
Subtribe: Physalinae
Genus: Physalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Synonyms: Physalis pubescens grisea. Waterfall. = Physalis pubescens (Cornucopia)

Common Name : Strawberry Tomato

Habitat : Physalis pruinosa is native to Eastern N. America – Wisconsin, New York and south to Florida. It grows in dry open often sandy soils, old fields and wasteland.

Description:
Physalis pruinosa is an annual herbaceous plant growing to 0.4 to 3 m tall, similar to the common tomato, a plant of the same family, but usually with a stiffer, more upright stem. They can be either annual or perennial. Most require full sun and fairly warm to hot temperatures. Some species are sensitive to frost, but others, such as the Chinese lantern, P. alkekengi, tolerate severe cold when dormant in winter. It is in flower from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Succeeds in any well-drained soil in full sun or light shade. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Occasionally cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties. Similar to P. peruviana.

Propagation:
Seed – sow March/April in a greenhouse only just covering the seed. Germination usually takes place quickly and freely. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of fairly rich soil when they are large enough to handle and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Consider giving them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away well. Diurnal temperature fluctuations assist germination.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit.

Fruit – raw or cooked in pies, preserves etc. A delicious bitter sweet flavour. It is used as common tomato. Can be eaten raw, used in salads, desserts, as a flavoring, and in jams and jellies. Fruits are excellent when dipped in chocolate, and can be dried and eaten. The plant conveniently wraps up each fruit in its own ‘paper bag’ (botanically, the calyx) to protect it from pests and the elements. This calyx is toxic and should not be eaten.

Medicinal Uses:
In Chinese medicine, Physalis species are used as remedies for such conditions as abscesses, coughs, fevers, and sore throat. Smooth groundcherry (P. subglabrata) is classified as a hallucinogenic plant, and its cultivation for other than ornamental purposes is outlawed in the US state of Louisiana under State Act 159.

Known Hazards : All parts of the plant, except the fruit, are poisonous.
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/Physalis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Physalis+pruinosa
http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/content/ground-cherry.htm

Fragaria viridis

Botanical Name : Fragaria viridis
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Fragaria
Species: F. viridis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms : Fragaria collina.

Common Names: Green Strawberry

Habitat : Fragaria viridis is native to Europe. It grows in woods and banks.

Description:
Fragaria viridis is a perennial plant, growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Insects……..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Prefers a fertile, well-drained, moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Tolerates semi-shade though fruit production will be reduced when plants grow in such a position. This species is closely related to F. vesca. Plants are sometimes dioecious. In this case, male and female plants will be needed if fruit and seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed can take 4 weeks or more to germinate. The seedlings are very small and slow-growing at first, but then grow rapidly. Prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out during the summer. Division of runners, preferably done in July/August in order to allow the plants to become established for the following years crop. They can also be moved in the following spring if required, though should not then be allowed to fruit in their first year. The runners can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses :    Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit are greenish-tinged with red and are sweet and succulent with a rich musky pineapple-like flavour. Absolutely delicious, though they are not produced very freely.

Medicinal Uses : None known

Other Uses : An excellent ground cover plant, spreading vigorously by means of surface stolons and forming a dense carpet.   It grows well amongst shrubs but can out-compete smaller plants

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fragaria+viri
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fragaria_viridis

Apothecary Rose

Botanical Name:Rosa gallica officinalis
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Rosoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Genus: Rosa
Species: R. gallica

Common Names: Gallic Rose, French Rose,  Rose of Provins,Apothecary’s Rose.

Habitat: Native to southern and central Europe eastwards to Turkey and the Caucasus.

Description:
It is a deciduous shrub forming large patches of shrubbery, the stems with prickles and glandular bristles. The leaves are pinnate, with three to seven bluish-green leaflets. The flowers are clustered one to four together, single with five petals, fragrant, deep pink. The hips are globose to ovoid, 10-13 mm diameter, orange to brownish.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES    
Cultivation
The species is easily cultivated on well drained soil in full sun to semishade; it can survive temperatures down to ?25 °C. It is one of the earliest cultivated species of roses, being cultivated by the Greek and Romans and it was commonly used in Mediaeval gardens. In the 19th century it was the most important species of rose to be cultivated, and most modern European rose cultivars have at least a small contribution from R. gallica in their ancestry.

Cultivars of the species R. gallica and hybrids close in appearance are best referred to a Cultivar Group as the Gallica Group roses. The ancestry is usually unknown and the influence of other species can not be ruled out.

The Gallica Group roses share the vegetative characters of the species, forming low suckering shrubs. The flowers can be single, but most commonly double or semidouble. The colours range from white (rare) to pink and deep purple. All Gallica Group roses are once flowering. They are easily cultivated.

The semidouble cultivar ‘Officinalis’, the “Red Rose of Lancaster“, is the county flower of Lancashire.

In 2004, a cultivar of the Gallica Group named ‘Cardinal de Richelieu‘ was genetically engineered to produce the first blue rose.


Uses:

In Persia (Iran) Apothecary Rose was described by the Ancient Greek poet Sappho as “ the queen of flowers”, this rose has had many uses over time. The Ancient Romans consumed the petals as food and marinated them in wine to use them as a cure for hangovers. Avicenna, a famous eleventh century Arab physician and philosopher living in Moslem Spain, prepared rose water from the petals that he used in treating his patients for a variety of ailments. Knights returning from the Crusades brought the plant to Europe. It was grown chiefly in monastic gardens for medicinal purposes. In the Middle Ages, the blossoms were used in aroma therapy for the treatment of depression. In the nineteenth century beginning in the time of Napoleon, French pharmacists grew them in pots at the entrances of their shops, hence the origin of the common name Apothecary Rose. The Apothecary Rose became the professional symbol of the pharmaceutical profession much as the balanced scales became the professional symbol of the legal profession. French druggists dispensed preparations made from this rose to treat indigestion, sore throats and skin rashes.

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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/Rosa_gallica
http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html

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Pot Marigold

Botanical Name:Calendula officinalis
Family:    Asteraceae
Tribe:    Calenduleae
Genus:    Calendula
Species: C. officinalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:    Asterales

Common Names: Pot Marigold, ruddles, common marigold, garden marigold, English marigold, or Scottish marigold

Habitat :Pot Marigold  is most probably native to southern Europe, though its long history of cultivation makes its precise origin unknown, and it may possibly be of garden origin. It is also widely naturalised further north in Europe (north to southern England) and elsewhere in warm temperate regions of the world.

Description:
Pot Marigold is a short-lived aromatic herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 80 cm (31 in) tall, with sparsely branched lax or erect stems. The leaves are oblong-lanceolate, 5–17 cm (2–7 in) long, hairy on both sides, and with margins entire or occasionally waved or weakly toothed. The inflorescences are yellow, comprising a thick capitulum or flowerhead 4–7 cm diameter surrounded by two rows of hairy bracts; in the wild plant they have a single ring of ray florets surrounding the central disc florets. The disc florets are tubular and hermaphrodite, and generally of a more intense orange-yellow colour than the female, tridentate, peripheral ray florets. The flowers may appear all year long where conditions are suitable. The fruit is a thorny curved achene.

Pot Marigold or English Marigold (Calendula officinalis) is a plant in the Calendula genus. It was used in ancient Greek, Roman, Arabic and Indian cultures as a medicinal herb as well as a dye for fabrics, foods and cosmetics.

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The leaves and petals of the Pot Marigold are edible, with the petals added to dishes as a garnish and in lieu of saffron. The leaves can be sweet but are more commonly bitter, and may be used as or as part of salad.

It is also used in homeopathic medicine (in a gel form) as a way to promote the healing of minor burns, scrapes and skin irritations.

Cultivation:
Marigold is easy to grow. It likes the hot summer sun and keeps most bugs away. It is a native of Argentina and Northern Mexico.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURE

Seeds may be sown directly in the bed, border, or flower box throughout spring and summer. The plant prefers a rich, light soil and a sunny location. Add compost to the soil if necessary, then sidedress with additional compost when the plants are well extablished. Water deeply during dry spells. It will seed itself readily.

Edible Uses:
Pot marigold florets are edible. They are often used to add color to salads or added to dishes as a garnish and in lieu of saffron. The leaves are edible but are often not palatable. They have a history of use as a potherb and in salads.

 

The petals, with their slight aromatic bitterness are used in fish and meat soups, rice dishes, salads, and as a coloring for cheese and butter. The whole flower was used as a garnish in medieval times.

Marigold Wine

2 quarts marigolds (use Calendula officinalis only)
1 gallon boiling water
1 campden tablet, crushed (sterilizer)
thinly pared peel and juice of 3 tangerines or other soft citrus fruit
thinly pared peel and juice of 1 lemon
5½ cups sugar
1¼ cups white raisins, finely chopped
wine yeast
yeast nutrient

Wash the flowers and put into a large container. Add the boiling water and stir in the Campden tablet. Leave for 24 hours.

Draw off 1 cup of the liquid, add citrus peel and heat to just on the point of boiling. Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Cool to body temperature, then pour back into the original container. Add raisins, citrus juice, yeast, and nutrient. Cover and leave 5 days to ferment, stirring twice each day.

Strain through a double thickness of muslin. Pour into a fermenting jar fitted with a fermentation lock and leave to continue fermenting. Rack the wine as it begins to clear.

When completely clear, store in a cool, dark, dry place for six months to mature.

Pharmacology:

The main constituents of the herb are carotenaids resins,essentialoil,flavonodis,sterolk,sterol,saponins and mucilage.

It is a bitter tonic. It induces copious perspiration and is very useful in killing intestinal worms.

Plants are used for the treatment of skin disorders and pain, and as a bactericide, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. The petals and pollen contain triterpenoid esters (an anti-inflammatory) and the carotenoids flavoxanthin and auroxanthin (antioxidants, and the source of the yellow-orange coloration). The leaves and stems contain other carotenoids, mostly lutein (80%) and zeaxanthan (5%), and beta-carotene. Plant extracts are also widely used by cosmetics, presumably due to presence of compounds such as saponins, resins and essential oils. Organic extracts have even been tentatively shown to inhibit HIV-1.

Medicinal Use

Calendula heals wounds as well as internal and external ulcers. It is an antiseptic, and improves blood flow to the affected area. As an antifungal agent, it can be used to treat athlete’s foot, ringworm, and candida. The tincture applied neat to cold sores encourages healing . Calendula cream is good for acne and diaper rash. An infusion is good for digestion and relieves colitis and symptoms of menopause.

Flowers harvested between June and September are most potent.

Hot calendula tea helps soothe ulcers. Gargle with cool tea for inflamed tonsils or canker sores.

To make the tea:

-Pour 10 oz of boiling water over 2/3 cup of dried flowers and let steep for 15 minutes.

Or

-Add 5-10 drops of calendula tincture to a cup of hot water.

Ointment is used on scabs, eczema and psoriasis.

To make the ointment:

-Melt 1/2 cup of petroleum jelly over low heat in a double boiler

-Add a handful of dried calendula flowers

-Heat on low for an hour

-Strain out herb and pour into glass jar

Tincture or spray can be applied to rashes, cuts, scrapes, or acne with a cotton ball. Spraying is good for sunburns, vaginitis and pinworms.

To dry the flowers themselves, put it on a mesh in direct sun for 1-2 weeks. Afterwards, store in an air tight container.

Stomach problems: The herb stimulates the flow of bile and is a beneficial remedy in the treatment of gastritis,gastric or duodenal ulcers.

Skin disorders:Marigold flowers are an excelent remedy for inflamed or ulcerated conditions of the skin . It can be used externally , as in varicose ulcers.

Eye problems: A cold infusion of the herb can be used as an eye wash, gives reliefe in conjunctivitis. A lotion of the flowers is also an useful wash for inflamed and sore eyes.

Tuberculosis: The leaves of marigold is very useful in the treatment of tuberculosis of the lymphatic gland in children, specially in neck. As a remedy its leaves should be eaten as vegetable.

Circulatory disorders: It is beneficial in the treatment of certain circulatory disorders. A compress of the herb can be applied beneficially in the treatment of various veins and chilblains , which is an inflamed condition of the skin of hands, feet and sometimes ears and nose caused by poor circulation and cold weather.

Other Uses

Merigold belongs to the same family of as arnica and has wound- healing properties. It is antiseptic and antibacterial. The poultice of the flower form an excellent first aid for burns,scalds,stings and highly contagious bactrial skin infections. The juice of the leaves can be applied beneficially over warts.The sap of the stem is useful fow warts,corns and callouses.An infusion of the petals can be used as a rinse to lighten and brighten hair. The petals also make a nourishing cream for the skin. Pot marigold makes an attractive cut flower and can be grown in the vegetable garden to help with insect control.

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/Calendula_officinalis
http://www.herbalgardens.com/herbs.html

Miracles of Herbs

Arnica

Botanical Name: Arnica montana
Family:    Asteraceae
Genus:    Arnica
Species:    A. montana
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Asterales

Synonyms: Mountain Tobacco. Leopard’s Bane.
Parts Used:
Root, flowers.
Habitat:
Arnica montana is widespread across most of Europe. It is absent from the British Isles and the Italian and Balkan Peninsulas. Arnica montana grows in nutrient-poor siliceous meadows up to nearly 3,000 metres (9,800 ft). It is rare overall, but may be locally abundant. It is becoming rarer, particularly in the north of its distribution, largely due to increasingly intensive agriculture. In more upland regions, it may also be found on nutrient-poor moors and heaths.

Description:   Arnica montana has tall stems, 20–60 cm (7.9–23.6 in) high, supporting usually a single flower head. Most of the leaves are in a basal rosette, but one or two pairs may be found on the stem and are, unusually for composites, opposite. The flower heads are yellow, approximately 5 cm (2.0 in) in diameter, and appear from May to August.

click to see the pictures…>.…....(01)..…(1)……..(2).……..(3).…..…(4)….….

Botanical Description :  Arnica is a genus with about 30 perennial, herbaceous species, belonging to the sunflower family (Asteraceae). The genus name Arnica may be derived from the Latin arna, “lamb”, in reference to the soft, hairy leaves.

This circumboreal and montane genus occurs mostly in the temperate regions of western North America, while two are native to Eurasia (A. angustifolia and A. montana).

Arnica used to be included in the tribe Senecioneae, because it has a pappus of fine bristles. This was soon questioned and Nordenstam (1977) placed it tentatively in tribe Heliantheae s.l. This arrangement also became uncertain because of the sesquiterpene lactone chemistry in certain species. Lately Arnica was placed in an unresolved clade together with Madiinae, Eupatorieae, Heliantheae s.s. and Pectidinae.

Several species, such as Arnica montana and Arnica chamissonis contain helenalin, a sesquiterpene lactone that is a major ingredient in anti-inflammatory preparations (mostly against bruises).

Arnica species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Bucculatrix arnicella.
Cultivation: Arnica thrives in a mixture of loam, peat, and sand. It may be propagated by root division or from seed. Divide in spring. Sow in early spring in a cold frame, and plant out in May.

The flowers are collected entire and dried, but the receptacles are sometimes removed as they are liable to be attacked by insects.

The root is collected in autumn after the leaves have died down.

Constituents: A bitter yellow crystalline principle, Arnicin, and a volatile oil. Tannin and phulin are also present. The flowers are said to contain more Arnicin than the rhizome, but no tannin.

Medicinal Action and Uses:

Arnica promotes the healing of wounds contracted through blows, punctures, falls and cuts. It is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, relieves pain from injuries and promotes tissue regeneration. One can clean wounds, abscesses, boils and ulcers with diluted Arnica tinctures and dress them with a compress soaked in the same solution. For contusions, sprains, bruises, bursitis, arthritis and inflammation of the lymphatic vessels, apply packs of diluted Arnica tincture. To relieve headaches and visual disturbances due to concussion, apply such compresses around the head and neck. To prepare packs and washes, dilute one tablespoon of Arnica tincture in a cup of boiled water (or where sensitivity is suspected, double the water). The tincture made from the flowers is only used externally, whereas the tincture made from the roots is used internally for cases of hematoma and inflammation of the veins. Arnica also improves the circulation. Arnica flowers are sometimes adulterated with other composite flowers, especially Calendula officinalis, Inula brittanica, Kragapogon pratensis, and Scorzonera humilis. For tender feet a foot-bath of hot water containing 1/2 oz. of the tincture has brought great relief. Arnica has been shown to be an immuno-stimulant, as both the sesquiterpene lactone helenalin and the polysaccharide fraction stimulate phagocytosis. Sesquiterpene lactones are known to have anti-inflammatory activity and their biological effects appear to be mediated through immunological processes. As helenalin is one of the most active, this might help account for the use of Arnica for pain and inflammation.

Arnica has been used for heart problems (as it contains a cardiotonic substance), to improve circulation, to reduce cholesterol and to stimulate the central nervous system. But the internal use should only be done under supervision. It displays astonishing stimulating, decongesting and relaxing properties. The heart is both stimulated in deficient conditions and relieved in excess ones, depending on the case presented.

For sprains and strains, arnica promotes healing and has an antibacterial action; causes reabsorption of internal bleeding in bruises and sprains. Apply as a cream to the affected area, or soak a pad in diluted tincture and use as a compress. Take homeopathic Arnica 6x every 1-2 hours. Do not use on broken skin; use only homeopathic Arnica internally.

Clearing heat in the sense of both deficiency heat and fire toxin is one of its strengths. In Yin deficiency syndromes with either low fever or hot flushes, it matches up well with the likes of hawthorn, rehmannia, mistletoe and valerian.

Arnica montana is sometimes grown in herb gardens and historically has been used as medicine. It has been used in herbal medicine for centuries.  A systematic review of homeopathic A. montana concluded that there are no rigorous clinical trials that support the claim that it is efficacious beyond a placebo effect.

The roots contain derivatives of thymol, which are used as fungicides and preservatives and may have some anti-inflammatory effect. When used topically in a gel at 50% concentration, A. montana was found to have the same effect when compared to a 5% ibuprofen gel for treating the symptoms of hand osteoarthritis.

A scientific study by FDA funded dermatologists found that the application of topical A. montana had no better effect than a placebo in the treatment of laser-induced bruising


Used externally this herb reduces inflammation and pain of bruises, aches, and sprains. While usage it must be kept in mind that internal application of this herb has a toxic effect on the heart and causes very high blood pressure.

In countries where Arnica is indigenous, it has long been a popular remedy. In the North American colonies the flowers are used in preference to the rhizome. They have a discutient property. The tincture is used for external application to sprains, bruises, and wounds, and as a paint for chilblains when the skin is unbroken. Repeated applications may produce severe inflammation. It is seldom used internally, because of its irritant effect on the stomach. Its action is stimulant and diuretic, and it is chiefly used in low fevers and paralytie affections.

Arnica flowers are sometimes adulterated with other composite flowers, especially Calendula officinalis, Inula brittanica, Kragapogon pratensis, and Scorzonera humilis.

A homoeopathic tincture, X6, has been used successfully in the treatment of epilepsy; also for seasickness, 3 X before sailing, and every hour on board till comfortable.

In homeopathic arnica in form of tincture or globules is very commonly used to releave the pain of any kind of wound.

For tender feet a foot-bath of hot water containing 1/2 oz. of the tineture has brought great relief. Applied to the scalp it will make the hair grow.

Known Hazards:  Arnica montana contains the toxin helenalin, which can be poisonous if large amounts of the plant are eaten. It produces severe gastroenteritis and internal bleeding of the digestive tract if enough material is ingested. Contact with the plant  may also cause skin irritation.

Great care must be exercised though, as some people are particularly sensitive to the plant and many severe cases of poisoning have resulted from its use, especially if taken internally.

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.ayurveda-herbal-remedy.com/herbal-encyclopedia/index.html

en.wikipedia.org and botanical.com

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

 

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