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Apocynum androsaemifolium

Botanical Name: Apocynum androsaemifolium
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Apocynum
Species: A. androsaemifolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Milkweed. Dogsbane. Fly-Trap.
Common Names: Fly-trap dogbane, Spreading dogbane,Bitter Root

Habitat: Apocynum androsaemifolium is native to North America.It grows in   open woodland, woodland edges etc, usually on drier soils
Description:
The genus Apocynum contains only four species, two of which Apocynum androsaemifolium and A. cannabinum, or Black Indian Hemp, resemble each other very closely, the roots being distinguished by the thick-walled stone cells, which in the former are found in an interrupted circle near the middle of the bark, and in the latter are absent.
A. a. ndrosaemifolium is a perennial herb, 5 or 6 feet in height, branching, and, in common with the other three members of the genus, yielding on incision a milky juice resembling indiarubber when dry.

The leaves are dark green above, paler and downy beneath, ovate, and from 2 to 3 inches long. The flowers are white, tinged with red, having five scales in the throat of the corolla which secrete a sweet liquid, attractive to flies. These scales are very sensitive, and when touched bend inward, imprisoning the insects…..click & see the pictures

The milky root is found in commerce in cylindrical, branched pieces, about a quarter of an inch thick, reddish or greyish brown outside, longitudinally wrinkled, and having a short fracture and small pith. There is scarcely any odour, and the taste is starchy, afterwards bitter and acrid.

Subspecies and varieties:
*Apocynum androsaemifolium subsp. androsaemifolium – E Canada, W United States
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. griseum (Greene) Bég. & Belosersky – Ontario, British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. incanum A.DC. – widespread in Canada, United States, NE Mexico
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. intermedium Woodson – Colorado
*Apocynum androsaemifolium subsp. pumilum (A.Gray) B.Boivin – British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, California, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. tomentellum (Greene) B.Boivin – British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. woodsonii B.Boivin – Alberta, British Columbia, Washington State, Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho

Parts Used for medicine: The dried rhizome, roots.

Constituents: The nature of the active principle is uncertain. A glucoside, Apocynamarin, was separated, but the activity is thought to be due not to the glucoside, but to an intensely bitter principle, Cymarin.
Medicinal Uses:
Apocynum androsaemifolium   is an unpleasantly bitter stimulant irritant herb that acts on the heart, respiratory and urinary systems, and also on the uterus. It was widely employed by the native North American Indians who used it to treat a wide variety of complaints including headaches, convulsions, earache, heart palpitations, colds, insanity and dizziness. It should be used with great caution, and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner if taking this plant internally. The root contains cymarin, a cardioactive glycoside that is toxic to ruminants. The root is cardiotonic, cathartic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic and expectorant. It has a powerful action in slowing the pulse and also has a very strong action on the vaso-motor system, it is rather an irritant to the mucous membranes though, so some people cannot tolerate it. The juice of the fresh root has been used in the treatment of syphilis. The sap of the plant has been applied externally to get rid of warts. The roots were boiled in water and the water drunk once a week in order to prevent conception. The green fruits were boiled and the decoction used in the treatment of heart and kidney problems and for the treatment of dropsy. This preparation can irritate the intestines and cause unpleasant side-effects. It is used as an alterative in rheumatism, syphilis and scrofula.

Other  Uses:The bark yields a good quality fibre that is used for making twine, bags, linen etc. It is inferior to A. cannabinum. The fibre is finer and stronger than cotton. It can be harvested after the leaves fall in the autumn but is probably at its best as the seed pods are forming. The plant yields a latex, which is a possible source of rubber. It is obtained by making incisions on the stem and resembles indiarubber when dry.

Known Hazards: The plant is poisonous, due to the cardiac glycosides it contains.

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/Apocynum_androsaemifolium
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/bitroo47.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Apocynum+androsaemifolium
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

Amelanchier alnifolia

Botanical Name : Amelanchier alnifolia
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Amelanchier
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Species: A. alnifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Synonyms Aronia alnifoliaNutt.
Common names: Western Service Berry, Shadbush and Saskatoon Serviceberry.

Other Names:Saskatoon, Saskatoon berry, serviceberry, sarvisberry or Juneberry

Habitat: Western and Central N. America – Saskatchewan and south to Colorado and Idaho. Thickets, woodland edges and banks of streams in moist well-drained soils. It grows from sea level in the north of the range, up to 2,600 metres (8,530 ft) altitude in California and 3,400 metres (11,200 ft) in the Rocky MountainsSmall bushy forms grow on fairly dry hillsides .

Description:
It is a deciduous shrub or small tree that can grow to 1–8 m (rarely to 10 m) in height. Its growth form spans from suckering and forming colonies to clumped. The leaves are oval to nearly circular, 2–5 cm long and 1–4.5 cm broad, with margins dentate mostly above the middle and a 0.5–2 cm petiole. The flowers are white, about 2–3 cm across; they appear on racemes of 3–20 together in early spring while the new leaves are still expanding. The fruit is a small purple pome 5–15 mm diameter, ripening in early summer.

CLICK & SEE
There are three varieties:
1.Amelanchier alnifolia var. alnifolia. Northeastern part of the species’ range.
2.Amelanchier alnifolia var. pumila (Nutt.) A.Nelson. Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada.
3.Amelanchier alnifolia var. semiintergrifolia (Hook.) C.L.Hitchc. Pacific coastal regions, Alaska to northwestern California

It is hardy to zone 2 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from June to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay 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:
Prefers a rich loamy soil in a sunny position or semi-shade but thrives in any soil that is not too dry or water-logged. Plants are fairly lime tolerant, they also grow well in heavy clay soils. Hardy to about -20°c according to one report , whilst another suggests that this species is hardy to about -50°c. All members of this genus have edible fruits and, whilst this is dry and uninteresting in some species, in many others it is sweet and juicy. Many of the species have potential for use in the garden as edible ornamentals. This species is particularly interesting because it is quite compact and produces an excellent quality quite large fruit. The main draw-back to this genus is that birds adore the fruit and will often completely strip a tree before it is fully ripe. A very variable species, ranging from a thicket-forming shrub to a small tree in the wild. It is occasionally cultivated for its edible fruit, there are several named varieties. A stoloniferous species, spreading by suckers to form a thicket. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Grafting onto seedlings of A. lamarckii or Sorbus aucuparia is sometimes practised in order to avoid the potential problem of hybridizing.

Propagation
Seed – it is best harvested ‘green’, when the seed is fully formed but before the seed coat has hardened, and then sown immediately in pots outdoors or in a cold frame. If stored seed is obtained early enough in the autumn, it can be given 4 weeks warm stratification before being left out in the winter and it should then germinate in the spring. Otherwise seed can be very slow to germinate, perhaps taking 18 months or more. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a sheltered outdoor position, planting them out once they are 20cm or more tall. If there is sufficient seed it is best to sow it thinly in an outdoor seedbed. Grow the seedlings on for two years in the seedbed before planting them out into their permanent positions during the winter. Layering in spring – takes 18 months. Division of suckers in late winter. The suckers need to have been growing for 2 years before you dig them up, otherwise they will not have formed roots. They can be planted out straight into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit.

Edible Uses: Tea.

Edible fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit ripens in mid summer (early July in southern Britain), it is soft and juicy with a few small seeds in the centre. A very nice sweet flavour that is enjoyed by almost everyone who tries it, there is a hint of apple in the taste. About the size of a blackcurrant, the fruit is produced in small clusters and the best wild forms can be 15mm in diameter. The fruit can also be dried and used as raisins or made into pemmican. The fruit is rich in iron and copper. The leaves are a tea substitute.

Saskatoon berries contain significant Daily Value amounts of total dietary fibre, vitamins B2 (riboflavin) and biotin, and the essential minerals, iron and manganese, a nutrient profile similar to the content of blueberries.

Notable for polyphenol antioxidants also similar in composition to blueberries, saskatoons have total phenolics of 452 mg per 100 g (average of Smoky and Northline cultivars), flavonols (61 mg) and anthocyanins (178 mg), although others have found the phenolic values to be either lower in the Smoky cultivar  or higher. Quercetin, cyanidin, delphinidin, pelargonidin, petunidin, peonidin, and malvidin were polyphenols present in saskatoon berries.

Particularly for saskatoon phenolics, inhibition of cyclo-oxygenase enzymes involved in mechanisms of inflammation and pain have been demonstrated in vitro.

Medicinal Action &  Uses
Appetizer; Birthing aid; Contraceptive; Diaphoretic; Febrifuge; Laxative; Ophthalmic; Stomachic.

Saskatoon was quite widely employed as a medicinal herb by the North American Indians, who used it to treat a wide range of minor complaints. It is little used in modern herbalism. An infusion of the inner bark is used as a treatment for snow-blindness. A decoction of the fruit juice is mildly laxative. It has been used in the treatment of upset stomachs, to restore the appetite in children, it is also applied externally as ear and eye drops. A decoction of the roots has been used in the treatment of colds. It has also been used as a treatment for too frequent menstruation. A decoction of the stems, combined with the stems of snowberry (Symphoricarpos spp) is diaphoretic. It has been used to induce sweating in the treatment of fevers, flu etc and also in the treatment of chest pains and lung infections. A decoction of the plant, together with bitter cherry (Prunus emarginata) has been used as a contraceptive. Other recipes involving this plant have also been used as contraceptives including a decoction of the ashes of the plant combined with the ashes of pine branches or buds. A strong decoction of the bark was taken immediately after childbirth to hasten the dropping of the placenta. It was said to help clean out and help heal the woman’s insides and also to stop her menstrual periods after the birth, thus acting as a form of birth control.

Other Uses
Shelterbelt; Soil stabilization.

Plants have a spreading, suckering root system and are used in windbreaks for erosion control. Young branches can be twisted to make a rope. Wood – hard, straight grained, tough. Used for tool handles etc. The wood can be made even harder by heating it over a fire and it is easily moulded whilst still hot. The young stems are used to make rims, handles and as a stiffening in basket making.

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?Amelanchier+alnifolia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelanchier_alnifolia

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Aconitum Delphinifolium

Botanical Name :Aconitum delphinifolium
Family : Ranunculaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales
Tribe: Delphinieae
Genus: Aconitum

Common Names: Aconite, Monkshood, Wolf’s bane, Leopard’s bane, Mousebane, Women’s bane, Devil’s helmet, Queen of all Poisons, or Blue rocket

Habitat: Aconitum delphinifolium   is native to  North-western N. America – British Columbia to Alaska and west to northern Asia.
It grows on the meadows, along creeks, thickets, woods, rocky slopes, and alpine tundra from sea level to altitudes of 1700 metres.

Description:

Aconitum delphinifoliumerennial  is a perennial  plant,  growing to 0.2m.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from June to August. The flowers are pollinated by Bees.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :-
Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade. Prefers a calcareous soil. Grows well in open woodlands. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes. Closely related to A. napellus and part of that species according to some botanists.

Propagation:-
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn . Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year .

Constituents:
A short report received on 24 September 1985.  Available online 15 March 2001. from the Chemistry Department of The University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada,  Nine C19-diterpenoid alkaloids were isolated from Aconitum delphinifolium, one of which was the apparently previously unknown 14-O-acetylsachaconitine.

Medicinal Actions & Uses
Miscellany.

The Salishan used Aconitum delphiniifolium for unspecified medicinal purposes.

Other Uses:-
Parasiticide.

The seed is used as a parasiticide.

Known Hazards :   The whole plant is highly toxic – simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people

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?Aconitum+delphinifolium
http://www.alaska-in-pictures.com/aconitum-delphinifolium-2591-pictures.htm
http://www.srgc.org.uk/discus/messages/4/37413.html
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6TH7-42K6YWP-13D&_user=10&_coverDate=12%2F31%2F1986&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=fca8c69d4c46a09d06e36075cf04348a

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aconitum

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