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Herbs & Plants

Sapium salicifolium

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Botanical Name : Sapium salicifolium
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily:Euphorbioideae
Tribe: Hippomaneae
Subtribe: Hippomaninae
Genus: Sapium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Synonym  :Yerba de la flecha.

Common Names:Tallow Tree or Sapium.

Habitat:Sapium salicifolium is native to Tropics of both Hemispheres and cultivated in China and Paraguay.Grows in Mexico, New Mexico and Arizona.

Description:
It yields a milky juice, which is acrid and even poisonous, the leaves are willow-like, and at their point of union with the stalk have two round glands; the flowers are small and greenish, and grow in terminal spikes, the lower portion bearing the fertile, and the upper ones the sterile flowers. The bark of Sapium Salicifolium yields a substance for tanning which is used instead of oak; most modern writers unite this genus with Stillingia, from which there are no reliable characters to distinguish it. In America, S. Biglandulosum is a source for rubber. Sapium or S. Indicum is known in Borneo under the name of Booroo; the leaves are used for dyeing and staining rotang a dark colour; theacrid milky juice burns the mouth as Capsicum does; the young fruit is acid and eaten as a condiment; the fruit is also used to poison alligators; the ripe fruit are woolly, trilobed capsules, about 1 inch across, threecelled and containing only one seed in each.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

S. sebiyerum, the Chinese Tallow Tree, gives a fixed oil which envelops the seeds. The tallow occurs in hard brittle opaque white masses, which consists of palmatin and stearin. The oil is used for lighting and the waste from the nuts for fuel and manure.

Medicinal Uses:
Sapium Salicifolium is an energetic cathartic and diuretic, produces copious liquid discharges without griping. In minute doses at intervals of four hours it stimulates the torpid liver up to its normal action, also increases the flow of urine and exerts a direct influence on the kidneys and urinary passages.

Therapy—In bilious colic caused by presence of calculous matter, sapium salicifolium combined with mono-bromated camphor promptly dislodges the gravel, calms the nervous system and quiets the distressed stomach.

The principal advantage the drug has over other cathartics and diuretics is its superior efficacy, its pleasing taste, besides its antilithic properties; the agent is not widely known. The small and pleasant dose and kindly action will give it a place as an efficient cathartic, if the above statements are confirmed.

Known Hazards: In large doses it is poisonous, produces dysentery, vertigo and death from prostration and nervous exhaustion.

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.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/ellingwood/sapium.html
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/tallow02.html

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Herbs & Plants

Capsicum annuum

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Botanical Name : Capsicum annuum
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Capsicum
Species: C. annuum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Name:Cayenne, Jalapeno, Sweet Pepper

Habitat :Probably native of the Tropics, but the original habitat is obscure.

Description:
Capsicum annuum is an evergreen Perennial growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in). The single flowers are an off-white (sometimes purplish) color while the stem is densely branched and up to 60 centimetres (24 in) tall. The fruit is a berry and may be green, yellow or red when ripe. While the species can tolerate most climates, C. annuum is especially productive in warm and dry climates.
It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation :     
Requires a very warm sunny position and a fertile well-drained soil. Prefers a light sandy soil that is slightly acid. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 8.3. Plants can tolerate a small amount of frost, but this species does not normally do well outdoors in an average British summer and so it is usually grown in a greenhouse in this country. However, if a very warm sheltered position outdoors is chosen then reasonable crops could be obtained in good summers. This species is widely grown throughout the world, but especially in warm temperate to tropical climates, for its edible fruit – the sweet and chilli peppers. There are many named varieties. There are five basic forms of fruits, each form having various varieties. These forms are:- Cerasiforme. These have small cherry-shaped pungent fruits. Conioides. These fruits are cone-shaped and up to 5cm long. Many of them are grown as ornamentals, but some are also cultivated for food.. Fasciculatum. Also cone-shaped, but with pungent red fruits up to 7.5cm long. Grossum. These are the sweet peppers with large bell-shaped fruits and thick flesh. Longum. These are the cultivated hot cayenne and chilli peppers with long thin fruits up to 30cm long. The pungency of peppers depends upon the presence of a single gene, cultivars that lack this gene are the sweet peppers. A short-lived evergreen perennial in the tropics, though the plants are grown as annuals in temperate zones. Sweet pepper plants are good companions for basil and okra. They should not be grown near apricot trees, however, because a fungus that the pepper is prone to can cause a lot of harm to the apricot tree.

Propagation :    
Seed – sow late winter to early spring in a warm greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 3 – 4 weeks at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of reasonably rich soil and grow them on fast. If trying them outdoors, then plant them out after the last expected frosts and give them the protection of a cloche or frame at least until they are established and growing away well.

Edible Uses :
The species is a source of popular sweet peppers and hot chilis with numerous varieties cultivated all around the world.

In British English, the sweet varieties are called red or green peppers and the hot varieties chillies, whereas in Australian and Indian English the name capsicum is commonly used for bell peppers exclusively and chilli is often used to encompass the hotter varieties. Americans call the sweet types “peppers” and the hot ones “chili peppers” or “chilies” (sometimes spelled “chiles”).

Sweet peppers are very often used as a bulking agent in ready-made meals and take-away food, because they are cheap, have a strong flavour, and are colorful. The colorful aspect of peppers increases the visual appeal of the food, making it more appetizing. Foods containing peppers, especially chili peppers, often have a strong aftertaste due to the presence of capsinoids in peppers. Capsaicin, a chemical found in chili peppers, creates a burning sensation once ingested, which can last for several hours after ingestion.

Medicinal Uses:
Antidiarrhoeal;  Antiemetic;  Antihaemorrhoidal;  Antirheumatic;  Antispasmodic;  Appetizer;  Digestive;  Irritant;  Rubefacient;  Sialagogue.

The fruit of the hot, pungent cultivars is antihaemorrhoidal when taken in small amounts, antirheumatic, antiseptic, diaphoretic, digestive, irritant, rubefacient, sialagogue and tonic. It is taken internally in the treatment of the cold stage of fevers, debility in convalescence or old age, varicose veins, asthma and digestive problems. Externally it is used in the treatment of sprains, unbroken chilblains, neuralgia, pleurisy etc. It is an effective sea-sickness preventative. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Capsicum for muscular tension, rheumatism (see   for critics of commission

Hot peppers are used in medicine as well as food in Africa and other places around the world.

English botanist John Lindley described C. annuum on page 509 of his 1838 ‘Flora Medica’ thus:

“ It is employed in medicine, in combination with Cinchona in intermittent and lethargic affections, and also in atonic gout, dyspepsia accompanied by flatulence, tympanitis, paralysis etc. Its most valuable application appears however to be in cynanche maligna (acute diphtheria) and scarlatina maligna (malignent Scarlet fever, used either as a gargle or administered internally.) ”

*In ayurvedic medicine, C. annuum is classified as follows:

*Gunna (properties) – ruksh (dry), laghu (light) and tikshan (sharp)

*Rasa dhatu (taste) – katu (pungent)

*Virya (potency) – ushan (hot)

Other Uses:
Some cultivars grown specifically for their aesthetic value include the U.S. National Arboretum‘s Black Pearl  and the Bolivian Rainbow. Ornamental varieties tend to have unusually coloured fruit and foliage with colors such as black and purple being notable. All are edible, and most (like Royal Black) are hot.

Known Hazards   Pungent-fruited peppers may cause painful irritation when used in excess, or after accidental contact with the eyes. Although no reports have been seen for this species, many plants in this family produce toxins in their leaves. The sap of the plant can cause the skin to blister.  Avoid in patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitor antidepressants and antihypertensive drugs

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/Capsicum_annuum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Capsicum+annuum

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Herbs & Plants

Capsicum minimum

Botanical Name: Capsicum minimum, Capsicum spp
Family: Solanaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Genus: Capsicum
Species: C. annuum

Synonyms: C.fastigiatum (Bl.), African chillies, chillies, red pepper, bird pepper, capsicum, hot pepper, Tabasco pepper

Common Names: African Pepper, Bird’s Eye Chilli, Bird Pepper, Cocksbur Pepper, Guinea Pepper, Spanish Pepper, Zanzibar Pepper

Habitat :This small erect shrub is indigenous to tropical America and cultivated in South America and Africa.

Description:
It is a perennial plant in its native America but is annual when cultivated outside tropical zones. Growing to a height of 1m or more, its glabrous stem is woody at the bottom and branched near the top. The leaves are ovate to lanceolate, entire and petioled. The drooping, white to yellow flowers grow alone or in pairs or threes between April and September. The ripe fruit, or pepper, is a many-seeded pod with a leathery outside in various shades of red or yellow.

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The single flowers are an off-white (sometimes purplish) color while the stem is densely branched and up to 60 centimetres (24 in) tall. The fruit is a berry and may be green, yellow or red when ripe. While the species can tolerate most climates, Capsicum minimum is especially productive in warm and dry climates.

Constituents: an alkaloid (capsaicin), carotenoids (capsanthine, capsorubin), flavonoids, volatile oil, vitamins A, B and C, steroidal saponins (capsicidons), sugars, fatty acids.

Edible Uses:
The species is a source of popular sweet peppers and hot chilis with numerous varieties cultivated all around the world.
click to see the pictures….....(1)….….(2)…………..
In British English, the sweet varieties are called red or green peppers and the hot varieties chillies, whereas in Australian and Indian English the name capsicum is commonly used for bell peppers exclusively and chilli is often used to encompass the hotter varieties. Americans call the sweet types “peppers” and the hot ones “chili peppers” or “chilies” (sometimes spelled “chiles”).

Sweet peppers are very often used as a bulking agent in ready-made meals and take-away food, because they are cheap, have a strong flavour, and are colorful. The colorful aspect of peppers increases the visual appeal of the food, making it more appetizing. Foods containing peppers, especially chili peppers, often have a strong aftertaste due to the presence of capsinoids in peppers. Capsaicin, a chemical found in chili peppers, creates a burning sensation once ingested, which can last for several hours after ingestion.

Medicinal Uses:
carminative, spasmolytic, stimulant, diaphoretic; externally as a rubefacient, counter-irritant and antiseptic.
It is used in  flatulent dyspepsia in the absence of inflammation, colic, insufficiency of the peripheral circulation; as a gargle for chronic laryngitis; externally for neuralgia, rheumatic pain and unbroken chilblains.

Capsicum is a good general tonic, specific for the circulatory and digestive system. It regulates blood flow and strengthens the heart, arteries, capillaries and nerves. It improves arterial blood supply to the tissues and toxin removal. It is a strong circulatory stimulant,  appearing to reinforce the action of certain prostaglandins, thereby increasing the flow of blood through all the tissues of the body and producing a diaphoretic effect. Capsaicin is known to mimic the effect of some of the prostaglandins. It desensitizes the sensory nerve endings to pain stimulation by depleting Substance P from the nervous system, which is the basis for its use as a local analgesic, and recent research suggests that cayenne can ease the severe pain of shingles and migraine. It is also used in digestive debility and flatulent dyspepsia in the absence of inflammation. The addition of Capsicum to a prescription will ensure that the other ingredients quickly reach all tissues even where there is poor circulation.

Applied externally it stimulates increased circulation within the subdermal tissues, reducing the need for the body to invoke the inflammatory response. It is therefore of benefit as a rubefacient for neuralgia and rheumatic pains. The ointment also helps to heal unbroken chilblains.

Hot, stimulating Cayenne peppers are like a jump start to a cold car engine on a frosty morning. It brings welcome life into sore muscles and get your heart beating faster, increasing the flow of blood all through the body. The heat of cayenne warms stiff arthritic joints and relaxes away low back pain.  The longer you use it, the better it works. Cayenne works very well for me, I use it every day, sometimes twice a day, for arthritis stiffness, sore muscles, and low back pain. Cayenne infused oil does not burn my skin as much as capsaicin creams. Cayenne salves and oils are my first recommendation to anyone who has problems with pain, however cayenne has many other varied uses that make it one of the most powerful remedies in your kitchen medicine cabinet.

Cayenne for Pain relief  Cayenne pepper extracts are an important part of herbal treatment for muscle pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and the nerve pain caused by shingles and sciatica.101 It appears to act by decreasing the concentration of substance P, the primary chemical used by nerve cells to transmit pain signals. It takes repeated use over a period of at least a few weeks to feel this benefit. Cayenne is also rich in salicylates, natural aspirin like compounds, which add to its analgesic nature. 102 Cayenne pepper balms, oils and creams are rubefacients,which means it warms the body by quickly dilating small capillaries, and  increasing circulation,  which reddens, (but does not burn) the skin. This increased circulation is the hallmark of cayenne’s effect on the body, it stimulates the heart, and the lungs as well as increasing blood circulation and warmth throughout the whole system.

Cayenne Pepper Diet: Adding cayenne to your diet plan is a no-brainer. Cayenne, along with other peppers strengthen digestion and lessen the change of bacterial infections from unsanitary food and water. Cayenne peppers also lessen the gas and bloating that comes from eating heavy, greasy foods. Cayenne helps boost your metabolism and induces the body to burn off more fat. Eating more hot spicy foods will help decrease appetite and increase satiety, so you are inclined to eat less. Seasoning with pepper lessens the need for salt and fat in cooking without sacrificing flavor.

Psoriasis Treatment: Capsaicin, the most potent constituent of cayenne, has been shown to be effective in treating the symptoms of psoriasis. Treatment does produce burning sensations, which are normal and decrease with repeated use. If you buy OTC products look for one that contains menthol, it will help relieve the itching as well. A 1999 study found that treatment with capsaicin caused a marked decrease in psoriasis activity and decreased formation of new skin plaques. 103

Heart Health: Cayenne is considered to be a valuable heart tonic. These hot peppers contain capsicum which has been shown to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Cayenne also helps to increase circulation and keeps the blood flowing smoothly through veins and arteries. Cayenne also is high in antioxidants, rounding out its cardiovascular benefits.

Caution: Should not be used in cases of hypertension, gastric hyperacidity, peptic ulceration, or on mucous membranes. The hands should be washed after handling. Prolonged application to the skin can cause dermatitis and blistering, while excessive consumption can lead to gastroenteritis and liver and kidney damage. Only small doses should be used to avoid irritating the stomach or burning the skin. The seeds can be toxic. Therapeutic doses should be avoided during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Other Uses:
Some cultivars grown specifically for their aesthetic value include the U.S. National Arboretum’s Black Pearl and the Bolivian Rainbow. Ornamental varieties tend to have unusually coloured fruit and foliage with colors such as black and purple being notable. All are edible, and most (like Royal Black) are hot.

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.purplesage.org.uk/profiles/cayenne.htm
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail122.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsicum_annuum

http://www.globalherbalsupplies.com/herb_information/cayenne.htm#General_Information

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Herbs & Plants

Capsicum baccatum

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Botanical Name : Capsicum baccatum
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Capsicum
Species: C. baccatum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Name:Locoto

Capsicum baccatum is a species of chili pepper that includes the following cultivar and varieties:

*Aji amarillo, or amarillo chili
*Peppadew
*Lemon drop
*Bishop’s Crown
*Brazilian Starfish
*Wild Baccatum
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You may click to see  pictures of different paper
Habitat :  The Capsicum baccatum species, particularly the Ají amarillo chili (Aji is the caribean word for chili and/or peppers that the Spaniards colonizers extended to most of Central and South America), is typically associated with Peruvian cuisine, and is considered part of its condiment trinity together with red onion and garlic. Aji amarillo literally means yellow chili; however, the yellow color appears when cooked, as the mature pods are bright orange.

Today the Ají amarillo is mainly seen in South American markets and in Latin American food stores around the world where Peruvian and Bolivian expatriates are numerous. The wild baccatum species (C. baccatum var. baccatum) is most common in Bolivia with outlier populations in Peru (rare) and Paraguay, northern Argentina, and southern Brazil.

Description:
Pepper varieties in the Capsicum baccatum species have white or cream colored flowers, and typically have a green or gold corolla. The flowers are either insect or self-fertilized. The fruit pods of the baccatum species have been cultivated into a wide variety of shapes and sizes, unlike other capsicum species which tend to have a characteristic shape. The pods typically hang down, unlike a Capsicum frutescens plant, and can have a citrus or fruity flavor.

Edible Uses:
Aji amarillo is one of the ingredients of Peruvian cuisine and Bolivian cuisine as a condiment, especially in many dishes and sauces. In Peru the chilis are mostly used fresh, and in Bolivia dried and ground. Common dishes with aji amarillo are the Peruvian stew Aji de Gallina (“Chili of Hen”), Huancaina sauce and the Bolivian Fricase Paceno, among others.

The Moche culture often represented fruits and vegetables in their art, including Ají amarillo peppers.

Medicinal Uses;
The hot and pungent fruit is antihemorrhoidal when taken in small amounts, antirheumatic, antiseptic, diaphoretic, digestive, irritant, rubefacient, sialagogue and tonic. It is taken internally in the treatment of the cold stage of fevers, debility in convalescence or old age, varicose veins, asthma and digestive problems. Externally it is used in the treatment of sprains, unbroken chilblains, neuralgia, pleurisy 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://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-48270835/stock-photo-starfish-on-brown-paper-background.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsicum_baccatum

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Eupatorium purpurea

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Botanical Name : Eupatorium purpurea
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Eutrochium
Species: E. purpureum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names :Kidney-root, Sweetscented Joe-Pie weed,   Trumpet weed,  Eutrochium purpureum kidney-root, sweetscented joe-pie weed, sweet Joe-Pye weed, gravel root, or trumpet weed

Habitat :Eupatorium purpurea  is native to eastern and central North America, from Ontario east to New Hampshire and south as far as Florida, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.

Description:
Eupatorium purpurea is a herbaceous perennial plant.It  is a clump forming plant that grows to 1.5 – 2.4 meters (5 – 8 feet) tall and about 1.2 meters (4 ft) wide. Plants are found in full sun to part shade in moisture retentive to wet soils. Stems are upright, thick, round, and purple, with whorls of leaves at each node. As the plant begins to bloom the stems often bend downward under the weight of the flowers. The leaves grow to 30 cm (12 in) long and have a somewhat wrinkled texture. The purplish colored flowers are produced in large loose, convex shaped compound corymbiform arrays. Plants bloom mid to late summer and attract a lot of activity from insects that feed on the nector produced by the flowers. This species hybridizes readily with other species of Eutrochium and where this species and those species overlap in distribution the resulting plants can be difficult to resolve to a specific taxon. There are two varieties that differ in the pubescence of the stems and foliage, but many more have been proposed in the past, thought most authorities now accept that this is a variable species and population variations integrate.

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Medicinal Uses:
Dried flowering tops and leaves were used as a tonic for biliosness and as a laxative but this is now felt by some to be too toxic.  Specifically to help remove stones in the bladder caused by excess uric acid–which gives one of its names of gravel root.  Infusion may be used as an astringent tonic and stimulant.  The solvent is water.

Leaves of Joe Pye stimulate circulation and sweating and reduce inflammation.  The dried root has been used to tone the entire reproductive tract, helping with pelvic inflammatory disease, gonorrhea, menstrual cramps, and also prostate and urinary infections; gout and rheumatism.  It is toning to the mucous membranes and cleans sediments that have settled on their surfaces.    A concentrated root extract called “eupuriun” was sold by the Eclectic doctors.

As a nervine, it is said to influence the entire sympathetic nervous system.  In cases of a depressed state of typhoid fever, its combination with Capsicum and Juniper is very effective.

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/Eutrochium_purpureum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

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