Tag Archives: Cassava

Dicentra Canadensis

Botanical Name: Dicentra Canadensis
Family: Papaveraceae
Subfamily: Fumarioideae
Tribe: Fumarieae
Genus: Dicentra
Species: D. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms: Turkey Pea. Squirrel Corn. Staggerweed. Bleeding Heart. Shone Corydalis. Corydalis. Corydalis Canadensis (Goldie). Bicuculla Canadensis (Millsp.).
Common Name: Squirrel corn
Habitat:Dicentra Canadensis is native to Eastern N. America – S. Quebec, Minnesota, N. Carolina, Tennessee. It grows in rich woods. Deciduous woods, often among rock outcrops, in rich loam soils from sea level to 1500 metres.
Dicentra canadensis is a perennial plant, growing 6 to 10 inches high, with a tuberous root, flowering in early spring (often in March) having from six to nineteen nodding, greenish-white, purple-tinged flowers, the root or tuber small and round. It should be collected only when the plant is in flower and it is in flower in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) The tubers are tawny yellow-coloured, the colour being a distinctive character. The plant must not be confounded with Corydalis (Dicentra) Cuccularia (Dutchman’s Breeches), which flowers at the same time and very much resembles it (though smaller), except in the root, the rind of which is black with a white inside, and when dried, turns brownish-yellow, and under the microscope is full of pores. It has also a peculiar faint odour, the taste at first slightly bitter, then followed by a penetrating taste, which influences the bowels and increases the saliva; the differences in the colour after drying may be caused by the age of the root. Under the microscope, it is porous, spongy, resinous, with a glistening fracture. Another Corydalis also somewhat like Turkey Corn is C. Formosa, the fresh root of which is darkish yellow throughout and has a fracture much resembling honeycomb. The true Turkey Corn is much used by American eclectic practitioners. It is slightly bitter in taste and almost odourless. Tannic acid and all vegetable astringents are incompatible with preparations containing Turkey Corn, or with its alkaloid, Corydalin..

Cultivation: Easily grown in a rich light soil, preferably neutral to slightly acid. Prefers light shade and a sheltered position according to one report whilst another says that it prefers heavier shade. Grows well in a sheltered corner of the rock garden. The seed is very difficult to harvest, it ripens and falls from the plant very quickly. This species is closely related to D. cucullaria. After fruit set, the bulblets of Dicentra canadensis remain dormant until autumn, when stored starch is converted to sugar. At this time also, flower buds and leaf primordia are produced below ground; these then remain dormant until spring. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation : Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be sown in early spring. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 6 months at 15°c. Two weeks warm stratification at 18°c followed by six weeks at 2°c can shorten up the germination time. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in early spring. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Root cuttings 7 – 10cm long in sandy soil in a cold frame
Edible Uses: The root is known to be edible.

Part Used: Dried tubers.
Constituents: The amount of alkaloids in the dried tubers is about 5 per cent; they have been found to contain corydalin, fumaric acid, yellow bitter extractive, an acrid resin and starch. The constituents of the drug have not been exactly determined, but several species of the closely allied genus Corydalis have been carefully studied and C. tuberosa, cava and bulbosa have been found to yield the following alkaloids: Corycavine, Bulbocapnine and Corydine; Corydaline is a tertiary base, Corycavine is a difficult soluble base; Bulbocapnine is present in largest amount and was originally called Corydaline. Corydine is a strong base found in the mother liquor of Bulbocapnine and several amorphous unnamed bases have been found in it. All these alkaloids have narcotic action. Protopine, first isolated from opium, has been found in several species of Dicentra and in C. vernyim, ambigua and tuberosa.

Medicinal Uses:

Alterative; Diuretic; Tonic; VD.

The dried tubers are alterative, diuretic and tonic. The tubers are useful in the treatment of chronic cutaneous affections, syphilis, scrofula and some menstrual complaints. Turkey Corn is often combined with other remedies, such as Stillingia, Burdock or Prickly Ash.

Known Hazards : The plant is potentially poisonous and can also cause skin rashes.

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.


Manihot esculenta

Botanical Name :Manihot esculenta
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Crotonoideae
Tribe: Manihoteae
Genus: Manihot
Species: M. esculenta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Synonyms: Manihot aipi, manihot utilissima.Manioc. Yuca. Cassava. Farinha de Mandioca.

Common Names :Cassava,manioc, balinghoy or kamoteng kahoy (in the Philippines), mogo (in Africa), mandioca, tapioca-root,Cassada,  cassave,kasaba, katela boodin, maniba, mandioc, manioca, muk shue, shushu, tapioca, tapioka, yuca.

Habitat :Manihot esculenta is  native to South America and is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Manihot esculenta is a tropical perennial shrub of approximately 6 feet tall. It has palmate leaves, sometimes green flowers and a brittle stem. Vegetative propagation is done by cuttings from the stem. The fruit is round or oblong and winged; each fruit contain 3 seeds.
Cassava is grown for its enlarged starch-filled tuberous roots.

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The cassava root is long and tapered, with a firm, homogeneous flesh encased in a detachable rind, about 1mm thick, rough and brown on the outside. Commercial varieties can be 5 to 10 cm in diameter at the top, and around 15 cm to 30 cm long. A woody cordon runs along the root’s axis. The flesh can be chalk-white or yellowish. Cassava roots are very rich in starch and contain significant amounts of calcium (50 mg/100g), phosphorus (40 mg/100g) and vitamin C (25 mg/100g). However, they are poor in protein and other nutrients. In contrast, cassava leaves are a good source of protein (rich in lysine) but deficient in the amino acid methionine and possibly tryptophan.

Edible Uses : The peeled roots of the sweet variety are usually eaten cooked or baked.Cassava-based dishes are widely consumed wherever the plant is cultivated; some have regional, national, or ethnic importance. Cassava must be cooked properly to detoxify it before it is eaten.

Cassava can be cooked in many ways. The soft-boiled root has a delicate flavor and can replace boiled potatoes in many uses: as an accompaniment for meat dishes or made into purées, dumplings, soups, stews, gravies, etc. This plant is used in cholent in some households, as well. Deep fried (after boiling or steaming), it can replace fried potatoes, bringing a distinctive flavor. In Brazil, detoxified manioc is ground and cooked to a dry, often hard or crunchy meal which is used as a condiment, toasted in butter, or eaten alone as a side dish.

Medicinal Uses:
Cassava root has been promoted as a treatment for bladder and prostate cancer. However, according to the American Cancer Society, “there is no convincing scientific evidence that cassava or tapioca is effective in preventing or treating cancer.

Other Uses:
Cassava tubers and hay are used worldwide as animal feed. Cassava hay is harvested at a young growth stage (three to four months) when it reaches about 30–45 cm above ground; it is then sun-dried for one to two days until it has final dry matter content of less than 85%. Cassava hay contains high protein (20–27% crude protein) and condensed tannins (1.5–4% CP). It is valued as a good roughage source for ruminants such as dairy or beef cattle, buffalo, goats, and sheep, whether by direct feeding or as a protein source in concentrate mixtures.

Laundry starch:
Manioc is also used in a number of commercially-available laundry products, especially as starch for shirts and other garments. Using manioc starch diluted in water and spraying it over fabrics before ironing helps harden collars.

Known Hazards : There is a bitter, poisonous- and a sweet, – nonpoisonous variety of cassava; however the skin stays poisonous and the sweet variety should be peeled.there are hydrocyanic glycosides (HCN) in all parts of the plant; these glycosides are removed by peeling the rhizomes (tuberous roots) and boiling these in water.
The root of the bitter variety is very poisonous when raw. Cooking destroys the hydrocyanic acid; the cooking water must be discarded.

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.


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Rumex hymenosepalus

Botanical Name :Rumex hymenosepalus
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Rumex
Species: R. hymenosepalus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms :Rumex arizonicus Britton,Rumex salinus A.Nelson,Rumex hymenosepalus var. salinus (A. Nelson) Rech.,Rumex saxei Kellogg

Common Name : Canaigre dock,  Canaigre or Wild Rhubarb,

Habitat : Rumex hymenosepalus  is native to the United States and  it is found on sandy roadsides and fields at lower to middle elevations.It has been cultivated in the southwestern United States.  It grows in dry sandy places below 1500 metres in California

Rumex hymenosepalus is a perennial flowering plant with tall reddish colored stems .Rumex hymenosepalus grows very large basal leaves early in the spring.  The leaves are elliptic, thick, and wider than those of Rumex crispus.  The leaves can be wavy at the margin, but usually not as much as with Rumex crispus.A tall, stout flower stalk follows with tiny green/red/yellow flowers that are replaced by showy pink/red/brown seed pods.  Early leaves of this and related Rumex species are palatable as a potherb, giving rise to the “Wild Rhubarb” common name.  Leaves persist through the summer but toughen with age.  A number of species of Rumex are found in Canyon Country and were probably a common food for the Anasazi.

The reproductive panicles are thickly packed  . Typically, Rumex hymenosepalus leaves are among the first early signs of spring in the lower parts of the Gila. The stems are reddish with an interior that is somewhat spongy with airspaces.
Cultivation : Succeeds in most soils but prefers a deep fertile moderately heavy soil that is humus-rich, moisture-retentive but well-drained and a position in full-sun or part shade. Judging by its native range, this plant should succeed in dry soils. Extensively cultivated for the tannin contained in its root.

Propagation : Seed – sow spring in situ. Division in spring.

Edible Uses: 
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root; Seed; Stem.
Edible Uses: Drink.

Young leaves – cooked as a pot-herb. They are usually cooked in several changes of water to remove the bitter-tasting tannin. Leaf stems – cooked. Crisp and tart, they are excellent when used in pies like rhubarb. They are often cooked with sugar, or can be baked and the central portion eaten. The stems, harvested before the flowers open, have been boiled to make a drink. Seed – raw or cooked. It can be ground into a powder, cooked with water to the consistency of a thick gravy and eaten as a mush. The powder can also be mixed with water, shaped into cakes and baked. Root. Eaten raw by children in early spring.

Medicinal Uses:
The use of cañaigre root in folk medicine has been as an astringent, prepared as a tea for diarrhea and as a garble for sore throat.  These uses are probably effective, owing to the plant’s high tannin content.  Herbalists have traditionally relied upon cañaigre as an astringent.  They used its large tuberous roots to make a tea for treating diarrhea and a gargle for easing sore throat.  One herbal suggests using the boiled root extract to stop bleeding from minor scrapes and cuts.  For sunburn, the root can be grated fresh on the burned skin, allowed to dry and a poultice of the inner pith of the cactus placed over or the juice rubbed in.  An infusion of the stems and leaves has been used as a wash for sores, ant bites and infected cuts.  The root has been chewed in the treatment of coughs and colds. The dried, powdered roots have been used as a dusting powder and dressing on burns and sores. A tea made from this plant is used to treat colds. The dried root combined with water is used as a mouthwash for pyorrhea and gum inflammations.  Sucking on a slice tightens the teeth.  The tea is used as a wash for acne and other moist or greasy skin problems.

Other Uses:
The roots are a good source of tannin, for use in leather tanning.  It is also a source of a mustard-colored dye.

Known Hazards : Plants can contain quite high levels of oxalic acid, which is what gives the leaves of many members of this genus an acid-lemon flavour. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content will be reduced if the plant is cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

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.



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Viola canadensis

Botanical Name : Viola canadensis
Family:  Violaceae – Violet family
Genus : Viola L. – violet
Species :Viola canadensis L. – Canadian white violet
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision:  Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division : Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class : Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order : Violales

Synonyms:Viola canadensis Linnaeus var. rugulosa (Greene) C.L. Hitchcock ,Viola canadensis Linnaeus var. canadensis sensu NM authors,Viola canadensis Linnaeus var. neomexicana (Greene) House,Viola rydbergii Greene

Common Name : Canada Violet,Canadian white violet, Canada Violet, tall white violet, or white violet.

Habitat : It is native to Canada and the eastern United States.Viola canadensis is our most common white violet in the Gila National Forest. It is found along moist streambanks under trees, occasionally in large numbers.It is threatened or endangered in some areas, and abundant in others. There are four varieties.

General: perennial with short, thick rootstocks and often
with slender stolons. Stems 10-40 cm tall, hairless to


Leaves: basal and alternate, the stalks as much as 30
cm long. Leaf blades heart-shaped, abruptly pointed, about
4-8 cm long, from (usually) short-hairy on one or both
surfaces to hairless. Stipules lanceolate, 1-2 cm long,
entire, hairless to hairy on the edges only. The apex of the leaf is acute.

Flowers: one to few from the upper portion of the stem,
the stalks shorter than the leaves. The 5 sepals lanceolate,
often short-hairy and with hairy edges, the spur short. The
5 petals about 1.5 cm long, white to pinkish, yellow-based,
the 3 lower ones purplish-lined, the side bearded, all (but
especially the upper pair) more or less purplish-tinged on
the outside and sometimes less conspicuously so on the
inside. Style head sparsely long-bearded.The throat of the flower is marked with yellow with faint purple guidelines.

Flowering time: May-July.

Fruits: capsules, 4-5 mm long, granular on the surface
to short-hairy, with 3 valves, splitting open explosively and
shooting out seeds, the seeds brownish.

Medicinal Uses:
A tea made from the roots has been used in the treatment of pain in the bladder region.  The roots and leaves have traditionally been used to induce vomiting, they have also been poulticed and applied to skin abrasions and boils.

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.


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