Herbs & Plants

Coffee senna

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Botanical Name :Senna occidentalis
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Tribe: Cassieae
Genus: Senna
Species: S. occidentalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms: Cassia occidentalis L.,Ditremexa occidentalis (L.) Britt. & Rose

Common Names:auaukoi in Hawaii, coffee senna, coffeeweed, Mogdad coffee, negro-coffee, senna coffee, Stephanie coffee, stinkingweed or styptic weed.

Habitat :Coffee senna grows throughout the tropics and subtropics (Liogier 1988, Stevens and others 2001) including the United States from Texas to Iowa eastward, Hawaii, the Pacific Island Territories, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (Natural Resources Conservation Service 2002). It appears to be of South American or New World origin (Haselwood and Motter 1966, Henty and Pritchard 1975, Raintree 2002).

Senna occidentalis varies from a semi-woody annual herb in warm temperate areas to a woody annual shrub or sometimes a short-lived perennial shrub in frostfree areas (Haselwood and Motter 1966, Henty and Pritchard 1975, Holm and others 1997). It usually’ matures at from 0.5 to 2.0 m in height. In Brazil it is reported to reach 5 to 8 m in height (Raintree 2002). Coffee senna produces a hard, woody tap root with relatively few laterals. It usually has a single purplish stem and sparse branching. Young stems are four-angled, becoming rounded with age. The crushed foliage has an unpleasant odor. Compound alternate leaves have four to six pairs of glabrous leaflets and a gland near the base of the petiole. Leaflets are ovate to ovate-lanceolate, pointed at the tip and rounded at the base.

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Senna occidentalis are few-flowered axillary racemes with yellow-petaled flowers about 2 cm across. The legumes (pods) are brown, flat, slightly curved and 5 to 12 cm long. They contain 40 or more brown to dark-olive, ovoid seeds about 4 mm long. The species has 2n = 26, 28 chromosomes (Henty and Pritchard 1975, Liogier 1988, Long and Lakela 1976, Stevens and others 2001).

Edible Uses:
Mogdad coffee seeds can be roasted and used as a substitute for coffee. They have also been used as an adulterant for coffee. There is apparently no caffeine in mogdad coffee.

Despite the claims of being poisonous, the leaves of this plant, Dhiguthiyara in Dhivehi, have been used in the diet of the Maldives for centuries in dishes such as mas huni and also as a medicinal plant.

Active Ingredients
Anthroquinones- dianthrone; Anthracene derivatives (2.5-3.5%): chief components sennosides A, A1, B, C and D. Naphthacene derivatives: including 6-hydroxymusizin glucoside, tinnevellin-6-glucosides. Laxative effect is due to the action of sennosides and their active metabolite, rhein anthrone in the colon. Effect occurs 8-12 hours after administration.

Medicinal Uses:
Laxative use, antifungal, decreases fever, cutaneous anti-infective, antispasmodic, antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory, Used for treatment of urinary infections and hemorroids. Purgative and cleansing. In Africa and Asia the leaves and seed pod were used to treat anemia, bronchitis, constipation, jaundice and skin problems.

Known Hazards:The plant is reported to be poisonous to cattle. The plant contains anthraquinones. The roots contain emodin and the seeds contain chrysarobin (1,8-dihydroxy-3-methyl-9-anthrone) and N-methylmorpholine.

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


Click to access Senna%20occidentalis.pdf


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Herbs & Plants

Cassia nomame

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Botanical Name  :Cassia nomame
Genus:    Cassia
Species:C. aldabrensis
Order:    Fabales
Common Names : Cassia Nomame , Hama-cha, Kita; nomame herba; Mimosoides tea

Cassia nomame is native to China and originally produced in the south of the Changjiang river.

The species as a whole is widespread in the tropics of the Old World and has been recorded from the Americas, but this needs confirmation. The range of variation is wide but cannot be clearly linked to either geographic origins or the effect of a hybrid swarm. At present it is simply divided into seven unnamed groups.

* Group A = C. mimosoides L. var. telfairiana Hook. is from Mauritius and the Seychelles, with closely related plants in the Sudan and the Congo . Grows from 0 to 1 370 m in altitude.

* Group B is from the Congo, the Sudan, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Angola and southern Africa. Grows at altitudes from 900 to 1 500 m.

* Group C is recorded only from Zanzibar, between sea level and 550 m.

* Group D only from north-western Kenya, between 1 680 and 1 740 m.

* Cassia Nomame Extract.CAS No:487-26-3.Flavanone.Dimer Flavonoids,Good lipase inhibitor.Cassia nomame.L.Chamaecrista mimosoides L.Greene photo picture image

*Group E is from the Sudan, the Congo, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and the Transvaal, and is closely related to plants in Nigeria, C?te d’Ivoire, Mali and Madagascar between 470 and 1 550 m.

*Group F = var. glabriuscula Ghesq., and is widespread in tropical Africa from the Gambia to Nigeria and the Sudan and southwards to Angola and Natal; it is also found in Asia from India to Australia.

*Group G occurs in Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Congo, Eritrea, the Sudan, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola, and also in India between 0 and 2 110 m. It resembles C. capensis Thunb. var. humifusa Ghesq. (Brennan, 1967).C

An exceedingly variable, prostrate to erect legume up to 1.5 m high, usually annual, sometimes with stems becoming woody above ground level and enabling the plant to perenniate. Stems variable, usually puberulent with short curved hairs, sometimes more or less densely clothed with longer spreading hairs. Leaves linear to linear-oblong, more or less parallel-sided, 0.6 to 10 cm long, 0.4 to 1.5 cm . Gland usually at or near the top of the petiole, sessile, normally orbicular or nearly so, disk shaped when dry, 0.4 to 1 mm in diameter. Rachis glandular, serrate or crenate-crested along the upper side. Leaflets sessile, in 16 to 76 pairs, obliquely oblong to oblong-elliptic or linear-oblong, 2.5 to 8 (2 to 9) mm long, 0.5 to 1.25 (1.9) mm wide, acute or subacute and shortly mucronate, glabrous or nearly so. Midrib somewhat eccentric, lateral nerves obscure to prominent beneath. Inflorescence supra-axillary or sometimes axillary, one- to three-flowered. Pedicels 0.3 to 2.5 (3.0) cm long, usually shortly puberulent, sometimes spreading hairy. Petals yellow, obovate 4 to 13 mm long, 2 to 9 mm wide. Pods linear to linear-oblong, (sometimes 1.5 but usually 3.5 to 8 cm long); 3.5 mm wide, usually adpressed hairy. Seeds brown, more or less rhombic, 2 to 3 mm long, 1 to 2 mm wide

click to see the pictures

Constituents:  flavanols, catechins

Parts Used: Powdered seed

Medicinal Uses:
An extract of this herb is showing up in many weight loss and diet formulations. The claim is that Cassia nomame is a natural lipase inhibitor, which means it disrupts the digestive enzyme process to block fat from getting into the bloodstream. It also is said to have diuretic and stimulating properties. The most prevalent sources of information I have been able to find concerning this herb are those who have a financial interest in selling it. While it may well work, documentation is thin for the most part.

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


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Herbs & Plants

Senna grandis

Botanical Name :Senna grandis
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Cassia
Species: C. grandis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names ; :Pink Shower Tree,Stinking Toe,Carao in Spanish

Habitat :Native to Central America. The species is distributed from southern México, to Venezuela and Ecuador. It grows in forests and open fields at lower elevations, and is known to be planted as an ornamental.


Cassia grandis is a large tree with a dense, umbrella-shaped canopy and smooth pale gray bark. The leaves are large and each of them is composed of about 16 pairs of leaflets.

The leaflets have two-toned coloration with green above and maroon below. During the tree short leafless period, between March and April, the tree produces abundant flowers in long axillary racemes. Their display pastel shades of pink and orange, covering the entire crown, since the name Pink Shower. Each flower has five large, lavender sepals and five rounded, peach colored petals, three large stamens and a long, curved pistil. The petals are not uniform in shape and the uppermost petal has a yellow patch in the end.

Fruits are produce from the long pistils as they begin to expand. First, they are visible as green strings dangling below foliage, than as they reach full size and begin to mature, they turn brown and start drying, becoming woody. Each fruit is about 40cm long and cylindrical in shape. Inside they have compartments with papery walls containing flattened, round, tan-colored seeds and large quantities of thick, strong smelling and dark colored honey-like substance with an unpleasant smell. The fruits persist on the tree all year.

The tree’s leaves are pinnate and deciduous, with 10-20 pairs of leaflets of 3-5 cm (1-2 in). During the dry season, the tree sheds its old leaves, giving way to racemes of pastel pink flowers. The long, wood-like fruit capsules reach lengths of up to 50 cm (20 in) and have many seeds, which are separated by resinous membranes that taste somewhat like carob.It is easily grown from seed and can reach a height of over 50 feet. Can be used as an indoor container plant…

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Medicinal Uses:
Dark juice of pod is taken as a tonic drink for anemia, tiredness, malaise—remove seeds from pods, strain juice and mix with 50% water or milk; drink 1 cup daily.  Juice of fresh leaves is applied to ringworm, fungus, or other skin problems.  For kidney complaints, water retention, backache, or biliousness, boil 3 small branches with leaves in 3 cups water for 10 minutes and drink in sips all day in place of water.  One half cup of fresh leaves infused in 3 cups water and consumed will serve as a diuretic and eliminate toxins from the body tissue.  An infusion of young leaves is used for diabetes.  For a mild laxative and blood tonic, boil ½ cup fresh leaves in 1 cup water for 2 minutes and drink.

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.


Herbs & Plants

Colutea orientalis

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Botanical Name ;Colutea orientalis
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Genus: Colutea
Species: C. orientalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Name ; Red Flowered Bladder,bladder senna

Habitat ;Colutea orientalis is  native to Europe and Asia.

It is a deciduous, grey-leafed, bushy shrub that grows to a height of up to 2 m (6 ft). It bears clusters of small yellow and coppery-red flowers in summer, followed by green seed pods. Colutea x media is a hybrid between C. orientalis and C. arborescens.


Medicinal Uses:
Leaves have a purging quality, but afterwards have a binding effect.  It is corrected with caraway seed, aniseed, or ginger and a dram taken in wine, ale or broth, on an empty stomach comforts and cleanses the stomach and purges phlegm from the head and brain, lungs, heart, liver and spleen.  From Culpeper: “It strengthens the senses, procures mirth, and is good in chronic agues.” Modern practice uses Cassia angustifolia as the variety instead.

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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Herbs & Plants

Cassia Tora

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Botanical Name: Cassia Tora/Cassia Obtusifolia
Family Name: Caesalpinaceae

Local Name:Puwad, Chakunda

Popular Name(s): Foetid Cassia, Tora, Sickle Senna, Sickle Pod, Coffee Pod, Tovara, Chakvad
English Name: Foetid cassia, The Sickle Senna, Wild Senna
Common (Indian) names:
Hindi: Charota,Chakvad,Chakavat.
Bengali & Oriya: Chakunda
Gujrati: Kawaria
Canarese: Gandutogache
Malyalam: Chakramandrakam,takara
Marathi: Takala
Sanskrit : Chakramarda,Dadmari,Dadrughra,Taga
Tamil: Tagarai
Telugu: Chinnakasinda

Parts Used: Leaves, Seeds, Roots

Habitat: Grows in dry soil throughout tropical parts of India.In India it occur as wasteland rainy season weed.

It is an annual foetid herb, 30–90 cm high .
Leaves: pinnate, up to 10 cm long rachis grooved, conical gland between each of two lowest pairs of leaflet, leaflets in 3 pairs, opposite, obovate, oblong and base oblique.
Flowers: In pair in axils of leaves, petals five, pale yellow.
Fruit: Pod, Obliquely separate.
Seed: 30-50 rhombhedral
Flowering time: After the monsoon rains (in Indian conditions)

Uses: Cassia is an Ayurvedic herb and is also used extensively in Chinese medicine. Cassia grows in hot, wet, tropical climates both wild and commercially. The stems are cut down when the bark is mature. The bark is removed in short lengths and then dried. Cassia bark is aromatic, again similar to Cinnamon, but differing in both strength and quality. Cassia bark is darker, thicker and coarser.

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It is used as a coffee substitute and has a maturing and anodyne action. Useful in treating skin diseases like ring worm and itch and psoriasis.

Chemical Constituents:-

Roots: 1,3,5-trihydroxy-6-7-dimethoxy-2-methylanthroquinone and beta-sitosterol.

Seeds: Naptho-alpha-pyrone-toralactune, chrysophanol, physcion, emodin, rubrofusarin, cchrysophonic acid-9-anthrone.

Leaves: Emodin, tricontan-1-0l, stigmasterol, b-sitosteral-b-D-glucoside, freindlen, palmitic, stearic, succinic and d-tartaric acids uridine, quercitrin and isoquercitrin.

Medicinal Uses: According to Ayurveda the leaves and seeds are acrid, laxative , antiperiodic, anthelmintic, ophthalmic, liver tonic, cardiotonic and expectorant. The leaves and seeds are useful in leprosy, ringworm, flatulence, colic, dyspepsia, constipation, cough, bronchitis, cardiac disorders.
Root  is used in snakebite.The decoction of leaves is a  laxative. The leaves and seeds are used in skin diseases ,particularly for ringworm and  itch.

The dried and fresh leaves are used in North Nigeria in the treatment of ulcers,ringworm and other paracitic skin diseases. In cultures,  extracts of leaves and the plant showed antibactrial activity, antiviral activity, particularly against Newcastle  disease virus and  Vaccinia virus. The leaves are used as coffee substitute.The gum from the plant and the seed is used  as a suporting agent for calomel, kaolin and lactone. The seeds are also used as a mordant of  in dying.Alo emodin,rhein and chrysophanol. A pleasant smelling fixed oil is extracted from the plant and the seeds.The dried leaves have flavonoid glucoside.The seed also have an oxytocic activity.
Ayuerveda Formulation: Chakramadha Tailamu.

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.


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