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Herbs & Plants

Stachvs Sieboldii

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Botanical Name : Stachvs Sieboldii
Family:    Lamiaceae
Genus:    Stachys
Species:    S. affinis
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Lamiales

Other Names: Stachys affinis, the Chinese artichoke, chorogi, knotroot, artichoke betony, or crosne

Habitat :This species occurs wild in Northern China, where it is also cultivated, its native name being Tsanyungtzu, while in Japan it is called Chorogi. It was introduced as a culinary vegetable by the late Dr. M. T. Masters, F.R.S., in 1888. The tubers are eaten more in France than in this country. It grows in wet and submersed areas; 0-3200 m. Gansu, Hebei, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Xinjiang.

Description:
While the plant is easy to grow, the tubers are small, convoluted, and indented, so they are considered very tedious, if not difficult to clean properly. The thin skin ranges from a pale beige to ivory-white colour. The flesh underneath, under proper cultivation, is white and tender. Chinese poets compare it to jade beads. It is in season  generally commencing with October……….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:  It is perfectly hardy and may be left in the ground until required for use. Planting should take place in the spring and the tubers dug through the winter as required. The plants are perfectly easily grown and extraordinarily productive.

Propagation  : Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If sufficient growth has been made, it is possible to plant them out during the summer, otherwise grow them on in pots for their first summer, leaving the tubers in the pots to overwinter in a cold frame and then plant out in late spring when in active growth. Seed is rarely if ever produced on plants growing in Britain. Division. The tubers can be harvest and replanted at any time whilst they are dormant. They do start into growth fairly early in the year so it is better to have moved them by the end of March.

Edible Uses: The flavor of the stem tubers is delicate, and they can be prepared similarly to Jerusalem artichokes in cooking. It is used as a vegetable, in salad compositions, but more so as a garnish. It has a nutty, artichoke-like flavor.

In Chinese and Japanese cuisine, the Chinese artichoke is primarily pickled. In particular, its tuber is a part of Osechi, cooked for celebrating Japanese New Year. Dyed red by leaves of red shiso after being pickled, it is called Chorogi.

In French cuisine, its cooked tuber is often served alongside dishes named japonaise or Japanese-styled.

Medicinal Uses:
The dried and powdered root is anodyne. The entire plant has been used in the treatment of colds and pneumonia.

Chinese artichoke is composed mostly of carbohydrate with some protein. One hundred grams of this vegetable contains 80 calories. The Chinese artichoke plant is very similar and directly related to the European plant, wood betony or lousewort. Wood betony is renowned for its use in traditional European medicine and for the treatment of a number of ailments. They include heartburn, varicose veins, urinary tract inflammation and respiratory tract inflammation. It also has calming effects and is used for headaches and neuralgia. Chinese artichoke, both the root and the plant, are used in Chinese traditional medicine although for different ailments, mainly to treat symptoms of the common cold. So far there has been very little research into the active constituents of the Chinese artichoke plant, although wood betony is know to contain alkaloids, tannins and glycosides.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stachys_affinis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/artic067.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Stachys+affinis
https://food-nutrition.knoji.com/chinese-artichoke-or-crosne-culinary-uses-and-nutrition/

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Herbs & Plants

Cat Thyme

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Botanical Name  :Teucrium marum
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Teucrium
Species: T. marum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name :Cat Thyme

Habitat:Cat thyme, a native of Spain and the Western Mediterranean, will live through the winter in the open, on a dry soil and in a good situation, when the frosts are not severe, though it is frequently killed in hard winters if unprotected by mats or other covering.It grows in  dry hills and bushy places.

Description:
Teucrium marum is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in). It has oval leaves, broader at the base, downy beneath, with uncut margins. It  is not frost tender.  It is in leaf all year. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES…..
The flowers,  are in one-sided spikes, the corollas are crimson in color.

The leaves and younger branches when fresh, on being rubbed emit a volatile, pungent, aromatic smell, which excites sneezing, but in taste they are somewhat bitter, accompanied with a sensation of heat.

Some, but not all cats prefer it to catnip and will corkscrew themselves into the plant in ecstasy.

Older plants can shrub 3 or 4 feet high if grown in a mild climate…..click & see

Cultivation :
Succeeds in any moderately good soil, preferring a dry soil and a sunny position. Does well in dry places in the rock garden[1]. Plants are not fully hardy in Britain, they can be killed in severe winters especially if the weather is wet. The bruised leaves release a pungent aroma. Cats are strongly attracted to this plant and may tear it to pieces. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer if they are large enough. Otherwise, grow them on in a cold frame for the winter and plant them out in the following spring. Division in early spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame.

Medicinal Uses:

The whole herb is aromatic, deobstruent, diuretic, nervine, stimulant, stomachic and tonic. The plant is supposed to possess very active powers and has been recommended in the treatment of many diseases, being considered useful in most nervous complaints. It is used in the treatment of gallbladder and stomach problems. The root bark is considerably astringent and has been used for checking haemorrhages. A homeopathic remedy is made from the whole herb. It is said to be effectual against small thread-worms in children.

The leaves in powdered form given in wine. The powdered leaves, either alone, or mixed with other ingredients of a like nature, when taken as snuff, have been recommended as excellent for ‘disorders of the head,’ under the name of compound powder of Assarabacca, but lavender flowers are now generally substituted for Cat Thyme. The root bark is considerably astringent and has been used for checking hemorrhages.

Other Uses:
This herb is nirvana to cats. Its potent fragrance makes cats loll about in ecstasy. Forget about weak yet better known cat mint (Nepeta spp.). But despite its value as a cat pleaser, and its charming beauty, it is very little known.

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/Teucrium_marum
http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Teucrium_marum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.arthurleej.com/p-o-m-July04.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Teucrium+marum

Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Erythrasma

Definition:
Erythrasma is a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium minutissimum. It occurs most often between the third and fourth toes, but it can also frequently be found in the groin, armpits, and under the breasts. Because of it’s color and location, it’s often confused with a fungal infection like jock itch. Erythrasma is more common in the following populations:

CLICK TO SEE.....(01)..…….....(1).……..(2)…….(3)…...(4).

It is prevalent among diabetics, the obese,elderly, and People in warm, moist climates   and is worsened by wearing occlusive clothing.

Symptoms:
The main symptoms are reddish-brown slightly scaly patches with sharp borders. The patches occur in moist areas such as the groin, armpit, and skin folds. They may itch slightly and often look like patches associated with other fungal infections, such as ringworm.

Erythrasmic patches are typically found in intertriginous areas (skin fold areas – e.g. armpit, groin, under breast) – with the toe web-spaces being most commonly involved.

The patient is commonly otherwise asymptomatic.

Causes:
Erythrasma is caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium minutissimum.

Erythrasma is more common in warm climates. You are more likely to develop this condition if you are overweight or have diabetes.

The patches of erythrasma are initially pink, but progress quickly to become brown and scaly (as skin starts to shed).

Diagnosis:
At times, your doctor can diagnose erythrasma based on its typical appearance. But more often, your doctor will need to perform other tests to help make the diagnosis. The best way for your doctor to tell the difference between erythrasma and a fungal infection is to do a Wood’s Lamp examination on the rash. Under the UV light of a Woods Lamp, erythrasma turns a bright coral red, but fungal infections do not.

Other tests that may help include:
*A simple side-room investigation with a Wood’s lamp:It is additionally useful in diagnosing erythrasma. The ultraviolet light of a Wood’s lamp causes the organism to fluoresce a coral red color, differentiating it from fungal infections and other skin conditions.

•Gram Stain: A way to identify bacteria from a sample of the scale. Unfortunately, this bacteria is difficult to get to stick to the slide so it requires a special technique.

•KOH Test: This is a test used to identify fungal elements. This test might be done to confirm that there is no fungus present.

•Skin Biopsy: A sample of tissue is removed and evaluated under a microscope. In erythrasma, the bacteria can be seen in the upper layer of the specimen.

Treatment:
Since this is a bacterial infection, erythrasma is best treated with antibiotics, and fortunately several antibiotics fit the bill.

The following are antibiotics that are typically prescribed for erythrasma:
•Erythromycin 250mg four times a day for 5 days
•Clarithromycin 1gm once
•The antifungal creams miconazole, clotrimazole and econazole, but not ketoconazole
•Topical antibiotics like clindamycin or erythromycin twice a day for 2 weeks

Gently scrubbing the skin patches with antibacterial soap may help them go away.

Prognosis:
Complete recovery is expected following treatment.

Prevention:
These measures may reduce the risk of erythrasma:

•Maintaining good hygiene
•Keeping the skin dry
•Wearing clean, absorbent clothing
•Avoiding excessive heat or moisture
•Maintaining healthy body weight

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/erythrasma1.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythrasma
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001470.htm
http://dermatology.about.com/od/infectionbacteria/a/erythrasma.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Butea superba

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 Botanical name : Butea superba Roxb.
Family : Papilionaceae; Fabaceae.
Genus:Butea
Species:    B. superba
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:Fabales
Sanskrit  synonyms :Latapalasa
Common Names : Phul, Kesu, Tesu phool
Plant name in different language :
English : Red kwao kruva.
Hindi : Latapalas
Malayalam : Valli plash, Valli chamata

Habitat : Grows in Thailand and  throughout central and southern India .This plant can be found growing in forests in the Northern regions,the Eastern regions and along Kanchanaburi Province, of Thailand.

Description :
A perennial twinning shrub grows over trees and hedges. Leaves trifoliate, with equal sized oblong-ovate leaflets, petiole long and stipulate. Flowers yellowish papilonacious flowers, found in clusters. Fruits compressed pods bearing laterally compressed seeds.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES.
One branch has 3 leaves and the flowers are of a yellowish orange color. This plant grows in the open and the long roots of the plant are buried under the ground, similar to the roots of a yam. The roots of the mature plant are 8 to 9 inches long before they turn into tubers in the shape of elephant tusks. On cutting, the tubers reveal many red fibers and leaks red sap. This type of plant reproduces through seeds and the separation of its roots.

Butea Superba has the characteristics of being a crawling vine that wraps itself around large trees. One branch has three leaves. The flowers are of a yellowish orange color, and the plant grows in the open area. The long roots of the plant are buried under the ground, similar to the roots of a yam.
Click to see :History of Butea Superba :

Chemical Constituents: The tuberous roots of Butea superba were found to contain flavonoids and flavonoid glycosides as well as sterol compounds, including ?-sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used : Bark, Leaves, Flowers, Seeds, Gum.
Plant pacifies vitiated vata, kapha, hemorrhage, hemorrhoids, intestinal worms, diabetes, colic, flatulence, inflammation, hypertension, arthritis, sexual weakness, premature ejaculation and skin diseases. Watery sap from stems is used for drinking purposes. Bark is used in tonics and elixirs

The roots and stem of the plant are medicines used for strength and power. In addition, the roots and stem of the plant are considered to help increase male sexual performance. Thus, this plant has come to be known as a miracle herb. Since Butea Superba helps to enhance human health, it was considered to be an essential factor to entity the chemical constituents of this herb.

You may click to see :History of Butea Superba :

*The man behind Butea Superba :

*Research of Butea Superba :
*Effects of Butea Superba :
*Case Studies of Butea Superba  :

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://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp
http://ayurvedicmedicinalplants.com/plants/7806.html
http://www.stbotanica.com/history-butea-superba.htm
http://www.vitroman.com/en/index_en.asp?pageID=butea-superba

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

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Herbs & Plants

Alligator Weed

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Botanical  Name : Alternanthera philoxeroides
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Alternanthera
Species: A. philoxeroides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Name : Alligator weed,Gator Grass

Habitat : It originated in South America, but has spread to many parts of the world and is considered an invasive species in Australia, China, New Zealand, Thailand and the United States.Alligator weed is an emersed plant. It can grow in a variety of habitats, including dry land, but is usually found in water. It may form sprawling mats over the water or along shorelines.

Description:
It is an immersed aquatic plant.
Alligator weed can grow in a variety of habitats, including dry land, but is usually found in water. It may form large interwoven mats over the water or along shorelines. Alligator weed stems are long, branched, and hollow. Leaves are simple, elliptic, and have smooth margins. Alligator weed flowers during the warm months of the year and has whitish, papery ball-shaped flowers that grow on stalks.

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

Sprawling herb, usually in water, often in row crops and gardens. Stems pinkish, can become hollow when larger, to 1 m (3.3 ft) long.

Leaves: Opposite, narrowly elliptic or spatulate, to 9 cm
(3.5 in) long; occasionally a few indistinct teeth on margin.

Flowers: Reduced, bisexual in round white heads on long stalks from upper leaf axils; each flower with 4–5 thin, papery bracts, 5 stamens, 1 pistil.

Fruit: Tiny, one-seeded, thin-walled.

Click to see more pictures :

When alligator weed invades waterways it can reduce water flow and quality by preventing light penetration and oxygenation of the water. It can also reduce water bird and fish activity and cause the death of fish and native plants. Alligator weed mats create a favorable habitat for breeding mosquitoes. Alligator weed is also difficult to control.

Insects have been released for the biological control of alligator weed. The most successful and widely used is Agasicles hygrophila commonly called the alligator weed flea beetle; it has been released for biocontrol in Australia, China, Thailand, New Zealand and the United States. Amynothrips andersoni, the alligator weed thrips, and Vogtia malloi, the alligator weed stem borer, have also been released in the United States.

Medicinal Uses:

You may click to see:
*Effects of Alternanthera philoxeroides Griseb against respiratory syncytial virus infection in mice :

*Effects of Alternanthera philoxeroides Griseb against dengue virus in vitro :

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/Alternanthera_philoxeroides
http://www.plants.usda.gov/java/largeImage?imageID=alph_002_avp.tif
http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/node/33
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp
http://www.eppo.org/QUARANTINE/Alert_List/invasive_plants/Alternanthera_philoxeroides.htm

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