Tag Archives: Caucasus Mountains

Prunus lauroceerasus

Botanical Name : Prunus lauroceerasus
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Cerasus, or Laurocerasus
Section: Laurocerasus
Species: P. laurocerasus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names:Cherry Laurel,English laurel

Habitat :Prunus lauroceerasus is native to regions bordering the Black Sea in southwestern Asia and southeastern Europe, from Albania and Bulgaria east through Turkey to the Caucasus Mountains and northern Iran

Description:
Prunus laurocerasus is an evergreen shrub or small tree, growing to 5–15 metres (16–49 ft) tall, rarely to 18 metres (59 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 60-cm broad. The leaves are dark green, leathery, shiny, (5–)10–25(–30)-cm wide and 4–10-cm broad, with a finely serrated margin. The leaves can have the smell of almonds when crushed.
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The flower buds appear in early spring and open in early summer in erect 7–15-cm racemes of 30–40 flowers, each flower 1-cm broad, with five creamy-white petals and numerous yellowish stamens.

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The fruit is a small cherry 1–2-cm broad, turning black when ripe in early autumn.   Unlike the rest of the plant, which is poisonous, the cherries are edible, although rather bland and with a somewhat dry smack compared to the fruit of apricots, true cherries, plums, and peaches, to which it is related. The seeds contained within the berries are poisonous like the rest of the plant, containing cyanogenic glycosides and amygdalin.[6] This chemical composition is what gives the smell of almonds when the leaves are crushed.

Cultivation:
Prunus laurocerasus is a widely cultivated ornamental plant, used for planting in gardens and parks in temperate regions worldwide. It is often used for hedges, a screening plant, and as a massed landscape plant. Most cultivars are tough shrubs that can cope with difficult growing conditions, including shaded and dry conditions, and which respond well to pruning.

Medicinal Uses:
The fresh leaves are of value in the treatment of coughs, whooping cough, asthma, dyspepsia and indigestion. Externally, a cold infusion of the leaves is used as a wash for eye infections.  A reliable sedative and frequently the principal agent in cough medicine.  Cherry-laurel water (Aqua Laurocerasi) is produced by distillation. In homeopathy, a tincture produced from the leaves is used as a sedative.  It may also be used externally in soothing poultices.

Other uses
Laurel water, a distillation made from the plant, has a pharmacological usage. The foliage is also used for cut greenery in floristry.

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/Prunus_laurocerasus
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://movies-honoratocainelvis.blogspot.com/2011/03/prunus-laurocerasus-etna.html
http://trees.stanford.edu/ENCYC/PRUNUSlau.htm

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Shilajit

Latin Name:Asphaltum

English Name:Mineral Pitch and Shilajit
Sanskrit/Indian Name:Shilajit

The name
Shilajit is a Sanskrit word meaning “conqueror of mountains and destroyer of weakness.” It is also spelt as Shilajeet, and is known by various other names like Shilajita Mumiyo; Mineral pitch, Mineral wax or Ozokerite in English; Black Asphaltum; and Asphaltum punjabianum in Latin.

Description:
Shilajit is used in the Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine. Shilajit is a rasayana herb and is an adaptogen. Shilajit contains at least 85 minerals in Ionic form as well as humic acid and fulvic acid. Clinical researches have been in progress and the ancient claims of the drug’s several properties, including anti-aging properties.A similar exudate from the Caucasus Mountains is called Mumiyo but is not considered as strong as the Himalayan Shilajit.

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Origin
Ancient Indian yogis, and practitioners of Aurvedic medicine, on understanding several potent qualities of Shilajit, had attributed divine powers to Shilajit. In essence Shilajit is a natural concentrate of plants of the regions of the Himalayas, and is found in the Himalayan ranges in India, Nepal, Pakistan, China, Tibet, and part of Central Asia and Scandinavia. The flora of the Himalayas is rich and varied, and for thousand of years the plants have come to life, absorbed nutrients from the soil, and then died out. This is a process which has been repeated again and again countless times, and continued for millennia. It is believed that Shilajit found in the Himalayas are the fossilized form of those plants, and the particular biosphere of the Himalayas created them and bestowed medicinal qualities to them. Shilajit, found in the higher altitudes of the Himalayas, are collected during summer months when the ice melts, and Shilajeet lumps are sometimes spotted and collected from the crannies of rocks, and similar places. Shilajit so collected are processed by several drug manufactures and presented in capsule form for human consumption.

Puri (2006) in his book has devoted one chapter to Shilajit. He has given in detail about the study of Shilajit in the last two centuries and the various speculated sources of Shilajit. The Indian workers considered dendroid Euphorbia” as the source but in Ladakh faeces of mountain mouse were considered the source. In Russian literature, it is said to have formed by compaction of Junipers. Scientific studies reveal that it is a humus like compound. Dr Peter Zahler (1998 and 2002) has commented on the relationship of the occurrence of salajit and the Woolly Flying Squirrel and Dr Carman (unpublished) has reported his observations of mammal pellets (Woolly Flying Squirrel and Afghani Pika) in association with salajit deposits in northern Pakistan. These pellets are the so called “pallets’ in photomicrographs described by Faruqi (1997).

Modern discovery:Winston, David & Maimes, Steven. “Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief,” Healing Arts Press, 2007. Contains a monograph on shilajit and health benefits.

Over sixty years of clinical research have shown that shilajit has positive effects on humans. It increases longevity, improves memory and cognitive ability, reduces allergies and respiratory problems, reduces stress, and relieves digestive troubles. It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and eliminates free radicals. The research proves that shilajit increases immunity, strength, and endurance, and lives up to its ancient reputation as the “destroyer of weakness.”

Technically, shilajit is an exudate that is pressed out from layers of rock in the most sacred and highest mountains in Nepal and other areas. It is composed of humus and organic plant material that has been compressed by layers of rock. Humus is formed when soil microorganisms decompose animal and plant material into elements usable by plants. Plants are the source of all our food and humus is the source of plant food. Unlike other soil humus, shilajit humus consists of 60-80% organic mass.

Click to see:->Shilajit-The True Story of An Ayurvedic Formula

Shilajit is truly an amazing medicine.

Shilajit: Antiaging and Aphrodisiac herb

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Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shilajit
http://www.ayurvediccure.com/shilajit.htm