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Herbs & Plants

Umbilicus rupestris

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Botanical Name :Umbilicus rupestris
Family: Crassulaceae
Genus:     Umbilicus
Species: U. rupestris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Saxifragales

Synonyms: U. pedulinus. Cotyledon umbilicus-veneris.

Common Names :Navelwort, Penny-pies, Wall Pennywort,Kidneywort

Habitat:
Umbilicus rupestri is native to Europe, from Britain and France south and east to N. Africa and the Mediterraean.    It grows on Crevices of rocks and walls, especially in acid and damp conditions.But it avoids alkaline soils.

Description:
Umbilicus rupestris is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.3 m (1ft).It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan. The pallid spikes of bell-shaped, greenish-pink flowers appear from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects? Self.The plant is self-fertile.
CLICK &V SEE THE PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil

Both the name “navelwort” and the scientific name Umbilicus come from the round shape of the leaves, which have a navel-like depression in the center.

Cultivation:             
An easily grown plant, succeeding in any near neutral, gritty, moisture retentive but well-drained soil in sun or light shade. Plants are often found growing on walls, even succeeding on old brick and mortar walls Plants are hardy to about -15°c. A very attractive plant for the rock garden[53], the leaves often stay green all winter.

Propagation:  
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer. Division in spring. Very easy, pant them straight out into their permanent positions. Leaf cuttings

Edible Uses: Leaves – raw or cooked. A very acceptable mild flavour in the winter and early spring, they can be used in quantity in salads at this time. The leaves become rather stronger-tasting in the summer and are not so pleasant then.

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic;  Diuretic;  Poultice.
The leaves are mildly analgesic. The juice and extract of the plant have an old reputation for the treatment of epilepsy. The leaves are also made into a poultice and used in the treatment of piles, slight burns and scalds. A decoction of the leaves is considered to be cooling and diuretic and the juice taken inwardly is said to be excellent for treating inflammations of the liver and spleen.

Umbilicus rupestris is not the same “Pennywort” as the one used in Asian medicine, which is the unrelated Asiatic Pennywort, Centella asiatica.

Navelwort is also assumed to be the “Kidneywort” referred to by Nicholas Culpepper in the English Physician, although it may actually refer to the unrelated Anemone hepatica. Culpepper used astrology, rather than science, to classify herbs, and as such is not a reliable source. He claimed: “the juice or the distilled water being drank, is very effectual for all inflammations and unnatural heats, to cool a fainting hot stomach, a hot liver, or the bowels: the herb, juice, or distilled water thereof, outwardly applied, heals pimples, St. Anthony’s fire, and other outward heats. The said juice or water helps to heal sore kidneys, torn or fretted by the stone, or exulcerated within; it also provokes urine, is available for the dropsy, and helps to break the stone. Being used as a bath, or made into an ointment, it cools the painful piles or hæmorrhoidal veins. It is no less effectual to give ease to the pains of the gout, the sciatica, and helps the kernels or knots in the neck or throat, called the king’s evil: healing kibes and chilblains if they be bathed with the juice, or anointed with ointment made thereof, and some of the skin of the leaf upon them: it is also used in green wounds to stay the blood, and to heal them quickly.”

Umbilicus rupestris is used in homeopathic medicine. Navelwort is referred to as Cotyledon umbilicus by Homeopaths, since that was the original scientific name of navelwort when Homeopathy was developedCLICK & SEE

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/Umbilicus_rupestris
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Umbilicus+rupestris

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Herbs & Plants

BRAHMI – THE MIRACLE BRAIN FOOD!

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Family Name : SCROPHULARIACEAE

Botanical Name : BACOPA MONNIERA

Common Name : HERPESTIS MONNIERIA, THYME LEAVED GRATIOLA, BRAHMI

Part Used : WHOLE PLANT

Habitat : Grows in Marshy places and cultivated South India.

Description: Brahmi or Bacopa monnieri is a perennial, creeping herb whose habitat includes wetlands and muddy shores. Common names include Water Hyssop and brahmi (note: brahmi is also the Ayurvedic name given to Centella asiatica and other herbs).

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES….>…...(001)…..(01)...(1)………….(2)………..(3)..

The leaves of this plant are succulent and relatively thick. Leaves are oblanceolate and are arranged oppositely on the stem. The flowers are small and white, with four or five petals. Its ability to grow in water makes it a popular aquarium plant. It can even grow in slightly brackish conditions. Propagation is often achieved through cuttings.

It commonly grows in marshy areas throughout India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, and is also found in Florida and other southern states of USA where it can be grown in damp conditions by the pond or bog garden.

Famed in Ayurvedic medicine, brahmi has antioxidant properties. It has been reported to reduce oxidation of fats in the blood stream, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

It has been used for centuries to help benefit epilepsy, memory capacity, increase concentration, and reduce stress-induced anxiety. It is listed as a nootropic, a drug that enhances cognitive ability.

In India, this plant has also been used traditionally to consecrate new born babies in the belief that it will open the gateway of intelligence. Recent studies suggest bacopa may improve intellectual activity

Brahmi is rapidly becoming one of the most sought-after herbs in Australia today, and for good reason! Brahmi is also know as bacopa monniera; also known as bacopa.

Brahmi or Bacopa, is a succulent creeper found throughout India. It is the foremost brain tonic herb of the Ayurvedic healing system used primarily as a nerve tonic, to treat insomnia and nervous tension. Brahmi contains saponins which have been shown to strengthen the nervous system, and decrease insomnia.

Brahmi also has marked hypotensive and diuretic properties and is known as an effective “brain food” as it nourishes the brain and improves intelligence and memory. It is traditionally used as an Ayurvedic rejuvenative or rasayana which helps to decrease the signs of aging, particularly in the mind as it increases mental clarity and brain functioning.

Brahmi is especially suitable for students as it enhances the minds ability to learn and to focus. It has an interesting ability to be able to calm the mind while at the same time to invigorate the thinking capacity in a centered, peaceful way. Brahmi may be useful for people who want to improve mental function and concentration particularly under pressure or in stressful conditions. Brahmi has become especially popular with students and others who need to maintain performance at work or home and has also been recommended for people from middle age on who find their memory is not always as sharp as they would like it to be.

Uses: It is Diuretic, Cardiac, Nervine and Tonic. It is reported to improve intellect, treatment of asthma, hoarseness, insanity, epilepsy. It is a potent nervous tonic and is anti anxiety agent. It is considered good for heart.

TRADITIONAL USES OF BRAHMI
Often taken for fevers and also used for contusions, boils, sprains and fractures. In India the plant is used for all sorts of skin problems- eczema, psoriasis, abscess, ulcerations- it is said to stimulate the growth of skin, hair and nails. Indian Pennywort is also used for chronic rheumatism often as an ointment. In Pakistan, Brahmi is a home remedy for skin problems, rheumatism, piles, inflammations swellings, fever, dysentery, children’s bowel complaints, mental weakness and to improve memory.

Many traditions have employed plants, not only for healing, but also to help us function to our highest potential. An outstanding herb in this category comes from the Ayurvedic, or Indian traditional herbal medicine. Bacopa monniera, also known as Brahmi or Bacopa, is a succulent creeper found throughout India. It is the foremost brain tonic herb of the Ayurvedic healing system.

FROM THE AYURVEDIC TRADITION
Ayurvedic Medicine – practiced in India for over 5,000 years and means “the science of life”. It is a comprehensive form of medicine that combines natural therapies with a highly personalised approach to disease treatment. It places an equal emphasis on body, mind and spirit and strives to restore the innate harmony of the individual.

FOR CLARITY OF THOUGHT
Naturally, a herb with such potential has attracted a lot of interest. Numerous scientific studies conducted by the Central Drug Institute of India CDRI (equivalent to the CSIRO in Australia) have shown Brahmi to improve learning ability retention and enhance results. Results of these studies were presented to the world community at the International Brain Research conferences during 1986-1996. One study for example found that the subjects taking Brahmi took 6 days to learn a specific task whilst the control group (who did not take Brahmi) took a full 10 days to learn the same task. Extensive clinical trials have so far demonstrated no adverse side effects.

Other studies have confirmed that Brahmi has a calming effect for stress and has become the herb of choice for attention deficit disorder A.D.D. in hyperactive children. The calming effect does not interfere with normal physical activities. The active constituents in Brahmi are the all important steroidal saponins known as Bacoside A and B.

Therefore, whilst benefits of this herb on learning and mental performance are of prime importance, Brahmi may also help to relieve the stress of a learning or study environment.

For best results – Adults take 3g (3000mg) once or twice daily continuously and you can expect to see improvements within 4 weeks.

Click to learn more about Brahmi

Source: www.alternativehealth.com & http://www.ayurveda-herbal-remedy.com/indian-herbs/bacopa-monniera.html

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