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Herbs & Plants

Polianthes tuberosa (Rajoni-Gandha)

Polianthes tuberosa. Dijual 5000 per ikat.
Polianthes tuberosa. Dijual 5000 per ikat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Botanical Name :Polianthes tuberosa
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Polianthes
Species: P. tuberosa
Kingdom: Plantae
clade: Angiosperms
clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Common Name :The common name derives from the Latin tuberosa, meaning swollen or tuberous in reference to its root system. It consists of about 12 species. Polianthes means “many flowers” in Greek language.

The Aztecs called the tuberose omixochitl [oh-mi-shoh’-chit?] or bone flower (though this name also refers to Polianthes mexicana).

It is a prominent plant in Indian culture and mythology. The flowers are used in wedding ceremonies, garlands, decoration and various traditional rituals. Its Hindi name is “Rajnigandha“, though it is sometimes mistakenly referred to as “Raat ki Rani” (“Queen of the Night”), which is really Cestrum nocturnum. The name Rajnigandha means “night-fragrant” (rajni=night gandha=fragrance). In Bengali, it is called “Rajoni-Gandha”, meaning “Scent of the Night“. In Marathi, it is called “NishiGhanda”.

In parts of South India, it is known as “Sugandaraja“, which translates to “king of fragrance/smell”. In Chinese, it is called WanXiangYu  (“night fragrant jade”, meaning “flower as precious as jade and becoming fragrant at night), or YeLaiXiang  (“fragrance that comes at night”) or YueXiaXiang  ( “fragrance under the moon”). In Indonesia it is called “bunga sedap malam”, meaning night fragrant flower. In Tamil Nadu it is called as Sambangi or nilasambangi, in Andhra Pradesh it is called as “NelaSampenga” and traditionally used in all type of garlanding especially in south Indian marriages. In Cuba it is called “azucena” which is the name given to amaryllis in Mexico.   In Bengal it is called Rajoni-Gandha and this flower is  a must in marriages.(the newly married couple’s bed is decorated with this flower)

In Iran the tuberose is known as “Gole Maryam” (“Mary flower”) and the oil extracted from the flower is used as a perfume.

Habitat: Native to Tropical countries.

Description:
The tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is a perennial plant related to the agaves, extracts of which are used as a middle note in perfumery.
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Bulb growing to 1m by 0.15m.
It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
Requires a warm sheltered position and a well-drained soil. When grown in pots it is best to use a fibrous loam enriched with compost and some silver sand for drainage. Plants require copious amounts of moisture when starting into growth. Not very hardy outdoors in Britain, this species is often grown in the greenhouse where it can be induced to flower at almost any time of the year. It can also be grown outdoors in warm areas of Britain, planting out the bulbs in spring, harvesting them in the autumn and storing them in sand overwinter in a cool but frost-free place. This species is sometimes cultivated for its edible flowers. They are very strongly scented. The flowers are perhaps the most powerfully scented of all flowers. The perfume is almost intoxicating, especially when the plant is grown in gentle heat when it is heavy and sickly almost to the point of unpleasantness. A double-flowered cultivar, ‘The Pearl’ has an even more pronounced fragrance. The plant is cultivated for its essential oil in China.

Propagation:
Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in spring in a sunny position in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division of offsets after the plant has finished flowering in late summer.

Medicinal Uses:
You may click to see Health Benefits of Tuberose Essential Oil :

Other Uses:
Essential.

An essential oil is obtained from the flowers. It is used in high grade perfumery. 1150kg of flowers yield 1kg absolute essential oil.

Scented Plants
Flowers: Fresh
The flowers are perhaps the most powerfully scented of all flowers. The perfume is almost intoxicating, especially when the plant is grown in gentle heat

The tuberose is also used traditionally in Hawaii to create leis and was considered a funeral flower in Victorian times. Its scent is described as a complex, exotic, sweet, floral.

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/Tuberose
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Polianthes+tuberosa
http://www.smgrowers.com/products/plants/plantdisplay.asp?plant_id=1730
http://www.rareflora.com/polianthestubsin.html

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Herbs & Plants

Alstonia scolaris

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Botanical Name :Alstonia scolaris
Family: Apocynaceae
Tribe: Plumeriae
Subtribe: Alstoniinae
Genus: Alstonia
Species: A. scholaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Echites scholaris L. Mant., Pala scholaris L. Roberty

Common Names :Blackboard tree, Indian devil tree,Saptaparni, Ditabark, Milkwood pine, White cheesewood and Pulai

Bengali name: Chhatim

Habitat : Alstonia scholaris is native to the following regions

*China: Guangxi (s.w.), Yunnan (s.)
*Indian subcontinent: India; Nepal; Sri Lanka; Pakistan
*Southeast Asia: Cambodia; Myanmar; Thailand; Vietnam, Indonesia; Malaysia; Papua New Guinea; Philippines
*Australia: Queensland

It has also been naturalised in several other tropical and subtropical climates. Alstonia scholaris (Saptaparni in Bengali) is declared as the State Tree of West Bengal, India

Description:
Alstonia scholaris is an evergreen small tree that grows up to 40 m tall and is glabrous. The bark is greyish; branchlets are copiously lenticellate.The upperside of the leaves are glossy, while the underside is greyish. Leaves occur in whorls of 3-10; petioles are 1–3 cm; the leathery leaves are narrowly obovate to very narrowly spathulate, base cuneate, apex usually rounded; lateral veins occur in 25-50 pairs, at 80-90° to midvein. Cymes are dense and pubescent; peduncle is 4–7 cm long. Pedicels are usually as long as or shorter than calyx. The corolla is white and tube-like, 6–10 mm; lobes are broadly ovate or broadly obovate, 2-4.5 mm, overlapping to the left. The ovaries are distinct and pubescent. The follicles are distinct and linear.

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

Flowers bloom in the month October. The flowers are very fragrant similar to the flower of Cestrum nocturnum.

Seeds of A. scholaris are oblong, with ciliated margins, and ends with tufts of hairs 1.5–2 cm. The bark is almost odourless and very bitter, with abundant bitter and milky sap.

Medicinal Uses:
Alstonia or devil tree or Saptaparni is genus of evergreen trees or shrubs with white funnel-shaped flowers and milky sap. In India the bark of Alstonia scholaris is used solely for medicinal purposes, ranging from Malaria and epilepsy to skin conditions and asthma.

There are 43 species of alstonia trees.  The bark of the tree is used medicinally in the Pacific Rim and India.

In Ayurveda it is used as a bitter and as an astringent herb for treating skin disorders, malarial fever, urticaria, chronic dysentery, diarrhea, in snake bite and for upper purification process of Panchakarma . The Milky juice of the tree is applied to ulcers.

The bark contains the alkaloids ditamine, echitenine and echitamine and used to serve as an alternative to quinine. At one time, a decoction of the bark was used to treat diarrhoea and malaria, as a tonic, febrifuge, emmenagogue, anticholeric and vulnerary. A decoction of the leaves were used for beriberi. Ayurveda recommends A. scholaris for bowel complaints. In Sri Lanka its light wood is used for coffins. In Borneo the wood close to the root is very light and of white colour, and is used for net floats, household utensils, trenchers, corks, etc. Extracts prepared from the plant has been reported to possess cytotoxic activity. The active compounds include alkaloids, flavonoids etc. These are present in all parts of the plant. An ethanol extract of the bark of Alstonia scholaris enhanced the anticancer activity of berberine in the Ehrlich ascites carcinoma-bearing mice. This extract also showed cytotoxic activity to HeLa cells. It contains echitamine and loganin as major compounds and could potentially be used as an anti-irritation agent.

Scientific investigation has failed to show why it is of such service in malaria, but herbalists consider it superior to quinine and of great use in convalescence .  It lowers fever, relaxes spasms, stimulates lactation and expels intestinal worms.  Used for chronic diarrhea, dysentery and in intermittent fever; also as an anthelmintic. It is also much used by homoeopaths.

You may click to learn more

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/Alstonia_scholaris
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

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