Herbs & Plants

Gastrodia elata

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Botanical Name : Gastrodia elata
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Genus: Gastrodia
Species: G. elata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Names: Tien Ma

Habitat :Gastrodia elata is found in Nepal, Bhutan, India, Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyuushu ), North Korea, Siberia, Taiwan as well as mainland China (Jilin, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, Hebei, Shanxi, Shanxi, Gansu, Jiangsu, Anhui, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Henan, Hunan, Hubei, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, and Tibet) grow at elevations of 400–3200 meters at the edge of forest . It grows in symbiosis with the fungus Armillaria mellea on rotting wood, depending on the hypha of the fungus to invade the root system so that the plant can absorb nutrients from A. mellea.
Gastrodia elata is a perennial orchid plant.The plant has an 8-12 centimeters long elliptical underground rhizome with a diameter of 3-5 centimeters but may grow up to 7 centimeters. The stem is erect with a height of 0.3-1 meter up to 2 meters, the orange yellow, tan, cylinder, and leafless….CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowered pale olivine or the orange red, the scape is length 5-30 centimeters, longest may be 50 centimeters. Floral Bractsare long lanceolate, length 1-1.5 centimeters; Pedicel and ovary of branch 0.7-1.2 centimeter, slightly short in colored bract; The sepal and the petal produce a slanting pot shape perianth tube, the perianth tube long the approximately 1 centimeter, the diameter 5-7 millimeters, The labellum white, circular, with a length of 6-7 millimeters and width of 3-4 millimeters, the tip 3 cracks, the base pastes the tight pistil column full terminal, has a pair of pulp callus, in the callus connection perianth tube. The pistil column length 5-7 millimeters, have the short pistil column foot.

Capsule each approximately 30, oval or but actually oval, length 1.2-1.8 centimeters, width 8-9 millimeters. The seed are most, 2 – 40,000 grains of each fruit, minimum, powdery. Flowering season June to July, fruit time July to August.

The herb is used in Traditional Chinese medicine and Sichuan cuisine.

A saprophytic herb, it is without green parts and is entirely dependant upon a fungus for its nutriment. This makes it very difficult to cultivate outside its native range. As well as its fungal host, it also requires a damp humus-rich soil in a sheltered woodland position. The plants are very hardy, tolerating temperatures down to at least -15°c. This plant is becoming increasingly rare in the wild, due to over-collection as a medicinal plant. Methods of cultivating it have now been devised in China. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid.

Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, into the plants natural habitat near existing colonies, or onto a bed of Quercus wood inoculated with the fungus Armillaria mellea (introduce this fungus into your land with extreme caution since it kills trees and there is no known preventative). The seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant. Division in autumn. The plant is very intolerant of root disturbance, any moving or dividing should be attempted in the autumn, keep a large ball of soil around the plant .
Edible Uses:     Root is eaten raw or roasted. Large

Chemical Constituents:
4-Hydroxybenzaldehyde and gastrodin can be found in the orchid Gastrodia elata. It also produces 2,4-Bis(4-hydroxybenzyl) phenol, gastrol, gastrodigenin and other related compounds.

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic; Antispasmodic; Aphrodisiac; Carminative; Cholagogue; Sedative; Tonic.

This species has been used in Chinese herbal medicine for over 1,500 years. The root contains a number of phenolic compounds with medicinal actions. It is a sweet, acrid, herb that is analgesic, anticonvulsive, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, sedative and tonic. It is used internally in the treatment of convulsive illnesses (such as epilepsy and tetanus), rheumatoid arthritis, vertigo and numbness associated with liver disharmony. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The stem is aphrodisiac and tonic.

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.

Herbs & Plants

Alangium Chinense

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Botanical Name : Alangium chinense
Family : Alangiaceae
Genus : Alangium
Synonyms : Alangium begoniifolium – (Roxb.)Baill., Marlea begoniifolia – Roxb.,Stylidium chinense – Lour
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Cornales
Species: A. chinense

Habitat :E. Asia – India to C. China .  Upland thickets in W. China. Open places around villages at elevations of 300 – 2400 metres in Nepal.Woodland Garden; Secondary;

An evergreen Small deciduous tree, growing to 8m at a slow rate.  Leaves alternate, asymmetrical, ovate, entire or with shallowed pointed lobes, 8-25 cm long, 4.5-16 cm wide, dark green, glabrous or with scatered hairs above, lighter beneath with axillary tufts of hairs along nerves. Apex pointed, base oblique and truncate. Petiole reddish. Flowers in axillary cymes, slightly fragant, about 2 cm long, in July-August. 6-7 white petals, reflexed and sometimes cohered. Conspicuous orange anthers. Fruit ovoid, black

It is hardy to zone 9. It is in leaf all year, in flower from June to July, and the seeds ripen from August to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) 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 :
Succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained soil[200]. Requires full sun and a sheltered position[200]. Not very frost tolerant,  this species is likely to be on the borderlines of hardiness even if obtained from its higher provenances . However, although the top growth will be killed back in all but the mildest winters, the plant will usually resprout from the base in the spring and will usually flower in the summer.  These flowers are sweetly scented. This species is closely related to A. platinifolium. Although a fair sized tree in its native habitat, it is unlikely to make more than a shrub more than 2 metres tall in Britain. It does not require pruning.

Seed – we have no details for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in the spring. When 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 in early summer and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in sand in a frame

Medicinal Actions & Uses:-
Blood tonic; Carminative; Contraceptive.

This plant is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. And, it is used to treat snakebite, used as a carminative. Moreover, it is used to increase circulation, as a contraceptive and a “hemostat”, to treat numbness, rheumatism, and wounds. The roots and the stems are a blood tonic, carminative and contraceptive. They are used in the treatment of rheumatism, numbness, traumatic injuries, wounds and snakebites. A decoction of the leafy shoots is said to be tonic. A paste of the roots is applied to the area around dislocated bones to help them setting. The shoot, rootbark and whole plant are all used medicinally.

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.

Other Uses:-

An oil extracted from the seeds is used for lighting lamps.

Scented Plants
Flowers: Fresh
The small white flowers are sweetly scented.


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News on Health & Science

Web Addiction a ‘Clinical Disorder’

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China could become the first country to classify internet addiction as a clinical disorder amid growing concern over compulsive web use by millions of Chinese, state media said 


The health ministry is likely to adopt a new manual on Internet addiction next year drawn up by Chinese psychologists that recognises it as a condition similar to compulsive gambling or alcohol addiction, the China Daily reported.

It cited psychologists involved in drafting the diagnostic manual.

China has the world’s largest online population at 253 million people, according to official figures, and is growing rapidly as computer use rises along with income levels.

But that has also fed growing concerns over compulsive internet use.

A top Chinese legislator said in August that about 10% of China’s web users under the age of 18, or four million people, were addicted to the internet, mainly to “unhealthy” online games, state media said at the time.

Recent research by internet media company InterActiveCorp showed that 42% of Chinese youngsters polled felt “addicted” to the web, compared to 18% in the US. China has tried various measures to regulate the booming online gaming market and curb Web use by teens.

In 2006, it ordered all Chinese internet game manufacturers to install technology in their games that demands players reveal their real name and identification number.

Sources: The Times Of India

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