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Herbs & Plants

Cinchona

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Botanical Name :Cinchona succirubra (PAVON.)
Family: Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Cinchonoideae
Tribe: Cinchoneae
Genus: Cinchona
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Quinaquina officinalis, Quinaquina lancifolia, Quinaquina coccinea

Common names:Cinchona, Quinine bark, quina, quinine, kinakina, China bark, cinchona bark, yellow cinchona, red cinchona, Peruvian bark, Jesuit’s bark, quina-quina, calisaya bark, fever tree.  Lojabark

Habitat :Cinchona is native to the tropical Andes forests of western South America. They are medicinal plants, known as sources for quinine and other compounds.All cinchonas are indigenous to the eastern slopes of the Amazonian area of the Andes, where they grow from 1,500-3,000 meters in elevation on either side of the equator (from Colombia to Bolivia). They can also be found in the northern part of the Andes (on the eastern slopes of the central and western ranges). They are now widely cultivated in many tropical countries for their commercial value, although they are not indigenous to those areas.It is the national tree of Ecuador and Peru.

Description:
The Cinchona plants are large shrubs or small trees with evergreen foliage, growing 5–15 m (16–49 ft) in height. The leaves are opposite, rounded to lanceolate and 10–40 cm long.The flowers are white, pink or red, produced in terminal panicles. The fruit is a small capsule containing numerous seeds.The genus Cinchona contains about forty species of trees.
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Chemical Constituents:
The main plant chemicals found in quinine bark include: aricine, caffeic acid, cinchofulvic acid, cincholic acid, cinchonain, cinchonidine, cinchonine, cinchophyllamine, cinchotannic acid, cinchotine, conquinamine, cuscamidine, cuscamine, cusconidine, cusconine, epicatechin, javanine, paricine, proanthocyanidins, quinacimine, quinamine, quinic acid, quinicine, quinine, quininidine, quinovic acid, quinovin, and sucirubine.

Medicinal Uses:
The medicinal properties of the cinchona tree were originally discovered by the Quechua peoples of Peru and Bolivia, and long cultivated by them as a muscle relaxant to halt shivering due to low temperatures. The Jesuit Brother Agostino Salumbrino (1561–1642), an apothecary by training and who lived in Lima, observed the Quechua using the quinine-containing bark of the cinchona tree for that purpose. While its effect in treating malaria (and hence malaria-induced shivering) was entirely unrelated to its effect in controlling shivering from cold, it was nevertheless the correct medicine for malaria. The use of the “fever tree” bark was introduced into European medicine by Jesuit missionaries (Jesuit’s bark). Jesuit Barnabé de Cobo (1582–1657), who explored Mexico and Peru, is credited with taking cinchona bark to Europe. He brought the bark from Lima to Spain, and afterwards to Rome and other parts of Italy, in 1632. After Spanish colonization of the Americas, the Jesuit missionaries were the first to bring the Jesuit’s bark cinchona compound to Europe in 1632. To maintain their monopoly on cinchona bark, Peru and surrounding countries began outlawing the export of cinchona seeds and saplings beginning in the early 19th century.

The indigenous people of Peru have taken cinchona for many centuries, and it is still a well-used remedy for fevers, digestive problems, and infections. Cinchona, and in particular quinine, were the principal remedies for malaria until World War I. From the 1960s on, resistance of the malarial parasite to the synthetic drug chloroquine led to quinine?s use once again in preventing and treating malaria. Quinine is also used to treat other acute feverish conditions. As a bitter tonic, cinchona stimulates saliva, digestive secretions, and the appetite, and improves weak digestive functions. It is useful as a gargle for sore, infected throats. The herb is used in herbal medicine for cramps, especially night cramps. It also relieves arthritis. In India, cinchona is used to treat sciatica and dysentery, as well as problems associated with an imbalance in kapha. Edgar Cayce primarily recommended calisaya as a blood purifier and aid to digestion. There is also a distinct action of quieting the heart, reducing palpitations and normalizing the function.

Cinchona has been thoroughly researched, and its pharmacological actions are well established. Quinine is both strongly antimalarial and antibacterial. Like the other alkaloids, it is antispasmodic. The bitter constituents in cinchona, including the alkaloids and quinovin, produce a reflex stimulation of the digestion as a whole, increasing stomach secretions. Quinidine is known to reduce heart rate and improve irregularity of heartbeat.

Meanwhile, also in the 19th century, the plant’s seeds and cuttings were smuggled out for new cultivation at cinchona plantations in colonial regions of tropical Asia, notably by the British to the British Raj and Ceylon (present day India and Sri Lanka), and by the Dutch to Java in the Dutch East Indies (present day Indonesia).

As a medicinal herb, cinchona bark is also known as Jesuit’s bark or Peruvian bark. The bark is stripped from the tree, dried, and powdered for medicinal uses. The bark is medicinally active, containing a variety of alkaloids including the antimalarial compound quinine and the antiarrhythmic quinidine. Currently, their use is largely superseded by more effective modern medicines

Main Preparation Method: decoction
Main Actions (in order):
antimalarial, bitter digestive aid, antiparasitic, antispasmodic, febrifuge (reduces fever)

Main Uses:
1.for malaria
2.as a bitter digestive aid to stimulate digestive juices
3.for nocturnal leg cramps
4.for intestinal parasites and protozoa
5.for arrhythmia and other heart conditions

Properties/Actions Documented by Research:
anti-arrhythmic, antimalarial, antiparasitic, antiprotozoal, antispasmodic, bitter digestive aid, cardiotonic (tones, balances, strengthens the heart)

Other Properties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use:
amebicide, analgesic (pain-reliever), antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, astringent, digestive stimulant, febrifuge (reduces fever), insecticide, nervine (balances/calms nerves), neurasthenic (reduces nerve pain)

Known Hazards: : It contains quinine alkaloids that are toxic in large doses. Do not exceed

Homeopathy:
The birth of homeopathy was based on cinchona bark testing. The founder of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann, when translating William Cullen’s Materia medica, noticed Cullen had written that Peruvian bark was known to cure intermittent fevers.[10] Hahnemann took daily a large, rather than homeopathic, dose of Peruvian bark. After two weeks, he said he felt malaria-like symptoms. This idea of “like cures like” was the starting point of his writings on homeopathy. Hahnemann’s symptoms are believed to be the result of a hypersensitivity to cinchona bark on his part

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Other Uses:
Cinchona species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including the engrailed, the commander, and members of the genus Endoclita, including E. damor, E. purpurescens and E. sericeus.

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/Cinchona
http://www.rain-tree.com/quinine.htm#.UdCq9L7D92Y

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Deltoid Balsamroot(Balsamorhiza deltoidea)

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Botanical Name : Balsamorhiza deltoidea
Family : Compositae / Asteraceae
Genus : Balsamorhiza
Common Namedeltoid balsamroot.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Tribe: Heliantheae
Species: B. deltoidea

Habitat : Western N. AmericaBritish Columbia to California.Open places but not on thin soils.


Description:

This is a taprooted perennial herb growing erect to a maximum height near 90 centimeters. The stems are hairy and glandular. The large leaves are up to 25 centimeters long and 20 wide, and are roughly triangular in shape, hairy and glandular, and often toothed along the edges. The inflorescence bears usually one or sometimes a few large flower heads, each lined with hairy, pointed phyllaries up to 4 centimeters long. The head has a center of yellowish disc florets and a fringe of pointed yellow ray florets each up to 4 or 5 centimeters long. The fruit is an achene 7 to 8 millimeters in length.

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It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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 dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
Requires a deep fertile well-drained loam in full sun. Plants strongly resent winter wet. Hardy to at least -25°c. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance and should be planted into their permanent positions whilst still small.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 2 – 6 days at 18°c. Either sow the seed in individual pots or pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in spring. Very difficult since the plant strongly resents root disturbance. It is probably best to take quite small divisions, or basal cuttings, without disturbing the main clump. Pot these up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in the greenhouse until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer if they have grown sufficiently, otherwise over-winter them in the greenhouse and plant out in late spring.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root; Seed.

Edible Uses: Coffee.

Root – raw or cooked. A sweet taste when cooked[161]. Young shoots – raw. Seed – raw or cooked. It can be ground into a powder and made into a bread. The ground seeds can be formed into cakes and eaten raw. The roasted root is a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
Miscellany.
A decoction of the split roots has been used in the treatment of coughs and colds.

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://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Balsamorhiza+deltoidea
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=BADE2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balsamorhiza_deltoidea
http://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/potd/2007/04/balsamorhiza_deltoidea.php
http://www.pbase.com/rodg/image/78822814

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Ageratum Houstonianum

Botanical Name: Ageratum houstonianumBlue Danube
Family  : Compositae
Genus : Ageratum
Synonyms : Ageratum caeruleum – Hort., Ageratum mexicanumSims.
Common Name: ‘Blue Danube’ ageratum, ‘Blue Danube’ floss flower

Habitat: South-western N. AmericaMexico. An occasional garden escape in Britain.  Pine woods and cultivated ground.

Description:

It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower from June to October, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies).

click & see the pictures.
Plant details:-
Height : 6 in. to 12 in.
Spread :  6 in. to 12 in.
Growth Habit :  Clumps
Growth Pace :  Fast Grower
Light :   Full Sun Only
Moisture:    Medium Moisture
Maintenance :    Low
Characteristics:    Attracts Butterflies; Showy Flowers
Bloom Time:    Early Fall; Late Summer; Summer
Flower Color :    Blue Flower
Uses :   Beds and Borders, Container
Style  :  Formal Garden
Seasonal Interest:    Summer Interest, Fall Interest
Type :  Annuals

Cultivation :
Grows well in ordinary garden soil. Requires a sheltered position in full sun[200]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[200]. A very ornamental plant[1], the flowers are very attractive to butterflies[30]. The removal of dead flowers will extend the flowering season.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow March in a light position in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 weeks at 20°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out and plant them out after the last expected frosts.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Medicinal Uses
Anodyne.
The juice of the plant is used externally to treat cuts and wounds.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Ageratum+houstonianum
http://www.finegardening.com/plantguide/ageratum-houstonianum-blue-danube.aspx
https://www.anniesannuals.com/signs/a/ageratum_houstonium_b.htm
http://www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/Asteraceae/Ageratum_houstonianum.html

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