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Herbs & Plants

Tephrosia virginiana

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Botanical Name: Tephrosia virginiana
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Tribe: Loteae
Genus: Galega
Species: G. officinalis

Common Names: Catgut, Galega officinalis, French lilac, Italian fitch or professor-weed, Goat-rue, Goat’s Rue, Cat Gut, Rabbit Pea, and Virginia Tephrosia

Other Names: American Garden Rue, Devil’s Shoestring, Rabbit-pea, Horey turkey peas, Virginia Pea, Virginia Tephrosia, Cheese renet, herba ruta caprariae

Habitat : Tephrosia virginiana originates from Europe and Middle East. Goat’s rue is native to Europe and eastern Asia. It was introduced to the western U.S. in the late 1800s as a possible forage crop.Goat’s rue is planted as fodder for animals. Goat’s rue is said to increase the milk production of goats, hence its name. Juice from Goat’s rue was used to clot milk for cheese production. There are also reports of cattle which died after eating goat’s rue.

Now, Native to Eastern N. America from New Hampshire to Florida, west to Texas and Manitoba. Found growing in dry sandy woods, openings, fields, and roadsides.

It grows in dry sandy woods and openings

Description:
Tephrosia virginiana is a perennial plant growing to 0.6 m (2ft), sending up one or more stems from the base that are unbranched or sparingly branched. The stems are light green, terete, and hairy. Alternate compound leaves are widely spreading; they are odd-pinnate with 9-25 leaflets. Individual leaflets are up to 1″ long and ¼” across; they are medium green to grayish green, oblong to narrowly elliptic in shape, and smooth along their margins. Upper surfaces of the leaflets are hairless to silky-hairy, while their lower surfaces are pubescent to silky-hairy. Each leaflet has a prominent central vein. The central stalk (rachis) and petiole of each compound leaf is pubescent. At the base of each petiole, there is a pair of small stipules about ¼” long. The stems terminate in short dense racemes about 2-3″ long that are covered in buds and bicolored flowers facing all directions. The racemes are held a little above the foliage on short peduncles. Individual flowers are ¾” long and across, consisting of 5 petals, a short tubular calyx with 5 teeth, 10 stamens, and a pistil. Each flower has a typical pea-like floral structure, consisting of an upright banner and a pair of lateral wings that project forward to enclose the keel. The broad banner is white to pale greenish yellow, while the wings are deep rosy pink. The pedicels of the flowers and their calyces are light green and pubescent. The blooming period occurs from early to mid-summer and lasts about 3 weeks. Afterwards, the flowers are replaced by widely spreading seedpods about 1½-3″ long. These seedpods are initially light green, but later turn brown; they are silky-hairy. The seedpods are narrowly cylindrical and slightly flattened in shape; each pod contains several seeds that are reniform and somewhat flattened. The root system consists of a deep taproot.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is in flower from May to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
A deep rooted plant, requiring a dry to moist light or medium very well-drained soil in a sunny position. Plants are hardy to about -25° when given a suitable position. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Propagation:
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in a greenhouse in spring. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting out in the following spring or early summer
Medicinal Uses:
The root is anthelmintic, diaphoretic, diuretic, pectoral and tonic. A tea made from the roots is said to make children muscular and strong. A cold tea is used to improve male potency and also to treat TB, bladder problems, coughs, irregular menstruation and other women’s complaints. Experimentally, the root has shown both anticancer and cancer-causing activity. The leaves have been placed in the shoes in order to treat fevers and rheumatism.

At various times it was used to treat rheumatism, fevers, pulmonary problems, bladder disorders, coughing, hair loss, and reproductive disorders. The root of this plant alone, or in combination with other agents, has been reputed a very efficient remedy in syphilis. The decoction is also much used as a vermifuge, and is said to be as efficient and powerful as spigelia. The plant is a mild, stimulating tonic, having a slight action on the bowels, and the secretive organs generally, and applicable in the treatment of many diseases, especially in a certain stage of typhoid fever, where there is little use of active medicine. The recommendation was a compound fluid extract of tephrosia: Take of Tephrosia virginiana (the plant), 8 ounces; Rumex acutus (dock), 2 ounces; water, 4 quarts. Place the plants in the water, and boil until reduced to 1 quart. Strain, and when intended to be kept, mix with an equal bulk of brandy or diluted alcohol, and half its weight of sugar, macerate for several days, and strain through muslin. The dose is from 1/2 to 1 fluid ounce, 2, 3, or 4 times a day A tea made from the roots is said to make children muscular and strong. A cold tea is used to improve male potency and also to treat TB, bladder problems, coughs, irregular menstruation and other women’s complaints. Experimentally, the root has shown both anticancer and cancer-causing activity. The leaves have been placed in the shoes in order to treat fevers and rheumatism.

Other Uses:
Hair; Insecticide……….The root is a source of the insecticide ‘rotenone. This is especially effective against flying insects but appears to be relatively harmless to animals. A decoction of the roots has been used as a hair shampoo by women in order to prevent hair loss.

Known Hazards : Contact with the plant can cause dermatitis in sensitive people. The seeds are toxic.

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.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tephrosia_virginiana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Tephrosia+virginiana
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/prairie/plantx/goat_rue.htm

 

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Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Onion (Allium cepa)

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Botanical Name: Allium cepa
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. cepa
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms : Allium angolense, Allium aobanum, Allium ascalonicum, Cepa esculenta

Common Names: Onion, Garden onion , Bulb onion or Common onion

Habitat: Onion is believed to be native to W. Asia – Iran. The original habitat is obscure. It is unknown in the wild but has been grown and selectively bred in cultivation for at least 7,000 years.Now it is cultivated and grown through out the world and treated as vegetable.
Description:
The common onion is a biennial plant but is usually grown as an annual. Modern varieties typically grow to a height of 15 to 45 cm (6 to 18 in). The leaves are yellowish-green and grow alternately in a flattened, fan-shaped swathe. They are fleshy, hollow and cylindrical, with one flattened side. They are at their broadest about a quarter of the way up beyond which they taper towards a blunt tip. The base of each leaf is a flattened, usually white sheath that grows out of a basal disc. From the underside of the disc, a bundle of fibrous roots extends for a short way into the soil. As the onion matures, food reserves begin to accumulate in the leaf bases and the bulb of the onion swells…....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES…> ....(1)......(2)…..

In the autumn the leaves die back and the outer scales of the bulb become dry and brittle, and this is the time at which the crop is normally harvested. If left in the soil over winter, the growing point in the middle of the bulb begins to develop in the spring. New leaves appear and a long, stout, hollow stem expands, topped by a bract protecting a developing inflorescence.It is in flower from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects. The inflorescence takes the form of a globular umbel of white flowers with parts in sixes. The seeds are glossy black and triangular in cross section.
Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny sheltered position in a rich light well-drained soil. Prefers a pH of at least 6.5. Plants tolerate a pH in the range of 4.5 to 8.3. Onions are best grown in a Mediterranean climate, the hot dry summers ensuring that the bulbs are ripened fully. For best growth, however, cool weather is desirable at the early stages of growth. Plants are frost-tolerant but prolonged temperatures below 10°c cause the bulb to flower. Optimum growth takes place at temperatures between 20 and 25°c. Bulb formation takes place in response to long-day conditions. Plants are perennial but the cultivated forms often die after flowering in their second year though they can perennate by means of off-sets. The onion was one of the first plants to be cultivated for food and medicine. It is very widely cultivated in most parts of the world for its edible bulb and leaves, there are many named varieties capable of supplying bulbs all the year round. This species was derived in cultivation from A. oschaninii. Most forms are grown mainly for their edible bulbs but a number of varieties, the spring onions and everlasting onions, have been selected for their edible leaves. There are several sub-species:- Allium cepa ‘Perutile’ is the everlasting onion with a growth habit similar to chives, it is usually evergreen and can supply fresh leaves all winter. Allium cepa aggregatum includes the shallot and the potato onion. These are true perennials, the bulb growing at or just below the surface of the ground and increasing by division. Plants can be divided annually when they die down in the summer to provide bulbs for eating and propagation. Allium cepa proliferum is the tree onion, it produces bulbils instead of flowers in the inflorescence. These bulbils have a nice strong onion flavour and can be used raw, cooked or pickled. Onions grow well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but they inhibit the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation :
Seed. Early sowings can be made in February in a greenhouse to be planted out in late spring. The main sowing is made in March or April in an outdoor seedbed, this bed must be very well prepared. A sowing can also be made in an outdoor seedbed in August of winter hardy varieties (the Japanese onions are very popular for this). These overwinter and provide an early crop of onion bulbs in June of the following year. Onion sets can be planted in March or April. Sets are produced by sowing seed rather thickly in an outdoor seedbed in May or June. The soil should not be too rich and the seedlings will not grow very large in their first year. The plants will produce a small bulb about 1 – 2cm in diameter, this is harvested in late summer, stored in a cool frost-free place over winter and then planted out in April. A proportion of the bulbs will run quickly to seed but most should grow on to produce good sized bulbs.
Edible Uses:
Bulb – raw or cooked. A very versatile food, the bulb can be 10cm or more in diameter and is widely used in most countries of the world. Eaten raw, it can be sliced up and used in salads, sandwich fillings etc, it can be baked or boiled as a vegetable in its own right and is also commonly used as a flavouring in soups, stews and many other cooked dishes. Some cultivars have been selected for their smaller and often hotter bulbs and these are used for making pickles. Leaves – raw or cooked. There are some cultivars, the spring onions, that have been selected for their leaves and are used in salads whilst still young and actively growing – the bulb is much smaller than in other cultivars and is usually eaten with the leaves. By successional sowing, they can be available at any time of the year. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads. The flowers are somewhat dry and are less pleasant than many other species. The seeds are sprouted and eaten. They have a delicious onion flavour….CLICK & SEE ...

Constituents:
Composition :
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Root (Fresh weight)

* 72 Calories per 100g
* Water : 79.8%
* Protein: 2.5g; Fat: 0.1g; Carbohydrate: 16.8g; Fibre: 0.7g; Ash: 0.8g;
* Minerals – Calcium: 37mg; Phosphorus: 60mg; Iron: 1.2mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 12mg; Potassium: 334mg; Zinc: 0mg;
* Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.06mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.02mg; Niacin: 0.2mg; B6: 0mg; C: 8mg;

Medicinal Uses;
Anthelmintic; Antiinflammatory; Antiseptic; Antispasmodic; Appetizer; Carminative; Diuretic; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Homeopathy; Hypoglycaemic;
Hypotensive; Lithontripic; Skin; Stings; Stomachic; Tonic.

Although rarely used specifically as a medicinal herb, the onion has a wide range of beneficial actions on the body and when eaten (especially raw) on a regular basis will promote the general health of the body. The bulb is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, hypotensive, lithontripic, stomachic and tonic. When used regularly in the diet it offsets tendencies towards angina, arteriosclerosis and heart attack. It is also useful in preventing oral infection and tooth decay. Baked onions can be used as a poultice to remove pus from sores. Fresh onion juice is a very useful first aid treatment for bee and wasp stings, bites, grazes or fungal skin complaints. When warmed the juice can be dropped into the ear to treat earache. It also aids the formation of scar tissue on wounds, thus speeding up the healing process, and has been used as a cosmetic to remove freckles. Bulbs of red cultivars are harvested when mature in the summer and used to make a homeopathic remedy. This is used particularly in the treatment of people whose symptoms include running eyes and nose. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Allium cepa Onion for appetite loss, arteriosclerosis, dyspeptic complaints, fevers & colds, cough/bronchitis, hypertension, tendency to infection, inflammation of mouth and pharynx, common cold for critics of commission

Other Uses :
Cosmetic; Dye; Hair; Polish; Repellent; Rust.

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent and can also be rubbed onto the skin to repel insects. The plant juice can be used as a rust preventative on metals and as a polish for copper and glass. A yellow-brown dye is obtained from the skins of the bulbs. Onion juice rubbed into the skin is said to promote the growth of hair and to be a remedy for baldness. It is also used as a cosmetic to get rid of freckles. The growing plant is said to repel insects and moles. A spray made by pouring enough boiling water to cover 1kg of chopped unpeeled onions is said to increase the resistance of other plants to diseases and parasites.

Known Hazards:  There have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of this plant. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible. Hand eczema may occur with frequent handling. May interfere with drug control of blood sugar

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.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/o/onion-07.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+cepa

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Featured

Hair Colouring

Grey Hair & Wrinkles
Grey Hair & Wrinkles (Photo credit: Bunches and Bits {Karina})

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As we grow older several changes take place in our body, some visible, others not so visible. The most obvious one is the hair — and moustache in the case of men — turning grey from jet black. Unfortunately, nowadays it is not just senior citizens who are greying but also those in their twenties or early thirties. Twenty years ago, 18 per cent of adults under the age of 30 had started to grey. According to a recent report, that figure is now close to 32 per cent. Hair care brands have come up with a new mnemonic for grey haired over stressed twenty something — GHOSTS. The first grey hair stresses out GHOSTS even more as the current job market prizes youth — or at least looking youthful — over experience.

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The age at which one starts to grey is determined genetically. At that age the hair cells stop producing the colouring pigment melanin. This makes the shaft of the hair transparent. Light reflects off it, giving it its white appearance. Not all hairs stop producing melanin simultaneously. The mixed white and normal black makes the hair appear grey.

People who are exposed constantly to pollution and UV rays can get grey hair even before their genetically determined age to grey. The poisonous chemicals in tobacco kill the melanocytes, making smokers go grey before their non-smoking peers. Deficiency of vitamin B12 can also cause premature greying, as can a a peculiar type of anaemia called pernicious anaemia. Thyroid malfunction can also turn hair grey.

Grey hair has been cosmetically unacceptable for centuries. People used all kinds of natural dyes such as henna, indigo, walnut, curry leaves, gooseberries, tea, coffee, hibiscus flowers and arecanut either alone or in combination to colour grey hair. These natural products are used even today. Most, if used consistently, produce a dark brown colour. They are popular as they are inexpensive, can be applied at home, and are considered safe. But some people are allergic to even herbal products.

Hair can also be dyed with commercially available colouring agents. Temporary colours last a single wash. They can be funky colours like pink, blue or green but dark hair will not take these unless it is bleached first. Repeated use of these dyes without proper conditioning can, however, make hair brittle and lustreless.

Permanent hair colouring is the one usually used to disguise grey hair. It is a two-step process. First the hair is lightened using an agent like hydrogen peroxide or ammonia. Then the dye is applied and fixed. The colouring lasts until the hair grows out. This can be anything between 4 to 6 weeks.

Some people are allergic to hair dyes. Redness, itching, burning or skin rashes can occur either immediately or within 48 hours. To prevent this, before applying a dye for the first time, or switching brands, do a patch test. Take a small quantity of dye and apply it to the skin [usually on the inside of the elbow] for a day to see if there is any reaction. Sometimes a person can turn allergic to a product that they have been using safely for many years.

If hair is being coloured at home, it is important to follow the instructions on the package implicitly. Before using the dye, apply Vaseline to the hairline and ears. This will prevent the skin from staining. Always use gloves to apply the colour. Leave it on the hair for the time specified. Then wash it off with water. Apply a conditioner and leave it on for 7-9 minutes. Shampoo the next day.

Most shampoos (particularly the anti-dandruff ones) are harsh and unsuitable for regular use on coloured hair. Special colour safe shampoos and conditioners should be used to preserve the health of hair and minimise fading.

Hair that has been damaged by excessive and improper exposure to chemicals becomes dry, rough and fragile. The only solution is to stop using chemicals and cut off the damaged bit.

Hair colour should also not be used to darken facial hair because its texture is different and also because using traditional hair dyes so close to the nose can be distressing because of the odour of ammonia and other chemicals. The best thing to use is a range of colouring products labelled “just for men”.

How to delay greying:
*Avoid stress
*Don’t smoke
*Avoid too much exposure to ultraviolet rays
*Exercise regularly
*Eat at least 4-5 helpings of fruit and vegetables a day.
*Take care of your stomach &  liver function
*Try to avoid pollution

You may click to see :

*Grey Hair – Why & How to Treat it

*Experts Uncover Cause of Greyness

*Going gray? Hair ‘Bleaches Itself as People Age’

*Why does hair turn grey?

*What Causes Grey Hair
Source :The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Erythrasma

Definition:
Erythrasma is a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium minutissimum. It occurs most often between the third and fourth toes, but it can also frequently be found in the groin, armpits, and under the breasts. Because of it’s color and location, it’s often confused with a fungal infection like jock itch. Erythrasma is more common in the following populations:

CLICK TO SEE.....(01)..…….....(1).……..(2)…….(3)…...(4).

It is prevalent among diabetics, the obese,elderly, and People in warm, moist climates   and is worsened by wearing occlusive clothing.

Symptoms:
The main symptoms are reddish-brown slightly scaly patches with sharp borders. The patches occur in moist areas such as the groin, armpit, and skin folds. They may itch slightly and often look like patches associated with other fungal infections, such as ringworm.

Erythrasmic patches are typically found in intertriginous areas (skin fold areas – e.g. armpit, groin, under breast) – with the toe web-spaces being most commonly involved.

The patient is commonly otherwise asymptomatic.

Causes:
Erythrasma is caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium minutissimum.

Erythrasma is more common in warm climates. You are more likely to develop this condition if you are overweight or have diabetes.

The patches of erythrasma are initially pink, but progress quickly to become brown and scaly (as skin starts to shed).

Diagnosis:
At times, your doctor can diagnose erythrasma based on its typical appearance. But more often, your doctor will need to perform other tests to help make the diagnosis. The best way for your doctor to tell the difference between erythrasma and a fungal infection is to do a Wood’s Lamp examination on the rash. Under the UV light of a Woods Lamp, erythrasma turns a bright coral red, but fungal infections do not.

Other tests that may help include:
*A simple side-room investigation with a Wood’s lamp:It is additionally useful in diagnosing erythrasma. The ultraviolet light of a Wood’s lamp causes the organism to fluoresce a coral red color, differentiating it from fungal infections and other skin conditions.

•Gram Stain: A way to identify bacteria from a sample of the scale. Unfortunately, this bacteria is difficult to get to stick to the slide so it requires a special technique.

•KOH Test: This is a test used to identify fungal elements. This test might be done to confirm that there is no fungus present.

•Skin Biopsy: A sample of tissue is removed and evaluated under a microscope. In erythrasma, the bacteria can be seen in the upper layer of the specimen.

Treatment:
Since this is a bacterial infection, erythrasma is best treated with antibiotics, and fortunately several antibiotics fit the bill.

The following are antibiotics that are typically prescribed for erythrasma:
•Erythromycin 250mg four times a day for 5 days
•Clarithromycin 1gm once
•The antifungal creams miconazole, clotrimazole and econazole, but not ketoconazole
•Topical antibiotics like clindamycin or erythromycin twice a day for 2 weeks

Gently scrubbing the skin patches with antibacterial soap may help them go away.

Prognosis:
Complete recovery is expected following treatment.

Prevention:
These measures may reduce the risk of erythrasma:

•Maintaining good hygiene
•Keeping the skin dry
•Wearing clean, absorbent clothing
•Avoiding excessive heat or moisture
•Maintaining healthy body weight

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/erythrasma1.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythrasma
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001470.htm
http://dermatology.about.com/od/infectionbacteria/a/erythrasma.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Dendrobium nobile

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Botanical Name :Dendrobium nobile
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Genus: Dendrobium
Tribe: Dendrobieae
Subtribe: Dendrobiinae
Species: D. nobile
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Synonyms : D. lindleyanum. D. coerulescens.
Common Name : Noble Dendrobium, Dendrobium nobile,
Chinese Name: shí hú or shí hú lán

Habitat : The plant is native to southern Asia.China to the Himalayas.Tree trunks in mountain forests, also on rocks in mountain valleys at elevations of 500 – 1700 metres.

Description:
An evergreen Perennial growing to 0.6 m (2ft). It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Mar to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES..

Hybrids derived from the species Dendrobium nobile have been very popular for more than a hundred years. Their long running popularity springs from their profuse show of long lasting brightly colored flowers, which bloom along their stems in late winter and early spring. The species itself is also very popular because it regularly flowers freely and lasts for a long time as cutflower.This orchid is one of the most widespread ornamental members of the family. There are many different created varieties which bloom in different colors – yellow, white, etc.These traits have been passed along to its progeny.

Dendrobium nobile is a sympodial orchid which forms pseudobulbs. When the life cycle of the mother plant ends it produces little offsets, continuing the life of the plant. The same cycle is used every year. The stem is erect and during the flowering period it forms blooms on its sides along the whole length of the orchid. This monocot has thin, white roots and leads an epiphytic type of life.

Cultivation:
Dendrobium nobile and its hybrids are very easy to grow, if a couple of specific cultural requirements are met.

As the new growths begins in the spring, increase water and fertilizer frequency. During the active growing period of spring and summer Dendrobium nobile prefers reduced light, increased water, and fertilizer every two weeks (1/2 teaspoon per gallon of urea free water soluble fertilizer ). As the plants mature in the fall, cultural needs change drastically. Now brighter light, cooler temperatures, and no fertilizer will help to initiate flower buds. Water normally so that the bulbs do not shrivel. Buds will appear when the night temperatures drop to 55 or lower and the growths have fully matured. This is usually in November to December in the northern US, and January to February in the southern US. Blooms will follow in about two months after the cooling period.

When these plants are grown inside, they should be placed outside in the fall to benefit from the cooler temperatures at night. In the northern US, they should brought inside, when the night temperatures are consistently below 45F. In the southern US, they should be brough inside before the onset of freezing weather. They should kept in a relatively cool location (such as an unheated room or an enclosed porch) until buds start to form.

Dendrobium nobile and their hybrids enjoy being root bound, so never overpot the plants. They do very well in small pots for their root mass. Clay pots does them well. Many growers use regular seedling bark mixture or osmunda for a potting media; however, some growers also use long-fibered sphagnum moss. Dendrobium nobile can also be grown mounted, or in baskets, but watering must be increased.

If keikis or off-shoot plantlets form along the stems, that is usually a sign of too much fertilizer and/or too warm night temperatures. These keikeis may be potted as new plants after they have formed roots of at leat 3 or 4 inches. If plants produce all keikis and no blooms, definite culture changes are in order, such as longer cooling period in the fall and reduction in fertilizer amounts.

Propagation  :

Seed – surface sow, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. 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 until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil[200]. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move.


Medicinal Uses:

It is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine.The whole plant contains mucilage and the alkaloid dendrobine. It is antiphlogistic, pectoral, sialogogue, stomachic and tonic. It is used in Vietnam as a tonic in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis, general debility, flatulence, dyspepsia, reduced salivation, parched and thirsty mouth, night sweats, fever and anorexia. It is also said to be effective in the treatment of sexual impotence, arthralgia, lumbago, pain in the extremities etc. The plant is harvested at the end of the growing season and dried for later use. The dried plants are imbued with alcohol and steam cooked before use.

The medicinal plant is usually cut prior to flowering or harvested toward the end of its growing season where it is subsequently dried until ready for use. Typically, the dried stems are used for making herbal remedies, but they are occasionally used fresh. Decoctions and tinctures of Dendrobium nobile are created by steeping the dried, shredded stems in alcohol and then steaming them. In addition, an herbal tea can be made from the stems.

Remedies made from Dendrobium nobile have commonly been used throughout history to help boost the immune system. Its primary use, however, has been for the replenishment of fluids. Dendrobium increases salivation and is often prescribed to treat complaints associated with dry mouth, dry cough, and severe thirst. Additionally, the plant is effective in treating conditions related to dry, hot weather, such as sunstroke. Indigenous people of the Eastern Himalayas believed that these flowers could also cure eye ailments.

The tonic made frmo Dendrobium also nourishes the stomach, lungs, and kidneys. It can be given to lower fever and ease both vomiting and abdominal pain. The plant also has a history of medicinal use in treating pulmonary tuberculosis, impotence, and anorexia. Since Dendrobium nobile is known for increasing fluids, it should come as no surprise that the plant can also moisten and enhance the skin.

As with any other herbal remedy, supervision from qualified providers is important. Although Dendrobium nobile is thought to be quite safe in appropriate doses, the wrong dosage can have adverse effects on the body. For example, overdoses of Dendrobium can lead to heart and lung problems as well as convulsions.

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;What Are the Medical Uses of Dendrobium Nobile?

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/Dendrobium_nobile
http://www.clanorchids.com/pages/d/dnobile.html
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-medical-uses-of-dendrobium-nobile.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Dendrobium+nobile