Herbs & Plants

Aegopodium podagraria

Botanical Name : Aegopodium podagraria
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Aegopodium
Species: A. podagraria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Common Names: Ground Elder, Bishop’s goutweed, Goutweed, Ground Elder, Bishop’s Weed, d ground elder, herb gerard, Gout wort, and Snow-in-the-mountain, and sometimes called English Masterwort, and Wild masterwort.

Habitat : Aegopodium podagraria is native to most of Europe, including Britain, to western Asia and Siberia. It grows on wedgerows and cultivated land. A common garden weed.

Aegopodium podagraria is perennial plant, growing to a height of 100 cm with rhizomes. The stems are erect, hollow and grooved. The upper leaves are ternate, broad and toothed. It is in flower from May to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.The plant is self-fertile. The flowers are in umbels, terminal with rays 15 – 20, with small white flowers, the fruits are small and have long curved styles. The flowers are visited by many types of insects, thus being characterised by a generalised pollination system…….CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

Edible Uses: Leaves – raw or cooked. An unusual tangy flavour, the majority of people we give it to do not like it although some reports say that it makes a delicious vegetable. The leaves are best harvested before the plant comes into flower, they can be used in salads, soups, or cooked as a vegetable.

The tender leaves have been used in antiquity and throughout the Middle Ages as a spring leaf vegetable, much as spinach was used. Young leaves are preferred as a pot herb. It is best picked from when it appears (as early as February in the UK) to just before it flowers (May to June). If it is picked after this point, it takes on a pungent taste and has a laxative effect. However, it can be stopped from flowering by pinching out the flowers, ensuring the plant remains edible if used more sparingly as a pot herb.

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Ground cover, Woodland garden. Prefers damp shady conditions but succeeds in most soils. Prefers a well-drained soil, succeeding in sun or shade. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. This species was cultivated in the Middle Ages as a medicinal and food plant. A very invasive plant, spreading freely at the roots, though it seldom sets seed in Britain. Once established it can be very difficult to eradicate because any small piece of root left in the ground can regrow. If introducing this plant to your garden, it might be best to restrict the roots by growing the plant in a bottomless container buried in the soil. There is a variegated form of this species that is less invasive and is sometimes grown in the ornamental garden. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Invasive, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant.

Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Very easy, divisions can be carried out at almost any time of the year and the divisions can be planted out straight into their permanent positions.

Medicinal Uses:
Aegopodium podagraria has a long history of medicinal use and was cultivated as a food crop and medicinal herb in the Middle Ages. The plant was used mainly as a food that could counteract gout, one of the effects of the rich foods eaten by monks, bishops etc at this time. The plant is little used in modern herbalism. All parts of the plant are antirheumatic, diuretic, sedative and vulnerary. An infusion is used in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis and disorders of the bladder and intestines. Externally, it is used as a poultice on burns, stings, wounds, painful joints etc. The plant is harvested when it is in flower in late spring to mid-summer and can be used fresh or be dried for later use. A homeopathic remedy is made from the flowering plant. It is used in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism.

Diuretic and sedative. Can be successfully employed internally for aches in the joints, gouty and sciatic pains, and externally as a fomentation for inflamed parts.  The roots and leaves boiled together, applied to the hip, and occasionally renewed, have a wonderful effect in some cases of sciatica.

Other Uses:
This species makes a good ground-cover for semi-wild situations. Make sure that it has plenty of room since it can be very invasive and is considered to be a weed in many gardens.

It is used as a food plant by the larvae of some species of Lepidoptera, including dot moth, grey dagger and grey pug, although A. podagraria is not the exclusive host to any of these species.

A variegated form is grown as an ornamental plant, though with the advice to keep it isolated.

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.

Dry Fruit Herbs & Plants

Juglans regia (walnut)

Botanical Name : Juglans regia
Family: Juglandaceae
Genus: Juglans
Species: J. regia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales

Common Names:Black Walnut,Persian walnut, English walnut, common walnut or California walnut

Habitat : Juglans regia is native to the mountain ranges of Central Asia, extending from Xinjiang province of western China, parts of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and southern Kirghizia and from lower ranges of mountains in Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, northern India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, through Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Iran to portions of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and eastern Turkey. In these countries, there is a great genetic diversity, in particular ancestral forms with lateral fruiting. During its migration to western Europe, the common walnut lost this character and became large trees with terminal fruiting. A small remnant population of these J. regia trees have survived the last glacial period in Southern Europe, but the bulk of the wild germplasm found in the Balkan peninsula and much of Turkey was most likely introduced from eastern Turkey by commerce and settlement several thousand years ago

Juglans regia is a large, deciduous tree attaining heights of 25–35 m, and a trunk up to 2 m diameter, commonly with a short trunk and broad crown, though taller and narrower in dense forest competition. It is a light-demanding species, requiring full sun to grow well.

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The bark is smooth, olive-brown when young and silvery-grey on older branches, and features scattered broad fissures with a rougher texture. Like all walnuts, the pith of the twigs contains air spaces; this chambered pith is brownish in color. The leaves are alternately arranged, 25–40 cm long, odd-pinnate with 5–9 leaflets, paired alternately with one terminal leaflet. The largest leaflets are the three at the apex, 10–18 cm long and 6–8 cm broad; the basal pair of leaflets are much smaller, 5–8 cm long, with the margins of the leaflets entire. The male flowers are in drooping catkins 5–10 cm long, and the female flowers are terminal, in clusters of two to five, ripening in the autumn into a fruit with a green, semifleshy husk and a brown, corrugated nut. The whole fruit, including the husk, falls in autumn; the seed is large, with a relatively thin shell, and edible, with a rich flavour.

Walnut trees grow best in rich, deep soil with full sun and long summers, such as the California central valley. In the U.S., J. regia is often grafted onto a rootstock of a native black walnut, Juglans hindsii to provide disease resistance. Other plants often will not grow under walnut trees because the fallen leaves and husks contain juglone, a chemical which acts as a natural herbicide. Horses that eat walnut leaves may develop laminitis, a hoof ailment. Mature trees may reach 50 feet in height and width, and live more than 200 years, developing massive trunks more than eight feet thick.

Edible Uses: Like all other nuts walnuts are eaten and are used in making various  sweet dishes.

Chemical Constituents:
Seven phenolic compounds (ferulic acid, vanillic acid, coumaric acid, syringic acid, myricetin, juglone and regiolone) have been identified in walnut husks by using reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography or crystallography.

Walnuts also contain the ellagitannin pedunculagin.

-Regiolone has been isolated with juglone, betulinic acid and sitosterol from the stem-bark of . regia

Medicinal Uses:
Scientists are not yet certain whether walnuts act as a cancer chemopreventive agent, an effect which may be a result of the fruit’s high phenolic content, antioxidant activity, and potent in vitro antiproliferative activity.

Compared to certain other nuts, such as almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts, walnuts (especially in their raw form) contain the highest total level of antioxidants, including both free antioxidants and antioxidants bound to fiber.

Walnuts are a good source dietary source of serotonin, which is important in maintaining a healthy emotional balance. A lack of serotonin in the brain is thought to be a cause of depression. Walnuts are also one of the best plant based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Both research and population studies have shown that having the right balance of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet reduces inflammation and may help lower risk such as heart disease, cancer, and auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.1

Herbalists are most interested in the bark, leaves and nut husks of black walnut. Black walnut hulls contain juglone, a chemical that is antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, and a fungicide. As a skin wash, black walnut is used to treat ringworm and yeast infections of the skin. Black walnut hull extract is unquestionably one of the best and safest worming agents offered by the plant world. But it can be toxic if not used with proper care, caution, and training. It is an herb best reserved for use by experienced practitioners.




Other uses:
Walnut heartwood is a heavy, hard, open-grained hardwood. Freshly cut live wood may be Dijon-mustard colour, darkening to brown over a few days. The dried lumber is a rich chocolate-brown to black, with cream to tan sapwood, and may feature unusual figures, such as “curly”, “bee’s wing”, “bird’s eye”, and “rat tail”, among others. It is prized by fine woodworkers for its durability, lustre and chatoyance, and is used for high-end flooring, guitars, furniture, veneers, knobs and handles as well as Gunstocks.

Methyl palmitate, which has been extracted from green husks of J. regia has insecticidal properties: at a concentration of 10 mg/ml, it killed 98% of Tetranychus cinnabarinus (carmine spider mites) in one study.

Known Hazards:To remove the husk from kernel can lead to hand staining. Walnut hulls contain phenolics that stain hands and can cause skin irritation.

Black Walnut Side Effects:  Not for long term or chronic use, the juglone in black walnut has carcinogenic effects. Can be toxic if not used with proper care and respect. Remember anything that can kill a tapeworm has the potential of being harmful to the host.

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.


Herbs & Plants

Eriodictyon crassifolium

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Botanical Name :Eriodictyon crassifolium
Family: Boraginaceae
Subfamily: Hydrophylloideae
Genus: Eriodictyon
Species: E. crassifolium
Kingdom: Plantae

Common Name :Thick-leaved Yerba Santa

Habitat : It is endemic to California, where it grows in several types of habitat, including chaparral, in the coastal and inland hills and mountains, mainly in the Southern California part of the state.

Thick leaved Yerba Santa is a fuzzy grey perennial herb that can grow to 5′. The leaves are up to 17 centimeters long by 6 wide, gray-green with a coat of woolly hairs, and sometimes toothed along the edges. The inflorescence is a cluster of bell-shaped lavender flowers.

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Flowers are 1/2″ wide and 1″ long pale blue. Sun, good drainage, doesn’t need water after first year if your rainfall is greater than 14″. The inflorescence is a cluster of bell-shaped lavender flowers. Felt leaved Yerba Santa will grow in most gardens and can be quite the butterfly magnet.

Medicinal Uses:
It was traditionally used by the Chumash people to keep airways open for proper breathing.

Other Uses:
Eriodictyon crassifolium is great for a butterfly garden.

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.


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Herbs & Plants

Lamium purpureum

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Botanical Nanme : Lamium purpureum
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Lamium
Species: L. purpureum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name :Red Deadnettle, Purple Deadnettle, or Purple Archangel

Habitat : Lamium purpureum is native to Europe and Asia.

Lamium purpureum is a herbaceous flowering plant.It grows to 5–20 cm (rarely 30 cm) in height. The leaves have fine hairs, are green at the bottom and shade to purplish at the top; they are 2–4 cm long and broad, with a 1–2 cm petiole (leaf stalk), and wavy to serrated margins.

You may click to see pictures of Lamium purpureum 

The zygomorphic flowers are bright red-purple, with a top hood-like petal, two lower lip petal lobes and minute fang-like lobes between.They may be produced throughout the year, including mild weather in winter. This allows bees to gather its nectar for food when few other nectar sources are available. It is also a prominent source of pollen for bees in March/April (in UK), when bees need the pollen as protein to build up their nest.

It is often found alongside Henbit Deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule), which is easily mistaken for it since they both have similar looking leaves and similar bright purple flowers; they can be distinguished by the stalked leaves of Red Deadnettle on the flower stem, compared to the unstalked leaves of Henbit Deadnettle.

Edible Uses:
Young plants have edible tops and leaves, good in salads or in stirfry as a spring vegetable. If finely chopped it can also be used in sauces, but there is little to recommend about its flavour.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves, when bruised and used as a poultice, are said to staunch blood flowing from a deep cut.  The dried herb, made into a tea and sweetened with honey, promotes perspiration and acts on the kidneys, being useful in cases of chill.

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


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Herbs & Plants

Tagetes filifolia

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Botanical Name : Tagetes filifolia
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Tagetes
Species: filifolia

Common Name : Irish Lace

Habitat :Tagetes filifolia is native to Central and South AmericaMexico to Costa Rica . It best grown  on cultivated bed.

Tagetes filifolia is an annual plant growing to 12-18 in. (30-45 cm).
It is hardy to zone 9. 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 heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Requires a well-drained moderately fertile soil in a sunny position. Grows well in heavy clay soils and in sandy soils. Grows well with tomatoes. Removing dead flowers before the seed is formed will extend the flowering season. Plants are prone to slugs, snails and botrytis.

Seed – sow March in a greenhouse. Only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts.

Edible Uses :    
Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Condiment.

The plants are used as a food flavouring.

Medicinal Uses:
The tea is said to be drunk as a refreshing beverage and to relieve minor ills.  Bolivians drink the decoction as a digestive.  Venezuelans employ it as an emollient and treatment for syphilis.  In Costa Rica, it is taken as a carminative to relieve colic and as a diuretic. Also used for prostate problems and difficulties associated with urination

Other Uses :
Insecticide;  Repellent.

Although no specific mention of the following use has been seen for this species, most if not all members of this genus probably have a similar effect to a greater or lesser degree. Secretions from the roots of growing plants have an insecticidal effect on the soil, effective against nematodes and to some extent against keeled slugs. These secretions are produced about 3 – 4 months after sowing. The growing plant is also said to repel insects and can be grown amongst crops such as potatoes and tomatoes.

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