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Herbs & Plants

Cistus creticus

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Botanical Name : Cistus creticus
Family: Cistaceae
Genus: Cistus
Species:C. creticus
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malvales

Synonyms : Cistus incanus auct, Cistus polymorphus, Cistus villosus creticus.

Common Names : Pink Rock-Rose, Hoary Rock-Rose, Rock Rose, Cretan rockrose

Habitat :Cistus creticus is native to southern Europe and the area around the eastern Mediterranean, but is naturalized in other areas of the world, such as California. It grows on amongst the scrub and in bushy places on rocks, dry hills etc to 1000 metres.
Description:
Cistus creticus is a compact and bushy, evergreen shrub, growin.g to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in). It is in leaf 12-Jan. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in August.The colours of the flowers can vary from rose pink to purple. It prefers a well-drained soil and does best in full sun. All cistus do best if pruned after flowering which will retain shape and provide healthy young growth for next years flowers. The seeds were collected at 2000m if that is relevant. This plant is the source of the resin labdanum – used in perfumes as a replacement for ambergris! Few seeds collected.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Cultivation:
Requires a sunny position in a dry or moist well-drained light sandy soil. Withstands drought once it is established. Tolerates maritime exposure. Plants are hardy to about -15°c, but they require protection in severe winters. Plants are somewhat hardier when grown in poor soils. This is usually a short-lived plant in cultivation, it probably exhausts itself by its very free-flowering habit. Plants often self-sow when growing in a suitable position. Dislikes pruning or root disturbance. Plants should be pot grown and then planted out in their final positions whilst still small. Individual flowers only last one day but there is a long succession of them. A polymorphic species, some forms do not yield much gum. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus. The flowers are very attractive to bees. The leaves, which exude a balsamic resin, are especially fragrant on warm sunny days.
Propagation:
Seed – gather when ripe and store dry. Surface sow in late winter in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 4 weeks at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle into individual pots. Grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out the in the following spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seed stores for at least 3 years. Cuttings of softish to half-ripe wood, 8cm long with a heel or at a node, June/August in a frame. Roots are formed within 3 weeks. High percentage. Cuttings of almost mature wood, 8 – 12cm with a heel or at a node, September/October in a frame. High percentage. Lift and pot up in the spring, plant out when a good root system has formed. Layering in spring.

Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

The leaves are used as a tea substitute. The oleo-resin obtained from the leaves and stems is used as a commercial food flavouring in baked goods, ice cream, chewing gum etc.
Medicinal Uses:
This plant is an aromatic, expectorant, stimulant herb that controls bleeding and has antibiotic effects. It is used internally in the treatment of catarrh and diarrhoea and as an emmenagogue. The leaves are harvested in late spring and early summer and can be dried for later use, or the resin extracted from them.

Other Uses :
Resin.

The glandular hairs on the leaves yield the oleo-resin ‘ladanum’, used medicinally and in soaps, perfumery, fumigation etc. This resin is an acceptable substitute for ambergris (which is obtained from the sperm whale) and so is important in perfume manufacture. The resin is collected by dragging a type of rake through the plant, the resin adhering to the teeth of the rake, or by boiling the twigs and skimming off the resin[64, 89]. Most resin is produced at the hottest time of the year.  There is a mauve-flowered variety of this species that is the most prolific producer of the resin

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/Cistus_creticus
http://www.plant-world-seeds.com/store/view_seed_item/4551
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cistus+creticus

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Herbs & Plants

Fucus helminthocorton

Botanical Name : Fucus helminthocorton
Family: Fucaceae
Genus: Fucus
Kingdom: Chromalveolata
Phylum: Heterokontophyta
Class: Phaeophyceae
Order: Fucales

Synonym: Alsidium Helminthocorton.

Habitat: Fucus helminthocorton is native to Mediterranean coast, specially Corsica.

Description:
The drug is obtained from twenty to thirty species of Algae, chiefly Sphaerococcus helminthocorton. It is cartilaginous, filiform repeatedly forked, colour varies from white to brown, it has a nauseous taste, bitter and salt, odour rather pleasant....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Part Used in medicine: The whole  plant.
Medicinal Uses:
In Europe as an anthelmintic and febrifuge, it acts very successfully on lumbricoid intestinal worms. A decoction is made of it from 4 to 6 drachms to the pint. Dose, a wineglassful three times daily.
Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/moscor49.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fucus_vesiculosus

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Herbs & Plants

Lupinus albus

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Botanical Name : Lupinus albus
Family: Fabaceae
Genus:     Lupinus
Species: L. albus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Fabales

Synonyms: (French) Lupin. (German) Wolfsbohne.

Common Names :Lupin or white lupin

Habitat : Lupinus albus  has a wide distribution in the Mediterranean region.It is widely spread as wild plants throughout the southern Balkans, the islands of Sicily, Corsica and Sardinia, and the Aegean Sea, as well as in Israel, Palestine and western Turkey. Occurs in meadows, pastures, and grassy slopes, predominantly on sandy and acid soils.

Description:
Lupinus albus is an annual plant  growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in). It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It can fix Nitrogen……..CLICK  &  SEE THE  PICTURES

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Oil;  Oil;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Coffee;  Oil;  Oil.

Seed – cooked. Used as a protein-rich vegetable or savoury dish in any of the ways that cooked beans are used, they can also be roasted or ground into a powder and mixed with cereal flours in making bread etc. If the seed is bitter this is due to the presence of toxic alkaloids and the seed should be thoroughly leached by soaking it and then discarding the soak water before cooking. Seeds contain 32 – 40% protein, 8 – 12% oil. The roasted seeds can be used as a snack in much the same way as peanuts. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. The roasted seed is used as a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses:

Parts Used-:  Seeds, herb.

Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Hypoglycaemic;  Vermifuge.

The seeds, taken internally, are diuretic, emmenagogue, hypoglycaemic and vermifuge. When bruised and soaked in water they are used as a poultice on ulcers etc.

Other Uses
Cosmetic;  Fibre;  Green manure;  Oil;  Oil.

The seed contains up to 12% oil. This is used in making soap. A fibre obtained from the stems is used for making cloth etc[4]. A cosmetic face-mask can be made from lupin flour, this is used to invigorate tired skin. A useful spring-sown green manure crop, especially on light soils. It is deep rooting, fairly fast growing, produces a good bulk and fixes atmospheric nitrogen

Known Hazards:  The seed of many lupin species contain bitter-tasting toxic alkaloids, though there are often sweet varieties within that species that are completely wholesome. Taste is a very clear indicator. These toxic alkaloids can be leeched out of the seed by soaking it overnight and discarding the soak water. It may also be necessary to change the water once during cooking. Fungal toxins also readily invade the crushed seed and can cause chronic illness

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/lupins50.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupinus_albus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Lupinus+albus

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Herbs & Plants

Conopodium majus

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Botanical Name : Conopodium majus
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Conopodium
Species: C. majus
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Bunium flexuosum – Stokes, Conopodium denudatum – Koch.

Common Name ;Pignut, Hognut, and more indirectly Saint Anthony’s nut

Habitat ;Conopodium majus is native to Europe, including Britain, from Norway to Spain, east to Italy and Corsica. It grows in  Woods, hedgerows and fields. It is never found on alkaline soils

Description:
Conopodium majus is a small herbaceous perennial common in woods, grasslands, and hedgerows across Europe. It flowers from May to June producing white flowers in compound umbels and has finely divided leaves.It has a smooth, slender, curving stem, up to 1 m high, much-divided leaves, and small, white flowers in many-rayed terminal compound umbels.

The stem terminates in a single tuber up to 20cm below ground with thin fibrous roots growing across its surface (Hather 1993). This storage organ is edible with a nutty flavour similar to chestnut and available all year round.

 

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURE…...(01)....(1).…..(2)……..(3)..…....

It is hardy to zone 0 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

The rounded “nut” (inconsistently described by authorities as a tuber, corm, or root) is similar to a chestnut in its brown colour and its size (up to 25 mm in diameter), and its sweet, aromatic flavour has been compared to that of the chestnut, hazelnut, sweet potato, and Brazil nut. Palatable and nutritious, its eating qualities are widely praised, and it is popular among wild food foragers, but it remains a minor crop, due in part to its low yields and difficulty of harvest.

Cultivation:
Never found on alkaline soils in the wild. See the plants native habitat for other ideas on its cultivation needs. This species responds to cultivation by producing larger tubers. With careful selective breeding it is probably possible to produce a much more productive plant.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually quick and good. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out when in early summer. It is also possible to sow in situ, though this requires a lot more seed to produce the same amount of plants from a protected sowing. Division in late summer as the plant dies down.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Root.

Tubers – raw or cooked. A very pleasant food with a flavour somewhat between a sweet potato and hazelnuts, with a hot aftertaste of radish. We have never detected this hot aftertaste, and feel that the flavour is reminiscent of brazil nuts. There is only one tuber on each plant, this is rather small and difficult to harvest, but the size could probably be increased by cultivation.

Medicinal Uses
The powdered roots have been recommended as a cough remedy.

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:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conopodium_majus
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Conopodium+majus
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

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