Herbs & Plants

Borojoa patinoi

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Botanical Name: Borojoa patinoi
Family: Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Ixoroideae
Tribe: Cordiereae
Genus: Alibertia
Species: A. patinoi
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Borojoa patinoi Cuatrec, Alibertia patinoi (Cuatrec.)

Common Name: Borojo

Habitat :Borojoa patinoi is native to Northwestern S. America – Colombia and Brazil, north through Central America to Nicaragua. It grows on the lowland rainforests, usually at elevations up to 700 metres but occasionally to 1,200 metres.

Borojoa patinoi is an evergreen Tree growing to 8 m (26ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a medium rate.It has grey-brown bark and sometimes has two or three smaller trunks as well as one main one. The fruit is large (about 12 cm length), with a round shape and brown color and average weight of 740-1000 grams. The pulp represents 88% of the total weight. Each fruit has 90 to 640 seeds. Borojo has high levels of protein, ascorbic acid, calcium and iron and very high levels of phosphorus.


It needs high humidity (over 85%) and temperature (an average of at least 25 °C) to thrive, though it can tolerate brief frosts as well as floods.

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 can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.
A plant of warm tropical lowlands usually at elevations up to 700 metres, but sometimes to 1,200 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures fall within the range 20 – 28 degree centigrade, though it can tolerate 15 – 32 degree centigrade. Temperatures in its native region may reach up to an absolute maximum of 41 degree centigrade. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 3,000 – 6,000mm, tolerating 2,500 – 9,000mm. It thrives with high air humidity average up to almost 90%. Succeeds in heavy soils. Prefers a pH in the range 4.5 – 6.5, tolerating 4 – 7. The fruit takes more than one year to ripen after flowering. A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required.
Propagation: Seed

Edible Uses:
Fruit – eaten raw or made into jellies, preserves, sauces, ice cream etc. A sweet, aromatic flavour with some bitterness. The green to brown fruit is 7 – 12 cm in diameter with a brown pulp that is very acid and dense. The fruit pulp is used to prepare juice (jugo del amor), compotes, marmalades, candies and wine.

Medicinal Uses:
The fruit is prized for its tonic and cure-all qualities. It is famous in western Colombia for its supposed aphrodisiac properties.

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 (Spices)

Pfaffia paniculata

Botanical Name : Pfaffia paniculata
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Hebanthe
Species:H. eriantha

Common Names:  Suma or Pfaffia paniculata,  Brazilian ginseng

Habitat : Pfaffia paniculata is native to the rain forests of the Amazon and other tropical regions of Latin America, including Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

Suma is a large, rambling, shrubby ground vine with an intricate, deep, and extensive root system……CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

Constituents: (amino acids, electrolytes, trace minerals, pfaffic acid, germanium, sitosterol, stigmasterol, beta-ecdysone, saponins)

Suma root contains 19 different amino acids, a large number of electrolytes, trace minerals, iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A, B1, B2, E, K, and pantothenic acid. Its high germanium content probably accounts for its properties as an oxygenator at the cellular level; its high iron content may account for its traditional use for anemia. The root also contains novel phytochemicals including saponins (pfaffosides), pfaffic acid, beta-ecdysterone, glycosides, and nortriterpenes.

Medicinal Uses:
It increases energy, strengthens the immune system, fortified hormones (especially estrogen), reduces tumors and cancers, regulates blood sugar. It is considered a near panacea in Brazil, which it is called  Brazilian ginseng.  In herbal medicine in Ecuador today, Suma is considered a tonic for the cardiovascular system, the central nervous system, the reproductive system, and the digestive system and is used to treat hormonal disorders, sexual dysfunction and sterility, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, circulatory and digestive disorders, rheumatism, and bronchitis. In European herbal medicine Suma is used as to restore nerve and glandular functions, to balance the endocrine system, to strengthen the immune system, for infertility, menopausal and menstrual symptoms, to minimize the side-effect of birth control medications, for high cholesterol, to neutralize toxins and as a general restorative tonic after illness. In North and South American herbal medicine Suma root is used as an adaptogenic and regenerative tonic regulating many systems of the body, as an immunostimulant, and is used to treat exhaustion resulting from Epstein-Barr disease and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, hypoglycemia, impotency, arthritis, anemia, diabetes, cancer, tumors, mononucleosis, high blood pressure, PMS, menopause and hormonal disorders and many types of stress. Suma has also been called “The Russian Secret” because it is taken by Russian Olympic athletes to increase muscle-building and endurance without the side effects associated with steroids. This action is attributed to the anabolic agent, beta-ecdysterone as well as three novel ecdysteroid glycosides which are found in high amounts in Suma. Suma is such a rich source of beta-ecdysterone, that it is the subject of a Japanese patent for the extraction methods employed to obtain it from this root. Two other plant hormones found in Suma, sitosterol and stigmasterol, are believed to encourage estrogen production and may account for it’s use for menopausal symptoms.

Although suma is claimed as an ancient Brazilian folk remedy, no confirmation of that statement is found in the modern literature on medicinal plants. Advocates have claimed suma is an immune enhancer, an adaptogen (helps combat stress), and that it possesses anticancer activities. Test tube studies do indicate possible anti-tumor activity of suma constituents called pfaffosides. Suma has been marketed as Brazilian ginseng, though it is not an adaptogen (a substance that invigorates or strengthens the system) and is not related to Asian ginseng or American ginseng. In light of the lack of known traditional use, and of modern research confirming health benefits, use of suma is not recommended for any condition at this time.

The root of this rambling ground vine found in South America is used traditionally as a medicine and tonic. Nicknamed “para tudo” which means “for all,” suma is a traditional herbal medicine.

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

Crataegus crus-galli

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Botanical Name : Crataegus crus-galli
Family:    Rosaceae
Genus:    Crataegus
Series:    Crus-galli
Species:C. crus-galli
Order:    Rosales

Crataegus acutifolia Sarg.
Crataegus albanthera Sarg.
Crataegus arborea Beadle
Crataegus barrettiana Sarg.
Crataegus calophylla Sarg.
Crataegus candens Sarg.
Crataegus cherokeensis Sarg.
Crataegus consueta Sarg.
Crataegus hamata E.J.Palmer
Crataegus hannibalensis E.J.Palmer
Crataegus infera Sarg.
Crataegus leptophylla Sarg.
Crataegus limnophylla Sarg.
Crataegus ludovicensis Sarg.
Crataegus monosperma Sarg.
Crataegus pachyphylla Sarg.
Crataegus paradoxa Sarg.
Crataegus parkiae Sarg.
Crataegus permera Sarg.
Crataegus phaneroneura Sarg.
Crataegus polyclada Sarg.
Crataegus pyracanthoidesBeadle
Crataegus regalis Beadle
Crataegus rubrifolia Sarg.
Crataegus rudis Sarg.
Crataegus severa Sarg.
Crataegus strongylophylla Sarg.
Crataegus tantula Sarg.
Crataegus tardiflora Sarg.
Crataegus tenax Ashe
Crataegus tenuispina Sarg.
Crataegus truncata Sarg.

Common Names: Cockspur Thorn, Cockspur hawthorn, Dwarf Hawthorn

Habitat : Crataegus crus-galli is native to  Eastern N. America – Quebec to Georgia, west to Louisiana. Locally naturalized in Europe.  It grows in  thickets and open ground, especially in dry or rocky places. Usually found on the slopes of low hills in rich soils.

Crataegus crus-galli  is a small deciduous tree growing up to about 10 meters tall and 8 meters wide, rounded in form when young and spreading and flattening as it matures. The leaves are 5 to 6 centimeters long, glossy dark green in color and turning gold to red in the fall. The flowers are white and have a scent generally considered unpleasant. The fruits are small pomes that vary in colour, usually a shade of red. Most wild varieties of the tree are heavily armed in sharp thorns several centimeters long. This species is a popular ornamental tree, especially var. inermis, which lacks thorns. Many other wild forms would be very suitable for landscaping if better known, and yellow-fruited forms exist.


It is not frost tender. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Midges.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.

It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Landscape Uses:Border, Espalier, Pollard, Screen, Specimen, Street tree. A very easily grown plant, it prefers a well-drained moisture retentive loamy soil but is not at all fussy. Once established, it succeeds in excessively moist soils and also tolerates drought. It grows well on a chalk soil and also in heavy clay soils. A position in full sun is best when plants are being grown for their fruit, they also succeed in semi-shade though fruit yields and quality will be lower in such a position. Most members of this genus succeed in exposed positions, they also tolerate atmospheric pollution. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -18°c. A very ornamental plant. There are many named forms, selected for their ornamental value. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Seedling trees take from 5 – 8 years before they start bearing fruit, though grafted trees will often flower heavily in their third year. The flowers have a foetid smell somewhat like decaying fish. This attracts midges which are the main means of fertilization. When freshly open, the flowers have more pleasant scent with balsamic undertones. Seedlings should not be left in a seedbed for more than 2 years without being transplanted. This plant is often confused in cultivation with C. prunifolia. ‘Splendens’. Special Features:Attracts birds, North American native, Blooms are very showy.

Seed – this is best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, some of the seed will germinate in the spring, though most will probably take another year. Stored seed can be very slow and erratic to germinate, it should be warm stratified for 3 months at 15°c and then cold stratified for another 3 months at 4°c. It may still take another 18 months to germinate. Scarifying the seed before stratifying it might reduce this time[80]. Fermenting the seed for a few days in its own pulp may also speed up the germination process. Another possibility is to harvest the seed ‘green’ (as soon as the embryo has fully developed but before the seedcoat hardens) and sow it immediately in a cold frame. If timed well, it can germinate in the spring. If you are only growing small quantities of plants, it is best to pot up the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in individual pots for their first year, planting them out in late spring into nursery beds or their final positions. When growing larger quantities, it might be best to sow them directly outdoors in a seedbed, but with protection from mice and other seed-eating creatures. Grow them on in the seedbed until large enough to plant out, but undercut the roots if they are to be left undisturbed for more than two years.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. A dry flesh, it is used in jellies. The fruit is about 1cm in diameter and is borne in small clusters. It often persists on the tree until spring. This suggests that it does not make very good eating. There are up to five fairly large seeds in the centre of the fruit, these often stick together and so the effect is of eating a cherry-like fruit with a single seed.

Medicinal Uses:
Cardiotonic;  Hypotensive.

Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the fruits and flowers of many hawthorns are well-known in herbal folk medicine as a heart tonic and modern research has borne out this use. The fruits and flowers have a hypotensive effect as well as acting as a direct and mild heart tonic. They are especially indicated in the treatment of weak heart combined with high blood pressure. Prolonged use is necessary for it to be efficacious. It is normally used either as a tea or a tincture.

Other Uses:
Hedge;  Hedge;  Wood.

Very amenable to trimming, the plant can even be cut right back into very old wood and will resprout freely. It is often used as a hedge. Wood – fine-grained, hard and heavy. Used for tool handles etc.

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

Psidium cattleianum

Botanical Name: Psidium cattleianum
Family: Myrtaceae
Subfamily: Myrtoideae
Genus: Psidium
Species: P. cattleyanum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms : Psidium cattleianum. Salisb. littorale (O. Berg) Fosb., Psidium littoraleRaddi

Common Names: Cattley guava, Strawberry guava or Cherry guava
The red-fruited variety, P. cattleyanum var. cattleyanum, is commonly known as red cattley guava, red strawberry guava and red cherry guava. The yellow-fruited variety, P. cattleyanum var. littorale is variously known as yellow cattley guava, yellow strawberry guava, yellow cherry guava, lemon guava and in Hawaii as waiaw?.

Habitat : Psidium cattleianum is native to Brazil where it is known as araçá (ara-SAH) and adjacent tropical South America, it is closely related to common guava . Now it is cultivated in tropical and semi-tropical areas worldwide for its fruit and as an ornamental. It has escaped cultivation and become a serious weed in various Indian and Pacific Ocean locations, and is considered the worst invasive plant species in Hawaii. The strawberry guava is similar in flavor and uses to guava (P. guajava), but is generally smaller (although considered to be more attractive). Other guava fruits that are commercially grown are the Costa Rican guava (P. friedrichsthalianum) and the Guinea guava (P. guineense).

Psidium cattleianum is a shrub or many-branched small tree, with smooth brown bark and slender branches, which may reach heights of up to 12 m (39 ft), although typically growing to 2 to 4 m (6 to 13 ft). Some varieties are moderately frost-tolerant, and may be hardier than P. guava.It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) The leaves are oval to elliptical, up to 4.5 cm (1.75 in) long, smooth and leathery to waxy, with prominent veins. The fragrant white flowers are tubular with 5 petals, and are larger than the leaves, to 6 cm (2.3 in) wide, and are either solitary or in clusters of 3 at the axils (where leaf meets stem). The fruits, which are produced when the plants are 3 to 6 years old, are round to somewhat oval, about the size of a walnut around 4 cm (1.5 in) long, with a thin skin that ripens to a color ranging from yellow (in var. lucidum) to dark red or purple, tipped by the remains of the calyx (somewhat like an apple or blueberry). The juicy flesh, which is white or yellow, has many soft seeds embedded in it……CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Requires a well-drained sandy loam with leafmold. Requires cool greenhouse treatment in Britain. Tolerates short-lived light frosts and cool summers so it might succeed outdoors in the mildest areas of the country. Dislikes much humidity. Sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties.

Seed – sow spring in a warm greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. If trying the plants outdoors, plant them out in the summer and give them some protection from winter cold for at least their first two winters. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts:……Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit can be used in jellies, jams, custards, drinks etc. Sweet and aromatic. The flavour is more pronounced than that of the yellow strawberry guava but lacks the muskiness of the common guava. The fruit has an agreeable acid-sweet flavour and is good when eaten raw, though it can also be used in preserves. The fruit is about 4cm in diameter.

Medicinal Uses : Not Known

Other Uses: …..Hedge; Hedge……..Grown as a hedge in warm temperate climates

Herbs & Plants

Andira inermis

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Botanical Name :Andira inermis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Andira
Species: A. inermis

Synonyms: Vouacapoua inermis. Bastard Cabbage Tree. Worm Bark. Yellow Cabbage Tree. Jamaica Cabbage Tree.

Common Names:Cabbage bark (in Belize), almendro macho (in El Salvador), almendro de río or river almond (Honduras), bastard cabbage tree, cabbage angelin (USA), cabbage bark (USA), cabbage tree, carne asada (Costa Rica), guacamayo (Honduras), Jamaica cabbage tree, moca (Puerto Rico), partridge wood (USA), worm bark, or yellow cabbage tree.

Habitat :Andira inermis is   native to the area from southern Mexico through Central America to northern South America (Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil); it has been introduced to the Caribbean, the Antilles, Florida, and Africa.

A leguminous tree, growing very tall and branching towards the top called Cabbage Tree because it forms a head in growing; it has a smooth grey bark which, cut into long pieces, is the part utilized for medicine. It is thick, fibrous, scaly, and of an ashy brownish colour externally, covered with lichens – the inside bark is yellow and contains a bitter sweet mucilage, with an unpleasant smell. In Europe the bark of another species, Avouacouapa retusa, has been utilized. It grows in Surinam, is a more powerful vermifuge than Vouacapoua inermus and does not as a rule produce such injurious after-effects. In the dried state it is without odour, but has a very bitter taste; when powdered it has the colour of cinnamon.

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It is a nitrogen-fixing tree. It is evergreen and unbuttressed and has a dense crown and pink flowers. It grows primarily in riparian zones in forests along rivers. It can also be found in drier areas, including roadsides, pastures, and woodlands.

Constituents:  Jamaicine-Andirin aglucoside, an inodorous, bitter, acrid resin.

Medicinal Action and Uses:  Cabbage tree produces a smooth grey bark which has been used in herbal medicine systems as a strong purgative to expel intestinal worms. It is treated with much respect by the rainforest shamans and herbal healers as a very powerful medicine since too large of a dose causes vomiting, fever, delirium, and even death. Some Indian tribes in the Amazon prepare a bark decoction to use for ring worm and other fungal infections on the skin. Usually taken as an infusion

Narcotic vermifuge. Cabbage Tree bark used in large doses may cause vomiting, fever and delirium, especially if cold water is drunk just before or after taking it. In the West Indies it is largely employed as a vermifuge to expel worm – ascaris lumbrecoides – but if used incautiously death has been known to occur. The powder purges like jalap.

Other Uses:
The tree’s wood is used for lumber, and its smooth gray bark reportedly has narcotic, laxative, and vermifuge properties.

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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