Herbs & Plants

Iceland moss

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Botanical Name : Cetraria islandica
Family: Parmeliaceae
Genus:     Cetraria
Species: C. islandica
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class:     Lecanoromycetes
Order:     Lecanorales

Synonyms: Cetraria. Iceland Lichen.

Common Name :  Iceland Moss, Island cetraria lichen, Oriental cetraria lichen

Other names: Iceland Lichen, Eryngo-leaved liverwort

Habitat:Iceland moss grows abundantly in the mountainous regions of northern countries, and it is specially characteristic of the lava slopes and plains of the west and north of Iceland. It is found on the mountains of north Wales, north England, Scotland and south-west Ireland. In North America its range extends through Arctic regions, from Alaska to Newfoundland, and south in the Rocky Mountains to Colorado, and to the Appalachian Mountains of New England.A common plant in northern countries and in the mountainous part of warmer countries.
It grows on damp places, usually on rocks and the bark of trees, especially conifers.

Iceland Moss is a composite life form (lichen), symbiotic connection between algae and fungus. It has an appearance similar to moss. It is shrub-like plant, with crinkled, gray-green to dark brown forked branches. The upper side is darker; the underside is lighter, whitish. It grows up to 1, 2 meters in height.  The whole plant is tough and springy.

There is no known information on the cultivation of this plant. It requires clean air and is very intolerant of atmospheric pollution so cannot be grown in towns. See the plants native habitat above for ideas on how it can be encouraged to grow. This species is a lichen, which is actually a symbiotic association of two different species, one an algae and the other a fungus. It is very slow-growing. This plant is often used in commercially produced disinfectants.

Propagation :
The only way of reproducing this plant is vegetatively. Almost any part of the plant can be used to produce a new plant, simply separate a portion and place it in its new hom.

Edible Uses:
A jelly is made by boiling the whole plant. It is nutritious and medicinal. Rather bitter, it requires leaching, which can be done by changing the cooking water once or twice during the cooking process. The dried and powdered plant can be mixed with wheat and used in making bread. It is very bitter and the process required to leach it is far too time-consuming and tedious to be countenanced

Medicinal Uses:

Parts Used :Lichen

Constituents: It contains about 70 per cent of lichen starch and becomes blue on the addition of iodine. It also contains a little sugar, fumaric acid, oxalic acid, about 3 per cent of cetrarin and 1 per cent of licheno-stearic acid.

Demulcent, tonic, and nutritive when deprived of its bitter principle. Excellent in chronic pulmonary troubles, catarrh, digestive disturbances, dysentery, advanced tuberculosis. Decoction, B.P. 1885, 1 to 4 OZ. Ground, it can be mixed with chocolate or cocoa.

Iceland Moss is strongly antibiotic and expectorant. It soothes irritated tissues, especially mucous membranes and is often used in cough medications. It eases dry cough and helps in case of a sore throat. It has beneficial results in cases of tuberculosis and bronchitis. It also controls vomiting, has excellent effects in treatment of gastroenteritis, loss of appetite and food poisoning. Used externally, the plant is an excellent remedy for vaginal discharge, boils and wounds.

Iceland moss has been used since ancient times as a cough remedy and has also been used in European folk medicine as a cancer treatment. In present day herbalism it is highly prized for its strongly antibiotic and demulcent actions, being used especially to soothe the mucous membranes of the chest, to counter catarrh and calm dry and paroxysmal coughs – it is particularly helpful as a treatment for elderly people. Iceland moss has both a demulcent and a bitter tonic effect within the gut – a combination almost unique amongst medicinal herbs. The whole plant is strongly antibiotic, antiemetic, strongly demulcent, galactogogue, nutritive and tonic. It is excellent when used internally in the treatment of chronic pulmonary problems, catarrh, dysentery, chronic digestive disturbances (including irritable bowel syndrome and food poisoning) and advanced tuberculosis. Externally, it is used in the treatment of boils, vaginal discharges and impetigo. The plant can be harvested as required throughout the year, preferably during dry weather, and can also be dried for later use. Use with caution. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Cetraria islandica for cough & bronchitis, dyspepsia, inflammation of mouth and pharynx, loss of appetite.
Other Uses:
Disinfectant; Dye.

A powerful antibiotic can be obtained from the plant and this has become a fundamental ingredient in a wide range of commercially produced disinfectants. A brown dye is obtained from the plant.

Known Hazards: Some herbs could react with certain medication. Therefore, it is advisable to consult your doctor/herbalist before consumption of any herb.   Indigestion and nausea with large doses. Rare liver damage. Herb bitterness possible in breast milk .

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

Pyrola rotundifolia

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Botanical Name : Pyrola rotundifolia
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Pyrola
Subgenus: Monotropoideae
Species: P. rotundifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Name :Round-leaved Wintergreen

Habitat : Pyrola rotundifolia is native to Europe, including Britain, from Iceland south and east to Spain  N. and W. Asia. N. E. N. America.  It grows on bogs, fens and woods, especially beech woods, often on limestone, and in dune slacks. Avoids acid soils.

Pyrola rotundifolia is an evergreen Perennial plant that creeps in growth.The height of the plant is up to 5-6 inches or sometimes little more.
The plant generally grows in large bunches on sandy and barren plains.The branches are stiff and it’s leaves are oval, shiney and petiolate. The flowers bloom in July and June seasons. The Oil odor is pretty unique a fragant and it tastes astrigent.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jun to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.

Prefers a moist sandy woodland soil in a cool position with partial shade. Requires a peaty or leafy but not very acid soil that remains moist in the summer. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c. This is a very ornamental but difficult plant to grow. It requires a mycorrhizal relationship in the soil and therefore needs to be grown initially in soil collected from around an established plant. It is also very difficult from seed as well as being intolerant of root disturbance which makes division difficult. The flowers have a delicious almond-like fragrance.
Seed – the only information we have on this species is that it is difficult from seed and germinates infrequently. We would suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe if this is possible. Sow it into soil collected from around an established plant, only just covering the seed, and put the pot in a shady part of a cold frame. Pot up any young seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle, once again using soil from around an established plant. Plant out into their permanent positions when the plants are large enough. You should not need to use soil from around an established plant to do this since the soil in the pot will contain the necessary micorrhiza. Division with great care in the spring. Pot up the divisions using some soil from around an established plant, grow on in a lightly shaded part of a greenhouse or frame and do not plant out until the plants are growing away vigorously

Medicinal Uses:

The leaves are antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, cardiotonic, contraceptive, diuretic, poultice, sedative and tonic. A decoction is used in the treatment of skin diseases, as a gargle and a wash for the eyes. It is used internally in the treatment of epilepsy and other nervous afflictions. The leaves are harvested in mid to late summer and can be used fresh or dried. The plant contains arbutin, a proven diuretic and antibacterial agent that is used as a urinary antiseptic, this hydrolyzes in the body into the toxic hydroquinone.
Administer internally for gravel, ulcerations of the bladder, bloody urine and other urinary diseases; useful in the relief of a scrofulous taint from the system; also for epilepsy and other nervous affections. The decoction will be found beneficial as a gargle for sore throat and mouth and as an external wash for sore or ophthalmic eyes.  It is also used in injections for whites and various diseases of the womb. A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of skin diseases, as a gargle and a wash for the eyes. It is used internally in the treatment of epilepsy and other nervous afflictions.

Other Uses:
Plants can be used as a ground cover when spaced about 30cm apart each way. They are somewhat slow to settle down though, and only form a good cover when they are growing luxuriantly.

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

Pavetta indica

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Botanical Name :Pavetta indica Linn.
Family : Rubiaceae

Other  Scientific Names:
Pavetta indica Linn. ,Pavetta barnesii Elm. ,Pavetta crassicaulis  ,Pavetta tomentosa Roxb. ex Smith  ,Ixora indica (L.) Kuntze

Common Names : Bohunan-ug-puso (C. Bis.), Pangapatolen (Ilk),Galauan (Buk.),Pitak (Ig.),Gesges (Neg.), Tamayan (C. Bis.),Gusokan (C. Bis.) Tandaluli (Bag.),Kaiut-karaban (Bag.) Bride’s bush (Engl.), Kotbu (Ig.) White pavetta (Engl.) , Lankuilan (P. Bis.)

Sanskrit Synonyms
: Papata, Tiyakphala
Hindi Name : Papari
Malayalam  Name: Pavatta, Malayamotti

Habitat : Pavetta indica is found from the Batan Island and northern Luzon to Mindanao, in most or all island and provinces often common in primary forest, at low and medium altitudes. It is also reported from India to China and through Malaya to tropical Australia.

The plant is an erect, nearly smooth or somewhat hairy shrub 2 to 4 meters or more in height. The leaves are elliptic-oblong to elliptic-lanceolate, 6 to 15 centimeters long, and pointed at both ends. The flowers are white, rather fragrant, and borne in considerable numbers in hairy terminal panicles which are 6 to 10 centimeters long. The calyx segments are very small, and toothed. The corolla-tube is slender and about 1.5 centimeters long, with obtuse lobes about half the length of the tube. The fruit is black when dry, somewhat rounded, and about 6 millimeters in diameter.

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• Roots contain a green resin, starch, an organic acid, a bitter glucoside resembling salicin.
• Stems contain essential oil, resin, alkaloid, tannin and a pectic principle.
Petroleum ether and methanol extracts have yielded glycosides, phytosterols, saponins, flavonoids and akaloids

Properties: Bitter roots considered aperient.

Medicinal Uses:

• Bark, pulverized or in decoction, is used for visceral obstructions.
Decoction of leaves used externally for hemorrhoidal pains.
• Bitter roots used for constipation.
• Roots, pulverized and mixed with ginger and rice water, used for dropsy.
• A local fomentation of leaves used for hemorrhoidal pains.
• Roots used for urinary complaints.
• Decoction of stem used as febrifuge.
• Bark decoction used for arthritis.

Ayurvedic Properities:
Rasa    : Tikta, Kashaya
Guna   : Lakhu, Rooksha, Teekshna
Virya   : Seeta
Vipaka : Katu

Plant pacifies vitiated vata, kapha, constipation, urinary retention, and edema, and skin diseases.
Useful part : Roots, Leaves.

• Anti-Inflammatory: Study of the anti-inflammatory potential of the methanol extract of Pavetta indica on several models of inflammation showed activity in the proliferative phase of the inflammatory process in an effect comparable to the standard non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin.
• Analgesic: Study of the ethanolic leaf extract of P indica showed significant dose-dependent inhibition of pain response induced by thermal and mechanical stimuli. Results showed promising potential use of the crude extract in the treatment of pain.
Antipyretic: Study of the methanol extracxt of P indica reduced the pyrexia induced by yeast, found statistically significant, and indicates a potential for the extract’s use as an agent against pyrexia.
Diuretic: Study of petroleum and ether extracts of leaves of Pavetta indica exhibited significant diuretic activity. Effect was attributed to the presence of flavonoids. Results support its use as a diuretic agent.
Essential Oil: Study yielded 24 compounds. The major constituents of the oil were ß-pinene (25.45%), ß-eudesmol (7.06%) and tricyclene (5.74%). Oxygenated monoterpenes and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons were minor components.

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


Click to access gusokan.pdf

Herbs & Plants


Botanical Name :Erioglossum rubiginosum (Roxb.) Blume
Family: Sapindaceae
Genus: Erioglossu
Spesies: Erioglossum rubiginosum
Kingdom: Plantae (Tumbuhan)
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta (Tumbuhan berpembuluh)
Super Divisi: Spermatophyta (Menghasilkan biji)
Division: Magnoliophyta (Tumbuhan berbunga)
Order: Sapindales

Scientific Names : Erioglossum rubiginosum (Roxb.) Blume,Erioglossum edule Blume,Sapindus rubiginosus Roxb.Sapindus edulis Blume,Moulinsia rubiginosa G. Don.

Local names: Aboi (P. Bis.); balinaunau (P. Bis.); balit (C. Bis.); barit (P. Bis.); buli-buli (C. Bis., P. Bis.); buri-buri (P. Bis.); duka (Bis.); kalangkangin (Tagk.); kalayo (Tag.); kalimaiu (Tag.); lagui (Ting.); lingadrau (Tag.); magasilad (Mbo.); malasaging-puti (Tag.); palatangan-a-nalabaga (Ilk.); tagurirong (P. Bis.); togoriron (P. Bis.); usau-usau (Sul.).

Habitat :Kalayo is found common in forests at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines, in most provinces and islands. It also occurs in India through Malaya to tropical Australia.

This is a shrub or small tree, with a compact, bushy crown. All parts are covered with hairs. The leaves are pinnate and 15 to 50 centimeters long with 4 to 6 pairs of leaflets. The leaflets are narrowly elliptic, 7.5 to 18 centimeters long, 3 to 7 centimeters wide, and blunt at both ends. The flowers are very fragrant, white, about 5 millimeters wide, and arranged in small groups in upright panicles 12 to 30 centimeters long. The fruit is about 1 centimeter long and covered with fine hairs; in ripening it turns successively yellow, orange, purple, and nearly black having, when ripe, a thin juicy, sweetish, slightly astringent pulp.
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Edible Uses: Fruit is edible, but for some, not a pleasant edibility.In Java, shoots are used as vegetable.

Medical Uses:
Parts used: Roots, leaves and seeds.

*Astringent roots are used as decoction for fevers.
*Malays use a poutice of leaves and roots to the head during a fever and the body for skin problems.
*In the Dutch Indies, leaves are used for poulticing.
*Decoction of seeds used for whooping cough.

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.


Click to access kalayo.pdf

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Herbs & Plants



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Botanical Name : Securinega virosa (Roxb. ex Willd.) Baill.
Family : Euphorbiaceae/Phyllanthaceae
Genus : Securinega
Species : Securinega virosa (Roxb. ex Willd.) Baill

Scientific names :Securinega virosa Roxb. ex Willd. (basionym),Securinega microcarpa Muell.-Arg ,Securinega obovata Muell.-Arg. Barsit (Ig.) ,Phyllanthus virosus Roxb. ex Willd. (basionym) ,Flueggea virosa (Roxb. ex Willd.) Royle  ,Flueggea leucopyrus F.-Vill.

Common names : Arusit (Ilk.),Barasiksik (Ilk.), Barsik (Ilk.),Barusik (Ilk.),Tagalog (Tag.) ,Bayasit (Tag.),Boiset (Tag.), Botolan (Tag.) ,Bugbugutut (Ig.) ,Kabukabukas (Mag.),Magaspang (P. Bis.), Maluuit (Ibn.) ,Tulitañgalong (P. Bis.) ,Chinese waterberry (Engl.) ,Common bushweed (Engl.) ,Snowberry tree (Engl.) ,Whiteberry bush (Engl.) ,Hong ci cong (Chin.)

Habitat : Seasonal vegetation, rainforest, montane forest (not in Malesia), tropical savannas, deciduous forests and scrub; occasionally on limestone. Elevation: Sea level up to 3,000 m (1,000 m in Malesia). In dry thickets at low and medium altitudes.

Botolan is a small, deciduous, smooth, large, graceful shrub. Leaves are extremely variable in shape, elliptic-ovate, obovate or orbicular, 2.5 to 10 cm in length, rather glaucous beneath, and rounded, obtuse or pointed at the tip. Flowers are usually borne on axillary fascicles. Fruit is mostly small, black or white, dry, and about 3 to 5 mm in diameter.
Edible Uses: Fruit is edible.

*Bark contains 10% tannic acid and an alkaloid.
*Phytochemical screening yielded reducing sugars, cardiac glycosides, resin, tannins, saponins, glycosides, flavonoids, glycerin carbohydrate, anthraguine and steroids.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used:  Roots, leaves, wood, juice.

*Charcoal of the wood is powdered and used as cicatrizant of wounds.
*Decoction of leaves used for cleaning wounds.
*Juice of leaves of paste of leaves with tobacco used to destroy worms in sores.
*Decoction of leaves used as laxative.
*Root, sometimes with the leaves, taken for venereal disease.
*In Rhodesia, roots used as aphrodisiac.
*In West Ashantis, root used for gonorrhea.
*Ewe people of Togoland used decoction of leaves internally for constipation.
*In Northern Nigeria, root decoction used for treatment of mental illness.

Other  Uses:
Bark is used for tanning and as a black dye for matting.