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Dicentra Canadensis

Botanical Name: Dicentra Canadensis
Family: Papaveraceae
Subfamily: Fumarioideae
Tribe: Fumarieae
Genus: Dicentra
Species: D. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms: Turkey Pea. Squirrel Corn. Staggerweed. Bleeding Heart. Shone Corydalis. Corydalis. Corydalis Canadensis (Goldie). Bicuculla Canadensis (Millsp.).
Common Name: Squirrel corn
Habitat:Dicentra Canadensis is native to Eastern N. America – S. Quebec, Minnesota, N. Carolina, Tennessee. It grows in rich woods. Deciduous woods, often among rock outcrops, in rich loam soils from sea level to 1500 metres.
Description:
Dicentra canadensis is a perennial plant, growing 6 to 10 inches high, with a tuberous root, flowering in early spring (often in March) having from six to nineteen nodding, greenish-white, purple-tinged flowers, the root or tuber small and round. It should be collected only when the plant is in flower and it is in flower in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) The tubers are tawny yellow-coloured, the colour being a distinctive character. The plant must not be confounded with Corydalis (Dicentra) Cuccularia (Dutchman’s Breeches), which flowers at the same time and very much resembles it (though smaller), except in the root, the rind of which is black with a white inside, and when dried, turns brownish-yellow, and under the microscope is full of pores. It has also a peculiar faint odour, the taste at first slightly bitter, then followed by a penetrating taste, which influences the bowels and increases the saliva; the differences in the colour after drying may be caused by the age of the root. Under the microscope, it is porous, spongy, resinous, with a glistening fracture. Another Corydalis also somewhat like Turkey Corn is C. Formosa, the fresh root of which is darkish yellow throughout and has a fracture much resembling honeycomb. The true Turkey Corn is much used by American eclectic practitioners. It is slightly bitter in taste and almost odourless. Tannic acid and all vegetable astringents are incompatible with preparations containing Turkey Corn, or with its alkaloid, Corydalin..
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Cultivation: Easily grown in a rich light soil, preferably neutral to slightly acid. Prefers light shade and a sheltered position according to one report whilst another says that it prefers heavier shade. Grows well in a sheltered corner of the rock garden. The seed is very difficult to harvest, it ripens and falls from the plant very quickly. This species is closely related to D. cucullaria. After fruit set, the bulblets of Dicentra canadensis remain dormant until autumn, when stored starch is converted to sugar. At this time also, flower buds and leaf primordia are produced below ground; these then remain dormant until spring. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation : Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be sown in early spring. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 6 months at 15°c. Two weeks warm stratification at 18°c followed by six weeks at 2°c can shorten up the germination time. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in early spring. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring. Root cuttings 7 – 10cm long in sandy soil in a cold frame
Edible Uses: The root is known to be edible.

Part Used: Dried tubers.
Constituents: The amount of alkaloids in the dried tubers is about 5 per cent; they have been found to contain corydalin, fumaric acid, yellow bitter extractive, an acrid resin and starch. The constituents of the drug have not been exactly determined, but several species of the closely allied genus Corydalis have been carefully studied and C. tuberosa, cava and bulbosa have been found to yield the following alkaloids: Corycavine, Bulbocapnine and Corydine; Corydaline is a tertiary base, Corycavine is a difficult soluble base; Bulbocapnine is present in largest amount and was originally called Corydaline. Corydine is a strong base found in the mother liquor of Bulbocapnine and several amorphous unnamed bases have been found in it. All these alkaloids have narcotic action. Protopine, first isolated from opium, has been found in several species of Dicentra and in C. vernyim, ambigua and tuberosa.

Medicinal Uses:

Alterative; Diuretic; Tonic; VD.

The dried tubers are alterative, diuretic and tonic. The tubers are useful in the treatment of chronic cutaneous affections, syphilis, scrofula and some menstrual complaints. Turkey Corn is often combined with other remedies, such as Stillingia, Burdock or Prickly Ash.

Known Hazards : The plant is potentially poisonous and can also cause skin rashes.

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/Dicentra_canadensis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/turkey29.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Dicentra+canadensis

Bidens frondosa

Botanical Name : Bidens frondosa
Family : Asteraceae
Genus : Bidens L.
Kingdom : Plantae
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta
Superdivision : Spermatophyta
Division : Magnoliophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Subclass :  Asteridae
Order : Asterales
Species : Bidens frondosa L.

Common Names :Bur Marigold, Devil’s Bootjack, Devil‘s pitchfork,Beggars Tick  Pitchfork Weed, and Sticktight.

Habitat :Native to U.S. Wet ground, ditches, pond margins, streambanks, waste ground, roadsides, railroads

Description:
Bidens frondosa  is an annual herb. It looks similar to a Dahlia plant, up to 2 m tall, usually with reddish stems. Its flowers are yellow, produced in early autumn, followed by numerous seeds with hooked barbs that attach onto passing animals’ fur or clothing or sometimes even skin which allow the seeds to be dispersed widely.

Stems – From fibrous roots, stout, erect, herbaceous, to +/-2m tall, branching, 4-angled (the angles rounded), fluted, essentially glabrous but with a few antrorse hairs in upper portions, typically purple.

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LeavesOpposite, petiolate, trifoliolate. Petiole to +/-5cm long, with an adaxial groove (groove curly pubescent within), the rest of the petiole glabrous or with very sparse short pubescence. Lateral leaflets with petiolules to 5-6mm long, basally oblique. Terminal leaflet with petiolule to 2.5cm long, larger than lateral leaflets, sometimes unequally divided. All leaflets serrate, acuminate, puberulent above, pubescent below, to +10cm long, 4cm broad, light green below, deep dull green above.

Flowers:Bloom during August  to October

Medicinal Uses:
Used in palpitation of the heart, cough, and uterine derangement.  Roots or seeds are also used as an expectorant in throat irritation.  Bidens frondosa in infusion has cured several cases of croup, even where they have been considered beyond aid. A strong infusion of the plant, sweetened with honey, was administered to the children, warm, in doses of a tablespoonful or more every 10 or 15 minutes, until it vomited. A quantity of mucous and membranous shreds were ejected, followed by immediate relief; the children passed into a sleep, from which they awakened perfectly well. In a few hours after the emetic operation of the warm infusion, it acted as a cathartic. The leaves from which the infusion was made, were, at the same time placed in a piece of flannel with some brandy added to them, and laid over the chest and throat. This plan is also beneficial in colds, acute bronchial and laryngeal attach from exposure to cold, etc. An infusion of the seeds formed into a syrup with honey, is useful in whooping-cough.

For urethritis and cystitis that has had several closely spaced occurrences, with antibiotics helping briefly but with the irritation returning shortly after the finish of the regimen try several days of the tea or tincture.  If the pain goes away, continue the tea for a few more days to finish up the membrane healing.  Bidens is also an excellent herb for benign prostatic hypertrophy, usually decreasing the membrane irritability both in the urinary tract and the rectum, and often, over a few weeks of use, noticeably shrinking the prostate and giving its connective tissue better tone.  For this purpose, it combines well with equal parts of white sage.

For elevated uric acid in the blood and a history of gout or urate kidney gravel, Bidens will increase the efficiency of the kidney’s excretion of uric acid from the blood; it will also act as a diuretic to dilute the urine.  It has no effect on the production of uric acid by the body.  Since the mechanism for stimulating the excretion is different from that of Shepherd’s Purse, the two can be combined for increased effects. The herb is active against staph infections, and can be used as a wash, sitz bath, and eyewash.  Its astringency helps take away the inflammation and pain as well. Its astringency and anti-inflammatory effects on the mucus membranes help act as a tonic and preventative for gastritis and ulcers, and diarrhea and ulcerative colitis.  For respiratory infections or irritated membranes due to shouting, smoking, or dust, the tea or tincture acts to soothe the membranes, increase mucus secretions and expectoration, and decrease edema and swelling.  For some asthma aggravated or induced by infection, it may be enough to turn the problem around.  The tea will often help hay fever and sinus headaches from allergies, infections or pollution. For mucus discharges, use the tea two or three times a day for a week.  This includes cloudy urine, vaginal discharges, mucus colitis, mucoid conjunctivitis, and chronic throat and nasal discharges.

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.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Horticulture/Bidens_frondosa
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=BIFR
http://www.missouriplants.com/Yellowopp/Bidens_frondosa_page.html

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Goat’s Rue

Botanical Name:Tephrosia virginiana
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Tribe: Loteae
Genus: Galega
Species: G. officinalis
Parts used: The aboveground parts (talks, leaves and flowers) are collected and dried during the flowering period.

Other Names: American Garden Rue, Catgut, Devil’s Shoestring, Rabbit-pea, Horey turkey peas, Virginia Pea, Virginia Tephrosia, Cheese renet, herba ruta caprariae
Common Names:Galega officinalis, French lilac, Italian fitch or professor-weed.
Habitat:Goat’s rue 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.

Description & Cultivation:Goat’s rue is a leguminous perennial herb with a height up to 1 meter. The erect stems bear pinnately compound leaves consisting of several pairs of lance shaped leaflets. The legume flowers are white or pink and produce small cylindrical pods.
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Goat’s Rue is fairly easy to grow, it is a deep rooted plant, requiring a moist, deep, light or medium very well-drained soil in a sunny position. Goat’s Rue has a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen can be used by other plants growing nearby. Goat’s Rue is 1 to 2 ft. tall, covered with silky silver hairs. Root is long and tough, stems erect and branched. Leaves are alternate, compound (pinnately) and divided into 8-14 pairs of narrow oblong leaflets and one leaflet at the tip. Flower clusters are terminal racemes atop the plant. Each of the large flowers is pea like, 1/2 to 3/4 in. long, yellowish at the top, and purplish-pink below. When cultivated there may be 20 to 30 flowers per raceme and up to 200 flowers per plant. The flowers have a faint but definite pleasant aroma and bees visit them often for nectar. Flowers blooms from May through August. The root is a source of the natural insecticide ‘rotenone’, especially effective against flying insects but relatively harmless to animals. Cattle do graze on it but the plant is said to be toxic in large or strong doses. Gather after flowers bloom, dry for later herb use. Plant is not edible.

Distribution:
In 1891, goat’s rue was introduced to Cache County, Utah, for use as a forage crop. It escaped cultivation and is now a weed and agricultural pest, though it is still confined to that county. As a result it has been placed on the Federal Noxious Weed List in the United States. It was collected in Colorado, Connecticut and New York prior to the 1930s, and in Maine and Pennsylvania in the 1960s, but no more collections have been made in these areas since and the populations are presumed to have died out. It has also been found in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, and New Zealand.

Phytochemicals: Goat’s Rue contains the following phytochemicals: Galegine, Peganine, Vasicinone, Luteolin, Carnavine, Saponins, Flavonoids, Tannins

Medicinal Uses & Properties
Goat’s rue is a diaphoretic, galactagogue and hypoglycaemic. The phytochemical galegin lowers the blood sugar levels and explains why goat?s rue is used to treat diabetes mellitus. Studies have shown that extracts from goat’s rue inhibits the transport of glucose in the cells. It is not recommended to use goat?s rue for self medication of diabetes because diabetes is a serious condition and it?s difficult to standardize the strength of the active components.
Goat’s rue has also diuretic properties. Goat’s rue is also used to treat skin problems such as skin ulcers and to increase the milk production of nursing mothers.

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Goat’s Rue was much used by Native Americans who considered it to be an aphrodisiac and most useful in restoring manhood to those with impotency and as a female herb to restore a woman’s beauty and health. The root is used in alternative medicine as an antirheumatic, anthelmintic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, galactagogue, pectoral, restorative and tonic. A medicinal herb tea is used to treat rheumatism, bladder problems, fever, hard coughs, impotency, to expel intestinal worms, irregular menstruation and to increase the flow of breast milk. Goat’s Rue is used cosmetically in hand and foot bathes. Experimentally, the root has shown both anticancer and cancer-causing activity. research on this herb and its chemical constituents is ongoing and early results are proving to show it may be useful in Diabetes, Alzheimer’s and many other disorders. The root is a source of the insecticide ‘rotenone’ found to be especially effective against flying insects but appears to be relatively harmless to animals.
Folklore:
Used by Indians to poison fish. A medicinal tea made from the roots is said to make children muscular and strong. A cold herb tea was used for male potency. Goat’s Rue earned the names Devil’s Shoestring and Catgut from its tough rootstocks. A decoction of the roots has been used as a hair shampoo to prevent hair loss.

Goat’s Rue has been known since the Middle Ages for relieving the symptoms of diabetes mellitus. Upon analysis, it turned out to contain guanidine, a substance that decreases blood sugar by decreasing insulin resistance.

Chemical derivatives from the biguanide class of medication include metformin (Glucophage, commonly prescribed for diabetics) and the older, withdrawn agent phenformin.

Goat’s Rue is also cited by the SAS Survivial Guide by John “Lofty” Wiseman, as having a sedative effect on fish. The roots and flowers are the most potent, but the most common method is to simply crush the entire plant and throw into a body of water with restricted flow. The fish that then float to the top are safe to consume.

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/Galega_officinalis
http://www.phytochemicals.info/plants/goat-rue.php

http://threatsummary.forestthreats.org/threats/threatSummaryViewer.cfm?threatID=258