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Herbs & Plants

Eupatorium cannabinum

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Botanical Name :Eupatorium cannabinum
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Eupatorium
Species: E. cannabinum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Holy Rope. St. John’s Herb.

Common Name: Hemp-agrimony

Habitat :Eupatorium cannabinum is grows in most of   Europe, including Britain, to N. Africa, western and central Asia.they are found by streams, in low damp sites and in woods, avoiding acid soils.

Description:
Eupatorium cannabinum is a Perennial  herbaceous  plant.The root-stock is woody and from it rises the erect round stems, growing from 2 to 5 feet high with short branches springing from the axils of the leaves, which are placed on it in pairs. The stems are reddish in colour, covered with downy hair and are woody below. They have a pleasant aromatic smell when cut. It is dioecious, with racemes of mauve flowers which are pollinated by insects from July to early September. The flowers are tiny, fluffy and can be pale dusty pink or whitish.It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The fruit is an achene about 2 or 3 mm long, borne by a pappus with hairs 3 to 5 mm long, which is distributed by the wind. The plant over-winters as a hemicryptophyte. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
click to see the pictures

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant,   it succeeds in ordinary garden soil in sun or part shade. Prefers a rich moist soil. Grows well in marshy soils. Plants are hardy to about -25°c. A very ornamental plant, it has a pleasant aromatic smell when cut. Often found as a weed in British gardens, it can be allowed to naturalize in short grass in the wild garden. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. An excellent bee and butterfly plant.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. If you have sufficient seed it can be sown outdoors in situ. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, the clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions.

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used:The Herb.

Constituents: The leaves contain a volatile oil, which acts on the kidneys, and likewise some tannin and a bitter chemical principle which will cut short the chill of intermittent fever.

It is Alterative; Antitumor; Cholagogue; Depurative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emetic; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Homeopathy; Laxative; Purgative; Tonic.

Hemp agrimony has been employed chiefly as a detoxifying herb for fevers, colds, flu and other viral conditions. It also stimulates the removal of waste products via the kidneys. Due to its content of alkaloids, the plant should only be used under professional supervision. The leaves and flowering tops are alterative, cholagogue, depurative, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, febrifuge, purgative and tonic. The plant has a long history of use as a gentle laxative that does not provoke irritation, though excessive doses cause purging and vomiting. A tea made from the dried leaves will give prompt relief if taken at the onset of influenza. Recent research has shown that the plant might have anti-tumour activity, though the plant also contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can cause damage or cancer to the liver. The plant is harvested in the summer and dried for later use. The roots are diaphoretic, laxative and tonic. They are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. Recently the plant has been found of use as an immune system stimulant, helping to maintain resistance to acute viral and other infections. A homeopathic remedy is made from the leaves. It is used in the treatment of influenza and feverish chills and also for disorders of the liver, spleen and gall bladder.

Other Uses:
Preservative; Repellent.

The leaves have been laid on bread in order to prevent it from becoming mouldy. The leaf juice has been rubbed onto the coats of animals as an insect repellent.
Scented Plants

Plant: Crushed
All parts of the plant have a strong resinous smell when bruised. This has been likened to the smell of cedar when it is burnt.

Toxity : Eupatorium cannabinum contains tumorigenic pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

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/Eupatorium_cannabinum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/agrim016.html
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Eupatorium+cannabinum

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Herbs & Plants

Dioscorea villosa

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Botanical Name :Dioscorea villosa
Family: Dioscoreaceae
Genus: Dioscorea
Species: D. villosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dioscoreales

Common Names: Wild Yam Root , Colic root, rheumatism root

Habitat : Dioscorea villosa  is native to  Eastern N. America – New England to Minnesota and Ontario, south to Virginia and Texas. It grows in  borders of bogs, swamps, marshes, river and lake margins, creek bottoms, sandy or rocky soils, moist or dry woods, hammocks, thickets, limestone or talus slopes, roadsides, sea level to 1500 m.

Description:
Dioscorea villosa is a perennial climber growing to 3 m (9ft 10in). It is a species of a twining tuberous vine.

Click to see the pictures..>...(01)...(1)...….(2)..…...(3)..…...(4)..
It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from Sep to October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.

Cultivation:   
An easily grown plant, succeeding in a fertile well-drained soil in a sunny position or light shade[200]. Prefers a rich light soil . Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. Plants produce tubercles (small tubers that are formed in the leaf axils of the stems), and can be propagated by this means. A climbing plant that supports itself by twining around the branches of other plants. . This is a highly polymorphic species, some botanists dividing it up into several species.  Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation :   
Seed – sow March to April in a sunny position in a warm greenhouse and only just cover. It germinates in 1 – 3 weeks at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in a greenhouse for their first year. Plant out in late spring as the plant comes into new growth. Basal stem cuttings in the summer. Division in the dormant season, never when in growth. The plant will often produce a number of shoots, the top 5 – 10 cm of the root below each shoot can be potted up to form a new plant whilst the lower part of the root can possibly be eaten. Tubercles (baby tubers) are formed in the leaf axils. These are harvested in late summer and early autumn when about the size of a pea and coming away easily from the plant. They should be potted up immediately in individual pots in a greenhouse or cold frame. Plant out in early summer when in active growth.

Edible Uses  : Tuber is cooked and eaten. Some caution should be exercised with this plant.

Constituents:  steroidal saponins (including dioscin and trillin which yield diosgenin), phytosterols, alkaloids including dioscorine, tannins, starch

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is also known as colic root and rheumatism root in North America, indicating its use by European settlers for these conditions. Diosgenin, a breakdown product of dioscin, was first identified by Japanese scientists in 1936. This discovery paved the way for the synthesis of progesterone and of corticosteroid hormones such as cortisone. For this reason it is sometimes expensive, because pharmaceutical firms buy up large crops on the global market. This use of the root, coupled with its traditional use as an antispasmodic and antirheumatic gave rise to the saying that wild yam is a natural steroid. Indeed, it contains compounds that are similar in chemical structure to steroids, but these compounds must be digested, absorbed and processed by one’s body before becoming steroids or hormones. Eating foods such as wild yam thus provides the building blocks for many complex glandular manufacturing processes. The herb’s combination of anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic actions makes it extremely useful in treatments for arthritis and rheumatism. It reduces inflammation and pain, and relaxes stiff muscles in the affected area. It stimulated the removal of accumulated wastes in the system. Wild yam helps to relieve cramps, muscle tension, and colic. It can be an effective treatment for digestive problems, including gallbladder inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, and diverticulitis. In large doses it is regarded as a diuretic and acts as an expectorant.

In North and Central America, wild yam is a traditional relaxing remedy for painful menstruation, ovarian pain, and labor. It is classically given for uterine pain, such as severe menstrual pain, or shooting pain beyond cramps. It’s also used for ovarian spasm and inflammation such as occurs with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). To relieve the nauseous symptoms of pregnancy, Dioscorein is the very best and is prompt in action given in small, frequent doses. It is useful as part of a natural approach to any endocrine imbalance. For extremely heavy periods wild yam root tincture, 20-30 drops taken daily for the two weeks preceding the expected onset of menses, can supply enough progesterone precursors to remedy flooding. Ointment made from wild yam roots may be the able to restore youthful moistness and elasticity to post-menopausal vaginal tissues. However, this is where a lot of misinformation and controversy occurs.

Today most USP progesterone is, in fact, extracted from soy. Neither USP nor human progesterone is present in either of the major plant sources (soybean or wild yam). Yams contain the sterol diosgenin, whereas soybeans contain the sterol stigmasterol  both of which have progesterone-like effects. The substances sold as USP progesterone is produced in the lab by hydrolyzing extracts of soy or yam and converting saponins into sapogenins, two of which, sarsasapogenin (soy) and diosgenin (yam) provide the majority of derivation of natural progesterone produced for medical purposes. While diosgenin may have some progestogenic or even phytoestrogenic action, the effect varies from one person to another. Some doctors say that the human body cannot convert wild yam or diosgenin to hormones and that conversion to progesterone must take place in a laboratory. It is possible, however, that some women’s bodies are better able to utilize plant-derived compounds than others. It is also important to remember that while the mechanism of phytogenic activity may not be clearly understood at this time, botanical supplementation continues to gain support among everywhere because it works for them. There has been a great deal of confusion pertaining to the progesterone content of various manufacturers transdermal creams. The bioavailability of the progesterone in such products is of paramount importance. The quality of a formulation and its delivery system determines the absorption and effectiveness. It’s essential that you know your product and your supplier and above all observe your body’s response to the product of your choice. Wild yam, given in combination with black cohosh, is not only common in menopause formulas but is also an effective pain-relieving remedy for rheumatoid arthritis, especially in the inflamed stages of flare-up. Solvent in water. As a primary liver tonic herb, wild yam activates and stimulates liver activity. High concentrations of steroidal saponins provide the building blocks required by the liver to synthesize sex hormones. Whenever both the liver and reproductive system are implicated as the cause of hormone imbalance, wild yam is the herb of choice to use in the formula.

Wild yam also contains beta carotene, the antioxidant that is so important to maintaining a healthy cholesterol level. Other colorful folk names include Devil’s bones, Yuma, Colic root and Rheumatism root, referring to Native Americans use of the boiled root to treat morning sickness and in childbirth, also arthritis and digestive problems.

Its fame is based on its steroid-like saponins which can be chemically converted to progesterone contraceptives; and cortisone.

Known Hazards:
Edible species of Dioscorea have opposite leaves whilst poisonous species have alternate leaves. Use of the fresh plant can cause vomiting and other side effects. Known to cause headaches, menstrual irregularities & acne. May cause hair loss & oily skin. Avoid during pregnancy. Avoid in patients with cancers of the breast, ovaries, prostate & uterus.

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Dioscorea+villosa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dioscorea_villosa
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail119.php

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Asarum sieboldii

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Botanical  Name : Asarum sieboldii
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Subfamily: Asaroideae
Genus: Asarum
Species: Asarum sieboldii
Order: Piperales

Synonyms: Asarum heterotropoides

Common Names:Wild Ginger, Xi Xin

Habitat :Native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Manchuria. Grows in coniferous and mixed woods, dense shrub thickets. Forests in moist humus-rich soils at elevations of 1200 – 2100 metres in China.

Description:
Asarum sieboldii is a perennial herb, growing to 0.2 m (0ft 6in). It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Rhizomes vertical or horizontal, 2-3 mm in diam., internodes 1-2 cm. Leaves paired; petiole 8-18 cm, glabrous or pubescent; leaf blade uniformly colored, cordate or ovate-cordate, 4-11 × 4.5-13.5 cm, abaxial surface pubescent only along veins or densely pubescent, adaxial surface sparsely puberulent, base deeply cordate, lateral lobes 1.5-4 × 2-2.5 cm, apex shortly acuminate or acute; cataphylls reniform-rounded, ca. 1.3 × 1.3 cm. Peduncle declinate, 2-4 cm. Calyx dark purple, urceolate to campanulate, 1-1.5 × 1-1.5 cm; sepals connate beyond attachment to ovary, abaxially glabrous; tube subglobose, 6-8 × 1-1.5 cm, adaxially longitudinally ribbed; lobes erect or spreading, triangular-ovate, ca. 0.7 × 1 cm. Stamens 12; filaments slightly longer than anthers; connectives shortly extended beyond anthers, awl-shaped. Ovary superior. Styles free, short, apex shallowly 2-cleft; stigmas lateral.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid and neutral soils..It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland).It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a rich moist neutral to acid soil in woodland or a shady position in the rock garden. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. The flowers are malodorous and are pollinated by flies. Plants often self-sow when growing in a suitable position.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the summer. Stored seed will require 3 weeks cold stratification and should be sown in late winter. The seed usually germinates in the spring in 1 – 4 or more weeks at 18°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out when large enough in late spring. Division in spring or autumn. Plants are slow to increase. It is best to pot the divisions up and keep them in light shade in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly.

Medicinal Uses  :
Anaesthetic;  Analgesic;  Antibacterial;  AntipyreticDiaphoreticDiuretic;  Emetic;  ExpectorantHypotensive;  Odontalgic;  Purgative;
Sedative;  Sternutatory.

Odontalgic, sternutatory. The entire plant is anaesthetic, analgesic, antibacterial, antipyretic, antitussive, diaphoretic, diuretic and hypotensive. It is used in the treatment of colds, severe toothache, rheumatic pain and chronic bronchitis with copious and thin phlegm. This remedy should be used with caution, large doses of the essential oil can lead to death. The root is analgesic, expectorant, sedative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic and purgative. A decoction is used in the treatment of stuffy nose, toothache, headache, rheumatic aches and pains, productive coughing and wheezing. It is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

A decoction is used in the treatment of colds, severe toothache, rheumatic pain and chronic bronchitis with copious and thin phlegm. It is particularly effective as an analgesic remedy for all types of aches and pains in the head.  It is used for congestion in the Eustachian tubes and upper sinus cavities.

Known Hazards :  One report says that this plant should be used with caution, a reason is not given.

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://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Asarum_sieboldii
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Asarum+sieboldii
asarum sieboldii Miq. var. seoulense Nakai
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%95%E3%82%A1%E3%82%A4%E3%83%AB:%E3%82%A6%E3%82%B9%E3%83%90%E3%82%B5%E3%82%A4%E3%82%B7%E3%83%B3_Asarum_sieboldii.JPG
http://www.greenmilenursery.be/photo_others.html
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200006671

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Asparagus adscendens(Sufed musli)

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Botanical Name : Asparagus adscendens
Family :  Asparagaceae/Liliaceae
Common Names: Sufed musli, Khairuva, Asparagus,Safeta Musali, Shweta Musali, White Musali

Habitat: Asparagus adscendens is  Found in  E. Asia – Afghanistan, Himalayas, Iran.It grows especially in Sal forests in Uttar Pradesh.

Description:
Asparagus adscendens is an evergreen Shrub. It is in leaf 12-Jan. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is not self-fertile.
CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURE..>...(01)....(1).…..(2)……..(3)

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Easily grown in any good garden soil. Prefers a rich sandy loam. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring or as soon as the seed is ripe in early autumn in a greenhouse. It usually germinates in 3 – 6 weeks at 25°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division in early spring as the plant comes into growth.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Root;  Stem.

The plant is a source of a nutritious starch that can be used like salep (which is obtained from various species of orchid) The part of the plant that is used is not specified but is most likely to be the root. To make salep, the root is dried and ground into a powder. The young shoots are probably edible, used like asparagus.

Principal Constituents:
Asparagus adscendens has several principal constituents like Steroidal glycosides. Several compounds like 3-heptadecanone, 8-hexadecenoic acid, methyl pentacosanoate, palmitic acid, stearic acid were also identified.

Medicinal Uses:
Demulcent;  DiaphoreticGalactogogue;  Stimulant.

The roots are demulcent, diaphoretic, galactogogue and stimulant. They are useful in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery and general debility.

The tuberous root or rhizome is used in the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery and general debility. It is used as an aphrodisiac as well as to increase sperm count. Its use as general tonic is also well known all over India.  The dried roots are used in Unani medicine as an aphrodisiac as they are rich in glycosides. It has been found very effective in increasing male potency and is considered as an alternative to Viagra.  It offers significant protection against stress induced changes. It cures many physical illness and weakness and it is used for increasing general body immunity.  It is used in case of pre-natal and post-natal problems; the root powder is fried in ghee and chewed in the case of apthae of mouth and throat.  It is also used in formulations of Body-building medicines.  Can be taken as a milk decoction, powder, confection.

Different  Uses:
*Asparagus adscendens is used for the preparation of health tonic that is used in general weakness and debility.
*Asparagus adscendens is used in case of pre-natal and post-natal problems.
*Asparagus adscendens root powder fried in the GHEE, CHEWED in case of apthae of mouth and throat.
*Asparagus adscendens is found very effective in increasing male potency. It is considered as alternative to Viagra.
*Asparagus adscendens  is used in formulations of Body-building medicines.

*In India Asparagus adscendens is used in PAN and GUTKHA.

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Asparagus+adscendens
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.asparagusherbs.com/
http://www.asparagusherbs.com/

http://www.greenearthproducts.net/asparagus-adscendens.html

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Umbrella-leaf

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Botanical Name: Diphylleia cymosa
Family: Berberidaceae
Genus: Diphylleia
Species: D. cymosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Common Name: Umbrella-leaf

Habitat :  Umbrella-leaf  is native of United States.(Eastern N. AmericaVirginia to Georgia.)It is Very rare in the wild, growing in rich woods in mountains, thriving by streams.

Description:
Umbrella-leaf  is a perennial plant,  growing to 0.7 m (2ft 4in) by 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone 7. It  blooms in the late spring ( from May to July). The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland).It requires moist soil.    It is endemic to the deciduous forests of the southeast United States.

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist humus-rich soil and semi-shade, growing well in a woodland garden. The leaves are very large and can be up to 60cm across.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. The seed is very slow to germinate, usually taking a year or more. Sow stored seed as soon as possible in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring.

Medicinal Uses:
Antiseptic;  Cancer;  DiaphoreticDiuretic.

A tea made from the roots is antiseptic, diaphoretic and diuretic. An infusion has been used in the treatment of smallpox.The root tea was used by the Cherokees to induce sweating. This is a very rare plant in the wild, so little research has been carried out into its medicinal virtues. However, it is believed that the root might contain podophyllin, an effective anti-cancer agent

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.

Resourcs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diphylleia_cymosa
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Diphylleia+cymosa