Tag Archives: Echinacea

Tabebuia impetiginosa

Botanical Name :Tabebuia impetiginosa
Family: Bignoniaceae
Tribe: Tecomeae
Genus: Tabebuia
Species: T. impetiginosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names: Pink Ipê or Pink Lapacho,Pau d’arco , lapacho, taheebo

Habitat : Tabebuia impetiginosa  is a native Bignoniaceae tree of America, distributed from northern Mexico south to northern Argentina. It is a common tree in Argentina’s northeastern region, as well as in southeastern Bolivia. It is said to be indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago.

Description:
Tabebuia impetiginosa is a  large deciduous tree, with trunks sometimes reaching 8 dm width and 30 m height. Usually a third of that height is trunk, and two thirds are its longer branches. It has a large, globous, but often sparse canopy. The tree has a slow growth rate. Leaves are opposite and petiolate, 2 to 3 inches long, elliptic and lanceolate, with lightly serrated margins and pinnate venation. The leaves are palmately compound with usually 5 leaflets.

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Its bark is brownish grey, tough and hard to peel. The wood is of a pleasant yellowish colour, barely knotted and very tough and heavy (0,935 kg/dm³). It’s rich in tannins and therefore very resistant to weather and sun. It is not very useful for furniture since it is so hard to work by hand. It can be found as beams or fulfilling other structural uses where needed outdoors.

Pink Lapacho flowers between July and September, before the new leaves appear. In India, the flowering season is December to January, after the leaves are shed. The flower is large, tubular shaped, its corolla is often pink or magenta, though exceptionally seen white, about 2 inches long. There are 4 stamens and a staminode. The fruit consists of a narrow dehiscent capsule containing several winged seeds.

The flowers are easily accessible to pollinators. Some hummingbirds – e.g. Black Jacobin (Florisuga fusca) and Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – seem to prefer them over the flowers of other Tabebuia species, while for others like the Stripe-breasted Starthroat (Heliomaster squamosus) it may even be a mainstay food source

Medicinal Uses:
Medicinal Uses: * Candida/yeast * Liver
Properties: * Antifungal * AntiViral * Hepatic * Tonic
Parts Used: Inner bark
Constituents:  lapachol, lapachone, and isolapachone, tannins

The Mayans and Incas of South America regarded Tabebuia impetiginosa as an important healing herb, but the scientific study is still very preliminary; the bottom line is that pau d’arco seems to be more promising for fungal infections than malignant cancers.1 There is a great deal of practical evidence, however, that Tabebuia impetiginosa can be used with success to treat colds, flu, sore throat, and yeast infections. Laboratory evidence suggests that the herb contains compounds that protect against tropical diseases, specifically malaria, schistosomiasis, and tropical fevers. The herb is added to ointments to treat psoriasis, and taken orally to relieve  ulcers.
The inner bark of Tabebuia impetiginosa is used in traditional medicine. It is dried, shredded, and then boiled, making a bitter brownish-colored tea known as Lapacho or Taheebo. The unpleasant taste of the extract is lessened when taken in pill form, or as tinctures. Lapacho bark is typically used during flu and cold season and for easing smoker’s cough. It apparently works by promoting the lungs to expectorate and free deeply embedded mucus and contaminates during the first three to ten days of treatment.

In the past decades it has been used by herbalists as a general tonic, immunostimulant, and adaptogen. It is used in herbal medicine for intestinal candidiasis.

However, the main active compound lapachol has since turned out to be toxic enough to kill fetuses in pregnant rats and reduce the weight of the seminal vesicle in male rats in doses of 100 mg/kg of body weight. Still, lapachol has strong antibiotic and disinfectant properties, and may be better suited for topical applications. Lapachol induces genetic damage, specifically clastogenic effects, in rats. Beta-lapachone has a direct cytotoxic effect and the loss of telomerase activity in leukemia cells in vitro.

One study has shown that recurrence of anal condylomata after surgical treatment is reduced by an admixture of the plants Echinacea, Uncaria, Tabebuja (sic), papaya, grapefruit and Andrographis.

The ethnomedical use of Lapacho and other Tabebuia teas is usually short-term, to get rid of acute ailments, and not as a general tonic. Usefulness as a short-term antimicrobial and disinfecting expectorant, e.g. against PCP in AIDS patients, is yet to be scientifically studied. Tabebuia impetiginosa inner bark seems to have anti-Helicobacter pylori activity. and has some effects on other human intestinal bacteria

Other Uses:
It is also used as a honey plant, and widely planted as ornamental tree in landscaping gardens, public squares and boulevards due to its impressive and colorful appearance as it flowers. Well-known and popular, it is the national tree of Paraguay. It is also planted as a street tree in cities of India, like in Bangalore.

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.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail289.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_Ip%C3%AA

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Echinacea purpurea

Botanical name :Echinacea purpurea
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Genus: Echinacea
Species: E. purpurea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms :  Brauneria purpurea. Echinacea intermedia. Echinacea serotina. Rudbeckia purpurea.

Common Names: Echinacea, Eastern purple coneflower, Hedge Coneflower, Black Sampson , Purple Coneflower

Habitat : Echinacea purpurea  is native to North America and it extends through the Great Plains from Michigan all the way down to northern Texas and Georgia. It grows in dry open woods, prairies and barrens

Description :
Echinacea purpurea is a  herbaceous  perennial plant. It  is 120 cm (47 in) tall by 50 cm (20 in) wide at maturity. Depending on the climate, it blooms throughout spring and summer. Its individual flowers (florets) within the flower head are hermaphroditic, having both male and female organs on each flower. It is pollinated by butterflies and bees. Its habitats include dry open woods, prairies and barrens, as well as cultivated beds. Although the plant prefers loamy or sandy, well-drained soils, it is little affected by the soil’s pH.

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A popular perennial with smooth, 2-5 ft. stems and long-lasting, lavender flowers. Rough, scattered leaves that become small toward the top of the stem. Flowers occur singly atop the stems and have domed, purplish-brown, spiny centers and drooping, lavender rays. An attractive perennial with purple (rarely white), drooping rays surrounding a spiny, brownish central disk.

Cultivation:
E. purpurea is also grown as an ornamental plant, and numerous cultivars have been developed for flower quality and plant form.Unable to grow in the shade, it thrives in either dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought once established. The following have gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit:-

*’Magnus’

*’Rubinstein’

*’Ruby Giant’

Propagation:
It can be propagated either vegetatively or from seeds. Useful vegetative techniques include division, root cuttings, and basal cuttings. Clumps can be divided, or broken into smaller bunches, which is normally done in the spring or autumn. Cuttings made from roots that are “pencil-sized” will develop into plants when started in late autumn or early winter. Cuttings of basal shoots in the spring may be rooted when treated with rooting hormones.

Medicinal Uses:
Preparations of this plant were used by the Plain Indians (Comanche and Sioux) for the treatment of upper respiratory infections, burns, snakebites, and cancers. The European settlers learned about these indications from the Indians. It has been demonstrated that plant extracts stimulate the immune system to combat bacterial and viral infections. It also possesses antibiotic properties. Echinacea’s name is derived from the Greek word for hedgehog and was inspired by the appearance of the flower’s central cone.

Echinacea should be of particular interest during the cold and flu season when you are exposed to these illnesses on a regular basis. When used correctly it is the closest thing to a cure for the common cold.

Echinacea stimulates the overall activity of the cells responsible for fighting all kinds of infection. Unlike antibiotics, which directly attack bacteria, echinacea makes our own immune cells more efficient at attacking bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells, including cancer cells. It increases the number and activity of immune system cells including anti-tumor cells, promotes T-cell activation, stimulates new tissue growth for wound healing and reduces inflammation in arthritis and inflammatory skin conditions.

The most consistently proven effect of echinacea is in stimulating phagocytosis (the consumption of invading organisms by white blood cells and lymphocytes). Extracts of echinacea can increase phagocytosis by 20-40%.

Echinacea also stimulates the production of interferon as well as other important products of the immune system, including “Tumor Necrosis Factor”, which is important to the body’s response against cancer.

Echinacea also inhibits an enzyme (hyaluronidase) secreted by bacteria to help them gain access to healthy cells. Research in the early 1950’s showed that echinacea could completely counteract the effect of this enzyme, helping to prevent infection when used to treat wounds.

Although echinacea is usually used internally for the treatment of viruses and bacteria, it is now being used more and more for the treatment of external wounds. It also kills yeast and slows or stops the growth of bacteria and helps to stimulate the growth of new tissue. It combats inflammation too, further supporting its use in the treatment of wounds

One study shows E. purpurea has antidepressant properties in white rats as it increased the stimulating action of L-DOPA. Echinacea is believed by many people to stimulate the immune system.

Known Hazards : Possible suppression of immunity with habitual use. High doses over 1000 mg may cause dizziness. Use of herb for 10-14 days recommended followed by a short break.

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/Echinacea_purpurea
http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html
http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-echinacea.html

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Krameria triandra

Botanical Name : Krameria triandra
Family: Krameriaceae
Genus: Krameria
Species: triandra
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zygophyllales

Common names: Ratanya, Rhatany

Habitat :Krameria triandra is native to the Andes Mountains in Bolivia and Peru.

Description;
Krameria triandra is a perennial shrubs which act as root parasites on other plants. The flowers have glands called elaiophores which produce a lipid which is collected by bees of the genus Centris as they pollinate the flowers.It is low Peruvian plant, shrubby, with numerous procumbent and branching stems about an inch in diameter. Leaves alternate, sessile, oval, silky. Flowers single, axillary or terminal, on pedicels subtended by two bracts; calyx of four silky sepals; corolla of five unequal, spreading, lake-colored petals; stamens three. Fruit a one-celled globular drupe, covered with stiff, reddish hairs.

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The root of rhatany comes to market in cylindrical pieces of various lengths, and in diameters from an eighth of an inch to two inches. The bark is reddish-brown, brittle, and easily separable from the yellowish-red center. The chief medicinal strength lies in the bark, which contains about forty percent of tannic acid. It has a pleasant smell; and yields its properties to water and diluted alcohol, which it colors dull-red.

Chemical Constituents:
D-catechin, Dl-catechin, Epicatechin, Gambir-catechin, Geoffroyine, Gum, N-methyl-tyrosine, Phlobaphene, Phloroglucin, Proanthocyanidins, Procyanidins, Propelargonidin, Protocatechuic-acid, Ratanine, Rhatany-tannic-acid, Rhatany-tannic-acid, Tannin, Wax

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent, Antiasthmatic, Antiherpetic, Antioxidant, Antitussive, Antiviral, Bactericide, Fungicide, Pesticide Styptic, Tonic, Vulnerary

Rhatany is a powerful astringent that was retained in the official pharmacopea until recently.  It may be used wherever an astringent is indicated, that is, in diarrhea, hemorrhoids, hemorrhages or as a styptic.  Rhatany is often found in herbal toothpastes and powders as it is especially good for bleeding gums. It can be used as a snuff with bloodroot to treat nasal polyps.  The plant’s astringency makes it effective when used in the form of an ointment, suppository, or wash for treating hemorrhoids.  Rhatany may also be applied to wounds to help staunch blood flow, to varicose veins, and over areas of capillary fragility that may be prone to easy bruising.   Gargle the tea or diluted tincture for acute or lingering sore throat.  It can be combined for this purpose with Yerba Mansa or Echinacea.  For diarrhea, combine with Silk Tassel (for cramps) and Echinacea (immunostimulant), and with either Trumpet Creeper, Desert Willow or Tonadora (for Candida) and Chaparro Amargosa (Protozoas).  For a hemorrhoidal salve and rectal fissure ointment, use either alone or with Echinacea flowers as a salve.

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://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/cook/KRAMERIA_TRIANDRA.htm
http://www.weleda.com.au/ratanhia-krameria-triandra/w1/i1003473/
http://rainforest-database.com/plants/krameria.htm

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Botanical Name :Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Genus: Balsamorhiza
Species: B. sagittata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name :Balsamorrhiza sagittata

Habitat : Arrowleaf Balsamroot  is native to much of western North America from British Columbia to California to the Dakotas, where it grows in many types of habitat from mountain forests to grassland to desert scrub. It is drought tolerant.

Description:
Arrowleaf Balsamroot is a taprooted perennial herb growing a hairy, glandular stem 20 to 60 centimeters tall. The branching, barky root may extend over two meters deep into the soil. The basal leaves are generally triangular in shape and are large, approaching 50 centimeters in maximum length. Leaves farther up the stem are linear to narrowly oval in shape and smaller. The leaves have untoothed edges and are coated in fine to rough hairs, especially on the undersides.

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The inflorescence bears one or more flower heads. Each head has a center of long yellowish tubular disc florets and a fringe of bright yellow ray florets, each up to 4 centimeters long. The fruit is a hairless achene about 8 millimeters long. Grazing animals find the plant palatable, especially the flowers and developing seed heads.

Edible Uses:  All of the plant can be eaten. It can be bitter and pine-like in taste. The seeds were particularly valuable as food or used for oil

Medicinal Uses:
The root of the plant is sometimes used as an expectorant and mild immunostimulant.  Native Americans used the sticky sap as a topical antiseptic for minor wounds.  Medicinally, the Indians used the large coarse Balsamroot leaves as a poultice for burns. The roots were boiled and the solution was applied as a poultice for wounds, cuts and bruises. Indians also drank a tea from the roots for tuberculosis and whooping cough.  As an antibacterial the tincture may be applied to infections and hard to heal wounds. The tincture of the root and bark may be used internally or externally for bacterial problems. Perhaps the most common use for arrowleaf balsamroot is as an immune system enhancer. Use the tincture as you would Echinacea, taking 1 tsp. twice daily to strengthen the immune system.
Many Native American groups, including the Nez Perce, Kootenai, Cheyenne, and Salish, utilized the plant as a food and medicine.

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/Balsamorhiza_sagittata
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/images/arrowleafbalsamroot/balsamorhiza_sagittata_lg.jpg

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Eriophyllum confertiflorum

Botanical Name:Eriophyllum confertiflorum
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Heliantheae
Genus: Eriophyllum
Species: E. confertiflorum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Golden yarrow or Yellow yarrow

Habitat :Eriophyllum confertiflorum is native to California and Baja California, and its range may extend into Arizona. It can be found in a number of plant communities and habitats.

Description;
Eriophyllum confertiflorum  is a perennial  small shrub.The plant grows in large clumps or stands of many erect stems often exceeding half a meter in height. It has greenish to gray-green stems and foliage, the leaves sharply lobed and divided. The top of each stem is occupied by an inflorescence of up to 30 flower heads, each bright golden yellow head with a large center of disc florets and usually a fringe of rounded to oval ray florets. The fruit is an achene with a very short pappus.
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Its flowers are  bright yellow and bloom  in early summer, does best with full sun, a little summer water, good drainage, excellent with Penstemons. Cold tolerant to 5 deg.F. or less. This one is ‘highly variable’ which means if you do not specify the site, you’ll get a funny looking plant. Munz separated out E.confertiflorum var. laxiflorum a sub-species with narrower stems and leaves. In reality, the northern form of E.confertiflorum is green and 2′, the central Calif. form is gray and 1′, the S. Calif. form is 2′ ft. and gray.

Medicinal Uses;
Delfina Cuero, a Kumeyaay or Southern Diegueno Indian, made the following comments about Eriophyllum confertiflorum in her autobiography:  ” This is used for someone with pimples on their face.  They were told to boil the whole plant and wash face in water to clear away the pimples”.  The woolly fuzz that densely coves the leaves and stems was collected by Native Americans and used as a cure for rheumatism.

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/Eriophyllum_confertiflorum
http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/eriophyllum-confertiflorum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

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