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

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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Herbs & Plants

Brosimum alicastrum

Botanical Name :Brosimum alicastrum
Family: Moraceae
Tribe: Dorstenieae
Genus: Brosimum
Species: B. alicastrum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names:Ramon Nut , Maya nut, breadnut (names in indigenous Mesoamerican and other languages, including but not limited to: ramon,ojoche, ojite, ojushte, ujushte, ujuxte, capomo, mojo, ox, iximche, masica in Honduras, uje in Michoacan, and mojote in Jalisco.)

Habitat :Brosimum alicastrum grows in the west coast of central Mexico, southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, the Caribbean, and the Amazon. Large stands in moist lowland tropical forests 300–2000 m elevation (especially 125–800 m), in humid areas where rainfall of 600–2000 mm, and average temperature 24 C / 75 F.

Brosimum alicastrum is a fast-growing, evergreen,monoecious tree with latex, of up to 40 m in height and 150cm d.b.h. The trunk is straight, cylindrical, and grooved withwell-developed spurs and a pyramidal crown made up of rising,and then hanging, branches with a dense foliage. The leaves are simple, alternate, ovate-lanceolate, elliptic to ovate,and 4 to 18 cm long by 2 to 7.5 cm wide. In the Yucatan Peninsula,the tree grows in calcareous soils with outcropping rocks,forming part of the tropical forest. The regions where the treeis found have an average annual temperature of 26 °C, with amaximum temperature of 36.7 °C and a minimum of 14.9 °C.The maximum temperatures correspond to the months ofApril and May, the minimum ones to the months of Decemberand January. Average annual precipitation is approximately1288 mm, ranging between 900 and 1800 mm. The tree grows from sea level to 1000 m.

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The tree begins to yield flowers and fruits at 4 or 5 yearsof age. Because its geographic distribution is extensive, B. alicastrumblooms at different times, but especially January to June. Its fruits ripen between April and September, dependingon geographic locations (Chavelas and Duvall 1988b).Insoutheastern Mexico, the plant blooms precociously and abundantly from April to July, and fruits from June to October (Juárez and others 1989). The flowers are cream in color and arranged in a capitula. In July through August the abundant fruits ripen and begin to fall to the ground. The fruits are globose berries, 2 to 2.5 cm in diameter, pulpy, sweet, and yellow or orange when ripe. Each fruit contains one seed (Cabrera and others 1982, Pennington and Sarukhan 1968). Seeds range in shape from globose to subglobose, are slightly depressed, and are 1 to 2 cm in diameter. The seedcoat is yellowishbrown, smooth, opaque, and membranous-papyritious. A vascularized thickening in the hilar region is strongly attached to the embryo in fresh seeds, but is brittle and easily released in old seeds.

Edible & Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used  :   :nuts & nutpower

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Constituents:  fiber, calcium, potassium, folic acid, iron, zinc, protein and vitamins a, e, c and b

The nuts are rich in starch, proteins,and vitamins A and C. In some places, they are eaten boiled and are said to taste like chestnuts. Toasted and ground, they are used as a coffee substitute.

Brosimum alicastrum nut powder is a highly nutritious food that has been used as a famine food and crop since the time of the Mayans. Today the chocolate like taste is enjoyed as a healthy, non-caffeine coffee substitute.

Other Uses:
Brosimum alicastrum has multiple uses, although its potential is unknown outside its perimeter of natural distribution. Anthropological research indicates that B. alicastrum was one of the main means of support of the ancient Mayas, who cultivated it intensely. One of the most outstanding characteristics of this plant is that it remains green during the dry season, thus being the only existing source of forage in many places. The branches, leaves, fruits, and seeds are used to feed cattle. They also serve as a nutritional supplement for pigs and chickens. From 7 to 8 tons of fruits and from 35 to 40 tons of foliage can be harvested from 125 trees per hectare .

Specific gravity of the wood is 0.69.The wood is white or yellowish, and it is used for firewood, railroad ties, veneer, floors, tool handles, packing boxes, inexpensive furniture and cabinets, and bee honeycombs, as well as rural construction and handicrafts. The tree is cultivated in numerous backyards, and it is planted as a shade and ornamental tree in streets, parks, and gardens .

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

Myroxylon pereirae

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Botanical Name : Myroxylon pereirae
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Sophoreae
Genus: Myroxylon
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Name :Peru Balsam, Balsam of Peru , Tolu Balsam

Habitat ; Myroxylon pereirae is native to tropical America

Myroxylon pereirae is a large tree growing to 40 m tall, with evergreen pinnate leaves 15 cm long with 5-13 leaflets. The flowers are white with yellow stamens, produced in racemes. The fruit is a pod 7–11 cm long, containing a single seed.

Myroxylon balsamum seedlings in Udawattakele F...
Myroxylon balsamum seedlings in Udawattakele Forest, Kandy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The wood is dark brown with a deep red heartwood. Natural oils grant it excellent decay resistance. In fact, it is also resistant to preservative treatment. Its specific gravity is 0.74 to 0.81.

As regards woodworking, this tree is regarded as moderately difficult to work but can be finished with a high natural polish; it tends to cause some tool dulling.

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Its sweetish scent, reminiscent of vanilla and green olives, has caused it to be used in the manufacture of perfumes as a source for Balsam. Balsam of Peru is used as a flavoring and fragrance in many products and can cause allergic reactions.

Peru Balsam aromatic resin is extracted from the variant Myroxylon balsamum pereirae, native from Central America farther north. The name is a misinterpretation of its origin, since it was originally assembled and shipped to Europe from the ports of Callao and Lima, in Peru, even though the species is not indigenous to Peru. The indigenous use of Peru Balsam led to its export to Europe in the seventeenth century, where it was first documented in the German Pharmacopedia. Today El Salvador is the main exporter of Peru Balsam where it is extracted under a plainly handicraft process.

Peru balsam has uses in medicine, pharmaceutical, in the food industry and in perfumery. It has been used as a cough suppressant, in the treatment of dry socket in dentistry, in suppositories for hemorrhoids, the plants have been reported to inhibit Mycobacterium tuberculosis as well as the common ulcer-causing bacteria, H. pylori in test-tube studies, so it is used topically as a treatment of wounds and ulcers, as an antiseptic and used as an anal muscle relaxant. Peru Balsam can be found in diaper rash ointments, hair tonics, antidandruff preparations, and feminine hygiene sprays and as a natural fragrance in soaps, detergents, creams, lotions, and perfumes

Medicinal Uses;
Peru Balsam has been in the US Pharmacopeia since 1820 used for bronchitis, laryngitis, dysmenorrhea, diarrhea, dysentery and leucorrhea and has also been used as a food flavoring and fragrance material for its aromatic vanilla like-odor. Today it is used extensively in topical preparations for the treatment of wounds, ulcers, and scabies, and can be found in hair tonics, anti-dandruff preparations, feminine hygiene sprays and as a natural fragrance in soaps, detergents, creams, lotions and perfumes.
Peruvian balsam is strongly antiseptic and stimulates repair of damaged tissue.  It is usually taken internally as an expectorant and decongestant to treat emphysema, bronchitis, and bronchial asthma.  It may also be taken to treat sore throats and diarrhea.  Externally, the balsam is applied to skin afflictions.  It also stimulates the heart, increases blood pressure and lessens mucus secretions.  Traditionally used for rheumatic pain and skin problems including scabies, diaper rash, bedsores, prurigo, eczema, sore nipples and wounds.  It also destroys the itch acarus and its eggs.

Other Uses: Myroxylon pereirae is a  beautiful, tall jungle trees are also known for their different valuable , mahogany-like wood. The process of extraction produces three grades of a balsamic and aromatic resin.

Known Hazards:   Allergic reactions are possible, and it also may increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Whether taken internally or externally, large quantities of balsam of Tolu can damage the kidneys.

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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Herbs & Plants

Acalypha arvensis

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Botanical Name : Acalypha arvensis
Family :Euphorbiaceae – Spurge family
Genus: Acalypha L. – copperleaf
Species: Acalypha arvensis Poepp. – field copperleaf
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order :Euphorbiales

Common Name : Cancer Bush, Field Copperleaf
Vernacular names:
Creole speaking countries : lanmwaz, zeb akrab, zouti-bata
Guatemala : hierba del cáncer

Habitat :Native to Mexico, Central America, northern South America to Brazil, Bolivia. Herb of open disturbed moist areas.

Acalypha arvensis  is a forb/herb (a forb/herb is a non-woody plant that is not a grass) of the genus Acalypha. It’s duration is annual which means it grows for one season only. Acalypha Arvensis or Field Copperleaf‘s floral region is North America US

You may click to see the pictures of  Acalypha arvensis       

Annual or perennial plant, up to 50 cm in height, with branches sometimes angling down.  Leaves elongated, ovate, or glandular-punctate, 3 to 7 cm in long.  Flowers, in spikes, 1.5 to 3 cm long, emerging from axillary leaf shoots; capsule 2 mm, pilose.

Medicinal Uses:
The common name hierba del cancer stems not from the ability of the plant to fight cancer but rather because of the local use of the word cancer to mean an open sore.  The plant is used as a remedy in Belize for a variety of serious skin conditions such as fungus, ulcers, ringworm and itching or burning labia in women.  It is used throughout Latin America as a diuretic. The leaves are used in Guatemala not only as a diuretic but also to treat kidney-related problems.  In Haiti  it is used to treat diarrhea, inflammations and dyspepsia.    In a study of plants used in Guatemala as a diuretic and for the treatment of urinary ailments, extracts of the plant were shown to increase urinary output by 52%.  A dried leaf tincture has been shown to be active against Staphylococcus aureus but inactive against some other bacteria.

Excellent remedy to wash skin conditions of the worst kind such as chronic rashes, blisters, peeling skin, deep sores, ulcers, fungus, ringworm, inflammation, itching and burning of labia in women – boil one entire plant in one quart water for 10 minutes; strain and wash area with very hot water 3 times daily.  Leaves may be dried and toasted and passed through a screen to make a powder to sprinkle on sores, skin infections, or boils. For stomach complaints or urinary infections, boil one entire plant in 3 cups water for 5 minutes; drink 3 cups of warm decoction 3 times a day (1 cup before each meal).  The local use of the word “cancer” refers to a type of open sore.  A dried leaf tincture was shown to have in vitro activity against Staphylococcus aureus.

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.