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Herbs & Plants

Hieracium murorum

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Botanical Name : Hieracium murorum
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Hieracium
Species: H. murorum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Few-leaved hawkweed, Golden lungwort, Hawkweed, Wall hawkweed

Habitat : Hieracium murorum is Native to Europe (i.e. Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the UK, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Romania, Yugoslavia, France, Portugal and Spain) and western Asia (i.e. Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and southern Russia) It is naturalized in some of the colder regions of North America.It is common on rocks, walls and in grassland. Many mountain forms exist. …..CLICK & SEE

Description:
Hieracium murorum L. is a herbaceous perennial  flowering  plant . This perennial upright species will produce rosettes of medium green leaves. The flowers are clusters of small yellow blooms.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Flowerhead diameter c 20-50 mm

ID: Flowerhead has involucral bracts of differing lengths (i.e not just in two or more rows each of uniform length)

Other features: Normally has black hairs on involucre. Fruits with feathery pappus like dandelion but shorter and brownish.

Flowerhead diameter c 20-50 mm

ID: Flowerhead has involucral bracts of differing lengths (i.e not just in two or more rows each of uniform length)

Other features: Normally has black hairs on involucre. Fruits with feathery pappus like dandelion but shorter and brownish.

Medicinal Uses: Nothing known

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hieracium_murorum
http://www.greenplantswap.co.uk/plants/9539-hieracium-murorum
http://www.plant-identification.co.uk/skye/compositae/hieracium-murorum.htm
http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/weeds/data/080c0106-040c-4508-8300-0b0a06060e01/media/html/Hieracium_murorum.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Polygonum bistorta

 

Botanical Name:  Polygonum bistorta /Persicaria bistorta
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Persicaria
Species: P. bistorta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms-: Osterick. Oderwort. Snakeweed. Easter Mangiant. Adderwort. Twice Writhen.

Common Names: Bistort, Common bistort
The Latin name bistorta refers to the twisted appearance of the root.

Numerous other vernacular names have been recorded for the species in historical texts, though none is used to any extent. Many of the following refer to the plant’s use in making puddings:

*Adderwort
*Dragonwort
*Easter giant
*Easter ledger
*Easter ledges
*Easter magiant
*Easter man-giant
*Gentle dock
*Great bistort
*Osterick
*Oysterloit
*Passion dock
*Patience dock
*Patient dock
*Pink pokers
*Pudding grass
*Pudding dock
*Red legs
*Snakeweed
*Twice-writhen
*Water ledges
Habitat:  Polygonum bistorta    is native of many parts of Northern Europe, occurring in Siberia and in Japan and in Western Asia to the Himalayas. It is common in the north of England and in southern Scotland, growing in moist meadows, though only of local occurrence; in Ireland, it is very rare.It grows in damp meadows and by water, especially on acid soils

Description:
Polygonum bistorta   is an herbaceous perennial growing to 75 cm (30 in) tall by 90 cm (35 in) wide. The foliage is normally basal with a few smaller leaves produced near the lower end of the flowering stems. The leaves are oblong-ovate or triangular-ovate in shape and narrow at the base. The petioles are broadly winged. The plant blooms from late spring into autumn, producing tall stems ending in single terminal racemes that are club-like spikes, 5–7 cm (2–3 in) long, of rose-pink flowers.  The plant grows in moist soils and under dry conditions goes dormant, losing its foliage until adequate moisture exists again…...CLICK &  SEE THE  PICTURES

Cultivation:
This species is grown as an ornamental garden plant, especially the form ‘Superba’ which has larger, more showy flowers, and has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit. It is suitable for use as a marginal or in bog gardens.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually free and easy. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer if they have reached sufficient size. If not, overwinter them in a cold frame and plant them out the following spring after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. One report says that they are rather bitter, but   it is found that they have a fairly mild flavour, especially when the leaves are young, though the texture is somewhat chewy when they are eaten raw. They make an excellent substitute for spinach. In Northern England the leaves are an ingredient of a bitter Lenten pudding, called Easter ledger pudding, that is eaten at Lent. The leaves are available from late winter in most years and can be eaten until the early autumn though they become much tougher as the season progresses. The leaves are a good source of vitamins A and C, a nutritional analysis is available. Seed – raw or cooked. The seed is very small and rather fiddly to utilize. Root – raw or cooked. Rich in starch and tannin, it is steeped in water and then roasted in order to reduce the tannin content. It is then said to be a tasty and nutritious food. The root has also been boiled or used in soups and stews and can be dried then ground into a powder and used in making bread. The root contains 30% starch, 1% calcium oxalate and 15 – 36% tannin.

Part Used in medicines: The root-stock, gathered in March, when the leaves begin to shoot, and dried.

Constituents:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Fresh weight)
0 Calories per 100g
Water : 82.6%
Protein: 3g; Fat: 0.8g; Carbohydrate: 7.9g; Fibre: 3.2g; Ash: 2.4g;
Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;
The roots contain up to 21% tannin.
Medicinal Uses:
Antidiarrhoeal; Astringent; Demulcent; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Laxative; Styptic.

Bistort is one of the most strongly astringent of all herbs and it is used to contract tissues and staunch blood flow. The root is powerfully astringent, demulcent, diuretic, febrifuge, laxative and strongly styptic. It is gathered in early spring when the leaves are just beginning to shoot, and then dried. It is much used, both internally and externally, in the treatment of internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera etc. It is also taken internally in the treatment of a wide range of complaints including catarrh, cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis and excessive menstruation. Externally, it makes a good wash for small burns and wounds, and is used to treat pharyngitis, stomatitis, vaginal discharge, anal fissure etc. A mouth wash or gargle is used to treat spongy gums, mouth ulcers and sore throats. The leaves are astringent and have a great reputation in the treatment of wounds. In Chinese medicine the rhizome is used for: epilepsy, fever, tetanus, carbuncles, snake and mosquito bites, scrofula and cramps in hands and feet. Considered useful in diabetes.
Roots and leaves were used to counteract poisons and to treat malaria and intermittent fevers. Dried and powdered it was applied to cuts and wounds to staunch bleeding, and a decoction in wine was taken for internal bleeding and diarrhea (especially in babies). It was also given to cause sweating and drive out the plague, smallpox, measles and other infectious diseases. Bistort is rich in tannins and one of the best astringents. Taken internally, it is excellent for bleeding, such as from nosebleeds, heavy periods and wounds, and for diarrhea and dysentery. Since it reduces inflammation and mucous secretions it makes a good remedy for colitis and for catarrhal congestion. It was originally recommended in 1917 as a treatment for debility with a tendency towards tuberculosis. It has also been used externally for pharyngitis, stomatitis, vaginal discharge, anal fissure, purulent wounds, hemorrhoids, mouth ulcers and gum disease. Comes well with Geranium maculatum.

Other Uses:.….Tannin………The roots contain up to 21% tannin

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been made for this species, there have been reports that some members of this genus can cause photosensitivity in susceptible people. Many species also contain oxalic acid (the distinctive lemony flavour of sorrel) – whilst not toxic this substance can bind up other minerals making them unavailable to the body and leading to mineral deficiency. Having said that, a number of common foods such as sorrel and rhubarb contain oxalic acid and the leaves of most members of this genus are nutritious and beneficial to eat in moderate quantities. Cooking the leaves will reduce their content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

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/Persicaria_bistorta
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/bistor45.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polygonum+bistorta

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Herbs & Plants

Spartium junceum

Botanical Name: Spartium junceum
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Genisteae
Genus: Spartium
Species: S. junceum
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Name:Spanish broom or weaver’s broom

Habitat :Spartium junceum is  native to the Mediterranean in southern Europe, southwest Asia and northwest Africa, where it is found in sunny sites, usually on dry, sandy soils.

Description:
Spartium junceum is a vigorous, deciduous shrub growing to 2–4 m (7–13 ft) tall, rarely 5 m (16 ft), with main stems up to 5 cm (2 in) thick, rarely 10 cm (4 in). It has thick, somewhat succulent grey-green rush-like shoots with very sparse small deciduous leaves 1 to 3 cm long and up to 4 mm broad. The leaves are of little importance to the plant, with much of the photosynthesis occurring in the green shoots (a water-conserving strategy in its dry climate). The leaves fall away early.  In late spring and summer shoots are covered in profuse fragrant yellow pea-like flowers 1 to 2 cm across. In late summer, the legumes (seed pods) mature black and reach 8–10 cm (3–4 in) long. They burst open, often with an audible crack, spreading seed from the parent plant………...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:  Border, Massing, Specimen. Succeeds in any well-drained but not too fertile soil in a sunny position. Prefers a lime free soil according to one report whilst another says that it thrives on alkaline and poor sandy soils. Very wind resistant, tolerating maritime exposure. Tolerates atmospheric pollution and thrives on hot dry banks. A very ornamental plant, it is hardy to between -10 and -18°c when in a suitable position. The flowers have a fragrance that has been likened to oranges. Plants can become leggy if grown in a sheltered position or too rich a soil, but they can be pruned almost to the ground and will resprout from the base. They can also be trimmed in early spring in order to keep them more compact. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance, they are best grown in pots and planted out into their permanent positions whilst still small. Plants often self-sow in Britain. Rabbits love eating this plant when it is young. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. Special Features: Not North American native, Naturalizing, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Propagation:             
Seed – pre-soak 24 hours in hot water and sow February/March in a greenhouse. It usually germinates well and quickly. The seed can also be autumn sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If sufficient growth is made, it is possible to plant out in the summer, otherwise overwinter them in a cold frame and plant out in late spring of the following year.

Medicinal Uses:
The Spanish Broom in its medicinal properties closely resembles the common Broom, but is from five to six times more active. The symptoms produced by overdoses are vomiting and purging, with renal irritation. The seeds have been used to a considerable extent in dropsy, in the form of a tincture. The flowers yield a yellow dye.
The dried flowers of Spanish Broom are readily differentiated, those of the true Broom having a small bell-shaped calyx with two unequal lobes, the upper of which is bi-dentate and the lower minutely tridentate, while in Spartium junceum, the calyx is deeply cleft to the base on one side only.

By macerating the twigs a good fibre is obtained, which is made into thread in Languedoc, and its cord and a coarse sort of cloth in Dalmatia.

The name Spartium is from the Greek word denoting ‘cardage,’ in allusion to the use of the plant.

Coronilla scorpioides (Koch) has been used medicinally as substitute for Broom.

Coronilla is the herbage of various species of the genus of that name, natives of Europe and some naturalized in North America.

The drug, at least that from Coronilla scorpioides (Koch), contains the glucoside Coronillin, a yellow powder. The action and uses of the drug are very similar to those of Broom.

The leaflets are said to produce a dye like indigo by proper fermentation, and are also reported as a laxative.

Other Uses:
The plant is used as an ornamental plant in gardens and in landscape plantings. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit. The plant is also used as a flavoring, and for its essential oil, known as genet absolute. Its fibers have been used for cloth and it produces a yellow dye.

A fibre from the stems is a hemp substitute. It is used to make thread, cordage and coarse fabrics. It is also used for stuffing pillows etc and for making paper. The smaller stems are used in basket making. The branches are often made into brooms. An essential oil is obtained from the flowers, it is used in perfumery.

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/Spartium
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/brospa73.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Spartium+junceum

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Herbs & Plants

Spartina maritima

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Botanical Name : Spartina maritima
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Poales
Family:    Poaceae
Genus:    Spartina
Species:S. maritima

Common Name:Small Cordgrass,gadadhar, ajvain, ajmod, phillaur

Habitat :Spartina maritima is native to the coasts of western and southern Europe and western Africa, from the Netherlands west across southern England to southern Ireland, and south along the Atlantic coast to Morocco and also on the Mediterranean Sea coasts. There is also a disjunct population on the Atlantic coasts of Namibia and South Africa.

Description:
Spartina maritima is a herbaceous perennial plant growing 20-70 cm tall, green in spring and summer, and turning light brown in autumn and winter. The leaves are slender, 10-40 cm long, and 0.5-1 cm broad at the base, tapering to a point. It produces flowers and seeds on all sides of the stalk. The flowers are greenish, turning brown by the winter,are small in size, and mostly in little spikes....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses:
The drugs obtained by this plants through their dried leaves and flowers head.It has been suggested that the drug should be collected in near the beginning of spring by the time at which the flower heads have not completely developed. Main use of this drug is for throwing out of squirms from stomach. “The drug is also useful in fevers” .. and as a refreshment.

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/Spartina_maritima
http://www.medicinal-plants.in/ajvain.php

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Herbs & Plants

Mentha citrata

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Botanical Name :Mentha citrata
Family:    Lamiaceae
Genus:    Mentha
Species:M. citrata
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Lamiales

Synonym: Mentha odorata.

Common Names: Bergamot mint, Eau-de-cologne Mint, Horsemint, Lemon Mint, Lime Mint, Orange Mint, Pineapple Mint, Su Nanesi, Water Mint, Wild Water Mint, Yerba Buena

Habitat : :Mentha citrata is found in wet places in Staffordshireand Wales, though very rarely, but is often cultivated in gardens.It is found  on the sides of ditches, roadsides etc in S. England.

Description:
Mentha citrata is a perennial herb, growing to a height of about a feet.The whole plant is smooth, dotted with yellow glands and is of a dark green colour, generally tinged with purple, especially the margins of the leaves, which are finelly toothed. There are very conspicuous lines of yellow glands on the purple calyx.It blooms during August to October.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

This Mint has a very pleasant, aromatic, lemon-like odour, somewhat resembling that of the Bergamot Orange, or that of the Oswego Tea (Monarda didyma), also called Bergamot, and its leaves like those of the latter can be employed in pot pourri.

Cultivation & Propagation: A natural hybrid, M. aquatica x M. spicata found in moist soils on the sides of ditches, roadsides etc in S. England.

Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring in salads or cooked foods. A very pungent flavour, the leaves of the true eau-de-cologne mint are too aromatic for most tastes, though the cultivar “Basil” has an excellent flavour and makes a very good substitute for basil in pesto. A herb tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves.

Medicinal Uses:
Mentha citrata or Eau de Cologne mint, like many other members of this genus, is often used as a domestic herbal remedy, being valued especially for its antiseptic properties and its beneficial effect on the digestion. Like other members of the genus, it is best not used by pregnant women because large doses can cause an abortion. The leaves and flowering plant are anodyne, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, refrigerant, stomachic, tonic, vasodilator. A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The medicinal uses of this herb are more akin to lavender (Lavandula spp) than the mints. It is used to treat infertility, rapid heartbeat, nervous exhaustion etc. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses.

A tea made from the fresh or dried leaves has traditionally been used:

*For stomach aches, nausea, parasites and other digestive disorders

*For nerves and sick stomach

*For fevers and headaches.

Other Uses: An essential oil obtained from the whole plant is a source of lavender oil which is used in perfumery. It is also used in oral hygiene preparations, toiletries etc. Formerly used as a strewing herb, the plant repels insects, rats etc. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain.

Known Hazards:  Although no specific mention has been seen for this sub-species, it should be noted that, in large quantities, the closely allied M. x piperita vulgaris can cause abortions, especially when used in the form of the extracted essential oil, so it should not be used by pregnant women.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mints-39.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentha_citrata#Description
http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/m/mentha-x-piperita-citrata=eau-de-cologne-mint.php