Tag Archives: Euphorbiaceae

Buxus sempervirens

Botanical Name :Buxus sempervirens
Family: Buxaceae
Genus: Buxus
Species: B. sempervirens
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Buxales

Synonym : Dudgeon.

Common Names :Common box, European box, or boxwood

Habitat : Buxus sempervirens is native to western and southern Europe, northwest Africa, and southwest Asia, from southern England south to northern Morocco, and east through the northern Mediterranean region to Turkey. Buxus colchica of western Caucasus and B. hyrcana of northern Iran and eastern Caucasus are commonly treated as synonyms of B. sempervirens

Description:
Buxus sempervirens is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 1–9 m (3 ft 3 in–29 ft 6 in) tall, with a trunk up to 20 centimetres (7.9 in) in diameter (exceptionally to 10 m tall and 45 cm diameter). Arranged in opposite pairs along the stems, the leaves are green to yellow-green, oval, 1.5–3 cm long, and 0.5–1.3 cm broad. The hermaphrodite flowers are inconspicuous, greenish-yellow, with no petals, and are insect pollinated; the fruit is a three-lobed capsule containing 3-6 seeds

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Box in its familiar dwarfed state is merely a shrub, but when left to grow naturally it will become a small tree 12 to 15 feet in height, rarely exceeding 20 feet, with a trunk about 6 inches in diameter covered with a rugged, greyish bark, that of the branches being yellowish. It belongs to the family Buxacece, a very small family of only six genera and about thirty species, closely related to the Spurge family – Euphorbiaceae. Only this evergreen species has been utilized in medicine.

Its twigs are densely leafy and the leaves are about 1/2 inch in length, ovate, entire, smooth, thick, coriaceous and dark green. They have a peculiar, rather disagreeable odour and a bitter and somewhat astringent taste. The flowers are in heads, a terminal female flower, surrounded by a number of male flowers. The fruit dehisces explosively the inner layer of the pericarp separating from the outer and shooting out the seed by folding into a U-shape.

Constituents:  The leaves have been found to contain besides a small amount of tannin and unimportant constituents, a butyraceous volatile oil and three alkaloids: (i) Buxine, the important constituent, chiefly responsible for the bitter taste and now regarded as identical with the Berberine of Nectander bark, (ii) Parabuxine, (iii) Parabuxonidine, which turns turmeric paper deep red. The bark contains chlorophyll, wax, resin, argotized tallow, gum, lignin, sulphates of potassium and lime, carbonates of lime and magnesia, phosphates of lime, iron and silica.

Medicinal Action and Uses:
The wood in its native countries is considered diaphoretic, being given in decoction as an alterative for rheumatism and secondary syphilis. Used as a substitute for guaiacum in the treatment of venereal disease when sudorifics are considered to be the correct specifics.

It has been found narcotic and sedative in full doses; emetico-cathartic and convulsant in overdose. The tincture was formerly used as a bitter tonic and antiperiodic and had the reputation of curing leprosy.

A volatile oil distilled from the wood has been prescribed in cases of epilepsy. The oil has been employed for piles and also for toothache.

The leaves, which have a nauseous taste, have sudorific, alterative and cathartic properties being given in powder, in which form they are also an excellent vermifuge.

Various extracts and perfumes were formerly made from the leaves and bark. A decoction was recommended by some writers as an application to promote the growth of the hair. The leaves and sawdust boiled in Iye were used to dye hair an auburn colour.

Dried and powdered, the leaves are still given to horses for the purpose of improving their coats. The powder is regarded by carters as highly poisonous, to be given with great care. In Devonshire, farriers still employ the old-fashioned remedy of powdered Box leaves for bot-worm in horses.

In former days, Box was the active ingredient in a once-famous remedy for the bite of a mad dog. The leaves were formerly used in place of quinine, and as a fever reducer

The timber, though small, is valuable on account of its hardness and heaviness, being the hardest and heaviest of all European woods. It is of a delicate yellow colour, dense in structure with a fine uniform grain, which gives it unique value for the wood-engraver, the most important use to which it is put being for printing blocks and engraving plates. An edge of this wood stands better than tin or lead, rivalling brass in its wearing power. A large amount is used in the manufacture of measuring rules, various mathematical instruments, flutes and other musical instruments and the wooden parts of tools, for which a perfectly rigid and non-expansive material is required, as well as for toilet boxes, pillrounders and similar articles.

‘The root is likewise yellow and harder than the timber, but of greater beauty and more fit for dagger haftes, boxes and suchlike. Turners and cuttlers do call this wood Dudgeon, wherewith they make Dudgeonhafted daggers.’

In France, Boxwood has been used as a substitute for hops and the branches and leaves of Box have been recommended as by far the best manure for the vine, as it is said no plant by its decomposition affords a greater quantity of vegetable manure.

Other Uses:
Slow growth of box renders the wood (“boxwood”) very hard (possibly the hardest in Europe) and heavy, and free of grain produced by growth rings, making it ideal for cabinet-making, the crafting of clarinets, engraving, marquetry, woodturning, tool handles, mallet heads and as a substitute for ivory. The noted English engraver Thomas Bewick pioneered the use of boxwood blocks for engraving.

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/Buxus_sempervirens
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/box—67.html

 

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Euphorbia maculata

Botanical Name : Euphorbia maculata
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Euphorbia
Species: E. maculata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

syn. : Chamaesyce maculata (L.)

Common Names:Milk-purslane,Spotted spurge or Prostrate spurge

Habitat :Euphorbia maculata is  native to North America.

Description:
Euphorbia maculata is an annual plant in the family Euphorbiaceae, It is a variably prostrate to erect plant, with stems growing along the ground up to 45 cm long, but only reaching up to 30 cm tall. The leaves are oval, up to 3 cm long, and arranged in opposite pairs. The flowers are very small, with four white petals. It grows in sunny locations and a variety of soils, and is frequently found as a weed …

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Medicinal Uses:
The milky sap, when taken orally, causes vomiting and acts as a strong laxative.  An alcoholic extract of the plant has been given to control dysentery.  The Indians rubbed the sap on their skin to treat warts, sores, eruptions, and sore nipples.  They also drank a root infusion as a laxative.

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/Euphorbia_maculata
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm
http://digilander.libero.it/ipdid/photos-eng/euphorbia-maculata—milk-purslane.htm

Croton texensis

Botanical Name : Croton texensis
Family : Euphorbiaceae – Spurge family
Genus : Croton L. – croton
Species: Croton texensis (Klotzsch) Müll. Arg. – Texas croton
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Euphorbiales

Common Names:Skunkweed, doveweed.

Habitat : Native to Texsus. Texas croton grows on calcareous soils, sandy loam soils and loose sands. It can occur in great abundance and is generally associated with soil disturbance, lack of soil cover or overgrazing.

Texas croton grows on calcareous soils, sandy loam soils and loose sands. It can occur in great abundance and is generally associated with soil disturbance, lack of soil cover or overgrazing.

Description;
Croton texensis (Euphorbiaceae) is an easily overlooked gray-green annual.Although an unassuming little plant, the interesting life history of the plant lends itself to experimentation that may help elucidate the evolution of plant mating systems. Croton is foremost a dioecious annual, with distinct male and female plants. However, around 1 in every 200 plants develops as a hermaphrodite, with both male and female reproductive structures. With both mating systems present in the same population, croton can be studied to illustrate the costs and benefits leading to the maintenance of plant mating systems…..,,,……

In the field, male and female (or hermaphroditic) plants can be fairly easily distinguished based on morphology alone. This allows straightforward censusing of the population, allowing us to track the fluctuation of the sex ratio over time.

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Texas croton has an aromatic smell when the leaves are crushed. It varies from 1 foot to 4 feet tall, depending on moisture conditions.

 

The leaves are grayish to yellowish green and may be lighter on top and darker beneath. They areusually entire or without lobes or teeth and are located alternately along the stems. Each leaf is attached to the stem by a small stalk called a petiole.

The flowers are arranged in spikes at the ends of the stems. The fruit of Texas croton is a capsule divided into three segments supporting three individual seeds.

Texas croton produces a seed crop that is very valuable to dove, quail and other seed-eating birds but has low value for livestock grazing.

Medicinal Uses:
Doveweed contains croton oil, a cathartic, and was used as such at Isleta, Acoma, Laguna, and Zuni. Preparations of the plant have been used for rheumatism, paralysis, earache (seeds placed in ear), and headache (inhalation of smoke from burning plant).  The powdered leaves are mixed with honey, beeswax, or Vaseline and applied to swollen joints.  The leaves, steeped in vinegar or wine, are applied to the temples for headaches.  The whole plant is placed under mattresses to repel bedbugs and is burned like incense as a fumigant.  The herb is still used in small doses as a laxative but it contains potentially cancer-causing irritants and internal use is not recommended.

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://essmextension.tamu.edu/plants/brushandweeds/detail.aspx?plantID=65
http://www.unl.edu/dpilson/croton.html
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CRTE4&photoID=crte4_2h.jpg
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

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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.

Description:
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.

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.tramil.net/fototeca/imageDisplay1.php?id_elem=250&lang=en
http://www.sagebud.com/field-copperleaf-acalypha-arvensis/
http://www.saintlucianplants.com/floweringplants/euphorbiaceae/acalarve/acalarve.html
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ACAR16

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

Phyllanthus liebmannianus

Botanical Name :Phyllanthus liebmannianus
Family :Euphorbiaceae – Spurge family
Genus : Phyllanthus L. – leafflower
Species: Phyllanthus liebmannianus Müll.
Kingdom:Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class:Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order :Euphorbiales

Common Name :Baby’s Tears,Florida Leaf-flower

Habitat :Native to U.S.Grows in Florida

Description:
Florida Leaf-flower (Phyllanthus Liebmannianus Muell.-Arg.) grows like a Forb/herb, Subshrub. Florida Leaf-flower (Phyllanthus Liebmannianus Muell.-Arg.) is an Perennial. Florida Leaf-flower (Phyllanthus Liebmannianus Muell.-Arg.) is Native to U.S. Florida Leaf-flower (Phyllanthus Liebmannianus Muell.-Arg.) has a National Wetland Indicator Status of: FACW. Florida Leaf-flower (Phyllanthus Liebmannianus Muell.-Arg.) is of the category, Dicot.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses:
Boil an entire plant in 3 cups water for 2 minutes; strain and drink for stomatitis, internal infections, kidney stones, and stoppage of urine.  Use same preparation to bathe infants who are ill.

 

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://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PHLI13
http://www.nybg.org/bsci/belize/Phyllanthus_liebmannianus.jpg
http://www.plantbio.uga.edu/herbarium/seshrubs/indiv%20pages/Phyllanthus%20liebmannianus.htm
http://www.thegrowspot.com/know/f7/all-about-florida-leaf-flower-phyllanthus-37868.html

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