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Schizonepeta tenuifolia

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Botanical Name : Schizonepeta tenuifolia
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Schizonepeta
Kingdom:     Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names:Schizonepeta or Japanese Catnip.
Its Chinese name is Jing Jie , ( pronounced as  pinyin).
Other Names: Pharmaceutical name: Herba seu Flos Schizonepetae Tenuifoliae Japanese: keigai, Korean: hyonggae

Habitat :Schizonepeta tenuifolia is cultivated chiefly in the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Jiangxi, China.

Description:
Herbs, sometimes subshrubs or shrubs , annual or perennial , usually aromatic . Stems and branches usually 4-angled. Leaves opposite, rarely whorled or alternate, simple to pinnately dissected or compound , without stipules. Inflorescences generally compound, sometimes flowers solitary and axillary ; verticillasters 2- to many flowered, subtended by leaves or bracts. Flowers bisexual , zygomorphic, rarely subactinomorphic, bracteolate or not. Calyx persistent , 5-toothed, 2-lipped; upper lip 3-toothed or entire (deciduous in Scutellaria) ; lower lip 2- or 4-toothed; tube sometimes hairy annulate inside. Corolla limb usually 2-lipped; upper lip 2-lobed and lower 3-lobed, rarely upper lip entire and lower 4-lobed, also rarely limb (4- or) 5-lobed; tube hairy annulate inside. Stamens epipetalous , 4 or 2, free , rarely filaments connate , sometimes one staminodial; anther 1- or 2-celled, usually dehiscing longitudinally; disc persistent. Ovary superior, 2-celled and each cell 2-ovuled and style subterminal , or ovary 4-parted and each lobe 1-ovuled and style gynobasic (from bases of ovary lobes) with 2-cleft apex. Fruit usually 4 dry nutlets . Seeds with or without endosperm.

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You may click to see  pictures of Schizonepeta tenuifolia:
Approximately 3500 species in 220 genera, distributed worldwide, but mostly in the Mediterranean region and SW Asia. China has 807 species in 96 genera

Medicinal uses:

Its uses include:

*Used alone as a carminative, diaphoretic, and antipyretic. Clears pathogenic Heat and Wind, fever, and treats throat complaints. Induces sweating.

*For affection by exopathogenic wind-cold shown as aversion to cold, fever, headache and anhidrosis, it is often used with ledebouriella root and notopterygium root, as in Anti-phlogistic Powder of Schizonepeta and Ledebouriella (Jing Fang Baidu San).

*For exterior syndrome due to pathogenic wind-heat with symptoms and signs of fever, headache, bloodshot eyes, and sore throat, often in combination with Honeysuckle flower, Forsythia fruit, Peppermint, Platycodon Root and other herbs, as in Powder of Lonicera and Forsythia (Yin Qiao San).

*For German measles, pruritus, and measles without adequate eruption, it is often used with peppermint, cicada slough, arctium fruit, etc. For various suppurative infections on the body surface at their initial stages accompanied with exterior syndrome, it is often used together with ledebouriella root, Honeysuckle flower,  Forsythia fruit and other herbs.

*For hematemesis, epistaxis, hemafecia, metrorrhagia and metrostaxis, carbonized schizonepeta is used in combination with other hemostatics.

Schizonepeta tenuifolia extracts exhibit immunomodulation of the inflammatory response by regulating cytokine release, specifically the release of Th1 and Th2 cytokines from T cells as well as the unprimed CD4 T cells from differentiating into Th1 and Th2 cells.[

In the Chinese tradition, jing jie is valued as an aromatic and warming herb.  It is taken to alleviate skin conditions such as boils and itchiness.  It also induces sweating and is used to treat fever and chills and as a remedy for measles.  It is often combined with bo he.  Chinese studies have confirmed jing jie’s ability to increase blood flow in the vessels just beneath the skin.  Jing Jie is valued in Chinese medicine as an aromatic and warming herb. It is taken to alleviate skin conditions such as boils and itchiness. It is often combined with Mentha haplocalyx. Used in Chinese medicine in the treatment of hemorrhages, especially post-natal bleeding and excessive menstruation, colds, measles and nettle rash. Relieves wind cold, antispasmodic. Can be used for the onset of the common cold and influenza when they are accompanied by a headache and sore throat. Also used for hastening the ripening and termination of eruptive skin diseases, such as measles and abscesses, as well as to alleviate itching. Also useful for blood in stools or uterine bleeding.  In vitro it inhibits the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Modern Uses:
During the modern times, it has been found that the Schizonepeta tenuifolia herb contains carminative, antipyretic and diaphoretic properties. In traditional Chinese medicine, this herb is classified as able to clear heat and wind effectively. It treats fever, even fever that is due to unknown causes through inducing sweating. It is paired with Ledebouriella Divaricata Root, notopterygium root and other herbs to treat colds, fevers and headaches. It can also help relieve sore throats and to remedy blood shot eyes.

It has been used to treat German measles; it relieves the itch of German measle lesions preventing the occurrence of skin infections when scratched. Studies have shown that Schizonepeta tenuifolia herb also retards the production of histamine which is of great importance in the treatment of severe itching.

The Schizonepeta tenuifolia herb is also a promising cure for the common cold and other upper respiratory illnesses. This herb also has antibacterial properties that can control infections in skin and mucous membranes.
Side Effects:
Schizonepeta tenuifolia herb preparations that are marketed as creams and lotions are very effective in the treatment of skin itching. However, it must not be applied to broken or wounded skin. Open sores and lesions must not come in contact with Schizonepeta tenuifolia herb preparations.
Oral supplements and herbal remedies prepared with Schizonepeta tenuifolia and other herbs must not be taken by pregnant and breastfeeding women. People with anemia and other blood related illnesses must consult their doctor regarding taking Schizonepeta tenuifolia herb. It may cause severe adverse reactions with the medication they are currently taking.

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/Schizonepeta
http://zipcodezoo.com/Plants/S/Schizonepeta_tenuifolia/
http://www.fzrm.com/plantextracts/plantextract/Fineleaf_Schizonepeta_Herb.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

http://www.naturalwellbeing.com/learning-center/Schizonepeta_Tenuifolia_Herb

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Herbs & Plants

Forsythia Fruit (Forsythiae suspensae)

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Botanical Name :Forsythiae suspensae
Family   : OLEACEAE Olive Family

Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Forsythia
Species: F. suspensa
Synonyms : Syringa suspensa.

Common Names :  Forsythia Fruit , Lian Qiao, yellow bell

Parts Used: Fruit

Habitat : It is Native China.Shanxi, Shaanxi, Henan and throughout northern China. Now it grows in several places in the world.

Description:
A decidious Shrub growing to 5 m (16ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Mar to April. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is not self-fertile.

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Forsythia bushes are a popular ornamental here in the West, and like many other popular ornamental plants, forsythia has a long history of medicinal use in Forsythia fruit is combined with another backyard favorite, honeysuckle, in one of the most widely used cold remedies in China.Forsythia suspensa is a large to very large shrub, can be grown as a weeping shrub on banks, and has paler flowers. Many named garden cultivars can also be found. It belongs to spring flowering shrubs, with yellow flowers. And, it is grown and prized for being tough, reliable garden plants..

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You may click to see good Images of Forsythia Fruit plant, leaf etc. :

Forsythia fruit is the fruit of those lovely bright yellow bushes that are often the first thing to bloom in spring in any northern climate. Native to China, forsythia grows nearly everywhere in the world. In the US it is grown mostly as an ornamental. It is named for 18th century English gardening expert William Forsyth, who was one of the founders of the Royal Horticulture Society. Although native to China, it was brought to the west by botanist Robert Fortune in 1833. The fruit is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat colds and viral infections that present with a fever, as an anti inflammatory, antipyretic, and as part of a cardiovascular tonic. It was generally prescribed for all types of “over-heating” or heat related conditions. It’s most often combined with honeysuckle flowers in honeysuckle forsythia fruit, which is possibly the most widely used cold remedy in mainland China and in Chinese immigrant centers in other countries.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in all soil types but prefers a rich soil. Succeeds in limey soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. It prefers a sunny position but succeeds in semi shade though it is apt to get leggy if grown in the shade of trees. Succeeds against a north-facing wall. Plants are hardy to about -25°c. The flowers are produced quite early in the year and are frost-resistant. Plants are medium to fast growing. Flowers are produced on wood that is more than one year old. Any pruning is best done after the plant has finished flowering. A very ornamental plant, there are several named varieties. This species is notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates within 2 months. 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. Cuttings of half-ripe wood 10 – 15cm taken at a node, July/August in a frame. Plant out in autumn or spring. A very high percentage, they root within 3 weeks. Cuttings of mature wood in a sheltered outdoor bed. Good percentage. Layering in spring or summer. Plants often self-layer.

Main Chemical Content: forsythin, matairesinoside, betulinic acid, phyillygenin, pinoresinol,phillyrin,arctiin,forsythoside C,forsythoside D,etc.

Medicinal Uses:

Antidote;  Antiphlogistic;  Antitussive;  Cancer;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Febrifuge;  Laxative;  Tonic;  Vermifuge.

Lian Qiao has been used in Chinese herbalism for over 4,000 years and is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. A bitter tasting pungent herb with an antiseptic effect, it is chiefly used to treat boils, carbuncles, mumps and infected neck glands. The fruit is a bitter astringent herb that stimulates the heart, nervous system and gall bladder. It contains vitamin P, which is used to strengthen capillaries. The fruit is also antidote, antiphlogistic, antitussive, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, laxative and tonic. It is used internally in the treatment of acute infectious diseases such as mumps, and also for tonsillitis, urinary tract infections allergic rashes etc. The fruit is harvested when fully ripe and is dried for use in decoctions. The plant has a similar action to Lonicera japonica and is usually used in combination with that species to achieve a stronger action. The flowers have a broad-spectrum antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella dysenteriae, haemolytic streptococcus, Pneumococcus, Bacillus typhi, Mycobacterium tuberculi etc. The plant is vermifuge, though the part used is not stated. The leaves are febrifuge and are also poulticed onto ulcerated glands and haemorrhoids. A decoction of the leaves and twigs is used in the treatment of breast cancer. The root is used in the treatment of cancer, colds, fever and jaundice.

Remedies For:
Antibacterial, antiemetic, parasiticide, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory.

Forsythia is commonly used for the common cold or influenza. It is also useful for toxic sores, carbuncles, swollen lymph nodes, Forsythia should be considered when there is high fever with thirst and delirium. Forsythia fruit is commonly used for a variety of inflammatory conditions, including colds, sore throat, fevers, influenza, boils, car- buncles, and furuncles, and for the treatment of cancer (especially lung, throat, and breast cancer).

Properties:Bitter, Slightly Spicy, Cool

Clears Heat Toxins and Disperses Lumps and Nodules
For all sores from heat including abscesses, neck lumps, scrofula, and carbuncles.

Clears Wind-Heat
:   For Wind-Heat common cold. Also effective in treating high fever, thirst, and delirium.

Forsythia fruit has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine, though the first mention of its most common use * in honeysuckle forsythia flower blend * is in a 1789 herbal compendium. There?s been little modern research, though the anecdotal evidence for its effectiveness against fever, cough and chest complaints is well-documented in the annals of traditional medicine. One small study from Korea suggests that constituents found in forsythia flower may be helpful in improving the cholesterol profile by increasing the proportion of ‘good’ cholesterol in the blood and encouraging the excretion of bad cholesterol. In modern Chinese herbal medicine, lian qiao (forsythia fruit) is prescribed when a broad spectrum antibiotic effect is desired. In addition, forsythia fruit seems to have an antimicrobial, anti-emetic and anti-parasitic effect.

Modern applications: Antimicrobial effect, antiparasitic effect, antiemetic effect, for retina hemorrhage, for acute kidney infection, for pus forming in lungs, acute liver infection, and psoriasis.

Safety  Precautions: Forsythia fruit should not be used by those with weak and cold spleen/stomach conditions or for sores that are already open or are caused by yin deficiency.There are no reports of harmful side effects of using forsythia fruit, however its use while pregnant should be avoided.

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.holistic-online.com/herbal-Med/_Herbs/h359.htm
http://www.mdidea.com/products/proper/proper012paper.html#01
http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/forsythiafruit.php
http://woodyplants.nres.uiuc.edu/plant/forsu
http://www.bacara-gardens.ro/plante.html
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/images/low/Z920-0901020.jpg

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Forsythia+suspensa

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forsythia_suspensa

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Herbs & Plants

Baphicacanthus cusia

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Botanical Name :Baphicacanthus cusia
Family : Acanthaceae
Genus: Baphicacanthus
Synonyms: Strobilanthes cusia – (Nees.)Kuntze.,Strobilanthes flaccidifolius – Nees.


Other Names:
Natural Indigo , Indigo Naturalis, Baphicacanthus cusia (Nees) Bremek. Polygonum tinctorium Ait. ,Isatis indigotica Fort. Extract

Habitat: E. Asia – China, Japan and India. . Hilly areas. Usually found in wet places .

Description:
Perennial growing to 0.6m.
It is hardy to zone 0. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. 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 :
This plant was formerly cultivated on quite a large scale as a dye plant in China and India, but has now been superseded by artificial dyes and is only grown on a small scale . A monocarpic plant, living for a number of years without flowering but then dying after flowering.

Propagation:

Through Seeds

Medicinal Uses:
Depurative; Febrifuge.
The roots and leaves are depurative and febrifuge. A decoction is used in the treatment of epidemic mumps, sore throat, erysipelas and fever-caused rashes.

Natural Indigo is the dried powder or mass prepared from the leaf or the stem and leaf of Baphicacanthus cusia (Ness) Bremek. (Fam. Acanthaceae),polygonum thinctorium Ait. (Fam. polygonaceae) or Isatis indigotica Fort. (Fam. Cruciferae).

Action:
To remove toxic heat, to reduce heat in blood , and to relieve convulsions.


Indications:
Eruptive epidemic diseases; spitting of blood and epistaxis due to heat in the blood chest pain and hemoptysis; ulcers in the mouth; mumps; pharyngitis, karyngitis; infantile convulsion.

Usage:
Used for making pills or powder, appropriate quantity for external use.
Other Uses:-.….>.
Dye.
An indigo blue dye is obtained from the leaves.....CLICK & SEE.

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/database/plants.php?Baphicacanthus+cusia
http://www.fzrm.com/plantextracts/Natural_Indigo_extract.htm

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