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Herbs & Plants

Hibiscus sinosyriacus

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Botanical Name : Hibiscus sinosyriacus
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Hibiscus
Kingdom :Plants
Division:vascular plants
Class: Dicotyledonous angiosperms
Order: Malvales

Common Name: Rose Of Sharon

Habitat :Hibiscus sinosyriacus is native to E. Asia – China. It grows on the scrub in valleys at elevations of 500 – 1000 metres.

Description:
Hibiscus sinosyriacus is a deciduous Shrub. It is not an evergreen; during the summer it assumes a purple colouring; the adult species are medium in size and reach 3 m in height. Growing they develop a round-shape shrub.....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES…

It is in flower in September, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in a sheltered position in full sun[200]. Succeeds in any soil of good or moderate quality. Dislikes shade or badly drained soils. Plants grow best with their roots in cool moist soil and their tops in a hot sunny position. Plants are hardy in most parts of the country, tolerating temperatures down to around -15°c. They are best grown in the milder areas, however, because of their habit of flowering late in the season and thus being subject to frost damage. When planted in colder parts of the country they will need some protection for the first few winters. This species is closely related to H. syriacus, differing mainly in the larger leaves and larger epicalyx. Plants rarely require pruning, though they respond well to pruning and trimming and this is best carried out in the spring or just after flowering. The flowers are produced on the current season’s growth. and they only open in sunny weather. Plants are late coming into leaf, usually around the end of May or early June. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value.
Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Some reports say that the seed can be sown in situ outside and that it gives a good rate of germination. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood, early autumn in a frame. Good percentage. Layering in mid summer to early autumn.

Edible Uses:.... Oil; Tea……The following notes are for the closely related H. syriacus. They quite probably also apply to this species[K]. Young leaves – raw or cooked. A very mild flavour, though slightly on the tough side, they make an acceptable addition to the salad bowl. A tea is made from the leaves or the flowers. Flowers – raw or cooked. A mild flavour and mucilaginous texture, they are delightful in salads, both for looking at and for eating. Root – it is edible but very fibrousy. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour.
Medicinal Uses:
The following notes are for the closely related H. syriacus. They quite possibly also apply to this species. Ophthalmic, styptic. The leaves are diuretic, expectorant and stomachic. A decoction of the flowers is diuretic, ophthalmic and stomachic. It is also used in the treatment of itch and other skin diseases, dizziness and bloody stools accompanied by much gas. A decoction of the root bark is antiphlogistic, demulcent, emollient, febrifuge, haemostatic and vermifuge. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, dysmenorrhoea and dermaphytosis.

Other Uses:
The following notes are for the closely related H. syriacus. They quite probably also apply to this similar species. A low quality fibre is obtained from the stems. It is used for making cordage and paper. The seed contains about 25% oil. No further details are given, but it is likely to be edible. A hair shampoo is made from the leaves. A blue dye is obtained from the flowers. This species is planted as a hedge in S. Europe.

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hibiscus+sinosyriacus
https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fsv.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FHibiscus_sinosyriacus&edit-text=
http://www.gardening.eu/plants/Shrubs/Hibiscus-sinosyriacus/788/

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Herbs & Plants

Pelargonium fragrans

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Botanical Name : Pelargonium fragrans
Family: Geraniaceae
Genus: Pelargonium
Species: Pelargonium × fragrans
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Geraniales

Common Names: Nutmeg Geranium, Fragrans (Pelargonium comes from the Greek; Pelargos which means stork. Another name for pelargoniums is storksbills due the shape of their fruit. Fragrans refers to the fragrant leav)

Habitat : Pelargonium fragrans is native to South Africa. It is a naturally occurring hybrid, P. exstipulatum. x P. odoratissimum, found in the highlands of the Karoo.

Description:
Pelargonium fragrans is an evergreen shrub growing like its parent Pelargonium odoratissimum, is a small, spreading species which only grows up to 30 cm high and 60 cm wide. It has small white flowers and its leaves are waxy, green and ovate with slightly fringed edges. It has a sweet, slightly spicy, eucalyptus like scent. It is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan and is in flower from May to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs.)...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

This is perennial plant is a dwarf and glaucous shrub with small, rounded leaves and tiny, white flowers that grow in trailing clusters. And as the name indicates, this plant has a nutmeg fragrance. Most of the Pelargonium fragrans hybrids have a nutmeg fragrance as well, but not all of them.
Cultivation:
Requires a light well-drained neutral to alkaline soil in a sunny position. Plants are not very hardy in Britain, they generally require greenhouse protection but might succeed outdoors when grown in a very sheltered warm spot in the mildest parts of the country. They can also be grown in containers that are placed outdoors in the summer and then brought into the greenhouse or conservatory for the winter. The plants need to be kept fairly dry in the winter. Very tolerant of pruning, they can be cut right down to the base in the autumn when bringing them back indoors, or in the spring to encourage lots of fresh growth. The leaves have a strong scent of pine. There are some named varieties, selected for their ornamental value.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Stored seed should be sown in early spring in a greenhouse. The seed germinates best with a minimum temperature of 13°c, germination usually taking place within 2 weeks though it sometimes takes some months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. If trying them outdoors, plant them out in early summer and consider giving them extra protection during the winter. Cuttings succeed at almost any time in the growing season but early summer is the best time in order for the new plant to become established before winter.
Edible Uses:.... Condiment……The crushed leaves are used to flavour jellies, cakes, fruit dishes, vinegars etc. They give a spicy flavour to coffee.

Medicinal Uses :…….All parts of the plant are astringent. The leaves are used externally as a rub for aching feet or legs. They can be harvested as required and used fresh.

Other Uses : …..…Essential……..An essential oil is obtained from the plant. It has a nutmeg fragrance. The dried leaves are added to pot-pourri .

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/Pelargonium_×_fragrans
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Pelargonium+fragrans
http://www.plant-and-flower-guide.com/pelargonium-fragrans.html

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News on Health & Science

Cancer is Purely Man-Made Disease’ Say Scientists

A study of ancient bodies has determined that cancer is a man-made disease, one fueled by the excesses. Tumors turn out to be extremely rare until very recent times, when pollution and poor diet became issues.

Scientists found no signs of cancer in their extensive study of mummies apart from one isolated case.

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Researchers analyzed potential references to the disease in classical literature, and also searched for signs in the fossil record and in mummified bodies. But despite examining tissue from hundreds of Egyptian mummies, they confirmed only one case of cancer

According to the Daily Mail:

“Dismissing the argument that the ancient Egyptians didn’t live long enough to develop cancer, the researchers pointed out that other age-related disease such as hardening of the arteries and brittle bones did occur …

Fossil evidence of cancer is also sparse, with scientific literature providing a few dozen, mostly disputed, examples in animal fossil”.


Resources:

Daily Mail October 15, 2010

Nature Reviews Cancer October 2010; 10: 728-733


Cancer September 1977; 40(3): 1358-1362

Posted By Dr. Mercola | December 03 2010

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Herbs & Plants

Antelope Horns (Asclepias asperula)

Botanical Name :Asclepias asperula
Family :  Asclepiadacea

Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Species: A. asperula
Genus : Asclepias
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common names: Inmortal,   antelope horns, green-flowered milkweed, and spider antelope horns.

Habitat:Asclepias asperula is   native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. and South-western N. America.   It grows in  sandy or rocky calcareous soils.


Description:

Asclepias asperula is a clump-forming, 1-2 ft. perennial with an upright or sprawling  plant. Stems are densely covered with minute hairs. The leaves are 4–8 inches long, narrow, and irregularly grouped. The long, thick, narrow leaves are often folded lengthwise. As the green seed pods grow in length and begin to curve, they resemble antelope horns. Its pale, greenish-yellow flowers, tinged maroon, are crowded in round, terminal clusters 3–4 inches across at the end of the flower stem and are intricately arranged. Inside the partially divided petals is a crown, out of which extend 5 white stamens with large, ball-like anthers, all symmetrically arranged.
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). It is noted for attracting wildlife.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation :
Succeeds in any good soil. Prefers a well-drained light rich or peaty soil. Requires a moist peaty soil and a sunny position . A good bee plant . The flower of many members of this genus can trap insects between its anther cells, the struggles of the insect in escaping ensure the pollination of the plant . Many members of this genus seem to be particularly prone to damage by slugs. The young growth in spring is especially vulnerable, but older growth is also attacked and even well-established plants have been destroyed in wet years. Plants resent root disturbance and are best planted into their final positions whilst small.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in late winter. We have also had good results from sowing the seed in the greenhouse in early spring , though stored seed might need 2 – 3 weeks cold stratification . Germination usually takes place in 1 – 3 months at 18°c. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out when they are in active growth in late spring or early summer and give them some protection from slugs until they are growing away strongly. Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. Pot the divisions up and place them in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly, then plant them out in the summer, giving them some protection from slugs until they are established.. Basal cuttings in late spring. Use shoots about 10cm long with as much of their white underground stem as possible. Pot them up individually and place them in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse until they are rooting and growing actively. If the plants grow sufficiently, they can be put into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in the greenhouse until the following spring and when they are in active growth plant them out into their permanent positions. Give them some protection from slugs until they are established.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Seed; Seedpod.

Edible Uses: Gum; Oil; Sweetener.

The following reports refer to other members of this genus and are possibly also appropriate for this species. Unopened flower buds – cooked. They taste somewhat like peas. They are used like broccoli. Flowers and young flower buds – cooked. Used as a flavouring and a thickener in soups etc. The flower clusters can be boiled down to make a sugary syrup. The flowers are harvested in the early morning with the dew still on them. When boiled up it makes a brown sugar. Young shoots – cooked. An asparagus substitute. They should be used when less than 20cm tall. A slightly bitter taste. Tips of older shoots are cooked like spinach. Young seed pods, 3 – 4 cm long, cooked. They are very appetizing. Best used when about 2 – 4cm long and before the seed floss forms, on older pods remove any seed floss before cooking them. If picked at the right time, the pods resemble okra. The sprouted seeds can be eaten. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. The latex in the stems is made into a chewing gum. It is found mainly in the leaves and is destroyed by frost. Yields are higher on dry soils.

Medicinal Uses:-
Expectorant.

The plant is used as a snuff in the treatment of catarrh.

Other Uses:-
Fibre; Latex; Oil; Pollution; Stuffing; Wick.

The following reports refer to other members of this genus and are possibly also appropriate for this species. A good quality fibre is obtained from the bark, used in making twine, cloth, paper etc[95, 112, 169]. It is of poor quality in wet seasons. It is easily harvested in late autumn after the plant has died down by simply pulling the fibres off the dried stems. The seed floss is used to stuff pillows etc or is mixed with other fibres to make cloth. It is a Kapok substitute, used in Life Jackets or as a stuffing material. Very water repellent, it can yield up to 550 kilos per hectare. The floss has also been used to mop up oil spills at sea. Candlewicks can be made from the seed floss. Rubber can be made from latex contained in the leaves and the stems. It is found mainly in the leaves and is destroyed by frost. Yields are higher on dry soils. Pods contain an oil and a wax which are of potential importance. The seed contains up to 20% of an edible semi-drying oil. It is also used in making liquid soap.

Known Hazards :  Although no specific reports have been seen for this species, many, if not all, members of this genus contain toxic resinoids, alkaloids and cardiac glycosides. They are usually avoided by grazing animals. This species is said to be poisonous to livestock.

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/search_use.php?K[]=Flowers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asclepias_asperula
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=asas
http://www.wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=13859

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