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Herbs & Plants

Zanthoxylum

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Botanical Name :Zanthoxylum spp
Family: Rutaceae
Subfamily: Toddalioideae
Genus: Zanthoxylum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common NamesPrickly Ash , Szechuan pepper, chuan jiao, Tooth Ache Tree, yellow wood

Habitat:Zanthoxylum is native to northern and central Illinois.It occurs in upland woodlands, bottomland woodlands, savannas, wooded ravines, thinly wooded bluffs, edges of shady seeps, stream banks in wooded areas, thickets, pastures, and fence rows. It probably benefits from occasional wildfires.

Description:
Zanthoxylum  is a shrub is 4-25′ tall, branching abundantly. The bark of trunk and larger branches is gray to brown and fairly smooth, although on old large shrubs it can become shallowly furrowed with a wrinkled appearance. Twigs are brown and glabrous, while young shoots are light green and nearly glabrous to pubescent. Pairs of stout prickles up to 1/3″ long are scattered along the branches, twigs and shoots; these spines are somewhat flattened and curved. Alternate compound leaves about 6-12″ long develop along the twigs and young shoots; they are odd-pinnate with 5-11 leaflets. Individual leaflets are 1½-3¼” long and ½-1½” across; they are lanceolate-oblong to ovate-oblong with margins that are smooth to crenulate (fine rounded teeth). The upper surface of mature leaflets is medium green, minutely glandular, and glabrous, while the lower surface is pale green and short-pubescent to nearly glabrous; in the latter case, fine hairs are restricted to the major veins. Newly emerged leaflets are more hairy than mature leaflets. The lateral leaflets are sessile or nearly so, while the terminal leaflets have slender petiolules (basal stalklets) that are less than ½” long. The light green petioles (basal stalks) and rachises of the compound leaves are hairy while young, but become more glabrous with age; they have scattered small prickles along their undersides.

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Prickly Ash is almost always dioecious, producing male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers on separate shrubs. These flowers are arranged in small axillary clusters (cymes) along the branches of the preceding year. Individual male flowers are a little less than ¼” across, consisting of 4-5 erect petals and 4-5 stamens; there is no calyx. The petals of male flowers are yellowish green to orange and oblong in shape. Individual female flowers are about ¼” across, consisting of 4-5 erect petals and 2-5 separate pistils; there is no calyx. The petals of female flowers are also yellowish green to orange and oblong in shape. The ovaries of the pistils are glossy green and ovoid in shape; their elongated styles tend to converge at their tips. The blooming period occurs during mid- to late spring before the leaves develop. Afterwards, the female flowers are replaced by berry-like follicles (fruits that open along one-side) about 1/3″ long that are ovoid-globoid in shape with a pitted surface. As the follicles mature, they change from green to red to brown, eventually splitting open to expose shiny black seeds with oily surfaces. Each follicle contains 1-2 seeds. Both the crushed foliage and fruits are highly aromatic, somewhat resembling the fragrance of lemon peels. The root system produces underground runners, from which clonal offsets are produced. This shrub often forms clonal colonies of varying size.

Cultivation: The preference is full or partial sun and moist to dry-mesic conditions. Different types of soil are tolerated, including those that contain loam, clay-loam, and rocky material. This shrub can adapt to light shade, but it may fail to produce flowers and fruit. It has relatively few problems with pests and disease organisms

Medicinal uses:
Paresthesia is the mouth-numbing effect believed to be caused by hydroxyl-alpha-sanshool, an alkylamide found in Zanthoxylum spp.  Anyone who has bitten into a Sichuan pepper can attest to the unique sensation of mild electric shock or “pins and needles” in their mouth.  Researchers have likened this experience to that of “touching their tongue to the terminals of a 9-volt battery”, which is quite different from the burning pain of chilli peppers or the punch of fresh wasabi.

The numbing and analgesic effects of Zanthoxylum have been exploited for centuries as a natural remedy to alleviate acute and chronic pain.  In Nigeria, the roots are used as a chewing stick to give a warm and numbing effect.  This use is believed to be beneficial to the elderly and to those with sore gums and other oral disease conditions.  Zanthoxylum americanum is commonly known as toothache tree in North America and can be found in the eastern US as well as Ontario and Quebec in Canada.

Zanthoxylum spp. have traditionally been administered for a variety of maladies in addition to oral diseases.  In India, the leaf is used against fever, dyspepsia and bronchitis.  In Manipur, India, the seed oil is applied against baldness and bark powder is used to treat toothache (Singh and Singh 2004).  In a 2008 report titled “Indigenous Vegetables of India with a Potential for Improving Livelihoods,” ML Chadha from the ARVDC Regional Center for South Asia reports that Z. hamiltonianum is used as both a vegetable and a remedy; dried, tender leaves are eaten as a vegetable and powdered fruits are consumed to increase the appetite.  The young stems are employed as a toothbrush in cases of toothache and bleeding gums, whereas the roots and bark are used to cure malaria.  Though generally eaten as a vegetable, the leaves of Z. rhetsa are also consumed to kill tapeworms and reduce infection (Chadha 2008).

Scientific studies are validating the traditional medical role of various Zanthoxylum products.  Research has demonstrated the potential of Z. rhetsa leaf extract as a de-worming remedy; it has been found to have a pronounced effect against larval eggs, comparable to a commercial drug (Yadav and Tangpu  2009).  Bark extract from Z. rhetsa has been shown to lessen abdominal contractions and diarrhoea in mice (Rahman 2002).  Other potential pharmaceutical applications include cancer treatment and anti-oxidant, anti-coagulant and anti-bacterial agents.

At the industrial level, Z. armatum has been shown to contain high amounts of linalool (Jain et al. 2001), a compound used commercially as a precursor to vitamin E production and also in soaps, detergents and insecticides.  Clearly, Zanthoxylum spp. have potential beyond traditional uses as spices and folk medicine.

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.illinoiswildflowers.info/trees/plants/prickly_ash.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zanthoxylum
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail403.php
http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs035/1102506082274/archive/1104323477745.html

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Herbs & Plants

Gillenia stipulata

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Botanical Name : Gillenia stipulata
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Gillenia
Species: G. stipulata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonym(s): Porteranthus stipulatus; spiraea stipulata, Porteranthus stipulatus. (Muhl. ex Willd.)Britt.

Common Name : American Ipecacuanna, American ipecac

Habitat : Gillenia stipulata   is native to  Eastern N. America – New York to Indiana and Kansas, south to Georgia, Louisiana and Oklahoma. It grows in woods, thickets and rocky slopes.

Description:
Gillenia stipulata is a  herbaceous, perennial  plant   growing to 1.2 m (4ft).  It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from May to June.  The stem  is erect, glabrous to pubescent, branching, multiple from base, sub-hollow, greenish to red above, from caudex, rhizomatous.. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

Leaves – Alternate, stipulate, short-petiolate, trifoliolate. Stipules large, foliaceous, serrate, ovate, +/-2.5cm long and broad, pubescent below, glabrous ir sparse pubescent above. Leaflets sessile, linear-lanceolate, to 9cm long, 2cm broad, serrate, pubescent below, sparse pubescent above, central leaflet slightly larger than lateral leaflets. Leaflets of lowest leaves pinnatifid.

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Inflorescence – Axillary and terminal loose few-flowered panicles. Each divisions of inflorescence subtended by reduced foliaceous bract.

Flowers – Petals 5, white, acute to acuminate, 1.2cm long, 3-4mm broad, glabrous, oblong, clawed. Claw to 3mm long. Stamens 20, borne at edge of hypanthium, in two sets. Filaments white, glabrous, 2mm long. Anthers tan, 1mm in diameter. Pistils 5, distinct. Styles white, 3mm long, glabrous. Ovaries yellow-green, 1.9mm long. Hypanthium tube 5-6mm long, 3-4mm in diameter, greenish-white to reddish, truncate at base, glabrous. Sepals 5, acute, 1.1mm long, with some pubescence internally near apex. Follicles to 8mm long, glabrous, with +/-3 seeds.

A common name for this plant is “American Ipecac” because the plant had been used by natives as a laxative and emetic. This is not, however, the common Ipecac of modern medicine. Today’s Ipecac comes from Cephaelis ipecacuanha, a member of the Rubiaceae from South America.

Cultivation:
Easily grown in a rather moist but well-drained lime-free peaty soil in semi-shade. Succeeds in a sunny position but requires shade at the hottest part of the day.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on for the first year in a lightly shaded area of the greenhouse or cold frame. Plant out in late spring and protect from slugs until well established. Division in spring or autumn.
Medicinal Uses:
The dried powered root bark is cathatric, slightly diaphoretic,a mild and efficient  emetic,expectorant and tonic. Minute dosesare used internally in the treatment of colds, chronic diarrhea, constipation, asthma and other bronchial complications. The root have been used externally in the treatment of rhematism. A cold infution of the roots has been given , or the root   chewed  in the treatment of bee and insects stings.The roots are harvested in the autumn, the bark is removed and dried for later use. A tea made from the whole plant is strong laxative and emitic.Minute doses are used internally in the treatment of colds, indigestion, asthma and hepatitis.A poultice or wash is used in the treatment of rhematism,bee stings and swellings.A decoction or strong infution of the whole plant has been taken a pint at a time as an emitic.A poultice of the plant  has been used to treat leg swellings. The plant has been used in the treatment of toothaches.

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://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamentals/cornell_herbaceous/plant_pages/Gilleniastipulata.html

http://www.robsplants.com/plants/GilleStipu

http://www.missouriplants.com/Whitealt/Gillenia_stipulata_page.html

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

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

http://www.thealpinegarden.com/woodlandusa.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gillenia+stipulata

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Herbs & Plants

Sabatia angularis

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Botanical Name :Sabatia angularis
Family: Gentianaceae
Genus: Sabatia
Species: S. angularis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Names :Rosepink, Rose Pink, American centaury, Bitterbloom, Bitter floom, Square-stemmed Sabbatia)
Habitat :Sabatia angularis is native to the United States.Occurring over much of the eastern United States, rosepink is distributed from New York west to Illinois and eastern Kansas, ranging south to the Florida panhandle and Texas. It is considered rare in Kansas and New York, and is considered to be extirpated in Ontario (NatureServe 2007). Rocky open woods, glades, thickets, fields, prairies, roadsides.

Description:
It is a herbaceous flowering plant.
Stems – To +60cm tall, branching above, herbaceous, erect, glabrous, 4-angled, winged on angles, from thickened roots.

Leaves – Opposite, sessile, clasping, ovate, entire, acute, glabrous, decussate, reduced upward, to +4cm long, +3cm broad, with 3 conspicuous veins and 4 faint veins (best seen from below).

Inflorescence – Typically flat-topped cymes with many flowers, dichotomously branching. Each division of inflorescence subtended by small foliaceous bracts.

Flowers – Corolla tube greenish, 4mm long, glabrous, 5-lobed. Lobes spreading, pink or white, to 1.3cm long, +/-6mm broad, oblanceolate to spatulate, glabrous, greenish-yellow at very base. Stamens 5, alternating with corolla lobes, erect. Filaments to 5mm long, glabrous, yellowish. Anthers curling, 3mm long, brownish. Style 6mm long, glabrous, whitish to pale yellow. Stigma 2-lobed. Lobes curled, yellow. Ovary superior, unilocular. Placentation parietal. Calyx tube 1.5mm long(in flower), green, glabrous, 5-lobed. Lobes linear, 8-9mm long, 1mm broad, glabrous, ascending to erect, acute, entire. Calyx accrescent. Capsule to 8mm long, cylindric, glabrous, green, many seeded.
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Flowering period – June – September.

Propagation : : Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in late summer or early autumn. Sow in a peaty soil in a moist shady border or sow in pots in a shady part of the cold frame and keep the soil moist by standing the pot in 2 – 3cm of water.

Cultivation :  Rich soils in open woods, clearings, fields and prairies.

Medicinal Uses:
This herb, which should be gathered when in full bloom, is an active tonic, of the more stimulating class, with moderate and somewhat diffusive relaxing qualities, allied to the American  gentian, but rather milder.   Its chief power is exerted upon the stomach, gall-ducts, and spleen; and the general circulation and uterus feel it moderately.  A warm infusion gently promotes the menstrual secretion, in cases of debility.   Cold preparations increase appetite and digestion in weak and flaccid conditions of the stomach, and may be used for chronic dyspepsia and general debility.  By maintaining the portal circulation somewhat vigorously,  it proves of eminent service for the intermediate treatment of agues; and though not a nervine stimulant and antiperiodic as cinchona is, it is of decided value against intermittents where the cinchona preparations (and similar antiperiodics) prove too exciting to the nerve centers.  In cases of this class, I have several times arrested ague paroxysms by the fluid extract of this plant alone, with suitable daily hepatics; yet it is not strong enough to meet the chills of deeply-prostrated or congested cases.   It makes an excellent tonic addendum to such agents as fraxinus, angustura, or euonymus, in treating chronic biliousness with indigestion; and may be used to advantage with caulophyllum, convallaria, and similar uterine remedies, in chronic prolapsus, leucorrhea, hysteria, etc.   Its sustaining influence is shown to excellent advantage in the treatment of night sweats, exhaustion from excessive purulent discharges, recovery from malignant scarlatina, and other prostrated conditions.  Some use it for worms, as a tonic.   Usually given by infusion, made by digesting an ounce of the herb in a pint of hot water; of which a fluid ounce may be given every two or three hours during the intermission of an ague, or half a fluid ounce every three hours as a tonic.

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.missouriplants.com/Pinkopp/Sabatia_angularis_page.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabatia_angularis
http://beetlesinthebush.wordpress.com/2009/08/28/friday-flower-sabatia-angularis/
http://www.cas.vanderbilt.edu/bioimages/species/saan.htm

http://www.ct-botanical-society.org/galleries/sabatiaangu.html

http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/s/sabatia-angularis=bitter-bloom.php

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Herbs & Plants

Aconitum chasmanthum

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Botanical Name: Aconitum chasmanthum
Family Name: Ranunculaceae
Genus
: Aconitum
Local Name: Beshmolo
Urdu Name: Mori
English name: Aconite
Part used: Roots

Habitat: E. Asia – Western Himalayas from Chitral to Kashmir at 2100 – 3500 metres. Mountains at elevations around 4600 metres. In Gilgit/ Baltistan this herb usually grow wild. It occurs in Rattu Cant, Kalapani, Kamri, Ghuraz, Tarshing, Rupal and almost in all Nullahs of Astore. It is also found in Kargh Nullah, Nalter, and Chaprote Nagar.

Description:Perennial growing to 0.5m.
It is in flower in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.

Stem 30 to 80 cm tall leafy. The upper leaves only slightly smaller than the lower ones. Inflorescence racemes up to 30 cm long. Sepals blue or white with blue veins, rarely pale purple, crisp pubescent to glabrous, lateral ones sub orbicular to nearly square, not contiguous with helmet. Claw of petals 5 to 7 mm. Filaments often almost glabrous, winged. Wings not ending in tiny teeth.

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Caudex carrot-shaped, ca. 7 cm, ca. 8 mm in diam. Stem ca. 50 cm, glabrous. Leaf petiole 3–5.5 cm, glabrous; leaf blade pentagonal-orbicular, 4.2–4.8 × 4–5.6 cm, both surfaces glabrous or nearly so; central segment rhombic, base narrowly cuneate, 3-parted nearly to base; lobes ± dissected; lateral segments obliquely flabellate, unequally 2-parted. Inflorescence ca. 15 cm, densely ca. 25-flowered; rachis and pedicels spreading pubescent; proximal bracts leaflike, distal ones linear. Proximal pedicels 4–7 mm, distally with 2 bracteoles; bracteoles linear, ca. 3 mm. Sepals blue-violet, abaxially sparsely pubescent; lower sepals oblong; lateral sepals broadly obovate or orbicular-obovate, ca. 1.3 cm; upper sepal navicular-falcate or navicular, ca. 5 mm wide, narrowly beaked, ca. 1.8 cm from base to beak, lower margin slightly concave. Petals ca. 1.5 cm; claw rarely pubescent; limb glabrous, ca. 5 mm; lip ca. 2.5 mm; spur ca. 0.7 mm, semiglobose. Stamens glabrous, rarely sparsely pubescent; filaments entire. Carpels 5, sparsely pubescent.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. 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 :
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade. Prefers a calcareous soil. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. Grows well in open woodlands. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes.

Propagation
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year

Medicinal uses:
Analgesic; Anodyne; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Irritant; Sedative.

The dried root is analgesic, anodyne, diaphoretic, diuretic, irritant and sedative. The root is a rich source of active alkaloids, containing around 3%. It is best harvested as soon as the plant dies down in the autumn. This is a very poisonous plant and should only be used with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.

Antirheumatic, useful in heart diseases, neurasthenic and fever, diaphoretic, diuretic, anodyne, anti diabetic.

Locally , the dried pulverized roots are mixed butter and given as ointment on abscess and boils also mixed with tobacco and uses as “Naswar”.

Known Hazards : The whole plant is highly toxic – simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people.

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.sdpi.org/alpine%20medicianl%20herbs/1.htm
http://server9.web-mania.com/users/pfafardea/database/plants.php?Aconitum+chasmanthum
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200007140

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