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Herbs & Plants

Gnaphalium Obtusifolium

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Botanical NameGnaphalium polycephalum/ Gamochaeta purpurea/Gnaphalium uliginosum /Pseudognaphalium macounii
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe:     Gnaphalieae
Genus:     Gnaphalium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Indian Posy. Sweet-scented Life Everlasting. Old Field Balsam. Gnaphalium Obtusifolium or Blunt-leaved Everlasting. Gnaphalium Connoideum. Fragrant Everlasting. None-so-Pretty. Catsfoot. Silver Leaf.

Common Names : White Balsam

Habitat:White Balsam is native to  Virginia, Pennsylvania and New England. This plant is common in old fields and pastures throughout the United States and Canada.

Description:
Natural Order, Compositae. This belongs to a genus of woolly herbs, which are peculiar for their downy and tomentose appearance. Their flowers are borne in many compact heads, closely arranged in a large terminal corymb, and all tubular. The species here spoken of is an annual, one to two feet high, the whole plant (stem, leaves, and peduncles) gray with a short and silky wool. Stem erect, branched above. Leaves alternate, three inches long by one-fourth of an inch broad, tapering at the base, sessile, margins a little wavy, smoothish above. Flowers tubular, white, in obovate heads; heads in a terminal and close panicled corymb, of a pretty appearance. Whole plant slightly fragrant. July and August.

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The leaves and yellow flower-heads are used medicinally, though the whole plant is gathered. Its aroma is rather pleasant, its taste slightly bitter and aromatic, and its properties are extracted by water and alcohol. Several other species of the same genus are used indiscriminately with this one, among which may be named G. decurrens, with yellowish-white flowers and decurrent leaves; G. uliginosum, about five inches high, and with the clusters of flower-heads sitting down below the upper leaves; and G. purpureum, branching from the base, with the leaves green above, and the flowers in a wand-like terminal spike.

Medicinal Uses:

Parts Used: Herb, leaves, flowers.
This plant combines relaxing and stimulating properties with a moderate portion of demulcent quality. In cold preparations, its action is mainly expended upon mucous membranes; and as it soothes and strengthens these tissues, it has been pronounced astringent, though it is faintly tonic and not drying. It has been used in sore-mouth, sub-acute coughs, feebleness of the lungs, leucorrhea, catarrh of the bladder, and the latter stages of dysentery. It is really an excellent article in such cases; and though it is too mild to be of use in degenerate conditions, it is useful for its gentle influence. In warm infusion, it promotes mild diaphoresis, and is a popular remedy in recent colds and light fever; and a strong preparation is said to relieve mumps, quinsy, the tenesmus of dysentery, and excessive menstruation. In some respects it acts on the assimilative organs much as avens root does–toning them and abating a tendency to curdy diarrhea. From being at one time over-rated, it has fallen into undeserved neglect. An ounce may be digested in a pint and a half of water till a pint remains, and two fluid ounces of this used once every two hours or oftener. It is sometimes combined with other agents in pulmonary sirups.

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/Gnaphalium
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/cook/GNAPHALIUM_POLYCEPHALUM.htm
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/balwhi08.html

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Herbs & Plants

Graphalium uliginosum

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Botanical Name: Graphalium uliginosum
Family:
Asteraceae
Genus:     
Gnaphalium
Species:
G. uliginosum
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:     
Asterales

Synonyms:  Cotton Weed. March Everlasting.

Common Name:Marsh Cudweed

Habitat:Graphalium uliginosum is found in the British Isles and Europe. It grows in  marshy places in most parts of Europe.

Description:
Graphalium uliginosum is a very wooly annual plant, growing 4–20 cm tall.

The leaves are wooly on both sides. They are 1 to 5 cm long, narrow oblong shaped.

The flower heads are 3 to 4 mm long. They are arranged in clusters of 3 to 10, surrounded by long leaves. The flower head bracts are wooly, and pale below, with dark chaffy hairless tips. The florets are brownish yellow. The stigmas are pale.

It flowers from July until September.
Fruits: Achenes small, nerveless.

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Stalk branched, diffused; flowers crowded, termina tiny; leaves elliptical, tapering into a long foot-stalk, slightly downy and greenish above, whitish and more downy underneath. The ends of the branches crowded with nurnerous heads of nearly sessile flowers which appear in August.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: Herb.
Quinsy, gargle astringent, infusion 1 OZ. to 1 pint boiling water taken internally in wineglassful; also used as a gargle.

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/Gnaphalium_uliginosum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/cudwe126.html

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Herbs & Plants

Catsfoot

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Botanical Name : Antennaria dioca
Family: Asteraceae
Genus:     Antennaria
Species: A. dioica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Asterales

Synonyms: Life Everlasting. Mountain Everlasting. Gnaphalium dioicum (Linn.). Cudweed.

Common Names : Mountain Everlasting, Catsfoot, Cudweed or Stoloniferous Pussytoes

Habitat : Catsfoot is found in cool temperate regions of Europe and Asia, and also in North America in Alaska only.It is often found  to the coast level.

Description:
Catsfoot is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 10–20 cm tall, with a rosette of basal spoon-shaped leaves 4 cm long, and 1 cm broad at their broadest near the apex; and smaller leaves arranged spirally up the flowering stems. The flowers are produced in capitulae (flowerheads) 6–12 mm diameter with pale pink ray florets and darker pink disc florets.

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It is dioecious, but can also reproduce without fertilisation. It is found in groups which can be all-female colonies, all-male colonies, and also mixed colonies. The male plants have whiter flowerheads than female plants.

This plant derives its name from the antennae of a butterfly which the pappus hairs of the Staminate florets resemble.
It is the only British species, a small perennial with tufted or creeping leafly stalks and almost simple flowering stems, from 2 to 5 inches high. Lower leaves obovate or oblong, upper ones linear, white underneath or on both sides. Flowers early summer white and pinky, dioecious. In the males, inner bracts of the involucre have broad white petal-like tips, the females inner bracts narrow and white at tips, florets filiform with long protruding pappus to the achenes. Taste astringent odour pleasant and strongest in the female heads, male plant has white membraneous scales and the female rosecoloured. Gerard alludes to it as ‘Live for ever,’ and says:
‘When the flower hath long flourished and is waxen old, then comes there in the middest of the floure a certain brown yellow thrumme, such as is in the middest of the daisie, which floure being gathered when it is young may be kept in such manner (I meane in such freshness and well-liking) by the space of a whole year after in your chest or elsewhere, wherefore our English women have called it “Live Long,” or “Live-for ever,” which name doth aptly answer thiseffects.’

Another variety of Cudweed was called ‘Herbe Impious’ or ‘Wicked Cudweed,’ a variety
‘like unto the small Cudweed, but much larger and for the most part those floures which appeare first are the lowest and basest; and they are over topt by other floures, which come on younger branches, and grow higher as children seeking to overgrow or overtop their parents (as many wicked children do) for which cause it hath been called “Herbe Impious.” ‘

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: The whole herb

Constituents: Resin, volabile oil tanin and a bitter principle.

Discutient and used for its astringent properties, as a cure for quinsy, and mumps, said to be efficacious for bites of poisonous reptiles, and for looseness of bowels.

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/Antennaria_dioica
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/catsfo38.html

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