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Goldenseal

Botanical Name : Hydrastis canadensis
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Hydrastis
Species: H. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names:  Goldenseal, yellow paint root, orange root, yellow puccoon, ground raspberry, eye root, yellow Indian plant, turmeric root, Ohio curcuma, eye balm, yellow eye and jaundice root.

Habitat :Goldenseal is native to North America, and can be found growing wild from Ontario to Arkansas, across the southeastern U.S. to Georgia and cultivated in Oregon and Washington. The main growing region used to be Ohio valley, before it became the area fell victim to deforestation and development.
It grows in the rich soil of shady woods and moist places at the edge of wooded lands. Goldenseal prefers open hardwood forests, with rich humic soils, and a slight slope around 5% to facilitate drainage. Plants are found to be most vigorous in stands with 60-65% shade, and pH values between 5.5 and 6.5.

Description:
Goldenseal has a thick, yellow rootstock which sends up an erect hairy stem about 1 foot in height which branches near the top, one branch bearing a large leaf and another a smaller leaf and a flower.The stem is purplish and hairy above ground and yellow below ground where it connects to the yellow rhizome. The plant bears two palmate, hairy leaves with 5–7 double-toothed lobes and single, small, inconspicuous flowers with greenish white stamens in the late spring.

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The rhizome is thick, sarcous, oblong, irregular, and knotted, having a yellowish-brown, thin bark, and a bright-yellow interior; rootlets numerous, scattered, coriaceous fibres.This low perennial herb grows from 6 to 10 inches high, its leaves and fruit much resembling those of the raspberry. The flowering stem, which is pushed up early in the spring, is from 6 to 12 inches high, erect, cylindrical, hairy, with downward-pointing hairs, especially above, surrounded at the base with a few short, brown scales. It bears two prominently-veined and wrinkled, dark green, hairy leaves, placed high up, the lower one stalked, the upper stalkless, roundish in outline, but palmately cut into 5 to 7 lobes, the margins irregularly and finely toothed. The flower, which is produced in April, is solitary, terminal, erect, and small, with three small greenish-white sepals, falling away immediately after expansion, no petals and numerous stamens.It bears a single berry like a large raspberry with 10–30 seeds. The fruit ripens in July and has the superficial appearance of a raspberry, with small, fleshy, red berries, tipped with the persistent styles and containing 1 or 2 black, shiny seeds. However, it is not edible.

Cultivation:
Goldenseal can be grown both from seed and from the rhizome. It requires a partially shaded situation (60 – 70%), in a well draining, rich humus soil. Rootstocks can be divided into small pieces and set at least 8” apart. Planting should be undertaken in the autumn. The plants should be allowed to grow for 2 – 3 years before harvesting, though by the 4th year the roots are said to become too fibrous for medicinal use. Transplanting may be undertaken at any time. According to an American grower 32 healthy plants set per square yard will produce 2 lb of dry root after three years of growth. The fresh rhizome is juicy and loses much of its weight in drying. When fresh, it has a well-marked, narcotic odour, which is lost in a great measure by age, when it acquires a peculiar sweetish smell, somewhat resembling liquorice root. It has a very bitter, feebly opiate taste, more especially when freshly dried. The rhizome is irregular and tortuous, much knotted, with a yellowish-brown, thin bark and bright yellow interior, 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inch long, and from 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. The upper surface bears short ascending branches, which are usually terminated by cup-like scars, left by the aerial stems of previous years. From the lower surface and sides, numerous thin, wiry, brittle roots are given off, many of them breaking off, leaving small protuberances on the root. The colour of the rhizome, though yellow in the fresh root, becomes a dark, yellowish brown by age; that of the rootlets and the interior of the root are yellow and that of the powder still more so. When dry, the rhizome is hard and breaks with a clean, resinous fracture, the smooth, fractured surface is of a brownish-yellow, or greenish-yellow colour, and exhibits a ring of bright yellow, somewhat distant narrow wood bundles surrounding large pith.

Constituents:
Goldenseal contains the isoquinoline alkaloids: hydrastine, berberine, berberastine, hydrastinine, tetrahydroberberastine, canadine, and canalidine. A related compound, 8-oxotetrahydrothalifendine was identified in one study. One study analyzed the hydrastine and berberine contents of twenty commercial goldenseal and goldenseal-containing products and found they contained variously 0%-2.93% hydrastine and 0.82%-5.86% berberine.[18] Berberine and hydrastine act as quaternary bases and are poorly soluble in water but freely soluble in alcohol. The herb seems to have synergistic antibacterial activity over berberine in vitro, possibly due to efflux pump inhibitory activity.

Multiple bacteria and fungi, along with selected protozoa and chlamydia are susceptible to berberine in vitro. Berberine alone has weak antibiotic activity in vitro since many microorganisms actively export it from the cell (although a whole herb is likely to work on the immune system as well as on attacking the microbes and hence have a stronger clinical effect than the antibiotic activity alone would suggest).[citation needed] Interestingly, there is some evidence for other berberine-containing species synthesizing an efflux pump inhibitor that tends to prevent antibiotic resistance, a case of solid scientific evidence that the herb is superior to the isolated active principle. However, it is not yet known whether goldenseal contains a drug resistance efflux pump inhibitor, although many antimicrobial herbs do.

Medicinal Uses:
•The American aborigines valued the root highly as a tonic, tomachic and application for sore eyes and general ulceration.
•It is a valuable remedy in the disordered conditions of the digestion and has a special action on the mucous membrane, making it of value as a local remedyin various forms of catarrh.
•The action is tonic, laxative, alterative and detergent. The powder has proved useful as a snuff for nasal catarrh.
•It is employed in dyspepsia, gastric catarrh, and loss of appetite and liver troubles.
•Goldenseal was used by the American Indians as a treatment for irritations and inflammation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory, digestive, and urinary tracts.
•Its traditional uses include treatment of peptic ulcers, gastritis, dyspepsia and colitis.
•It is said to stimulate appetite and generally have a toning effect on the whole body.
•Its astringent properties have also been employed in cases of excessive menstruation and internal bleeding. It has a stimulating effect on the uterine muscles for which it is sometimes used as an aid in childbirth.
•The decoction is also said to be effective as a douche to treat trichomonas and thrush. As a gargle it can be employed in cases of gum infections and sore throats.
•It was commonly used topically for skin and eye infections.
•It is used for infectious diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infections, and vaginal infections.
•It is used as aremedy for laxative, tonic, alterative, detergent, opthalmicum, antiperiodic, aperient, diuretic, antiseptic, deobstruent.
•Excels for open sores, inflammations, eczema, ringworm, erysipelas, skin diseases, and nausea during pregnancy.
•In combination with skullcap and red pepper it will relieve and strengthen the heart.
•The Iroquois made a decoction of roots for treatment of whooping cough and diarrhea, liver trouble, fever, sour stomach and gas and as an emetic for biliousness. They also prepared a compound infusion with other roots for use as drops in the treatment of earache and as a wash for sore eyes.

Known Hazards:  Goldenseal is considered safe at recommended dosages.But it may cause side effects allergic reaction, headache and many others. Not safe for pregnant women and children.

Other Uses:
•Mixed with bear’s grease it is said to have been used as an insect repellent.
•Native people also valued the yellow roots as a stain and dye

Folklore and Myths:
It is believed that Goldenseal root is a very rare and expensive botanical Curio widely thought to be a powerful Guardian and Healer and to provide Strength and Protection to those who possess it.  Goldenseal root is used by many people for the purpose of Warding off Evil and bringing Good Luck in Health Matters. Some folks says that they place Goldenseal  root in a white flannel bag along with Angelica Root and other Healing Herbs, anoint this conjure hand with 7-11 Holy Type Oil or Blessing Oil and sew it into the mattress of any loved one who suffers chronic pain, serious disease, or acute illness, for Protection and Healing.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldenseal
http://www.indianmirror.com/ayurveda/goldenseal.html
http://www.medicalhealthguide.com/herb/goldenseal.htm

Eyebright

Botanical Name : Euphrasia officinalis
Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Euphrasia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms: Euphrasia.
(French) Casse-lunette.
(German) Augentröst.

Common Name :Eyebright

Alternative names, mainly in herbalism, are Augentrostkraut, Euphrasiae herba, Herba Euphrasiae and Herbe d’Euphraise.

Habitat :The Eyebright is the only British species of a genus containing twenty species distributed over Europe, Northern and Western Asia and North America.

Description:
It is an elegant little plant, 2 to 8 inches high, an annual, common on heaths and other dry pastures, especially on a chalky soil, and flowering from July to September, with deeply-cut leaves and numerous, small, white or purplish flowers variegated with yellow.

It varies much in size and in the colour of the corolla, which changes to quite white and yellow. On the mountains and near the sea, or in poor soil, it is often a tiny plant, only an inch or so high, with the stem scarcely branched, but in rich soil it assumes the habit of a minute shrub and forms a spreading tuft, 8 or 9 inches high. The leaves, also, are sometimes almost round, and at other times pointed and narrow, their margins, however, always deeply cut into teeth. The variability of the Eyebright has led to much discussion as to how many species of it are known: continental botanists define numerous species, but our botanists follow Bentham and Hooker, who considered that there is only one very variable species, with three principal varieties: officinalis proper, in which the corolla lip equals or exceeds the tube and the bracts of the flower-spike are broad at the base; gracilis, more slender, the corolla lip shorter than the tube, and the flower-spike bracts narrowed at the base, and maritima, found on the shores of the Shetland Islands in which the capsule is much longer than the calyx.
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The stem is erect and wiry, either unbranched in small specimens, or with many opposite branches. The leaves are 1/6 to 1/2 inch long and about 1/4 inch broad, opposite to one another on the lower portion of the stem, alternate above, more often lance-shaped, though sometimes, as already stated, much broader, and with four to five teeth on each side.

The flowers, white, or lilac and purpleveined, are in terminal spikes, with leafy bracts interspersed. The structure of the flower places the plant in the family of the Foxglove and the Speedwell – Scrophulariaceae. The corolla is two-lipped, its lower, tube-like portion being enclosed in a green calyx, tipped with four teeth. The upper lip is two-lobed and arches over the stamens, forming a shelter from the rain. The lower lip is spreading and three-lobed, each lobe being notched. A yellow patch emphasizes the central lobe and purple ‘honey guides’ on both upper and lower lips – marked streaks of colour – point the way down the throat. Four stamens, with brown, downy anthers lie under the upper lip, in pairs, one behind the other; on the underside of each anther is a stiff spur, the two lowest spurs longer than the others and projecting over the throat of the flower. The upper spurs end in miniature brushes which are intended to prevent the pollen being scattered at the side and wasted. When a bee visitor comes in search of the honey lying round the ovary at the bottom of the petal tube, it knocks against the projecting anther spurs, which sets free the pollen, so that it falls on the insect’s head. On visiting the next flower, the bee will then rub its dusty head against the outstanding stigma which terminates the style, or long thread placed on the ovary and projects beyond the stamens, and thus cross-fertilization is effected. But though this is the normal arrangement, other and smaller flowers are sometimes found, which suggests that self- fertilization is aimed at. In these, the corolla elongates after opening, and as the stamens are attached to it, their heads are gradually brought almost up to the stigma and eventually their pollen will fertilize it.

The seeds in all kinds of the flowers are produced in tiny, flattened capsules, and are numerous and ribbed.

The Eyebright will not grow readily in a garden if transplanted, unless ‘protected’ apparently, by grass. The reason for this is that it is a semi-parasite, relying for part of its nourishment on the roots of other plants. Above ground, it appears to be a perfectly normal plant, with normal flowers and bright green leaves – the leaves of fully parasitic plants are almost devoid of green colouring matter – but below the surface, suckers from its roots spread round and lie on the rootlets of the grassplants among which it grows. Where they are in contact, tiny nodules form and send absorption cells into the grass rootlets. The grass preyed upon does not, however, suffer very much, as the cells penetrate but a slight distance, moreover the Eyebright being an annual, renewing itself from year to year, the suckers on the grass roots to which it is attached also wither in the autumn, so there is no permanent drain of strength from the grass.

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: Herb.(Parts used include the leaf, the stem, and small pieces of the flowers. Typical preparations include a warm compress or tea. Eyebright preparations are also available as an extract or capsule.)
Constituents: The precise chemical constituents of the herb have not yet been recorded; it is known to contain a peculiar tannin, termed Euphrasia-Tannin acid (which gives a dark-green precipitate with ferric salts and is only obtainable by combination with lead) and also Mannite and Glucose, but the volatile oil and acrid and bitter principle have not yet been chemically analyzed.

Uses: Although neglected nowadays by the faculty, modern herbalists still retain faith in this herb and recommend its use in diseases of the sight, weakness of the eyes, ophthalmia, etc., combining it often with Golden Seal in a lotion stated to be excellent for general disorders of the eyes. The juice obtained by expression from the plant in the fresh state is sometimes employed, or an infusion in milk, but the simple infusion in water is the more usual form in which it is applied. An infusion of 1 OZ. of the herb to a pint of boiling water should be used and the eyes bathed three or four times a day. When there is much pain, it is considered desirable to use a warm infusion rather more frequently for inflamed eyes till the pain is removed. In ordinary cases, the cold application is found sufficient.It was also used to treat bad memory and vertigo.

 

In Iceland, the expressed juice is used for most ailments of the eye, and in Scotland the Highlanders make an infusion of the herb in milk and anoint weak or inflamed eyes with a feather dipped in it.

The dried herb is an ingredient in British Herbal Tobacco, which is smoked most usefully for chronic bronchial colds.

Homoeopathists hold that Eyebright belongs to the order of scrofula-curing plants, and Dr. Fernie tells us that it has recently been found by experiment:
‘to possess a distinct sphere of curative operation, within which it manifests virtues which are as unvarying as they are potential. It acts specifically on the mucous lining of the eyes and nose and the upper part of the throat to the top of the windpipe, causing when given so largely as to be injurious, a profuse secretion from these parts; if given of reduced strength, it cures the troublesome symptoms due to catarrh. Hay Fever, and acute attacks of cold in the head may be checked by an immediate dose of the infusion repeated every two hours. A medicinal tincture is prepared from the whole plant with spirits of wine, of which a lotion is made with rose-water, for simple inflammation of the eyes. Thirty drops of the tincture should be mixed with a wineglassful of rose-water for making this lotion, which may be used several times a day.’ click to see

Herbalists use eyebright as a poultice with or without concurrent administration of a tea for the redness, swelling, and visual disturbances caused by blepharitis and conjunctivitis. The herb is also used for eyestrain and to relieve inflammation caused by colds, coughs, sinus infections, sore throats and hay fever.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/e/eyebri20.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euphrasia

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Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)

Botanical Name :Hydrastis canadensis
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Hydrastis
Species: H. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names:Goldenseal , orangeroot or yellow puccoon

Habitat :Hydrastis canadensis is native to southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States.  Eastern N. America – Connecticut to Minnesota, Missouri and Kansas.It grows in rich shady woods and moist areas on woodland edges. Mesic, deciduous forests, often on clay soils at elevations of 50 – 1200 metres.

Description:

Hydrastis canadensis  is a perennial herb. It may be distinguished by its thick, yellow knotted rootstock. The stem is purplish and hairy above ground and yellow below ground where it connects to the yellow rhizome. The plant bears two palmate, hairy leaves with 5–7 double-toothed lobes and single, small, inconspicuous flowers with greenish white stamens in the late spring and the seeds ripen from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) It bears a single berry like a large raspberry with 10–30 seeds in the summer.

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It is hardy to zone 3.

Cultivation:
Goldenseal is somewhat difficult of cultivation, it prefers a good rich moist loamy leafy soil in shade or partial shade. Prefers a sandy, acid to neutral humus-rich soil. Grows best in a pH range from 6 to 7. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. Goldenseal is grown commercially as a medicinal plant, but it is not easy to establish the plants[4, 200]. Another report says that all goldenseal root that is used medicinally comes from wild plants. Since the plant is becoming increasingly rare in many parts of its range, it is probably wise to try and find alternatives to this species for medicinal use unless you can be sure that your supply comes from cultivated plants.

Propagation:
Seed – sow autumn or early spring in a moist sandy loam in a shady part of the cold frame or greenhouse. The seed is slow to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for the first year or two. Plant out into their permanent positions when the plants are dormant. Division of the roots in autumn. The roots can be divided into quite small pieces and can also be transplanted at almost any time of the year. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Constituents:
Goldenseal contains the isoquinoline alkaloids: hydrastine, berberine, berberastine, hydrastinine, tetrahydroberberastine, canadine, and canalidine. A related compound, 8-oxotetrahydrothalifendine was identified in one study. One study analyzed the hydrastine and berberine contents of twenty commercial goldenseal and goldenseal-containing products and found they contained variously 0%-2.93% hydrastine and 0.82%-5.86% berberine. Berberine and hydrastine act as quaternary bases and are poorly soluble in water but freely soluble in alcohol. The herb seems to have synergistic antibacterial activity over berberine in vitro, possibly due to efflux pump inhibitory activity.

Multiple bacteria and fungi, along with selected protozoa and chlamydia are susceptible to berberine in vitro. Berberine alone has weak antibiotic activity in vitro since many microorganisms actively export it from the cell (although a whole herb is likely to work on the immune system as well as on attacking the microbes and hence have a stronger clinical effect than the antibiotic activity alone would suggest).[citation needed] Interestingly, there is some evidence for other berberine-containing species synthesizing an efflux pump inhibitor that tends to prevent antibiotic resistance, a case of solid scientific evidence that the herb is superior to the isolated active principle. However, it is not yet known whether goldenseal contains a drug resistance efflux pump inhibitor, although many antimicrobial herbs do

Medicinal Uses
Antibacterial; Antiperiodic; Antiseptic; Antispasmodic; Astringent; Cholagogue; Diuretic; Laxative; Sedative; Stomachic; Tonic.

Goldenseal is a traditional medicine of the North American Indians and is still widely used in Western herbal medicine. In the Nineteenth century it acquired a reputation as a heal-all and was grossly over-collected from the wild and has become rare in the east of its range. It is now being cultivated on a small scale. It is especially valued in treating disorders of the digestive system and mucous membranes and is also extremely useful in the treatment of habitual constipation.   The root is the active part of the plant, it is harvested in the autumn after the plant has died down and is dried for later use. It is said to be antiperiodic, antiseptic, astringent, cholagogue, diuretic, laxative, stomachic, tonic. It is used mainly in the treatment of disorders affecting the ears, eyes, throat, nose, stomach, intestines and vagina. The root contains the alkaloids hydrastine, berberine and canadine. Berberine is antibacterial (effective against broad-spectrum bacteria and protozoa), it increases bile secretions, acts as an anticonvulsant, a mild sedative and lowers blood pressure. Use of this plant destroys beneficial intestinal organisms as well as pathogens, so it should only be prescribed for limited periods (a maximum of three months). The plant should be used with caution, and not at all during pregnancy or by people with high blood pressure. An infusion of the root is used externally as a wash for skin diseases, vaginal infections, gum diseases etc.

Traditional Uses:
At the time of the European colonization of the Americas, goldenseal was in extensive use among certain Native American tribes of North America, both as a medicine and as a coloring material. Prof. Benjamin Smith Barton in his first edition of Collections for an Essay Toward a Materia Medica of the United States (1798), refers to the Cherokee use of goldenseal as a cancer treatment. Later, he calls attention to its properties as a bitter tonic, and as a local wash for ophthalmia. It became a favorite of the Eclectics from the time of Constantine Raffinesque in the 1830s.

The Eclectics used goldenseal extensively for cancers and swellings of the breasts, although they did not consider it sufficient for cancer alone.[citation needed] Hale recommended its use in hard swellings of the breast, while conium was used for smaller painless lumps. The two herbs alone or with phytoplankton Americana were used for cancers, along with alternatives like red clover.

Herbalists today consider goldenseal an alterative, anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, bitter tonic, laxative, anti-diabetic and muscular stimulant. They discuss the astringent effect it has[citation needed] on mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, the gastrointestinal tract, the bladder, and rectum (applied topically), and the skin. Goldenseal is very bitter, which stimulates the appetite and aids digestion, and often stimulates bile secretion

Efficacy:
There is currently insufficient evidence to determine whether goldenseal is effective for any conditions

Other Uses
Dye and Repellent.
A yellow dye is obtained from the whole plant. It is obtained from the root. The pounded root is smeared on the body to act as an insect repellent.

Known Hazards:The whole plant is poisonous

Cautions:
Goldenseal has an affinity for mucosa, and is cooling so should not be used if an infection is at an early stage or there are more chills than fever.   Goldenseal should be used with caution only while sick with illnesses that respond to hydrastine and berberine. It should generally not be taken for an early stage Upper Respiratory Infection (URI), but reserved for illnesses in which there is yellow or green phlegm.[citation needed] Generally a two-week maximum dosage is suggested.[citation needed] Taking goldenseal over a long period of time can reduce absorption of B vitamins. Avoid goldenseal during pregnancy and lactation, with gastrointestinal inflammation, and with proinflammatory disorders.A recent study (2011) found rats fed with Goldenseal constantly for two years had a greater tendency towards tumor formation.

Goldenseal has been found to have inhibited cytochrome P450 CYP2D6, CYP3A4, and CYP3A5 activity by approximately 40%, a statistically and clinically significant reduction.  CYP2D6 specifically is a known metabolizer of many commonly used pharmaceuticals, such as antidepressants (including all SSRIs except for fluvoxamine), neuroleptics, and codeine.  Combining Goldenseal with such medications should be done with caution and under the supervision of a doctor as it can lead to serious – perhaps fatal – toxicity. Those with a genetic deficiency in these enzymes are at particular risk.

Use for masking illicit drug use in urine drug tests:
Goldenseal became a part of American folklore associated with chemical testing errors, from pharmacist John Uri Lloyd’s 1900 novel Stringtown on the Pike. In the book, the victim’s habit of taking goldenseal in the form of digestive bitters, causes this herb to appear as the poison strychnine in a chemical test – thus suggesting murder. It has been used on occasions in this century to attempt to mask the use of morphine in race horses (without success).

Two studies have demonstrated no effect of oral goldenseal on urine drug assays over water alone. Subjects who drank large amounts of water had the same urine drug levels as subjects who took goldenseal capsules along with the water.

Endangered status:
Goldenseal is in serious danger due to overharvesting. Goldenseal became popular in the mid-nineteenth century. By 1905, the herb was much less plentiful, partially due to overharvesting and partially to habitat destruction. Wild goldenseal is now so rare that the herb is listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) goldenseal is one of the most overharvested herbs. More than 60 million goldenseal plants are picked each year without being replaced.[36] The process of mountain top removal mining has recently put the wild goldenseal population at major risk due to loss of habitat, illegality of removing goldenseal for transplant without registration while destruction in the process of removing the mountain top is permitted, and increased economic pressure on stands outside of the removal area.

Many herbalists urge caution in choosing products containing goldenseal, as they may have been harvested in an unsustainable manner as opposed to having been organically cultivated.

There are several berberine-containing plants that can serve as useful alternatives, including Chinese coptis, yellowroot, or Oregon grape root.

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/Hydrastis_canadensis
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Hydrastis+canadensis

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Anemopsis californica

Botanical Name :Anemopsis californica
Family: Saururaceae
Genus: Anemopsis
Species: A. californica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Common Names :lizard tail, Yerba Mansa, Bear Root

Habitat :Anemopsis californica is native to South-western N. America – California, Mexico.  It grows on wet, especially somewhat alkaline or saline marshy places, below 2000 metres. .

Description:
Yerba mansa  is a perennial flowering plant. It is the only species in the monotypic genus Anemopsis.  The conic white ‘flowers‘ (actually reduced inflorescences, or pseudanthia) are borne in early spring, and are surrounded by 4-9 large white bracts. As it matures, the visible part of the plant develops red stains, eventually turning bright red in the fall.
Flower Color: White bracts and yellow flowers

Flowering Season: Late spring, Summer

Height: To 18 inches (46 cm) tall

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The flower heads are yellow, cone-shaped, and surrounded by 4 to 8, unequal, 3/4-inch (2 cm) long, petal-like bracts. The leaves are green, thick and leathery, oblong in shape, and mainly basal. This plant forms large colonies.
Cultivation:
Requires shallow water or a wet muddy site in a humus-rich alkaline medium. Requires a warm position. Plants are hardy to about -5 to -10°c, and are probably hardiest when the rootstock is submerged. Another report says that they are hardy to about -15°c.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the summer. Stand the pots in about 3cm of water and germination should take place in about 5 weeks. Sow stored seed in a cold frame in the spring. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. making sure you keep the compost wet. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring.

Edible Uses: The seeds are edible if ground into meal.

Medicinal Uses:
Yerba Mansa is considered by herbalists  to have many properties similar to Goldenseal though it is not related botanically or chemically  It is used for slowly healing boggy conditions of the mouth, intestinal and urinary tracts and lungs.  It is astringent to the connective tissues that form the membrane structure, but it stimulates better fluid transport, helping to remove the exudates that prevent repair of the irritation that began the whole mess.  Mouth, gum and throat sores are helped by the herb, as are ulcers of the stomach and duodenum.  Use ¼  teaspoon of either tincture in water, a standard infusion, 2-3 oz or 2 #00 capsules, 2-3 times a day.  It is also used for bleeding gums and herpes simplex.  As a diuretic, yerba mansa stimulates the excretion of nitrogenous acids, especially uric acid, which can aid many types of joint problems.  It is also substantially aspirin-like in its anti-inflammatory effects.  Drink as a tea for arthritis…1/2 cup up to 5 times a day.  It is antibacterial and antifungal, so it affords a fine external first aid or dressing for abrasions or contusions.  A sitz bath for bartholin gland cysts and perianal fissures or  boils usually  brings quick healing.   Use 1 teaspoon of the tincture per quart of water, or a 1:64 decoction of the powdered root.  The powdered root is an impeccable dust when mixed with four parts of a soothing starch for diaper rash and chafing.  The leaves, although much feebler and chemically simpler, make a fine bath for general pain of the muscles and joints.  A water percolation (1:10) with 20% glycerine and 10% alcohol added when finished, is an excellent nasal spray for hay fever, lingering head cold, or the results of cocaine or snuff abuse.  Used by itself (powdered root) or combined with Cypress and Chaparral, it’s an excellent for athlete’s foot.

You may click to see more medicinal Uses:

Other Uses:
Crafts
*Dried floral structures are used in dried arrangements.
*Dried plant parts, (leaves, floral structure) emit a spicy fragrance and are used in potpourri.

Horticulture
*In the deserts of California yerba mansa is being used as turf in public parks and ground cover in gardens.

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:

Anemopsis californica – Yerba Mansa


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anemopsis
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Anemopsis+californica

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Giloy

Botanical Name: Tinospora Cordifolia , Menisper mum cordifolium, Cocculuc cordifolia
Other Names: Guduchi, Amrita, Giloy , Amrithu, Gulansha
Family: Menispermaceae


Description :

Large, glabrous, deciduous, climbing shrubs. Leaves broadly ovate, cordate, long petiolate. Flowers small, yellow or greenish-yellow, appearing when the plant is leafiless, in axillary and terminal racemes or racemose panicles; male flowers clustered females usually solitary. Parts used : Root, stem, leat. Major Constituents : The dry stem with bark constitutes the drug, which have different reported constituents, such as bitter glycoside Gillian a non glucoside giloinin. Three bitter compounds namely tinosporon acid and tinosporol have been reported.

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. The stems are rather succulent with long filiform fleshy aerial roots form the branches. The bark is gray brown and watery. The leaves are membranous and cordate. The flowers small and greenish yellow. This herb is found throughout tropical India ascending to a height of 300 mts. This herb is found in the in many parts of the north & south India.

Stems – Fleshy
Roots – long thread like, aerial,arise from branches.
Bark – Thin, greyish or creamy white in colour, when peeled fleshy stem is exposed.
Leaves – Cordate (heart shaped), membranous, juicy.
Flowers – Bloom during summer
Male flower – Small, yellow or green coloured occur in clusters.
Female flower – Occur singly.
Fruits – Pea shaped, fleshy, shiny turn red when boiled. Occur in winter
Seeds – curved, pea sized.

Part Used: Stems, Roots

Uses :
This herb is used in seminal weakness and urinary affections. It is also a valuable tonic. Other applications of this herb include: fever, gout, jaundice, torpidity of the liver, skin diseases, secondary syphilis, rheumatism, constipation, tuberculosis, and leprosy. It is a blood purifier and may be useful in AIDS and other immune diseases also. It is also being proposed for cancer patients before and after chemotherapy.

It is an important constituent of several preparations, used in general debility, dyspepsia fever as aphrodisiac in urinary disorders. It is also reported to provide relief in diabetes, piles and dysentery. A part from stem, the decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of gout. The root is also powerful emetic and also used for visceral obstruction.

Healing power and curative properties:
This herb is used in stomach ulcer and urinary affections. The entire plant is regarded as a valuable alterative and stimulant. Tinospora is used in Ayurvedic medicine as a tonic, vitalizer and remedy for diabetes and metabolic disorders. It is also helpful in the treatment of problems that are chronic and cause fatigue, and difficulties with digestion (resulting in poor nutritional status). It has been used to reduce blood glucose level. The plant is used to improve the immune system and body’s resistance against infections. It is used as Immunomodulator in Immunosuppression of obstructive Jaundice, Hepatic fibrosis, Peritonitis and Sepsis. The plant has been found effective in preventing fibrous changes and promotes regeneration of the liver from drug induced hepatic toxicity It is useful in eye conditions, as a tissue builder, helps development of intelligence, and retains youth by helping to prevent premature aging.

Stomach Ulcer:

Giloy use for soothing inflamed and injured mucous membranes in the digestive tract. This herb protect the stomach and duodenum by increasing production of mucin, a substance that protects the lining of these organs against stomach acid and other harmful substances.

Urinary disorder :

This herb is used in urinary affections. The juice of the roots is very much effective in Urinary problems.

Immunity Disorders :
Giloy has been proven to be effective in inhibiting the growth of bacteria and enhancing the buildup of immune resistance. Scientific research is now providing clues to Giloy immune-boosting ability to fight diseases. In a study using human white blood cells, Giloy increased the killing ability of macrophages, the immune cells responsible for fighting invaders.

Mental Disorder :
The whole plant and the juice of the leaves is traditionally used in various mental disorders. This is regarded as one of the best psychotropic drugs in India.

Other uses :
Studies on induced oedema and arthritis and on human arthritis proved anti-inflammatory potency of the water extract of plant. It also has antipyretic action. This drug relaxes the intestinal and uterine smooth muscles. It is proved effective in prevention of fibrosis and in stimulating regeneration in hepatic tissue.

Ayurvedic supplements that contains Giloy : Giloy Satwa

Safety:
No information available. To be taken only under the direct supervision of a qualified professional.

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.

Help taken from:Allayurveda.com,http://presidentofindia.nic.in/herbal.html and http://www.holisticonline.com/Herbal-Med/_Herbs/h150.htm

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