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Herbs & Plants

Ipomoea digitata

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Botanical Name:
Ipomoea digitata
Family:
Convolvulaceae
Genus:
Ipomoea
Species:
I. mauritiana
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Solanales

Synonyms:
*Convolvulus paniculatus
*Ipomoea digitata
*Ipomoea eriosperma
*Ipomoea paniculata

Common English Names: Giant potato, Aligator Yam, Giant Potato, Milky Yam

Common Hindi Name : Bilaikand

Sanskrit Name: Vidari

Common Indian names :
Balaikand, Bhuikumra, Bhumikumra (Bengali) ; Bhukshmandi, Bhumikushmanda, Gandhaphala, Gajavajipriya, Gajeshta, Ikshugandha, Kshirakhanda, Kshirashukla, Kshiravatti, Kshiravidali, Kroshtri, Mahaveshta, Payasvini, Shreshtakanda, Shrigalika, Shukla, Sita, Svadukanda, Svadulata, Triparna, Vajivallabha, Vidali, Vidari, Vidarika, Vrikshavalli, Vrishyavardhini (Sanskrit) ; Mutalakkanta, Palmutakku (Malyalam) ; Nilappuchani, Palmodikka, Palmidanji, Pucharkkaraikkilangu, Valli (Tamil) ; Bhuchakragadda, Chirugummudu, Devakanjanamu, Nelagammudu, palamodikku (Telugu) ; Bhumichakragadde, Bujagumbala, Guddagenasu, Nelagumbala, Vidari (Kannada) ; Bhuikohala, Bhumikohola, Vidarikand (Marathi) ; Bhuinkokaru (Oriya) ; Balaikand (Urdu)

Habitat: Its origins are uncertain, but it has been recorded in West Africa including in Gambia  and riparian forests of Benin, as well as Australia’s Northern Territory. It is naturalised in many parts of the world including  India, Taiwan and Hawaii (where it is called Likam).

There have been specimens collected or observations from: Australia; Belize; Benin; Brunei; Cambodia; Cameroon; China; Colombia; DRC; Costa Rica; Côte d’Ivoire; Ecuador; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Ghana; Guinea; Honduras; Indonesia; Laos; Liberia; Madagascar; Mauritius; Micronesia, Federated States of; Myanmar; New Caledonia; Nicaragua; Nigeria; Panama; Papua New Guinea; Peru; Senegal; Sudan; Tanzania; Thailand; Togo; Venezuela.
It is grown in the east of India including Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Assam, and the west coast from Konkan to Kerala. It grows mostly in moist areas, monsoon forests and in coastal tracts.

Description:
Ipomoea digitata is an extensive perennial climber with large, ovoid and tuberous roots. The leaves are large, palmately 5-7 lobed, ovate, lanceolate, acute or acuminate, glabrous and with prominent nerves beneath. Flowers are widely campanulate and few to many in the axillary corymbose cymes. Corolla is purple and campanulate-infundibuliform. Ovary 4-celled. Capsules are small and ovoid. Seeds 4 in each fruit, black and woolly…….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 

Principal Constituents: b -sitosterol was identified1. Taraxerol and sitosterol were also identified2.

Medicinal Uses:
The root has alterative, aphrodisiac, tonic, stimulant properties and used in male infertility and inflammations.
It is mucilaginous, bitter, and a nutritive tonic, useful in the management of abdominal pain, cramps, hysteria, nervous excitability, hormonal deficiency, impotency, senility, debility, liver and spleen complaints, fevers, infertility, colic, coughs, bronchitis, spermatorrhea, moderating menstrual discharges, general liver complaints, and emaciation in children. The tuberous root increases secretion of milk, emaciation, debility, poor digestion, increases weight, enlarged liver and spleen; moderates menstrual discharge, good for weak children. Also useful in leprosy, burning sensation, vomiting, blood disease. It improves voice and complexion. Flowers cause biliousness. According to Unani system of medicine, root is heating, dry, carminative, expectorant, anthelmintic, stomachic, appetizer, and useful in treatment of syphilis, gonorrhea and inflammation. Leaves enrich the blood.
Other Uses: The plant is also grown for ornamental purposes and trained against trellises and pillars.

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.thefullwiki.org/Ipomoea_digitata
http://www.biodiversityofindia.org/index.php?title=Ipomoea_digitata
http://www.la-medicca.com/raw-herbs-Ipomoea-digitata.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Carolina Allspice

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Botanical Name : Carolina Allspice/Calycanthus floridus
Family: Calycanthaceae
Genus: Calycanthus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Laurales

Synonyms :  C. sterilis.

Common Names: Sweetshrub, Carolina allspice, Strawberry shrub, Pineapple shrub, Carolina Allspice, Eastern sweetshrub, Strawberry Bush, Sweetshrub, Carolina Allspice

Habitat : Calycanthus floridus is native to the moist woodlands of the southeastern United States. Its range extends from Virginia, south to Florida, and west to Mississippi. Sweetshrub is enjoyed as a landscape plant in Europe and deserves more attention from U.S. gardeners.

Description:
Calycanthus  is a genus of flowering plants in the family Calycanthaceae, endemic to North America. The genus includes two to four species depending on taxonomic interpretation; two are accepted by the Flora of North America.

They are beautiful deciduous shrubs slowly  growing to 2-4 m tall. The leaves are opposite, entire, 5-15 cm long and 2-6 cm broad. The flowers are produced in early summer after the leaves, 4-7 cm broad, with numerous spirally-arranged narrow dark red tepals (resembling a small magnolia flower); they are strongly scented. The fruit is an elliptic dry capsule 5-7 cm long, containing numerous seeds.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
As the sweetshrub suckers vigorously the mounds increase in width to eventually form a thicket if not constrained. Sweetshrub has many common names, all alluding to the aromatic properties of its leaves, bark, twigs and roots. Best of all is the wonderfully fruity scent produced by the unusual flowers. Rusty red to brown, the 1-2 inch blossoms appear in quantities during the spring and intermittently thereafter throughout the summer. The leaves are oblong, 4 in (10.2 cm) long by 2 in (5.1 cm) wide, and are arranged oppositely along the length of the stems. They are rich deep green with lighter green underneath. Soft and fuzzy to the touch, they turn bright golden yellow in autumn….…CLICK  &   SEE

The bark has a strong camphor smell that is released when stems are scraped. The smell remains strong on twigs that have been stored several years in a dry environment. The scent of the flower has been compared to bubblegum. Calycanthus oil, distilled from the flowers, is an essential oil used in some quality perfumes

Species:
*Calycanthus floridus (Carolina sweetshrub), Pennsylvania and Ohio south to Mississippi and northern Florida
*Calycanthus floridus var. floridus (syn. C. mohrii), twigs pubescent (hairy)
*Calycanthus floridus var. glaucus (syn. C. fertilis), twigs glabrous (smooth)
*Calycanthus occidentalis (California sweetshrub), California (widespread), Washington (local, Seattle area).

Cultivation:
Sweetshrub is easy to grow in average soil, is easy to care for and is essentially pest-free!
Light: Thrives in medium shade to bright sun.
Moisture: Likes moist soils. Water when dry. This shrub can survive periods of drought if necessary.

Propagation:
Propagate by seeds, layers, and divisions. This shrub produces suckers in profusion. These can be easily dug and planted in a new location – at just about any time of the year provided the transplants are kept moist.
CLICK & SEE

Edible Uses:  The aromatic bark is dried and used as a substitute for cinnamon. Some caution is advised, see reports above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
Cherokee tribes brewed the roots and bark as teas to soothe a variety of ills, and European settlers later drank similar teas to soothe jangled nerves.  The plant contains an alkaloid that has a powerfully depressant action on the heart. A fluid extract has been used as an antiperiodic.  A tea made from the root or bark has been used as a strong emetic and diuretic for kidney and bladder ailments. A cold tea has been used as eye drops in the treatment of failing eyesight.  An ooze from the bark has been used to treat children’s sores, whilst an infusion has been used to treat hives.

Other Uses:
The only member of the genus that has found its way into gardens is the oldest known, C. florida, which Mark Catesby noted in the woodlands of Piedmont Carolina; he described it, with its bark “as odoriferous as cinnamon” but did not name it. The planters of Carolina gathered it into their gardens, and Peter Collinson imported it into England from Charleston, South Carolina about 1756; he described it to Linnaeus. As the leathery maroon flowers are not very showy, the shrub is thought to be “of minor garden value today”, where scent is less valued than color, though it is an old-fashioned sentimental favorite in the American Southeast, where it is native.

Sweetshrub in natural areas and woodland gardens where it can sucker freely and assume its natural habit. Sweetshrub is also nice in planters near entryways and patios where it’s delicate fragrance can be enjoyed.

Known Hazards: Ruminants are reported to have a toxic reaction from grazing this plant. Calycanthus contains calycanthine, an alkaloid similar to strychnine, and it is toxic to humans and 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.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/plant.asp?code=B820
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calycanthus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calycanthus
http://www.duke.edu/~cwcook/trees/cafl.html
http://www.floridata.com/ref/c/caly_flo.cfm#url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.floridata.com%2Fref%2Fc%2Fcaly_flo.cfm&size=small&count=false&id=I1_1310038771201&parent=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.floridata.com&rpctoken=179027074&_methods=onPlusOne%2C_ready%2C_close%2C_open%2C_resizeMe

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Barberry (Berberis vulgaris)/Jaundice Berry

Botanical Name:Berberis vulgaris
Family: Berberidaceae
Genus: Berberis
Species: B. vulgaris
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Other Names: Berbery, Common Barberry, Jaundice berry, Mahonia,Barberry

Common Names/Synonyms :- Oregon Grape Root, Rocky Mountain Grape, Mahonia, Pepperidge, Pepperidge Bush, Holy Thorn, Sowberry, Oregon Grape, Berberry, Jaundice Berry, and Daruharidra.
Pepperidge, Pepperidge bush, Pipperidge bush, Sowberry

Habitat : Barberry is  native to central and southern Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia;  it is also naturalised in northern Europe, including the British Isles and Scandinavia, and North America. In the United States and Canada, it has become established in the wild over an area from Nova Scotia to Nebraska, with additional populations in Colorado, Idaho, Washington State, Montana, and British Columbia.  Although not naturalised, in rural New Zealand it has been widely cultivated as a hedge on farms. It is cultivated for its fruits in many countries. It grows in hard, gravelly soil in the northeastern states, and sometimes in rich soils in the western states.Hard, gravelly soil in the northeastern states, and sometimes in rich soils in the western state.

Description:
Berberis is a deciduous shrub growing up to 4 m high. The leaves are small oval, 2–5 cm long and 1–2 cm broad, with a serrated margin; they are borne in clusters of 2-5 together, subtended by a three-branched spine 3–8 mm long. The flowers are yellow, 4–6 mm across, produced on 3–6 cm long panicles in late spring. The fruit is an oblong red berry 7–10 mm long and 3–5 mm broad, ripening in late summer or autumn; they are edible but very sour, and rich in Vitamin C.
Flowers: The flowers are small, pale yellow, arranged in pendulous racemes, 10 to 20 per raceme, towards the ends of the branches. Petals are not notched. Flowers: April – June
Berries: About 1/2 inch long, the bright red, oblong and slightly curved berries ripen in August and September. Bark: Has a slight odor and a bitter taste; colors the saliva yellow when chewed.
Leaves: Alternate or in rosettes
from previous year’s leaf axils; spatula shaped, with numerous spiny teeth; veins on the underside are prominent.
Root Bark: Yellow.

Parts Used: Bark of root or stem.

Harvest: Gather the Barberry root and stem bark in spring or fall, around March and November.

click to see the pictures…>…..(01)..(1).…....(2)..….…(3)……….(4).…….

History: Barberry has been used in herbal healing for more than 2,500 years. The ancient Egyptians used it to prevent plagues. India‘s Ayurveda healers used it for dysentery.
During the middle ages, European herbalists used Barberry to treat liver and gallbladder ailments, infections, stomach problems and skin conditions. Russian healers used it for inflammations, high blood pressure, and for abnormal uterine bleeding.
Native American Indians made a bitter brew from the yellow root. Used in small doses, Barberry tonic was used as an effective treatment for heartburn, stomach upset and ulcers. It was also used to stimulate appetite.

Edible Uses:
The berries are edible and rich in vitamin C, though with a very sharp flavor; the thorny shrubs make harvesting them difficult, so in most places, they are not widely consumed. They are an important food for many small birds, which disperse the seeds in their droppings.

A widely available Russian candy called  Barberis is made using extract from the berries, which are pictured on the wrapper.

In Europe, the berries have been traditionally used as an ingredient in making jam. The berries are high in pectin which makes the jam congeal as it cools after having been boiled. In southwestern Asia, especially Iran, the berries are used for cooking, as well as for jam-making. In Iran, barberries are commonly used as a currant in rice pilaf.

Constituents: Berberine (a yellow crystalline, bitter alkaloid), oxyacanthine, berbamine (another bitter alkaloid), tannin, wax, resin, fat, albumin, gum, and starch.

Medicinal Properties and Uses :- Barberry is believed to be an excellent remedy for correcting liver function and promoting the flow of bile. Indicated for inflammation of the gall bladder, gall stones and jaundice (when due to a congested state of the liver). As a bitter tonic with mild laxative effects, it is believed to strengthen and cleanse the system. Also said to be effective in reducing an enlarged spleen The root-bark contains berberine, a bitter alkaloid, that aids in the secretion of bile and is good for liver problems, acts as a mild purgative, and helps regulate the digestive processes. The antibacterial properties of the alkaloid berbamine have shown activity against Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Salmonella, Shigella and Eschorichia Coli. It has anti-microbial properties that are especially beneficial for the skin and intestinal tract. Barberry has a beneficial effect on the blood pressure by causing a dilatation of the blood vessels. This herb is also good for hepatitis, colic, diabetes and consumption. Historically, Barberry was used as a bitter tonic to stimulate digestion, and in the treatment of inflammatory arthritic, sciatica, and rheumatic complaints. Use of this botanical decreases heart rate, depresses the breathing, stimulates intestinal movement, reduces bronchial constriction, and kills bacteria on the skin. External applications have included use for sores, burns, ulcers, acne, itch, tetters, ringworm, cuts, bruises. Berberine is highly bactericidal, amoeboidal and trypanocidal. Bitter tonic, cholagogue, hepatic, laxative, antibilious, anti-emetic.

Its main Properties are Anti-emetic, Antiseptic, Astringent, Bitter, Cholagogue, Hepatic, Laxative, Purgative, Refrigerant, Stomachic, and Tonic.

Barberry acts on the gallbladder to improve bile flow and ameliorate conditions such as gallbladder pain, gallstones, and jaundice.  Barberry’s strongly antiseptic property is of value in cases of amebic dysentery, cholera and other similar gastrointestinal infections.  Barberry is one of the mildest and best liver tonics known, good for jaundice, hepatitis and diabetes.
The berberine in barberry has remarkable infection-fighting properties.  Studies around the world show it kills microorganisms that cause wound infections (Staphylococci, Streptococci), diarrhea (Salmonella, Shigella), dysentery (Endamoeba histolytica), cholera (Vibrio cholerae), giardiasis Giardia lamblia), urinary tract infections (Escherichia coli) and vaginal yeast infections (Candida albicans).  Berberine may also fight infection by stimulating the immune system.  Studies show that it activates the macrophages, white blood cells that devour harmful microorganisms.  In Germany, a berberine preparation, Ophthiole, is used to treat sensitive eyes, inflamed lids, and pinkeye (conjunctivitis).  Barberry contains chemicals that may help reduce elevated blood pressure by enlarging blood vessels.
The bark is astringent, antidiarrheal, and healing to the intestinal wall—in short, barberry has a strong, highly beneficial effect on the digestive system as a whole.  It helps in the treatment of chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The decoction makes a gentle and effective wash for the eyes, although it must be diluted sufficiently before use.  Liquid of the chewed root was placed on injuries and on wounds, while cuts and bruises were washed with a root decoction.  A preparation of the bark or berries will be useful as a gargle for sore mouth and chronic opthalmia.    It has been successfully used to treat Leishmaniasis (infections transmitted by sandflies).  It has the ability to reduce an enlarged spleen and acts against malaria.

Main Uses: Barberry is mainly used today as a tonic to improve the flow of bile in such conditions as gallbladder pain, gallstones and jaundice. Barberry tinctures are used as a treatment for liver problems such as hepatitis and jaundice. It is also considered effective in lowering blood pressure, reducing heart rate and respiration, reducing bronchial constriction, and for menstrual irregularities.
Berberine has strong anti-microbial and fungicidal properties. It is also astringent and anti-inflammatory. It is said to make a good eyewash. Inflamed eyelids or conjunctivitis can benefit from the application of a compress.
Barberry is one of the best remedies for correcting liver function and promoting the flow of bile. It is indicated when there is an inflammation of the gall bladder or in the presence of gallstones. Barberry is also used when jaundice occurs due to a congested state of the liver.
Barberry tea is used as a gargle to soothe sore throats.

Preparation And Dosages:
Tincture: [1:5, 50% alcohol] 3 to 7 drops, 3 to 4 times a day.

Decoction: Use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon root bark with 1 cup water. Boil briefly, then steep for 5 minutes. Take 1/2 to 1 cup during the day, a mouthful at a time.
Ointment: An ointment made from a 10% extract of Barberry can be applied to the skin three times a day.

Combinations: In gall-bladder diseases Barberry combines well with Fringe Tree Bark and Culver’s Root.

Caution! Avoid during pregnancy; Barberry may stimulate the uterus. In high doses, it can cause nausea, vomiting, convulsions, drop in blood pressure, and lowered heart rate and breathing. If you suffer from heart disease or chronic respiratory problems, do not take large doses of this herb and use only with the approval of your physician.

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.midwestherbs.com/bulk_herbs/barberrybark.htm

http://www.indianspringherbs.com/Barberry.htm

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

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

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