Categories
Herbs & Plants

Euonymous atropurpurea

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Botanical Name: Euonymous atropurpurea
Family :Celastraceae – Bittersweet family
Genus : Euonymus L. – spindletree
Species: Euonymus atropurpureus Jacq. – burningbush
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom:Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision; Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Celastrales

Synonym: Euonymus atropurpureus Jacq.

Common Name:wahoo

Habitat : Primarily a species of eastern North America, wahoo at the northern edge of its range occurs from Maine and New York west to Montana in the Great Plains, principally occurring from the Upper Midwest and the Northeast to Louisiana and Florida in the main portion of its range. It is considered rare in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ontario, and South Carolina (NatureServe 2006).

Description:
Euonymus atropurpurea is a small to medium shrub or small tree arising from rhizomes, typically ranging to about 4 m in height in Michigan (Barnes and Wagner 1980). The relatively slender, somewhat delicate twigs are green and often faintly lined, but lack corky wings. The twigs bear opposite, thin, elliptic leaves that are finely toothed and have a pointed (short-acuminate) tip. The leaves are a somewhat dull green color above and finely hairy beneath, turning a bright scarlet color in the fall. The flowers, produced in stalked, more or less loose clusters from the leaf axils (bases), are purplish, four-petaled and insect-pollinated. When mature, the four-lobed fruit (which is a capsule) is pink, containing seeds that develop a bright, scarlet aril (a covering or accessory appendage). As the fruit dries and opens, the combination of the pink capsule with the bright red seeds is an indication of ripeness to birds, the primary consumer and disperser.

click to see the pictures

Medicinal Uses:
Many  native American peoples used wahoo bark in various ways, as an eye lotion, a poultice for facial sores and for gynecological conditions.  Native Americans introduced the plant to early European settlers, and it became very popular in Britain as well as in North America in the 19th century.  Wahoo bark is considered a gallbladder remedy with laxative and diuretic properties.   It is prescribed for biliousness and liver problems as well as for skin conditions such as eczema (which may result from poor liver and gall bladder function), and for constipation.  In small doses, Euonymin stimulates the appetite and the flow of the gastric juice. In larger doses, it is irritant to the intestine and is cathartic. It has slight diuretic and expectorant effects, but its only use is as a purgative in cases of constipation in which the liver is disordered, and for which it is particularly efficacious. It is specially valuable in liver disorders which follow or accompany fever. It is mildly aperient and causes no nausea, at the same time stimulating the liver somewhat freely, and promoting a free flow of bile. It the past, it was often used in combination with herbs such as gentian as a fever remedy, especially if the liver was under stress.  Following the discovery that it contains cardiac glycosides, wahoo bark has been given for heart conditions. It is also a remedy for dandruff and scalp problems.

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:

Click to access Euonymus_atropurpurea.pdf


http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=EUAT5
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

http://www.easywildflowers.com/quality/euo.atr.htm

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Hierochloe odorata

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Botanical Name :Hierochloe odorata
Family
: Poaceae
Genus: 
Hierochloe
Species: 
H. odorata
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
 Poales
Synonyms:
Hierochloe borealis.

Common Names :Hierochloe odorata or Anthoxanthum nitens, sweet grass, buffalo grass, bison grass, holy grass (UK), manna grass, Mary’s grass, seneca grass, sweetgrass, or vanilla grass

The name Hierochloe odorata is from the Greek, literally “holy fragrant grass”. Some authors include Hierochloe in Anthoxanthum; in this case this species is given the epithet nitens to avoid confusion with a different species, Anthoxanthum odoratum, sweet vernal grass

Habitat : Hierochloe odorata is native to Central and northern Europe, including Britain, to N. Asia and N. America. It grows on the Wet banks in only a few sites in Scotland.

Description:
Hierochloe odorata is very hardy perennial.  Leaves do not have rigid stems, so only grow to about 20 cm (7.9 in) in height, and then leaves grow outward horizontally to 100 cm (39 in) long or more, by late summer. Bases of leaves, just below soil surface are broad and white, without hairs, underside of leaves are shiny, without hairs.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

In the wild, the bases of the leaves are frequently purple-red colored, but that is not natural, and is only a symptom of a phosphorus deficiency.

There are several strains of sweetgrass—a regular strain that can be harvested once or twice a year, and a naturally occurring polyploid strain, which is much faster growing and can be harvested three to five times a year.
Cultivation:
Prefers a damp position in a rich soil but succeeds in most soils including quite dry conditions. Grows best in a sunny position. The plants have a running root system and can spread aggressively when grown in suitable conditions. The plant, as it dries, emits a powerful scent of newly mown hay.

Propagation:
Easiest by cutting out plugs from established plants. Grown in sun or partial shade, they do not like drought. Seeds are usually not viable, or if are viable, take two to three years to develop a robust root system.

Edible Uses:
Seed – cooked. Small and fiddly to use. It almost certainly does not contain coumarin and should be safe to use. An essential oil from the leaves is used as a food flavouring in sweets and soft drinks. It has a strong vanilla-like flavour. The leaves are added to vodka as a flavouring. The plant is said to be used as a colouring agent but no more details are given.

Mdicinal Uses:
It is used in herbal medicine and in the production of distilled beverages  . It owes its distinctive sweet scent to the presence of coumarin.  A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of fevers, coughs, sore throats, chafing and venereal infections. It is also used to stop vaginal bleeding and to expel afterbirth. The stems can be soaked in water and used to treat windburn and chapping and as an eyewash. Smoke from the burning leaves has been inhaled in the treatment of colds.

.
The plant is harvested by cutting grass in early to late summer at the desired length. Hierochloe odorata harvested after the first frost has little or no scent and is less desirable for basketry. Basketweavers sun-dry cut sweet grass until it is dry and brittle. The brittle form of sweet grass must be soaked in warm water until it becomes pliable. The pliable grass is typically braided into thick threads and then redried for use

European traditions:
Sweet grass – Photographed in British Columbia, Canada 2007Holy grass was strewn before church doors on saints’ days in northern Europe, presumably because of the sweet smell that arose when it was trodden on. It was used in France to flavor candy, tobacco, soft drinks, and perfumes. In Europe, the species Hierochloe alpina is frequently substituted or used interchangeably. In Russia, it was used to flavor tea. It is still used in flavored vodka, the most notable example being Polish ?ubrówka.

Native American traditi:
Making Sweet Grass Medicine, painting by Joseph Henry Sharp
Blackfoot man holding sweetgrass braidSweet grass was, and is, very widely used by North American indigenous peoples. As a sacred plant, it is used in peace and healing rituals. Leaves are dried and made into braids and burned as vanilla-scented incense; long leaves of sterile shoots are used by Native Americans in making baskets.

*Natives of the Great Plains believe it was the first plant to cover Mother Earth.

*The Anishinaabe, Cree, Mi’kmaq, and other Algonquian first nations of Canada believe it is a purifier, and burn sweetgrass before all ceremonies. It is a reminder to respect the earth and all things it provides.

*It is also used in ceremonial items by the Blackfoot and Lakota peoples. Incense used by at least the Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Dakota, Kiowa, Lakota, Menominee, Montana, Ojibwa, Omaha, Pawnee, Ponca, Sioux, and Winnebago peoples. Used for purification, as oblations to ancestors, for protection of spirits, and keeping out of evil and harm. Used in a variety of ceremonies including peace ceremonies and initiations.

*Used by Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Lakota, Montana, Okanagan-Colville, Omaha, and Thompson for cosmetic and aromatic purposes. Blackfoot and Gros Ventre use leaves soaked in water and used it as a hairwash. Sweet grass tea and smoke were used for coughs and sore throats (Flathead, Blackfoot). Teas used as a wash to treat chapping and windburn, and as an eyewash. Used as body & hair decoration/perfume by Blackfoot, Flathead, and Thompson.

*The Blackfoot chewed grass as a means of extended endurance in ceremonies involving prolonged fasting.

*Iroquois, Kiowa, Malecite, Menominee, and Mi’kmaq people (amongst others) use sweetgrass in basketry (including mats) and crafts.

*Kiowa use fragrant leaves as stuffing for pillows and mattresses.

*Used for sewing at least by Menominee.

*Used as an incense to “keep the bugs away” by Flathead.

*Used by Cheyenne to paint pipes in the Sun Dance and the Sacred Arrow ceremonies.

Sweetgrass has a mellow, almost soporific effect, and for many is a useful aid to entering a meditative state. Coumarin, although not known to possess psychotropic effects, is common to a number of herbs used ritually which have strong anecdotal evidence for at least mild psychotropic propertiesOther Uses:
The plant is harvested by cutting grass in early to late summer at the desired length. Hierochloe odorata harvested after the first frost has little or no scent and is less desirable for basketry. Basketweavers sun-dry cut sweet grass until it is dry and brittle. The brittle form of sweet grass must be soaked in warm water until it becomes pliable. The pliable grass is typically braided into thick threads and then redried for use.

Other Uses:
The dried leaves are used as an incense, they were formerly also used as a strewing herb and have been used as a stuffing in pillows and mattresses. They have also been used as an insect repellent in the clothes cupboard where they impart a nice smell to the clothes. The leaves are used to make aromatic baskets. The wet leaves can be sewn together, dried until they are tight and then resin used over the stitches to make a waterproof container. The leaves can be soaked in water to make a tonic hair wash. An essential oil distilled from the leaves is used in perfumery where it acts as an excitant and fixative for other aromas. The plant has a very aggressive root system and has been planted to stabilize banks.

Known Hazards : The plant contains coumarin, this is toxic if taken internally and is sometimes considered to be carcinogenic

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/Hierochloe_odorata
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm
http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A4%D0%B0%D0%B9%D0%BB:Hierochloe_odorata.JPG
http://www.twofrog.com/swgrass.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hierochloe+odorata

 

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Rhus trilobata

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Botanical Name ; Rhus trilobata
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Rhus
Species: R. trilobata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Names :Sourberry, Skunkbush,  Three-leaf sumac,  Trilobata Skunk Bush, Basketbush, Squawbush.

Habitat ;Rhus trilobata is native to the western half of Canada and the Western United States, from the Great Plains to California and south through Arizona extending into northern Mexico. It can be found from deserts to mountain peaks up to about 7,000 feet in elevation.

Rhus trilobata, Skunkbush sumac, grows in many types of plant communities, such as the grasslands east of the Rocky Mountains, mountainous shrubland, pine, juniper, and fir forests, wetlands, oak woodlands, and chaparral. The plant is destroyed above ground but rarely killed by wildfire, and will readily sprout back up in burned areas.

Description:
This Rhus species closely resembles other members of the genus that have leaves with three “leaflets” (“trifoliate” leaves). These include Rhus aromatica, native to eastern North America, and western Poison-oak. The shape of the leaflets and the habit of the shrub make this species, like some other Rhus, resemble small-leafed oaks (Quercus).
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The Rhus trilobata leaves have a very strong scent when crushed. The aroma is medicinal or bitter, disagreeable enough to some to have gained the plant the name skunkbush. The leaves are green when new and turn orange and brown in the fall. The twigs are fuzzy when new, and turn sleek with age. The flowers, borne on small catkins (“short shoots”), are white or light yellow. Edible fruit, the plant yields hairy and slightly sticky red berries which have an aroma similar to limes and a very sour taste. The acidity comes from tannic and gallic acids. The flowers are animal-pollinated and the seeds are dispersed by animals that eat the berries. The shrub also reproduces vegetatively, sending up sprouts several meters away and forming thickets.

Edible Uses:
The berries, although sour, are edible. They can be baked into bread or mixed into porridge or soup, or steeped to make a tea or tart beverage similar to lemonade.

Medicinal Uses:
The skunkbush sumac has historically been used for medicinal and other purposes. The bark has been chewed or brewed into a drink for cold symptoms, the berries eaten for gastrointestinal complaints and toothache, and the leaves and roots boiled and eaten for many complaints. The leaves have also been smoked.

Skunk bush was employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes, who valued it especially for its astringent qualities and used it to treat a range of complaints. Bark: An infusion of the bark has been used as a douche after childbirth. The bark has been chewed, and the juice swallowed, as a treatment for colds and sore gums. Bark has also been used for: Cold remedy, in which the bark is chewed and the juice is swallowed; Oral aid, in which the bark is chewed;

Fruit: The fruit has been eaten as a treatment for stomach problems and grippe. The fruit has been chewed as a treatment for toothache and also used as a mouthwash. A decoction of the fruit has been used as a wash to prevent the hair falling out.  The dried berries have been ground into a powder and dusted onto smallpox pustules.  Veterinary aid.

Leaves: An infusion of the leaves has been used in the treatment of head colds. A decoction of the leaves has been drunk to induce impotency as a method of contraception. A poultice of leaves has been used to treat itches. Leaves are a gastrointestinal aid, in which the leaves are boiled; Diuretic aid, in which the leaves are boiled.

Roots: A decoction of the root bark has been taken to facilitate easy delivery of the placenta. The roots have been used as a deodorant. The buds have been used on the body as a medicinal deodorant and perfume.  Tuberculosis Aid, in which the roots are consumed

Other Uses:
It is sometimes planted for erosion control and landscaping, and is a plant used for reclaiming barren land stripped by mining.The flexible branches were useful and sought after for twisting into basketry and rugs.

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/Rhus_trilobata
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

Skunkbush Sumac


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rhus_trilobata_7.jpg

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Calliopsis

Botanical Name :Coreopsis tinctoria
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Coreopsis
Species: C. tinctoria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Name :Calliopsis ,:Plains coreopsis, golden tickseed

Habitat :Calliopsis is common to much of the United States, especially the Great Plains and southern states .

Description:
Calliopsis is an annual forb. The small, slender seeds germinate in fall (overwintering as a low rosette) or early spring. Growing quickly, plants attain heights of 12 to 40 inches (30–100 cm). Leaves are pinnately-divided, glabrous and tending to thin at the top of the plant where numerous 1- to 1.5-inch (2.5-to 4-cm) flowers sit atop slender stems. Flowers are brilliant yellow with maroon or brown centers of various sizes. Flowering typically occurs in mid-summer.

CLICK &  SEE
….

Cultivation:
Plains coreopsis grows well in many types of soil, but seems to prefer sandy or well-drained soils. Although somewhat drought-tolerant, naturally growing plants are usually found in areas with regular rainfall. It is often grows in disturbed areas such as roadsides or cultivated fields. Preferring full sun, it will also grow in partial shade.

Because of its easy growing habits and bright, showy flowers such as Roulettte (tiger stripes of gold on a deep mahogany ground), Plains coreopsis is increasingly used for landscape beautification and in flower gardens.

Medicinal Uses:
Native Americans chewed the leaves for toothache, and applied a poultice of them to skin sores and bruises.  The powdered root in warm water was used as a wash for sore eyes.  A tea made of the root was used for stomachache, diarrhea, and fever. This plant is an effective astringent and hemostatic, with its effects lasting the length of the intestinal tract and therefore of use in dysentery and general intestinal inflammations.  It may be used as a systemic hemostatic; when drunk after a sprain or major bruise or hematoma will help stabilize the injury and facilitate quicker healing.  The tea will also lessen menstrual flow.  A few leaves in a little water or a weak tea is a soothing eyewash.

Other Uses:This plant is used mainly for landscape beautification.  It has potential for use in cultivated, garden situations, in naturalized prairie or meadow plantings, and along roadsides.

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.

Sources:
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plains_coreopsis
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=COTI3&photoID=coti3_004_ahp.tif

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Jogger’s Nipple

Alternative Names:Jogger’s nipple is also known as runner’s nipple, surfer’s nipple, red eleven, raver’s nipple, big Q’s, red nipple, weightlifter’s nipple and gardener’s nipple, or nipple chafe. There are similar colloquial terms for almost any activity that can result in the condition.

Definition:
The nipples are formed from delicate and very sensitive tissue, and can be painful when irritated.Jogger’s nipple also known as fissure of the nipple, is a condition that can be caused by friction that can result in soreness, dryness or irritation to, or bleeding of, one or both nipples during and/or following running or other physical exercise. This condition is also experienced by women who breastfeed  and by surfers who do not wear rash guards.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES


Jogger’s nipple is a common problem for runners, particularly long-distance ones. As you run, your clothing rubs against your nipples and can damage the surface causing soreness, dryness, inflammation and bleeding.

Cause:
Jogger’s nipple is caused by friction from the repeated rubbing of a t-shirt or other upper body clothing against the nipples during a prolonged period of exercise.


The condition is suffered mainly by runners. Long-distance runners are especially prone, because they are exposed to the friction on the nipple for the greatest period of time. However, it is not only suffered by athletes; the inside of a badge, a logo on normal items of clothing, or breastfeeding  can also cause the friction which results in this condition.

Treatment ;
Wearing the right clothing will help to prevent this condition. The best material is silk because it’s soft compared with modern synthetic fibres, which can be quite coarse. Loose-fitting sportswear is also good, as it has less opportunity to rub against you. If you need to wear something that fits closely, then Lycra can be less damaging, because it holds firmly against the nipples. Women should wear a well-fitting sports bra to hold the breasts and reduce movement.

Use something to protect your nipples from the layer of clothing that rubs over them. A plaster is a straightforward idea provided you’re brave enough to remove it and some of your chest hairs, too. Surgical tape is available from the pharmacist and works in the same way but is a little less adhesive.

Barrier creams containing zinc, such as those used for a baby’s nappy area, are protective and soothing. Many people use petroleum jelly for similar benefits.

Prevention:
The condition is easily preventable and treatable. Viable methods include:

*Run shirtless whenever weather and the law permits.

*Don’t use a large, loose-fitting T-shirt during exercise.

*Wear “technical” shirts made of synthetic fabrics, not cotton.

*Stick a small bandage, waterproof bandaid, or paper surgical tape over each nipple before the commencement of exercise to act as a barrier between skin and cloth.

*If the skin is already damaged, apply a pure lanolin product (e.g. Lansinoh or Bag Balm) to the area prior to exercise to prevent chafing. If the skin is not damaged, a barrier product (e.g. Vaseline) can be used. These products do not allow air to circulate around damaged skin; this can prevent healing if used over a period of time. A “liquid bandage” can be helpful for healing or prevention, although it may sting initially.

*Use specialized products available to prevent the condition such as rash guards.

*Wear a sports bra, shimmel, compression vest, or some variety of chest binding clothing.

*Apply an antiseptic cream as soon as you suspect a fissure, with the hope that it may reduce the chances of bacterial infection that would make the condition worse.

*Use a nipple shield (of rubber, or glass and rubber) temporarily.

This condition should clear within a few days. If not, medical attention is warranted. Other skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, impetigo, fungal infections or an allergic reaction can cause nipple pain and changes in the appearance of the skin. In women, breastfeeding (often complicated by thrush infection),  as well as hormonal changes in early pregnancy or during menstruation can also cause nipple soreness and pain.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/joggersnipples.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fissure_of_the_nipple

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