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Herbs & Plants

Valeriana wallichii

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Botanical Name :Valeriana wallichii
Family: Valerianaceae
Genus: Valeriana
Species: V. wallichii
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dipsacales

Common Names: All-heal, Amantilla, Baldrian, Great wild, Valerian phu,Indian Valerian,Valeriana leschenauitic, Valeriana brunoniana

Habitat : Valeriana wallichii is an extremely polymorphous complex of sub-species with natural populations dispersed throughout temperate and sub-polar Eurasian zones.  It is native to India (Himalayas).It grows in the Northwest Himalayas in places like Astore (Northern Pakistan) and forests in the region.

The species is common in damp woods, ditches, and along streams in Europe, and is cultivated as a medicinal plant, especially in Belgium, England, eastern Europe, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America.

Description:
Valeriana wallichii, is a rhizome herb of the genus Valeriana and the family Valerianaceae also called Indian Valerian or Tagar-Ganthoda, not to be confused with Ganthoda or the Long Pepper.
CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses:
It is an herb useful in Ayurvedic medicine used as a analeptic, antispasmodic, carminative, sedative, stimulant, stomachic, and nervine. It is useful in diseases of eye, blood and livers. It is used as a remedy for hysteria, hypochondriasis, nervous unrest and emotional stress. Also useful in clearing voice and acts as stimulant in advance stage of fever and nervous disorder. The paste of roots mashed in water is applied on forehead to alleviate the pain. Externally, the paste of its roots is applied in wounds for better healing.

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/Valeriana_wallichii
http://www.motherherbs.com/valeriana-wallichi.html
http://www.pharmainfo.net/reviews/valeriana-wallichii-traditional-medicinal-plant-india
http://www.helpfulhealthtips.com/valeriana-wallichii-information-uses-and-benefits/

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Herbs & Plants

Cotinus coggygria

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Botanical Name : Cotinus coggygria
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Cotinus
Species:C. coggygria
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms: Rhus cotinus, the European smoketree, Eurasian smoketree

Common Names: Smoke tree, Smoke bush, or Dyer’s sumach

Habitat :  Cotinus coggygria is native to a large area from southern Europe, east across central Asia and the Himalaya to northern China. It grows on dry hillsides, rocky places and open woods, usually on limestone, to 1300 metres.

Description:
Cotinus coggygria is a multiple-branching shrub growing to 5-7 m tall with an open, spreading, irregular habit, only rarely forming a small tree. The leaves are 3-8 cm long rounded ovals, green with a waxy glaucous sheen. The autumn colour can be strikingly varied, from peach and yellow to scarlet. The flowers are numerous, produced in large inflorescences 15-30 cm long; each flower 5-10 mm diameter, with five pale yellow petals. Most of the flowers in each inflorescence abort, elongating into yellowish-pink to pinkish-purple feathery plumes (when viewed en masse these have a wispy ‘smoke-like’ appearance, hence the common name) which surround the small (2-3 mm) drupaceous fruit that do develop.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Tolerates most soils.Prefers a well-drained dry or moist soil in a sunny position, doing better in a soil that is not very rich. Prefers a fertile but not over-rich soil. Tolerates light shade. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are hardy to about -20°c, though die-back often occurs at the tips of shoots during the winter. Plants are slow to establish but are then quite fast growing when young though they slow down with age. Hybridizes with C. obovatus. A number of cultivars have been developed for their ornamental value. The purple-leafed cultivars are susceptible to mildew. Plants flower on wood that is at least 3 years old. Any pruning is best done in the spring. Branches sometimes wilt, especially after hard pruning, and these should be removed. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Special Features: Not North American native, Attractive flowers or blooms.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. It should germinate in the spring. Slightly immature or ‘green’ seed, harvested when it has fully developed but before it dries on the plant, gives the best results. Warm stratify stored seed for 2 – 3 months at 15°c, then cold stratify for 2 – 3 months[164]. Germination can be very slow, often taking 12 months or more at 15°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seed has a long viability and should store for several years. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Trench layering in spring.

Edible Uses: 
Leaves are possibly edible. Some caution is advised. A volatile oil in the leaves contains pinene and camphene. One report suggests that the essential oil contained in the flowers and leaves has a mango-like odour. We have tried these leaves and really would not recommend them to anyone.

Medicinal Uses:
The yellow wood of Cotinus coggygria is used as a cholagogue, febrifuge and for eye ailments.   Recent research shows that  the Cotinus coggygria syrup has the effect of protecting the liver from chemical damages, reducing tension of the choledochal sphincter, increasing the bile flow and raising the body immunity. The anti-hepatitis effect may be carried out through decreasing transaminase, normalizing functioning of the gallbladder, reducing icterus and enhancing the immunity of the body.

Other Uses:
The wood was formerly used to make the yellow dye called young fustic. Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Massing, Pollard, Screen, Standard, Specimen. An essential oil is obtained from the leaves and flowers. It has a mango-like smell. Is it edible? A yellow to orange dye is obtained from the root and stem. It is somewhat fugitive though. The leaves and bark are a good source of tannins. Wood – ornamental. Used for cabinet making, picture frames. The twigs are used in basketry.

Known Hazards :  Skin contact with this plant can cause dermatitis in sensitive people. Though related to several poisonous species, this species is definitely not poisonous.

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

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cotinus+coggygria

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Herbs & Plants

Canscora decussata

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Botanical Name: Canscora decussata
Family: Gentianaceae
Other Names: Kambumalini, Sankaphuli, Sankh Pushpi, Samkhapushpi, Shankhini
Vernacular names:
Bengali : dankuni
Hindi : kalameg, samkhaphuli, sankhahuli, shankhahuli, shankhini, sankhaphuli
Kannada : shankapushpa, shankha pushpa
Malayalam : kancankora, samkhapuspi, sankhupuspam
Marathi: titavi, yavotchi
Sanskrit: akshapida, danakuni, dandotpala, dridhapada, kambumalinee, kambupushpi, mahatikta, maheshvari, nakuli, netramila, patratanduli, sanhkapuspi, sankhapuspi, sankhini, shankhapushpi, shankhini, sukshmapushpi, tikta, tiktayava, tunduli, visarpini, yashasvini, yavatikta, yavi
Tamil: tantorpalam
Telugu: chitti akchinata
Urdu : sankha holi, sankhaphuli

Habitat : The plant is indigenous to Burma and India.This species is globally distributed in Tropical Africa, Indian Subcontinent and South East Asia. Within India, it is commonly distributed throughout on damp, grassy localities, fields and sal-forests, ascending up to an altitude of 1600 m. in the Himalayas and upto an altitude of 900 m. in Peninsular India.

Description:
A small erect annual herb grows up to 50 cm in height. Leaves simple ovate-lanceolate, acute; flowers white in terminal cymes, fruits membranous capsules, containing powder like seeds. 

click & see the pictures

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used:: Each plant’s part, but primarily the juice, is applied in herbal medicine
Used In Ayurveda, Sidha and Unani

The herb is known to boost metabolic rates and treat nervous disorders

The range of conditions in which the herb is applied includes: scrofula, nervous debility, insanity, and epilepsy.

Sankh Pushpi is thought to be effective in treating nervous disorders, like brain conditions and other, providing better and longer memory, in addition being a metabolic booster. Herbal medications produced from the plant are known to improve memory.

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://enchantingkerala.org/ayurveda/ayurvedic-medicinal-plants/sankhapushpi.php
http://www.oshims.com/herb-directory/s/sankh-pushpi
http://envis.frlht.org.in/botanical_search.php?txtbtname=Canscora+decussata+&gesp=425%7CCanscora+decussata+SCHULTES+%26+SCHULTES.F.

http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp

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Herbs & Plants

Jimbur (Allium wallichii )

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Botanical Name : Allium wallichii
Family : Alliaceae
Genus : Allium
Species: wallichii
Other Names : Allium wallichii Liliaceae Allium, Ornamental Onion, Jimbu, Dzimbu
English Name: Allium, Ornamental Onion, Jimbu, Dzimbu seeds.
Common name: Himalaya Onion, Jimbur

Habitat : E. Asia – W. China to the Himalayas. Forest clearings and shrubberies, fully open to the monsoon rains, 2800 – 4300 metres from Pakistan to S.W. China.

Description:
Himalaya Onion is a deciduous bulb that grows to 1.0 meters high by 0.5 meters wide. It grows in Himalyan foothills between 2300-6600 m. It sports hemispheric umbels of purple flowers. In Nepal, Himalaya onion is often used for cooking, especially for flavouring dal (lintal) boiled legumes. Rather uniquely, jimbu leaves are usually employed in the dried state and fried in butter fat to develop their flavour.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower from August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

A large genus of bulbous plants, most of which have a distinctive smell of garlic (onions, leeks, chives, and garlic are all members). However, many are worth growing for their flowers and, unless the foliage is broken, the odour is seldom offensive. Easily raised from seed.

With papery, magenta to purple reflexed flowers, it is much used for medicinal purposes and as a spice, so much so that it is in danger of being over-harvested. The aromatic leaves, with a strong distinctive flavour, are used dried in small quantities to flavour soups, vegetables and meat dishes.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
An easily grown plant,  it prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil[1]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of Britain, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c It succeeds outdoors in N.W. England where it sets seed. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:-
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:-
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Young leaves – cooked as a vegetable. The dried leaves are used as a condiment in curries and pickles. Bulb – raw or cooked. Poorly developed and rather small. The cloves are used as a substitute for garlic. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses
The bulbs, boiled then fried in ghee, are eaten in the treatment of cholera and dysentery. The raw bulb is chewed to treat coughs and colds. It is said that eating the bulbs can ease the symptoms of altitude sickness. Members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses:
Repellent.

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

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.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Allium+wallichii
http://www.chilternseeds.co.uk/chilternseeds/moreinfo/d/allium+wallichii/pid/9368609
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Himalaya%20Onion.html
http://www.srgc.org.uk/bulblog/log2005/140905/log.html

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Herbs & Plants

Rudraksha

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Botanical Name : :. Elaeocarpus sphaericus
Family Name: Elaeocarpaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Oxalidales
Genus: Elaeocarpus
Species: E. ganitrus
vernacular Name: Sans,.Rudraksha; Hind: Rudraki; Eng : Ultrasum-bead tree

Habitat :
The Rudraksha tree grows in the area from the Gangetic Plain in foothills of the Himalayas to South-East Asia, Indonesia, New Guinea to Australia, Guam and even Hawaii. Rudraksha trees are also found in middle areas of Nepal.

Description:
Rudraksha Plant Elaeocarpus is a large genius of evergreen trees. It has nearly 36 sister species, including Rudraksha. All trees bearing white flowers with fringed petals developing into drupaceous fruit resembling olive. The main trunk of rudraksha tree is cylindrical. Its section is circular. Bark is grayish white and rough in texture with small vertical lenticels and narrow horizontal furrows. The branches of Rudraksha spread in all directions is such a way that when growing in natural habitat, the crown takes the shape of a pyramid. The leaves of rudraksha are shining green above and dull coriaceous below. The flowers are ovoid, conical, elongate, nearly 1 to 2 cm in diameter. These appear in April-May. The fruit is globose and drupaceous having a fleshy exterior. The beads inside is hard and tubercled. The fruit starts appearing in June and ripens by august to october.Farming of Rudraksha is a difficult process due to its slow sprouting from the beads which usually takes about 1 to 2 years depending on the humidity of soil. Rudraksha is basically grown in subtropical climatic region with temperature ranges from 25to 30degree centigrade. Once Rudraksha are planted it starts giving fruit after 7 years and thereafter for long time. In the single tree Rudraksha beads comes in all different faces at the same time but higher mukhis or faces are vary rare to find where most of Rudraksha beads are five faces Rudraksha beads come in seasonal pattern every year around mid august to mid october from the tree.The Himalayan Beads simply seem to be larger, heavier and more powerful due to the environment they grow in. So it is a certainty that environment and specifically the location of the Rudraksa Trees plays a key role in their growth.Rudraksha tree are easy to grow and once established,a rudraksha tree will last for years with a little care.

.Click to see picture of  Rudraksha tree.,,

Rudraksha Tree starts bearing fruit in three to four years. As the tree matures, the roots buttress rising up narrowly near the trunk and radiating out along the surface of the ground giving a gnarly and prehistoric appearance.Rudraksha seeds are covered by an outer shell of blue color when fully ripe, and for this reason are also known as blueberry beads. The blue colour is derived not from pigment but is structural.

Rudraksha Beads:
Rudraksha beads are the material from which sacred garlands (108 beads in number) are made. The term is used both for the berries themselves and as a term for the type of m?l? made from them. In this sense, a rudraksha is a Saivite rosary, used for japa mala. Repetitive prayer (japa) is a common aid to worship in Hinduism, and Rudraksha m?l? are worn by many Hindus. Rudraksha is also used for treatment of various diseases in traditional Indian medicine.

The berries show variation in the number of grooves on their surface, and are classified on the basis of the number of divisions that they have. A common type has five divisions, and these are considered to be symbolic of the five faces of Shiva.

The Rudraksh seeds are brittle in nature and so should be protected from chemicals.

The best way to find the authenticity of a rudraksha is to get it X-rayed and count the number of compartments inside. If they are equal to the number of lines outside the rudraksha is real.

This rudraksha mala is made from fine (not rough), ripe and hard “real” rudraksha seeds that “SINKS IN WATER”.

Rudraksha seeds (beads) are used for spiritual mala or rosary such as in Hindu and Buddhism. Rudraksha trees are grown in the Himalayan villages of Nepal (the native homeland of Rudraksha) which are favored and valued more than other Rudraksha malas.

Religious Use:-
Rudraksha mala has been used by Hindus (as well as Sikhs and Buddhists) as rosary for thousands of years for meditation purposes to sanctify the mind, body and soul. The word Rudraksha is derived from Rudra (Shiva—the Hindu God of all living creatures) and aksha (eyes). So, Rudraksha is related to Shiva’s eyes. One Hindu mythology says that once Lord Shiva became so compassionate after seeing the sufferings of mankind that He could not stop to shed tear from his eye. This single tear from Shiva’s eye grew into the Rudraksha tree. Rudraksha fruit is green in color but turns black when dried. The central hard Rudraksha uniseed may have 1 to 21 faces. The five-faced Rudraksha seeds are the most common. Besides as rosary for meditation, the Rudraksha mala is often used as a fashionable necklace or a bracelet. Thus it serves the dual purpose of fashion and protects the wearer psychologically.

Use as Timber
The wood of Rudraksh tree is light coloured almost whitish in appearance. It has a unique strength-to-weight ratio, making it valued for its timber. The wood of Rudraksha Tree was used to make aeroplane propellers during World War I.

The Mantra of Rudraksha
:-
Japa mantra for Rudraksha mala: Om Hreem Shivaya

Rudraksha rules the planet: Jupiter

Spiritual Belives that Rudraksha Cures: Depression, stress, diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, blood related diseases etc

Japa method:
Hold the mala from the middle finger. Start meditation from the 1st bead next to the guru bead (109th bead outside the mala ring that is closest to the bunch of threads). Pull the bead one by one towards yourself with the thumb while recalling/reciting/chanting “Om Hreem Shivaya” & crossing and pulling the beads by the tip of the thumb. After completing the japa until the 108th bead (the bead just before the guru bead) turn around the mala by your thumb and start the japa again from the 108th bead and continue up to the 1st bead. Repeat the above process. Do not touch the mala with the index finger, little finger and the fingernails.

Medicinal Uses of Rudraksha:-
Rudraksha bead is a natural tranquilizer and it has been proved that wearing Rudraksha around heart controlled heart beat and keeps blood pressure under control. For this, it is necessary that the Rudrakasha bead should touch the heart. People with the problem of high blood pressure can also take Rudraksha as a medicine. Dip two Beads of Five Mukhi Rudraksh in a glass of water in night and let them immersed in water for whole night. Drink that water in the morning, before any other intake. You can use any metal for the vessel except copper.

» Rudraksha also imposes positive effect on Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Palpitations and Lack of Concentration.
» It cools down the body temperature and brings calm to mind. Those who suffer from anxiety should keep big size Five
Mukhi Rudraksh with themselves and whenever they feel nervous, they should hold them tight in their right palm for ten
minutes. It will help them to regain their confidence and their body would become stable.
» Rudrakasha is an excellent bead for pregnant women. Wearing Garbh Gauri Rudraksha helps women who have problems in
conceiving a child and are prone to abortion. Rudraksha is also useful for women suffering from hysteria and coma.
» Rudraksha also help to cure prolonged cough, the paste of ten-faced Rudrakasha with milk relieves prolonged cough. This
medicine should be taken thrice a day. It can be used as a cure for skin diseases, sores, ringworm, pimples, boils and
burns also.
» Rudraksha is also good for children who suffer from frequent fever. Such children should wear three-faced Rudrakasha.
» To cure smallpox equal quantity of black pepper and Rudrakasha should be powdered and taken with water.
» Rudraksha is also useful in mental diseases. Milk boiled with four faced Rudrakasha seed is good medicine for mental
diseases. This also helps in increasing your memory.
» Rudraksha also possess anti ageing property.

You may click to see :->MEDICINAL & SCIENTIFIC VALUE OF RUDRAKASHA

Acording to Ayurveda:-
It is amla, ushna; pacifies demaged vata and kapha; relieves headache; appetizing and beneficial in mental diseases.

Part Used: Fruits.

Therapeutic Uses:

Fruits: In the treatment of headache and epileptic fits.the fruits are sour, thermogenic, appetizer, useful in cough, bronchitis, neuralgia ,cephalgia, anorexia, epileptic fitts, manic conditions, brain disorders.

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/Rudraksha
http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#rudraksha

http://www.india-shopping.net/rudraksha/medicinal_propertiesof_rudraksha.htm

http://www.rudraksha-ratna.com/articledt.php?art_id=129

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