Tag Archives: Home & Garden

Guarea rusbyi

Botanical Name : Guarea rusbyi
Family: Meliaceae
Genus: Guarea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonym : Guarea guidonia (L.) Sleumer

Common Name :Cocillana
Other Names: Grape Bark, Guapi, Guarea guara, Guarea guidonia, Guarea spiciflora, Guarea trichilioides, Sycocarpus rusbyi, Trompillo, Upas.

Habitat : Guarea rusbyi is native to tropical Africa and Central and South America.This plant  prefers Wet soil a pH of 7 . All plants need light to allow the photosynthesis process of converting carbon dioxide to growth sugars to take place. Some plants need more sun-light than others. For this plant those sunlight conditions are well described as … Full sun

Description:
Guarea rusbyi is a large tree 20-45 m tall, with a trunk over 1 m trunk diameter, often buttressed at the base. The leaves are pinnate, with 4-6 pairs of leaflets, the terminal leaflet present. The flowers are produced in loose inflorescences, each flower small, with 4-5 yellowish petals. The fruit is a four or five-valved capsule, containing several seeds, each surrounded by a yellow-orange fleshy aril; the seeds are dispersed by hornbills and monkeys which eat the fleshy aril.

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Medicinal Uses:
Patrs used: The bark

Constituents:
An alkaloid- rusbyine. Glycoside. Resins. Volatile oil- 2.5%. Tannins.. Fixed oil. Flavonols. Anthraquinones.
G. cedrata and G. thompsonii contains limonoids, such as dreagenin and methyl 6-acetoxyangolensate. Also sesquiterpenes and glycerides.

G. glabra has pentacarbocylic triperpenoids, including glabretal.

Used widely in cough syrups in a similar way to Ipecacuanha.

Some people apply cocillana root bark directly to the skin for skin tumors.

RESEARCH
G. guidonia- from Brazil has demonstated anti-inflammatory activity in vitro and is used for that purpose.
(BHP1983,PNC).

Other Uses:
The timber is important; the African species are known as Bossé, Guarea, or Pink Mahogany, and the South American species as Cramantee or American Muskwood. It is said to possibly cause hallucinations if ingested.

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/Guarea
http://www.innerpath.com.au/matmed/herbs/Guarea_rusbyi.html
http://www.plant-supplies.com/plants/guarearusbyi.htm
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-408-COCILLANA.aspx?activeIngredientId=408&activeIngredientName=COCILLANA

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Canna edulis

Botanical Name :Canna edulis
Family: Cannaceae
Genus: Canna
Species: C. indica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zingiberales
Syn. : Canna achiras – Gill.,Canna esculenta – Lodd.

Common Names :Arrowroot, Indian Shot, saka siri, Indian shot, canna, bandera, chancle, coyol, or platanillo, Kardal in Marathi, Sanskrit : vankelee, sarvajaya

Habitat :Native of the Caribbean and tropical Americas.By the coast and in temperate valleys of the Andes. Usually found at the edges of moist thickets or in ditches

Description:
Canna edulis is a widely  garden plant. It is a small herbaceous perennial plant  growing from 0.5m to 2.5m, depending on the variety. It is hardy to zone 10 and is frost tender. In the northern latitudes, it is in flower from August to October, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite.It is tender to hard frosts, but can be grown practically anywhere if its rhizomes are dug up during winter.

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Cultivation:Canna edulis need full sun to partial shade with a well-drained soil. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 2 parts loam to 2 parts sand or perlite. The soil is kept moist at all times for optimum growth. Plants are fertilized on a weekly basis with a balanced fertilizer. They are very vigorous growers and will out grow most containers very quickly. Division of clumps in containers should be done on a yearly basis. As flowers fade, the stalks should be cut back to the ground.

Plants commonly die back during cold months, only to leaf out and bloom during warmer months. Plants enjoy regular water during the warm months. Plant in full sun, part sun, or shade. They can be grown in pretty much any type of soil. If growing in cold winter areas, dig up the rhizomes and store them in a cool area for the winter, then plant out after frost has past.

Propagation: By seeds, or by rhizomes.Canna edulis are propagated by division and by seed. The hard seed coat needs to be scarified and soaked in water for 24 hours. Seeds germinate in 14-21 days after sowing.

Edible uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root; Seed click to see  
Root – raw or cooked. It is the source of ‘canna starch‘ which is used as an arrowroot. The arrowroot is obtained by rasping the root to a pulp, then washing and straining to get rid of the fibres. This starch is very digestible. The very young tubers can also be eaten cooked, they are sweet but fibrousy. The root can be very large, sometimes as long as a person’s forearm. In Peru the roots are baked for up to 12 hours by which time they become a white, translucent, fibrous and somewhat mucilaginous mass with a sweetish taste. The starch is in very large grains, about three times the size of potato starch grains, and can be seen with the naked eye. This starch is easily separated from the fibre of the root. The roots contain about 25% starch. The dry matter contains about 75 – 80% starch, 6 – 14% sugar, 1 – 3% protein, it is high in potassium, low in calcium and phosphorus. Young shoots – cooked and eaten as a green vegetable. Quite nutritious, containing at least 10% protein. The immature seeds are cooked in fat tortillas.

Ground rhizomes can also be used in baking. Arrowroot was once a vital crop of the Incas.

Composition:-
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.

Leaves (Fresh weight):-

*0 Calories per 100g
*Water: 0%
*Protein: 10g; Fat: 0g; Carbohydrate: 0g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 0g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Root (Dry weight)

*0 Calories per 100g
*Water: 0%
*Protein: 3g; Fat: 0g; Carbohydrate: 80g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 0g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses: None known

Other uses:
Grown  as an ornamental for its red flowers.The starch from the roots is sometimes used as a laundry starch or for sizing[

Resources:
http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/achira.htm
http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week196.shtml
http://server9.web-mania.com/users/pfafardea/database/plants.php?Canna+edulis

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Argyreia nervosa

Botanical Name : Argyreia speciosa
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Argyreia
Species: A. nervosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales
Synonyms: Argyreia speciosa, Convolvulus nervosus, Convolvulus speciosus.
Common Names: Baby Hawaiian Woodrose, Baby Woodrose, Cordon Seda, Coup D’Air, Elephant Creeper, , Adhoguda or Vidhara, Liane A Minguet, Liane D’ Argent, Samudrasokh, Silver Morning Glory, Woolly Morning Glory.

Habitat : Native to eastern India and Bangladesh, Argyreia nervosa, Baby Hawaiian Woodrose has become panTropical.  Now introduced to numerous areas worldwide, including Hawaii, Africa and the Caribbean, it can be invasive, although is often prized for its aesthetic value. Common names include Hawaiian Baby Woodrose,

Description:
Perennial climber, height of  vine is  10m.

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Flower: clusters of trumpets, 5cm (about 2 inches) violet/lavender inside with a deep coloured throat, white with fine hairs outside. The plant can start growing flowers as early as 18 months from seed. For this to occur, there must be sufficient watering and adequate room for the roots to grow; it can take up to five years for the first signs of flowering to become visible.
Fruit: “Woodrose”; globular berry, 1 to 2cm diameter, with rosette of “wooden” petals. Often sold for dried flower arrangements/pot-pourri.

Foliage: 15 to 40cm long cordate (heart-shaped) prominently nerved leaves, felted (tomentose) beneath with minute silky hairs.

Seeds :
The seeds are found in the pods of dried flowers. These cannot be harvested until the pods are completely dried. There are 3 to 5 seeds, commonly 4, per flower.

Roots

Some people place approximately 1 to 2 inches (2 to 4 cm) in rich potting soil with a good drainage system. It is very important during the first stages of growth to keep the soil moist, though well drained, as saturation will cause root rot and possibly rot. It is important to keep the mix well aerated.

The massive root system of this plant can cause the plant to become rootbound within the first year or so. For example, a 5-year-old plant in a 15-gallon pot (after only six months) will begin to show signs of becoming rootbound. It is suggested to use a 55-gallon drum or a feeding trough (commonly used for livestock and horses).

Cultivation:

Very easy !

Just soak the seeds in water overnight, then keep them on a moist paper towel until the roots start to poke out.

When you can see a little white root starting to push out from one end of a seed sow the seed into a water retaining but free draining growing mix – about an inch (2 cm) or slightly more below the surface with the little root pointing upwards !

Within a few days the first 2 leaves will pull themselves out of the ground.

Chemical constituents — The plant contains tannin and amber-colored resin, soluble in ether, benzole; partly soluble in alkalis; and fatty oil.103

The seeds have shown the presence of alkaloids, viz., chanoclavine, ergine, ergonovine, and isoergine by various workers.10

Pharmacological action — Alterative, aphrodisiac, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, tonic, and emollient.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used — Root and seeds.
Ayurvedic description — Rasa — katu, tikta, kasaya; Guna — laghu, snigdha; Veerya — ushna; Vipak — madhur.

Action and uses—Kapha vatsamak, branpachan,daran, sodhan, ropan, naribalya, dipan, pachan, ampachan, anulomon, rachan, hiridya sothahar, surkrjanan, pramehangan, balya, rasayan.

Powder of the root is given with “ghee” as an alterative; in elephantiasis the powder is given with rice water. In inflammation of the joints it is given with milk and a little castor oil. A paste of the roots made with rice water is applied over rheumatic swelling and rubbed over the body to reduce obesity. The whole plant is reported to have antiseptic properties.1 The leaves are antiphlogistic; they are applied over skin diseases and wounds;109 the silky side of the leaf is applied over tumors, boils, sores, and carbuncles;, as an irritant to promote maturation and suppuration.50 The leaves are also used for extracting guinea worms. A drop of the leaf juice is used in otitis.

The root of this plant is regarded as alterative, tonic and useful in rheumatic affections, and diseases of the nervous system. As an alterative and nervine tonic it is prescribed in the following manner. The powdered root is soaked, seven times during seven days, in the juice of the tubers of Asparagus racemosus ( satamuli) and dried. The resulting powder is given in doses of a quarter to half a tola, with clarified butter, for about a month. It is said to improve the intellect, strengthen the body and prevent the effects of age.1 In synovitis the powdered root is given with milk.2

Ajamod?di churna.3 Take of ajowan, baberang, rock salt, plumbago root, Cedrus deodara, long pepper root, long pepper, black pepper and dill seeds each two tolsa, chebulic myrobalan ten tolas, root of Argyreia speciosa twenty tolas, ginger twenty tolas; powder and mix. Dose, about two drachms with treacle. This preparation is said to be useful in rheumatic affections and hemiplegia

Other Uses:  Psychotropic, in India it is an Ayurvedic medicinal plant, ornamental (dried flower arrangements).

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/Hawaiian_baby_woodrose
http://b-and-t-world-seeds.com/365.htm
http://www.iamshaman.com/hbwr/ayurvedic.htm
http://chestofbooks.com/health/materia-medica-drugs/Hindus-Materia-Medica/Argyreia-Speciosa-Sweet-Syn-Lettsomia-Nervosa-Roxb-Sans.html

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Alocasia

Botanical Name :Alocasia
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe: Colocasieae
Genus: Alocasia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales
Syn. : Arum Indicum, Roxb. Sans, Alocasia macorhiza (Linn);  Alocasia odora Koch; Colocasia macrorhiza Schott

Common Name :Makanda, Giant taro, Mankachu, Great-leaved Caledium, Alavu, mankanda, Genasoo, Marambu, Alu, Merukanlilangu, Chara kanda,Elephant Ear,Giant Elephant Ear

.Bengali name :Kochu
Parts used: Stems, leave, rhizomes.

Habitat :Native to Java and Malaysia, people there use alocasia (Esculenta, Taro) as important sources of starch, such as poi in the Hawaiian food tradition. It grows most places having worm climate.Grows  very well in India, Balgladesh and Sreelankha.

Description:
Alocasia is a genus of about 70 species .These rhizomatous or bulbous perennials occur in tropical humid climates of southeast Asia and a few other places. They are grown as ornamentals for their large heart-shaped or arrowhead-shaped leaves, sometimes called African Masks or Elephant’s Ears. These plants are variable in size, height, shape, and leaf color.
CLICK & SEE
The underground stems of Alocasia Indica constitute a valu-able and important vegetable of native dietary. The stems sometimes grow to an immense size, from six to eight feet in length and can be preserved for a considerable time. Hence they are of great importance in jail dietary when fresh vegetables become scarce in the bazar or jail garden. They thrive best in shade under the eaves of huts or buildings and beside fences.
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The stem (a corm) is edible, but contains raphid or raphide crystals of oxalic acid that can numb and swell the tongue and pharynx resulting in difficult breathing, and sharp throat pain. The lower parts contain more of the poison. Prolonged boiling before serving or processing may reduce the risks but acidic fruit such as tamarind will dissolve them.

Constituents and properties:-
*Rhizomes contain phytosterols, alkaloids, glucose and fructose.
*Root tuber contains neurotoxin, sapotoxin.

Medicinal Uses:
Medicinally manaka is said to be useful in anasarca, in which disease it is used in the following manner. Take of the powdered meal of Alocasia Indica eight tolas, powdered rice sixteen tolas, water and milk, forty-eight tol?s each, boil them together till the water is evaporated. This preparation called Menamanda, is given as diet.1 No other article is allowed in addition to it except milk. A ghrita is also ordered to be made with a decoction and paste of menaka but it is not in vogue.

Folkloric
• Leaves and corms used for furuncles, impetigo and snake bites
• Ground petioles in near-decayed state are placed in cloth and heated in coals, used for toothaches.
• Decoction of rhizomes used for abdominal pains and vomiting.
• Acrid juice used for stings of giant nettles (Laportea).
• In Java, chopped roots and leaves applied to painful joints.
• In India, rhizomes are rubefacient; employed as external stimulant and for fevers.

Other Uses:
As Houseplants
Hybrids, such as the Amazon Lily or the African Mask (Alocasia x amazonica) are grown as popular ornamentals. Alocasia are distinctly exotic and tropical plants that are increasingly becoming popular in American and European homes as houseplants. They are typically grown as pot plants but a better way is to grow the plants permanently in the controlled conditions of a greenhouse. They do not do well in the dark and need good lighting if inside the house. They should be cared for as any other tropical plant with weekly cleaning of the leaves and frequent fine water misting without leaving the plants wet.

Unfortunately, they rarely survive cold winters, or the dryness of artificial heating, but an attempt to slowly acclimatize plants from the summer garden to the house can help . Once inside the watering period must be reduced and the plants should be protected from spider mites or red spider attack. Alternatively, let younger plants die back to the corm from when the temperature reaches 19 degrees and with some luck this could lead to a rebirth in spring.

Studies
• Antifungal / Anti-HIV1 Reverse Transcriptase: Alocasin, an anti-fungal protein was isolated from the rhizome of Alocasia macrorrhiza. and showed antifungal activity against Botrytis cineria. Alocasin also reduced the activity of HIV1 reverse transcriptase.
• Neurotoxicity / Sapotoxin: A case report of poisoning due to the raw root tuber of Chinese medicinal plant, A macrorrhiza, presenting with severe pain and numbness periorally, with nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Root tuber is known to contain the neurotoxin, sapotoxin.
Anti-Tumor: In a study of the antitumor effect of water extract of Alocasia macrorrhiza, the inhibitory rate was 29.38% against S180 in mice and 51.72% against transplantable human gastroadenitis in nude mice.

Known Possible Hazards :
• Stinging Raphides: Stems, corms, leaves and petioles contain stinging raphides (calcium oxalate crystals) that are destroyed by boiling and roasting.
• Neurotoxicity: Case report possiblty caused by tuber root neurotoxin, sapotoxin.

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.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/alocasia
http://mgonline.com/articles/alocasia.aspx
http://www.aroid.org/gallery/kozminski/Alocasia/
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp
http://www.stuartxchange.org/Biga.html

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Impatiens balsamina

Botanical Name :Impatiens balsamina (Dopati)
Family: Balsaminaceae
Genus: Impatiens
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales
Species: I. balsamina

Common Name: Garden balsam,Rose Balsam .It is called kamantigue in the Philippines.In Bengal it is called Dopati

Habitat : Native to India, southeast Asia and Myanmar.Waste places in and around villages.

Description:
It is an annual plant growing to 20–75 cm tall, with a thick, but soft stem. The leaves are spirally-arranged, 2.5–9 cm long and 1–2.5 cm broad, with a deeply toothed margin. The flowers are red, pink, purple, or white, and 2.5–5 cm diameter; they are pollinated by bees and other insects, and also by nectar-feeding birds.
It is frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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Height: 0.5 to 2.5 feet
Spread: 0.5 to 1.5 feet
Bloom Time: May – To frost
Bloom Color: Pink, rose, red, purple, white and bicolor.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in any reasonably good soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist well-drained humus rich soil in a cool site. Another report says that this species requires warm, moist conditions. Succeeds in sun or semi-shade. Plants are not frost hardy, but can be grown outdoors in Britain by sowing the seed in a greenhouse and planting out after the last expected frosts. A polymorphic species, there are several named forms selected for their ornamental value[200]. This plant has seed capsules that spring open forcibly as the seed ripens to eject the seed a considerable distance. The capsules are sensitive to touch even before the seed is ripe, making seed collection difficult but fun.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.

Leaves and young shoots – cooked. Seed – raw or cooked. They are difficult to collect in quantity, mainly because of their exploding seed capsules which scatter the ripe seed at the slightest touch.

Medicinal Uses
Antibiotic;  Cancer;  Cathartic;  Diuretic;  EmeticExpectorant;  Poultice;  Tonic;  Warts.

The plant is cathartic, diuretic and emetic. It is used in the treatment of pains in the joints. The leaf juice is used as a treatment against warts. The flowers are cooling, mucilaginous and tonic. They are useful when applied to burns and scalds. The juice of the flowers is used to treat snakebites. The flowers, and their alcoholic extract, possess marked antibiotic activity against some pathogenic fungi and bacteria. The seed is expectorant and has been used in the treatment of cancer. The powdered seeds are given to women during labour in order to provide strength.

Different parts of the plant are used to treat disease and skin afflctions; the leaves, seeds, and stems are also edible if cooked. Juice from balsam leaves treats warts and also snakebite, while the flower can be applied to burns to cool the skin.

Other Uses
Dye;  Oil.

A dye is obtained from the flowers and leaves. The prepared juice has been used for dyeing finger and toenails red. The seed contains 27% of a viscous oil, though the report does not mention if this oil is utilised for any purpose.Many times it is grown in garden for beautification.

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/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Impatiens balsamina
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impatiens_balsamina
http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week337.shtml
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/Plant.asp?code=A585

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