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Herbs & Plants

Panax japonicus

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Botanical Name : Panax japonicus
Family: Araliaceae
Subfamily: Aralioideae
Genus: Panax
Species: Panax japonicus

Synonyms : P. pseudoginseng japonicus (C.A.Mey.)Hoo.&Tseng. P. repens. Max.

Common Names: Japanese Ginseng

Habitat :Panax japonicus is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. It grows in forests, forests in valleys; 1200-3600 m. S Anhui, N Fujian, Gansu, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, N India, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, NE Thailand, Vietnam].
Description:
Panax japonicus is a perennial herb growing to 0.6 m (2ft). Rootstock horizontal, flagellate or moniliform. Stem straight, glabrous. Leaves 3-5, verticillate at apex of stem, palmately compound; petiole base without stipule or stipulelike appendages; leaflets 5, obovate-elliptic to narrowly elliptic, 5-18 × 2-6.5 cm, membranous, both surfaces sparsely setose on veins, base broadly cuneate to subrounded, margin serrulate or biserrate, apex acuminate or long acuminate. Inflorescence a solitary, terminal umbel 50-80(or more)-flowered; peduncle 12-21 cm, glabrous or slightly pubescent; pedicels 7-12 mm. Filaments shorter than petals. Ovary 2-5-carpellate; styles 2-5, united to middle. Fruit red, subglobose, 5-7 mm in diam.; seeds 2-5, white, triangular-ovoid, 3-5 × 2-4 mm. Flower in. May-Jun and fruit in Jul-Sep….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in much of the country. This species has 24 chromosomes which makes it quite distinct from P. ginseng which has 44 chromosomes. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Requires a moist humus rich soil in a shady position in a woodland.

Propagation:
Seed – sow in a shady position in a cold frame preferably as soon as it is ripe, otherwise as soon as the seed is obtained. It can be very slow and erratic to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse or frame for at least their first winter. Make sure the pots are deep enough to accommodate the roots. Plant out into their permanent positions in late summer. Division in spring.

Edible Uses:…. Tea……The roots are used as a flavouring in teas and liqueurs. Some caution is advised, see the notes below on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:

Expectorant; Febrifuge; Stomachic; Tonic.

Expectorant, tonic. A decoction of the root is expectorant, febrifuge and stomachic.

Other Uses: …Soap…..The root contains up to 5% saponins and it might be possible to utilize them as a soap.

Known Hazards: The root contains up to 5% saponins. Saponins are found in many foods, such as some beans, and although they are fairly toxic to people they are poorly absorbed by the body and most pass straight through without any problem. Thorough cooking will also break them down. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish.

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:
https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Panax_japonicus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Panax+japonicus
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200015247

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Herbs & Plants

Magnolia liliiflora

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Botanical Name : Magnolia liliiflora
Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Magnolia
Subgenus: M. subg. Yulania
Section: M. sect. Yulania subsect. Yulania
Species: M. liliiflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Magnoliales

Synonyms : M. obovata. non Thunb. M. purpurea. M. quinquepeta. (Buc-Holz.)Dandy. Lassonia quinquepeta.

Common Names : Mu-Lan, Woody Orchid, Lily Magnolia,Mulan magnolia, Purple magnolia, Red magnolia, Lily magnolia, Tulip magnolia, Jane magnolia and Woody-orchid

Habitat: Magnolia liliiflora is native to southwest China (in Sichuan and Yunnan), but cultivated for centuries elsewhere in China and also Japan. It grows in slopes and forests edges at elevations of 300 – 1600 metres in Fujian, Hubei, Sichuan and NW Yunnan Provinces.
Description:
Magnolia liliiflora is a deciduous shrub, exceptionally a small tree, to 4m tall (smaller than most other magnolias). Bloom Color: Pink, Purple. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer, Mid fall. Form: Spreading or horizontal, Upright or erect. It blooms profusely in early spring with large showy flowers, before the leaf buds open.The seeds ripen from Sep to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Beetles…...CLICK  &  SEE THE  PICTURES

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Specimen. Best grown in a warm position in a moderately rich free soil of an open texture. Prefers a neutral to acid soil but tolerates alkaline soils so long as they are deep and rich in humus. Plants cannot be grown on limy or chalky soils. The branches are brittle so a sheltered position is required. This species is said to be fairly wind tolerant. It is very tolerant of atmospheric pollution. Plants are hardy to about -20°c, but they require the protection of a wall when grown in northern Britain. The fleshy roots are easily damaged and any transplanting is best done during a spell of mild moist weather in late spring. The flowers, which start to be produced when the plant is less than a metre tall, are deliciously scented. The young wood is aromatic. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Extended bloom season in Zones 9A and above, Fragrant flowers, Blooms are very showy.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed must be kept cold over the winter and should be sown in late winter in a cold frame[200]. The seed usually germinates in the spring but it can take 18 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter. They can be planted out into their permanent positions when they are more than 15cm tall, though should be well mulched and given some protection from winter cold for their first winter or two outdoors. Layering in early spring .

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic; Anodyne; Carminative; Febrifuge; Sedative; Tonic.

The flowers and unopened flower buds are analgesic, anodyne, carminative, febrifuge, sedative and tonic. The main effect of this herb is to constrict blood vessels in the nasal passages and so it is taken internally in the treatment of sinusitis, allergic rhinitis and colds with a runny nose or catarrh. In excess it can cause dizziness. This herb is incompatible with Astragalus membranaceus. The flowers are harvested in the spring and can be used fresh or dried.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnolia_liliiflora
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Magnolia+liliiflora

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Cynanchum glaucescens

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Botanical Name :Cynanchum glaucescens
Family: Asclepiadaceae

Common Name ;

Habitat : Cynanchum glaucescens is native to  E. Asia – China. It grows in  Mountains, riversides; 100-800. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Zhejiang

Description:
Cynanchum glaucescens is a perennial Climber growing to 0.6m.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from June to October, and the seeds ripen from July to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
YOU MAY CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES

The Herbs is rhizomatous, roots fibrous, fascicled at nodes. Stems erect, to 60 cm, pubescent along 2 lines. Leaves opposite, subsessile; leaf blade glabrous, elliptic, oblong-lanceolate, or oblong, 1-7 cm × 7-12 mm, base cuneate or rounded, apex rounded to ± acute; lateral veins 3-5 pairs, obscure. Inflorescences umbel-like, sometimes with 2 cymules separated by a short rachis, shorter than leaves, glabrous or puberulent. Sepals oblong-lanceolate, ca. 2.3 × 1 mm, glabrous, basal glands 5. Corolla yellow, rotate, ca. 8 mm in diam.; lobes ovate-oblong, ca. 3.5 × 2.3 mm, obtuse. Corona shallowly cupular, 5-lobed; lobes ovate, fleshy, incurved, slightly shorter than anthers and adnate to them. Pollinia ovoid. Stigma head convex. Follicles fusiform, 4.5-6 cm × 6-10 mm. Seeds oblong, ca. 5 mm; coma ca. 2 cm. Fl. May-Nov, fr. Jul-Dec.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. 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:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. It probably does not have any special cultivation requirements and will probably succeed in most soils in a sunny position.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in the greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring.

Medicinal Uses:

Antitussive; Expectorant.

The fragrant root is used in Chinese medicine.  The roots and stems are used to treat coughs, pneumonia, uneasy breathing, and lung diseases.  They are also used in the treatment of asthma with profuse sputum, coughs etc.

The dried root and stem are antitussive and expectorant. They are used in the treatment of asthma with profuse sputum, coughs etc.

Known Hazards:There are some reports of toxins in this genus

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://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Cynanchum+glaucescens
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.showyourplant.com/Cynanchum_glaucescens/

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200018553

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Xu Duan

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Botanical Name : Dipsacus asper
Family:
Caprifoliaceae
Subfamily:
Dipsacoideae
Genus:
Dipsacus
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Dipsacales

Common Names: Xu Duan

Habitat :Xu Duan is  native to east Asia, it is grown in mountains in Japan and wild places and roadsides in China. In China, dipsacus is produced mainly in Sichuan, Hubei, Hunan, Yunan and Guizhou provinces.

Description:
Xu Duan is a perennial plant. It grows to about 1 m high. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs). The plant can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses:
Properties: Bitter, sweet and pungent in flavor, mildly warm in nature, it is related to the liver and kidney channels.

Tonifys the liver and kidney, promotes reunion of fractured bones and prevents abortion.

Being sweet and warm, it can strengthen yang and tonify the liver and kidney; owing to the pungent and warm nature, it can also promote blood circulation. As a tonic, it functions mildly and without sticky property in tonifying the kidney, preventing abortion, promoting blood circulation and curing trauma. Thus, it serves to treat syndromes of deficiency of chong and ren meridians, threatened abortion, traumatic ecchymoma and injury of muscles and bones.

The plant is used in the treatment of rheumatism. It also has a long history of folk use in the treatment of breast cancer.  The root is used to strengthen the bones and tendons and liver, stimulate blood circulation, treat weakness of the limbs, for arthritis and rheumatic complaints, and to prevent miscarriage.  Roots also used to treat lumbago, trauma as a result of a fall, rheumatic pain, excessive menstrual bleeding

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.imm.ac.cn/groups/fangws/publications/OL2006-TianXiaoyan.pdf
http://www.e2121.com/herb_db/viewherb.php3?viewid=588&setlang=
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dipsacus

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Herbs & Plants

Xiang Ru

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Botanical Name : Elsholtzia splendens
Family: Lamiaceae/Labiatae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribes: Elsholtzieae
Genus: Elsholtzia
Species: Elsholtzia splendens
Order: Lamiales

Common Names : Xiang Ru,Elsholtzia angustifolia (Loesener) Kitagawa; E. cristata Willdenow var. angustifolia Loesener; E. haichowensis Sun ex C. H. Hu; E. loeseneri Handel-Mazzetti; E. lungtangensis Sun ex C. H. Hu; E. pseudocristata H. Léveillé & Vaniot var. angustifolia (Loesener) P.Y. Fu.

Korean Name: Kot-hyang-yoo
English Name: Shiny elsholtzia/Aromatic madder

Pharmaceutical name: Herba Elsholtziae seu Moslae
Taxonomic name: Elsholtzia splendens, Mosla chinensis

Habitat :Native to Korea & northern China. Grows in hills, grassy areas; 200-300 m. Guangdong, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Shandong, Zhejiang [Korea]

Description:
Elsholtzia splendens is a perennial/annual plant. Stems are erect 30-50cm long, much branched above base, tawny purple; branches erect-patent; internodes 2-12 cm, with 2 rows of pilose hairs. Petiole 0.5-1.5 cm, gradually shorter upward, adaxially pubescent; leaf blade ovate-triangular to oblong-lanceolate, 3-6 × 0.8-2.5 cm, sparsely fine pilose, densely impressed glandular abaxially, base cuneate, decurrent, margin remotely serrate, apex acuminate. Spikes dense, 3.5-4.5 cm, secund; rachis pubescent; bracts subcircular to broadly ovate, ca. 5 × 6-7 mm, caudate-cuspidate, glabrous, sparsely glandular, tinged purple, margin ciliolate, apex 1-1.5 mm. Pedicel less than 1 mm, subglabrous. Calyx 2-2.5 mm, white hispidulous, glandular; teeth triangular, subequal, margin ciliate, apex spinescent. Corolla rose-purple, 6-7 mm, slightly incurved, subfunnelform, throat less than 2 mm wide, upper lip emarginate; middle lobe of lower lip circular, margin entire; lateral lobes truncate or subcircular. Nutlets dark brown, oblong, ca. 1.5 mm, tuberculate. Fl. and fr. Sep-Nov.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Chemical components: Thymol (1,2), -phellandrene (2), -bisabolene (3), -trans-bergamotene (4), monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes (5,6).

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves and flowers of this aromatic plant have long been used as herb and seasoning. Also, the plant has been used in domestic folk medicine, due
to its diaphoretic and diuretic effects, and in Korea as a remedy for headache and cough.

A decoction of this herb is a traditional Chinese remedy for halitosis.  For this purpose, it should be taken internally and used as a gargle and mouthwash. Its use is said to relieve the effects of excess alcohol. It is used in the treatment of common colds, edema and oliguria. The plant has a broad-spectrum antibacterial action.

Cautions and Contraindications:
•Contraindicated for exterior deficiencies with sweating. This herb is referred to as “summer ma huang” and has a similar diaphoretic function.
•Drink it cool to avoid vomiting (per some herbal sources…mostly that means Bensky.)

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.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200019656
http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Elsholtzia_splendens
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ffj.1856/pdf
http://www.wpro.who.int/internet/files/pub/97/109.pdf
http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Elsholtzia

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