Herbs & Plants

Alisma plantago-aquatica

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Botanical Name :Alisma plantago-aquatica
Genus: Alisma
Species:A. plantago-aquatica
Kingdom: Plantae

Synonyms: Alisma parviflorum – Pursh.,Alisma subcordatum – Raf.,Alisma triviale – Pursh.

Common Name :Mad-dog weed

Habitat :Alisma plantago-aquatica is native to northern temperate regions of Europe, including Britain, Asia and America. It grows in ditches, damp ground and shallow pond margins in water up to 15cm deep

Alisma plantago-aquatica is a perennial hairless plant growing to 0.9m by 0.45m. It grows in shallow water, consists of a fibrous root, several basal long stemmed leaves 15–30 cm long, and a triangular stem up to 1 m tall.

It has branched inflorescence bearing numerous small flowers, 1 cm across, with three round or slightly jagged, white or pale purple, petals. The flowers open in the afternoon. There are 3 blunt green sepals, and 6 stamens per flower. The carpels often exist as a flat single whorle. It flowers from June until August.


The word alisma is said to be a word of Celtic origin meaning “water”, a reference to the habitat in which it grows. Early botanists named it after the Plantago because of the similarity of their leaves

It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from July to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires wet soil and can grow in water.

Similar species  :Narrow leaved water plantain Alisma lanceolatum differs only in that the leaf tips are acuminate and shape is narrow lanceolate.

Cultivation :
Succeeds in a sunny position in boggy ground or shallow water up to 25cm deep. Plants often self-sow aggressively when in a suitable position. The subspecies A. plantago-maritima orientale. Sam. is the form used medicinally in China. The subspecies A. plantago-maritima parviflorum (Syn A. parviflorum, A. subcordatum) is the form used medicinally in America. Plants are very attractive to slugs.

Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Place the pot in about 3cm of water to keep the soil wet. Pot up the seedlings when large enough to handle and keep in the cold frame for the first winter, planting out in late spring. Division in spring or autumn. Fairly easy, the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root.

Root – cooked. Rich in starch. Caution is advised, the root is acrid if it is not dried or well cooked before use[2, 183]. Leaves and petioles – must be thoroughly cooked. They require long boiling and have a salty flavour.

Chemical constituents:   Alismatis—rhizomes of Alisma orientale (syn. Alisma plantago-aquatica var. orientale) as a traditional Chinese medicine—include alisol A 24-acetate and alisol B 23-acetate. The content of these two compounds are significantly different in Rhizoma Alismatis of different areas.

Medicinal Uses:
Antibacterial; Anticholesterolemic; Astringent; Contraceptive; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Hypoglycaemic; Hypotensive; Rubefacient.

The leaves are antibacterial, anticholesterolemic, diaphoretic, diuretic, hypoglycaemic and hypotensive. They are used in the treatment of cystitis, dysentery, renal calculus, gravel etc. The fresh leaf is rubefacient. It is used in the treatment of leprosy and is also applied locally to bruises and swellings. Dried stem bases eaten, or grated and taken with water in treating digestive disorders such as heartburn, cramps and stomach flu. The powdered seed is an astringent, used in cases of bleeding. The seed is also said to promote sterility. The root contains an essential oil and has a wide range of medicinal uses. It is antibacterial, anticholesterolemic, diuretic and hypotensive. It is said to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels whilst it also has an antibacterial action on Staphylococcus, Pneumococci and Mycobacterium. The root is used in the treatment of oliguria, oedema, nephritis, acute diarrhoea, cholesterolaemia and fatty liver. It has been thought of as a cure for rabies, though this has not been substantiated. The whole plant is believed to promote conception. The root is harvested before the plant comes into flower and is dried for later use. A homeopathic remedy is obtained from the fresh root.

According to Flora of the U.S.S.R. (1934, translated 1968), “A powder prepared from dried roots is used in popular medicine as a cure for rabies and crushed leaves are used against mammary congestion; fresh leaves are employed in homeopathy. Since this species is often confounded or identified with others of the genus, the reported data may also refer to [Alisma orientale or Alisma lanceolatum].” Indeed, Alisma plantago-aquatica is also known as mad-dog weed, as if it could be used to cure rabies. Do not confuse this with Scutellaria lateriflora (mad-dog skullcap), which is also sometimes called mad-dog weed.

Alisma orientale was initially—and is occasionally still—treated as a variety of this species (Alisma plantago-aquatica var. orientale). The rhizomes of A. orientale have been used as a traditional Chinese medicine, ze xie. Several scientific studies indicate that ze xie does have medicinal properties such as anti-allergic effects. However, like many other medicines, it could also have serious side effects or even toxic effects

Known Hazards:The fresh leaves and roots are toxic but the toxic principal is destroyed by heat or by drying .

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


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Herbs & Plants

Clerodendrum trichotomum

Botanical Name : Clerodendrum trichotomum
Family: Verbenaceae (or Lamiaceae)
Genus: Clerodendrum
Species: C. trichotomum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names: Harlequin glorybower,Chou Wu Tong

Habitat :Clerodendrum trichotomum is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea. It grows in thickets on mountain slopes, throughout most of China except Nei Mongol, below elevations of 2400 metres .

A decidious Tree growing to 6m by 3m.This large shrub offers a late-summer display of jasmine-like white flowers encased in red tepals and scent.The flowers  have white petals, held within a brown calyx. The fruits are bright blue drupes. Bright blue berries in autumn are accented by conspicuous bright, pinkish-red calyxes.The leaves are ovate, up to 12 cm long, soft and downy or hairy.

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It is hardy to zone 7.  The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

Noteworthy characteristics: When crushed, the foliage smells like unsweetened peanut butter, thought it is often described as “fetid.

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

Cultivation :
Succeeds in a sunny position in ordinary garden soil but prefers a fertile humus-rich well-drained loam. The soil must not be allowed to dry out in the growing season. Requires a position sheltered from cold drying winds. Plants are generally hardy to about -15°c, they succeed outdoors at Kew though the branches are pithy and are apt to die back in winter. The sub-species C. trichotomum fargesii. (Dode.)Rehder. is somewhat hardier, tolerating temperatures down to about -20°c. Plants produce the occasional sucker. The leaves have a heavy unpleasant odour when crushed. Flowers are produced on the current seasons growth and are sweetly scented.

Seed – best sown as soon as possible in a greenhouse. Germination can be erratic but usually takes place within 20 – 60 days at 20°c. When 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 in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Root cuttings, 6 – 8cm long, December in a greenhouse. High percentage. Division of suckers in the dormant season. Very easy, they can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Young sprouts and leaves – cooked.

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic; Antipruritic; Antirheumatic; Hypotensive; Parasiticide; Sedative.

The leaves are mildly analgesic, antipruritic, hypotensive and sedative. They are used externally in the treatment of dermatitis and internally for the treatment of hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain, numbness and paralysis. When used in a clinical trial of 171 people, the blood pressure of 81% of the people dropped significantly – this effect was reversed when the treatment was stopped. The plant is normally used in conjunction with Bidens bipinnata. When used with the herb Siegesbeckia pubescens it is anti-inflammatory. The roots and leaves are antirheumatic and hypotensive. A decoction is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and hypertension. The pounded seed is used to kill lice.

Other Uses:

Scented Plants
Flowers: Fresh
The flowers are sweetly scented.
Leaves: Crushed
The leaves have a heavy unpleasant odour when crushed.

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.


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Herbs & Plants


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Botanical Name :Clerodendrum inerme (Linn.) Gaertn
Family : Verbenaceae

Other Scientific Names:  Clerodendrum commersonii Spreng.,Clerodendrum nerifolium Wall. ,Volkameria commersonii Poir.,Volkameria inermis Linn. ,Volkameria nereifolia Roxb.,Clerodendrum capsulare Blanco,

Common Names: Gaertn. Ang-angri (Ilk.),Baliseng (Bis.),Busel-busel (Ilk.),Mañgoñgot (Tag.),Samin-añga (Sul.),Tabang-oñgong (P. Bis.),Seaside clerodendron (Engl.) ,Garden quinine (Engl.) ,Sorcerer’s bush (Engl.),Wild jasmine (Engl.) ,Ku lang shu (Chin.)

Habitat : Mañgoñgot is found along the seashore and beside tidal streams throughout the Philippines. It also occurs in India to Formosa, and through Malaya to tropical Australia and Polynesia.

This plant is an erect or somewhat straggling shrub 1 to 4 meters high. The leaves are ovate, oblong-ovate, or elliptic-ovate, 4 to 8 centimeters long, 2 to 5 centimeters wide, shinning, smooth, entire, and pointed at the tip. The inflorescence (cyme) is usually composed of three flowers and is borne in the axils of the leaves. The calyx is green, narrowly funnel-shaped, and furnished with 5 very short teeth. The corolla is about 3 centimeters long and comprises a slender, white tube spreading, purple-tinged lobes which are about 7 millimeters long. The stamens are long-exserted, and purple. The fruit is obovoid, about 1.5 centimeters long, and splitting into 4 pyrenes. The calyx in the fruit is about 1 centimeter in diameter.

click & see the pictures

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used: Root, leaves.

* Leaves yield a bitter principle that is entirely removed by ether; and treatment with alcohol and water yields extracts free from bitterness. The bitter principle shows a resemblance to Chiretta (Swertia chirata), a gentianaceous plant.
* Leaves also yield a fragrant stearoptin with an apple-like odor; resin; gum; brown coloring matter; and ash containing a large amount of sodium chloride (24.01% of the ash).
* Study of hexane extract of the aerial parts isolated an aliphatic glucoside characterized as pentadecanoic acid-ß-D-glucoside. A butanol extract yielded acacetin and apigenin.

*Leaves are mucilaginous and fragrant.
*Considered alterative, febrifuge and resolvent.

*In the Philippines, root decoction is used as febrifuge and alterative.
*Leaves are used in poultices as resolvent.
*Elsewhere, the root, boiled in oil, is applied like a liniment for rheumatism.
*In Guam, the bitter root, leaves and wood are used by natives as a remedy for intermittent fevers.
*Poultices of leaves used for swellings to prevent suppuration.
*Leaves and roots, in tincture and decoction, used as substitute for quinine.
*Juice of leaves and root used as alterative in scrofulous and venereal diseases.
*Poultices of leaves applied to resolve buboes.
*Leaf bath recommended for mani and for itches.
*At one time, sailors of Macassar were reported to take the fruit, seeds and roots to sea, and a decoction or pounded seeds were ingested when taken sick by ingestion of poisonous fish and crabs.
*Leaves, eaten with rice, used to increase the appetite.
*In Java, fruit used as medicine for dysentery.
*In Africa, used to treat hypertension.
*In traditional Indian medicine, leaves used for treating fever, cough, skin rahses, boils; also, for treating umbilical cord infection and cleaning the uterus.

Studies :
• Megastigmane / Iridoid Glucosides: Study of aerial parts of C. inerme yielded two megastimane glucosides (sammangaosides A and B) and an iridoid glucoside (sammangaoside C) with 15 known compounds.
Hepatoprotective: Study of ethanolic extract of C. inerme leaves in CCl4-induced liver damage in Swiss albino rats showed hepatoprotective activity with significant reduction of liver enzymes ALT, AST and alkaline phosphatase, with significant increase in glutathione level.
Hypotensive Activity: Study of aqueous extract of Clerodendrum inerme leaves showed a hypotensive effect attributted to the presence of chemical elements such as alkaloids and polyphenols. Results support its traditional use for its hypotensive effect.
• Antifungal: Study of the ethyl acetate and hexane extracts of leaves and stems of C. inerme and C. phlomidis showed both inhibited inhibition of all plant and human pathogenic fungi. The leaf extract of C. inerme inhibited plant pathogenic fungi better than the human dermatophytes.
• Antioxidant / Free Radical Scavenging Activity: Study of methanolic extract of leaves of C. inerme showed free radical scavenging activity increasing with concentration, with maximum activity at 2500 mg/mL. Antioxidant activity may be due to phenolic compounds.
• Antibacterial / Wound Healing: Study of methanol, ethyl acetate and aqueous extracts showed significant inhibition against 15 of 18 bacterial tested. Results clearly showed the leaves were effective in controlling bacterial pathogens, particular gram positive bacteria. Results also confirmed its utility as a wound-healing agent.
• Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic: Study of the methanol extract of C. inerme in animal models exhibited anti-inflammatory activty. In addition, it showed significant analgesic activity in acetic acid induced-writhing model. The effects were attributed largely to its antioxidant and lysosomal membrane stabilizing effects.

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.


Click to access mangongot.pdf

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News on Health & Science

Are Doctors Causing Infant Brain Damage by Clamping the Umbilical Cord Prematurely?

A newborn infant
Image via Wikipedia

Newborn lungs exist in a “compacted state” suitable for the womb. When the infant is born, the placenta and cord pulse for up to 20 minutes, delivering a burst of blood volume to the infant’s system. This blood burst is just what is needed for the lungs of the newborn to expand.

Unfortunately, many hospitals and doctors don’t understand the mechanics of this and are engaging in early umbilical cord clamping — often within one minute of birth.

Without the burst of blood from the placenta, the infant suffers a drop in blood pressure as its lungs fail to open as they should, creating a chain reaction of effects that can include brain damage and lung damage. Immediate cord clamping can cause hypotension, hypovolemia and infant anemia, resulting in cognitive deficits. Some have even theorized that the rise in autism could be linked at least in part to early cord clamping.

*Gentle Birth
*Archives of Disease in Childhood — Fetal and Neonatal Edition 2008; 93: F77

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