Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Achillea coarctata

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Botanical Name : Achillea coarctata
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Anthemideae
Genus: Achillea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: Yellow Yarrow

Habitat : Achillea coarctata is native to Southeastern Europe to the Ukraine on dry hillsides and sandy places. Rather too large for the average rock garden.
Achillea coarctata is a flowering plant. Basal leaves 15-30cm long, pinnatisect with pinnatifid lobes; stem leaves to 8cm and less dissected; all fern-like and silky white-downy. Flowerheads about 5mm in diameter, yellow, densely arranged in broad corymbs, summer.

Medicinal Uses:
Yarrow plants have astringent properties and act as a mild laxative.

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.

Herbs & Plants

Ipomoea digitata

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Botanical Name:
Ipomoea digitata
I. mauritiana

*Convolvulus paniculatus
*Ipomoea digitata
*Ipomoea eriosperma
*Ipomoea paniculata

Common English Names: Giant potato, Aligator Yam, Giant Potato, Milky Yam

Common Hindi Name : Bilaikand

Sanskrit Name: Vidari

Common Indian names :
Balaikand, Bhuikumra, Bhumikumra (Bengali) ; Bhukshmandi, Bhumikushmanda, Gandhaphala, Gajavajipriya, Gajeshta, Ikshugandha, Kshirakhanda, Kshirashukla, Kshiravatti, Kshiravidali, Kroshtri, Mahaveshta, Payasvini, Shreshtakanda, Shrigalika, Shukla, Sita, Svadukanda, Svadulata, Triparna, Vajivallabha, Vidali, Vidari, Vidarika, Vrikshavalli, Vrishyavardhini (Sanskrit) ; Mutalakkanta, Palmutakku (Malyalam) ; Nilappuchani, Palmodikka, Palmidanji, Pucharkkaraikkilangu, Valli (Tamil) ; Bhuchakragadda, Chirugummudu, Devakanjanamu, Nelagammudu, palamodikku (Telugu) ; Bhumichakragadde, Bujagumbala, Guddagenasu, Nelagumbala, Vidari (Kannada) ; Bhuikohala, Bhumikohola, Vidarikand (Marathi) ; Bhuinkokaru (Oriya) ; Balaikand (Urdu)

Habitat: Its origins are uncertain, but it has been recorded in West Africa including in Gambia  and riparian forests of Benin, as well as Australia’s Northern Territory. It is naturalised in many parts of the world including  India, Taiwan and Hawaii (where it is called Likam).

There have been specimens collected or observations from: Australia; Belize; Benin; Brunei; Cambodia; Cameroon; China; Colombia; DRC; Costa Rica; Côte d’Ivoire; Ecuador; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Ghana; Guinea; Honduras; Indonesia; Laos; Liberia; Madagascar; Mauritius; Micronesia, Federated States of; Myanmar; New Caledonia; Nicaragua; Nigeria; Panama; Papua New Guinea; Peru; Senegal; Sudan; Tanzania; Thailand; Togo; Venezuela.
It is grown in the east of India including Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Assam, and the west coast from Konkan to Kerala. It grows mostly in moist areas, monsoon forests and in coastal tracts.

Ipomoea digitata is an extensive perennial climber with large, ovoid and tuberous roots. The leaves are large, palmately 5-7 lobed, ovate, lanceolate, acute or acuminate, glabrous and with prominent nerves beneath. Flowers are widely campanulate and few to many in the axillary corymbose cymes. Corolla is purple and campanulate-infundibuliform. Ovary 4-celled. Capsules are small and ovoid. Seeds 4 in each fruit, black and woolly…….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 

Principal Constituents: b -sitosterol was identified1. Taraxerol and sitosterol were also identified2.

Medicinal Uses:
The root has alterative, aphrodisiac, tonic, stimulant properties and used in male infertility and inflammations.
It is mucilaginous, bitter, and a nutritive tonic, useful in the management of abdominal pain, cramps, hysteria, nervous excitability, hormonal deficiency, impotency, senility, debility, liver and spleen complaints, fevers, infertility, colic, coughs, bronchitis, spermatorrhea, moderating menstrual discharges, general liver complaints, and emaciation in children. The tuberous root increases secretion of milk, emaciation, debility, poor digestion, increases weight, enlarged liver and spleen; moderates menstrual discharge, good for weak children. Also useful in leprosy, burning sensation, vomiting, blood disease. It improves voice and complexion. Flowers cause biliousness. According to Unani system of medicine, root is heating, dry, carminative, expectorant, anthelmintic, stomachic, appetizer, and useful in treatment of syphilis, gonorrhea and inflammation. Leaves enrich the blood.
Other Uses: The plant is also grown for ornamental purposes and trained against trellises and pillars.

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.


Herbs & Plants

Rubus spectabilis

Botanical Name : Rubus spectabilis
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rubus
Species:R. spectabilis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names: Salmonberry

Habitat:Rubus spectabilis is native to the west coast of North America from west central Alaska to California, inland as far as Idaho. Occasionally naturalized in Britain. It grows on Moist spots in and about woods below 300 metres in California.

Rubus spectabilis is a deciduous shrub growing to 1–4 m (40-160 inches or 1.3-13.3 feet) tall, with perennial, not biennial woody stems that are covered with fine prickles. The leaves are trifoliate (with three leaflets), 7–22 cm (2.8-8.8 inches) long, the terminal leaflet larger than the two side leaflets. The leaf margins are toothed. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. The flowers are 2–3 cm (0.8-1.2 inches) in diameter, with five pinkish-purple petals; they are produced from early spring to early summer. The fruit matures in late summer to early autumn, and resembles a large yellow to orange-red raspberry 1.5–2 cm (0.6-0.8 inches) long with many drupelets.


The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade. Grows well in the shade of trees though it is less likely to fruit well in such a position. Hardy to about -25°c. A very ornamental plant, but it is invasiv. It does not fruit well in Britain, but has become naturalized in Surrey and Cumbria in cool acid woodland soils. This species is a raspberry with biennial stems, it produces a number of new stems each year from the perennial rootstock, these stems fruit in their second year and then die. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungu.
Seed – requires stratification and is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires one month stratification at about 3°c and is best sown as early as possible in the year. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Tip layering in July. Plant out in autumn. Division in early spring or just before leaf-fall in the autumn
Edible Uses:
Fruit raw, cooked or dried for later use. Juicy with a very good flavour. The fruit can be made into jams and jellies. This species is not of much value in Britain, it does not fruit freely in the cooler summers of this country and the fruits do not always develop their full flavour. The fruit can range in colour from yellow, through orange to red, it is about the size of a cultivated raspberry but is rather inferior in flavour and often has a distinctive bitterness, especially in cooler summers. Another report says that it fruits freely in Britain. Young shoots – peeled and eaten raw or cooked like asparagus. They are harvested in the spring as they grow above the soil and whilst they are still tender. Flowers – raw. The leaves are used as a tea substitute.
Medicinal Uses:

Analgesic; Astringent; Disinfectant; Odontalgic; Poultice; Stomachic.

The leaves and the root are astringent. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been used as a dressing on burns. The root bark is analgesic, astringent, disinfectant and stomachic. A decoction is used in the treatment of stomach complaints. A decoction has been used to lessen the pains of labour. The powdered bark has been used as a dusting powder on burns and sores. A poultice of the bark has been applied to wounds and aching teeth to ease the pain. A poultice of the chewed bark has been used as a dressing to relive pain and clean burns and wounds.

Other Uses:
Disinfectant; Dye; Pipes.
A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit. The hollowed stems are used as pipes. (The report does not specify what type of pipes)

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.


Herbs & Plants

Allium douglasii

Botanical Name : Allium douglasii
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. douglasii
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms : A. hendersonii. A. nevii.

Common Names: Douglas onion

Habitat :Allium douglasii is native to Western N. America – Washington to Oregon and Idaho. It grows on low hills in shallow soil that is wet in winter but dry in summer.
Allium douglasii is a perennial herb, growing to a BULB growing 6–16 inches in height.Erect to upright flowering stem, 2 grooved leaves. Plant particularly strong-smelling. Leaves shorter than flower stem, staying green through flowering.

It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects. Flowers numerous, tiny, star-shaped, in upright, tightly clustered flower head. Flowers are up to 10 mm across; tepals pink or purple with green midribs; anthers blue; pollen white or light gray. Often abundant populations of deep pink to white grow in spring-moist areas in steppe.

Allium douglasii produces egg-shaped bulbs up to 3 cm long. Scapes are round in cross-section, up to 40 cm tall..
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained dry to moist soil. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. 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.

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

Bulb – raw or cooked. A mild and sweet flavour, it can be sliced and used in salads or used as a vegetable or flavouring in cooked foods. The bulb is up to 3cm long and 2cm wide. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, 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.
Known Hazards: Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.
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.


Herbs & Plants

Apocynum androsaemifolium

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Botanical Name: Apocynum androsaemifolium
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Apocynum
Species: A. androsaemifolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Milkweed. Dogsbane. Fly-Trap.
Common Names: Fly-trap dogbane, Spreading dogbane,Bitter Root

Habitat: Apocynum androsaemifolium is native to North America.It grows in   open woodland, woodland edges etc, usually on drier soils
The genus Apocynum contains only four species, two of which Apocynum androsaemifolium and A. cannabinum, or Black Indian Hemp, resemble each other very closely, the roots being distinguished by the thick-walled stone cells, which in the former are found in an interrupted circle near the middle of the bark, and in the latter are absent.
A. a. ndrosaemifolium is a perennial herb, 5 or 6 feet in height, branching, and, in common with the other three members of the genus, yielding on incision a milky juice resembling indiarubber when dry.

The leaves are dark green above, paler and downy beneath, ovate, and from 2 to 3 inches long. The flowers are white, tinged with red, having five scales in the throat of the corolla which secrete a sweet liquid, attractive to flies. These scales are very sensitive, and when touched bend inward, imprisoning the insects… & see the pictures

The milky root is found in commerce in cylindrical, branched pieces, about a quarter of an inch thick, reddish or greyish brown outside, longitudinally wrinkled, and having a short fracture and small pith. There is scarcely any odour, and the taste is starchy, afterwards bitter and acrid.

Subspecies and varieties:
*Apocynum androsaemifolium subsp. androsaemifolium – E Canada, W United States
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. griseum (Greene) Bég. & Belosersky – Ontario, British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. incanum A.DC. – widespread in Canada, United States, NE Mexico
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. intermedium Woodson – Colorado
*Apocynum androsaemifolium subsp. pumilum (A.Gray) B.Boivin – British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, California, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. tomentellum (Greene) B.Boivin – British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. woodsonii B.Boivin – Alberta, British Columbia, Washington State, Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho

Parts Used for medicine: The dried rhizome, roots.

Constituents: The nature of the active principle is uncertain. A glucoside, Apocynamarin, was separated, but the activity is thought to be due not to the glucoside, but to an intensely bitter principle, Cymarin.
Medicinal Uses:
Apocynum androsaemifolium   is an unpleasantly bitter stimulant irritant herb that acts on the heart, respiratory and urinary systems, and also on the uterus. It was widely employed by the native North American Indians who used it to treat a wide variety of complaints including headaches, convulsions, earache, heart palpitations, colds, insanity and dizziness. It should be used with great caution, and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner if taking this plant internally. The root contains cymarin, a cardioactive glycoside that is toxic to ruminants. The root is cardiotonic, cathartic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic and expectorant. It has a powerful action in slowing the pulse and also has a very strong action on the vaso-motor system, it is rather an irritant to the mucous membranes though, so some people cannot tolerate it. The juice of the fresh root has been used in the treatment of syphilis. The sap of the plant has been applied externally to get rid of warts. The roots were boiled in water and the water drunk once a week in order to prevent conception. The green fruits were boiled and the decoction used in the treatment of heart and kidney problems and for the treatment of dropsy. This preparation can irritate the intestines and cause unpleasant side-effects. It is used as an alterative in rheumatism, syphilis and scrofula.

Other  Uses:The bark yields a good quality fibre that is used for making twine, bags, linen etc. It is inferior to A. cannabinum. The fibre is finer and stronger than cotton. It can be harvested after the leaves fall in the autumn but is probably at its best as the seed pods are forming. The plant yields a latex, which is a possible source of rubber. It is obtained by making incisions on the stem and resembles indiarubber when dry.

Known Hazards: The plant is poisonous, due to the cardiac glycosides it contains.

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.