Tag Archives: Indian subcontinent

Capparis Zeylanica

Botanical Name :Capparis Zeylanica
Family: Capparaceae
Genus: Capparis
Species: C. zeylanica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonym : Capparis brevispina, Capparis horrida, Capparis zeylanica

Common Names:
*Bengali: Kalokera,Asarilata, Asaria, Kalokera, Kalukoan, Baganoi
*English: Ceylon Caper
*Gujarati: Kakhbilado, Govindakal, Karrallura
*Hindi :Ardanda, Jhiris
*Irula :Kevisi kodi
Kannada : Mullukattari
Konkani :Vaghamti
Malayalam: Elippayar, Karthotti, Gitoran
Marathi : Vaghanti,  Govindi,  Kaduvaghanti
Others Ban Kera, Garna, Govind-phal, Karwila, Wagati, Gitoran, Kaatu Thotti, Elippayar, Ceylon Caper, Karwilun
Rajasthani : Gitoranj
Sanskrit :Karambha, Tapasapriya, Vyaghra Nakhi
Tamil: Atandy, Suduthoratti, Ekkathari, Suduthorati, Karrotti, Atontai, Morandan
Telugu: Arudonda

Habitat : Native to India and China

Description:
Capparis zeylanica is a climbing shrub common in the forests of the Indian subcontinent and China.A rigid, climbing, much-branched shrub; young parts clothed with rufous tomentum. Leaves 2.5-7.5 cm long, elliptic, oblong, obtuse, acute or retuse; stipular spines hooked. Flowers supra-axillary, solitary or 2-3, one above the other in a vertical line, the upper the longest. Sepals 9 mm long, densely rufous-pubescent outside; petals twice as long as the sepals, densely villous. Fruit subglobose, 3.2 cm across. Methanolic extracts of the leaves have been shown to reduce diarrhea in mice. Many butterfly larva feed on its leaves.
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Botanical description:
Flower: In axillary clusters; stamens cream when anthesis, red to purple in the evening. Flowering from February-April.

Fruit: An ovoid berry, pendulous, smooth, pustulate; blood red when ripe; seeds many. Fruiting April onwards.

Leaf:

Leaf Arrangement: Alternate-spiral

Leaf Type: Simple

Leaf Shape : Ovate, elliptic or lanceolate

Leaf Apex: Obtuse-retuse or mucronate

Leaf Base: Cuneate-obtuse

Chemical Constituents:
Leaves and seeds contain thioglucosides, glucocapparin, n-tricontane, alpha-and bita-amyrin, an alkaloid, a phytosterol, a mucilaginous substance and a water-soluble acid, capric acid. The seeds contain fixed oil.

Medicinal Uses:
Root bark is sedative, cooling, cholagogue, stomachic and antihidrotic; along with spirit given in cholera. Leaves are used as a counter irritant and as a cataplasm in boils, swellings, piles and rheumatism. Flowers are used as laxative.
click to see..>1) :Antidiarrheal activity of Capparis zeylanica leaf extracts  :

2)    Research work

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/Capparis_zeylanica
http://www.mpbd.info/plants/capparis-zeylanica.php
http://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/32086.

 

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Bidens tripartite

Botanical Name : Bidens tripartite
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Bidens
Species: B. tripartita
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Beggar`s Ticks, Trifid Bur-Marigold

Common Names :Three-lobe Beggarticks, Three-part Beggarticks, Leafy-bracted Beggarticks or Trifid Bur-marigold,

Habitat:Bidens tripartite is native to large parts of the Northern hemisphere, including Europe, the Indian subcontinent, North America, temperate east Asia, and slightly into northern Africa. It has naturalized in other areas.  Thickets of the weed occur on moist alluvial soils along river shores. Prefers fertile, friable, and sandy ground inclined to flooding. Seeds sprout from a depth of less than 3-4 cm. The minimal temperature for germination is +8-10°C; optimum is +24-30°C.

Description:
Bidens tripartite is an annual late spring weed plant 15-100 cm in height. Stalk erect, usually branched, with opposite branches, glabrous or sparsely pubescent. Leaves dark green, opposite, dentate, tripartite, with larger apical lobe, narrowing base in short winged leafstalk. Sometimes leaves are undivided (on small weakened individuals especially). Heads single or multiple at the end of branches, erect, as wide as they are long or nearly equal in length (6-15 mm). Perianth has double row. External leaflets of perianth (5 to 8) are green, oblong or elongate-linear, covered with short spicules at the edges, as long as or 2-3 times longer than the diameter of the head. Internal leaflets of envelope are shorter, brown-yellow, oval. Bracts wide-linear, as long as flowers. All flowers are tubular, yellow-brown. Hemicarps bladelike, compressed, 5-8 mm in length, 2-3 mm in width, with marginal setae and two or, less often, 3-4 apical spines. Blossoms in July-September. The maximal fertility is 12 thousand seeds. Seeds undergo a dormant period, germinating after 3 months. Spinules of hemicarps readily attach to human clothes, seed sacks, and animal wool, thus spreading within environment. Seeds sprout non-simultaneously.

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Cultivation:
Succeeds in any moderately fertile damp to wet soil in full sun. The flowering heads smell like rosin or cedar when they are burnt. The seed coats have reflexed prickles which allow them to adhere to clothing, animal fur etc. When growing on the edge a pond, these seeds have been known to kill goldfish by adhering to their gills.

Propagation:
Seed – sow in situ during early spring and only just cover the seed. So long as the soil does not dry out, the seed usually germinates in 2 – 3 weeks at 15°c
Edible Uses: …..Young leaves – cooked

Medicinal Uses:
Valuable astringent used for hemorrhage wherever it occurs including uterine hemorrhage and conditions producing blood in the urine.  It may be used for fevers and water retention when this is due to a problem in the kidneys. Used to relieve disorders of the respiratory system.   The astringency helps counteract peptic ulceration, diarrhea, and ulcerative tract ailments.  Externally in Russia used for alopecia.  Often combined with comfrey, agrimony, calamus or ginger when treating digestive tract ailments.
Other Uses:
Dye; Repellent.

Yields a black dye. The part of the plant that is used is not specified. The burning herb repels insects and flies. The flowers yield a yellow dye of indifferent quality when alum is used as a mordant.

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/Bidens_tripartita
http://www.agroatlas.ru/en/content/weeds/Bidens_tripartita/
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

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Alstonia scolaris

Botanical Name :Alstonia scolaris
Family: Apocynaceae
Tribe: Plumeriae
Subtribe: Alstoniinae
Genus: Alstonia
Species: A. scholaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Echites scholaris L. Mant., Pala scholaris L. Roberty

Common Names :Blackboard tree, Indian devil tree,Saptaparni, Ditabark, Milkwood pine, White cheesewood and Pulai

Bengali name: Chhatim

Habitat : Alstonia scholaris is native to the following regions

*China: Guangxi (s.w.), Yunnan (s.)
*Indian subcontinent: India; Nepal; Sri Lanka; Pakistan
*Southeast Asia: Cambodia; Myanmar; Thailand; Vietnam, Indonesia; Malaysia; Papua New Guinea; Philippines
*Australia: Queensland

It has also been naturalised in several other tropical and subtropical climates. Alstonia scholaris (Saptaparni in Bengali) is declared as the State Tree of West Bengal, India

Description:
Alstonia scholaris is an evergreen small tree that grows up to 40 m tall and is glabrous. The bark is greyish; branchlets are copiously lenticellate.The upperside of the leaves are glossy, while the underside is greyish. Leaves occur in whorls of 3-10; petioles are 1–3 cm; the leathery leaves are narrowly obovate to very narrowly spathulate, base cuneate, apex usually rounded; lateral veins occur in 25-50 pairs, at 80-90° to midvein. Cymes are dense and pubescent; peduncle is 4–7 cm long. Pedicels are usually as long as or shorter than calyx. The corolla is white and tube-like, 6–10 mm; lobes are broadly ovate or broadly obovate, 2-4.5 mm, overlapping to the left. The ovaries are distinct and pubescent. The follicles are distinct and linear.

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Flowers bloom in the month October. The flowers are very fragrant similar to the flower of Cestrum nocturnum.

Seeds of A. scholaris are oblong, with ciliated margins, and ends with tufts of hairs 1.5–2 cm. The bark is almost odourless and very bitter, with abundant bitter and milky sap.

Medicinal Uses:
Alstonia or devil tree or Saptaparni is genus of evergreen trees or shrubs with white funnel-shaped flowers and milky sap. In India the bark of Alstonia scholaris is used solely for medicinal purposes, ranging from Malaria and epilepsy to skin conditions and asthma.

There are 43 species of alstonia trees.  The bark of the tree is used medicinally in the Pacific Rim and India.

In Ayurveda it is used as a bitter and as an astringent herb for treating skin disorders, malarial fever, urticaria, chronic dysentery, diarrhea, in snake bite and for upper purification process of Panchakarma . The Milky juice of the tree is applied to ulcers.

The bark contains the alkaloids ditamine, echitenine and echitamine and used to serve as an alternative to quinine. At one time, a decoction of the bark was used to treat diarrhoea and malaria, as a tonic, febrifuge, emmenagogue, anticholeric and vulnerary. A decoction of the leaves were used for beriberi. Ayurveda recommends A. scholaris for bowel complaints. In Sri Lanka its light wood is used for coffins. In Borneo the wood close to the root is very light and of white colour, and is used for net floats, household utensils, trenchers, corks, etc. Extracts prepared from the plant has been reported to possess cytotoxic activity. The active compounds include alkaloids, flavonoids etc. These are present in all parts of the plant. An ethanol extract of the bark of Alstonia scholaris enhanced the anticancer activity of berberine in the Ehrlich ascites carcinoma-bearing mice. This extract also showed cytotoxic activity to HeLa cells. It contains echitamine and loganin as major compounds and could potentially be used as an anti-irritation agent.

Scientific investigation has failed to show why it is of such service in malaria, but herbalists consider it superior to quinine and of great use in convalescence .  It lowers fever, relaxes spasms, stimulates lactation and expels intestinal worms.  Used for chronic diarrhea, dysentery and in intermittent fever; also as an anthelmintic. It is also much used by homoeopaths.

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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/Alstonia_scholaris
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

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Blue Lotus (Nymphaea caerulea)

Botanical Name :Nymphaea caerulea
Family: Nymphaeaceae
Genus: Nymphaea
Species: N. caerulea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Nymphaeales

Common Name :Lotus, Blue,Blue Egyptian water lily or sacred blue lily, also known as the Egyptian Blue Lily,Blue Lotus,

Habitat :Its original habitat may have been along the Nile and other locations in East Africa. It spread to other locations, however, already in ancient times, like the Indian Subcontinent and Thailand.

Description;
The leaves are broadly rounded, 25-40 cm across, with a notch at the leaf stem. The flowers are 10-15 cm diameter. Reports in the literature by persons unfamiliar with its actual growth and blooming cycle have suggested that the flowers open in the morning, rising to the surface of the water, then close and sink at dusk. In fact, the flower buds rise to the surface over a period of two to three days, and when ready, open at approximately 9-9:30am and close about 3pm. The flowers and buds do not rise above the water in the morning, nor do they submerge at night. The flowers have pale bluish-white to sky-blue petals, smoothly changing to a pale yellow in the centre of the flower.
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Floral symbolism
Ancient Egyptian funerary stele showing a dead man, named Ba, seated in the center, sniffing a sacred lily.Reports in the literature by persons unfamiliar with its actual growth and blooming cycle have suggested that the flowers open in the morning, rising to the surface of the water, then close and sink at dusk.[citation needed] In fact, the flower buds rise to the surface over a period of two to three days, and when ready, open at approximately 9–9:30 am and close about 3 pm. The flowers and buds do not rise above the water in the morning, nor do they submerge at night. The flowers have pale bluish-white to sky-blue or mauve petals, smoothly changing to a pale yellow in the centre of the flower.

It was considered extremely significant in Egyptian mythology, since it was said to rise and fall with the sun. Consequently, due to its colourings, it was identified, in some beliefs, as having been the original container, in a similar manner to an egg, of Atum, and in similar beliefs Ra, both solar deities. As such, its properties form the origin of the lotus variant of the Ogdoad cosmogeny. It was the symbol of the Egyptian deity Nefertem.

 

Properties and uses:
In modern culture, blue lotus flowers are used to make various concoctions including blue lotus tea, wine and martinis. Recipes for such drinks involve steeping or soaking the petals, about 10–20 grams for up to three weeks. Blue lotus ‘tea’ is prepared by boiling the entire flowers for 10–20 minutes.

Recent studies have shown Nymphaea caerulea to have mild psycho-active properties. It may have been used as a sacrament in ancient Egypt and certain ancient South American cultures. Eating Blue Lotus can act as a mild sedative. Nymphaea caerulea is distantly related to, and possesses similar activity to Nelumbo nucifera, the Sacred Lotus. Both Nymphaea caerulea and Nelumbo nucifera contain the alkaloids nuciferine and aporphine. The mildly sedating effects of Nymphaea caerulea makes it a likely candidate (among several) for the lotus plant eaten by the mythical Lotophagi in Homer’s Odyssey.

This lotus is used to produce perfumes since ancient times; it is also used in aromatherapy.

Used in aromatherapy, Nymphaea caerulea is purported to have a “divine” essence, bringing heightened awareness and tranquility. Some sources cite it as an antispasmodic similar to copal resin.

Medicinal Uses:

The entire plant is used in medicine.  The Sacred water lotus has been used in the Orient as a medicinal herb for well over 1,500 years.  The leaf juice is used in the treatment of diarrhea and is decocted with liquorice (Glycyrrhiza spp) for the treatment of sunstroke.  A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of premature ejaculation. The flowers are recommended as a cardiac tonic. A decoction of the floral receptacle is used in the treatment of abdominal cramps, bloody discharges etc.  The flower stalk is used in treating bleeding gastric ulcers, excessive menstruation, post-partum hemorrhage.  The stamens are astringent and used in treating urinary frequency, premature ejaculation, hemolysis, epistasis and uterine bleeding.  A decoction of the fruit is used in the treatment of agitation, fever, heart complaints etc.  The seed is used in the treatment of poor digestion, enteritis, chronic diarrhea, insomnia, palpitations etc.  The plumule and radicle are used to treat thirst in high febrile disease, hypertension, insomnia and restlessness.  The root starch is used in the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery etc, a paste is applied to ringworm and other skin ailments. It is also taken internally in the treatment of hemorrhages, excessive menstruation and nosebleeds. The roots are harvested in autumn or winter and dried for later use.  The root nodes are used in the treatment of nasal bleeding, hemoptysis, hematuria and functional bleeding of the uterus.  The plant has a folk history in the treatment of cancer, modern research has isolated certain compounds from the plant that show anticancer activity.   The leaves, which have antipyretic and refrigerant properties, are used against symptoms of summer-heat, such as headache, respiratory congestion, chronic thirst, and dark scanty urine.  The peduncle relieves stomachaches, calms restless fetus, and controls leukorrhea.
An aphrodisiac for both men and women as well as a general remedy for all illness enhancing sexual vigor and general good health. A tonic like ginseng, pain reliever like arnica, circulation stimulant richer than ginkgo biloba, and sexual stimulant richer than Viagra. It creates a feeling of well being, euphoria and ecstasy, as well as being widely used as a general remedy against illness, and is still used as a tonic for good health, consumed as an extract, 6-12 drops or up to 1 tsp to 1 Tbs in juice taken 1 to 3 times daily.  Traditionally,  fresh Blue Lotus was made into a tea or drank after being soaked in wine, usually followed by a cigarette made of the dried plant material.  Dried flowers are sometimes smoked for a mild sedative effect.   By itself, Lotus produces an opiate-like intoxication. Traditionally, Nymphaea caerulea was drunk after being soaked in warm water or wine, while the dried flowers were also smoked. About 5 grams of dried petals steeped in small amount of alcohol for a few hours to a week is said to have a synergistic effect with the Lotus, producing a euphoria. The overall effect of this combination is a narcotic empathogenic experience. According to recent studies, Blue Lily was found to be loaded with health-giving phytosterols and bioflavonoids. It turned out to be one of the greatest daily health tonics ever found.

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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.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nymphaea_caerulea
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/139664/
http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2009/08/post-37.html
http://www.treknature.com/gallery/Asia/Vietnam/photo84293.htm

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/139664/

http://psychoactiveherbs.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=52_127&products_id=306&osCsid=9eadd1bef28b39cf098b4a6844a7056f

http://www.thefloweringgarden.com/nymphaea-caerulea.htm

Asmatica

 

Botanical Name : Tylophora asmatica
Family : Apocynaceae
Genus : Tylophora
Species: Asmatica
Common names :  Indian lobelia   asmatica,asmitica
Parts Used : Leaves
Habitat :Grows in tropical countries.Native to the Indian subcontinent, asmatica grows wild on the plains of India.

Description:
The Tylophora is a perennial vine, twining climber with lance-shaped leaves and greenish flowers that produce many flat seeds. The leaves are gathered when the plant is in flower.
The leaves and roots of tylophora have been included in the Bengal Pharmacopoeia since 1884. It is said to have laxative, expectorant, diaphoretic (sweating), and purgative (vomiting) properties. It has been used for the treatment of various respiratory problems besides asthma, including allergies, bronchitis and colds, as well as dysentery and oseteoarthritis pain.

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History:
Asmatica has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to induce vomiting and expectoration as well as for treating dysentery and rheumatic conditions.

Extensive laboratory research and clinical study has taken place in India and established that asmatica is an effective remedy for asthma. In the 1970s, a number of clinical trials showed that a majority of asthmatics taking the herb for just six days, gained relief for an additional twelve weeks.

It should be noted that the spelling of this plant, asmatica, differs from the asthmatic plant (Euphorbia hirta syn.E. pilulifera) and should not be confused with it although it does have a history of similar usage.

Cultivation
Propagule  Various Pollination method .

Chemical Constituents: Alkaloids (including tylophorine) ,flavonoids ,sterols ,tannins

Medicinal properties: antiasthmatic

Medicinal Uses:
Tylophora asmatica has been traditionally used as an antiasthmatic. Asmatica (sometimes called Indian lobelia) is only to be administered with proper professional knowledge. Herbal remedies are only prepared from the leaves.

Considered a specific remedy for asthma, asmatica may relieve symptoms for up to 3 months.  It is also beneficial in cases of hay fever, and is prescribed for acute allergic problems such as eczema and nettle rash.  The plant holds potential as a treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome and other immune system disorders.  Asmatica may relieve rheumatoid arthritis and may also be of value in the treatment of cancer.  Extensive laboratory and clinical research in India has established that asmatica is an effective remedy for asthma.  In the 1970s, a number of clinical trials showed that a majority of asthmatic patients taking the herb for just 6 days gained relief from asthma for up to a further 12 weeks.  However, the leaves do produce side effects  The plant’s alternative name, Indian lobelia, alludes not only to its value in treating asthma but also to its irritating effect on the digestive tract.
It is also beneficial in cases of hay fever as well as such acute allergic problems as eczema and nettle rash.

The plant holds promise as a treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome and other immune system disorders. It may also relieve rheumatoid arthritis and be of value in the treatment of cancer.

Other Traditional uses :
Parts used  Traditional uses for  Fragrance  intensity. Dye parts  Dye color
Cautions:
*Take only under professional guidance.
*Like its lobelia relatives, the leaves of asmatica do produce side effects and can have an irritating effect on the digestive tract.

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.crescentbloom.com/Plants/Specimen/TU/Tylophora%20asmatica.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

http://www.innvista.com/health/herbs/asmatica.htm