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Herbs & Plants

Allium bodeanum

Botanical Name : Allium bodeanum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. cristophii
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Allium christophii Trautv.,
*Caloscordum cristophii (Trautv.) Banfi & Galasso
*Allium albopilosum C.H.Wright
*Allium bodeanum Regel
*Allium walteri Regel

Common Names: Persian Onion or Star of Persia

Habitat : Allium bodeanum is native to W. Asia – Iran, Russia. (Turkey, Iran, and Turkmenistan.) It grows on the gravelly slopes

Description:
Allium bodeanum is flowering plant, with an enormous flowerball sitting right on a sparse leaf rosette. It grows to 60 cm (24″) and is cultivated in gardens for its large showy (umbels) of silvery pink star-shaped flowers, 20–25 cm (8-10″) in diameter, which appear in early summer. The flowers are followed by attractive fruiting clusters. The plant has received the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit. The bulb grows to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.1 m (0ft 5in). The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects…....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained dry to moist soil. Bulbs are not hardy in all parts of Britain, they probably tolerate temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c but because of their need for a very well-drained dry to moist soil are probably best grown in a bulb frame[90]. The plants need a dry period in late summer when they are dormant[203]. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes[18, 20, 54]. 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.
Propagation:
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. 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 : Grown as an ornamental bulbous plant in many parts of the world. 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.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_cristophii
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/plants/allium/bodeanum.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+bodeanum

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Herbs & Plants

Gentiana scabra buergeri

 

Botanical Name : Gentiana scabra buergeri
Family: Gentianaceae
Tribes: Gentianeae
Subtribes: Gentianinae
Genus: Gentiana
Sectio: G. sect. Pneumonanthe
Species: Gentiana scabra
Varietas: Gentiana scabra var. buergeri

Common name: Japanese Gentian, Chinese gentian

Habitat : Gentiana scabra buergeri is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. It grows on the thickets, grassy places and wet meadows at low elevations and in the mountains of C. and S. Japan.

Description:
Gentiana scabra buergeri is a hardy perennial plant, growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bumblebees, butterflies.

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This lovely late-flowering gentian, one of the most famous of the hybrids, opens abundant blossoms from August up to the beginning of November, its dazzling-blue, bell-shaped flowers covering the leaves. Darker than the normal pale blue form, this is one of the very few gentians to possess any perfume or fragrance, and it has been used to create special cosmetics in China and Japan. Traditionally, this plant is used in Chinese medicine as a cure for liver diseases and intestinal troubles, whilst its roots provide an extremely bitter substance to stimulate the appetite, and in olden times the plant was used as a famine food, none of which uses we recommend!

Cultivation:
In general, gentians require a moist well-drained soil in a sheltered position, a certain minimum of atmospheric humidity, high light intensity but a site where temperatures are not too high. They are therefore more difficult to grow in areas with hot summers and in such a region they appreciate some protection from the strongest sunlight. Most species will grow well in the rock garden. This species is happy in any reasonable soil. A moisture loving plant, preferring to grow with full exposure to the sun but with plenty of underground moisture in the summer, it grows better in the north and west of Britain. A very ornamental plant. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. It can also be sown in late winter or early spring but the seed germinates best if given a period of cold stratification and quickly loses viability when stored, with older seed germinating slowly and erratically. It is advantageous to keep the seed at about 10°c for a few days after sowing, to enable the seed to imbibe moisture. Following this with a period of at least 5 – 6 weeks with temperatures falling to between 0 and -5°c will usually produce reasonable germination. It is best to use clay pots, since plastic ones do not drain so freely and the moister conditions encourage the growth of moss, which will prevent germination of the seed. The seed should be surface-sown, or only covered with a very light dressing of compost. The seed requires dark for germination, so the pots should be covered with something like newspaper or be kept in the dark. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. The seedlings grow on very slowly, taking 2 – 7 years to reach flowering size. When the plants are of sufficient size, place them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division in March. Most members of this genus have either a single tap-root, or a compact root system united in a single root head, and are thus unsuitable for division. Cuttings of basal shoots in late spring
Edible Uses: Young plant and old leaves – cooked. A famine food, used when all else fails

Medicinal Uses:
The root is antibacterial and stomachic. It is used in the treatment of jaundice, leucorrhoea, eczema, conjunctivitis, sore throat, acute infection of the urinary system, hypertension with dizziness and tinnitus. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. This species is one of several that are the source of the medicinal gentian root, the following notes are based on the general uses of G. lutea which is the most commonly used species in the West. Gentian root has a long history of use as a herbal bitter in the treatment of digestive disorders and is an ingredient of many proprietary medicines. It contains some of the most bitter compounds known and is used as a scientific basis for measuring bitterness. It is especially useful in states of exhaustion from chronic disease and in all cases of debility, weakness of the digestive system and lack of appetite. It is one of the best strengtheners of the human system, stimulating the liver, gall bladder and digestive system, and is an excellent tonic to combine with a purgative in order to prevent its debilitating effects. The root is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bitter tonic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, febrifuge, refrigerant, stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of liver complaints, indigestion, gastric infections and anorexia. It should not be prescribed for patients with gastric or duodenal ulcers. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. It is quite likely that the roots of plants that have not flowered are the richest in medicinal properties.

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/Gentiana_scabra_var._buergeri
http://www.plant-world-seeds.com/store/view_seed_item/4297
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gentiana+scabra+buergeri

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Herbs & Plants

Conyza canadensis

Botanical Name: Erigeron Canadense
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Conyza
Species: C. canadensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Fleawort. Coltstail. Prideweed.
Common names:Conyza canadensis, Horseweed, Canadian horseweed, Canadian fleabane, Coltstail, Marestail and Butterweed
Habitat: Erigeron Canadense is native throughout most of North America and Central America. It is also widely naturalized in Eurasia and Australia.

Description:
Conyza canadensis is an annual plant growing to 1.5 m (60 inches) tall, with sparsely hairy stems. The leaves are unstalked, slender, 2–10 cm long and up to 1 cm (0.4 inches) across, with a coarsely toothed margin. They grow in an alternate spiral up the stem and the lower ones wither early. The flowers are produced in dense inflorescences 1 cm in diameter. Each individual flower has a ring of white or pale purple ray florets and a centre of yellow disc florets. The fruit is a cypsela tipped with dirty white down.

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It has an unbranched stem, with lance-shaped leaves, the lower ones with short stalks and with five teeth, the upper ones with uncut edges and narrower, 1 to 2 inches long. The stem is bristly and grows several feet high, bearing composite heads of flowers, small, white and very numerous, blossoming from June to September.

Conyza canadensis can easily be confused with Canyza sumatrensis, which may grow to a height of 2 m, and the more hairy Canyza bonariensis which does not exceed 1 m (40 inches). Conyza canadensis is distinguished by bracts that have a brownish inner surface and no red dot at the tip, and are free (or nearly free) of the hairs found on the bracts of the other species.

Part Used in medicines:  Herb, seeds. ……. The whole herb is gathered when in bloom and dried in bunches. The seeds are also used.

Constituents: The herb contains a bitter extractive, tannic and gallic acids and a volatile oil, to which its virtues are due

Medicinal Uses: Astringent, diuretic, tonic. It is considered useful in gravel, diabetes, dropsy and many kidney diseases, and is employed in diarrhoea and dysentery.

Oil of Erigeron resembles in its action Oil of Turpentine, but is less irritating. It has been used to arrest haemorrhage from the lungs or alimentary tract, but this property is not assigned to it in modern medicine.

It is said to be a valuable remedy for inflamed tonsils and ulceration and inflammation of the throat generally.

The Zuni people insert the crushed flowers of the canadensis variety into the nostrils to cause sneezing, relieving rhinitis. It is valued by Native Americans for assisting in the clotting of the blood and it has also been used to treat rheumatic complaints and gout. A tincture is made from the dried flowering tops of the plants. Horseweed is a preferable material for use in the hand drill method of making friction fire

The drug has a feeble odour and an astringent, aromatic and bitter taste. It is given in infusion (dose, wineglassful to a teacupful), oil (dose, 2 to 5 drops) on sugar. Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conyza_canadensis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/flecan26.html

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Herbs & Plants

Phragmites australis

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Botanical Name :Phragmites australis
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Arundinoideae
Tribe: Arundineae
Genus: Phragmites
Species: P. australis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales

Common Name:Reed Grass, Common Reed

Habitat : Phragmites australis is  native to North America. The Eurasian genotype can be distinguished from the North American genotype by its shorter ligules of up to 0.9 millimetres (0.04 in) as opposed to over 1.0 millimetre (0.04 in), shorter glumes of under 3.2 millimetres (0.13 in) against over 3.2 millimetres (0.13 in) (although there is some overlap in this character), and in culm characteristics.

Phragmites australis, the Common reed, is a large perennial grass found in wetlands throughout temperate and tropical regions of the world. Phragmites australis is sometimes regarded as the sole species of the genus Phragmites, though some botanists divide Phragmites australis into three or four species. In particular the South Asian Khagra Reed – Phragmites karka – is often treated as a distinct species

*Phragmites australis subsp. americanus – Recently, the North American genotype has been described as a distinct subspecies, subsp. americanus,  and

*Phragmites australis subsp. australis – the Eurasian variety is referred to as subsp. australis.

Description:
Common reed, or Phragmites, is a tall, perennial grass that can grow to over 15 feet in height. In North America, both native phragmites (Phragmites australis ssp. americanus Saltonstall, P.M. Peterson & Soreng) and introduced subspecies are found. Introduced Phragmites forms dense stands which include both live stems and standing dead stems from previous year’s growth. Leaves are elongate and typically 1-1.5 inches wide at their widest point. Flowers form bushy panicles in late July and August and are usually purple or golden in color. As seeds mature, the panicles begin to look “fluffy” due to the hairs on the seeds and they take on a grey sheen. Below ground, Phragmites forms a dense network of roots and rhizomes which can go down several feet in depth. The plant spreads horizontally by sending out rhizome runners which can grow 10 or more feet in a single growing season if conditions are optimal.

You may click to see the pictures of  Phragmites australis

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is used in folk remedies for condylomata, indurated breast, mammary carcinomata, and leukemia. Reported to be alexeteric, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, refrigerant, sialogogue, stomachic, and sudorific, the common reed is a folk remedy for abscesses, arthritis, bronchitis, cancer, cholera, cough, diabetes, dropsy, dysuria, fever, flux, gout, hematuria, hemorrhage, hiccup, jaundice, leukemia, lung, nausea, rheumatism, sores, stomach, thirst, and typhoid.           The leaves are used in the treatment of bronchitis and cholera, the ash of the leaves is applied to foul sores. A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of cholera and food poisoning. The ashes are styptic. The root is taken internally in the treatment of diarrhea, fevers, vomiting, coughs with thick dark phlegm, lung abscesses, urinary tract infections and food poisoning (especially from sea foods). Externally, it is mixed with gypsum and used to treat halitosis and toothache. The root is harvested in the autumn and juiced or dried for use in decoctions.  The leaves and roots are renowned as a diuretic. Extracts of the rhizome have recently been found to be effective as ayahusca analogue and the dried extract (resin) has psychoactive properties when smoked.

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.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/phau1.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phragmites
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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