Herbs & Plants

Atriplex halimus

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Botanical Name : Atriplex halimus
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Atriplex
Species:A. halimus
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names: Sea Orach, Saltbush,Mediterranean saltbush, Shrubby orache, Silvery orache

Habitat :Atriplex halimus is native to Europe and Northern Africa, including the Sahara in Morocco. It grows on coastal sands by the sea. Saltmarshes
Atriplex halimus is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a medium rate.
It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in July. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

An easily grown plant, it succeeds in full sun in any well-drained but not too fertile soil. Tolerates saline and very alkaline soils[200]. Succeeds in dry soils including pure sands. Plants will grow in semi-shade, though they will soon become leggy in such a position, they are really best in full sun. A very wind hardy plant, it is resistant to salt-laden gales, and can be used as a hedge in maritime areas. Plants dislike very wet climates. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. This plant is hardier than the foregoing report suggests, it grows well at Hilliers Arboretum in Hampshire where temperatures can fall somewhat lower than -10°c. Plants can be damaged by severe frosts but they soon recover. Resents root disturbance when large. Plants are apt to succumb to winter wet when grown on heavy or rich soils.
Seed – sow April/May in a cold frame in a compost of peat and sand. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 weeks at 13°c. Pot up the seedlings when still small into individual pots, grow on in a greenhouse for the first winter and plant out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. The seed is seldom formed. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Very easy. Pot up as soon as they start to root (about 3 weeks) and plant out in their permanent positions late in the following spring. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, November/December in a frame. Very easy. Pot up in early spring and plant out in their permanent position in early summer.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. Some forms are eaten raw. A famine food according to one report, but in modern days it is far from being a famine food, in fact this is one of the more popular crops being grown at ‘The Field’ at present (1993). The leaves have a very nice rather salty flavour, they go well in salads or can be cooked like spinach. When lightly steamed, the leaves retain their crispness and are a delicious spinach substitute. The leaves retain their salty flavour even when grow inland in non-salty soils. The leaves can be used at any time of the year though winter harvesting must be light because the plant is not growing much at this time. Seed – cooked. It can be ground into a meal and used as a thickener in soups, or mixed with cereals in making bread. The seed is small and fiddly. The plant is said to yield an edible manna.

Medicinal Uses:


The shoots are burnt to produce an antacid powder.

Other Uses:
Hedge; Hedge; Soap making; Soil reclamation.

The ash from the burnt plant is used as the alkali in making soap. The plant makes a superb wind-resistant low-growing hedge that can be allowed to grow untrimmed or can be trimmed. It is especially valuable in maritime areas, succeeding right on the coast, though can also be used inland. The plant is extremely tolerant of pruning and can regrow even when cut back into old wood. The plant draws salt out of the soil and so has been used in soil-reclamation projects to de-salinate the soil

Use in antiquity:
According to Jewish tradition, the leaves of Atriplex halimus (orache), known in Mishnaic Hebrew it is said to be the plant gathered and eaten by the poor people who returned out of exile (in circa 352 BCE) to build the Second Temple. Maimonides, in his commentary on Mishnah Kilaim 1:3, as also Ishtori Haparchi in his seminal work, Kaftor u’ferach, both mention the le??n?n by its Arabic name, al-qa?af, a plant so-named to this very day. In the Mishnah (ibid.) we are told that the laws prohibiting the growing of diverse kinds in the same garden furrow do not apply to beets and to orache (Atriplex spp.) that are grown together, although dissimilar

Known Hazards: No member of this genus contains any toxins, all have more or less edible leaves. However, if grown with artificial fertilizers, they may concentrate harmful amounts of nitrates in their leaves.
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

Gentiana pannonica

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Botanical Name: Gentiana pannonica
FamilY: Gentianaceae
Tribes: Gentianeae
Subtribes: Gentianinae
Genus: Gentiana
Species: Gentiana pannonica

*Coilantha pannonica G.Don
*Gentiana semifida Hoffmanns. ex Rchb.

Common Name : Hungarian Gentian

Habitat : Gentiana pannonica is native to central Europe. It grows on meadows and pastures, screes and grassy bottoms of alpine corries, amongst dwarf pine and in forests. It is found on both limestone and acid rocks.

The centre of its distribution is in the Eastern Alps in Austria, Germany and Slovenia; it also occurs sporadically in the southern and central Alps (Italy and Switzerland) at elevations over 1,000 metres. In Germany it is found in two small, distinct areas: on the southern border with Austria in the Alps, and a smaller area on the eastern border with the Czech Republic (Bundesamt für Naturschutz 2012). In Italy it is known from one locality, and in Slovenia it is found in several localities. Outside the Alps, it is scattered in the Bohemian Forest in the border region of the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria (though most localities are situated in the Czech part of the mountains), and is rare in the Giant Mountains and the Jesen?ky Mountains (Hofhanzlová and K?enová 2007, Ekrtová and Košnar 2012). The latter two occurrences are sometimes considered to be remnants of former cultivations and thus introduced, but it may indeed be native to the Giant Mountains (Ekrtová and Košnar 2012).

Gentiana pannonica is a perennial plant, growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bumblebees, butterflies.

USDA hardiness zone : 4-8


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

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 not particular about soil type, so long as it is deep enough to accommodate the plant’s roots. Although sometimes found wild on alkaline soils, it prefers a neutral to slightly acid soil in cultivation. 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. This species is closely related to G. punctata and G. purpurea. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance. The flowers have the scent of the old tea rose.

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 of older plants in March. Cuttings of basal shoots in late spring

Edible Uses : The root is sometimes used in the manufacture of gentian bitters

Medicinal Uses:
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.

Herbs & Plants

Micromeria fruticosa

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Botanical Name : Micromeria fruticosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Micromeria
Species: M. fruticosa

Synonyms: Clinopodium fruticosum (L.) Kuntze 1891; Clinopodium serpyllifolium subsp. fruticosum (L.) Bräuchler 2006; Melissa fruticosa L. 1753 [basión.]; Micromeria marifolia (Cav.) Benth. 1834 [nom. illeg.]; Nepeta marifolia Cav. 1800; Satureja fruticosa (L.) Briq.; Satureja marifolia (Cav.) Caruel 1884 [nom. illeg.]; Thymus marifolius (Cav.) Willd. 1809

Common Names : White micromeria or White-leaved Savory,Zuta Levana

Habitat : Native to rocky areas along the coasts of the Mediterranean, especially Israel, Syria, Turkey, Albania, Croatia, Italy, & Spain.Gallilee, Upper Jordan valley, Northern valleys, Gilboa, Carmel, Samarian mountains, Judean mountains, Sharon, Shefela,

Micromeria fruticosa is a dwarf evergreen shrub. It is an aromatic, evergreen rockery perennial with ground covering growth habit. It has opposite, egg shaped grey leaves and small white flowers on its stems. It grows up to 60cm (24″) high and spreads to 60cm (24″) in diameter. It is a member of the genus Micromeria, of the Lamiaceae family. It is known as zuta levana in Hebrew and ashab a-shai  in Arabic.


Click to see the pictures…..(3)……..(2)…....(1)
Many thin, vertical stems create an airy shrub from 40-70cm. This open habit allows the plant to weave into its neighbors, its gray-green leaves and white to pale pink flowers (in late summer & fall) combining well with many other colors and textures.

Although native to lean soils and rocky areas, it is very adaptable to heavy soils as long as they are not sodden or too rich.

Medicinal Uses:
A tea is claimed to lower high blood pressure. In Turkey, the tea is used to treat stomach ulcers . Halomint is a mixture of dry herbs, with essential oils, for preparing an infusion.  Particularly recommended for treating insomnia, hyperactivity, and stress, chronic digestion difficulties, headaches, muscular pains, indigestion and excessive blood pressure. Contains chamomile, passion fruit, verbena, zuta levana, marjoram, Melissa and orange.  It enhances parasympathetic activity and induces sleep. Usage instructions:  Pour boiling water on the mixture, wait two minutes, filter and drink.  The tea may be sweetened.

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

Ferulis harmonis

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Botanical Name : Ferulis harmonis
Family : parsley
Common Name: Zallouh,Shirsh Zallouh

Habitat: Native to middle eastern countries. The plant grows between 6000 and 10,000 feet around massive Mount Haramoun, which straddles the borders of Syria, Lebanon and Israel.In that region, the plant is extravagantly profuse. At present, many thousands of tons of zallouh grow on Mount Haramoun.

Ferulis harmonis   is a small perennial shrub with thin leaves and tiny white or yellow flowers. It has  hairy roots.


Due to ongoing ethnic and religious conflicts in the Middle East, the Israeli side of Mount Haramoun is not a safe or secure source of zallouh. On the Lebanese side, indiscriminate harvesting of the wild plant has reduced its occurence. As a result, the Lebanese government has made efforts to limit zallouh harvesting. In Syria, a nation under military rule, zallouh trade is overseen by the Syrian Army, and the harvesting of zallouh is conducted in a controlled, sustainable fashion. The root is typically harvested from August to October.

Medicinal Uses:
Zallouh(Ferulis harmonis) has a long tradition of use by men with erectile problems and for men and women with low libido.  But the root has also enjoyed even broader use for sexual enhancement among health men and women, to increase sexual frequency and to increase pleasure.  It is rich in antioxidants and it helps to retard the aging process.    The plant has also undergone scientific clinical study.  An extract of the root is made in a combination of alcohol and water.  The taste is quite bitter and it’s best to put it in milk or fruit juice.

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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


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Health Alert

Toomuch Use of Cell Phone May Cause Brain Cancer

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An epidemiologist and toxicologist who is an expert in environmental health has found evidence linking cell phone usage to an increased rate of certain kinds of brain tumors in young people who were heavy cell phone users.

In her book, Disconnect, Dr. Devra Davis talks about how she found evidence of studies, some decades old, showing that the radio-frequency radiation used by cell phones could have biological effects — enough to damage DNA and potentially contribute to brain tumors.

As reported by Time, Davis also found that many of the studies debunking a link between cell phone usage and adverse events were mostly funded by the industry. According to Time:

“She found that other countries—like France and Israel—had already acted, discouraging the use of cell phones by children and even putting warning signs on handsets. …

“This is about the most important and unrecognized public health issues of our time,” says Davis. “We could avert a global catastrophe if we act.”

“Davis also said that industry resistance would make regulation “harder and harder,” but that the good news is “simply using a wired headset should significantly cut down on radiation exposure to the brain, although Davis recommends that children—whose thinner skulls can absorb higher levels of radiation—avoid using phones altogether.”

Source: September 27, 2010

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