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Osmunda japonica

 

Bmily:otanical Name : Osmunda japonica
Family:  Osmundaceae
Genus: Osmunda
Section:Euosmunda
Species:O. japonica
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida /Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order: Osmundales

Synonyms: Osmunda nipponica Makino

Common Name : Japanese royal fern or Japanese flowering fern ,Zenmai (In some parts of China it is called juecai in Mandarin), Tibet and Japan it is called zenmai in Japanese.

Habitat :Osmunda japonica is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. It grows in moist places all over Japan.

Description:
Osmunda japonica is a deciduous herbaceous plant which produces separate fertile and sterile fronds. The sterile fronds are spreading, up to 80-100 cm tall, bipinnate, with pinnae 20-30 cm long and pinnules 4-6 cm long and 1.5-2 cm broad; the fertile fronds are erect and shorter, 20-50 cm tall.

It grows in moist woodlands and can tolerate open sunlight only if in very wet soil. Like other ferns, it has no flowers, but rather elaborate sporangia, that very superficially might suggest a flower, from which the alternative name derives.

Like its relative Osmundastrum cinnamomeum (Cinnamon fern), the fertile fronds become brown-colored and contain spores. The sterile (vegetative) fronds resemble in form, another relative, Osmunda regalis (Royal fern).

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Rhizome: erect, massive, forming a trunk, occasionally branching, hairs and old stipe bases woven together with black, fibrous roots.

Frond: 50 cm high by 40 cm wide, deciduous, dimorphic, fertile fronds earlier, erect, sterile later, arching, blade/stipe ratio: 5:4 for sterile fronds, 1:1 for fertile fronds.

Stipe: stipules (flared leaf base), unique to the family/genus, pale reddish brown, long lax hairs, but soon glabrous, vascular bundles: 1 in a U-shape where the top of the arms continue to curl.

Blade: 2-pinnate, sterile oblong, widest at the bottom, fertile consisting entirely of sporagia, papery, reddish to light brown hairs, soon falling.

Pinnae: 4 to 6 pair, catadromous; pinnules oblong, to 10 cm; margins minutely dentate; veins free, forked.

Sori: none, indusium: absent, sporangia: large, globose, tan or black when mature, spores green.
Cultivation:
Likes a soil of swamp mud and loamy or fibrous peat, sand and loam. Succeeds in most moist soils, preferring acid conditions. Requires a constant supply of water, doing well by ponds, streams etc. Plants thrive in full sun so long as there is no shortage of moisture in the soil and also in shady situations beneath shrubs etc. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c, they are evergreen in warm winter areas but deciduous elsewhere. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Closely related to O. regalis.

Propagation :
Spores – they very quickly lose their viability (within 3 days) and are best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil in a lightly shaded place in a greenhouse. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Plants develop very rapidly, pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and keep humid until they are well established. Do not plant outside until the ferns are at least 2 years old. Cultivars usually come true to type[200]. Division of the rootstock in the dormant season. This is a very strenuous exercise due to the mass of wiry roots

Edible Uses: the young frond of Osmunda japonica is used as a vegetable.

Medicinal  Uses: Not yet known.

Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity is yet found for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase.
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/Osmunda_japonica
http://hardyfernlibrary.com/ferns/listSpecies.cfm?Auto=117
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Osmunda+japonica

Jerusalem artichoke

Botanical Name: Helianthus tuberosus
Family:    Asteraceae
Tribe:    Heliantheae
Genus:    Helianthus
Species:    H. tuberosus
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Asterales

Synonym:  Sunflower Artichoke.

Common Names: Jerusalem artichoke, Sunroot, Sunchoke, Earth apple or Topinambour

Habitat: Jerusalem artichoke is  native to eastern North America, and found from eastern Canada and Maine west to North Dakota, and south to northern Florida and Texas. It is also cultivated widely across the temperate zone for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable.It grows  on rich and damp thickets.

Description:
Jerusalem artichoke is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 1.5–3 m (4 ft 11 in–9 ft 10 in) tall with opposite leaves on the upper part of the stem but alternate below. The leaves have a rough, hairy texture and the larger leaves on the lower stem are broad ovoid-acute and can be up to 30 cm (12 in) long, and the higher leaves smaller and narrower.

The flowers are yellow and produced in capitate flowerheads, which are 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) in diameter, with 10–20 ray florets.

The tubers are elongated and uneven, typically 7.5–10 cm (3.0–3.9 in) long and 3–5 cm (1.2–2.0 in) thick, and vaguely resembling ginger root in appearance, with a crisp texture when raw. They vary in colour from pale brown to white, red, or purple.

The artichoke contains about 10% protein, no oil, and a surprising lack of starch. However, it is rich in the carbohydrate inulin (76%), which is a polymer of the monosaccharide fructose. Tubers stored for any length of time will convert their inulin into its component fructose. Jerusalem artichokes have an underlying sweet taste because of the fructose, which is about one and a half times sweeter than sucrose.
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Jerusalem artichokes have also been promoted as a healthy choice for type 2 diabetics, because fructose is better tolerated by people who are type 2 diabetic. It has also been reported as a folk remedy for diabetes. Temperature variances have been shown to affect the amount of inulin the Jerusalem artichoke can produce. When not in tropical regions, it has been shown to make less inulin than when it is in a warmer region.

Cultivation:     
A very easily grown plant, it grows best in a loose circumneutral loam but succeeds in most soils and conditions in a sunny position. Plants are more productive when grown in a rich soil. Heavy soils produce the highest yields, but the tubers are easily damaged at harvest-time so lighter well-drained sandy loams are more suitable. Dislikes shade. Likes some lime in the soil. Jerusalem artichoke is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation of 31 to 282cm, an average annual temperature of 6.3 to 26.6°C and a pH in the range of 4.5 to 8.2. Jerusalem artichokes were cultivated as a food plant by the N. American Indians and they are today often grown in temperate areas for their edible tubers. There are some named varieties. The plant is a suitable crop in any soil and climate where corn (Zea mays) will grow. It survives in poor soil and in areas as cold as Alaska. It also tolerates hot to sub-zero temperatures. The first frost kills the stems and leaves, but the tubers can withstand freezing for months. The plants are particularly suited to dry regions and poor soils where they will out-yield potatoes. Tuber production occurs in response to decreasing day-length in late summer. Yields range from 1 – 2kg per square metre. The tubers are very cold-tolerant and can be safely left in the ground in the winter to be harvested as required. They can be attacked by slugs, however, and in sites prone to slug damage it is probably best to harvest the tubers in late autumn and store them over the winter. It is almost impossible to find all the tubers at harvest time, any left in the soil will grow away vigorously in the spring. Plants do not flower in northern Europe. They are sensitive to day-length hours, requiring longer periods of light from seedling to maturation of plant, and shorter periods for tuber formation. They do not grow where day-lengths vary little. The plant is good weed eradicator, it makes so dense a shade that few other plants can compete. The young growth is extremely attractive to slugs, plants can be totally destroyed by them. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. Plants only produce flowers in Britain after a long hot summer and seed is rarely formed. Grows well with corn. Plants can be invasive.

Propagation:     
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn[200]. Harvest the tubers in late autumn or the winter and either replant the tubers immediately or store them in a cool but frost-free place and plant them out in early spring. Jerusalem artichoke is propagated by tubers, which should be planted as early as possible in the spring when the soil can be satisfactorily worked. Late planting usually reduces tuber yields and size seriously. Whole tubers or pieces about 50 g (2 oz.) should be planted like potatoes and covered to a depth of 10 cm. Pieces larger than 50 g do not increase the yield, though those smaller will decrease it. Deeper planting may delay emergence, weaken the sprouts, and cause the tubers to develop deeper, making harvest more difficult[269]. Basal cuttings in spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10 – 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

Edible Uses: Coffee;  Sweetener.
Tubers – raw or cooked. The tuber develops a pleasant sweetness during the winter, especially if subjected to frosts, and is then reasonably acceptable raw. Otherwise it is generally best cooked, and can be used in all the ways that potatoes are used. The tubers are rich in inulin, a starch which the body cannot digest, so Jerusalem artichokes provide a bulk of food without many calories. Some people are not very tolerant of inulin, it tends to ferment in their guts and can cause quite severe wind. The tubers are fairly large, up to 10cm long and 6cm in diameter. The tubers bruise easily and lose moisture rapidly so are best left in the ground and harvested as required. The inulin from the roots can be converted into fructose, a sweet substance that is safe for diabetics to use. The roasted tubers are a coffee substitute…....CLICK & SEE 

Medicinal Uses:
Aperient;  Cholagogue;  Diuretic;  Stomachic;  Tonic.

Reported to be aperient, aphrodisiac, cholagogue, diuretic, spermatogenetic, stomachic, and tonic, Jerusalem artichoke is a folk remedy for diabetes and rheumatism.

CLICK & SEE THE MEDICAL PROPERITIES OF  Jerusalem artichoke..>  ...(1).....(2)…
Other Uses:
Biomass.:  The plants are a good source of biomass. The tubers are used in industry to make alcohol etc. The alcohol fermented from the tubers is said to be of better quality than that from sugar beets. A fast-growing plant, Jerusalem artichokes can be grown as a temporary summer screen. Very temporary, it is July before they reach a reasonable height and by October they are dying down.

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:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_artichoke
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Helianthus+tuberosus

Holarrhena Antidysenterica

Botanical Name : Holarrhena Antidysenterica
Family : Apocynaceae
Genus:Wrightia
Species:W. antidysenterica
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:Gentianales
Common Name : Bitter Oleander, Connessi Bark, Kurchi Bark, , Dysentery Rose Bay, Tellicherry Bark,Kuda,Kutaj,Kutaja

. It is also known as “White Angel” in the Philippines

Bengali name :Kurchi
Part Used : Bark, Seeds
Habitat :Holarrhena Antidysenterica is native to tropical Himalayas, going up to an altitude of ,1,200 m. Also found throughout many forests  of India, in Travancore, Assam and Uttar Pradesh. Grows wild in mountains

Description:
It is a tall shurb or small tree, evergreen in nature.Leaves are smooth large, ovate in shape; and about 15-31 cms. long and 10 cms. broad.Flowers are cream coloured, fragrant and borne in bunches .The plant flowers profusely during February-March. fruits are thin and cylindrical, with two follicles attached together at distal ends. Special characteristics of Holarrhena antidysenterica. Fragrant flowers and twin fruits….

Click to see the pictures..………….....(01)........(1).…..(2)......(3)...

Medicinal Uses:
It is one of the best drug for diarrhoea. In chronic diarrhoea & to check blood coming from stool, it should be given with Isobgol, caster oil or Indrayav.

According to Ayurveda, the bark is useful in treatment of piles, skin diseases and biliousness.
The bark is used externally in case of skin troubles. The bark is mostly mixed with cow urine and applies it in affected parts. In treatment of urinary troubles, the bark is given with cow milk. The fresh juice of bark is considered good to check the diarrhoea. In bleeding piles Decoction of Kutaj bark with sunthi checks mucus & blood. Application of this herb is useful in Rh. Arthritis & Osteoarthritis. The bark is used in chest affections and as a remedy in diseases of the skin and spleen. It is a well known herb for amoebic dysentery and other gastric disorders.

Kutaja bark has been used in India in the treatment of amoebic dysentery and liver ailments resulting from amebiasis.  Conessine from the bark killed free living amoebae and also kills entamoeba histolytica in the dysenteric stools of experimentally infected kittens. It is markedly lethal to the flagellate protozoon. It is antitubercular also.  Conessine produced little effect on Trichomonas hominis but was markedly lethal to the flagellate protozoon.  It is a well known drug for amoebic dysentery and other gastric disorders. A clinical study records the presentation of forty cases with amochiasis and giardiasis. The efficacy of kutaja in intestinal amochiasis was 70%. Good response was also observed in Entamoeba histolytica cystpassers when treated with kutaja bark. The flowers improve appetite. The seeds are cooling, appetising and astringent to the bowels.

Today Conessi seed is used as a remedy for dysentery, diarrhea, intestinal worms, and irregular fever, though the actions are milder than that of the bark. Conessi bark is used to treat dysentery, but also is used for treating hemophilia disorders, skin diseases, and loss of appetite. It also works well in treating indigestion, flatulence, and colic.  The British materia medica regards it as one of the most valuable medicinal products of India.

It also has been used to treat various skin and stomach disorders. It is an astringent tonic for the skin. It is used against hot disorder of the gall bladder and stops dysentery.  Relieves cholecystitis and diarrhea associated with fever.   It is used in disorders of the genitourinary system and is helpful in the cases of impotence, spermatorrhea and seminal debilities.

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.motherherbs.com/holarrhena-antidysenterica.html
http://green-source.blogspot.com/2009/06/kuda-kutaj-holarrhena-antidysenterica.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm
http://www.alibaba.com/product-tp/108122069/Holarrhena_Antidysenterica.html
http://www.greenearthproducts.net/ficus-bengalensis.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrightia_antidysenterica

Vajrasana Yogamudra-2(Yoga Exercise)

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Posture : This Asana(exercise) differs from the earlier one only in the position of hands.(as in the picture) However, this latter variety is more difficult than the former. Besides, it is a more advanced state and naturally more beneficial. One should first practice type 1 and then pass on to type 2.
Pre position : Vajrasana Position.

How to do the Exercise:

1. Inhale, and exhailing set both the palms near the belly below the navel resting on the heels of the legs. Keep the right hand palm on the left hand palm. Keep the fingers quite together.
2. Exhailing bend in the waist and place the forehead on the ground. When the bending process is over, continue smooth breathing.

Position The position of this Asana is the same as type 1. except the position of the hands. Here first both the palms are placed at the navel. Then, while bending forward, keep the elbows erect and stuck to the chest ribs.
Releasing

1. Exhale and inhailing get straight in the waist.
2. Keep the hands on the knees and take up Vajrasana Position.

Duration : This Asana should be maintained for one and half minute to have the expected results.
Benefits: Owing to the placement of the palms at the navel, there is more pressure on the belly. This increased pressure makes the benefits of the earlier Asana more prominent.
Precaution This Asana should be done after good practice.

Reference Book:- Yoga Pravesh

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