Categories
Herbs & Plants

Lamium album

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Botanical Name: Lamium album
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus:     Lamium
Species: L. album
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Lamiales

Synonyms: Archangel. White Dead Nettle. Blind Nettle. Dumb Nettle. Deaf Nettle. Bee Nettle

Common Names : White nettle or White dead-nettle

Habitat :  Lamium album is native to throughout Europe and Western Asia, growing in a variety of habitats from open grassland to woodland, generally on moist, fertile soils.It was introduced to North America, where it is widely naturalised.

Description:
It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 50-100 cm tall, with green, four-angled stems. The leaves are 3-8 cm long and 2-5 cm broad, triangular with a rounded base, softly hairy, and with a serrated margin and a petiole up to 5 cm long; like many other members of the Lamiaceae, they appear superficially similar to those of the Stinging nettle Urtica dioica but do not sting, hence the common name “deadnettle”. The flowers are white, produced in whorls (‘verticillasters’) on the upper part of the stem, the individual flowers 1.5-2.5 cm long.
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Cultivation:      
A very easily grown plant, it tolerates most soils and conditions. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a sunny position, though it also does well in partial shade. Plants are hardy to about -25°c. The white dead nettle is too weedy to be grown in the flower garden, but it does well in the wild garden and self-sows when well sited. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. A good bee plant and a good companion plant, helping any vegetables growing nearby. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Invasive, Suitable for cut flowers.

Propagation:    
Seed – this species usually self sows freely and should not require human intervention. When required it can be sown in situ as soon as it is ripe. Division in spring. Division succeeds at almost any time in the growing season. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Edible Uses:Young leaves are eaten  raw or cooked. They can be added to salads or mixed with other leaves and cooked as a potherb. They can also be dried for later use. The leaves are a good source of vitamin A. A pleasant herb tea is made from the flowers

Medicinal Uses:
Chemical constituents:
Two phenylpropanoid glycosides, lamalboside (2R-galactosylacteoside) and acteoside, the flavonol p-coumaroylglucoside, tiliroside, 5-caffeoylquinic acid (chlorogenic acid), along with rutoside and quercetin and kaempferol 3-O-glucosides can be isolated from the flowers of L. album. The plant also contains the iridoid glycosides lamalbid, alboside A and B, and caryoptoside as well as the hemiterpene glucoside hemialboside

Lamium album is an astringent and demulcent herb that is chiefly used as a uterine tonic, to arrest inter-menstrual bleeding and to reduce excessive menstrual flow. It is a traditional treatment for abnormal vaginal discharge and is sometimes taken to relieve painful periods. The flowering tops are antispasmodic, astringent, cholagogue, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, haemostatic, hypnotic, pectoral, resolvent, sedative, styptic, tonic, vasoconstrictor and vulnerary. An infusion is used in the treatment of kidney and bladder complaints, diarrhoea, menstrual problems, bleeding after childbirth, vaginal discharges and prostatitis. Externally, the plant is made into compresses and applied to piles, varicose veins and vaginal discharges. A distilled water from the flowers and leaves makes an excellent and effective eye lotion to relieve ophthalmic conditions. The plant is harvested in the summer and can be dried for later use. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of bladder and kidney disorders and amenorrhoea.

Other Uses: Bees, especially bumble bees are attracted to the flowers which are a good source of early nectar and pollen, hence the plant is sometimes called the Bee Nettle.

A distillation of the flowers is reputed “to make the heart merry, to make a good colour in the face, and to make the vital spirits more fresh and lively.”

The plant has a creeping rootstock and makes a good groundcover plant for woodland edges.

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/Lamium_album
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Lamium+album
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/n/nettle03.html#whi
http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/lamium-album-white-dead-nettle

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Motherwort

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Botanical Name : Leonurus cardiaca
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Leonurus
Species: L. cardiaca
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms:  Cardiaca crispa. Cardiaca glabra. Lamium cardiaca. Leonurus glabra

Common Names :Motherwort, Throw-wort, Lion’s Ear, and Lion’s Tail. Lion’s Tail and Lion’s Ear.

Habitat :Motherwort is probably native to the southeastern part of Europe and central Asia where it has been cultivated since ancient times.
it is now found worldwide, spread largely due to its use as a herbal remedy. Its natural habitat is beside roadsides, in vacant fields, waste ground, rubbish dumps and other disturbed areas. This plant prefers well drained soil and a partly shady location. It is hardy in USDA climate zones 4–8.

Description:
Motherwort is a herbaceous perennial plant. It has a squarish stem which is clad in short hairs and is often purplish, especially near the nodes. The opposite leaves have serrated margins and are palmately lobed with long petioles; basal leaves are wedge shaped with three points while the upper leaves have five. They are slightly hairy above and greyish beneath. Flowers appear in leaf axils on the upper part of the plant and have three-lobed bracts. The calyx of each flower is bell-shaped and has five lobes. The corolla is irregular, 8 to 12 mm (0.3 to 0.5 in) long, fused, long-tubed with two lips. The upper lip is convex and covered with white hairs and the lower lip is three-lobed and downward-curving and spotted with red. The flowers are pink to lilac in colour often with furry lower lips. There are four stamens, two short and two longer, and the fruit is a four-chambered schizocarp. The plant grows to about 60 to 100 cm (24 to 39 in) in height and blooms during July and August.
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Cultivation:
An easily grown plant that succeeds in most soils, preferring one on the poor side. This plant was at one time cultivated for its medicinal uses. The whole plant is deliciously pungent when handled. The plant often self-sows when well-sited.

Propagation:       
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient seed then it can be sown in an outdoor seedbed, or even in situ. Division in spring or autumn. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Edible Uses: 
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

The fresh or dried flowers can be used as a flavouring in soups, particularly lentil or split pea. They are also used as a flavouring in beer. Fresh or dried flowers can be used to make a tea

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: The whole herb, dried, cut in August. The drying may be carried out in any of the ways described for Scullcap.

Motherwort is especially valuable in the treatment of female weaknesses and disorders, allaying nervous irritability, inducing quiet and passivity of the whole nervous system. It is also seen as a remedy for heart palpitations, it has a strengthening effect, especially on a weak heart. The antispasmodic and sedative effects promote relaxation rather than drowsiness. The leaves are antispasmodic, astringent, cardiac, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, nervine, sedative, stomachic, tonic and uterine stimulant. They are taken internally in the treatment of heart complaints (notably palpitations) and problems associated with menstruation, childbirth and menopause, especially of nervous origin. Although an infusion can be used, the taste is so bitter that the plant is usually made into a conserve or syrup. An alcoholic extract is said to possess superior action to valerian (Valeriana officinalis). The plant has been found effective in the treatment of functional heart complaints due to autonomic imbalance, and also as an anti-thyroid treatment, though it needs to be taken for several months for these effects to be noticed. The whole herb is harvested in August when in flower and can be dried for later use. It should not be prescribed in the earlier stages of pregnancy or where periods are heavy. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of heart complaints, amenorrhoea, menopausal problems and flatulence. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Leonurus cardiaca Motherwort for nervous heart complaints.

Other Uses:
Dye.
A dark olive-green dye is obtained from the leaves

Known Hazards :  Skin contact with this plant can cause dermatitis in susceptible people. The fragrant essential oil can cause photosensitization. Grazing animals can have their mouths injured by the sharp teeth of the calyces. Avoid during pregnancy as it is a uterine stimulant although it has been used during labour.

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/Leonurus_cardiaca
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Leonurus+cardiaca
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mother55.html

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Lamium purpureum

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Botanical Nanme : Lamium purpureum
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Lamium
Species: L. purpureum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name :Red Deadnettle, Purple Deadnettle, or Purple Archangel

Habitat : Lamium purpureum is native to Europe and Asia.

Description:
Lamium purpureum is a herbaceous flowering plant.It grows to 5–20 cm (rarely 30 cm) in height. The leaves have fine hairs, are green at the bottom and shade to purplish at the top; they are 2–4 cm long and broad, with a 1–2 cm petiole (leaf stalk), and wavy to serrated margins.

You may click to see pictures of Lamium purpureum 

The zygomorphic flowers are bright red-purple, with a top hood-like petal, two lower lip petal lobes and minute fang-like lobes between.They may be produced throughout the year, including mild weather in winter. This allows bees to gather its nectar for food when few other nectar sources are available. It is also a prominent source of pollen for bees in March/April (in UK), when bees need the pollen as protein to build up their nest.

It is often found alongside Henbit Deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule), which is easily mistaken for it since they both have similar looking leaves and similar bright purple flowers; they can be distinguished by the stalked leaves of Red Deadnettle on the flower stem, compared to the unstalked leaves of Henbit Deadnettle.

Edible Uses:
Young plants have edible tops and leaves, good in salads or in stirfry as a spring vegetable. If finely chopped it can also be used in sauces, but there is little to recommend about its flavour.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves, when bruised and used as a poultice, are said to staunch blood flowing from a deep cut.  The dried herb, made into a tea and sweetened with honey, promotes perspiration and acts on the kidneys, being useful in cases of chill.

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/Lamium_purpureum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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