Categories
Herbs & Plants

Allium geyeri

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Botanical Name: Allium geyeri
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. geyeri
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Allium dictyotum Greene
*Allium funiculosum A.Nelson
*Allium pikeanum Rydb.
*Allium fibrosum Rydb. 1897, illegitimate homonym not Regel 1887
*Allium arenicola Osterh. 1900, illegitimate homonym not Small 1900
*Allium rubrum Osterh.
*Allium sabulicola Osterh.
*Allium rydbergii J.F.Macbr.

Common Names: Geyer’s Onion, Bulbil onion

Habitat :Allium geyeri is native to Western N. America – Washington, Texas, Oregon, New Mexico, Nevada. It grows on low meadows and by streams in the Rocky Mountains.
Description:
Allium geyeri is a bulb growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).Leaves are up to 2 feet long, thin, grass like – 3 to 5 leaves per stem. The plant produces a thick green stalk, which bears a few leaves only at the base, and terminates in a compact, spherical cluster of between 10 and 25 pale pink, urn-shaped flowers; these have six pointed tepals (pink to white in color), curved at the base and pointed at the tip, enclosing a style and several stamens topped by yellow anthers. Two or three thin papery bracts are found at the base of the umbel, but these wither away during flowering.It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May. Colour of the flower is mainly pink.

CLICK & SEE THE  PICTURES
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. Plants are not hardy in the colder wetter conditions of N.W. Britain and are probably best grown in a bulb frame in most parts of the country. The sub-species A. geyeri tenerum forms bulbils in its flowering head. 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. 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 greenhouse. The seed can also be sown as soon as it is ripe 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 of the plants in summer as they die down. The divisions can be planted direct into their permanent positions if required.
Edible Uses:
Bulb – raw or cooked. Used mainly as an onion-flavouring in soups etc, though they were also occasionally eaten raw. The bulbs are eaten by the Navajo Indians. The bulbs are up to 25mm long and 20mm in diameter. 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:
Repellent.

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_geyeri
http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+geyeri
http://www.americansouthwest.net/plants/wildflowers/allium-geyeri.html

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Herbs & Plants

Artemisia nova

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Botanical Name : Artemisia nova
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species:A. nova
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Seriphidium novum (A.Nelson)

Common Names: Black Sagebrush

Habitat : The native range of Artemisia nova is from the Mojave Desert mountains in southern California and in the Great Basin of Nevada and Utah, north to Oregon, Idaho and Montana, east to Wyoming and Colorado, and south to Arizona and northwestern New Mexico. It grows in forest, woodland, and grassland habitats.Dry plains and hills, 1500 – 2400 metres.

Description:
In general, Artemisia nova is a small, erect evergreen shrub producing upright stems branched off a central trunklike base. It is usually no taller than 20 to 30 centimeters but it has been known to exceed 70 centimeters in height.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is in leaf 12-Jan. The aromatic leaves are green, short, narrow, and sometimes toothed at the tip. This species can sometimes be distinguished from its similar-looking relatives by glandular hairs on its leaves.

The inflorescence bears clusters of flower heads lined with shiny, oily, yellow-green phyllaries with transparent tips. The fruit is a tiny achene up to a millimeter long.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Cultivation:
Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position. This species has some affinity for calcareous soils. Established plants are very drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Unlike several closely related species, this plant does not layer or sprout from the stump if it is cut back. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse in a very free-draining soil, but make sure that the soil does not dry out. Germination usually takes place in 1 – 2 weeks in a warm greenhouse[164]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Division in spring or autumn.

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of coughs, colds and headaches.

Known Hazards  :Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people.

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/Artemisia_nova
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+nova

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Drimys winteri

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Botanical Name: Drimys winteri
Family: Winteraceae
Genus: Drimys
Species: D. winteri
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Canellales

Synonyms: True Winter’s Bark. Winter’s Cinnamon. Wintera aromatica. Wintera. Drimys aromatica. Murray. non (R.Br.)Muell. Wintera aromatica. Murray. non (R.Br.)Muell.

Common Names: Winter’s Bark, Canelo

Habitat: Drimys winteri is native to the Magellanic and Valdivian temperate rain forests of Chile and Argentina, where it is a dominant tree in the coastal evergreen forests. Boggy sites by streams etc in rich soils. It is found below 1,200 m (3,937 ft) between latitude 32° south and Cape Horn at latitude 56°. In its southernmost natural range it can tolerate temperatures down to ?20 °C (?4 °F).

Description:
Drimys winteri is an evergreen Shrub growing to 7.5 m (24ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a medium rate. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jan to June. The leaves are lanceolate, glossy green above, whitish below and can measure up to 20 cm (8 in). The flowers  are white with a yellow center, and comprise a great number of petals and stamens. The fruit is a bluish berry. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

The bark is green and wrinkled, that of the branches smooth and green, erect and scarred, leaves alternate, oblong, obtuse, with a midrib veinless, glabrous and finely dotted underside. Flowers small on terminal peduncles, approximately one-flowered, simple. Fruits up to six obovate, baccate, and many seeded. The bark is the official part and is found in small carved pieces 1/4 inch thick, dull yellow grey externally. Both Canella and Cinnamodendron are found in its transverse section, exhibiting radiating white lines at the end of the last rays, diverging towards the circumference; odour aromatic with a warm pungent taste.
Cultivation:
Requires a light lime-free soil in semi-shade. Tolerates chalk in the soil. Requires a deep moist soil. Dislikes dry conditions. Prefers a warm sandy loam with some shelter. Fairly wind resistant. Another report says that the plant resents severe wind-chill. Succeeds against a wall at Kew and it thrives in an open position in S.W. England. Tolerates temperatures down to about -10°c. This species is less hardy than D. lanceolata but it usually recovers from damage. Another report says that it is hardier than D. lanceolata. A very ornamental plant. The sub-species D. winteri andina. Reiche. is a slow growing dwarf form seldom exceeding 1 metre in height. It usually commences flowering when about 30cm tall. A polymorphic species. The flowers have a delicate fragrance of jasmine, whilst the bark has a powerful aromatic smell. This plant was a symbol of peace to the indigenous Indian tribes of S. America in much the same way as an olive branch was used in Greece. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on the plants for at least their first winter in a cold frame. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Layering in March/April. Takes 12 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 – 15 cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Approximately 60% take. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth with a heel of older wood, November in a cold frame

Edible Uses : The aromatic pungent bark is powdered and used as a pepper substitute in Brazil, Chile and Argentina. It is rich in vitamin C.

Part Used: The Bark.

Constituents: An inodorous acrid resin, pale yellow volatile oil, tannic acid, oxide of iron, colouring matter and various salts.

Medicinal Uses:

Antidandruff; Antiscorbutic; Aromatic; Febrifuge; Parasiticide; Skin; Stimulant; Stomachic.

The bark is a pungent bitter tonic herb that relieves indigestion. It is antiscorbutic, aromatic, febrifuge, skin, stimulant and stomachic. An infusion of the bark is used in the treatment of indigestion, colic, dandruff and scurvy. It is also used as a parasiticide. The bark is harvested in the autumn and winter and is dried for later use.

Other Uses:
Essential; Parasiticide; Wood.

Canelo wood is reddish in color and heavy, with a very beautiful grain. It is used for furniture and music instruments. The wood is not durable outdoors because continuous rainfalls damage it. The wood is not good for making bonfires because it gives off a spicy smoke.The powerfully aromatic bark contains resinous matter and 0.64% of aromatic essential oil.

The bark is gray, thick and soft and is used as a pepper replacement in Argentina and Chile. The peppery compound in canelo is polygodial.

Known Hazards  : The sap of this plant can cause serious inflammation if it comes into contact with the eyes

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/Drimys_winteri
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/w/winbar25.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Drimys+winteri

Categories
Exercise

Hands Free of Stress

If you’re one of those people who sits in front of a computer for hours, typing away, try this simple yet effective way to release tension in your forearms, wrists and fingers. Make a habit of taking breaks throughout the day to perform this exercise. When your hands and arms are relaxed, you’ll feel less stress in your neck and shoulders.

STEP-1. Sitting in your chair, back away from your desk and bend your arms to a 90-degree angle, bringing your elbows close to your waist. With forearms parallel to the ground, tuck your fingers in and squeeze each of your hands as tight as possible. Hold for 5 seconds.

 

STEP-2. Open your hands as wide as possible, spreading your fingers apart. Flex your wrists by moving your fingers up and back, simultaneously pushing your wrists forward. Hold for 5 seconds, trying to keep your hands fully stretched. Repeat this move three times — and remember to do the exercise 5 or 6 times a day.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Candlenut

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Botanical Name: Aleurites moluccana
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Genus:
Aleurites
Species: A. moluccana
Other Names:Candleberry, Indian walnut, Kemiri, Varnish tree or Kukui nut tree.
Habitat:Native to Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and South Pacific Islands including Hawaii.
Common Names: Candlenuts, Indian walnut, Tahitian walnut, jangli akrot (Hindi), nattu-akrotu-kottai (Tamil), dakkuna (Sinhalese), phothisat (Thai), buah keras (Malay), kemiri (Indonesian)

Description:Its native range is impossible to establish precisely because of early spread by humans, and the tree is now widely distributed in the New and Old World tropics. It grows to a height of 15-25 m, with wide spreading or pendulous branches. The leaves are pale green, simple and ovate, or trilobed or rarely 5-lobed, with an acute apex, 10–20 cm long. The nut is round, 4–6 cm in diameter; the seed inside has a very hard seed coat and a high oil content, which allows its use as a candle, hence its name….CLICK & SEE

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Growing Environment: They grow very well in tropical climates with ample rainfall, but also adapt to dry climates. Candlenut’s need little if any care after they are established.

Cultivation: Moderate to abundant water; prefers a good drainage. Propagated by seed and takes 3-4 months to germinate. Use nuts that sink. Soak in hot water 5 minutes before planting. Seeds take 3-4 months to germinate. To transplant seedling, keep soil surrounding the start intact. Fruits are gathered twice per year. Gather fruits from trees or nuts from the ground. Throw away nuts that float in water. Kernels adhere to sides of shell and are difficult to separate. Seedlings planted 300/ha. Once established, trees require little to no attention.

Mythology:
In Hawaii the Candlenut tree is a symbol of enlightenment, protection and peace. Candlenut was considered to be the body form of Kamapua’a, the pig god. One of the legends told about a woman who, despite her best efforts to please her husband, was routinely beaten. Finally, the husband beat her to death and buried her under a kukui tree. Being a kind and just woman, she was given new life, and the husband was eventually killed.

Constituents: Moluccanin, moretenone, moretenol, alpha-amyrin, and beta-sitosterol. The oil cake, contains ca 46.2% protein, 4.4% P2O5, and 2.0% K2O and is said to be poisonous. A toxalbumin and HCN have been suggested. Bark contains ca 4–6% tannin. Oil also contains glycerides of linolenic, oleic and various linoleic acids. Per 100 g, the seed is reported to contain 626 calories, 7.0 g H2O, 19.0 g protein, 63.0 g fat, 8.0 g total carbohydrate, 3.0 g ash, 80 mg Ca, 200 mg P, 2.0 mg Fe, 0 mg beta-carotene equivalent, 0.06 mg thiamine, and 0 mg ascorbic acid. The fruit contains alkaloids. The nuts have 626 calories, 7 grams of water, 19 grams of protein, and 63 grams of fat. They also contain 8 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of ash, 80 milligrams of calcium, 200 milligrams of potassium, 2 milligrams of iron, and 0.06 milligrams of thiamine.

Different Uses :
Cooked nuts are generally edible, although some strains contain high amounts of cyanide. Usually the nut is pressed for its oil, which is used for a variety of industrial purposes like soapmaking, varnishes, and fuel. The oil is sometimes used medicinally similar to castor oil, as well as a laxative. In Southeast Asia, the oil is sometimes applied topically to treat headaches, fevers and swollen joints.

*The candle nut is similar (though “rougher”) in flavor and texture to the macadamia nut, which has a similarly high oil content. It is mildly toxic when raw.

*The nut is often used cooked in Indonesian cuisine and Malaysian, where it is called kemiri in Indonesian or buah keras in Malay. In Java of Indonesia, it is used to make a thick sauce which is eaten with vegetables and rice.

*In ancient Hawaii, the nuts, named kukui were burned to provide light. The nuts were strung in a row on a palm leaf midrib, lit one end, and burned one by one every 15 minutes or so. This led to their use as a measure of time. One could instruct someone to return home before the second nut burned out.

*In Tonga, still nowadays, ripe nuts, named tuitui are pounded into a paste, tukilamulamu, used as soap or shampoo.
Candle nuts are also roasted and mixed into a paste with salt to form a Hawaiian condiment known as inamona. Inamona is a key ingredient in traditional Hawaiian poke. It’s the Hawaiian state tree.

*Dead wood of candlenut is eaten by a larva of a coleoptera called Agrionome fairmairei. This larva is eaten by some people.

Modern cultivation is mostly for the oil. In plantations, each tree will produce 30–80 kg of nuts, and the nuts yield 15 to 20% of their weight in oil. Most of the oil is used locally rather than figuring in international trade.

Medicinal Uses: Several parts of the plant have been used in traditional medicine in most of the areas where it is native. The oil is an irritant and purgative and sometimes used like castor oil. The seed kernels have a laxative effect. In Japan its bark has been used on tumors. In Sumatra, , pounded seeds, burned with charcoal, are applied around the navel for costiveness. In Malaya, the pulped kernels or boiled leaves are used in poultices for headache, fevers, ulcers, swollen joints, and gonorrhea. In Java, the bark is used for bloody diarrhea or dysentery. In Sumatra, pounded seeds, burned with charcoal, are applied around the navel for cositiveness. Bark juice with coconut milk is used for sprue. The fruit is eaten to produce aphrodisiac stimulation and the gum from the bark is chewed for the same reason. The oil is sometimes used medicinally similar to castor oil, as well as a laxative. In Southeast Asia, the oil is sometimes applied topically to treat headaches, fevers and swollen joints. To treat sores or infections in the mouth and to soothe the gums of teething babies, healers pick green kukui nuts in the morning when the sap is running. They separate the stem from the husk of the nut, and a small pool of sap fills the resulting hole. They apply the sap topically on sores or mix it with water to make a mouthwash. Its partly dried sap is used to treat thrush (ea) and its leaves are used as poultice for swellings and infections.

Dosage: For constipation, 1 roasted nut. Topical as needed.

Toxicity: The nuts can be poisonous when raw, causing violent vomiting. In 1999 the media reported that a child became ill after eating raw candlenuts in a park in Brisbane. However others have eaten them raw without ill effects. Roasting destroys the toxin in the oil which causes these effects. The roasted nuts are delicious, and are reported to be nutritious and high in energy from the fat they contain. They can be used to tenderize meat. However particular trees produce a nut which has a high cyanide content, and if many roasted nuts are eaten at a time, they can cause stomach cramps and vomiting, so suitable selection methods need to be applied. Kukui is used as a “poison” in Haiti and Turkey. If too much kukui was taken in old Hawai’i, and diarrhea resulted, specially prepared Tacca leontopetaloides (pia) root was given with poi. Not for use in pregnancy. Not with diarrhea. Not with weak central Qi.

Cosmetic Uses: Oil is used topically to stimulate hair growth in Fiji. Kukui nut oil is high in the essential fatty acids linoleic and linolenic acids. These acids are vital for the metabolism of healthy skin. Vitamins A, C and E are added to stabilize the oil. Kukui nut oil is easily absorbed by the skin. It soothes irritated, sunburned, or burned skin. Surveys have shown that kukui nut oil can help relieve itchy and dry skin due to eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. You can use up to 10% kukui nut oil for a nourishing bar of soap or use it at 5-10% in your cream, lotion, balm and scrub formulations.

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Culinary Uses: The nut is often used cooked in Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine, where it is called buah keras or kemiri. In Java, it is used to make a thick sauce which is eaten with vegetables and rice. The nuts are roasted, then ground and mixed with Hawaiian salt and limu kohu to make a relish called “inamona”.

Other Uses: Seed yields 57–80% of inedible, semi-drying oil, liquid at ordinary temperatures, solidifying at 5°F, containing oleostearic acid. Oil, quicker drying than linseed oil, is used as a wood preservative, for varnishes and paint oil, as an illuminant, for soap making, waterproofing paper, rubber substitutes and insulating material. Seeds are moderately poisonous and press cake is used as fertilizer. Kernels when roasted and cooked are considered edible; may be strung as candlenuts. Oil is painted on bottoms of small crafts to .protect against marine borers. Tung oil, applied to cotton bolls, stops boil weevils from eating them. Also prevents feeding by striped cucumber beetle. In old Hawai’i soot from burning nuts were used for tattoos and fixed with the juice of Plumbago zeylanica (‘ilie’e). A superior black dye obtained from the soot produced by burning the seed, is used to dye the tapa and for tattooing. The seeds are strung into leis. The inner bark is used to dye the fishnets and the tannin in the dye strengthened nets and prevented decay. The soot from the burnt kukui nuts is also used to stain surfboards.

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.tradewindsfruit.com/candlenut.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candle_nut
http://www.innvista.com/HEALTH/foods/seeds/candle.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/magazine/mag7_p05__candlenut.htm