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Herbs & Plants

Sage, Vervain

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Botanical Name: Salvia Verbenaca
Family: N.O. Labiatae
Synonyms: Wild English Clary. Christ’s Eye. Oculus Christi.
Common Name: Wild clary
Parts Used: Leaves, seeds.

Habitat and Possible Locations: In Britain it is found wild in only one place on sand dunes at Vazon Bay in Guernsey. In Europe it is found in dry grassland, avoiding acid soils and shade.Meadow, Cultivated Beds.

Description:
Perennial growing to 0.6m. It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from June to September, and the seeds ripen from July to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees and Cleistogomy (self-pollinating without flowers ever opening). The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife. We rate it 2 out of 5 for usefulness.

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

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
The Wild English Clary, or Vervain Sage, is a native of all parts of Europe and not uncommon in England in dry pastures and on roadsides, banks and waste ground, especially near the sea, or on chalky soil. It is a smaller plant than the Garden Clary, but its medicinal virtues are rather more powerful.

Description: The perennial root is woody, thicky and long, the stem 1 to 2 feet high, erect with the leaves in distinct pairs, the lower shortly stalked, and the upper ones stalkless. The radical leaves lie in a rosette and have foot-stalks 1 1/2 to 4 inches long, their blades about the same length, oblong in shape, blunt at their ends and heart-shaped at the base, wavy at the margins, which are generally indented by five or six shallow, blunt lobes on each side, their surfaces much wrinkled. The whole plant is aromatic, especially when rubbed, and is rendered conspicuous by its long spike of purplish-blue flowers, first dense, afterwards becoming rather lax. The whorls of the spike are sixflowered, and at the base of each flower are two heart-shaped, fringed, pointed bracts. The calyx is much larger than the corolla. The plant is in bloom from June to August. The seeds are smooth, and like the Garden Clary, produce a great quantity of soft, tasteless mucilage, when moistened. If put under the eyelids for a few moments the tears dissolve this mucilage, which envelops any dust and brings it out safely. Old writers called this plant ‘Oculus Christi,’ or ‘Christ’s Eye.’

Cultivation details
Requires a very well-drained light sandy soil in a sunny position. Prefers a rich soil. Plants can be killed by excessive winter wet.
This species is well suited to the wild garden, growing well in the summer meadow. A good bee plant.
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation
Seed – sow March/April in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer. In areas where the plant is towards the limits of its hardiness, it is best to grow the plants on in a greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in late spring of the following year.

Edible Uses:
Condiment; Flowers; Leaves; Tea.
Leaves – raw or cooked. They are most often used as a flavouring in cooked foods. They are aromatic. The young leaves can be eaten fried or candied[183].

A herb tea is made from the leaves, it is said to improve the digestion.

Flowers – raw. A flavouring in salads

Medicinal Action and Uses: ‘A decoction of the leaves,’ says Culpepper, ‘being drank, warms the stomach, also it helps digestion and scatters congealed blood in any part of the body.’

This Clary was thought to be more efficacious to the eye than the Garden variety.

‘The distilled water strengthening the eyesight, especially of old people,’ says Culpepper, ‘cleaneth the eyes of redness waterishness and heat: it is a gallant remedy fordimness of sight, to take one of the seeds of it and put it into the eyes, and there let it remain till it drops out of itself, the pain will be nothing to speak on: it will cleanse the eyes of all filthy and putrid matter; and repeating it will take off a film which covereth the sight.’

The seed forms a thick mucilage when it is soaked for a few minutes in water. This is efficacious in removing small particles of dust from the eyes.

Other Species:
Salvia pratensis, the MEADOW SAGE – our other native Sage – is a very rare plant, found only in a few localities in Cornwall, Kent and Oxfordshire, and by some authorities is considered hardly a true native.

It is common in some parts of Italy and the Ionian Islands.

It has the habit of S. Verbenaca, but is larger. The flowers are very showy, large and bright blue, arranged on a long spike, four flowers in each whorl, the corolla (about four times as long as the calyx) having the prominent upper lip much arched and compressed and often glutinous. The stem bears very few leaves.

Several plants, though not true Sages, have been popularly called ‘Sage’: Phlomis fruticosa, a hardy garden shrub, 2 to 4 feet high, with flowers either yellow or dusky yellow, was known as Jerusalem Sage; Turner (1548) terms it so and he is followed in this by Green (1832), whereas Lyte (1578) gives this name to Pulmonaria officinalis, the Common Lungwort, and Gerard (1597), describing Phlomis fruticosa, gives it another name, saying, ‘The leaves are in shape like the leaves of Sage, whereupon the vulgar people call it French Sage.’ Gerard gives the name of ‘Sage of Bethlem’ to Pulmonaria officinalis; in localities of North Lincolnshire, the name has been given to the Garden Mint, Mentha viridis. ‘Garlick Sage’ is one of the names quoted by Gerard for Teucrium scorodonia, which we find variously termed by old writers, Mountain Sage, Wild Sage and Wood Sage.

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.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Salvia+verbenaca

http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/sages-05.html

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Herbs & Plants

Barberry (Berberis Vulgaris)

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Botanical Name: Berberis vulgaris (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Berberidaceae

Synonyms: Berbery. Pipperidge Bush. Berberis Dumetorum.Jaundice Berry

Parts Used:Stem-bark and root-bark. The stem-bark is collected by shaving and is dried spread out in trays in the sun, or on shelves in a well-ventilated greenhouse or in an airy attic or loft, warmed either by sun or by the artificial heat of a stove, the door and window being left open by day to ensure a warm current of air. The bark may be also strung on threads and hung across the room.

When dried, the pieces of bark are in small irregular portions, about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide, and of a dark-yellowish grey colour externally, and marked with shallow longitudinal furrows. It frequently bears the minute, black ‘fruits’ of lichen. The bark is dark yellowish brown on the inner surface separating in layers of bast fibres.

The bark has a slight odour and a bitter taste, and colours the saliva yellow when chewed.

The root-bark is greyish brown externally and is dried in a similar manner after being peeled off. When dry, it breaks with a short fracture. It contains the same constituents as the stem-bark and possesses similar qualities.

Taste:  :Sour and pleasantly tart, with acidity approaching that of tamarind.

Etymology: The common name barberry and botanical genus name berberis derive from the Middle English barbere, in turn derived from the Latin barbaris and from the Greek barbaroi “stammerers” (any foreigner who could not speak Greek was a barbaros who was said to utter nonsense such as “bar-bar”). The term is ultimately derived from an Indo-European root and appears in Sanskrit as barbaras “stammering”.
The name was passed to Arabic as al-Barbar, originally any people whom the Moors encountered who could not speak Arabic (notably the Berber people, whose language has never been Arabic). In contemporary English we still refer to those of supposed uncultured origin as “barbarians”.
The species name vulgaris is Latin for “common”. The English name holy thorn has obvious biblical connotations and the French épine-vinette also refers to the sharp thorns.


Habitat:
The Common Barberry, a well-known, bushy shrub, with pale-green deciduous leaves, is found in copses and hedges in some parts of England, though a doubtful native in Scotland and Ireland. It is generally distributed over the greater part of Europe, Northern Africa and temperate Asia. As an ornamental shrub, it is fairly common in gardens.

Description:
-The stems are woody, 8 to 10 feet high, upright and branched, smooth, slightly grooved, brittle, with a white pith and covered with an ash-coloured bark.
The leaves of the barren shoots of the year are alternate, 1 to 1 1/2 inch long, shortly petioled, presenting various gradations from leaves into spines, into which they become transformed in the succeeding year. The primary leaves on the woody shoots are reduced to three-forked spines, with an enlarged base. The secondary leaves are in fascicles from the axil of these spines and are simple, oval, tapering at the base into a short foot-stalk, the margins finely serrate, with the teeth terminating in small spines.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES…>..………(1)..……..…(2)………..(3)...

The flowers are small, pale yellow, arranged in pendulous racemes, produced from the fascicles of leaves, towards the ends of the branches. Their scent is not altogether agreeable when near, but by no means offensive at a distance. Their stamens show remarkable sensibility when touched springing and taking a position closely applied to the pistil. Insects of various kinds are exceedingly fond of the Barberry flower. Linnaeus observed that when bees in search of honey touch the filaments, they spring from the petal and strike the anther against the stigma, thereby exploding the pollen. In the original position of the stamens, Iying in the concavity of the petals, they are sheltered from rain, and there remain till some insect unavoidably touches them. As it is chiefly in fine, sunny weather that insects are on the wing, the pollen is also in such weather most fit for the purpose of impregnation, hence this curious contrivance of nature for fertilizing the seeds at the most suitable moment.

The berries are about 1/2 inch long, oblong and slightly curved; when ripe, of a fine, red colour and pleasantly acidulous.

The leaves are also acid, and have sometimes been employed for the same purposes as the fruit. Gerard recommends the leaves ‘to season meat with and instead of a salad.’

Cows, sheep and goats are said to eat the shrub, horses and swine to refuse it, and birds, also, seldom touch the fruit, on account of its acidity; in this respect it approaches the tamarind.

Berberis vulgaris (European Barberry) is a shrub in the family Berberidaceae, native to central and southern Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia; it is also naturalised in northern Europe, including the British Isles and Scandinavia, and North America.

It is a deciduous shrub growing up to 4 m high. The leaves are small oval, 2-5 cm long and 1-2 cm broad, with a serrated margin; they are borne in clusters of 2-5 together, subtended by a three-branched spine 3-8 mm long. The flowers are yellow, 4-6 mm across, produced on 3-6 cm long panicles in late spring. The fruit is an oblong red berry 7-10 mm long and 3-5 mm broad, ripening in late summer or autumn; they are edible but very sour, and rich in Vitamin C.

Cultivation and uses
It is generally propagated by suckers, which are put out in plenty from the roots, but these plants are subject to send out suckers in greater plenty than those which are propagated by layers, therefore the latter method should be preferred.

The best time for laying down the branches is in autumn (October), and the young shoots of the same year are the best- these will be well rooted by the next autumn, when they may be taken off and planted where they are designed to remain.

Barberry may also be propagated by ripened cuttings, taken also in autumn and planted in sandy soil, in a cold frame, or by seeds, sown in spring, or preferably in autumn, 1 inch deep in a sheltered border when, if fresh from the pulp, or berry, they will germinate in the open in the following spring.

The plant is both poisonous and medicinal. In Europe, the berries are traditionally used for making jam. In southwestern Asia, especially Iran, the berries are used for cooking, to spice rice for example. The plant, except for its fruits and seeds, is mildly poisonous. Its most potent agent is berberine, which is also known to have a number of therapeutical effects.

It is an intermediate host for Puccinia graminis (black rust), a rust disease of wheat. Wheat farmers had accused barberries of spreading rust as early as 1660, but were derided as superstitious by the jam makers. The matter was not settled scientifically until 1865. Because of the impact of this disease on wheat crops, cultivation of European Barberry is prohibited in many areas

Constituents:
The chief constituent of Barberry bark is Berberine, a yellow crystalline, bitter alkaloid, one of the few that occurs in plants belonging to several different natural orders. Other constituents are oxyacanthine, berbamine, other alkaloidal matter, a little tannin, also wax, resin, fat, albumin, gum and starch.

Uses: Common barberry is a complex plant which is toxic but has both culinary and medicinal applications. In Europe, the berries are traditionally used for making jam. In South-Western Asia, especially Iran, the berries are used as a culinary spice, typically to lend flavour, aroma and colour to rice.
Barberry is a host for puccinia graminis “black rust”, a disease of wheat. Wheat farmers had accused barberries of spreading rust as early as 1660, but were derided as superstitious by jam makers. The accusation was scientifically proven in 1865, since which date cultivation of European barberry has been prohibited in many areas because of the impact of the disease on wheat crops.
Barberry stem bark and root bark are used both as a homeopathic medicine and as a herbal medicine recommended (in modest quantities) to aid the secretion of bile, aid with liver problems, act as a purgative and help regulate the digestive processes. Taken in larger amounts, however, berberine causes a variety of unpleasant symptoms.


Medicinal Action and Uses:
Tonic, purgative, antiseptic. It is used in the form of a liquid extract, given as decoction, infusion or tincture, but generally a salt of the alkaloid Berberine is preferred.

As a bitter stomachic tonic, it proves an excellent remedy for dyspepsia and functional derangement of the liver, regulating the digestive powers, and if given in larger doses, acting as a mild purgative and removing constipation.

It is used in all cases of jaundice, general debility and biliousness, and for diarrhoea.

Preparations: Powdered bark, 1/4 teaspoonful several times daily. Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Solid extract, 5 to 10 grains.

It possesses febrifuge powers and is used as a remedy for intermittent fevers. It also forms an excellent gargle for a sore mouth.

A good lotion for application to cutaneous eruptions has also been made from it.

The berries contain citric and malic acids, and possess astringent and anti-scorbutic properties. They are useful in inflammatory fevers, especially typhus, also in bilious disorders and scurvy, and in the form of a jelly are very refreshing in irritable sore throat, for which also a syrup of Barberries made with water, proves an excellent astringent gargle.

The Egyptians are said still to employ a diluted juice of the berries in pestilential fevers, and Simon Paulli relates that he was cured of a malignant fever by drinking an infusion of the berries sweetened with sugar and syrup of roses.

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.

RECIPES
Barberry Drops
The black tops must be cut off; then roast the fruit before the fire till soft enough to pulp with a silver spoon through a sieve into a china basin; then set the basin in a sauce pan of water, the top of which will just fitit, or on a hot hearth, and stir it till it grows thick. When cold, put to every pint 1 1/2 lb. of sugar, the finest double-refined, pounded and sifted through a lawn sieve, which must be covered with a fine linen to prevent its wasting while sifting. Beat the sugar and juice together 3 1/2 hours if a large quantity, but 2 1/2 for less; then drop it on sheets of white, thick paper, the size of the drops sold in the shops. Some fruit is not so sour and then less sugar is necessary. To know if there be enough, mix till well incorporated and then drop; if it runs, there is not enough sugar, and if there is too much it will be rough. A dry room will suffice to dry them. No metal must touch the juice but the point of a knife, just to take the drop off the end of the wooden spoon, and then as little as possible.
To prepare Barberries for Tartlets-: Pick Barberries that have no stones, from the stalks, and to every pound weigh 3/4 lb. of lump sugar; put the fruit into a stone jar, and either set it on a hot hearth or in a saucepan of water, and let them simmer very slowly till soft; put them and the sugar into a preserving-pan, and boil them gently 15 minutes. Use no metal but silver.

Barberries in Bunches

Have ready bits of flat white wood, 3 inches long and 1/4 inch wide. Tie the stalks of the fruit on the stick from within an inch of one end to beyond the other, so as to make them look handsome. Simmer them in some syrup two successive days, covering them each time with it when cold. When they look clear they are simmered enough. The third day do them like other candy fruit.

Mrs. Beeton (an old edition) says
:
‘Barberries are also used as a dry sweetmeat, and in sugar-plums or comfits; are pickled with vinegar and are used for various culinary purposes. They are well calculated to allay heat and thirst in persons afflicted with fevers. The berries arranged on bunches of nice curled parsley, make an exceedingly pretty garnish for supper-dishes, particularly for white meats, like boiled fowl à la Béchamel; the three colours, scarlet, green and white contrasting so well, and producing a very good effect.’

Resources:

http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/barcom12.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berberis_vulgaris

http://www.aidanbrooksspices.blogspot.com/2007/10/barberry.html

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Herbs & Plants

Madhuca

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Madhuca longifolia var. latifolia (syn. Bassia...
Image via Wikipedia

Botanical Name : Madhuca longifolia
Family: Sapotaceae
Genus: Madhuca
Species: M. longifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonyms: Bassia latifolia

Common Names: Mahua, Mahwa or Iluppai, Butter tree (In Sanskrit, the plant is known as Madhuka)
Names for this tree in some of the Indian states are Mahua and Mohwa in Hindi speaking belt, Mahwa, Mahula and Maul in Bengal, Mahwa and Mohwro in Maharashtra, Mahuda in Gujarat, Ippa in Andhra Pradesh (Telugu), Illupei or in Tamil, Ilipe in Karnataka, Poonam and Ilupa in Kerala (Malayalam) and Mahula, Moha and Modgi in Orissa (Oriya)

Habitat ; Madhuca longifolia is an Indian tropical tree found largely in the central and north Indian plains and forests.It is a prominent tree in tropical mixed deciduous forests in India in the states of West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat and Orissa.

Description:
Madhuca longifolia is a fast-growing deciduous tree that grows to approximately 20 meters in height, possesses evergreen or semi-evergreen foliage. It is cultivated in warm and humid regions for its oleaginous seeds, flowers and wood. The tree grows on a wide variety of soils but thrives best on sandy soil. The species is drought-resistant, strong light demander and readily suppressed under shade. It is not frost-hardy. It also grows on shallow, bouldery, clayey and calcareous soils. CLICK &  SEE  THE  PICTURES
Edible Uses:
The fat is used for the care of the skin, to manufacture soap or detergents, and as a vegetable butter. It can also be used as a fuel oil. A full grown tree can produce up to 90 kg of flowers in a year. The fruit contains 51% valuable oil known as mohua oil or butter of commerce, that is used for cooking, illumination, soap and candle making…....CLICK  &  SEE

Outer fruit coat is eaten as a vegetable and the fleshy cotyledons are dried and ground into a meal. The product is often used in sweets and chocolates under the name “illipe”. The seed cakes obtained after extraction of oil constitute very good fertilizer. The flowers are used to produce an alcoholic drink in tropical India. Several parts of the tree, including the bark, are used for their medicinal properties. It is considered holy by many tribal communitites because of its usefulness.

The tree is considered a boon by the tribals who are forest dwellers and keenly conserve this tree. However, conservation of this tree has been marginalized, as it is not favoured by nontribals. The leaves of Madhuca longifolia are fed on by the moth Antheraea paphia, which produces tassar silk (tussah), a form of wild silk of commercial importance in India. The mahuwa flower is edible and is a food item for tribals. They are used to make syrup for medicinal purposes.

Tribals taking Mahua flowers to market

The Madhuca tree is a very important source of food for the tribes in central and western India.The flowers are eaten raw or cooked. They are also used for making alcohol,viniger,syrup and jams. Madhuca oil is very largely used in the manufacture of soaps.

Mahua, Madhuca indica, is an Indian tropical tree found largely in the north Indian plains and forests. Mahua is considered holy by many tribal communitites because of its usefulness. The flowers are fermented to make an intoxicating drink. Oil extracted from the seeds are used for cooking and medicinal purposes. The bark is used for medicinal purposes. Hence it is considered one of the most useful trees in India. It is a prominet tree in tropical deciduous forests in Central India.
Flowers:
The mahuwa flower is edible and is a food item for tribals. They are used to make syrup for medicinal purposes.

They are also fermented to produce the alcoholic drink mahuwa, a country liquor. Tribals of Bastar in Chhattisgarh and Orissa, Santhals of Santhal Paraganas (Jharkhand), Koya tribals of North-East Andhra Pradesh (vippa saara) and tribals of North Maharashtra consider the tree and the mahuwa drink as part of their cultural heritage. Mahuwa is an essential drink for tribal men and women during celebrations. The main ingredients used for making it are chhowa gud (granular molasses) and dried mahuwa flowers.

The liquor produced from the flowers is largely colourless, with a whitish tinge and not very strong. The taste is reminiscent of sake with a distinctive smell of mahua flowers. It is inexpensive and the production is largely done in home stills.

Mahua flowers are also used to manufacture jam, which is being made by tribal cooperatives in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra

Oil:
Fatty acid composition (acid, %) : palmitic (c16:0) : 24.5, stearic (c18:0) : 22.7, oleic (c18:1) : 37.0, linoleic (c18:2) : 14.3
Trifed, a web site of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India reports: “Mahuwa oil has emollient properties and is used in skin disease, rheumatism and headache. It is also a laxative and considered useful in habitual constipation, piles and haemorrhoids and as an emetic. Tribals also used it as an illuminant and hair fixer.”

It has also been used as biodiesel

Click to see Cultivation of the plant

Medicinal Properties :- Madhuca is useful in arresting secretions or bleeding because of its tannin content. The bark of the tree is an astringent and tonic. The flowers of the tree help the removal of catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tubes. They also exercise the soothing effect of the skin. A decoction of the bark can be given internally in rheumatic diseases. It is also be taken in diabetes mellitus with beneficial results. Madhuca oil extracted from the seeds has laxative properties. It helps cure piles by relieving chronic constipation. The leaves of Madhuca are effective in the treatment of eczema.

The Honey tree (English name) has many medicinal uses. Almost all parts of this tree are medicinally very important. Tribals in Central India worship this tree for its medicinal values and also for its relevance in their rituals. According to the local healers, flowers are used in the treatment of eye diseases. Bhumkas (local healer in Patalkot valley in Chhindwara district of Central India) use various parts of the plant in their day to day treatment methods. According to Chimmilal, a local healer (Bhumka), flowers mixed with milk are useful in impotency and general debility.

Roasted leaves of the tree are mixed with sesame oil and applied on swelling and inflammation. Patients suffering from piles are given with 12-15 drops of seed oil. It works as laxative. Bark decoction is good in diabetes. Topical application of seed oil is recommended for stiffness and arthritis. Seed oil provides soothing effect to the skin. A decoction of the bark can be given internally in rheumatic diseases. The leaves of Madhuca are effective in the treatment of eczema. Flowers are expectorants and used for curing bronchial asthma. Tribal healers prescribe dry flower for increasing milk in women. Seed oil cures skin problems too. In eczema, leaves are smeared with sesame oil and are used as a bandage on the affected region.

Madhuca indica flowers are known as energy rich material and used as animal as well as human feed. Flowers are used for making local wine. The distillation product of flowers gives a spirit which has healing, astringent, tonic, and appetizer properties. The fleshy petals are eaten as raw or cooked and country spirit is made from flowers which are a favorite drink of tribal people in India. The oil extracted from seeds is used in cooking, soap making and manufacture of margarine. Flowers are used as sweet, some ethnic food like chapati are prepared by tribal women. Mahua cake is used as manure; it has pesticidal properties.

For Bronchitis and cough: The flowers of the tree are very effective medicine for these diseases.

Secretion of milk: Flowers are very effective in increasing the flow of milk in nursing mothers.The seeds also have similar property.

Rheumatic Pain: A decoction of bark can be given internally in rheumatic pains.The oil extracted from seeds can also be applied externally on the affected areas.

Constipation:Madhuca oil extracted from the seeds has very good laxative properties.It helps to cure piles by relieving chronic constipation.

Diabetes: A decoction of bark can be taken in diabetes for beneficial results.

Inflamation of testicles:Vapours of boiling madhuca is very useful in relieving the pain of orchitis or the in flamation of testicles.

Tonsilitis and pharyngitis: A lotion made from the liquid extract of the bark with water is an excellent gargle for bleeding and spongy gums and is used as a gargle for the treatment of acute and chronic tonsilitis and pharyngitis.

Eczema: The leaves of madhuca are very effective in the treatment of eczema. The leaves smeared with sesame oil warmed over the fire and bandaged over the affected parts provide great relief.

Burns and scalds: The ash of the leaves mixed with ghee can be used as a dressing for burns and scalds.For the cure of itching a paste of the bark should be applied locally.

Skin diseases: The oil extracted from the seeds can also be applied locally in skin diseases.

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:

Miracles of Herbs

http://www.ayurvedam.com/htm/hpandmpm.htm
http://medicinal-plants.suite101.com/article.cfm/madhuca_indica_mahua

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madhuca_longifoliahttp://www.grow-trees.com/why_trees/updates/trees/92/mahua_mahwa_madhuka.aspx

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Herbs & Plants

CHHATIM (Alstonia scholaris )

Medicinal uses of Dita bark (Alstonia scholaris) Saptaparni

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Botanical Name: Alstonia scholaris
Family: Apocynaceae
Tribe: Plumeriae
Subtribe: Alstoniinae
Genus: Alstonia
Species: A. scholaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

English names: Devil’s tree, Dita bark.

Sanskrit names: Saptaparni, Saptaparna, Sarada, Vishalalvaka, Vishamachhda, Ayugmaparna, Gandhiparna, Payasya, Jivani, Kshalrya, Madagandha, Grahashi, Grahanashana.

Vernacular names:
Asm : Chatiar; Ben: Chhatim; Hin : Chatian, SaIni chatian; Kan : Saptaparna, Maddale, Kodale, Elele kale, Janthalla, Hale; Ken: SantnarUkh; Mal: Ezhilampala, Mukkampala, Pala; Mar: Salvin; Ori : Chhatiana, Chhanchania; Silgandha; Pun: Satona; Sin: Rukattana; Tam: Elilaipillai, Mukumpalei, Pala, Wedrase; Tel: Eda kula, Pala garuda.

Trade names: Chatiyan, Shaitan wood, Saptaparni.

Synonyms-Echites scholaris (Linn.). Dita Bark. Bitter Bark. Devil Tree. Pale Mara.
Part Used—The bark.

Habitat-–Throughout moist regions of India, especially in West Coast forests, in the Himalaya it ascends up to 1000 m; also found in Bangladesh , Pakistan and the Philippines. Planted in the gardens.

Description–-The tree grows from 50 to 80 feet high, has a furrowed trunk, oblong stalked leaves up to 6 inches long and 4 inches wide, dispersed in four to six whorls round the stem, their upper side glossy, under side white, nerves running at right angles to the mid-rib. The bark is almost odourless and very bitter, in commerce it is found in irregular fragments 1/8 to 1/2 inch thick, texture spongy, fracture coarse and short, outside layer rough uneven fissured brownish grey and sometimes blackish spots; inside layer bright buff, transverse section shows a number of small medullary rays in inner layer.

It is an  evergreen tree with straight, often fluted and buttressed base, branches whorled, bark yellow inside and exudes milky bitter latex; leaves simple, whorled-usually 7 in a whorl, coriaceous, whitish beneath, obovate or elliptic or oblong, obtuse rounded or obtusely acuminate, 30-60 pairs of horizontal veins joining an intramarginal one; cymes peduncled or sessile, umbellately branched; flowers aromatic, 0.8-1.25 cm in diameter, greenish white, pubescent; follicles 30-60 cm long and 0.3 cm in diameter, pendulous, in clusters.

Phenology: Flowering: Autumn; Fruiting: Winter.

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The bark of Alstonia scholaris,
Nat. Ord.—Apocynaceae.
COMMON NAMES: Dita bark, Devil tree of India.
Chatim or Alstonia scholaris (Dita bark), is found throughout tropical Eastern Asia and the Malayan Archipelago (Bentham). It is a large tree, with smooth, entire, thick leaves disposed in whorls. The flowers resemble those of Alstonia constricta, but differ in having corolla tubes about three times as long as the calyx, and shorter pubescent lobes. The pods are slender and over a foot long. Don says it is a native of the East Indies and the Moluccas; the bark met with in commerce comes from the Phillippine and neighboring islands, and is the portion used in medicine. The local name of the bark is satween. As a remedial agent dita is old, having been mentioned, it is said, by Rheede (1678), and Rumphius (1741).

Dita bark is about 1/2 inch thick, and is found in market in irregular sizes from 1 to 2 inches wide, and from 3 to 6 inches long. Externally it is of a mottled pinkish or brownish and white color, rather smooth, but marked by shallow fissures which are raised upon the edges and scarcely extend through the corky layer. The cork, a very thin layer, represented by the dark edge of the section b of our engraving, is brown. Internally, the color of the bark is light, slightly striated with yellowish layers or grains. In texture it is granular and brittle, resembling wild cherry bark from old trees. The taste is slightly bitter, free from astringency, not unpleasant, and may be compared to the aftertaste of wild cherry bark, and in like manner the bark is gritty between the teeth.

Constituents:Root and Root-bark: echitamine chloride, α-amyrin, lupeol-OAc, stigmasterol, β-sitosterol, campesterol, alkamicine-its Nb-oxide and Nb-metttiodide, γ-akummicine, Nb-di-Me-echitamine, tubotaiwine; Stem-bark: hydrochloride of echitam­ine, echitamidine, a glyceride of venotarpine, sterols, two isomeric lactones; Latex: caoutchouc and resins; Leaf: picrinine, nareline, akuammidine, picralinal, akuammigine, betulin, ursolic acid, β-sitosterol, flavonoids, phenolic acids, scholarine; Flower: picrinine, strictamine, tetrahydroalstonine, n-hexacosane, lupeol, β-amyrin, palmitic acid, ursolic acid

-It contains three alkaloids, Ditamine, Echitamine or Ditaine, and Echitenines, and several fatty and resinous substances- the second is the strongest base and resembles ammonia in chemical characters.

Chemical Composition.:  According to Husemann, Scharl  in 1863, published an article on the preparation of an alkaloid which he named alstonine. Gruppe found in it about 2 per cent of a substance which possessed febrifuge powers, and he named it “ditain.” It was prepared, according to Hildwein, in a manner similar to that used in making quinine; it is not an alkaloid, but a mixture of substances, as was verified by Gorup-Besanez, who found it to contain a crystallizable substance possessing the properties of an alkaloid. Jobst and Hesse (1875), separated the true alkaloid, ditamine (C16H19O2), from the bark, as a white amorphous powder, slightly bitter, soluble in ether, chloroform, benzene, and alcohol, being alkaline in reaction from the latter solution. It forms soluble salts, with diluted acids, which are very bitter; it dissolves with a reddish color, in sulphuric acid, and yellow in nitric acid, turning dark green at first when heated, then orange-red, with evolution of fumes of the same color. It was obtained only in about 0.02 per cent of the bark operated upon, and on this account can never be expected to come into general use as a febrifuge. A second alkaloid, ditaine (crystallizable) was obtained by Harnack in 1877, for which Hesse, in 1880, found the formula C22H28N2O4, and changed the name to echitamine. Besides, Hesse discovered a brown amorphous alkaloid which he named echitenine (C20H27NO4). In addition, there are present oxalate of calcium, fatty acid, crystallizable acid, and several fatty resinous substances called: Echicaoutchin (C25H40O2); echicerin (C30H48O2); echitin (C32H52O2); echitein (C42H70O2); echiretin (C35H56O2). These substances closely resemble resins obtained from other sources. Doubtless, the bark, if employed in medicine, will be either used in substance or in the form of tincture or fluid extract, as the proximate principles can not become of much commercial importance.

Medicinal Uses:

The roots and bark are used in traditional medicine as an astringent tonic, alterative, antidiarrhoeaticum, antiperiodicum etc. The latex is used to clean wounds and can be used for chewing gum.


Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage:

.In India: MUNDAS OF CHOTANAGPUR : Bark: in colic pain; SOME PARTS OF INDIA: Plant: used in the treatment of leprosy; Twig: hung in the room of the newly confined woman to lessen the activities of evil spirit on the new born.Â

ATHARVA VEDA: preventive and curative of diseases caused by change of season. CHARAKA SAMHITA and SUSHRUTA SAMHITA: good for headache, sores, and some other diseases; A YURVEDA : the following uses are recommended: (i) Bark: dermal so”res, ragging fever, discharge of sperm with urine, hiccup, insufficiency in breast milk, gout, cold congestion, dyspepsia; (ii) Latex: caries, pimple, pyorrhoea; (iii) Flower: asthma, respiratory troubles.

UNANI: Ingredient of ‘Kashim’.

HOMOEOPATHY: Malarial fever, anaemia, indigestion, general debility and other stomach ailments.

Dita bark has been efficaciously employed in malarial fever; it does not, however, appear to be as prompt nor as active in its influence as the alstonia constricta bark, requiring to be used in somewhat larger doses. Alstonia scholaris has some reputation as a remedy for dysentery (Bancroft, Bixby). Its alkaloid may prove more efficient should it ever become more largely and less expensively prepared. Dose of the fluid extract, 1 to 4 fluid drachms.
The bark is used in homoeopathy for its tonic bitter and astringent properties; it is particularly useful for chronic diarrhoea and dysentry.

Preparations and Dosages-–Infusion of Alstonia, 5 parts to 100 parts water. Dose, 1 fluid ounce. Powdered bark, 2 to 4 grains.

In India the natives use the bark for bowel complaints. In Ceylon its light wood is used for coffins. In Borneo the wood close to the root of the same species is very light and of white colour and is used for net floats, household utensils, trenchers, corks, etc.

Modern use: Bark: known in commerce as Dita bark and is used in medicine as bitter, febrifuge and astringent, in treatment of malarial fever, chronic dysentery, diarrhoea and in snake bite; Milky juice: applied to ulcers.  At one time, a decoction of the leaves were used for beriberi.

Other Uses:  The wood of Alstonia scholaris has been recommended for the manufacture of pencils, as it is suitable in nature and the tree grows rapidly and is easy to cultivate. In Sri Lanka its light wood is used for coffins. In Borneo the wood close to the root is very light and of white color, and is used for net floats, household utensils, trenchers, corks, etc. In Theravada Buddhism, Bodhi by first Lord Buddha is said to have used Alstonia scholaris as the tree for achieving enlightenment.

Other Species-–A bark called Poele is obtained from Alstonia spectabilis, habitat Java; it contains the same alkaloids as dita and an additional crystalline, Alstonamine.

Click to learn more about-> Chhatim Plant

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:

www.henriettesherbal.com

http://www.bsienvis.org/medi.htm#Alstonia%20scholaris

.http://natureconservation.in/medicinal-uses-of-dita-bark-alstonia-scholaris-saptaparni/

 

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Herbs & Plants

Arjun (Terminalia arjuna)

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Botanical Name:Terminalia arjuna
Family:    Combretaceae
Genus:    Terminalia
Species:    T. arjuna
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Myrtales

Common Names: Arjuna or Arjun tree in English,  Thella Maddi in Telugu and Marudha Maram in Tamil.

Habitat : Arjuna is  native  to Indian Subcontinent.  The arjuna is usually found growing on river banks or near dry river beds in West Bengal and south and central India.  It grows all over India,Burma,Bangladesh and Srilanka.

Description:
Arjuna is a large sized deciduous tree. Height of this plant is around 60-80ft with spreading branches. Bark smooth and flower is sessile type with often buttressed trunk, smooth grey bark, and drooping branchlets. Leaves; sub opposite, hard, oblong or elliptic, 10-20 cm long. Terminalia Arjuna Flowers; yellowish white. Fruits; 2.5-5 cm long, obvoid-oblong, with 5-7 equal, hard, leathery appearance, thick narrow wings, their striations curving upwards. Terminalia Arjuna Flowers in March to June and fruits in September to November.

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Cultivation Method: after collection of nature fruits dried into sunlight & then stored up to 6-12 months. Seeds are pretreated by soaking in water for 48 hrs before sowing in beds. 8-9 months old seedlings are better to transplant in the field.
Useful Parts: Every parts useful medicinal properties Arjun holds a reputed position in both Ayurvedic and Yunani Systems of medicine. According to Ayurveda it is alexiteric, styptic, tonic, anthelmintic, and useful in fractures, uclers, heart diseases, biliousness, urinary discharges, asthma, tumours, leucoderma, anaemia, excessive prespiration etc. According to Yunani system of medicine, it is used both externally and internally in gleet and urinary discharges. It is used as expectorant, aphrodisiac, tonic and diuretic.
Chemical Constituents: A glucoside – arjunetin – has been isolated from bark. Recently new flavance – arjunone has been isolated from fruits alongs with cerasidin, ?-sitosterol, friedlin, methyl oleanolate, gallic, ellagic and arjunic acids.
Principal Constituents ß-sitosterol, ellagic acid, and arjunic acid.

Ayurvedic Formulations: Arujanarishta, Arjunghrita, Arjunakhsirpak, Arvindasava, Devadarvy – arishta etc.
Medicinal uses: Arjuna (Kakubhah) is cooling and checks heart diseases, Haemorrhagic consumption and poisons (Toxaemia). It is useful in obesity (Medas) and in Diabetic wounds. It is astringent and checks Kapha and Pitta. As an astringent, it is used in tooth powders. Action:– Cardiac tonic.

Ayurvedic Uses:– It is a reputed heart tonic of the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia. It is observed large doses to depress the heart. Small doses taken over a long period with sugar and ghee steadily improves the condition of the heart giving it strength. It is used as a powder either alone or in combination with other herbs. This pure dried Arjun bark can be made into a tea by steeping for 10 minutes in hot water. The bark can be re used 3 times if carefully dried between use.Powdered from bark is used as astringent, cardiac tonic & asthma. Leaf juice is used to cure blood dysentery.
The bark of tree is a cardiac stimulant and has a cooling and tonic effect. It is useful in arresting secretion or bleeding. It helps to relieve fever. It is also useful in removing calculi or stones formed in the urinary system, in promoting flow of bile and in the healing of wounds. Asthma, acne, diarrhea or dysentery, earache.

The bark is useful as an anti-ischemic and cardioprotective agent in hypertension and ischemic heart diseases, especially in disturbed cardiac rhythm, angina or myocardial infarction. The bark powder possesses diuretic, prostaglandin enhancing and coronary risk factor modulating properties. It apparently has a diuretic and a general tonic effect in cases of cirrhosis of the liver.
Other Uses: Recommended for reclamation of saline, alkaline soils and deep ravines. Used for agro and social forestry. Timber is locally used for carts, agricultural implements, water troughs, traps, boat building, house building, electric poles, tool-handles, jetty-piles and plywood. Fodder is useful for tassar silkworm. It is one of the major tannin yielding trees. Bark (22 to 24%), leaf (10 to 11%) and fruit (7 to 20%) contains tannins.

The arjuna is one of the species whose leaves are fed on by the Antheraea paphia moth which produces the tassar silk (tussah), a wild silk of commercial importanc.

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/Terminalia_arjuna
www.mapbd.com and amazon.com,
http://www.bicco.com/herb_photo.html
http://www.bssmworld.com/herbal_health/terminalia_arjuna.htm

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