Herbs & Plants

Give and Take (Cryosophila argentea)

Botanical Name : Cryosophila argentea
Family :  Arecaceae Arecaceae
Subfamily:  Coryphoideae Coryphoideae
Tribe :  Corypheae Corypheae
Subtribe:  Thrinacinae Thrinacinae
Gender :  Cryosophila Cryosophila
Species :  C. C. stauracantha stauracantha
DivisionMagnoliophyta Magnoliophyta
Class :  Liliopsida Liliopsida
Order :  Arecales Arecales

*Chamaerops stauracantha Heynh. (1846).
* Acanthorrhiza stauracantha (Heynh.) H.Wendl. former Linden (1871).
*Argentea Cryosophila Bartlett (1935).
* Collinsii Acanthorrhiza OF Cook (1941).
* Bifurcata Cryosophila Lundell (1945).

Common Name :Give and Take, Rootspine Palm

Habitat :This plant is native to Mexico. Belize. Guatemala. Panama. Nicaragua. Honduras.

Cryosophila stauracantha  is a frost hardy perennial evergreen palm. It grows well in semi-shade and direct sun, and prefers medium levels of water. It has low drought tolerance. This palm has all year round interest.This is a erect plant has an ultimate height of 8m / 26.2ft and spread of 4m / 13.1ft.It has green leaves. They are llanceolate in shape.

It is a palm recognizable by their external roots stem base, and its spines branched. Leaves silvery, slender stem, long.
Medicinal Uses:
Its Creole name of “Give and Take” refers to the fact that this palm can give a very bad stinging cut from the thorns, but one can take a remedy for bleeding, infection, and pain from the inner portion of the leaf sheath and petiole.  The inside part of the sheath and petiole is pink, cotton-like and sticky.  It is applied to fresh wounds to staunch bleeding, prevent infection and alleviate pain.  Brooms are made from young, dried leaves tied together on a slender stick.

Other Uses:
Architectural, borders, container plant, security/barrier, specimen/accent plant and tropical effect.This palms the Mayans used to catch fish . Ornamental plant , also used for covering rural housing and brooms.

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


Herbs & Plants

Dioscorea hispida

Botanical Name :Dioscorea hispida
Family : Dioscoreaceae – Yam family
Genus :  Dioscorea L. – yam
Species : Dioscorea hispida Dennst. – intoxicating yam
Kingdom ; Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision:  Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division : Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class : Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass : Liliidae
Order : Liliales

Synonyms:  Dioscorea triphylla L., Dioscorea hirsuta Dennst.,Dinoscorea daemona Roxb

Common Names:
Malaysia:Ubi arak,gandongan,gandong mabok
English :Asiatic bitter yam, intoxicating yam
Indonesia: Gadung, Sikapa,ondo
Thiland:Kloi,kloi-nok, kloi-hanieo

Habitat :Dioscorea hispida is native to India, South east Asia, China and Nuw Guinea.Growing wild, chiefly in thickets and forests at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines.

Dioscorea hispida is a twining vine, arising from tuberous roots, and reaching a length of several meters. Stems covered with few or many short, sharp spines. Leaves are 3-foliolate, the leaflets 12 to 20 cm long, somewhat hairy, the lateral ones oblique, oblong-ovate, the terminal one equilateral, oblong to oblong-obovate. Panicle is axillary, slender, hairy, 12 to 20 cm long. Flowers are small; unisexual male flowers with 6 stamens; female flowers similar to males, 3-winged, 3-celled, ovules 2 in each cell. Fruit is a capsule, oblong and about 5 cm long. Flesh and sap of tubers are yellowish. click to see

Click to see the pictures…..

Edible Uses:
– Despite known toxicity, in Thailand, where it is referred to as Kloi, tubers are used to make a dessert called Kao Nuew Kloi.
– In Kerala, India, tuberous herb cooked with salt, chili, tamarind and tumeric powder and used as curry.

– Contains a poisonous alkaloid, dioscoreine, acting like picrotoxin.
– Study of mineral content reports the tubers are a good source of phosphorus, calcium and iron.

Medicinal Uses:
Tuber, relieves abdominal spasms and colic; fry in vegetable oil, topically apply to remove pus from wounds, clears melasma. Toxic substances such as dioscorine were found in tubers which cause palpitations, nausea, vomiting, throat irrita­tion, sweating, blurred vision and unconscious­ness.

Tuber, raw or cooked used as anodyne and maturative for tumors and buboes.
Also used arthrtic and rheumatic pains. sprains and contusions.
Use poultice of freshly pounded material or decoction as external wash.
In Johore, decoction of tuber used as alterative and diuretic in chronic rheumatism.

Other Uses:
• Bleaching: Yellow juice from the flesh and sap of tubers is used for bleaching clothes and abaca fibers.
Poison: Juice of tubers used in criminal poisoning. Also, used as an ingredient together with Antiaris toxicaria in the preparation of arrow poisons.
• Livestock: Tubers used as cure for myiasis of the scrotum in carabaos.

• Phytochemicals / Phenolic Content: Study showed phenolic acids were present in only small amounts in Kloi tuber, compared to relatively high phenolic content for other yam Dioscorea species. The anomaly was attributed to the sample preparation, hydrolysis time and/or pH. Preliminary findings and documented nutritive value suggest the tuber as a potential source of phytochemicals for cosmetic, pharmaceutical or dietary antioxidant use.

Caution !
– Tubers contain the poisonous alkaloid dioscoreine, resembling picrotoxin.
– It is a nervous system paralyzant, not a protoplasmic poison.
– It has been reportedly used in criminal poisoning.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider


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Herbs & Plants

Iris setosa

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Botanical Name : Iris setosa
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Irideae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Limniris
Series: Tripetalae
Species: Iris setosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common Name: Iris, Beachhead,Beachhead iris, Beach-head iris, Wild flag iris, Alaska iris

Habitat : Native to USA.  It’s range is from the Arctic sea, including Alaska, Maine, Canada (including British Columbia, Newfoundland, Quebec and Yukon), Russia (including Siberia), northeastern Asia, China, Korea and southwards to Japan. It grows in moist ground on rocky shores, beachheads and headlands on the coastal plain.

These are vigorous Perennial plants with strong, sword-like foliage about 2 ft. in height.  It has tall branching stems, mid green leaves and violet, purple-blue, violet-blue, blue, to lavender flowers. There are also pink and white forms. It is one of the three Iris species in the Iris flower data set outlined by Ronald Fisher in his 1936 paper “The use of multiple measurements in taxonomic problems” as an example of linear discriminant analysis.



A member of the iris family (family Iridaceae) which consists of herbs growing from rhizomes, bulbs, or corms, with narrow basal leaves and showy clusters at the tips of long stalks. There are about 60 genera and 1,500 species, distributed in temperate and tropical regions. Among them, Iris, Freesia, Gladiolus, Bugle Lily, and Montbretia are popular ornamentals. Saffron dye is obtained from Crocus, and essence of violets, used in perfumes, is extracted from the rhizomes of Iris.

Iris setosa has a deep White , Blue , Purple   flower, bloom during May, June.. The sepals are deeply-veined dark purple with a yellow-white signal. The petals are very reduced in size, not exceeding the base of the sepals. Beachhead iris flowers in late spring, on a one flowered inflorescence. The leaves are stiff, narrow and green, with a purplish tinged base. The leaves are up to 12 inches high. The leaves arise from shallowly rooted, large, branching rhizomes forming clumps.

Prefers a well-drained moist soil but succeeds in most soils. Dislikes lime and dry soils. The form from N. Hokkaido does not require an acid soil. Cultivated for its edible root in Japan. Many named forms have been selected for their ornamental value. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. Special Features:Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Suitable for cut flowers.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first year. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division, best done in September after flowering. 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: ....Coffee………Root -….Some Inuit tribes in Alaska also roasted and ground the seeds of the iris to be used as a coffee substitute.. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Roasted and ground seed is a coffee substitute.
Despite the toxicity of the root, it can be bounded into an edible starch that loses its poisonous when cooked. It is cultivated in Japan for its edible root.

Landscape Uses  :   Container, Massing, Specimen.

Medicinal Uses:
It is occasionally listed as a medicinal herb.  Herbalists have used the rhizome for centuries as an ingredient in various medicines, (similar to the usage of Orris roots). The Aleut (Alaskian eskimo tribe) also made a drink from the roots, to be used as a laxative,  but the Iñupiat considered the whole plant poisonous.  It is used to make a tincture, when used in small amounts to help sooth lymphatic swelling. It can be combined with arnica as an herbal oil to relieve bruises.

Other Uses:  ...Dye..……A dye is obtained from the petals, but the colour is not specified . The flower petals can be used to create a violet-blue dye, when it is used with a chrome mordant (or fixing agent). They are also were used as a grass dye for baskets.  The rhizomes can also be used to extract a perfume (similar to the essence of violets).

Known Hazards :Iris setosa is poisonous (all the plant). The rhizome contains iridin which is an oleoresin. This substance can affect the liver and digestive organs. It can cause allergic reactions such as severe rashes. It can also cause vomiting or diarrhoea.  It was used in an ingredient in a poison to put on arrowheads.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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Herbs & Plants

Eriocaulon cinereum

Botanical Name:Eriocaulon cinereum
Family : Eriocaulaceae – Pipewort family
Genus : Eriocaulon L. – pipewort
Species: Eriocaulon cinereum R. Br. – ashy pipewort
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division :Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class :Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass: Commelinidae
Order : Eriocaulales

Common Name :Gu Jing Tsao , Ashy pipewort, Japanese common name is hoshi kusa (meaning: stars grass)

Habitat :Eriocaulon cinereum is native to  Southeast Asia.Marshes and Bogs.Swamp, rice paddy

Grows in Japan: Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Other nations like  inKorea, China, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Australia, Africa. It grows on   rice fields at  an elevations of 1700 – 2000 metres. Damp shady places. Rice fields, valleys, and damp soils from near sea level to 1200 metres.

Eriocaulon cinereum is an annual  plant. A newcomer to the aquarium scene, this tiny plant is as useful as it is unusual.Maximum height is 3 inch (8 cm).
The Rosette shape and strange flower make it welcome in the foreground of a high tech aquaria.Leaves linear 2-8cm long, 1-2mm wide. Scapes 5-20cm tall Flowers white or gray head ca. 4mm across, flowering in August to September. Seeds ca. 0.4mm long.  The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)  ....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Propagation: Division of the rosette.

Medicinal Uses:
This is one of the most effective Chinese herbs for treating disorders of the eyes, such as cataracts, glaucoma, swelling, and so on.  When using it to treat eye disorders, the decoction should be used internally and externally at the same time.  The whole plant, including flowers, is used

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.


Herbs & Plants

Narrow Leaf Cattail

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Botanical Name : Typha angustifolia
Family: Typhaceae – Cat-tail family
Genus : Typha L. – cattail
Species :Typha angustifolia L. – narrowleaf cattail
Kingdom:Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision : Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division:  Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass: Commelinidae
Order: Typhales

Typha angustifolia L.
TYANC Typha angustifolia L. var. calumetensis Peattie
TYANE Typha angustifolia L. var. elongata (Dudley) Wiegand

Common Name : Lesser Bulrush or Narrowleaf Cattail or Lesser Reedmace or Cattail

Habitat :This cattail is an “obligate wetland” species that is commonly found in the northern hemisphere in brackish locations.

Typha angustifolia is a perennial herbaceous plant of genus.
The plant’s leaves are flat, very narrow (¼”-½” wide), and 3′-6′ tall when mature; 12-16 leaves arise from each vegetative shoot. At maturity, they have distinctive stalks that are about as tall as the leaves; the stalks are topped with brown, fluffy, sausage-shaped flowering heads. The plants have sturdy, rhizomatous roots that can extend 27″ and are typically ¾”-1½” in diameter.
It has been proposed that the species was introduced from Europe to North America.  In North America, it is also thought to have been introduced from coastal to inland locations.

The geographic range of Typha angustifolia overlaps with the very similar species Typha latifolia (broadleaf or common cattail). T. angustifolia can be distinguished from T. latifolia by its narrower leaves and by a clear separation of two different regions (staminate flowers above and pistilate flowers below) on the flowering heads. The species hybridize as Typha x glauca (Typha angustifolia x T. latifolia) (white cattail); Typha x glauca is not a distinct species, but is rather a sterile F1 hybrid.[6] Broadleaf cattail is usually found in shallower water than narrowleaf cattail

Edible Uses:
Several parts of the plant are edible, including during various seasons the dormant sprouts on roots and bases of leaves, the inner core of the stalk, green bloom spikes, ripe pollen, and starchy roots. The edible stem is called bon bon in Vietnam

Medicinal Uses:
In Chinese herbal medicine, the astringent pu huang pollen has been employed chiefly to stop internal or external bleeding.  The dried pollen is said to be anticoagulant, but when roasted with charcoal it becomes hemostatic. The pollen may be mixed with honey and applied to wounds and sores, or taken orally to reduce internal bleeding of almost any kind—for example, nosebleeds, uterine bleeding, or blood in the urine.  The pollen is now also used in the treatment of angina.  Pu huang does not appear to have been used as a medicine in the European herbal tradition.  The dregs remaining after the pollen has been sifted from the stamens and sepals can be browned in an oven or hot skillet and then used as an internal or external astringent in dysentery and other forms of bowel hemorrhage.  It is used internally in the treatment of kidney stones, internal hemorrhage of almost any kind, painful menstruation, abnormal uterine bleeding, post-partum pains, abscesses and cancer of the lymphatic system. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women. Externally, it is used in the treatment of tapeworms, diarrhea and injuries.  An infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of gravel.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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