Herbs & Plants

Allium bodeanum

Botanical Name : Allium bodeanum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. cristophii
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

*Allium christophii Trautv.,
*Caloscordum cristophii (Trautv.) Banfi & Galasso
*Allium albopilosum C.H.Wright
*Allium bodeanum Regel
*Allium walteri Regel

Common Names: Persian Onion or Star of Persia

Habitat : Allium bodeanum is native to W. Asia – Iran, Russia. (Turkey, Iran, and Turkmenistan.) It grows on the gravelly slopes

Allium bodeanum is flowering plant, with an enormous flowerball sitting right on a sparse leaf rosette. It grows to 60 cm (24″) and is cultivated in gardens for its large showy (umbels) of silvery pink star-shaped flowers, 20–25 cm (8-10″) in diameter, which appear in early summer. The flowers are followed by attractive fruiting clusters. The plant has received the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit. The bulb grows to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.1 m (0ft 5in). The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects…....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained dry to moist soil. Bulbs are not hardy in all parts of Britain, they probably tolerate temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c but because of their need for a very well-drained dry to moist soil are probably best grown in a bulb frame[90]. The plants need a dry period in late summer when they are dormant[203]. 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[18, 20, 54]. 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.
Seed – sow spring 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 in spring. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.
Bulb – raw or cooked. 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 : Grown as an ornamental bulbous plant in many parts of the world. 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.


Herbs & Plants

Marrubium vulgare


Botanical Name : Marrubium vulgare
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Marrubium
Species: M. vulgare
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms : Marrubium apulum. Marrubium ballotoides. Marrubium germanicum. Marrubium uncinatum.

Common Names: White Horehound, Horehound or Common horehound

Habitat : Marrubium vulgare is native to Europe, northern Africa, and southwestern and central Asia. It is also widely naturalized in many places, including most of North and South America. It grows on the downs, waste places and roadsides southwards from central Scotland, though perhaps only native near the south coast of England.

Marrubium vulgare is a grey-leaved herbaceous perennial plant, somewhat resembling mint in appearance, and grows to 25–45 centimetres (10–18 in) tall. The leaves are 2–5 cm (0.8–2.0 in) long with a densely crinkled surface, and are covered in downy hairs.It is in flower from Jun to November, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are white, borne in clusters on the upper part of the main stem. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, self.The plant is self-fertile.


It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
White horehound is an easily grown plant that succeeds in most well-drained soils, though it flourishes best in a poor dry soil. Another report says that the plant flourishes best where there is plenty of nitrogen in the soil. It prefers neutral to alkaline soil conditions and requires a warm sunny position if it is to do well. Often grown in the herb garden and sometimes cultivated commercially as a medicinal herb. If the plant is cut back after flowering it will normally produce a second crop of leaves. The fresh leaves have a pronounced musky smell, though this is lost once the plant is dried. A good bee plant. White horehound is a good companion plant for growing near tomatoes. The tomatoes crop for a longer period and also produce a heavier crop.

Propagation :
Seed – sow April/May or August/September in a cold frame. Germination can be slow and erratic. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the following spring. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 – 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. 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:… Condiment; Tea…..The leaves are used as a seasoning. Bitter and pungent, they are sometimes used to flavour herb beer or liqueurs. Horehound ale is a fairly well-known drink made from the leaves. A mild pleasantly flavoured tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves, it is a favourite cough remedy.
Medicinal Uses:
White horehound is a well-known and popular herbal medicine that is often used as a domestic remedy for coughs, colds, wheeziness etc. The herb apparently causes the secretion of a more fluid mucous, readily cleared by coughing. The leaves and young flowering stems are antiseptic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, strongly expectorant, hepatic, stimulant and tonic. Horehound is a very valuable pectoral, expectorant and tonic that can be safely used by children as well as adults. It is often made into a syrup or candy in order to disguise its very bitter flavour, though it can also be taken as a tea. As a bitter tonic, it increases the appetite and supports the function of the stomach. It can also act to normalize heart rhythm. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and can be used fresh or dried. The root is a remedy for the bite of rattlesnakes, it is used in equal portions with Plantago lanceolata or P. major. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Marrubium vulgare for dyspepsia, loss of appetite.

It’s bitterness stimulates the appetite and also promotes bile, making large doses laxative. The whole herb and its derivatives are used in thousands of lung medications around the world, especially for treating bronchitis and coughs. The essential oils and marrubiin dilate the arteries and help to ease lung congestion. The herb apparently causes the secretion of a more fluid mucus, which is more readily cleared by coughing. Marrubiin also normalizes the heart beat and is a weak sedative. At one time, horehound was suggested for relieving menstrual pain and slowing a rapid heart beat. Since it also induces sweating, it has been used to reduce fevers, even those associated with malaria. It is less commonly used as a decoction for skin conditions. Old recipes call for the leaves to be boiled in lard and applied to wounds.

Several modern scientific studies have been conducted on the usefulness of horehound. For example, a 2011 study concluded that the essential oil of M. vulgare contains potent antimicrobial and anticancer properties, while a 2012 study found marrubiin, one of the primary active compounds found in horehound, to possess “antidiabetic, anti-atherogenic and anti-inflammatory properties”.

Other Uses:…Essential; Repellent……..An essential oil is obtained from the plant and used as a flavouring in liqueurs. The plant has been used as a cure for cankerworm in trees. No more details are given but it is probably a strong infusion of the flowering shoots, or the essential oil, that is used. The growing plant repels flies.

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.


Herbs & Plants

Solidago rigida

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Botanical Name : Solidago rigida
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Solidago
Species: S. rigida
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

*Aster rigidus (L.) Kuntze 1891 not L. 1753
*Oligoneuron grandiflorum (Raf.) Small
*Oligoneuron rigidum (L.) Small
*Solidago grandiflora Raf.
*Aster jacksonii Kuntze, syn of subsp. glabrata
*Leioligo corymbosa (Elliott) Raf., syn of subsp. glabrata
*Oligoneuron corymbosum (Elliott) Small, syn of subsp. glabrata
*Oligoneuron jacksonii (Kuntze) Small, syn of subsp. glabrata
*Solidago corymbosa Elliott 1823 not Poir. 1817, syn of subsp. glabrata
*Solidago jacksonii (Kuntze) Fernald, syn of subsp. glabrata
*Oligoneuron bombycinum Lunell, syn of subsp. humilis
*Oligoneuron canescens Rydb., syn of subsp. humilis
*Solidago bombycina (Lunell) Friesn., syn of subsp. humilis
*Solidago bombycinum (Lunell) Friesner, syn of subsp. humilis
*Solidago canescens (Rydb.) Friesner, syn of subsp. humilis
*Solidago parvirigida Beaudry, syn of subsp. humilis

Common Names: Stiff Goldenrod, Flat Topped Goldenrod, Stiff Goldenrod

Habitat : Solidago rigida is native to the region between the Atlantic Coast and the Rockies, from Alberta east to Ontario, south as far as New Mexico, Texas, and Georgia. In New England, it grows today only in Connecticut, though there are historical records indicating that it formerly grew in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. It grows on the dry or gravelly open woods, thickets and prairies.

Solidago rigida is a perennial plant, growing to 1.2 m (4ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Flowers: A flat-topped cluster 2 to 5 inches across of 3/8-inch yellow flowers, each with 6 to 13 short petals (ray flowers) and a yellow center with up to 35 disk flowers. The rays are sometimes broad with rounded tips, sometimes more narrow with pointed tips.

Leaves and stem:
There are both basal leaves, and leaves alternating up the stem. All leaves are a grayish green color, generally oval in shape, rough from short bristly hairs, and mostly toothless but may have a few rounded, shallow teeth. The basal leaves are up to 5½ inches long and 1½ inches wide and stand generally erect on long stalks.

The alternating leaves are about 2 inches long, become progressively smaller as they go up the stem, may have wavy edges, are fairly stiff (hence the common name), tend to point upward, and clasp the stem. Stems are stout and rough from short bristly hairs.

Fruits: Fruit is a dry seed with a tuft of white or light brown hairs to carry them off in the wind.

Seed is softly angled, 2 to 2½ millimeters long, sometimes a bit hairy, with faint lines or ridges along its length and ripens from pale tan to brown. Much of the seed is eaten by insects before it ripens.

*Solidago rigida subsp. glabrata (E.L.Braun) S.B.Heard & Semple – southeastern + south-central USA
*Solidago rigida subsp. humilis (Porter) S.B.Heard & Semple – central + western Canada, central + western USA as far west as the Rocky Mountains
*Solidago rigida subsp. rigida – Ontario, central + eastern USA

Landscape Uses:Border. Succeeds in any moderately fertile moisture retentive soil in sun or semi-shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A rather greedy plant, it is apt to impoverish the soil. The plant attracts various beneficial insects such as ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies to the garden, these insects will help to control insect pests in the garden. Special Features: Attractive foliage, North American native, Invasive, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and do not allow the compost to become dry. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on for their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves and blossoms are antiseptic, astringent and styptic. A valuable remedy in the treatment of all kinds of haemorrhages. The flowers have been ground into a lotion and used to treat bee stings. An oil obtained from the plant (is this an essential oil?) is diuretic. The root is cathartic and diuretic. A decoction of the root has been used as an enema. An infusion has been used to restore the flow of urine.

Other Uses::..…Dye; Latex……….A good quality rubber can be made from a latex that is obtained from the leaves[46, 61]. Mustard, orange and brown dyes can be obtained from the whole plant.
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.


Herbs & Plants

Sisymbrium sophia

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Botanical Name: Sisymbrium sophia
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Sisymbrium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonyms: Descurainia sophia

Common names: Flixweed, Fluxweed, Ferb-Sophia and Tansy mustard.

Habitat:Sisymbrium sophia is native to Eurasia; it prefers disturbed areas. The non-native Flixweed is an uncommon plant that occurs primarily in NE and west central Illinois; it is rare or absent elsewhere. However, it is probably spreading into other areas of the state. It grows on gravelly or sandy areas along railroads and roadsides, barnyards and pastures, construction sites, and miscellaneous waste areas that are sunny and dry.

Sisymbrium sophia is a biennial or annual plant is ½–2½’ tall. It branches occasionally, and is more or less erect. The stems are greyish or bluish green and pubescent; sometimes the lower stem is nearly glabrous and light purplish green. During the 1st year, biennial plants consist of a low-growing rosette of basal leaves spanning up to 1′ across. The cauline leaves of annual and 2nd-year biennial plants alternate along the flowering stems, spanning up to 8″ long and 4″ across and becoming progressively smaller higher up on the stems. Both the basal and cauline leaves are double or triple pinnately lobed, greyish or bluish green, and finely pubescent. The basal and lower cauline leaves have long petioles, while the petioles of the upper cauline leaves are shorter.


The upper stems terminate in racemes of flowers about 2-12″ in length. The flowers bloom near the apex of each raceme, while the siliques (slender seedpods) develop below. Each small flower is about 1/8″ across, consisting 4 pale yellow petals, 4 green sepals, 6 stamens with yellow anthers, and a pistil with a single style. Both the sepals and petals are quite narrow (especially the latter); the petals are about the same length as the sepals or a little shorter. The blooming period occurs from late spring to mid-summer and lasts about 2 months. There is no noticeable floral scent. Each flower is replaced by a silique about 1″ in length. This silique is narrowly cylindrical (about 1 mm. in diameter) and its contains 10-20 tiny seeds in a single row. The slender pedicels of the siliques (or flowers) are about ½” in length. The siliques and their pedicels are spreading-ascending in relation to the stalk of the raceme. Each tiny seed is somewhat flattened and oblongoid; it is some shade of orange-brown. The root system consists of a stout taproot. This plant spreads by reseeding itself; the seeds are small enough to be blown about by the wind.

The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract flower flies and possibly other insects. The caterpillars of the butterflies Pieris rapae (Cabbage White), Pontia protodice (Checkered White), and Anthocharis midea (Falcate Orangetip) feed on the foliage. The relationship of Descurainia spp. (Tansy Mustards) to birds and mammalian herbivores is poorly understood in the eastern states, although in the western states the seedpods are eaten by various species of quail and the foliage is eaten sparingly by Bighorn sheep, elk, and mule deer. However, all parts of the plant have been found to be somewhat toxic to livestock, especially horses and cattle (sheep and goats are more tolerant). The tiny seeds become sticky when wet, and may be carried about in the feathers of birds, fur of animals, or shoes of humans.

Cultivation: Flixweed flourishes in full sun, mesic to dry conditions, and almost any kind of soil. It is taller and more robust on fertile loam, and much smaller in size on dry sterile soil containing gravel or sand. During hot dry weather, the lower leaves may wither away.

Propagation: Seed – sow spring in situ.

Edible Uses: .….Young leaves and shoots – cooked. A bitter flavour. Used as a potherb. Seed – raw or cooked. A pungent taste, it is used as a mustard substitute. The seed can be ground into a powder, mixed with cornmeal and used to make bread, or as a thickening for soups etc. It can also be sprouted and added to salads etc. A nourishing and cooling beverage can be made by mixing the ground up seeds with water to make a thin batter. The seed contains 25.5 – 29.9% protein, 26.9 – 39.7% fat and 3.6 – 3.9% ash on a zero moisture basis.

Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Seed (Dry weight)
0 Calories per 100g
*Water : 0%
*Protein: 27.5g; Fat: 33g; Carbohydrate: 0g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 3.7g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses:
Antiasthmatic; Antiscorbutic; Antitussive; Astringent; Cardiotonic; Demulcent; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Laxative; Poultice; Vermifuge.

A poultice of the plant has been used to ease the pain of toothache. The juice of the plant has been used in the treatment of chronic coughs, hoarseness and ulcerated sore throats. A strong decoction of the plant has proved excellent in the treatment of asthm. The flowers and the leaves are antiscorbutic and astringent. The seed is considered to be cardiotonic, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, laxative, restorative and tonic. It is used in the treatment of asthma, fevers, bronchitis, oedema and dysentery. It is also used in the treatment of worms and calculus complaints. It is decocted with other herbs for treating various ailments. The seeds have formed a special remedy for sciatica. A poultice of the ground up seeds has been used on burns and sores.

Other Uses:….A semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. Yields are not given. The leaves have been stored with corn to prevent it from going bad.

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.


Herbs & Plants

Cyclamen hederaefolium

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Botanical Name: Cyclamen hederaefolium
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Cyclamen
Subgenus: Cyclamen
Series: Cyclamen
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Synonym: Sowbread.

Common Names: Ivy-leaved cyclamen

Habitat : Cyclamen hederaefolium is native to woodland, shrubland, and rocky areas in the Mediterranean region from southern France to western Turkey and on Mediterranean islands, and naturalized farther north in Europe and in the Pacific Northwest.

Cyclamen hederifolium is a tuberous perennial herb that blooms and sprouts leaves in autumn, grows through the winter, and goes dormant before summer, when the seed pods ripen and open……...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Dried tubers at market in Remscheid, Germany
The tuber is round-flattened and produces roots from the top and sides, leaving the base bare. In the florist’s cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum), roots come from the bottom, leaving the top and sides bare.

The tuber becomes larger with age; older specimens commonly become more than 25 cm (10 in) across. In other species, tubers do not grow as large; Cyclamen coum usually does not reach more than 6.5 cm (2.6 in) across.  Leaves and flowers grow from buds on top.

The leaves are variably shaped and colored. Depending on the specimen, leaf shape varies from heart-shaped to long and arrow-shaped, usually with 2-3 angled lobes on each side, resembling the juvenile leaves of ivy (Hedera). Leaf color varies from all-green to all-silver, but the most common is a Christmas tree or hastate pattern in silver or pewter and various shades of green.

click & see the pictures

The leaf and flower stalks of Cyclamen hederifolium grow outwards and then up, forming an “elbow”. Plants in narrow pots often have a ring of leaves around the outside of the pot. In the closely related Cyclamen africanum, stalks grow up from the tuber without a bend near the base.

The flowers bloom from late summer to autumn and have 5 petals, usually pink, purple, or white with a streaky magenta V-shaped marking on the nose, but sometimes pure white with no markings.

The edges of the petals near the nose of the flower are curved outwards into strong auricles. These are not present in some other species, such as Cyclamen persicum. The flowers are occasionally fragrant. The shape of the flower varies from long and thin to short and squat.

After fertilization, the flower stem coils tightly, starting at the end, and rests above the tuber. Seeds are amber, held in a round pod, which opens by 5-10 flaps at maturity.

Cyclamen hederifolium is usually listed as the hardiest species of cyclamen. In oceanic climates, it self-seeds abundantly and will crowd out less vigorous species such as Cyclamen coum if the two are planted together. In cold continental climates such as Calgary, Alberta, where Cyclamen purpurascens grows well, it may not survive. lists it as hardy to zone 5a (?20 °F or ?29 °C), although hardiness is dependent on presence of snow cover.

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.

Part Used Medicine : The tuberous rootstock, used fresh, when the plant is in flower.

Constituents: Besides starch, gum and pectin, the tuber yields chemically cyclamin or arthanatin, having an action like saponin.

Medicinal Uses:
A homoeopathic tincture is made from the fresh root, which applied externally as a liniment over the bowels causes purging.

Old writers tell us that Sowbread baked and made into little flat cakes has the reputation of being ‘a good amorous medicine,’ causing the partaker to fall violently in love.

The fresh tubers bruised and formed into a cataplasm make a stimulating application to indolent ulcers.

An ointment called ‘ointment of arthainta’ was made from the fresh tubers for expelling worms, and was rubbed on the umbilicus of children and on the abdomen of adults to cause emesis and upon the region over the bladder to increase urinary discharge.

Other Uses: Although the roots are favourite food of swine, their juice is stated to be poisonous to fish.