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Herbs & Plants

Ligusticum Scoticum

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Botanical Name : Ligusticum Scoticum
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Ligusticum
Species: L. scoticum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonym: Sea Lovage.

Common Name :Scottish Lovage

Habitat :Ligusticum Scoticum is found near the coasts of northern Europe and north-eastern North America. It is primarily an Arctic plant, with a disjunct range extending from northern Norway to the more northerly shores of the British Isles, and from western Greenland to New England. A related species, Ligusticum hultenii, which was described by Merritt Lyndon Fernald in 1930 and may be better treated as a subspecies of L. scoticum, occurs around the northern Pacific Ocean, from Japan to Alaska. The southernmost occurrence of L. scoticum is at Ballyhalbert in Northern Ireland.

Description:
Ligusticum scoticum is a herbaceous perennial plant which typically grows 15–60 centimetres (6–24 in) tall. It has triangular, twice-ternate leaves, 5–20 cm (2.0–7.9 in) long, with each lobe 2–5 cm (0.8–2.0 in) long. The edges of the leaves may be toothed, lobed or serrated, and are typically either a paler green or magenta. The stem branches infrequently, and bears 2–5 inflorescences, each of which is a compound umbel 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) in diameter. There are typically 8–12 rays in both the primary and secondary umbels. Each individual flower is around 2 mm (0.08 in) in diameter and greenish-white in colour.The fruit are 4–6 mm (0.16–0.24 in) long, with five prominent ridges on each carpel…..CLICK  &  SEE THE  PICTURES

Cultivation:  
Succeeds in any well-drained soil in a sunny position. Dislikes shade. Succeeds in dry soils. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. Scottish lovage has occasionally been cultivated as a pot herb, though it has been largely supplanted by celery. All parts of the plant are aromatic when bruised, the aroma being likened to a mixture of parsley, angelica and pear skin.

Propagation:
Seed – the seed only has a short period of viability and so is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame in the autumn. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a greenhouse or cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer if they have grown large enough. Otherwise, keep them in a cold frame for the first winter and plant them out in early summer. Division of the rootstock in early spring. Make sure that each section of root has at least one growth bud. 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.

Ediable Uses:
Leaves, flowers and young shoots ..eaten raw or cooked. Strong and not very pleasant. Superb in salads. The leaves are usually blanched in order to make the flavour milder, though this also reduces the nutritional value. A celery-like flavour, it is used as a seasoning in salads, soups etc. Another report says that the flavour is more like parsley. Stem – used as a flavouring in soups, stews etc. A celery-like flavour. The green stem is peeled and eaten. Root – raw or cooked. A sweet flavour. Seed – ground into a powder and used as a flavouring in soups and stews. A sharp, hot taste it is used in the same ways as pepper. The young shoots and roots are occasionally candied like angelica.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is aromatic and carminative. It is used in the treatment of hysterical and uterine disorders. The seeds are sweetly aromatic and have been used as a carminative, deodorant and stimulant. They are also sometimes used for flavouring other herbal remedies.

Other Uses:  
Deodorant.

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

 Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligusticum_scoticum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/lovsco45.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ligusticum+scoticum

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Oenanthe crocata

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Botanical Name :Oenanthe crocata
Family: Apiaceae
Genus:     Oenanthe
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Apiales

Synonyms: Horsebane. Dead Tongue. Five-Fingered Root. Water Lovage. Yellow Water Dropwort.

Common Name :Water dropwort.

Other Names :  Dean’s fingers. Beldrum
(Pemb). Bendock, (Kent). Cowbane.  (Yks). Bilders, (Corn, Dev, IoW). Deadman’s cresh,
(Dumf). Dead tounge, (Lancs, Weat, Cumb). Eltrot, (Wilts,Som) Five fingered rot, (Pemb, Glam).
Water sapwort, (Ang). Water  hemlock, (Suss, Cumb) . Wild rue, (Donegal). Deathin. (Som).

Habitat :Oenanthe crocata is found in  S.& W. Great Britain. Rare of a line E from from London to Inverness. Ireland except C.& W. W.Europe. N.W. Africa. It grows in damp, marshy ground, and resembles celery with roots like a bunch of large white carrots.

Description:
Oenanthe crocata is a glabrous perennial but Poisonous plant With aroma of parsley and test is Sweet.The height of the plant is 150cm.The stem is hollow and grooved having yellow juice.The root is cylindrical-obovoid tubers, 6 x lcm. Has yellowish juice, which stains hands.The umbel (An umbel is an inflorescence which consists of a number of short flower stalks (called pedicels) which spread from a common point, somewhat like umbrella ribs. The arrangement can vary from being flat topped to almost spherical. Umbels can be simple or compound. ) is compound, terminal. 5-10cm. diam. with (7)12-40 smooth rays (1.5)3-8 cm long.

click to see the pictures

LEAVES : lower: 30cm 3(4) pinnate, sheathing petioles. Segments 1-2cm, ovate to suborbicular
in outline, crenate to pinnatifid, cuneate at the base, serrate, teeth obtuse or subacute with
minute apiculus. Upper: 1-2 pinnate, narrower segments with short sheathing petiole. Cotyledons
abruptly contracted into  a petiole.

Peduncle> than rays. Terminal hermaphrodite, lateral male Partial umbels not flat topped in fruit.

BRACTS : 5, linear to 3-fid. Bracteoles 6 or more, caducous, linear lanceolate.

FLOWERS : white. Sepals ovate to triangular, acute, persistent, outer petals scarcely radia­ting,
unequal. Styles form a stylopodium. F1 .6-7.

FRUIT : 4-5.5 mm cylindrical, rarely subovoid. Commisure broad. Mericarps with slender ridges. Carpophore present vittae solitary. Styles 2mm, erect 1/2 > as fruit. Stigma a small knob.2n=22*

Medicinal Uses:
Oenanthe crocata is most poisonous  plant and has never been used to any extent in medicine, though in some cases it has been taken with effect in eruptive diseases of the skin, being given at first in small doses, gradually increased.

Great caution must be exercised in the use of the tincture.
The roots have likewise been used in poultices to whitlows and to foul ulcers, both in man and horned cattle.

Other Uses with Known Hazards: The leaves may be eaten safely by livestock, but the stems, and especially the carbohydrate-rich roots are much more poisonous. Animals familiar with eating the leaves may eat the roots when these are exposed during ditch clearance – one root is sufficient to kill a cow, and human fatalities are also known. It has been referred to as the most poisonous of all British plants,[1] and is considered particularly dangerous because of its similarity to several edible plants.

Scientists at the University of Eastern Piedmont in Italy claimed to have identified hemlock water dropwort (Oenanthe crocata) as the plant responsible for producing the sardonic grin. This plant is the most-likely candidate for the “sardonic herb,” which was a neurotoxic plant used for the ritual killing of elderly people in Phoenician Sardinia. When these people were unable to support themselves, they were intoxicated with this herb and then dropped from a high rock or beaten to death. Criminals were also executed in this way.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/d/drophe21.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_dropwort
http://www.spookspring.com/Umbels/Hem_Water_Drop.html

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Lovage

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Botanical Name: Levisticum officinale (KOCH.)
Family: Apiaceae
Tribe:     Apieae
Genus:     Levisticum
Species: L. officinale
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Apiales

Synonyms: Ligusticum Levisticum (Linn.). Old English Lovage. Italian Lovage. Cornish Lovage. In Germany and Holland, one of the common names of Lovage is Maggikraut (German) or Maggiplant (Dutch) because the plant’s taste is reminiscent of Maggi soup seasoning. In Romania the common name of Lovage is LeuÅŸtean.

Parts Used:
Root, leaves, seeds, young stems.
Habitat: It is not considered to be indigenous to Great Britain, and when occasionally found growing apparently wild, it is probably a garden escape. It is a native of the Mediterranean region, growing wild in the mountainous districts of the south of France, in northern Greece and in the Balkans.

The Garden Lovage is one of the old English herbs that was formerly very generally cultivated, and is still occasionally cultivated as a sweet herb, and for the use in herbal medicine of its root, and to a less degree, the leaves and seeds.
It is a true perennial and hence is very easy to keep in garden cultivation; it can be propagated by offsets like Rhubarb, and it is very hardy. Its old-time repute has suffered by the substitution of the medicinally more powerful Milfoil and Tansy, just as was the case when ‘Elecampane‘ superseded Angelica in medical use. The public-house cordial named ‘Lovage,’ formerly much in vogue, however, owed such virtue as it may have possessed to Tansy. Freshly-gathered leafstalks of Lovage (for flavouring purposes) should be employed in long split lengths.

Description: Lovage is an erect, herbaceous, perennial plant growing to 1.8–2.5 m tall, with a basal rosette of leaves and stems with further leaves, the flowers being produced in umbels at the top of the stems. The stems and leaves are shiny glabrous green to yellow-green and smell of lime when crushed. The larger basal leaves are up to 70 cm long, tripinnate, with broad triangular to rhomboidal, acutely pointed leaflets with a few marginal teeth; the stem leaves are smaller, and less divided with few leaflets. The flowers are yellow to greenish-yellow, 2–3 mm diameter, produced in globose umbels up to 10–15 cm diameter; flowering is in late spring. The fruit is a dry two-parted schizocarp 4–7 mm long, mature in autumn.

The large, dark green radical leaves, on erect stalks, are divided into narrow wedge-like segments, and are not unlike those of a coarse-growing celery; their surface is shining, and when bruised they give out an aromatic odour, somewhat reminiscent both of Angelica and Celery. The stems divide towards the top to form opposite whorled branches, which in June and July bear umbels of yellow flowers, similar to those of Fennel or Parsnip, followed by small, extremely aromatic fruits, yellowish-brown in colour, elliptical in shape and curved, with three prominent winged ribs. The odour of the whole plant is very strong. Its taste is warm and aromatic, and it abounds with a yellowish, gummy, resinous juice.

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

It is sometimes grown in gardens for its ornamental foliage, as well as for its pleasant odour, but it is not a striking enough plant to have claimed the attention of poets and painters, and no myths or legends are connected with it. The name of the genus, Ligusticum, is said to be derived from Liguria, where this species abounds.

Cultivation: Lovage is of easy culture. Propagation is by division of roots or by seeds. Rich moist, but well-drained soil is required and a sunny situation. In late summer, when the seed ripens, it should be sown and the seedlings transplanted, either in the autumn or as early in spring as possible, to their permanent quarters, setting 12 inches apart each way. The seeds may also be sown in spring, but it is preferable to sow when just ripe. Root division is performed in early spring.

The plants should last for several years, if the ground be kept well cultivated, and where the seeds are permitted to scatter the plants will come up without care.

Constituents: Lovage contains a volatile oil, angelic acid, a bitter extractive, resins, etc. The colouring principle has been isolated by M. Niklis, who gives it the name of Ligulin, and suggests an important application of it that may be made in testing drinking water. If a drop of its alcoholic or aqueous solution is allowed to fall into distilled water, it imparts to the liquid its own fine crimson-red colour, which undergoes no change; but if limestone water be substituted, the red colour disappears in a few seconds and is followed by a beautiful blue, due to the alkalinity of the latter.

Medicinal Action and Uses: Formerly Lovage was used for a variety of culinary purposes, but now its use is restricted almost wholly to confectionery, the young stems being treated like those of Angelica, to which, however, it is inferior, as its stems are not so stout nor so succulent.

The leafstalks and stem bases were formerly blanched like celery, but as a vegetable it has fallen into disuse.

A herbal tea is made of the leaves, when previously dried, the decoction having a very agreeable odour.

Lovage was much used as a drug plant in the fourteenth century, its medicinal reputation probably being greatly founded on its pleasing aromatic odour. It was never an official remedy, nor were any extravagant claims made, as with Angelica, for its efficacy in numberless complaints.

The roots and fruit are aromatic and stimulant, and have diuretic and carminative action. In herbal medicine they are used in disorders of the stomach and feverish attacks, especially for cases of colic and flatulence in children, its qualities being similar to those of Angelica in expelling flatulence, exciting perspiration and opening obstructions. The leaves eaten as salad, or infused dry as a tea, used to be accounted a good emmenagogue.

An infusion of the root was recommended by old writers for gravel, jaundice and urinary troubles, and the cordial, sudorific nature of the roots and seeds caused their use to be extolled in ‘pestilential disorders.’ In the opinion of Culpepper, the working of the seeds was more powerful than that of the root; he tells us that an infusion ‘being dropped into the eyes taketh away their redness or dimness…. It is highly recommended to drink the decoction of the herb for agues…. The distilled water is good for quinsy if the mouth and throat be gargled and washed therewith…. The decoction drunk three or four times a day is effectual in pleurisy…. The leaves bruised and fried with a little hog’s lard and laid hot to any blotch or boil will quickly break it.’

Several species of this umbelliferous genus are employed as domestic medicines. The root of LIGUSTICUM SINENSE, under the name of KAO-PÂU, is largely used by the Chinese, and in the north-western United States the large, aromatic roots of LIGUSTICUM FILICINUM (OSHA COLORADO COUGH-ROOT) are used to a considerable extent as stimulating expectorants.

The old-fashioned cordial, ‘Lovage,’ now not much in vogue, though still occasionally to be found in public-houses, is brewed not only from the Garden Lovage, Ligusticum levisticum, but mainly from a species of Milfoil or Yarrow, Achillea ligustica, and from Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare,  and probably owes its merit more to these herbs than to Lovage itself. From its use in this cordial, Milfoil has often been mistakenly called Lovage, though it is in no way related to the Umbellifer family.

Several other plants have been termed Lovage besides the true Lovage, and this has frequently caused confusion. Thus we have the SCOTCH LOVAGE, known also as Sea Lovage, or Scotch Parsley, and botanically as Ligusticum scoticum; the BLACK LOVAGE, or Alexanders, Smyrnium Olusatrum; BASTARD LOVAGE, a species of the allied genus, Laserpitum, and WATER LOVAGE, a species of the genus Cenanthe.

Laserpitum may be distinguished from its allies by the fruit having eight prominent, wing-like appendages. The species are perennial herbs, chiefly found in south-eastern Europe. Some of them are employed as domestic remedies, on account of their aroma.

The scent of the root of MEUM ATHAMANTICUM (Jacq.), SPIGNEL (also called Spikenel or Spiknel), MEU or BALD-MONEY, has much in common with that of both Lovage and Angelica, and the root has been eaten by the Scotch Highlanders as a vegetable. It is a perennial, smooth and very aromatic herb. The elongated root is crowned with fibres, the leaves, mostly springing from the root, are divided into leaflets which are further cut into numerous thread-like segments, which gives them a feathery appearance. The stem is about 6 or 8 inches high, and bears umbels of white or purplish flowers. The aromatic flavour of the leaves is somewhat like Melilot, and is communicated to milk and butter when cows feed on the herbage in the spring. The peculiar name of this plant, ‘Baldmoney,’ is said to be a corruption of Balder, the Apollo of the northern nations, to whom the plant was dedicated.

Lovage is a plant, the leaves and “seeds” or fruit of which are used to flavor food, especially in South European cuisine. It is a tall (3 to 9 ft) perennial that vaguely resembles its cousin celery in appearance and in flavor. Lovage also sometimes gets referred to as smallage, but this is more properly used for celery.

The fruit of the lovage plant can be used as a spice, but what appears in the trade as lovage seed is usually ajwain, not lovage. On the other hand, what is sold as “celery seed” is often partially or entirely ground lovage seed.

The root of lovage, which is a heavy, volatile oil, is used as a mild aquaretic. Lovage root contains furanocoumarins which can lead to photosensitivity.Preparations made from the roots or leaves are used to treat edema, indigestion and to prevent the formation of kidney stones.

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.

References:
http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/lovage42.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovage

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