Tag Archives: Madagascar

Calumba

Botanical Name :Jateorhiza calumba
Family: Menispermaceae
Genus: Jateorhiza
Species: J. palmata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names:Calumba,calumba root, columba, colombo, kalumba, kalumb, jateorhiza, guvercin koku otu

Habitat : Calumba is native to the tropical areas of Eastern and Southern Africa but can now be found cultivated in many tropical regions, including Brazil. The genus, comprising only two species, is also native to the Madagascar rainforest.

Description:
Calumba is a  tall, dioecious twining perennial vine; often reaching the tops of trees. The annual stems, one or two from each root, are hair with glandular tips and have large bright green memraneous leaves which are palmate, alternate and long petioled. The flowers are insignificant and greenish-white. The female flower is followed by moon-shaped stone in a drupe. Male flowers are in 30cm( 1) long panicles. The tuberous root is large and fleshy, about 3-8 cm (1.24-3.25) in diameter with a thick bark. Transverse section yellowish, outside greyish-brown. Taste is muscilagenous and very bitter.
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Constituents:  Columbamine, Jateorhizine and Palmatine, three yellow crystalline alkaloids closely allied to berberine; also a colourless crystalline principle, Columbine, and an abundance of starch and mucilage.

Medicinal Action and Uses:
The root of this   plant is used in traditional medicine systems world wide.It is a bitter tonic without astringency, does not produce nausea, headache, sickness or feverishness as other remedies of the same class. It is best given as a cold infusion; it is a most valuable agent for weakness of the digestive organs. In pulmonary consumption it is useful, as it never debilitates or purges the bowels. The natives of Mozambique use it for dysentery It allays the sickness of pregnancy and gastric irritation. In Africa and the East Indies it is cultivated for dyeing purposes.

Calumba is an excellent digestive remedy that tones the whole tract, stimulating it gently but having no astringent properties.  It may be used whenever debility occurs that is connected with some digestive involvement.  Internally used for morning sickness, atonic dyspepsia with low stomach acid, diarrhea, and dysentery.

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/c/calumb10.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jateorhiza_calumba

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

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Ravensara aromatica

Botanical Name : Ravensara aromatica
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Ravensara
Species: R. aromatica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Laurales

Synonimes:Rosa damascena

Common Names:clove nutmeg,Ravensara Oil , ravensare, havozo, hazomanitra

Habitat :Ravensara aromatica is native to  Madagascar.

Description:
Ravensara aromatica is a n evergreen tree of about  20 meters high with several buttress roots at the base.The bark is deep rich redish brown and  is very aromatic( similar to eucalyptus.) with small green elliptical leaves. (click to see )

click to see the pictures

The essential oil of R. aromatica is used as a fragrance material in the perfumery industry, and as an antiseptic, anti-viral, antibacterial, expectorant, anti-infective in natural and folk medicine.

Common Uses: Ravensara Essential Oil may assist with respiratory problems, colds and flu, canker and cold sores, cuts, wounds, burns, anti-biotic, liver, lung infections, flu, sinusitis, viral hepatitis, cholera, infectious mononucleosis, insomnia, and muscle fatigue. It is also viewed as an excellent treatment for athlete’s foot.

Chemical Constituents:Terpenic Oxide(70%):1,8cineol.
Terpenic alchol:Alpha terpineol (10%)
Terpenes:Alpha pinene,beta pinene (20%)
Methyl chasvicol

Medicinal Uses:
Nerve/Back Pain
Properties: * Antibacterial * Antifungal * Antiperspirant/Deodorants * AntiViral
Parts Used: Essential oil from leaves and bark

Essential oil made from the leaves of Ravensara aromatica is referred to as aromatic ravensare, to distinguish it from oil distilled from the bark, havozo. The oils have a faint, aniseed, or licorice odor that is slightly herbaceous.

The essential oil is referred to as “the oil that heals” and is is obtained by steam distillation from the leaf. It’s fresh scent is smooth, slightly spicy, and earthy

The oil  is used as antiviral,antifungal,energizer and nerve tonic.

Precautions: It is not to be used on pregnent nursing women  and children.

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/Ravensara_aromatica
http://www.bulkapothecary.com/product/essential-oils/ravensara-wild-essential-oil/?gclid=CPvQtICV1bgCFSVgMgodk2oACQ
http://www.sunrosearomatics.com/catalog/shop/shopexd.asp?id=937
http://www.globinmed.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=82354:ravensara

Purple allamanda

Botanical Name :Cryptostegia grandiflora
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Cryptostegia
Order: Gentianales
Kingdom: Plantae
Species: C. grandiflora
Scientific Names : Cryptostegia grandiflora (Roxb.) R. Br. ,Nerium grandiflora Roxb.

Common Names :Indian rubber vine (Engl.),Purple allamanda (Engl.)

Habitat : Native to south-west Madagascar. It is also a significant weed in northern Australia, sometimes regarded in fact, as the worst weed in all of Australia. It has also been introduced to most other tropical and subtropical regions by man, because of its attractive flowers and the fact that its latex contains commercial quality rubber (hence the name). It is now naturalised in the Caribbean, East Africa, Mauritius, India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, the southern United States, Fiji and New Caledonia.It is Introduced in Philippines.Occasionally planted for ornamental purposes.Now, pantropic.

Description:
A rubber vine can grown up to 2 metres (m) tall as a shrub, but when it is supported on other vegetation as a vine, it can reach up to 30 metres in length. Rubber vine prefers areas where annual rainfall is between 400 and 1400 millimetres (mm), and is well adapted to a monsoonal climate. It can grow maximally on an annual rainfall of 1700 millimetres, but seeds that get an annual rainfall of 400 millimetres or less means rubber vine thrives on (in fact, requires) the extreme variability of rainfall and streamflow. This is a characteristic of central Queensland. The extreme variability (four times that of other countries to which it has been introduced) is almost certainly why rubber vine has become a major weed in Australia and not any other country in which it has been introduced.

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Vine to subshrub.  Stems with numerous, small lenticels.  Lamina elliptic to orbicular, up to 10 cm long and 6.3 wide, glabrous; 11-13 secondary veins per side of midrib; tip acute; base cuneate; petiole 7-20.8 mm long, 0.9-3 mm diameter.  Cyme of 1 or 2 fascicles.  Flowers 5-6 cm long, 5-8.8 cm diameter; pedicels 4.2-8.5 mm long, 3-6.2 mm diameter, glabrous.  Calyx lobes lanceolate-ovate, 11.9-18.7 mm long, 5.6-9.8 mm wide.  Corolla pale pink to white; tube 1.9-4.5 cm long, 11.2-17 mm diameter; lobes 21-43 mm long, 13-22.5 mm wide.  Corolline corona of 5 bilobed filaments in throat of tube; each lobe ca 10 mm long overall, bilobed portion ca 8 mm long.  Staminal column 2-3 mm long, 3-4 mm diameter; anthers 4-4.5 mm long, 3-3.5 mm wide.  Translators obtuse, ca 3 mm long and 1.5 mm wide.  Style-head conical, ca 3.5 mm long and 2.5 mm diameter.  Ovaries ca 4 mm long and 2 mm wide.  Follicles fusiform-ovoid, 10-15.4 cm long, 2.1-4 cm diameter; seeds 5.2-9.7 mm long, 1.6-2.8 mm wide; coma white, 18.9-38 mm long.” (Marohasy and Forster, 1991; pp. 574-575).

“Woody ornamental lactiferous climber with opposite simple oblong shortly acuminate short-petiolate leaves 4-10 cm long, 3-5 cm wide; cymes of about 6-12 large reddish-purple flowers (sometimes lighter pink-violet); calyx-lobes about 1.2 cm long; corolla about 5 cm long (in bud); follicles 7.5-8.5 cm long.  The flowers resemble those of the purple Allamanda (Allamanda violacea)” (Stone, 1970; p. 487).

“Can be distinguished from C. madagascariensis by its stems with smaller, more numerous lenticels; leaf blades with 11-13 pairs of secondary veins; larger corollas (2-2.5 inches long); 2-lobed corona filaments; and larger fruit (4-6.25 inches long)”  (Staples & Herbst, 2005; p. 142).

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used :Leaves
Folkloric
No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
In Madagascar, reportedly used for criminal purposes and against vermin.
Powdered leaves, mixed with water, when swallowed can cause persistent vomiting after half an hour; death in 15 hours.

Studies
• Antiviral: In a study of medicinal plants for its antiviral activity, Cryptostegia grandiflora showed partial activity at higher concentraions.
Cardiac glycosides: Study of the leaves of C. grandiflora yielded four news cardiac glycosides: crptostigmin I to IV together with two known cardenolides.
Antibacterial: Study of the different extracts of Cryptostegia grandiflora was done for antibacterial potential against Pseudomonas cepacia, B megatorim, S aureus, E coli B subtilis. Almost all extracts produced significant antibacterial activity against all the microorganisms, comparable to standard antibiotic tetracycline hydrochloride. The petroleum ether extract showed maximum efficacy.
Latex Pro-Inflammatory Activity: Study investigating the pro-inflammatory activity of the latex of C grandifolia was investigated. Results showed the soluble proteins of the latex induced strong inflammatory activity, enlarged vascular permeability and increased myeloperoxidase acticvity locally in rats. It concludes that the latex of CG is a potent inflammatory fluid and implicates lactifer proteins in that activity.

Other Uses:Grown as a beautiful flower plant in house garden.

Known Hazards : Plant considered an irritant and poisonous.Leaves are toxic.

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://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/12188/
http://www.stuartxchange.com/IndianRubberVine.html
http://www.hear.org/pier/species/cryptostegia_grandiflora.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptostegia_grandiflora

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Catharanthus (Nayantara)

Giant steps periwinkle (Vinca major)

Image via Wikipedia

 

Botanical Name:Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don (Apocynaceae)
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Catharanthus
G.Don
Syn: Lochnera rosea (L.) Spach, Vinca rosea L.
English names: Madagascar periwinkle, Old maid, Red periwinkle.
Vernacular names: Ben: Nayantara; Hin : Sada sawagon; Lad: Swet chandu; Mal: Mar: Ushamalari;Sadaphul; Ori : Ainskati; Pun: Rattanjot; Tam: Sudukadu Mallikai; Tel: Billaganneru.

Trade name: Nayantara.
Habitat:A native of West Indies; commonly grown in gardens throughout India;Bangladesh and Pakistan.


Description:
An evergreen shrub, it grows to a height of 1m with a spread of 1m. The stem is short, erect and branching; the leaves are glossy gree, oval, 5cm long and opposite acuminate; the flowers are soft pink, tinged with red, 5 petalled, open, tubular and 4cm across, appearing in spring and autumn.

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Catharanthus coriaceus Markgr. Madagascar: A native of tropical Africa and Madagascar, it prefers rich, well drained, moist soils in a protected, sunny position, and is drought and frost tender.
Propagation is by seed and by cuttings.
A small herb or subshrub, up to 75 cm high; leaves elliptic-ovate to oblong, 4-10 by 2-4 cm, glabrous to puberulous, base acute or cuneate, apex obtusely apiculate, lateral nerves 10-12 pairs, petiole 1.0-1.5 cm; flowers in axillary or terminal cymes; solitary or paired, shortly pedicellate, pink or white or white with pink or yellow ring in orifice region; mericarps 3-4 by 0.3 cm, puberulous.
Flowering and Fruiting: throughout the year.

Catharanthus (Madagascar Periwinkle) is a genus of eight species of herbaceous perennial plants, seven endemic to the island of Madagascar, the eighth native to the Indian subcontinent in southern Asia.

Species :

Catharanthus coriaceus Markgr. Madagascar.
Catharanthus lanceus (Bojer ex A.DC.) Pichon. Madagascar.
Catharanthus longifolius (Pichon) Pichon. Madagascar.
Catharanthus ovalis Markgr. Madagascar.
Catharanthus pusillus (Murray) G.Don. Indian subcontinent.
Catharanthus roseus (L.) G.Don. Madagascar.
Catharanthus scitulus (Pichon) Pichon. Madagascar.
Catharanthus trichophyllus (Baker) Pichon. Madagascar.

Ecology and cultivation: Plains from the coasts, in wastelands, fallow fields, less on the hills 800-1400 m, also widely cultivated.

The species are self-propagating from seed; the seeds require a period of total darkness to germinate. Cuttings from mature plants will also root readily.

One species, C. roseus, has been widely cultivated and introduced, becoming an invasive species in some areas.

Chemical contents : Root-bark: vincaline I & II; Root: vinblastine or vinleukoblastine (VLB), vincristine or vinleurocristine (VCR), ursolic acid, oleanolic acid, ajmalicine, alstonine; Stem: vinca rodine, vincoline, vinamidine,leurocolombine, vincathicine, vincubine; Leaf: leurosine, vindoline, catharanthine, lochnerine, tetrahydroalstonine, roseoside, essential oil; Seed: vincedine, vincedicine, tabersonine.

Medicinal Uses:
C. roseus has gained interest from the pharmaceutical industry; the alkaloids vincristine and vinblastine from its sap have been shown to be an effective treatment for leukaemia. Although the sap is poisonous if ingested, some 70 useful alkaloids have been identified from it. In Madagascar, extracts have been used for hundreds of years in herbal medicine for the treatment of diabetes, as hemostatics and tranquilizers, to lower blood pressure, and as disinfectants. The extracts are not without their side effects, however, which include hair loss.

In 1923, considerable interest was aroused in the medical world by the statement that this species of Vinca had the power to cure diabetes, and would probably prove an efficient substitute for Insulin, but V. major has long been used by herbalists for this purpose. Vincristine, a major chemotherapy agent for leukemia, and vinblastin (for Hodgkin’s disease) are derived from the plant.  The anti-cancer constituents are very strong and should only be taken under the supervision of a qualified health care practitioner.  Use as a fluid extract.  It has also been used in traditional herbal medicine to treat wasp stings (India), stop bleeding (Hawaii), as an eyewash (Cuba), and to treat diabetes (Jamaica); contains the alkaloid alstonine which can reduce blood pressure.

Vinca alkaloids:
Vinca alkaloids are anti-mitotic and anti-microtubule agents. They are nowadays produced synthetically and used as drugs in cancer therapy and as immunosuppressive drugs. These compounds are vinblastine, vincristine, vindesine and vinorelbine. Periwinkle extracts and derivatives, such as vinpocetine, are also used as nootropic drugs.

Catharanthus lanceus contains up to 6% yohimbine in its leaves

Indian Traditional use: BODO: (i) Plant: in cancer, diabetes, (ii ) Leaf: in menorrhagia; LODHA : (i) Root-paste: in septic wounds, (ii) Root-decoction (with paste of long peppers) : in fever, (iii) Leaf-juice: in blood dysentery, (iv) Leaf-decoction: to babies in gripping pain; SANTAL : (i) Latex: in scabies, (ii) Seed-powder (with decoction of black pepper) : in epilepsy; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF EAST GODAVARI DISTRICT: Root: in cancerous wounds.

Modern use: Plant-extract: antimitotic; Root (alkaloids) : in cancer, and as emetic, hypotensive, sedative and antiviral.

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MADAGASCAR PERIWINKLE (Vinca rosea, Linn.)

Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar Periwinkle)

.Description and Natural History of the Periwinkle
Vinblastine and vincristine are alkaloids found in the Madagascar periwinkle

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/Madagascar_periwinkle
http://www.bsienvis.org/medi.htm#Bauhinia%20vahlii
http://shaman-australis.com.au/shop/index.php?cPath=21_26_66

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

Vanilla

Botanical Name:Vanulla planifolia

Family: Orchidaceae

Subfamily: Vanilloideae

Tribe: Vanilleae
Subtribe: Vanillinae

Genus: Vanilla

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Asparagales

Habitat :Central America, West Indies, Northern South America
Mostly Cultivated In:Madagascar, Comoros Islands, Reunion, French Polynesia, Tahiti, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mozambique, Seychelles, Uganda, Guatemala, Mexico.
Description:
For many people in countries where quality ice cream is readily available, vanilla is the most popular of the non-pungent spices. It has been regarded as one of the most expensive spices along with saffron, cardamon and green peppercorns. The cost of vanilla reflects its historic importance as a flavor used in the royal drinks of the Mayans and Aztecs that were based on chocolate. The Aztecs called vanilla tlilxochitl, and they used it with chile peppers to flavor their drink.

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Vanilla is found in the seeds of the orchid vine, Vanilla planifolia (V. fragrans), which is native to Mexico. The Spaniards likened the bean pods to a little sheath or vaina, which is derived from the similar Latin word, vagina! Obtaining the flavor can be a several month long process, resulting from slowly fermenting the beans, which contain many small seeds; the ground-up bean is then used in similar fashion to coffee. People who enjoy the strong vanilla taste want to use freshly cured bean, while others accept the commercial extract. True vanilla in ice cream contains tiny dark flecks resulting from the presence of the seeds. However, the vanilla flavor, which is mainly due to vanillin, can be readily chemically synthesized from eugenol or guaiacol, or from lignin derived from tar, wood, or tonka beans. This product lacks the quality of the natural vanilla flavor that develops during the curing of the best beans when glucosides are converted to vanillic aldehyde, which is vanillin, since other aromatic chemicals are also produced.

Vanilla trees are grown in Mexico, Central America (Guatemala and especially Costa Rica), and in some Caribbean islands (especially Jamaica). However, it is difficult to grow since it is only pollinated by native bees and hummingbirds. It requires artificial fertilization outside its natural habitat, but it can be cultivated through the use of cuttings. Following its introduction to the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, a method of hand pollination was introduced in 1841. Reunion is still an important site of vanilla production; the variety is called Bourbon vanilla, after the former name of the island. Madagascar is now the major producer of Bourbon vanilla.

When vanilla became popular in 17th century Europe, it was used for many indications, varying from stomach ulcers to sedation. As was the case with many spices, it was extolled as an aphrodisiac. Today, it may fulfill its latter function when used in high quality baked goods, confectionary and desserts, although most users regard it more prosaically as a delicious flavor that may help digestion. Vanilla is used to flavor tobacco and as a fragrance in the cosmetic industry. It is of interest that sensitive workers in the vanilla industry may develop vanillism, resulting in headaches and skin rashes.

Artificial vanilla (containing vanillin and ethylvanillin) is acceptable to most tastes, and therefore the export of true vanilla may continue to decline, since the culture and manufacture of the quality product is expensive and relatively non-competitive. Moreover, its value as an exotic medicine is no longer accepted. Thus the role of the vanilla bean has declined in significance, with over 95% of the world’s supply of vanilla flavor being synthetic.
Useful Parts:
The cured, dried fruits of the plant impart the flavor.
Medicinal Properties:
Vanillin is in the class of vanilloids, that includes – surprisingly – capsaicin (8-methy-N-vanillyl noneamide) from chile pepper and eugenol from cloves, cinnamon and other spices, and zingerone from ginger. The vanilloid receptors of the central and peripheral nervous systems bind with these compounds, resulting in different sensory effects. Thus, capsaicin can cause a burning sensation while eugenol results in mild anesthesia; vanillin itself is neutral.

Historical View :
“Vanilla is an aromatic stimulant, with a tendency towards the nervous system. It has also been regarded as an aphrodisiac. It has been employed as a remedy in hysteria, low fevers, impotency, etc. But its use as a medicine is obsolete in this country, although still sometimes employed on the Continent and elsewhere.”

You may click to see :Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia Andrews)

Source:Medicinal Spices

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanilla_(genus)