Tag Archives: Magnoliophyta

Dwarf Red Rattle

Botanical Name :Pedicularis sylvatica
Family:Orobanchaceae
Genus: Pedicularis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Species: sylvatica

Synonyms: Red Rattle Grass. Lousewort. Lesser Red Rattle.

Cmmon Names : Dwarf Red Rattle,Lousewort

Habitat : This plant is native to Europe, but has been introcuded in eastern newfoundland. As far as I know, this is the only North American site for this species!
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings.

Description:
There are two Red Rattles, but the commoner and medicinal one is the Dwarf or Lesser Red Rattle, frequent in moist pastures and on swampy heaths. It is quite a small plant, generally nestling rather closely to the ground, the short root-stock sending up many prostrate and spreading, leafy sterns, 3 to 10 inches long, branching a good deal at the base and rarely more than 3 or 4 inches high when in flower. The leaves are very deeply cut into numerous segments. The flowers are in terminal, loose spikes, the calyx smooth on the outside, but woolly inside at the mouth, broadly inflated and marked over with a fine network of veins, and at the top, cut into five unequal, leaf-like lobes. The lower portion of the corolla forms a tube hidden within the calyx, but then emerging projects boldly beyond it; it is labiate in form, like the Eyebright, the upper lip tall and dome-like, but compressed at the sides, the lower lip flatly expanded and cut into three very distinct lobes. Both are of a bright rose colour and the whole flower is very striking and quaint. As the seeds ripen, they may be heard rattling in their capsule within the inflated calyx, hence the popular name Red Rattle.

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Another name for the plant is ‘Lousewort,’ from a belief that sheep eating it became diseased and covered with parasites, but when sheep do suffer in this manner after eating this plant, it is really because the presence of it in a pasture indicates a very bad and unsuitable pasture, since marshy land, the best suited to its growth, is the worst from the health point of view for the sheep. The generic name, Pedicularis (from the Latin pediculus = a louse), refers also to the supposititious vermin-producing qualities of the plant.

Medicinal Uses:
The Red Rattle is accounted profitable to heal fistulas and hollow ulcers and to stay the flux of humours in them as also the abundance of the courses or any other flux of blood, being boiled in port wine and drunk.’

Other Uses:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

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/r/ratred06.html
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/93812/

Ptelea trifoliata

Botanical Name : Ptelea trifoliata
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Ptelea
Species: P. trifoliata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms: Swamp Dogwood. Shrubby Trefoil. Wingseed. Hop Tree.

Common Names :Hop Tree, Common hoptree, Pallid hoptree  , Stinking ash, Wafer ash

Habitat : Ptelea trifoliata is  native to Eastern N. America – Quebec and New York to Florida, west to Texas and Kansas .It grows in moist places, rocky slopes, edges of woods, alluvial thickets and gravels. It is found in many different soil types.

Description:
Ptelea trifoliata is a small deciduous tree, or often a shrub of a few spreading stems, 6–8 m (20–26 ft) tall with a broad crown. The plant has thick fleshy roots, flourishes in rich, rather moist soil. In the Mississippi embayment (Mississippi River Valley) it is found most frequently on rocky slopes as part of the undergrowth. Its juices are acrid and bitter and the bark possesses tonic properties.
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The twigs are slender to moderately stout, brown with deep U-shaped leaf scars, and with short, light brown, fuzzy buds. The leaves are alternate, 5–18 cm long, palmately compound with three (rarely five) leaflets, each leaflet 1–10 cm long, sparsely serrated or entire, shiny dark green above, paler below. The western and southwestern forms have smaller leaves (5–11 cm) than the eastern forms (10–18 cm), an adaptation to the drier climates there.

The flowers are small, 1–2 cm across, with 4-5 narrow, greenish white petals, produced in terminal, branched clusters in spring: some find the odor unpleasant but to others trifoliata has a delicious scent. The fruit is a round wafer-like papery samara, 2-2.5 cm across, light brown, maturing in summer. Seed vessel has a thin wing and is held on tree until high winds during early winter

The bark is reddish brown to gray brown, short horizontal lenticels, warty corky ridges, becoming slightly scaly, unpleasant odor and bitter taste. It has several Native American uses as a seasoning and as an herbal medicine for different ailments.

*Bark: Dark reddish brown, smooth. Branchlets dark reddish brown, shining, covered with small excrescences. Bitter and ill-scented.

*Wood: Yellow brown; heavy, hard, close-grained, satiny. Sp. gr., 0.8319; weight of cu. ft., 51.84 lbs.

*Winter buds: Small, depressed, round, pale, covered with silvery hairs.

*Leaves: Alternate, compound, three-parted, dotted with oil glands. Leaflets sessile, ovate or oblong, three to five inches long, by two to three broad, pointed at base, entire or serrate, gradially pointed at apex. Feather-veined, midrib and primary veins prominent. They come out of the bud conduplicate, very downy, when full grown are dark green, shining above, paler green beneath. In autumn they turn a rusty yellow. Petioles stout, two and a half to three inches long, base enlarged. Stipules wanting.

*Flowers: May, June. Polygamomonoecious, greenish white. Fertile and sterile flowers produced together in terminal, spreading, compound cymes; the sterile being usually fewer, and falling after the anther cells mature. Pedicels downy.

*Calyx: Four or five-parted, downy, imbricate in the bud.

*Corolla: Petals four or five, white, downy, spreading, hypogynous, imbricate in bud.

*Stamens: Five, alternate with the petals, hypogynous, the psitillate flowers with rudimentary anters; filaments awl-shaped, more or less hairy; anthers ovate or cordate, two-celled, cells opening longitudinally.

*Pistils: Ovary superior, hairy, abortive in the staminate flowers, two to three-celled; style short; stigma two to three-lobed; ovules two in each cell.
*Fruit: Samara, orbicular, surrounded by a broad, many-veined reticulate membranous ring, two-seeded. Ripens in October and hangs in clusters until midwinter.

Cultiv:ation: 
Succeeds in any fertile well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun or light part day shade. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. A very ornamental plant, it is slow-growing and short-lived in the wild. The sub-species P. trifoliata mollis. Torr.&Gray. is the form that is eaten by children. The leaves are aromatic. All parts of the plant emit a disagreeable odour. The flowers are especially pungent and are pollinated by carrion flies. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 months cold stratification at 5°c and should be sown as early as possible in the year. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Very little of the seed produced in Britain is viable. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Layering.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Fruit. A very bitter flavour, though it is eaten by young children. The fruit is also used as a hop substitute when making beer and it is added to yeast to make it rise more quickly when making bread. The fruit is produced abundantly in Britain, though very little of it is fertile. The fruit is very thin and about 25mm long.
Part Used: Root-bark.

Constituents:The bark contains at least three active constituents, a powerful volatile oil, a salt, acrid resin, and an alkaloid: Berberine. The alkaloid Arginine is also stated to be present in the root.

Medicinal Uses:

Anthelmintic; Antibacterial; Antiperiodic; Antirheumatic; Miscellany; Stomachic; Tonic.

The root-bark is anthelmintic, antibacterial, antiperiodic, stomachic and tonic. It has been mixed with other medicines in order to give added potency. It has a soothing influence on the mucous membranes and promotes the appetite, being tolerated when other tonics cannot be retained. It is also taken in the treatment of intermittent fevers such as malaria, heartburn, roundworms, pinworms and poor digestion. Externally it is applied to wounds. The roots are harvested in the autumn, the bark peeled off and dried for later use. The roots are a tonic, used in the treatment of asthmatic breathing, fevers, poor appetite etc. The leaves are said to be useful in the treatment of wounds and also in the destruction of intestinal worms.

The bark has tonic, antiperiodic and stomachic properties, and has been employed in dyspepsia and debility, and also in febrile diseases, especially in those requiring a mild, non-irritating bitter tonic, as it has a soothing influence upon the mucous membrane and promotes appetite, being tolerated when other tonics cannot be retained.

It is also useful in chronic rheumatism.

Other Uses:
Numerous cultivars have been developed for ornamental use in parks and gardens.Sometimes used as a hedge plant in N. America. Wood – hard, heavy, close grained. It weighs 51lb per cubic foot but the tree does not grow large enough for commercial exploitation

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/a/ashwa078.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptelea_trifoliata

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ptelea+trifoliata

Yucca

Botanical Name :Yucca spp
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Agavoideae
Genus: Yucca
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Common Names:Yucca Root , Adam’s Needle, Soap Tree, Mojave yucca,Narrowleaf Yucca, Soaptree Yucca, Beargrass, Fineleaf Yucca, Yucca, Soapweed Yucca.

Habitat :Yucca is  native to Mexico and the Southwestern US.

Description:
There are different species of Yucca everywhere in the Southwest. These plants are easy to identify.

•They have long and narrow leaves that are radiate from the base of the plant and they also have very sharp needle ends

•Right in the center of the Yucca plant there is usually a flower stalk (3-5ft. long) that has lily-like flowers and fruit pods

•The fruit pods are 2-3 inches in length and and 1-2 inches in width.Inside these fruits are seeds which are thin, black, and coarse.

•The roots have a woody thick bark covering the outer layer and the core of the root is spongy.

•Some Yucca species grow 10 to 13 ft. tall. They grow in dry and sandy deserts, mesas, and Plains.

 Click to see the pictures :

Cultivation:
Yuccas are widely grown as architectural plants providing a dramatic accent to landscape design. They tolerate a range of conditions, but are best grown in full sun in subtropical or mild temperate areas. In gardening centres and horticultural catalogues they are usually grouped with other architectural plants such as cordylines and phormiums.[10]

Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) are protected by law in some states. A permit is needed for wild collection. As a landscape plant, they can be killed by excessive water during their summer dormant phase, so are avoided by landscape contractors.

Several species of yucca can be grown outdoors in mild temperate climates where they are protected from frost. These include:
*Y. filamentosa
*Y. flaccida
*Y. gloriosa
*Y. recurvifolia

Active Ingredients:
Steroidal saponin is a highly active compound found in yucca plants. Saponins are precursors to cortisone and provide relief for symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism pain (Dr. Larry Milam, H. MD; 1999). Rich in Vitamin A, B-complex, and Vitamin C, yucca is also a good source of copper, calcium, manganese, potassium, and fiber. (Medicinal uses of herbs,1999).

Medicinal Uses:
Yucca is a medicinal plant. It was used widely in Native folk medicine for it’s anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory effects which support Yucca’s promise in the treatment of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The plant contains several physiologically active phytochemicals. It is a rich source of steroidal saponins, and is used commercially as a saponin source. The steroidal saponins in yucca are used as starter substances in the production of synthetic steroid drugs. These phytosterols work with the natural immune functions of the body, and assist the body in using and producing these its steroid related hormones.1 Clinical trials conducted on constituents isolated from Yucca schidigera bark found evidence that the anti-inflammatory properties of these saponins have anti-tumor properties that may be important in further cancer research

It is also good for blood purifying and cleaning of the kidneys and liver. (1st herbshop, 1999). Many herbalists and healers used the yucca plant by boiling the roots for about half an hour and drinking it as tea.

Other Uses:
Yuccas are widely grown as ornamental plants in gardens. Many species also bear edible parts, including fruits, seeds, flowers, flowering stems, and more rarely roots. References to yucca root as food often stem from confusion with the similarly pronounced, but botanically unrelated, yuca, also called cassava (Manihot esculenta). Roots of soaptree yucca (Yucca elata) are high in saponins and are used as a shampoo in Native American rituals. Dried yucca leaves and trunk fibers have a low ignition temperature, making the plant desirable for use in starting fires via friction. In rural Appalachian areas, species such as Yucca filamentosa are referred to as “meat hangers”. The tough, fibrous leaves with their sharp-spined tips were used to puncture meat and knotted to form a loop with which to hang meat for salt curing or in smoke houses.

Native tribes use this plant for arts & crafts, food, dye to color fibers and yarn to make rugs also to make a black dye color for art in Indian basketry designs.They use the yucca in a game called the Shoe Game (Moccasin Game) by using the yucca sticks (leaves) to keep the score, whoever ends up with all of the sticks (102 yucca leaves) wins the game! Navajos also use the yucca leaves as a whipping belt which are used by the sacred clowns in various ceremonies like the Night Chant Ceremony. Some Navajos also use this to make yucca fruit rolls that are part of the Puberty Ceremony (a ceremony when a girl becomes a woman).

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/Yucca
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail61.php
http://medplant.nmsu.edu/yucca.shtml

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Aesculus hippocastanum

Botanical Name :Aesculus hippocastanum
Family: Sapindaceae
Genus: Aesculus
Species: A. hippocastanum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Name:horse-chestnut or conker tree.

Habitat :Aesculus hippocastanum is native to a small area in the Pindus Mountains mixed forests and Balkan mixed forests of South East Europe. It is widely cultivated in streets and parks throughout the temperate world.

Description:
A. hippocastanum is a decidious tree.It  grows to 36 metres (118 ft) tall, with a domed crown of stout branches; on old trees the outer branches often pendulous with curled-up tips. The leaves are opposite and palmately compound, with 5–7 leaflets; each leaflet is 13–30 cm long, making the whole leaf up to 60 cm across, with a 7–20 cm petiole. The leaf scars left on twigs after the leaves have fallen have a distinctive horseshoe shape, complete with seven “nails”.It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The flowers are usually white with a small red spot; they are produced in spring in erect panicles 10–30 cm tall with about 20–50 flowers on each panicle. Usually only 1–5 fruit develop on each panicle; the shell is a green, spiky capsule containing one (rarely two or three) nut-like seeds called conkers or horse-chestnuts. Each conker is 2–4 cm diameter, glossy nut-brown with a whitish scar at the base.

Click to see the pictures.>..(01)…….(1)…..(2).….(3)..…….(4).……..(5).…….(6)...

It is hardy to zone 3 and is frost tender.

Cultivation :
Prefers a deep loamy well-drained soil but is not too fussy tolerating poorer drier soils. Tolerates exposed positions and atmospheric pollution. A very ornamental and fast-growing tree, it succeeds in most areas of Britain but grows best in eastern and south-eastern England. Trees are very hardy when dormant, but the young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. The flowers have a delicate honey-like perfume. Trees are tolerant of drastic cutting back and can be severely lopped. They are prone to suddenly losing old heavy branches. The tree comes into bearing within 20 years from seed[98]. Most members of this genus transplant easily, even when fairly large.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown outdoors or in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. The seed germinates almost immediately and must be given protection from severe weather. The seed has a very limited viability and must not be allowed to dry out. Stored seed should be soaked for 24 hours prior to sowing and even after this may still not be viable. It is best to sow the seed with its ‘scar’ downwards. If sowing the seed in a cold frame, pot up the seedlings in early spring and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer.

Edible Uses:

Edible Parts: Seed.

Edible Uses: Coffee.

The roasted seed is used as a coffee substitute. Seed – cooked. It can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a gruel. The seed is quite large, about 3cm in diameter, and is easily harvested. It is usually produced in abundance in Britain. Unfortunately the seed is also rich in saponins, these must be removed before it can be used as a food and this process also removes many of the minerals and vitamins, leaving behind mainly starch. See also the notes above on toxicity. The seed contains up to 40% water, 8 – 11% protein and 8 – 26% toxic saponins. The following notes apply to A. californica, but are probably also relevant here:- The seed needs to be leached of toxins before it becomes safe to eat – the Indians would do this by slow-roasting the nuts (which would have rendered the saponins harmless) and then cutting them into thin slices, putting them into a cloth bag and rinsing them in a stream for 2 – 5 days.

Medicinal Uses:
Alterative; Analgesic; Antiinflammatory; Astringent; Bach; Diuretic; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Haemostatic; Narcotic; Tonic; Vasoconstrictor; Vulnerary.

Horse chestnut is an astringent, anti-inflammatory herb that helps to tone the vein walls which, when slack or distended, may become varicose, haemorrhoidal or otherwise problematic. The plant also reduces fluid retention by increasing the permeability of the capillaries and allowing the re-absorption of excess fluid back into the circulatory system. This plant is potentially toxic if ingested and should not be used internally without professional supervision. Alterative, analgesic, haemostatic and vulnerary. The bark is anti-inflammatory, astringent, diuretic, febrifuge, narcotic, tonic and vasoconstrictive. It is harvested in the spring and dried for later use. The plant is taken in small doses internally for the treatment of a wide range of venous diseases, including hardening of the arteries, varicose veins, phlebitis, leg ulcers, haemorrhoids and frostbite. It is also made into a lotion or gel for external application. A tea made from the bark is used in the treatment of malaria and dysentery, externally in the treatment of lupus and skin ulcers. A tea made from the leaves is tonic and is used in the treatment of fevers and whooping cough. The pericarp is peripherally vasoconstrictive. The seeds are decongestant, expectorant and tonic. They have been used in the treatment of rheumatism, neuralgia and haemorrhoids. They are said to be narcotic and that 10 grains of the nut are equal to 3 grains of opium. An oil extracted from the seeds has been used externally as a treatment for rheumatism. A compound of the powdered roots is analgesic and has been used to treat chest pains. The buds are used in Bach flower remedies – the keywords for prescribing it are ‘Failure to learn by experience’, ‘Lack of observation in the lessons of life’ and hence ‘The need of repetition’. The flowers are used in Bach flower remedies – the keywords for prescribing it are ‘Persistent unwanted thoughts’ and ‘Mental arguments and conversations’.

Other Uses:
Dye; Soap; Starch; Tannin; Wood.

Saponins in the seed are used as a soap substitute. The saponins can be easily obtained by chopping the seed into small pieces and infusing them in hot water. This water can then be used for washing the body, clothes etc. Its main drawback is a lingering odour of horse chestnuts. The seed contains variable amounts of saponins, up to a maximum of 10%. A starch obtained from the seed is used in laundering. The bark and other parts of the plant contain tannin, but the quantities are not given. A yellow dye is obtained from the bark. The flowers contain the dyestuff quercetin. Wood – soft, light, not durable. Of little commercial value, it is used for furniture, boxes, charcoal.

Scented Plants
Flowers: FreshThe flowers have a delicate honey-like perfume.

Known Hazards:The seed is rich in saponins. Although poisonous, saponins are poorly absorbed by the human body and so most pass through without harm. Saponins are quite bitter and can be found in many common foods such as some beans. They can be removed by carefully leaching the seed or flour in running water. Thorough cooking, and perhaps changing the cooking water once, will also normally remove most of them. However, it is not advisable to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish.

Safety in medical use:
Two preparations are considered; whole horsechestnut extract (whole HCE) and purified ?-aescin. Historically, whole HCE has been used both for oral and IV routes (as of year 2001). The rate of adverse effects are low, in a large German study, 0.6 %, consisting mainly of gastrointestinal symptoms. Dizziness, headache and itching have been reported. One serious safety issue is rare cases of acute anaphylactic reactions, presumably in a context of whole HCE. Purified ?-aescin would be expected to have a better safety profile.

Another is the risk of acute renal failure, “when patients, who had undergone cardiac surgery were given high doses of horse chestnut extract i.v. for postoperative oedema. The phenomenon was dose dependent as no alteration in renal function was recorded with 340 ?g kg?1, mild renal function impairment developed with 360 ?g kg?1 and acute renal failure with 510 ?g kg?1”.  This almost certainly took place in a context of whole HCE.

Three clinical trials were since performed to assess the effects of aescin on renal function. A total of 83 subjects were studied; 18 healthy volunteers given 10 or 20 mg iv. for 6 days, 40 in-patients with normal renal function given 10 mg iv. two times per day (except two children given 0.2 mg/kg), 12 patients with with cerebral oedema and normal renal function given a massive iv. dose on the day of surgery (49.2 ± 19.3 mg) and 15.4 ± 9.4 mg daily for the following 10 days and 13 patients with impaired renal function due to glomerulonephritis or pyelonephritis, who were given 20–25 mg iv. daily for 6 days. “In all studies renal function was monitored daily resorting to the usual tests of renal function: BUN, serum creatinine, creatinine clearance, urinalysis. In a selected number of cases paraaminohippurate and labelled EDTA clearance were also measured. No signs of development of renal impairment in the patients with normal renal function or of worsening of renal function in the patients with renal impairment were recorded.” It is concluded that aescin has excellent tolerability in a clinical setting.

Raw Horse Chestnut seed, leaf, bark and flower are toxic due to the presence of esculin and should not be ingested. Horse chestnut seed is classified by the FDA as an unsafe herb.[12] The glycoside and saponin constituents are considered toxic.

Aesculus hippocastanum is used in Bach flower remedies. When the buds are used it is referred to as “chestnut bud” and when the flowers are used it is referred to as “white chestnut”.

Quercetin 3,4′-diglucoside, a flavonol glycoside can also be found in horse chestnut seeds

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/Aesculus_hippocastanum
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Aesculus+hippocastanum

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White ginger lily

Botanical Name : Hedychium coronarium
Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Hedychium
Species: H. coronarium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zingiberales

Common Names :dolan champa  in Hindi, dolon champa in Bengali, takhellei angouba in Manipuri, Sontakka in Marathi, suruli sugandhi in Kannada and Kalyana sauganthikam in Malayalam.

Habitat :White ginger lily is native to Range  E. Asia – India. It grows in  moist places along streams and on forest edges.

Description:
White ginger lily is a perennial herb growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in flower from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
Click to see the pictures...(01)....(1)….…(2).…(3)..…...(4)...(5).…..(6)...
In Brazil it is very common and considered to be an invasive weed. It was introduced in the era of slavery, brought to the country by African slaves who used its leaves as mattresses. It is also considered an invasive species in Hawaii.

In Cuba it is the National Flower, known as “Mariposa blanca” literally “White Moth Flower”, due to its similarity with a flying white moth. This particular species is incredibly fragrant and women used to adorn themselves with these flowers in Spanish colonial times; because of the intricate structure of the inflorescence, women hid and carried secret messages important to the independence cause under it. It is said that a guajiro’s (farmer’s) house is not complete without a white ginger in its garden. Today the plant has gone wild in the cool rainy mountains in Sierra del Rosario, Pinar del Rio Province in the west, Escambray Mountains in the center of the island, and in Sierra Maestra in the very west of it, but the plant is not endemic of Cuba.

Its fragrance can be extracted by “enfleurage”.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil.

Cultivation:           
Requires a rich moist soil and a sunny position. It succeeds in shallow water and can also be grown in a sunny border as a summer sub-tropical bedding plant. Plants are not very hardy, they tolerate temperatures down to about -2°c and can be grown at the foot of a south-facing wall in the milder areas of Britain if given a good mulch in the winter. The flowers have a delicious perfume which is most pronounced towards evening. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. The tubers should be only just covered by soil.

Propagation:       
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a warm greenhouse at 18°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on for at least their first winter in the greenhouse. Plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Division as growth commences in the spring. Dig up the clump and divide it with a sharp spade or knife, making sure that each division has a growing shoot. Larger clumps can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a greenhouse until they are established. Plant them out in the summer or late in the following spring

Edible Uses : Young buds and flowers are eaten or used as a flavouring. Root – cooked. A famine food used when all else fails.

Medicinal Uses:
Antirheumatic;  Aromatic;  Carminative;  Febrifuge;  Stomachic;  Tonic.

The seed is aromatic, carminative and stomachic. The root is antirheumatic, excitant and tonic. The ground rhizome is used as a febrifuge. An essential oil from the roots is carminative and has anthelmintic indications. The plant has been used as a remedy for foetid nostril.

Other Uses :
Essential;  Paper.

The stems contain 43 – 48% cellulose and are useful in making paper. An essential oil obtained from the flowers is valued in high grade perfumes. The root contains 1.7% essential oil, which is used medicinally.

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/Hedychium_coronarium
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hedychium+coronarium