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Herbs & Plants

Cornus circinata

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Botanical Name : Cornus circinata
Family :Cornaceae – Dogwood family
Genus :Cornus L. – dogwood
Species: Cornus rugosa Lam. – roundleaf dogwood
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class :Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass :Rosidae
Order :Cornales

Synonym:Cornus rugosa, Swida rugosa.

Common Names :Green Osier,Round-leaf Dogwood,

Habitat :Cornus circinata  is said to grow in Eastern N. America – Quebec to Manitoba and south to Virginia and Illinois. It grows  on side of the road in dry rocky soil. Sun to part-shade. Good screen in summer.

Description:
Cornus circinata  is a rangy  deciduous Shrub, growing  6′ to 8′ tall and 6′ to 7 ‘ wide, with a coarse look. (It would probably look better if it is pruned  regularly.) No particular winter color to the branches, even on younger wood. Sometimes gets a burgundy cast to its leaves in autumn, but color is not reliable. Flowers are inconspicuous; light blue fruits on red stems are interesting in late summer but disappear fast.

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It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

Cultivation :
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in any soil of good or moderate fertility, ranging from acid to shallow chalk. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Succeeds in poorly drained soils. Succeeds in full sun or light shade. A very ornamental and free-flowering plant. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.

Propagation:  
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in an outdoors seedbed if there is sufficient seed. The seed must be separated from the fruit flesh since this contains germination inhibitors. Stored seed should be cold stratified for 3 – 4 months and sown as early as possible in the year . Scarification may also help as may a period of warm stratification before the cold stratification. Germination, especially of stored seed, can be very slow, taking 18 months or more. Prick out the seedlings of cold-frame sown seeds into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow the plants on for their first winter in a greenhouse, planting out in the spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe side shoots, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, taken with a heel if possible, autumn in a cold frame. High percentage. Layering of new growth in June/July. Takes 9 months

Medicinal Uses:
The bark is cathartic, febrifuge and tonic. A decoction of the roots has been used in the treatment of kidney complaints and TB.
A homoeopathic tincture of the fresh bark is administered in ulcerated conditions of the ucous membranes and in liver complaints and jaundice.

Other Uses:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds. But deer does not bother it, unlike the other dogwoods .

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/o/osierg15.html
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/31682/
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Cornus+rugosa
https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=CORU

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Herbs & Plants

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

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Herbs & Plants

Strychnos ignatia

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Botanical Name :Strychnos ignatia
Family: Loganiaceae
Genus:     Strychnos
Species: S. ignatia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Gentianales

Synonyms: Faba Ignatic. Ignatia amara (Linn.).

Common Names: Ignatius Beans,  Bean Of St. Ignatius, aguwason, dankkagi (Visayan language) or igasud (in Cebuano language)

Habitat :Strychnos ignatia is native to  Philippine Islands.

Description:
Strychnos ignatia is a large woody climbing shrub, introduced into Cochin China, and highly esteemed there as a medicine. It attracted the attention of the Jesuits, hence its name. In commerce the beans are about one full inch long; ovate, a dull blacky brown colour, very hard and horny, covered in patches with silvery adpressed hairs; endosperm translucent, enclosing an irregular cavity with an oblong embryo; no odour; taste extremely bitter. The fruit of Strychnos ignatii is the size and shape of a pear, and has almond-like seeds known as Saint Ignatius‘ beans. Each fruit contains about twelve to twenty seeds embedded in the pulp from which they have to be separated.
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Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: Ripe dried seeds.

Constituents: The beans have the same properties as Nux Vomica, but contain more strychnine, also brucine, a volatile principle extractive, gum, resin, colouring matter, a fixed oil, and bassorin; they contain no albumen or starch.

Tonic and stimulant in action like Nux Vomica, which, being cheaper, is nearly always used as a substitute. Old writers lauded these beans as a remedy against cholera. They are useful in certain forms of heart trouble, but must be used with the greatest caution, as they are a very active and powerful poison.
Historically, the pits of the S. Ignacio cured persons who had eaten something poisonous. A small piece of it, eaten and followed down with cold water, expelled the poison. It also stopped stomach cramps and the inflammation of the ileum. It cured lockjaw and helped women giving birth. Scrapped pieces could be ingested when chills started in order to lower the fever. Ground into a powder and placed over the affected area, it cured the effects of hairy worms called “basut.” Sucked as a candy, it eased arthritic pains and watery discharges due to indigestion. Cut into strips and fried in oil, it could be massaged into a paralyzed part of the body. It eased body aches as well.

It appears to possess an influence over the nervous system of a tonic and stimulating character, not belonging to Nux vomica or strychnine. It is never a remedy for conditions of excitation of the nervous system, but its key-note is atony; it is the remedy for nervous debility, and all that that term implies, being one of the best of nerve stimulants and nerve tonics. It was early recognized as a remedy for nervous debility, amenorrhea, chlorosis, etc. As a rule, the dose of ignatia administered is too large, a depressing headache often resulting from its immoderate use. The preparation mostly employed is specific ignatia, of which from 5 to 10 drops should be added to 4 fluid ounces of water, and the solution be administered in teaspoonful doses every 2 or 3 hours. Bearing in mind the condition of nervous atony, it may be successfully administered in anemia, where the patient is cold, and especially when coldness of the extremities is one of the distressing features of the menopause. It should be thought of in anemic states of the brain, and particularly in those cases where the patient exhibits hysterical, melancholic, or hypochondriacal demonstrations. It is a remedy for digestive disorders, such as atonic dyspepsia and chronic catarrh of the stomach, with atony, and gastralgia or gastrodynia. The sick headache of debility is relieved by it. Shifting, dragging, boring, or darting pains, deeply seated in the loins or lumbar region, are those benefited by ignatia. It is an important remedy in atonic reproductive disorders. Eclectics have not found it to be especially adapted to females only, as have the Homoeopaths declare it the remedy for women, while nux and strychnine are remedies for men. Sexual coldness in both sexes, impotence in the male and sterility in the female are remedied many times by the judicious administration of ignatia. The deep-seated pelvic pains of women, particularly ovarian pains and uterine colic are especially relieved by ignatia, which is also indicated in menstrual disorders with colic-like pains, heavy dragging of the ovaries, and an abnormally large and heavy womb. If added to these pelvic weaknesses, the general nervous system is greatly debilitated, there are wandering pelvic pains or pain in the right hypochondrium with constipation, neuralgia in other parts of the body, twitching, of the facial muscles, a tendency to paralysis, and choreic and epileptiform symptoms, associated with a disposition to grieve over one’s condition, the indications for ignatia are still stronger. But to obtain beneficial effects the dose must be small.

Homeopathy: The plant is the source of a homeopathic remedy known as ignatia, ignatia amara, or as iamara, which is used to treat grief, depression and other conditions.

Known Hazards:The beans of the plant contain the alkaloids strychnine and brucine. Strychnine is highly toxic, with an LD50 of 1-2 milligrams per kilogram, and was formerly used in rat poisons. Brucine is also toxic, but less so.

(Antidotes:  Same as for strychnine, chloroform, belladonna, aconite, tobacco, chloral hydrate 1 drachm doses, morphia)

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/i/ignati02.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strychnos_ignatia

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

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Herbs & Plants

Peumus boldus Molina

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Botanical Name :Peumus boldus Molina
Family : Monimiaceae – Monimia family
Genus : Peumus Molina – peumus
Species : Peumus boldus Molina – boldo
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division :Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Magnoliidae
Order: Laurales

Synonyms : Boldu boldus. Boldea fragrans. Boldea boldus. Boldu chilanum

Common Name:  Boldu, Boldo

Habitat :Peumus boldus Molina is native to  S. America – Chile  It grows on Dry sunny slopes in lightly wooded country.

Description:
Peumus boldus Molina is an evergreen Tree growing to 6 m (19ft 8in) at a slow rate.

click to see the pictures>   (001).…..(01).…..…(1)..…...(2)..…..…(3).…..………..

It is hardy to zone 9. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Aug to September. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is not self-fertile.

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Cultivation :    
Dislikes soils that are too moist. Prefers a well-drained acid sandy soil in full sun. Hardy in climatic zone 9 (tolerating occasional light frosts), this plant normally requires greenhouse protection in Britain but is capable of withstanding light frosts and might succeed outdoors in the mildest areas of the country, especially if grown against a sunny wall. One report says that the plant succeeds outdoors at Kew Gardens in London, where it often flowers all year round. All parts of the plant are sweetly aromatic. The leaves have a lemon-camphor aroma. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if fruit and seed is required.

Propagation:   
Seed – sow spring in a warm greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and give them some protection from winter cold for at least their first winter or two outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Grow the cuttings on in the frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter.

 
Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. Sweet and aromatic with an agreeable flavour. The fruit is up to 2cm in diameter. The leaves and bark are used as a condiment.

Constituents:  alkaloids (boldine) and flavonoids, resin, and tannins. essential oil: ascaridole, camphor, cineole, linalool, limonene

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic;  Antiseptic;  Antispasmodic;  Bitter;  Cholagogue;  Diuretic;  Stimulant;  Tonic.

Boldu is a traditional remedy used by the Araucanian Indians of Chile as a tonic. The plant stimulates liver activity and bile flow and is chiefly valued as a remedy for gallstones and liver or gallbladder pain. It is normally taken for only a few weeks at a time, either as an infusion or as a tincture. It is often combined with other herbs such as Berberis vulgaris or Chionanthus virginicus in the treatment of gallstones. The leaves are analgesic, antiseptic (urinary), bitter, cholagogue, diuretic, stimulant and tonic. They are considered a valuable cure for gonorrhoea in S. America. The plant is taken internally in the treatment of liver disease (though the bark is more effective here), gallstones, urinary tract infections, intestinal parasites and rheumatism. It has been used in the past as a substitute for quinine in the treatment of malaria. The leaves are harvested during the growing season and are dried for later use. Some caution is advised, the plant should not be used by pregnant women. See also the notes above on toxicity. A volatile oil obtained from the plant destroys internal parasites. Alkaloids contained in the bark are a stimulant for the liver. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Peumus boldus for dyspeptic complaints (indigestion)  for critics of commission E).

Boldo is one of the best liver tonics in the world and also has an affinity for kidneys and bladder. Boldo activates the secretion of saliva and stimulates liver activity and bile flow and is chiefly valued as a remedy for gallstones and liver or gallbladder pain. Boldine, one of its constituents, induces the flow of bile as well as the total amount of solids that it excretes. Its protective action over the hepatic cells has been demonstrated “in vitro” and “in vivo”. It is normally taken for a few weeks at a time, either as a tincture or infusion. Boldo is also a mild urinary antiseptic and demulcent, and may be taken for infections such as cystitis. In the Anglo-American tradition, boldo is combined with barberry and fringe tree in the treatment of gallstones. It makes a drinkable tea and combined with goldenseal is excellent for kidney and bladder infections.

Boldo leaves are the subject of a German therapeutic monograph which allows the use for mild gastrointestinal spasms and dyspeptic disorders as well as a subject of a US monograph which shows that boldo causes clinically significant diuresis. The plant is used in homeopathy in the treatment of digestive disorders, as a laxative, choleretic, diuretic, and for hepatic disturbances. The leaves have been used for worms, and Dr. James Duke reports its traditional use for urogenital inflammations like gonorrhea and syphilis, as well as for gout, jaundice, dyspepsia, rheumatism, head colds and earaches. Boldo is rich in phytochemicals including at least 17 known alkaloids. A total of at least 38 phytochemical compounds have been identified. Antioxidant properties of the leaves has also been documented. A recent human study demonstrated that Boldo relaxes smooth muscle and prolongs intestinal transit which validated again its traditional medicinal uses. The average therapeutic dose is reported to be 2-3 grams daily.

Other Uses  
Beads;  Charcoal;  Dye;  Essential;  Repellent;  Tannin.

The bark is a source of tannin and is also used as a dye. A deliciously fragrant essential oil is obtained from the leaves. The dried and powdered leaves are scattered amongst clothes to sweeten them and repel insects. The small fruits are dried and used as beads in necklaces. When warmed by the body or the sun they release the scent of cinnamon. The wood is used for making charcoal.

Known Hazards :   The leaves contain a toxic alkaloid. Boldo volatile oil is one of the most toxic oils. Excessive doses have caused irritation of the kidneys and genitourinary tract. A massive overdose can cause paralysis . Should not use by patients with kidney disease

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

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Peumus+boldus
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail223.php
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PEBO5

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

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Herbs & Plants

Artemisia franserioides

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Botanical Name :Artemisia franserioides
Family : Asteraceae
Genus : Artemisia L.
Species:  Artemisia franserioides Greene
Kingdom : Plantae
Subkingdom ; Tracheobionta
Superdivision : Spermatophyta
Division ; Magnoliophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Subclass : Asteridae
Order : Asterales

Common Name :Mugwort, Mountain

Habitat :Artemisia franserioides is native to North America north of Mexico.This is one of our higher elevation Sagebrushes, found at up to 10,000 feet elevation

Description:
Artemisia franserioides is a perennial herb with glabrous bipinnatifid and simply pinnatifid leaves.  Stem is Herbaceous is Not woody, lacking lignified tissues.It is flowering in the autumn.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

click to see the pictures.

Medicinal Uses:
As a cold and flu medicine it is drunk cold to settle the stomach, and hot to bring on and to reduce fever.  It also is brewed as a bitter tonic for stomach pains and acidosis from greasy and rancid foods. Also used for diarrhea.

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

Resources:
http://www.pollenlibrary.com/Specie/Artemisia+franserioides/
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARFR3
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
http://www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/White%20Enlarged%20Photo%20Pages/artemisia%20franserioides.htm

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