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Herbs & Plants

Chenopodium

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Botanical Name ; Chenopodium
Family:Rosaceae
Genus: Chenopodium
Species: C. album
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms:  Goosefoots. Wormseeds. Spinach. Glassworts. Sea Beets.

Common Names :  Lamb’s quarters, Melde, Goosefoot and fat-hen, Pigweed. It is often distinguished as white goosefoot

Habitat  :Native range of  chenopodium album  is obscure due to extensive cultivation, but includes most of Europe, from where Linnaeus described the species in 1753. Plants native in eastern Asia are included under C. album, but often differ from European specimens. It is widely introduced elsewhere, e.g. Africa, Australasia, North America, and Oceania, and now occurs almost everywhere in soils rich in nitrogen, especially on wasteland.

It is extensively cultivated and consumed in Northern India as a food crop, and in English texts it may be called by its Hindi name bathua or bathuwa, (Marathi:chakboth). It is called Pappukura in Telugu, Paruppukkirai in Tamil, Kaduoma in Kannada, Vastuccira in Malayalam, and Chakvit in Konkani.Bathu sag in hindi,Chandan betu in Bengali,Katu ayamoddakam in Malyalam.

Description:
Chenopodium album is an annual/perennial herb. It tends to grow upright at first, reaching heights of 10–150 cm (rarely to 3 m), but typically becomes recumbent after flowering (due to the weight of the foliage and seeds) unless supported by other plants. The leaves are alternate and can be varied in appearance. The first leaves, near the base of the plant, are toothed and roughly diamond-shaped, 3–7 cm long and 3–6 cm broad. The leaves on the upper part of the flowering stems are entire and lanceolate-rhomboid, 1–5 cm long and 0.4–2 cm broad; they are waxy-coated, unwettable and mealy in appearance, with a whitish coat on the underside. The small flowers are radially symmetrical and grow in small cymes on a dense branched inflorescence 10–40 cm long. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:    
An easily grown plant, succeeding in most soils but disliking shade. It prefers a moderately fertile soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.2 to 8.3. Plants are annuals or short-lived perennials. They are not very hardy when grown outdoors in Britain and so are best grown as an annual. Plants have often self-sown freely in our Cornish trial grounds, but the seed often germinates in the autumn and then does not manage to survive the winter. This species is sometimes grown as a medicinal and culinary plant, especially in its native Mexico. The sub-species C. ambrosioides anthelminticum is more active medicinally and is the form most often cultivated for its vermicidal activity. The bruised leaves emit an unpleasant foetid odour.

Propagation:  
Seed – whilst it can be sown in situ in mid to late spring, we have had better results by sowing the seed in a cold frame in early spring. Put a few seeds in each pot and thin to the best plant if necessary. Germination rates are usually very good and the seedlings should appear within a few days of sowing the seed. Plant out in late spring, after the last expected frosts.

Edible Uses:
The leaves and young shoots may be eaten as a leaf vegetable, either steamed in its entirety, or cooked like spinach, but should be eaten in moderation due to high levels of oxalic acid. Each plant produces tens of thousands of black seeds. These are high in protein, vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Quinoa, a closely related species, is grown specifically for its seeds. The Zuni people cook the young plants’ greens.

Archaeologists analysing carbonized plant remains found in storage pits and ovens at Iron Age, Viking Age, and Roman sites in Europe have found its seeds mixed with conventional grains and even inside the stomachs of Danish bog bodies.

In India, the plant is popularly called bathua and found abundantly in the winter season. The leaves and young shoots of this plant are used in dishes such as soups, curries, and paratha-stuffed breads, especially popular in Punjab. The seeds or grains are used in phambra or laafi, gruel-type dishes in Himachal Pradesh, and in mildly alcoholic fermented beverages such as soora and ghanti.

Medicinal Uses:
improves the appetite,acts as anthelmintic,laxitive,duretic  and tonic. It is used in bilousness, vata and kapha,abdominal pain and eye diseases.In piles it is used in form of pot herb.Finely powdered leaves are used as dusting powder on children external genitals. It is very effective against most parasites, including the amoeba that causes dysentery, but is less effective against tapeworm. Fasting should not precede its use and there have occasionally been cases of poisoning caused by this treatment. The oil is used externally to treat athlete’s foot and insect bites. One report says that it is an essential oil that is utilised. This is obtained from the seed or the flowering stems, it is at its highest concentration in the flowering stems before seed is set, these contain around 0.7% essential oil of which almost 50% is the active vermifuge ascaridol. The essential oil is of similar quality from plants cultivated in warm climates and those in cool climates. The leaves are added in small quantities as a flavouring for various cooked bean dishes because their carminative activity can reduce

Other Uses:
The plant is used as animal feed ,both the leaves and the seeds are used  for chickens and other poultry stuff feeds.

Chenopodium album is vulnerable to leaf miners, making it a useful trap crop as a companion plant. Growing near other plants, it attracts leaf miners which might otherwise have attacked the crop to be protected. It is a host plant for the beet leafhopper, an insect which transmits curly top virus to beet crops.

Known Hazards:  The essential oil in the seed and flowering plant is highly toxic. In excess it can cause dizziness, vomiting, convulsions and even death. The plant can also cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions. The leaves and seeds of all members of this genus are more or less edible. However, many of the species in this genus contain saponins, though usually in quantities too small to do any harm. Although toxic, saponins are poorly absorbed by the body and most pass straight through without any problem. They are also broken down to a large extent in the cooking process. Saponins are found in many foods, such as some beans. 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. The plants also contain some oxalic acid, which in large quantities can lock up some of the nutrients in the food. However, even considering this, they are very nutritious vegetables in reasonable quantities. Cooking the plant will reduce its content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their conditio.

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/chenop53.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chenopodium_album
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Chenopodium+ambrosioides

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Herbs & Plants

Polyalthia longifolia

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Botanical Name :Polyalthia longifolia
Family:Annonaceae
Genus:Polyalthia
Species: P. longifolia
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Magnoliales

Common Names : Polyalthia longifolia’s common names include False Ashoka, the Buddha Tree, Indian mast tree, and Indian Fir tree. Its names in other languages include Ashoka or Devadaru in Sanskrit, Debdaru in Bengali and Hindi, Asopalav (Gujarati), Glodogan tiang (Indonesian), Devdar in marathi and Nettilinkam in Tamil, and araNamaram: (Malayalam). There are two important traditions associated with the tree in India (presumably in its full, untrimmed, form with spreading branches), one being of Sita taking shelter in the shade of Ashoka when in captivity (found in the Ramayana) and another that of the Ashoka tree requiring a kick from a beautiful woman on spring festival day before it would bloom (in the Malavikagnimitra, for example). However, these associations are linked to the real Ashoka tree not the false Ashoka tree (Polyalthia longifolia).

Habitat : Polyalthia longifolia is native to India and Sri Lanka. It is introduced in gardens in many tropical countries around the world. It is, for example, widely used in parts of Jakarta in Indonesia.

Description:
Polyalthia Longifolia  is  a evergreen, tall and slender tree grows symmetrically and produces fresh and shining green foliage. A Polyalthia Longifolia tree grows as tall as 12 meter. The entire length of the plant is covered by long and wavy leaves. The beautiful contrast of new golden and coppery brown leaves against old dark-green leaves make a spectacular show.

Mast-trees Polyalthia longifolia
Mast-trees Polyalthia longifolia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Click to see the pictures:

Polyalthia Longifolia flowers during spring for a brief period (approximately two to three weeks). During this period, the entire tree is covered with small star-shaped flowers of pale green color. The flowers grow in clusters and attract birds and butterflies.Flowering is followed by egg-shaped fruits that are visited by bats and flying foxes.

The trunk of Polyalthia Longifolia has grey bark. Both the trunk and the bark are used in manufacturing of fiber. Timber is used for making boxes, pencils and long masts – that is why it is also known as the mast tree. In India and Sri Lanka, where the mast tree is held in high esteem, its leaves are used in religious ceremonies and for decorating arches and doorways.

Cultivation:Polyalthia Longifolia can be grown easily from seed or cuttings. It is a fast growing tree and requires good exposure to sunlight and moderate watering.

Chemical constituents:
Leaves have been reported to contain an azafluorene alkaloid, polylongine and three aporphine N-oxide alkaloids, (+)-O-methylbulbocapnine- ?-N-oxide,  (+)-O-methyl bulbocapnine- ?-N-Oxide and (+)-N-methylnandigerine- ?-N-oxide. Pentacyclic triterpenes, tarexasterol, stigmasterol, ?-sitosterol, campesterol, ?-amyrine and ?-amyrin have also been identified in the leaves. Clerodane diterpenoids have been isolated from the bark and seeds of this plant (Ghani, 2003). A new proanthocyanidin (I) along with ?-sitosterol and leucocyanidin have been isolated from stem bark (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).

Medicinal Uses:
Plant pacifies vitiated vata, pitta, inflammation, fever, skin disease, diabetes, hypertension and worm infestation. Its bark is used as an adulterant for Saraca asoka.

The bark is used as a febrifuge in the treatment of fever. Alcoholic extract of the leaf possesses strong antifungal and antibacterial properties against wide range of pathogens (Taniya, 2004).

Other Uses:Polyalthia longifolia is a prime choice for land scaping. It can be prooned to beautiful shape & size.

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.thelovelyplants.com/polyalthia-longifolia-the-mast-tree/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyalthia_longifolia
http://enchantingkerala.org/ayurveda/ayurvedic-medicinal-plants/aranamaram.php
http://www.mpbd.info/plants/polyalthia-longifolia.php

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Herbs & Plants

Ranabili

Botanical Name : Cipadessa baccifera
Family: Meliaceae (Neem family)
Synonyms: Melia baccifera, Cipadessa fruticosa
Common name: Ranabili

Hindi : nalbila

Kannada :  cheduveera, chittunde, hanoyi, hanumana thoppalu, mandala kaayi, padavali, sidigolu, sitthunde gida, sidugoli, adusoge, hanumantatoppalu, adasaage, bettadabaevu, chaedu beera, chithunde, hanumantatap, mendala kaayi, minnamunni, narachalu gida

Malayalam :   pulippanchedi

Marathi : ranabili, gudmai

Oriya ; pittamari

Tamil : savattuchedi, pulippanchedi, pullipamcheddi, cannatturukka vempu, cevvattai1, pulippan#, pulippan@

Telugu : chedubira, chedu bira, chend bera, rana beri, turaka vepa, hanumantha-bira, chandbera, chanduvira, pottu vepa, purudona, purudonda, ranabilla, thabate, thavitegu

Habitat :Indomalaysia; in the Western_Ghats- throughout.This species is globaly distributed in Indo-Malesia. It is said to be cultivated in Hawaii and under glass in Europe. Within India, it has been recorded in Bihar, Orissa and in the eastern Himalayas up to 1500 m., Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is found in ravines, rock crevices and in thickets and forest edge habitats.

Description:
Ranabili is a shrub 1-4 m tall, with coarse bark. Young branches are grayish brown, ribbed, and covered with yellow velvety hairs and sparse grayish white lenticels. Leaves are compound, 8-30 cm long, with leaf-stalk and spine either hairless or yellow velvety. Leaflets are usually 9-13, opposite, ovate to ovoid-oblong, 3.5-10 × 1.5-5 cm. Flowers are born in clusters 8-15 cm long. Flowers are white, 3-4 mm in diameter. Flower stalks are 1-1.5 mm long. Sepal cup is short, yellow velvety outside. Sepals are broadly triangular. Petals are white or yellow, linear to oblong-elliptic, 2-3.5 mm, outside covered with sparse appressed velvety hairs. Stamens are shorter than petals, with hairy filaments. Fruit is purple to black when mature, round, 4-5 mm in diameter. Flowering: April-October.
click to see the pictures…

Medicinal uses: Juice of the root is given in cases of indigestion. It is also used in treating cough and cold. A paste of bark is pressed against the teeth for about 15 mins to relieve bleeding and swelling of gums.

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.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Ranabili.html
http://envis.frlht.org.in/botanical_search.php?txtbtname=Cipadessa+baccifera&gesp=2522%7CCipadessa+baccifera+%28ROTH.%29+MIQ.
http://www.biotik.org/india/species/c/cipabacc/cipabacc_en.html

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Herbs & Plants

Clerodendrum serratum

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Botanical name : Clerodendrum serratum (Linn.) Moon
Family : Verbenaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus:
Rotheca
Species: R. serrata
Sanskrit Synonyms
:Brahmanayashtika, Kharashakha, Padma, Kasajith, Barbura
Common Names : Baharangi, Kasaghni, Phajuka, Vatari, Beetle killer, Blue glory
Hindi :  Bharangi
Malayalam :  Cheruthekku
Sansk. : Angaravalli, Brahmanayashtika
Beng. : Bamun Hatee, Baman hatee, Bhuijam
Guj. : Bharangee
Kan. : Gantubarangee
Mar. : Bharangee, Bharang
Ori. : Chinds
Punj. : Bhadangee
Tam. : Cheruteku
Tel. : Ganttubrarangee
Urdu. : Bharangi, Baharangi

Habitat : Clerodendrum serratum is  native to tropical and warm temperate regions of the world, with most of the species occurring in tropical Africa and southern Asia, but with a few in the tropical Americas and northern Australasia, and a few extending north into the temperate zone in eastern Asia.


Description:

A slightly woody shrub with bluntly quadrangular stems and branches, leaves usually three at a node, sometimes opposite oblong or elliptic, serrate; flowers blue, many in long cylindrical thyrsus; fruits 4 lobed purple durpe, somewhat succulent with one pyrene in each lobe.

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Characteristics and Constituents : A sterolglucoside has been isolated. The root bark yields a glycosidic material, phenolic in nature. D-mannitol was isolated from the root bark with a yield of 10.9%. The powdered stem contains D-mannitol, ?-D glucoside of ?-sitosterol, ?-sitosterol and cetyl alcohol. From the bark the sapogenin mixture contains three major triterpenoid constituents-olconolic acid, queretaroic acid and serratagenic acid.

Medicinal Uses:
Ayurvedic Properities:-
Rasam    : Tikta, Katu
Gunam   : Lakhu, Rooksha
Viryam   : Ushna

Useful part
:    Root and Leaves.
Plant pacifies vitiated kapha, pitta, inflammations, anorexia, dyspepsia, flatulence, helminthiasis, cough, asthma, bronchitis, hiccough, chronic skin diseses, leucoderma, leprosy and fevers. The leaves can be used or external application in headache.

A decoction of roots is used in asthma and bronchitis. The leaves are applied in the form of poultice in skin suppurations. The drug is used in fever. It is also used in sinusitis. It is recommended in inflammations of the eye.

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://ayurvedicmedicinalplants.com/plants/2458.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotheca_serrata
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp
http://www.logayurveda.com/index.php/prakriti/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=227:clerodendrum-serratum&catid=32:languages&Itemid=140
http://pharmaceuticals.indiabizclub.com/catalog/310644~clerodendrum+serratum+(linn.)+moon+(+barangi+)~mumbai

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Chonemorpha fragrans

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Botanical name: Chonemorpha fragrans
Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)
Subfamily: Apocynoideae
Tribe: Apocyneae
Genus:
Chonemorpha
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales
Synonyms : Vishani, Meshashringi, Ajavalli

Common name
: Frangipani Vine, Wood vine • Hindi: Moorva, Garbhedaro • Tamil: Perumkurumpa • Malayalam: Perunlurumpa • Telugu: Chaga • Kannada: Manjinaru • Khasi: jyemi longwan • Nepali:Ghoryu • Sanskrit: Murva, Morata


Habitat
:Grows in India, Ceylon to South East Asia, the Philippines and South China.Chonemorpha fragrans is found in dense mountain forests, often clinging to trees.

Description:
Chonemorpha fragrans  is a perennial lactiferous climbing shrub grows on bushes and hedges, flowering profusely from May – July. Growing dormant in sub-tropical and tropical climates and usually losing leaves if temperature gets below 60F. The plants have pubescent to almost tomentose branches, leaves and inflorescences. Large, corrugated, ovate leaves to 40 cm long, deep glossly green, opposite, pale and hairy beneath. Very fragrant, funnel-shaped, showy flowers to 8 cm across with long-peduncled and terminal cymes. Corolla cream with yellow center. Disk cupular with many seeds, ovate-shaped, compressed, with scanty endosperm, with a tuft of hairs at one end, dark brown. The plant is widely grown as a fence cover.

click to see the pictures
Click to see more pictures:
The flowers deceptively resemble the Frangipani. It is one of the powerful climbers of the Indian and Malayan forests, climbing to the tops of the tallest trees. Flowers are pure white with a yellow center, and have a delicious rich fragrance. Even without the leaves, the vine is eye-catching with large shiny leaves with prominent veins.  Flowering May-July.


Medicinal  Uses:
Parts Used :
Roots, Leaves.
Plant pacifies vitiated vata, kapha, skin diseases, diabetes, cough, jaundice, worm infestations, ulcers, wounds, fever and constipation.

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://enchantingkerala.org/ayurveda/ayurvedic-medicinal-plants/appopantadi.php
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Frangipani%20Vine.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chonemorpha
http://toptropicals.com/pics/garden/05/9/9040.jpg

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