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Herbs & Plants

Madhabilata (Hiptage benghalensis)

Botanical Name :Hiptage benghalensis
Family: Malpighiaceae
Genus: Hiptage
Species: H. benghalensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Common Names:Hiptage, Helicopter Flower • Hindi: Madhavi lata  • Manipuri: Madhabi • Kannada: Madhvi • Bengali: Madhabilata or Madhumalati • Tamil:Vasantakaala malligai

Habitat : Madhavi lata is a native of India, Southeast Asia and the Philippines. It has been recorded as a weed in Australian rain forests and is invasive in Mauritius, Réunion, Florida and Hawaii where it thrives in dry lowland forests, forming impenetrable thickets and smothering native vegetation. The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) listed H. benghalensis among Category II plants in 2001, which are species that have shown a potential to disrupt native plant communities

Its habitat is variable and prefers climates ranging from warm temperate to tropical. In Hawai’i, where H. benghalensis is considered a weed, as it is in Australia, Mauritius and Réunion, it grows from sea level to 1,000 m (3,281 ft). H. benghalensis is cultivated for its white-pink scented flowers.

Description:
Madhavi lata is a vine like plant that is often cultivated in the tropics for its attractive and fragrant flowers. A woody climbing shrub with clusters of pink to white and yellow fragrant flowers and 3-winged, helicopter-like fruits. Flowers have very interesting shape and look like a decorative accessory, with fluffy-toothed edges. The fragrance is very strong and pleasant, resembles fruity perfume. Leaves are narrow and drooping. This plant can be trimmed as a bush, and can be crown in container, too. Used medicinally in India. Make sure to provide lots of light for profuse blooming. The genus name, Hiptage, is derived from the Greek hiptamai, which means “to fly” and refers its unique three-winged fruit known as “samara”. The fruit is carried by wind because of its papery wings.

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Madhavi lata flowers intermittently during the year, and produces fragrant flowers borne in compact ten-to-thirty-flowered axillary racemes. The flowers are pink to white, with yellow marks. Fruits are samaras with three spreading, papery oblanceolate to elliptic wings, 2–5 cm long, and propagate via wind or by cuttings.

Medicinal uses:
Madhavi lata is occasionally cultivated for medicinal purposes in the alternative medicine practice ayurveda: the leaves and bark are hot, acrid, bitter, insecticidal, vulnerary and useful in the treatment of biliousness, cough, burning sensation, thirst and inflammation; it also has the ability to treat skin diseases and leprosy.

The bark, leaves and flowers are aromatic, bitter, acrid, astringent, refrigerant, vulnerary, expectorant, cardiotonic, anti-inflammatory and insecticidal. They are useful in burning sensation, wounds, ulcers, cough, asthma.

Othewr Uses:
Madhavi lata is widely cultivated in the tropics for its attractive and fragrant flowers; it can be trimmed to form a small tree or shrub or can be trained as a vine

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/Madhavi%20Lata.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiptage_benghalensis

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Herbs & Plants

Pogostemom patchouli

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Botanical Name :  Pogostemom patchouli
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Pogostemon
Species: P. cablin
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names:Patchouli,Pogostemon cablin,patchouly

Habitat :Pogostemom patchouli is native to tropical regions of Asia, and is now extensively cultivated in China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as West Africa.

Description;
Pogostemon patchouli, or Patchouly plant, is a tender perennial herb that hails from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and southern China. It is widely grown for Patchouly oil that is used in perfumery. Plants have dark to medium green leaves that reach up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long by about half as wide. Plants in containers run about 12 inches (30 cm) tall with an equal spread. They are hardy in USDA zone 8-12.

 

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Blooming Time: In late fall, this greenhouse-grown plant blooms with very small flowers that are purplish. They are very insignificant.

Cultivation:
Pogostemon patchouli need full sun to partial shade, with a rich well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part sand or perlite. During the growing season, the plants are watered regularly and fertilized every other week with a balanced fertilizer diluted to ½ the strength recommended on the label. After the plants flower, they are cut back and water is somewhat restricted for the winter months.

Propagation: Pogostemon patchouli is propagated by cuttings or by seed. Cuttings are taken in the spring and are slow to root, so be patient.

Medicinal Uses:
In China, Japan and Malaysia the herb is used to treat colds, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain an halitosis.  In Japan and Malaysia it is used as an antidote to poisonous snakebites.

In several Asian countries, such as Japan and Malaysia, patchouli is used as an antidote for venomous snakebites. The plant and oil have many claimed health benefits in herbal folk-lore and the scent is used to induce relaxation. Chinese medicine uses the herb to treat headaches, colds, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Patchouli oil can be purchased from mainstream Western pharmacies and alternative therapy sources as an aromatherapy oil.

Other Uses;
Perfume:
Patchouli is used widely in modern perfumery[8] and modern scented industrial products such as paper towels, laundry detergents, and air fresheners. Two important components of its essential oil are patchoulol and norpatchoulenol. From the sixties until today, it is a favored scent by members of the counterculture.

Insecticide:
One study suggests patchouli oil may serve as an all-purpose insect repellent.  More specifically, the patchouli plant is claimed to be a repellent potent against the Formosan subterranean termite.

During the 18th and 19th century, silk traders from China traveling to the Middle East packed their silk cloth with dried patchouli leaves to prevent moths from laying their eggs on the cloth.[citation needed] It has also been proven to effectively prevent female moths from adhering to males, and vice versa. Many historians speculate that this association with opulent Eastern goods is why patchouli was considered by Europeans of that era to be a luxurious scent. It is said that patchouli was used in the linen chests of Queen Victoria in this way.

Incense:
Patchouli is an important ingredient in East Asian incense. Both patchouli oil and incense underwent a surge in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s in the US and Europe, mainly due to the hippie movement of those decades.

Hair conditioner:
Patchouli oil is also used as a hair conditioner for dreadlocks.

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.plantoftheweek.org/week247.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patchouli
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

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