Tag Archives: Monarda

Mentha crispa

Botanical Name : Mentha crispa
Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribe: Mentheae
Genus: Mentha
Species: M. spicata
Kingdom: Plantae

Common Names: Supermint, Spearmint or spear mint

Habitat : Mentha crispa is native to much of Europe and Asia (Middle East, Himalayas, China etc.), and naturalized in parts of northern and western Africa, North and South America, as well as various oceanic islands.

Description:
Mentha crispa is a herbaceous, rhizomatous, perennial plant growing 30–100 cm tall, with variably hairless to hairy stems and foliage, and a wide-spreading fleshy underground rhizome. The leaves are 5–9 cm long and 1.5–3 cm broad, with a serrated margin.It is broad, sharply-toothed, woolly beneath, is a avariety of M. aquatica. It is sometimes found in Britain in gardens and has quite a different odour to that of the common Wild Water Mint. The stem is square-shaped, a trademark of the mint family of herbs. Spearmint produces flowers in slender spikes, each flower pink or white, 2.5–3 mm long, and broad.

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Hybrids involving spearmint include Mentha × piperita (peppermint; hybrid with Mentha aquatica), Mentha × gracilis (ginger mint, syn. M. cardiaca; hybrid with Mentha arvensis), and Mentha × villosa (large apple mint, hybrid with Mentha suaveolens).

The name ‘spear’ mint derives from the pointed leaf tip

Cultivation: Mentha crispa or Spearmint grows well in nearly all temperate climates. Gardeners often grow it in pots or planters due to its invasive, spreading rhizomes. The plant prefers partial shade, but can flourish in full sun to mostly shade. Spearmint is best suited to loamy soils with abundant organic material.

Edible Uses: Spearmint leaves can be used fresh, dried, or frozen. They can also be preserved in salt, sugar, sugar syrup, alcohol, or oil. The leaves lose their aromatic appeal after the plant flowers. It can be dried by cutting just before, or right (at peak) as the flowers open, about one-half to three-quarters the way down the stalk (leaving smaller shoots room to grow). Some dispute exists as to what drying method works best; some prefer different materials (such as plastic or cloth) and different lighting conditions (such as darkness or sunlight).

Tea: The cultivar Mentha spicata ‘Nana’, the nana mint of Morocco, possesses a clear, pungent, but mild aroma, and is an essential ingredient of Touareg tea.

Spearmint is an ingredient in several mixed drinks, such as the mojito and mint julep. Sweet tea, iced and flavored with spearmint, is a summer tradition in the Southern United States.

Medicinal Uses: As a medicinal plant, spearmint is steeped as tea for the treatment of stomach ache. Spearmint has been studied for antifungal activity; its essential oil was found to have some antifungal activity, although less than oregano. Its essential oil did not show any evidence of mutagenicity in the Ames test. It can have a calming effect when used for insomnia or massages.

CLICK & SEE : Efficacy of the Mentha crispa in the treatment of women with Trichomonas vaginalis infection.

Other Uses: Spearmint is often cultivated for its aromatic and carminative oil, referred to as oil of spearmint. The most abundant compound in spearmint oil is R-(–)-carvone, which gives spearmint its distinctive smell. Spearmint oil also contains significant amounts of limonene, dihydrocarvone, and 1,8-cineol. Unlike peppermint oil, oil of spearmint contains minimal amounts of menthol and menthone. It is used as a flavoring for toothpaste and confectionery, and is sometimes added to shampoos and soaps.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spearmint
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mints-39.html

Monarda punctata

Botanical Name : Monarda punctata
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Monarda
Species: M. punctata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms: Monarda lutea. Spotted Monarda.

Common Names :Spotted Beebalm and Horsemint

Habitat : Monarda punctata  is native to the United States and northeastern Mexico.

Description:
Monarda punctata is a perennial herb, growing in dry, sandy places. It has a strong erect stem, reaching 2 feet or more in height, with lanceolate, opposite leaves, 2 to 4 inches long, dotted on the under-surface with glands. The flowers form dense whorls, one being terminal, and have a large yellow corolla, the upper lip being spotted with purple. A circle of large, leaf-like bracts, purplish-pink in colour, surrounds them.
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It is a thyme-scented plant with purple-spotted tubular yellow flowers.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: Whole herb

Constituents:  The active virtues depend on the abundant volatile oil, which has been found to contain a hydrocarbon, thymol, and higher oxygenated compounds. It yields its virtues to boiling water, but particularly to alcohol.

Oleum Monardze or Oil of Horsemint is official in the United States.

It is  rubefacient, stimulant, carminative.
The plant contains thymol, an antiseptic and fungicide. It was historically used to treat upset stomachs, colds, diarrhea, neuralgia and kidney disease.
The infusion is used for flatulent colic, sickness, and as a diaphoretic and emmenagogue, or as a diuretic in urinary disorders.

The principal use is external, and in its pure state it may be a vesicant. It should be diluted with olive oil or soap liniment, two or four parts of either being added to one of oil of Monarda. It may be employed in chronic rheumatism, cholera infantum, or whenever rubefacients are required.

It may be taken like Hedeoma, or American Pennyroyal.

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/Monarda_punctata
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mints-39.html#hor.

Liatris

Botanical Name : Liatris
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Genus: Liatris
Gaertn. ex Schreb.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common names: Blazing-star, Gay-feather or Button snakeroot

Habitat ; Liatri is native to North America, Mexico, and the Bahamas. These plants are used as a popular summer flowers for bouquets.

Description:
Liatris is a  perennial  plant, surviving the winter in the form of corms.

Liatris species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Schinia gloriosa, Schinia sanguinea (both of which feed exclusively on the genus), Schinia tertia and Schinia trifascia.

Liatris is in the tribe Eupatorieae of the aster family. Like other members of this tribe, the flower heads have disc florets and no ray florets. Liatris is in the subtribe Liatrinae along with, for example, Trilisa and Carphephorus. Liatris is closely related to Garberia from Florida, but can be distinguished because the latter is a shrub and has a different karyotype.

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Botanical Source and History.—LIATRIS SPICATA, Willdenow, Button snakeroot. This plant, also known by the names of Gay-feather, Devil’s bit, etc., has a perennial, tuberous root, an erect, annual stem, 2 to 5 feet in height, mostly stout, and very leafy. The leaves are linear, glabrous, alternate, punctate, ciliate at base, lower ones 3 to 5-nerved, and narrowed at base. The flowers are sessile, of a bright-purple color; the heads many, densely crowded in a long, terminal spike, and from 8 to 12-flowered. The scales of the cylindrical, bell-shaped involucre are oblong or oval, and appressed, with slight scarious margins. Achenia pubescent, obconic. Pappus permanent, colored, barbellate, not evidently plumose to the naked eye. Receptacle naked. This plant is found in moist places in the middle and southern states, and in abundance in the prairies (G.—W.).

LIATRIS SQUARROSA, Willdenow, or Blazing-star, has a perennial, tuberous root, with a stem 2 to 3 feet high, thickly beset with long-linear, nerved leaves; the lower ones attenuated at the base. The heads are few, sessile or nearly so, with brilliant purple flowers; the racemes flexuous and leafy; the involucre ovate-cylindric, and the scales of the involucre large, numerous, squarrose-spreading; outer ones larger and leafy, inner ones mucronate-acuminate, and scarcely colored. Pappus plumose. This plant is found in the middle and southern states, in dry soil, and is known in the South by the name of Rattlesnake’s master (G.—W.).

LIATRIS SCARIOSA, Willdenow, or Gay-feather, has a perennial, tuberous root, with a stout, scabrous-pubescent stem, 4 to 5 feet in height, whitish above. The leaves are numerous, lanceolate, tapering at both ends, glabrous, with rough margins, entire, lower ones on long petioles, 3 to 9 inches long, upper ones 1 to 3 inches in length by 1 to 3 lines in width. The heads number from 5 to 20, an inch in diameter, and are disposed in a long raceme, with 20 to 40 purple flowers. The involucre is globose-hemispherical; the scales of the involucre obovate or spatulate, very obtuse, with dry and scarious margins, often colored. Pappus scabrous. This plant is found in dry woods and sandy fields from New England to Wisconsin, and extending southward (G.—W.).

LIATRIS ODORATISSIMA, Willdenow.—This plant, known as Deer’s tongue or Vanilla plant, has radical and stem leaves; the former are obovate-spatulate, tapering below, generally 7-veined, and sometimes slightly obtusely toothed. The stem leaves are oblong and clasping. The leaves are more or less glaucous and fleshy. The flower-heads are arranged in a panicle or corymb, and are from 4 to 10-flowered, the blossoms being of a vivid purple hue. The involucre has but few scales, and these are spatulate-oblong, and imbricated. Pappus not plumose, but finely barbollate. The rhizome of this species is not tuberous. Deer’s tongue is found from Virginia south, and flowers in September and October. The leaves, when dry, have a pleasant odor.
Native American plant used in smoking blends to flavor tobacco. Their perfume is largely due to Coumarin, which can be seen in crystals on the upper side of the smooth, spatulate leaves. -Demulcent, febrifuge, diaphoretic

History and Chemical Composition.—All the above plants are splendid natives, and flowering through August, September, and October. There are several other species of this genus which appear to possess medicinal properties analogous to each other, and which deserve further investigation—e.g., L. cylindracea, L. graminifolia, etc. The roots are the medicinal parts; they are all tuberous, except L. odoratissima, with fibers, and have a hot, somewhat bitter taste, with considerable acrimony, and an agreeable, turpentine odor. They appear to contain a resinous substance, volatile oil, and a bitter principle. Their virtues are extracted by alcohol, and partially by hot water in infusion. The leaves of L. odoratissima are often covered with glistening crystals of coumarin (C9H6O2) (Procter, Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1859, p. 556). On account of this constituent, it is used in North Carolina for keeping moths out of clothes. Deer’s tongue is also of interest as a reputed adulterant of tobacco, it being said to be especially employed in the making of cigarettes, the deleterious effects of which have been attributed, by some, to the coumarin present in them. Liatris spicata was analyzed by W. F. Henry (Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1892, p. 603). It contained 0.09 per cent of volatile oil, about 4.5 per cent of resin, 2.3 per cent of a caoutchouc-like body, 16 per cent of inulin, also mucilage, glucose, etc., but no glucosid nor alkaloid.

Medicinal Uses:
These plants are diuretic, with tonic, stimulant, and emmenagogue properties. A decoction of them is very efficient in gonorrhoea, gleet, and nephritic diseases, in doses of from 2 to 4 fluid ounces, 3 or 4 times a day. It is also reputed beneficial in scrofula, dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea, after-pains, etc. It is likewise of advantage used as a gargle, in sore throat, and chronic irritation of the throat, with relaxed tissues, and in injection has proved useful in leucorrhoea. It acts kindly on the stomach, and is of some value in dyspepsia associated with renal torpor. While it relieves colic and other spasmodic bowel affections of children, it has some reputation as a remedy for pain and weakness in the lumbar region. Said to be beneficial in Bright’s disease     in connection with Lycopus virginicus and Aletris farinosa; equal parts of each in decoction. These plants are celebrated for their alexipharmic powers in bites of venomous snakes. Pursh states that, when bitten, the inhabitants of the southern states bruise the bulbous roots, and apply them to the wound, at the same time drinking freely of a decoction of them in milk. This requires corroboration. The eliminative action of liatris may be taken advantage of in removing morbific products left in the system after serious forms of illness. The decoction is prepared from an ounce of the root to 1 pint of water. Dose, 1 fluid drachm to 4 fluid ounces.

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.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/kings/liatris.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liatris
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail548.php

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Monarda didyma

Botanical Name :Monarda didyma
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Monarda
Species: M. didyma
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names :Bee Balm,  Bergamot, Scarlet beebalm, Scarlet monarda, Oswego tea, or Crimson beebalm

Habitats :Bergamot didyma is native to   Eastern N. America – New York to Michigan, south to Georgia and Tennessee. It grows in  moist soils in rich woods, thickets and bottom lands.

Description:
Monarda didyma is a hardy perennial plant grows to 0.7-1.5 m in height, with the stems square in cross-section. The leaves are opposite on the square stems, 6–15 cm long and 3–8 cm broad, and dark green with reddish leaf veins and a coarsely-toothed margin; they are glabrous or sparsely pubescent above, with spreading hairs below.

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It is hardy to zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 10-Apr It is in flower from Jun to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
Easily grown in ordinary garden soil so long as it is not too dry. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Requires a moist soil and a sunny position. Prefers some shade but succeeds in a sunny position so long as the soil does not dry out. Plants are hardy to at least -25°c. The flowers are rich in nectar and are very attractive to bees. A good companion plant, it grows well with tomatoes. Bergamot is a very ornamental and aromatic plant, it is often grown in the herb garden, there are some named varieties. The leaves, stems and roots carry a delicious aromatic orange-like perfume when crushed. Plants are subject to mildew in dry summers.

Propagation
Seed – sow mid to late spring in a cold frame. Germination usually takes place within 10 – 40 days at 20°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. The seed can also be sown in situ in late summer in areas where the winters are not too severe and will produce larger plants. Cuttings of soft basal shoots in spring. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 – 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, large divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves.
Leaves and young shoot tips – raw or cooked. They are used as a flavouring in salads, fruit salads, drinks etc.  Flowers – raw. They are added as an attractive garnish to salads.  An excellent aromatic tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves and flower heads.  The leaves give an Earl Grey flavour to China tea.

Medicinal Uses :
Anthelmintic;  CarminativeDiuretic;  Expectorant;  Febrifuge;  Rubefacient;  Stimulant.

Bergamot is often used as a domestic medicine, being particularly useful in the treatment of digestive disorders. The leaves and flowering stems are anthelmintic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, rubefacient and stimulant. An infusion is used in the treatment of flatulent colic and sickness, it is also used as a diuretic to treat urinary disorders. The leaves can be harvested before the plant flowers, or they can be harvested with the flowering stems. They can be used fresh or dried. An essential oil from the herb is mainly used externally as a rubefacient in the treatment of rheumatism etc.

Bergamot tea is soothing and relaxing and makes a good night-time drink.  Add a handful of fresh leaves to your bath to sooth tired and aching limbs (in a net bag).  Native Americans used the leaves of monarda as a poultice and compress on skin eruptions, as a tea for colds and flus and inhaled as a steam to relieve sinus and lung congestion.  Scientific evidence shows that bergamot may inhibit the herpes simplex and the related chicken pox viruses.  It is also combined with other herbs to treat urinary tract infections and indigestion.

Other Uses
Essential;  Pot-pourri.

Yields an essential oil, used in perfumery, as a hair tonic etc. The dried leaves and flowers are used to scent and add colour to pot-pourri.

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Monarda+didyma
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarda_didyma
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
.

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Bergamot

Botanical Name: Monarda citriodora/Citrus aurantium ssp. bergamia
Family :Rutaceae — (rue family)
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Citrus
Species: C. aurantium x C. medica
Other Name : The bergamot orange is unrelated to the herbs of the same name, Monarda didyma and Monarda fistulosa.Citrus bergamia syn C.b. rutaceae syn C. aurantium var. bergamia
The name BERGAMOT is shared by unrelated perennial plants of the Monarda species.
Parts Used: Flowers, ripe fruit peel.

Habitat:Originally Asia. Today also cultivated in the Ivory Coast and Reggio di Calabria in southern Italy. Italian Bergamot is preferred. Extensively cultivated in southern France and Italy for a long time, it is believed the orange blossom as a symbol for marriage originated there.

Description:
A tree of the citrus family which is similar in appearance to Bitter Orange aka Seville Orange (C. aurantium), but with wider leaves and a more aromatic rind on the fruit. Both Neroli oil from the flowers, and Bergamot oil from the rinds, are obtained by distillation.Bergamot grows on small evergreen trees which blossom during the spring.

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Leaves – The bergamot tree has an evergreen and a relatively light-green foliage, close to the one of the lemon tree. (Citrus limon)
Flowers – Flowers are white, star-shaped, and strongly fragrant. Branches are often thorny.
Fruits – The bergamot, or orange bergamot, is a citrus fruit that looks like a slightly flattened and small lemon. Its skin is yellow to orange-yellow. The bergamot is seldom eaten raw, but is rather candied or processed to get the essential oils it contains
Fragrance: Subtle orangey, citrus scent. Somewhat spicy.

Companion plant
Bergamot’s aromatic roots are thought to mask other nearby plants from pests that attack their roots, and so are sometimes grown as a companion in vegetable gardens.

Religious importance
It is believed that this herb is used in the rituals and spells for money and success.


USES:

In food
An essence extracted from the aromatic skin of this sour fruit is used to flavour Earl Grey tea and confectionery. One Italian food manufacturer produces a commercial marmalade using the fruit as its principal ingredient. It is also popular in Greece as a preserve, made with bergamot peel boiled in sugar syrup.

As a scent
Bergamot peel is used in perfumery for its ability to combine with an array of scents to form a bouquet of aromas which complement each other. Approximately one third of all men’s and about half of women’s perfumes contain bergamot essential oil. Bergamot was a component of the original Eau de Cologne developed in 17th century Germany – in 1704 the bergamot was first used to make the now famous “Eau de toilette” from the bergamot fruit by scooping out the pulp and squeezing the peel into sponges. 100 bergamot oranges will yield about 3 ounces of bergamot oil.

Companion plant
Bergamot’s aromatic roots are thought to mask other nearby plants from pests that attack their roots, and so are sometimes grown as a companion in vegetable gardens.

Medicinal Uses:
The strongly acidic fruit of the bitter orange stimulates the digestion and relieves flatulence. An infusion of the fruit is thought to soothe headaches, calm palpitations and lower fevers. The juice helps the body eliminate waste products, and, being rich in vitamin C, helps the immune system ward off infection. If taken to excess, however, its acid content can exacerbate arthritis. In Chinese herbal medicine, the unripe fruit, known as zhi shi, is thought to regulate the quick helping to relieve flatulence and abdominal bloating, and to open the bowels. The distilled flower water is antispasmodic and sedative.

In sunscreens:

In the past psoralen – extracted from bergamot oil – has been used in tanning accelerators and sunscreens. Psoralens penetrate the skin, where they increase the amount of direct DNA damage. This damage is responsible for sunburn and for an increased melanin production.

These substances were known to be photocarcinogenic since 1959, but they were only banned from sunscreens in 1995. These photocarcinogenic substances were banned years after they had caused many cases of malignant melanoma and deaths. Psoralen is now used only in the treatment of certain skin disorders, as part of PUVA therapy.

Witchcraft
Bergamot was said to be used by Italian calabrian wiccas that used the fruit in potions to make women fertile, men impotent, or to get rid of warts or blemishes. Today there is a well-known pagan cult that worship the god given name of the Bergamot. On their talismans is a bergamot orange.

In hoodoo rootwork, bergamot is used to control or command, and for this reason is used in a variety of spells and formulas in which a practitioner might wish to subdue another person.

Bergamot Oil (Citrus bergamia) – A light greenish-yellow liquid with a fresh sweet-fruity, slightly spicy-balsamic undertone. Blends well with lavender, neroli, jasmine, cypress, geranium, lemon, chamomile, juniper, coriander and violet. Contains 0.2-0.5% furocoumarin (as bergaptene). If used straight, it has severe phototoxicity. Avoid sunlight after use on skin. To avoid phototoxicity use in dilutions of less than 1%. Otherwise non-toxic and relatively non-irritating.
Extraction: Cold pressed from the peels.
Country of Origin: Italy

MEDICINAL USES:
*Antiseptic, appetite stimulant.
*Bitter, aromatic; relieves tension; antispasmodic; digestive aid.
*Oil is considered sedative and healing.
*Orange blossom water has been used for infant colic.
*Bergamot oil has been used in douches and baths for vaginal infections.
*Formerly, the dried flowers were used in infusion form as a mild nervous stimulant.

This herb also known as Oswego tea and Bee Balm is good for the treatment of nausea, vomiting, cold and flu. If used in oil form is an effective treatment for Gingivitis, lost appetite, acne, coughs, fevers, tension, stress, and depression.


AROMATHERAPY:

Bergamot oil is considered sedative and healing and used for stress related problems, depression and anxiety. Neroli oil is considered stimulant and aphrodisiac. Both are used for skin conditions.

COSMETIC:
Increases tanning (do NOT apply directly to skin – photosensitivity)
Oil used in perfumery, diffuser (aromatherapy), massage, bath.

CULINARY:

Bergamot oil is used to flavor Earl Grey tea; also hard candy, tobacco, some chewing gum, baked goods and desserts.
Orange blossom water is used in desserts such as blancmange and in pastries.

Toxicology:
In one study, oil of bergamot has been linked to certain phototoxic effects (due to the chemical bergaptene) and blocking the absorption of potassium in the intestines.

Bergamot is also a source of bergamottin which, along with the chemically related compound 6’,7’-dihydroxybergamottin, is believed to be responsible for the grapefruit juice effect in which the consumption of the juice affects the metabolism of a variety of pharmaceutical drugs.

BITTER ORANGE (Citrus aurantium ssp amara): The peel is CONTRAINDICATED with stomach or intestinal ulcers; NOT given to children (possible toxic effects); NOT with ultraviolet or sun therapy (increased photosensitivity).

CAUTION:Because bergamot EO contains bergaptene and bergamotine, it needs to be used with care when applied to the skin. These two chemicals can produce over pigmentation of the skin when exposed to the sun or even just light. Do not apply bergamot oil to skin in greater than .5 to 1% diluted form in a base oil. It increases PHOTOSENSITIVITY.

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://earthnotes.tripod.com/bergamot_h.htm
http://www.wellbeingsonline.com/Aroma-pedia/Bergamot.htm
http://www.ayurveda-herbal-remedy.com/herbal-encyclopedia/ayurveda-encyclopedia-b.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergamot_orange
http://coolexotics.com/plant-9.html#
http://www.candbsupplies.ca/essentialoils.html

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

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