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Herbs & Plants

Alkali Seaheath

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Botanical Name : Frankenia salina
Family: Frankeniaceae
Genus: Frankenia
Species: F. salina
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names:alkali heath or alkali seaheath

Habitat ;Alkali Seaheath   is native to California. It is occasionally found in Nevada and Mexico, but its range is limited. It is uncommon even in the region where it is most likely to be found, just north of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Description:
It is a squat flowering bush that forms a twiggy thicket near beaches and coastal salt marshes. Its common name refers to its preference for alkaline soils, a halophyte. It has the ability to excrete salt as an adaptation for living in saline habitats. The flowers are pink or fuchsia in color.

You may click to see the pictures:

Frankenia salina 

Frankeniasalina1  

Frankeniasalina2   

Frankeniasalina3  

Medicinal Uses:
Used both internally and by injection or spray, for catarrhal diseases and other discharges from the mucous membranes, diarrhea, vaginal leucorrhea, gonorrhea, and gleet, and the different types of catarrh.  The tea is a reliable astringent to reduce inflammation of the alimentary tract, from mouth sores to the intestines, relieving diarrhea and soothing piles and hemorrhoids.  It is an effective douche for vaginal inflammation.

 

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.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankenia_salina
http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/bakersfield/Programs/atwell_island/atwellplantlist/frankenia_salina.print.html
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Frankenia_salina

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Herbs & Plants

Yucca (Yucca schidigera)

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Botanical Name : Yucca schidigera
Family: Agavaceae
Genus: Yucca
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:
Asparagales
Species: Y. schidigera

Habitat : It is native to the Mojave Desert and Sonoran Desert of southeastern California, Baja California, southern Nevada and western Arizona.

Description:

The Mojave yucca is a small evergreen tree growing to 5 m tall, with a dense crown of spirally arranged bayonet-like leaves on top of a conspicuous basal trunk. The bark is gray-brown, being covered with brown dead leaves near the top, becoming irregularly rough and scaly-to-ridged closer to the ground. The leaves are 30-150 cm long and 4-11 cm broad at the base, concavo-convex, thick, very rigid, and yellow-green to blue-green in color.

 

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The Mojave yucca (Yucca schidigera), also known as the Spanish Dagger, is a flowering plant in the family Agavaceae.

The flowers are white, sometimes having a purple tinge, bell-shaped, 3-5 cm long (rarely to 7.5 cm), produced in a compact, bulbous cluster 60-120 cm tall at the top of the stem. The fruit is fleshy and green, maturing into a leathery, dark brown six-celled capsule 5-11.5 cm long and 3-4 cm broad in late summer.

Cultivation:
This yucca typically grows on rocky desert slopes and Creosote desert flats between 300-1200 m altitude, rarely up to 2500 m. They thrive in full sun and in soil with excellent drainage. It also needs no summer water. It is related to the Banana yucca (Y. baccata), which occurs in the same general area; hybrids between the two are sometimes found.


Medicinal Uses:

Common Uses: Cholesterol Control * Osteoarthritis * Pet care * Rheumatoid Arthritis *
Properties:  Analgesic* Anti-inflammatory* Antirheumatic*
Parts Used: Roots
Constituents: saponin (click to see : Saponin’s Research Information)

Yucca’ s most promising use among natural health practitioners is in the treatment of both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. 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. Human studies have shown that an extract of yucca reduces the swelling, pain and stiffness of arthritis, though the studies were controversial.

Currently extracts from this plant are in animal feed and various herbal medications. Some reports claim that Native Americans washed their hair with yucca to fight dandruff and hair loss. Among the other maladies this yucca has been used to treat are headaches, bleeding, gonorrhea, arthritis and rheumatism.

Other Uses:
The fibers of the leaves were used by Native Americans to make rope, sandals, and cloth. The flowers and fruit could be eaten and the black seeds were ground into a flour. The roots were used to make soap.  Also used as a natural deodorizer. Used in pet deodorizers.

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.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail61.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucca_schidigera
http://www.tandjenterprises.com/FoodGradeYucca.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Century Plant(Agave utahensis eborispina)

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Botanical Name :Agave utahensis eborispina
Family : Agavaceae
Genus  : Agave
Synonyms: Agave eborispina – Hester.
Common names: Clark mountain agave, Utah agave

Habitat : Native to California and to Arizona, to Nevada, to Utah [Lum/Walker].South-western N. America .  Dry stony limestone slopes, 1000 – 1500 metres. Calcareous outcrops with desert scrub at elevations of 1100 – 1900 metres in California and Nevada. Cultivated Beds; South Wall By;

Description:
Agave utahensis, an evergreen Perennial  a monocot, is a shrub growing to 4m by 2m.  It is hardy to zone 9 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Moths, bats….

You may click to see more pictures of  Century Plant
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
Requires a very well-drained soil and a sunny position. Plants are only hardy on the south coast of England, where they succeed from Torbay westwards. A monocarpic species, the plant lives for a number of years without flowering but dies once it does flower. However, it normally produces plenty of suckers during its life and these take about 10 – 15 years in a warm climate, considerably longer in colder ones, before flowering. This plant is widely used by the native people in its wild habitat, it has a wide range of uses. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

 

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow in a light position, April in a warm greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of well-drained soil when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse until they are at least 20cm tall. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give some protection from the cold for at least their first few winters. Offsets can be potted up at any time they are available. Keep in a warm greenhouse until they are well established


Edible Parts:
Leaves; Root; Sap; Seed; Stem.

Edible Uses: Drink.You
The heart of the plant is very rich in saccharine matter and can be eaten when baked. Sweet and delicious, but rather fibrous. It is partly below ground. Can be dried for future use or soaked in water to produce a flavourful beverage. Seed – ground into a flour. Flower stalk – roasted. Root – cooked. Sap from the cut flowering stems is used as a syrup. The sap can also be tapped by boring a hole into the middle of the plant at the base of the flowering stem. It can be fermented into ‘Mescal’, a very potent alcoholic drink.

Medicinal Actions & Uses:-
Antiseptic; Diuretic; Laxative.

The sap is antiseptic, diuretic and laxative.

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.

Other Uses
Brush; Fibre; Miscellany; Needles; Paper; Pins; Soap; Thatching.

The leaves contain saponins and an extract of them can be used as a soap. It is best obtained by chopping up the leaves and then simmering them in water – do not boil for too long or this will start to break down the saponins. A very strong fibre obtained from the leaves is used for making rope, coarse fabrics etc. To make hair brushes and brushes for cleaning, the dried matter of a dead and rotten leaf was knocked free from the fibres, which were then bent in two. the upper end of this brush was wrapped with a cord and the bent portion was covered with a cloth. The loose fibres were cut to the right length and hardened by burning the ends. A paper can also be made from the fibre in the leaves. The thorns on the leaves are used as pins and needles. The dried flowering stems are used as a waterproof thatch and as a razor strop.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Agave+utahensis+eborispina
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Agave_utahensis
http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-calrecnum=116

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