Herbs & Plants

Potentilla palustris

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Botanical Name: Potentilla palustris
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Comarum
Species: C. palustre
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Comarum palustre

Common Names: Marsh Cinquefoil

Habitat : Potentilla palustris is native to Europe, including Britain, from Iceland south and east to the Pyrenees, temperate Asia and Japan. It grows on marshes, bogs, acid fens and wet heaths.

Potentilla palustris is a perennial herb growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1.5 m (5ft). Its branches spread into leaves with three to seven narrow leaflets which are sharply jagged. The stem is a reddish-brown, low sprawling, vine-like structure. Flowers extend from the branch which vary from red to purple, and are about one inch in diameter, blooming in summer. The stems roots at the base then rises to about 30 cm.

It is in flower from May to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers wet soil.
Requires a moist to wet soil, preferably on the acid side. A very cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -25°c. A rapidly spreading plant, capable of forming clumps several metres across. It is a plant for the wild wet garden. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Seed – sow early spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. Larger 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: Tea..…..The dried leaves are a tea substitute.

Medicinal Uses:...Astringent.
The root is astringent. A decoction has been used in the treatment of dysentery and stomach cramps.
Other Uses:..Dye; Tannin……..A red dye is obtained from the flowers. Tannin is obtained from the root.
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.

Herbs & Plants

Iris germanica

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Botanical Name : Iris germanica
Family: Iridaceae
Subfamily: Iridoideae
Tribe: Irideae
Genus: Iris
Subgenus: Iris
Section: Iris
Species: I. germanica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

*Iris × alba’ (Savi)
*’Iris × amoena’ * ‘Iris × atroviolacea’ (Lange)
*’Iris × australis’ (Tod.)
*’Iris × belouinii’ (Bois & Cornuault)
*’Iris × biliottii’ (Foster)
*’Iris × buiana’ (Prodán)
*’Iris × buiana va

Common Names: Purple Flag, German iris, Orris-root, Tall Bearded German Iris, Bearded Iris
Habitat: The original habitat is obscure, it is probably of hybrid origin. It grows in the dry rocky places.
Iris germanica is a perennial flowering plant growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a medium rate. It is a European hybrid, rather than a true wild species. The roots can go up to 10 cm deep and it is a rhizomatous perennial that blooms mid to late spring. If is known to produce the isoflavone irilone. Hundreds of hybrids exist representing nearly every colour from jet black to sparkling whites, except bright scarlet. Varieties include I. g. var. florentina and I. g. var. germanica.

It is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Massing, Rock garden, Specimen. A very easily grown plant that tolerates considerable neglect, it prefers a sunny position in a well-drained soil that contains some lime. Grows well in dry soils in light deciduous shade. Succeeds in full sun or partial shade. Prefers a pH in the range 6 to 7.5 or higher. Many named varieties have been selected for their ornamental value. The plant is also sometimes cultivated for the essential oil in its root. The plant is sterile and does not produce seed. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits. Special Features:Not North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Fragrant flowers.
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. A sterile plant, it does not produce seed. Division, best done after flowering. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Edible Uses: The root is dried and used as a flavouring.

Medicinal Uses:
Diuretic; Emetic; Expectorant; Purgative.

The root is diuretic, emetic, expectorant and mildly purgative. Another report says that the juice of the fresh root is a strong purge of great efficiency in the treatment of dropsy. In the past, sections of the dried root have been given to teething babies to chew on, though this has been discontinued for hygienic reasons. Roots of plants 2 – 3 years old are dug up after flowering and are then dried for later use.
Other Uses:
Baby care; Beads; Cosmetic; Dye; Essential.

The root is a source of Orris powder which has the scent of violets. It is obtained by grinding up the dried root. It is much used as a fixative in perfumery and pot-pourri, as an ingredient of toothpastes, breath fresheners etc and as a food flavouring. The root can take several years of drying to fully develop its fragrance, when fresh it has an acrid flavour and almost no smell. An essential oil is obtained from the fresh root, this has the same uses as the root. The juice of the root is sometimes used as a cosmetic and also for the removal of freckles from the skin. A black dye is obtained from the root. A blue dye is obtained from the flowers. The seeds are used as rosary beads.

Known Hazards: The leaves, and especially the rhizomes, of this species contain an irritating resinous substance called irisin. If ingested this can cause severe gastric disturbances. Plants can cause skin irritations and allergies in some people.


Herbs & Plants

Gentiana punctata

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Botanical Name : Gentiana punctata
Family: Gentianaceae
Tribes: Gentianeae
Subtribes: Gentianinae
Genus: Gentiana
Species: Gentiana pannonica
Reinu: Plantae
Subreinu: Tracheobionta
División: Magnoliophyta
Clas: Magnoliopsida
Subclas: Asteridae
Orde: Gentianales

*Coilantha campanulata G.Don
*Coilantha punctata G.Don
*Gentiana campanulata Jacq.
*Gentiana immaculata Pers.
*Gentianusa punctata (L.) Pohl

Common Name : Spotted Gentian

Habitat : Gentiana punctata is native to S. Europe. {Albania; Austria; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; France (France (mainland)); Germany; Greece (Greece (mainland)); Italy (Italy (mainland)); Montenegro; Poland; Romania; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Switzerland; Ukraine (Ukraine (main part)} It grows on stony pastures, the grassy bottoms of mountain corries, screes and moraines, among rhododendrons and in conifer woods, on both limestone and igneous rocks.

Gentiana punctata is a perennial semi-evergreen or evergreen, herbaceous plant, clump with lance-shaped glossy mid-green leaves. The flowers are terminal or axillary green spotted purple blooms in late summer. It grows to a height of 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bumblebees, butterflies……CLICK & SEE  THE  PICTURES

In general, gentians require a moist well-drained soil in a sheltered position, a certain minimum of atmospheric humidity, high light intensity but a site where temperatures are not too high. They are therefore more difficult to grow in areas with hot summers and in such a region they appreciate some protection from the strongest sunlight. Most species will grow well in the rock garden. This species is not particular about soil type, so long as it is deep enough to accommodate the plant’s roots. A moisture loving plant, preferring to grow with full exposure to the sun but with plenty of underground moisture in the summer, it grows better in the north and west of Britain. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance.

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. It can also be sown in late winter or early spring but the seed germinates best if given a period of cold stratification and quickly loses viability when stored, with older seed germinating slowly and erratically. It is advantageous to keep the seed at about 10°c for a few days after sowing, to enable the seed to imbibe moisture. Following this with a period of at least 5 – 6 weeks with temperatures falling to between 0 and -5°c will usually produce reasonable germination. It is best to use clay pots, since plastic ones do not drain so freely and the moister conditions encourage the growth of moss, which will prevent germination of the seed. The seed should be surface-sown, or only covered with a very light dressing of compost. The seed requires dark for germination, so the pots should be covered with something like newspaper or be kept in the dark.. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. The seedlings grow on very slowly, taking 2 – 7 years to reach flowering size. When the plants are of sufficient size, place them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division in March.. Most members of this genus have either a single tap-root, or a compact root system united in a single root head, and are thus unsuitable for division. Cuttings of basal shoots in late spring

Medicinal Uses:
A medicinal and aromatic plant, like many other species of Gentiana the plant is rich in bitter-tasting secoiridoid glucosides which are applied in the treatment of gastrointestinal tract diseases. The roots are applied as a decoction, extract or tincture (Skrzypczak et al. 1993, Lipman 2009). It is sold on the Serbian market and not known to be in cultivation (Baricevic et al. 2004).

This species is one of several that are the source of the medicinal gentian root, the thick rootstock can be up to 1 metre long. The following notes are based on the general uses of G. lutea which is the most commonly used species in the West. Gentian root has a long history of use as a herbal bitter in the treatment of digestive disorders and is an ingredient of many proprietary medicines. It contains some of the most bitter compounds known and is used as a scientific basis for measuring bitterness. It is especially useful in states of exhaustion from chronic disease and in all cases of debility, weakness of the digestive system and lack of appetite. It is one of the best strengtheners of the human system, stimulating the liver, gall bladder and digestive system, and is an excellent tonic to combine with a purgative in order to prevent its debilitating effects. The root is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bitter tonic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, febrifuge, refrigerant, stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of liver complaints, indigestion, gastric infections and anorexia. It should not be prescribed for patients with gastric or duodenal ulcers. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. It is quite likely that the roots of plants that have not flowered are the richest in medicinal properties.

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.

Herbs & Plants

Potentilla anserine

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Botanical Name : Potentilla anserine
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Rosoideae
Genus: Argentina
Species: A. anserina
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Other Name :Argentina anserina

Common Names :Common Silverweed, Silverweed Cinquefoil or just “silverweed”

Habitat : Potentilla anserine is native throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere,it grows  often on river shores and in grassy habitats such as meadows and road-sides.

Potentilla anserine is a low-growing herbaceous plant with creeping red stolons that can be up to 80 cm long. The leaves are 10-20 cm long, evenly pinnate into in crenate leaflets 2-5 cm long and 1-2 cm broad, covered with silky white hairs, particularly on the underside. These hairs are also present on the stem and the stolons. These give the leaves the silvery appearance from which the plant gets its name.

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The flowers are produced singly on 5-15 cm long stems, 1.5-2.5 cm diameter with five (rarely up to seven) yellow petals. The fruit is a cluster of dry achenes.

It is difficult to distinguish A. anserina from A. egedii (the only other species in the genus), the two taxa only differing in characters of the hairs; some botanists treat A. egedii as a subspecies of A. anserina.

Potentilla anserine is most often found in sandy or gravelly soils, where it may spread rapidly by its prolific rooting stolons. It typically occurs in inland habitats, unlike A. egedii, which is a salt-tolerant coastal salt marsh plant.

Edible Uses:
The plant has been cultivated as a food crop for its edible roots. The usual wild forms, however, are impractical for this use, as they are small and are hard to clean. It may also become a problem weed in gardens.

The mission of Sarat Chandra Das to Tibet in the late nineteenth century reported that the root of the plant, under a Tibetan name variously transcribed as toma, doma or droma, was served cooked in butter and sugar at the New Year’s celebrations in the Tibetan capital Lhasa

Medicinal uses:
The dried flowering stems are used medicinally.  The drugs contain chiefly flavonoid compounds and catechol tannins as well as constipating, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties, which also determine their use in the treatment of chronic nonspecific diarrheas, especially when accompanied by indigestion.  They are used primarily for those who do not tolerate sulfa drugs.  It used to be found in formulas for uterine and stomach spasms and was added to douche formulas.  Their occasional recommended use to relieve menstrual pains is, however, ineffective.  The dried flowering stems are prepared in the form of a briefly steeped infusion—one teaspoon of the crumbled drug to one cup boiling water.  The alcohol extract from the roots of both species (20-30 drops in a glass of water) is used externally with success for gargling to relieve sore throats or for swabbing inflamed gums and to tighten spongy gums and loose teeth and where there is inflammations of the mouth such as gingivitis or apthous ulcers.  Both hemorrhoids and poison oak can be treated topically with the tea.

Herbal tea from the underground roots is used to help delivery, and as antispasmodic for diarrhea. The plant was also put in shoes to absorb sweat. It was formerly believed to be useful for epilepsy, and that it could ward off witches and evil spirits.

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.


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Loosen Up Your Back, Hamstrings

This asymmetrical forward bend will stretch each side of your back and your hamstrings (backs of your thighs) separately. You may find that one leg or one side of your back is tighter than the other. Spend extra time stretching the tighter side.

1. Kneel on a padded surface. Bring your right foot in front of you. Bend your knee slightly and rest your right heel on the floor with your toes pointing up. Hinging at the hips, bend forward and balance on your fingertips. Lengthen your spine by reaching the crown of your head away from your tailbone. Slowly straighten your right knee. Hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds and repeat on the other side or move on to the next pose.

………..CLICK & SEE

2. Keeping your lower body in the same position, shift your weight over your left hand. Place your left hand flat on the floor below your left shoulder. Once you feel stable, turn your upper body to the right and raise your right hand directly above your right shoulder. Focus on sliding your shoulder blades down away from your ears. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then turning toward the floor, bring your hand down. Repeat on other side.

Sources:Los Angeles Times

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