Tag Archives: Nicholas Culpeper

Tanacetum balsamita

Botanical Name : Tanacetum balsamita
Family: Asteraceae
Genus:     Tanacetum
Species: T. balsamita
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Asterales

Synonyms: Alecost. Balsamita major. (L.)Desf. Chrysanthemum balsamita.
Balsam Herb. Costmarie. Mace. Balsamita.
(French) Herbe Sainte-Marie.

Common Names:Costmary, alecost, balsam herb, bible leaf, or mint geranium.

Habitat : Costmary is a native of the Orient, but has now become naturalized in many parts of southern Europe and was formerly to be found in almost every garden in this country, having been introduced into England in the sixteenth century – Lyte, writing in 1578, said it was then ‘very common in all gardens.’ Gerard, twenty years later, says ‘it groweth everywhere in gardens,’ and Parkinson mentions it among other sweet herbs in his garden, but it has now so completely gone out of favour as to have become a rarity, though it may still occasionally be found in old gardens, especially in Lincolnshire, where it is known as ‘Mace.’

The plant seems to have originated in the Mediterranean. It is unclear whether the plant called “balsamita” described by Columella in 70 AD is the same. According to Heinrich Marzell, it was first mentioned in 812 in a plant catalogue. Costmary was widely grown since the medieval times in herb gardens until the late 19th and early centuries for medical purposes. Nowadays it has mostly disappeared in Europe, but is still widely used in southwest Asia. It was used in medieval times as a place marker in bibles.

It is an introduced weed of roadsides in eastern N. America.

Description:
The costmary is a perennial herb with oval serrated leaves and can grow up to 2 meters high. In distinction to the feathery leaves of its near relative, the Tansy, the somewhat long and broad leaves of Costmary are entire, their margins only finely toothed. The stems rise 2 to 3 feet from the creeping roots and bear in August, at their summit, heads of insignificant yellowish flowers in loose clusters, which do not set seed in this country.

click to see…>(01)..………..(1).…...(2).…(3).…..(4)..

Cultivation:
The plant will thrive in almost every soil or situation, but will do best on dry land.

Propagation is effected by division of the roots in early spring, or in autumn, planting 2 feet apart, in a dry, warm situation. As the roots creep freely, the plants will probably spread over the intervening spaces in a couple of years and need dividing and transplanting every second or third year.

Grown in the shade, Costmary goes strongly to leaf, but will not flower.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

Leaves – raw or used as a flavouring in soups, beer etc. They can be chopped and added sparingly to salads. They have a very pleasant aroma, but can be overpowering in the food if you are not careful. The leaves were at one time widely used in brewing beer, before being superseded by hops (Humulus lupulus). The whole leaves can be laid in cake trays to flavour the cake whilst it is baking. The flower petals are used for conserves. A delicious tea is made from the dried leaves

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: Leaves.

Alecost is seldom used in herbal medicine, though it does have a beneficial effect upon the digestive system. Early writers suggested the leaves to relieve headaches and gout pain, to increase menstruation, and as a diuretic.  It was also used for conditions of   excessive coldness. Costmary is slightly astringent and antiseptic on wounds and burns and was also used with other herbs in ointments for dry, itch skin and skin parasites.  Infuse the leaf as a tonic tea for colds, catarrh, upset stomachs and cramps, and to ease childbirth.  Add to a salve for burns and stings.  It was at one time employed medicinally in this country, having somewhat astringent and antiseptic properties, and had a place in our Pharmacopceia until 1788, chiefly as an aperient, its use in dysentery being especially indicated.  An ointment made by boiling the herb in olive oil with Adder’s Tongue and thickening the strained liquid with wax and resin and turpentine was considered to be very valuable for application to sores and ulcers. The leaves are antiseptic, astringent, digestive and laxative. They have been used internally as an aperient in the treatment of dysentery, and as a remedy for liver and gall bladder complaints. Externally, they have been used as a salve to treat burns and insect stings. They are considered to be virtually obsolete in modern herbalism.
Other Uses:Insecticide; Pot-pourri; Strewing……….The plant was traditionally used for its insecticidal properties. The dried leaves retain their fragrance well and so are used in pot-pourri, they are also used as a strewing herb

The plant is known from ancient herbals and was widely grown in Elizabethan knot gardens.

 

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/costm107.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanacetum_balsamita

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Tanacetum+balsamita

Leucanthemum vulgare

Botanical Name :Chrysanthemum leucanthemum
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Leucanthemum
Species: L. vulgare
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Syn. :Leucanthemum vulgare

Common Names:Oxeye Daisy , marguerite, moon daisy ,common daisy, dog daisy and oxe-eye daisy.

Habitat :Leucanthemum vulgare is native to Europe and the temperate regions of Asia and an introduced plant to North America, Australia, and New Zealand. It is one of a number of Asteraceae family plants to be called a “daisy”, and has the vernacular names: common daisy, dog daisy, moon daisy, and oxe-eye daisy.It grows  in a variety of plant communities including meadows and fields, under scrub and open-canopy forests, and in disturbed areas.

Description:
Leucanthemum vulgare is a perennial herb 2 feet (61 cm) high by 1 foot (0.30 m) wide. The stem is mostly unbranched and sprouts laterally from a creeping rhizomatous rootstock.

The leaves are dark green on both sides. The basal and middle leaves are petiolate, obovate to spoon-shaped, and serrate to dentate. The upper leaves are shorter, sessile, and borne along the stem.
click to see the pictures..
Leucanthemum vulgare blooms from late spring to autumn. The small flower head, not larger than 5 centimetres (2.0 in), consists of about 20 white ray florets that surround a yellow disc, growing on the end of 1 to 3 ft (30 to 91 cm) tall stems. The plant produces an abundant number of flat seeds, without pappus, that remain viable in the soil for 2 to 3 years. It also spreads vegetatively by rhizomes.

Edible Uses: The un-opened flower buds can be marinated and used in a similar way to capers.

Medicinal Uses:
The oxeye daisy has medicinal properties similar to chamomile , but much weaker. 1 The balsamic flowers were once much more used as a country simple than today, when the flowers, stalks and leaves were used to make an infusion to relieve chronic coughs. The root was also employed as a fluid extract for treating night sweats in pulmonary consumption in early America.

Used for gastrointestinal, throat, skin, women’s circulatory and urinary concerns.  Make into infusions, tinctures, ointments, salves, foot soaks and as a bath herb.

Leucanthemum vulgare , a midsummer flower known a marguerite, was used as an oracle. A daisy is the star flower of Gretchen in Goethe’s Faust: “He loves me, he loves me not”. Those who are pregnant as “Boy, girl, boy girl as they pluck the raylike flowers. Girls would put the flower under their pillows to see dreams of their future husbands. Claudia Muller-Ebeling, Wolf-Deieter Storl Witchcraft Medicine(1998)

The herb is under the sign Cancer, and under the dominion of Venus, and therefore excellently good for wounds in the breast, and very fitting to be kept both in oils, ointments, and plaisters, as also in syrup. The greater wild Daisy is a wound herb of good respect, often used in those drinks or salves that are for wounds, either inward or outward. The juice or distilled water of these, or the small Daisy, doth much temper the heat of choler, and refresh the liver, and the other inward parts. A decoction made of them and drank, helps to cure the wounds made in the hollowness of the breast. The same also cures all ulcers and pustules in the mouth or tongue, or in the secret parts. The leaves bruised and applied to the privities, or to any other parts that are swollen and hot, doth dissolve it, and temper the heat. A decoction made thereof, of Wallwort and Agrimony, and the places fomented and bathed therewith warm, gives great ease to them that are troubled with the palsy, sciatica, or the gout.

Other Uses:
Leucanthemum vulgare is widely cultivated and available as a perennial flowering ornamental plant for gardens and designed meadow landscapes. It thrives in a wide range of conditions and can grow in sun to partial shade, and prefers damp soils. There are cultivars, such as ‘May Queen’ which begins blooming in early spring.

Known Hazards:
Allergies:  Allergies to daises do occur, usually causing contact dermatitis

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/Leucanthemum_vulgare
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail446.php

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

Datura stramonium

Botanical Name : Datura stramonium
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Datura
Species: D. stramonium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Names:Jimson weed or datura

Habitat : Original habitat is obscure,but is believed to have originated in the Americas, it is found in many areas of the world, occasionally in S. Britain.Grows in  dry waste ground and amongst rubble or the ruins of old buildings.

(The native range of Datura stramonium is unclear. It was scientifically described and named by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1753, although it was earlier described by many herbalists, such as Nicholas Culpeper. Today, it grows wild in all the world’s warm and moderate regions, where it is found along roadsides and in dung heaps. In Europe, it is found as a weed on wastelands and in garbage dumps.

The seed is thought to be carried by birds and spread in their droppings. It can lie dormant underground for years and germinate when the soil is disturbed. People who discover it growing in their gardens, and are worried about its toxicity, have been advised to dig it up or have it otherwise removed)

Description:
Datura stramonium is a foul-smelling, erect annual, freely-branching herb that forms a bush up to 2–5 ft (1–1.5 m) tall.

The root is long, thick, fibrous and white. The stem is stout, erect, leafy, smooth, and pale yellow-green. The stem forks off repeatedly into branches, and at each fork forms a leaf and a single, erect flower.

The leaves are approximately 3-8 inches long, smooth, toothed, soft, irregularly undulate. The upper surface of the leaves is a darker green, and the bottom is a light green. The leaves have a bitter and nauseating taste, which is imparted to extracts of the herb, and remains even after the leaves have been dried.

click to see the pictures

Datura stramonium generally flowers throughout the summer. The fragrant flowers are trumpet-shaped, white to creamy or violet, and 2.5 to 3.5 in. long, and grow on short stems from either the axils of the leaves or the places where the branches fork. The calyx is long and tubular, swollen at the bottom, and sharply angled, surmounted by 5 sharp teeth. The corolla, which is folded and only partially open, is white, funnel-shaped, and has six prominent ribs. The flowers open at night, emitting a pleasant fragrance and providing food for nocturnal moths.

The egg-shaped seed capsule is walnut-sized and either covered with spines or bald. At maturity it splits into four chambers, each with dozens of small black seeds.

It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender.

Cultivation: 
Succeeds in most moderately good soils but prefers a rich light sandy soil or a calcareous loam, and an open sunny position. Plants often self-sow when well sited. The thornapple is cultivated commercially as a medicinal plant. It can become a weed in suitable conditions and is subject to statutory control in some countries. This species is extremely susceptible to the various viruses that afflict the potato family (Solanaceae), it can act as a centre of infection so should not be grown near potatoes or tomatoes. Grows well with pumpkins. The whole plant gives off a nauseating stench.

Propagation: 
Sow the seed in individual pots in early spring in a greenhouse. Put 3 or 4 seeds in each pot and thin if necessary to the best plant. The seed usually germinates in 3 – 6 weeks at 15°c. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Especially in areas with hot summers, it is worthwhile trying a sowing outdoors in situ in mid to late spring…..click & see

Medicinal Uses:
Anodyne;  Anthelmintic;  Antiasthmatic;  Antidandruff;  Antiinflammatory;  Antispasmodic;  Hallucinogenic;  Hypnotic;  Mydriatic;  Narcotic.

The thornapple is a bitter narcotic plant that relieves pain and encourages healing. It has a long history of use as a herbal medicine, though it is very poisonous and should be used with extreme caution. The leaves, flowering tops and seeds are anodyne, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, hallucinogenic, hypnotic, mydriatic and narcotic. The seeds are the most active medicinally. The plant is used internally in the treatment of asthma and Parkinson’s disease, excess causes giddiness, dry mouth, hallucinations and coma. Externally, it is used as a poultice or wash in the treatment of fistulas, abscesses wounds and severe neuralgia. The use of this plant is subject to legal restrictions in some countries. It should be used with extreme caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner since all parts of the plant are very poisonous and the difference between a medicinal dose and a toxic dose is very small. The leaves should be harvested when the plant is in full flower, they are then dried for later use. The leaves can be used as a very powerful mind-altering drug, they contain hyoscyamine and atropine. There are also traces of scopolamine, a potent cholinergic-blocking hallucinogen, which has been used to calm schizoid patients. Atropine dilates the pupils and is used in eye surgery. The leaves have been smoked as an antispasmodic in the treatment for asthma, though this practice is extremely dangerous. The seeds are used in Tibetan medicine, they are said to have a bitter and acrid taste with a cooling and very poisonous potency. Analgesic, anthelmintic and anti-inflammatory, they are used in the treatment of stomach and intestinal pain due to worm infestation, toothache and fever from inflammations. The juice of the fruit is applied to the scalp to treat dandruff.

It is anti-asthmatic, antispasmodic, good for swellings and healing wounds  Traditional medicinal uses include placing a folded leaf behind the ear to allay motion-sickness, or applying a fresh leaf poultice externally to allay the pain of rheumatic or glandular swellings. Leaves and seeds were once smoked with Mullein for treating asthma.

Specifics: Body pain: Grind the roots and leaves of Datura stramonium into a paste. Add the latex of Jatropha gossyifolia in it. Then fry this paste with mustard oil. Massage this oil an all over the body only once before going to bed at night.  Earache: Pound a fruit of Datura stramonium and extract the juice. Warm this juice gently and put 2 to 3 drops of this juice inside the aching ear only once.  Elephantiasis: Grind all the following into a paste: the roots of Datura stramonium, the seeds of Brassia juncea and the bark of Morangia oleifera. Smear this paste locally on legs once daily for one month and bandage by a cloth.  Rheumatism: Boil all the followings in mustard oil: the young branch of Datura stramonium, the bark of Vitex negundo, few pieces of Ginger and garlic. Massage this oil on joints twice daily for a week.

Other Uses:
Hair;  Repellent.: The growing plant is said to protect neighbouring plants from insects. The juice of the fruits is applied to the scalp to cure dandruff and falling hair.

Spiritual Uses:
For centuries, Datura stramonium has been used as a mystical sacrament which brings about powerful visions (lasting for days) and opens the user to communication with spirit world.

The ancient inhabitants of what is today central and southern California used to ingest the small black seeds of datura to “commune with deities through visions”. Across the Americas, other indigenous peoples such as the Algonquin, Cherokee, Marie Galente and Luiseño also utilized this plant in sacred ceremonies for its hallucinogenic properties. In Ethiopia, some students and debtrawoch (lay priests), use D. stramonium to “open the mind” to be more receptive to learning, and creative and imaginative thinking.

The common name “datura” has its roots in ancient India, where the plant was considered particularly sacred — believed to be a favorite of the Hindu god Shiva Nataraja

Known Hazards: All parts of Datura plants contain dangerous levels of the tropane alkaloids atropine, hyoscyamine and scopolamine which are classified as deliriants, or anticholinergics. There is a high risk of fatal overdose amongst uninformed users, and many hospitalizations occur amongst recreational users who ingest the plant for its psychoactive effects.

The amount of toxins varies widely from plant to plant. There can be as much as a 5:1 variation across plants, and a given plant’s toxicity depends on its age, where it is growing, and the local weather conditions. Additionally, within a given datura plant, concentrations of toxins are higher in certain parts of the plant than others, and can vary from leaf to leaf. When the plant is younger, the ratio of scopolamine to atropine is approximately 3:1; after flowering, this ratio is reversed, with the amount of scopolamine continuing to decrease as the plant gets older.  This variation makes Datura exceptionally hazardous as a drug. In traditional cultures, a great deal of experience with and detailed knowledge of Datura was critical in order to minimize harm. An individual datura seed contains about 0.1 mg of atropine, and the approximate fatal dose for adult humans is >10mg atropine or >2-4mg scopolamine.

Datura intoxication typically produces delirium (as contrasted to hallucination); hyperthermia; tachycardia; bizarre behavior; and severe mydriasis with resultant painful photophobia that can last several days. Pronounced amnesia is another commonly reported effect. The onset of symptoms generally occurs approximately 30 minutes to an hour after smoking the herb. These symptoms generally last from 24 to 48 hours, but have been reported in some cases to last as long as 2 weeks.

As with other cases of anticholinergic poisoning, intravenous physostigmine can be administered in severe cases as an antidote

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/Datura_stramonium
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Datura+stramonium
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

http://www.thoughtscreatereality.com/shiva.htm

Enhanced by Zemanta

Horehound,White

Botanical Name:Marrubium Vulgare
Family:    Lamiaceae
Genus:    Marrubium
Species:    M. vulgare
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Lamiales

Synonym-–Hoarhound.
Common Name :    White horehound or Common horehound

Habitat—White Horehound is a perennial herbaceous plant, found all over Europe and indigenous to Britain. Like many other plants of the Labiate tribe, it flourishes in waste places and by roadsides, particularly in the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, where it is also cultivated in the corners of cottage gardens for making tea and candy for use in coughs and colds. It is also brewed and made into Horehound Ale, an appetizing and healthful beverage, much drunk in Norfolk and other country districts.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Description
:

White horehound  is a grey-leaved herbaceous perennial plant, somewhat resembling mint in appearance, and grows to 25–45 centimetres (10–18 in) tall. The leaves are 2–5 cm (0.8–2.0 in) long with a densely crinkled surface, and are covered in downy hairs. The flowers are white, borne in clusters on the upper part of the main stem.
The plant is bushy, producing numerous annual, quadrangular and branching stems, a foot or more in height, on which the whitish flowers are borne in crowded, axillary, woolly whorls. The leaves are much wrinkled, opposite, petiolate, about 1 inch long, covered with white, felted hairs, which give them a woolly appearance. They have a curious, musky smell, which is diminished by drying and lost on keeping. Horehound flowers from June to September.

CLICK & SEE

The Romans esteemed horehound for its medicinal properties, and its Latin name of Marrubium is said to be derived from Maria urbs, an ancient town of Italy. Other authors derive its name from the Hebrew marrob (a bitter juice), and state that it was one of the bitter herbs which the Jews were ordered to take for the Feast of Passover.

The Egyptian Priests called this plant the ‘Seed of Horus,’ or the ‘Bull’s Blood,’ and the ‘Eye of the Star.’ It was a principal ingredient in the negro Caesar’s antidote for vegetable poisons.

Gerard recommends it, in addition to its uses in coughs and colds, to ‘those that have drunk poyson or have been bitten of serpents,’ and it was also administered for ‘mad dogge’s biting.’

It was once regarded as an anti-magical herb.

According to Columella, Horehound is a serviceable remedy against Cankerworm in trees, and it is stated that if it be put into new milk and set in a place pestered with flies, it will speedily kill them all.

Cultivation
White Horehound is a hardy plant, easily grown, and flourishes best in a dry, poor soil. It can be propagated from seeds sown in spring, cuttings, or by dividing the roots (the most usual method). If raised from seed, the seedlings should be planted out in the spring, in rows, with a space of about 9 inches or more between each plant. No further culture will be needed than weeding. It does not blossom until it is two years old.

Until recently, it was chiefly collected in Southern France, where it is much cultivated. It is in steady demand, and it would probably pay to cultivate it more in this country.

White Horehound is distinguished from other species by its woolly stem, the densely felted hairs on the leaves, and the tentoothed teeth of the calyx.

Edible Uses:
Horehound is used to make hard lozenge candies that are considered by folk medicine to aid digestion, soothe sore throats, and relieve inflammation. For example, Claeys Candy Inc.
It is also used in beverages, such as horehound beer, steeped as tea (similar to mint tea), and in the rock and rye cocktail.

Constituents
The chief constituent is a bitter principle known as marrubin, with a little volatile oil, resin, tannin, wax, fat, sugar, etc.

Medicinal Action and Uses
Part Used The leaves and young shoots.

Flavor The flavor can be described best perhaps, as an almost berry flavored rootbeer. To some it might be an acquired taste. Horehound flavored “Stick Candy”, as well as candy “drops” can be found and purchased at various locations.Horehound helps with a sore throat.

White Horehound has long been noted for its efficacy in lung troubles and coughs. John Gerard says of this plant:

‘Syrup made of the greene fresh leaves and sugar is a most singular remedie against the cough and wheezing of the lungs . . . and doth wonderfully and above credit ease such as have been long sicke of any consumption of the lungs, as hath beene often proved by the learned physitions of our London College.’
And Nicholas Culpeper said:

‘It helpeth to expectorate tough phlegm from the chest, being taken with the roots of Irris or Orris…. There is a syrup made of this plant which I would recommend as an excellent help to evacuate tough phlegm and cold rheum from the lungs of aged persons, especially those who are asthmatic and short winded.’
Preparations of horehound are still largely used as expectorants and tonics. It may, indeed, be considered one of the most popular pectoral remedies, being given with benefit for chronic cough, asthma, and some cases of consumption.

Horehound is sometimes combined with hyssop, rue, liquorice root and marshmallow root, 1/2 oz. of each boiled in 2 pints of water, to 1 1/2 pint, strained and given in 1/2 teacupful doses, every two to three hours.

For children’s coughs and croup, it is given to advantage in the form of syrup, and is a most useful medicine for children, not only for the complaints mentioned, but as a tonic and a corrective of the stomach. It has quite a pleasant taste.

Taken in large doses, it acts as a gentle purgative.

The powdered leaves have also been employed as a vermifuge and the green leaves, bruised and boiled in lard, are made into an ointment which is good for wounds.

For ordinary cold, a simple infusion of horehound (horehound tea) is generally sufficient in itself. The tea may be made by pouring boiling water on the fresh or dried leaves, 1 OZ. of the herb to the pint. A wineglassful may be taken three or four times a day.

Candied horehound is best made from the fresh plant by boiling it down until the juice is extracted, then adding sugar before boiling this again, until it has become thick enough in consistence to pour into a paper case and be cut into squares when cool.

Two or three tea spoonsful of the expressed juice of the herb may also be given as a dose in severe colds.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.
Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marrubium_vulgar
ww.botanical.com

Enhanced by Zemanta