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Herbs & Plants

Hymenoxys richardsonii

Botanical Name : Hymenoxys richardsonii
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Hymenoxys
Species:H. richardsonii
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Picradenia richardsonii Hook. 1833
*Actinea richardsonii (Hook.) Kuntze
*Actinella richardsonii (Hook.) Nutt.
*Hymenoxys floribunda (A.Gray) Cockerell
*Hymenoxys olivacea Cockerell

Common Names: Pingue Hymenoxys, Pingue rubberweed, Colorado rubberweed

Habitat :Hymenoxys richardsonii is native to Western N. America – Colorado to Saskatchewan and Alberta. It grows on dry, open often rocky hillsides and plains.
Description:
Hymenoxys richardsonii is a polycarpic, perennial sub-shrub or herbaceous perennial plant, usually 7-40 cm tall, with a multi-branched woody base. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Stem is distally branched or multi-stemmed at the woody caudices, normally about 20+cm, either smooth or hairy with uniform coloring.
Leaves are sually divided into 3 linear lobes, rarely simple, smooth or hairy, with an even scattering of small resin glands. Leaves concentrated around the base of the stems.

Inflorescence/flowers are several or many radiate yellow heads, involucres in series of 2 or more with stiff phyllaries with the outer phyllaries united at base; yellow ray flowers, papery yellow disc flowers.

Fruits are 2-3 mm achene topped with white translucent aristate pappus scales.
Varieties:
*Hymenoxys richardsonii var. floribunda (A.Gray) K.F.Parker – Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Utah
*Hymenoxys richardsonii var. richardsonii – Alberta, Saskatchewan, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, Wyoming
Cultivation:
We have almost no information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. It is likely to require a sunny position in a dry to moist well-drained soil.
Propagation:
Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in late winter or early spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division.
Edible Uses: Gum…..A latex obtained from the root is used as a chewing gum. The skin of the root is used, the gum is obtained by pounding the roots.
Medicinal Uses: Poultice; Stomachic.

An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of stomach aches. A poultice of the chewed root has been applied as a dressing on sores and rashes. Among the Zuni people of New Mexico, a poultice of the chewed root applied to sores and rashes, and an infusion of the root is used for stomachache.

Other Uses: …Dye; Gum; Latex…..The latex obtained from the root is a potential commercial source of rubber. A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers

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/Hymenoxys_richardsonii
http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/plants-c/bio414/species%20pages/Hymenoxys%20richardsonii%20.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hymenoxys+richardsonii

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Herbs & Plants

Asarum canadense

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Botanical Name: : Asarum canadense
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Asarum
Species: A. canadense
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Synonyms: Canada Snakeroot. Indian Ginger. Coltsfoot.

Common Names: Canada wild ginger, Wild ginger,  Canadian snakeroot and Broad-leaved asarabaccais

Habitat: Asarum canadense is native to deciduous forest in eastern North America, from the Great Plains east to the Atlantic Coast, and from southeastern Canada south to approximately the fall line in the southeastern United States. It grows on  moist rich soils in woodlands, usually on calcareous soils.  Understorey of deciduous (rarely coniferous) forests from sea level to 1300 metres.

Description:
An inconspicuous but fragrant little plant, not over 12 inches high, found growing in rich soil on roadsides and in woods. A stemless perennial, much resembling the European Asarum, but with larger leaves, provided with a short spine, leaves usually only two, kidney-shaped, borne on thin fine hairy stems, dark above and paler green under-surface, 4 to 8 inches broad, strongly veined. A solitary bell-shaped flower, dull brown or brownish purple, drooping between the two leaf stems, woolly, the inside darker than the outside and of a satiny texture, the fruit a leathery six-celled capsule. It has a yellowish creeping rootstock, slightly jointed, with thin rootlets from the joints. In commerce the rootstock is found in pieces 4 to 5 inches long, 1/8 inch thick, irregular quadrangular, brownish end wrinkled outside, whitish inside, showing a large centre pith hard and brittle, breaking with a short fracture. Odour fragrant, taste aromatic, spicy and slightly bitter–it is collected in the autumn…...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Ground cover, Massing, Rock garden, Woodland garden. Prefers a rich moist neutral to acid soil in woodland or a shady position in the rock garden. Plants are found on alkaline soils in the wild. Plants are hardy to at least -25°c. The flowers are malodorous and are pollinated by flies. Plants often self-sow when growing in a suitable position. Special Features:Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the summer. Stored seed will require 3 weeks cold stratification and should be sown in late winter. The seed usually germinates in the spring in 1 – 4 or more weeks at 18°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out when large enough in late spring. Division in spring or autumn. Plants are slow to increase. It is best to pot the divisions up and keep them in light shade in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly.

Edible Uses: Condiment.
The underground stem and the flowers are used as a ginger substitute. The root, especially when quite dry, has a pungent, aromatic smell like mild pepper and ginger mixed, but more strongly aromatic. The root is best harvested in autumn but is available all year round. It can be dried for later use.

Constituents: A volatile oil once largely used in perfumery, also resin, a bitter principle called asarin, mucilage, alkaloid, sugar and a substance like camphor.

The plant yields its properties to alcohol and to hot water.

Medicinal Uses:

The long rhizomes of A. canadense were used by Native Americans as a seasoning. It has similar aromatic properties to true ginger (Zingiber officinale), but should not be used as a substitute because it contains an unknown concentration of the carcinogen aristolochic acid and asarone. The distillate from the ground root is known as Canadian snakeroot oil. The odor and flavor are spicy. It has been used in many flavor preparations.

Native Americans used the plant as a medicinal herb to treat a number of ailments including dysentery, digestive problems, swollen breasts, coughs and colds, typhus, scarlet fever, nerves, sore throats, cramps, heaves, earaches, headaches, convulsions, asthma, tuberculosis, urinary disorders and venereal disease. In addition, they also used it as a stimulant, an appetite enhancer and a charm. It was also used as an admixture to strengthen other herbal preparations.

Known Hazards: The leaves are poisonous. Handling the leaves is said to cause dermatitis in some people.

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/Asarum_canadense
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/ginwil14.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Asarum+canadense

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Herbs & Plants

Aplopappus laricifolius

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Botanical Name: Aplopappus laricifolius
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Ericameria
Species: E. laricifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Aplopappus. Bigelovia Veneta.Haplopappus laricifolius Gray, Ericameria laricifolia

Common Names: Turpentine bush, or Turpentine-brush
Habitat: Aplopappus laricifolius is native to the southwestern United States (Arizona, New Mexico, western Texas, southwestern Utah, southern Nevada, southeastern California) and northern Mexico (Chihuahua). It grows in desert scrub and woodlands.

Description:
Aplopappus laricifolius is a shrub reaching 50-100 cm (20-40 inches) in height, is generally hairless, somewhat glandular, and aromatic. It sometimes has naked stems at the base but the upper branches are densely foliated in needlelike, pointed leaves one to three centimeters (0.4-1.2 inches) long. The many erect branches bear inflorescences of bright golden yellow flower heads, each with up to 16 long disc florets and as many as 6 ray florets

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES : 

Part Used in medicine :  The leaves.

Constituents: A volatile oil, also a fatty oil which has the smell of the plant, brown acid, resin, tannin. The resin is peculiar in containing other resins.

Medicinal Uses:
It is used as a stimulant in flatulent dyspepsia and chronic inflammation with haemorrhage of the lower bowel. It is very useful in dysentery and in genito-urinary catarrh and as a stimulant expectorant; the tincture is useful for slowly healing ulcers.

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/Ericameria_laricifolia
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/d/damian06.html

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Herbs & Plants

Apocynum androsaemifolium

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Botanical Name: Apocynum androsaemifolium
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Apocynum
Species: A. androsaemifolium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Milkweed. Dogsbane. Fly-Trap.
Common Names: Fly-trap dogbane, Spreading dogbane,Bitter Root

Habitat: Apocynum androsaemifolium is native to North America.It grows in   open woodland, woodland edges etc, usually on drier soils
Description:
The genus Apocynum contains only four species, two of which Apocynum androsaemifolium and A. cannabinum, or Black Indian Hemp, resemble each other very closely, the roots being distinguished by the thick-walled stone cells, which in the former are found in an interrupted circle near the middle of the bark, and in the latter are absent.
A. a. ndrosaemifolium is a perennial herb, 5 or 6 feet in height, branching, and, in common with the other three members of the genus, yielding on incision a milky juice resembling indiarubber when dry.

The leaves are dark green above, paler and downy beneath, ovate, and from 2 to 3 inches long. The flowers are white, tinged with red, having five scales in the throat of the corolla which secrete a sweet liquid, attractive to flies. These scales are very sensitive, and when touched bend inward, imprisoning the insects…..click & see the pictures

The milky root is found in commerce in cylindrical, branched pieces, about a quarter of an inch thick, reddish or greyish brown outside, longitudinally wrinkled, and having a short fracture and small pith. There is scarcely any odour, and the taste is starchy, afterwards bitter and acrid.

Subspecies and varieties:
*Apocynum androsaemifolium subsp. androsaemifolium – E Canada, W United States
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. griseum (Greene) Bég. & Belosersky – Ontario, British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. incanum A.DC. – widespread in Canada, United States, NE Mexico
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. intermedium Woodson – Colorado
*Apocynum androsaemifolium subsp. pumilum (A.Gray) B.Boivin – British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, California, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. tomentellum (Greene) B.Boivin – British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada
*Apocynum androsaemifolium var. woodsonii B.Boivin – Alberta, British Columbia, Washington State, Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho

Parts Used for medicine: The dried rhizome, roots.

Constituents: The nature of the active principle is uncertain. A glucoside, Apocynamarin, was separated, but the activity is thought to be due not to the glucoside, but to an intensely bitter principle, Cymarin.
Medicinal Uses:
Apocynum androsaemifolium   is an unpleasantly bitter stimulant irritant herb that acts on the heart, respiratory and urinary systems, and also on the uterus. It was widely employed by the native North American Indians who used it to treat a wide variety of complaints including headaches, convulsions, earache, heart palpitations, colds, insanity and dizziness. It should be used with great caution, and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner if taking this plant internally. The root contains cymarin, a cardioactive glycoside that is toxic to ruminants. The root is cardiotonic, cathartic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic and expectorant. It has a powerful action in slowing the pulse and also has a very strong action on the vaso-motor system, it is rather an irritant to the mucous membranes though, so some people cannot tolerate it. The juice of the fresh root has been used in the treatment of syphilis. The sap of the plant has been applied externally to get rid of warts. The roots were boiled in water and the water drunk once a week in order to prevent conception. The green fruits were boiled and the decoction used in the treatment of heart and kidney problems and for the treatment of dropsy. This preparation can irritate the intestines and cause unpleasant side-effects. It is used as an alterative in rheumatism, syphilis and scrofula.

Other  Uses:The bark yields a good quality fibre that is used for making twine, bags, linen etc. It is inferior to A. cannabinum. The fibre is finer and stronger than cotton. It can be harvested after the leaves fall in the autumn but is probably at its best as the seed pods are forming. The plant yields a latex, which is a possible source of rubber. It is obtained by making incisions on the stem and resembles indiarubber when dry.

Known Hazards: The plant is poisonous, due to the cardiac glycosides it contains.

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/Apocynum_androsaemifolium
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/bitroo47.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Apocynum+androsaemifolium
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Caulophyllum thalictroides

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Botanical Name :Caulophyllum thalictroides
Family: Berberidaceae
Tribe: Leonticeae
Genus: Caulophyllum
Species: C. thalictroides
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms: Leontice thalictroides L

Common Names:Blue Cohosh Root , squaw root

Habitat :Caulophyllum thalictroides  is native to   Eastern N. America – New Brunswick to South Carolina, Arkansas, North Dakota and Manitoba. It is found in hardwood forest of the eastern United States, and favors moist coves and hillsides, generally in shady locations, in rich soil. It grows in eastern North America, from Manitoba and Oklahoma east to the Atlantic Ocean.

Description:
Caulophyllum thalictroides is  a flowering plant in the Berberidaceae (barberry) family. It is a medium-tall perennial with blue berry-like fruits and bluish-green foliage. growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in).

Click to see the pictures.>.....(01)......(1).……....(2)…………(3)…..………..

From the single stalk rising from the ground, there is a single, large, three-branched leaf plus a fruiting stalk. The bluish-green leaflets are tulip-shaped, entire at the base, but serrate at the tip. Its species name, thalictroides, comes from the similarity between the large highly divided, multiple-compound leaves of Meadow-rue (Thalictrum) and those of Blue Cohosh.

It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

 

Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

 

Cultivation:
Easily grown in a damp light humus-rich woodland soil preferring a position in deep shade. One report says that it is best in a peat garden. Plants are hardy to at least -20°c. The plant only produces one large leaf each year. The seeds rupture the ovary before they are fully ripe and continue to expand naked, they are bright blue when fully ripe.

Propagation:  
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a shady part of a cold frame. If stored seed is used, it should be sown as soon as it is received. Germination can be erratic. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a shady part of a greenhouse or cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions during autumn or early winter. Division in spring or just after flowering[200]. Plants are slow to increase

Constituents:  alkaloids, cystine (caulophylline), baptifoline, anagyrine, laburnine. also caulosaponin, resins

Medicinal Uses:

Properties: * Abortifacient * Antibacterial * AntiCancer * Antirheumatic * Antispasmodic * Emmenagogue * Anthelmintic;  Antispasmodic;  Birthing aid;  Diaphoretic;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Oxytoxic;  Sedative.

Papoose root is a traditional herb of many North American Indian tribes and was used extensively by them to facilitate child birth. Modern herbalists still consider it to be a woman’s herb and it is commonly used to treat various gynaecological conditions. An acrid, bitter, warming herb, it stimulates the uterus, reduces inflammation, expels intestinal worms and has diuretic effects. The root is anthelmintic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, oxytocic and sedative. An infusion of the root in warm water is taken for about 2 weeks before the expected birth date in order to ease the birth. This infusion can also be used as an emmenagogue and a uterine stimulant. Papoose root should therefore be used with some caution by women who are in an earlier stage of pregnancy since it can induce a miscarriage or early delivery. The plant is also taken internally in the treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease, rheumatism and gout. It should not be prescribed for people with hypertension and heart diseases. The powdered root can have an irritant action on the mucous membranes, therefore any use of this plant is best under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The roots are normally harvested in the autumn, because they are at their richest at this time, and are dried for later use. The root is harvested in early spring as new growth is beginning and is used to make a homeopathic remedy. It is used especially in childbirth and in some forms of rheumatism[Hypertensive * Parturient * Uterine Tonic

Blue cohosh is considered to be one of the best herbs to bring on menstruation, and is one of the traditional herbs used to induce labor in natural childbirth.2,3 It contains the phytochemical calulopsponin which actively stimulates uterine contractions and promotes blood flow to the pelvic region. 1 Blue cohosh is generally used in combination with other herbs, often black cohosh, to treat menstrual disorders. The herb’s powerful antispasmodic properties are helpful in relieving the menstrual cramps of a painful period.

The Iroquois used it to treat arthritis – research also suggests the plant possesses some anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic

 Known Hazards :  This plant should not be used during pregnancy prior to the commencement of labour. Excessive doses may cause high blood pressure and symptoms similar to nicotine poisoning. Overdose may cause nausea, vomiting, in-coordination and narrowing of blood vessels to the heart muscles. Powdered root can have an irritant effect on mucous membranes . Contraindicated in patients with ischaemic heart disease (angina and heart attacks) and in patients with high blood pressure

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.ask.com/wiki/Caulophyllum_thalictroides?o=3986&qsrc=999
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail88.php
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Caulophyllum+thalictroides

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