Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Lactuca raddeana

[amazon_link asins=’B071FQX2H4,B071JBQB9F,B0157CTDS0,B00WOHD0DQ,B071YDW6J8,B01NCT3B7I,B01CUW7HPG,B01EVX6N6G,B0002BB70E’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8396f00f-4f29-11e7-b9f8-034dc36baa07′]

Botanical Name: Lactuca raddeana
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Cichorioideae
Tribes: Cichorieae
Subtribes: Lactucinae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: Lactuca raddeana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Lactuca aogashimaensis Kitamura; Lactuca elata Hemsley, non Salisbury; Lactuca raddeana var. compacta Baranov & Skvortsov; Pterocypsera elata (Hemsley) C. Shih; Prenanthes hieracifolia H. Léveillé

Common names: (Japanese common name) yama-nigana [meaning: mountain bitter herb])

Habitat :Lactuca raddeana is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. It grows on mountains all over Japan.
Lactuca raddeana is an annual or perennial herb, growing to 0.6 m (2ft). Roots ramose. Stem solitary, erect, basal half ± densely hispid, apical half glabrous and branched. Lower and middle stem leaves with basal portion cuneate or winged petiole-like, 2–10 cm; apical portion ovate, elliptic, or triangular, 5–16 × 2–8.5 cm, undivided, pinnatipartite, or lyrately pinnatipartite, ± hispid, margin dentate and coarsely sinuate-dentate; lateral lobes 1–3 pairs, elliptic, apex acute; terminal lobe triangular, ovate-triangular, or subrhombic, apex acute. Upper stem leaves with basal portion shorter, winged, and petiole-like to cuneate, apical portion ovate, elliptic, or lanceolate. Synflorescence narrowly paniculate, with numerous capitula on wiry branches. Capitula with 8–11 florets. Involucre cylindric, 8–10 mm at anthesis, 9–11 × 4–5 mm in fruit. Phyllaries often pale purplish red; outer phyllaries triangular-ovate to lanceolate, largest ca. 5 × 1–2 mm, apex obtuse; inner phyllaries 5(or 6), apex obtuse. Florets bright yellow. Achene 3–4 mm; body reddish to dark brown, ellipsoid, compressed, broadly winged, 1.5–2 mm wide, with 3(–5) prominent ribs on either side, apically contracted into a concolorous or apically pale stout 0.2–0.4 mm beak. Pappus 6–7 mm, ± caducous. Fl. and fr. May–Oct. 2n = 18.


The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation: Prefers a light sandy loam.

Propagation : Seed – sow spring in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly quick.

Edible Uses: Leaves – raw or cooked. Root.
Medicinal Uses :
Although we have seen no specific reports for this species, most if not all members of the genus have a milky sap that contains the substance ‘lactucarium‘ and can probably be used as the report below details. The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains ‘lactucarium’, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, many plants in this genus contain a narcotic principle, this is at its most concentrated when the plant begins to flower. This principle has been almost bred out of the cultivated forms of lettuce but is produced when the plant starts to go to seed
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

Hippobroma longiflora

Botanical Name : Hippobroma longiflora
Family: Campanulaceae
Genus: Hippobroma
Species:H. longiflora
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Isotoma longiflora, Laurentia longiflora

Common Names: Star of Bethlehem, Madam Fate, White Tibey, Cipril
Hawaiian Name: Pua hoku, China: Ma zui cao.

Habitat:Hippobroma longiflora is native to West Indies. In Hawai‘iit is naturalized in low elevation and disturbed areas with moderate rainfall.

Star of Bethlehem is a perennial herb which forms a rosette of narrow sessile oblanceolate coarsely pinnatilobed leaves mostly 10-15 cm long, up to 3-4 cm wide near apex; flowers white, on 2 cm pubescent pedicel; calyx to 3 cm long; corolla usually 8-11 cm long, plus the 2-2.5 cm long lobes; anthers apically bearded; capsule campanulate, pubescent, 2-celled, nearly 2 cm long, over 1 cm thick; seeds many, ovate, reticulate, light brown, minute.
The plant contains a poisonous milky sap, an alkaloid, which can cause burns and irritation. The flowers are long and white, on a 2 cm pubescent pedicel in a shape of a star with bearded anthers. The fruit is a pubescent capsule divided in two cells with minute light brown seeds….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Propagation:The plant is propagated through seeds.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves have been used as a counter-irritant.

Known Hazards:It is notable for its concentrations of two pyridine alkaloids: lobeline and nicotine. The effects of nicotine and lobeline are quite similar, with psychoactive effects at small dosages and with unpleasant effects including vomiting, muscle paralysis, and trembling at higher dosages. For this reason, H. longiflora (and its various synonyms) is often referenced for both its toxicity and its ethnobotanical uses.

When uprooting this weed, it is important to wear gloves: the sap is an irritant which can be absorbed through the skin, and a small amount of sap in the eyes can cause blindness….CLICK & SEE
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

Allium douglasii

Botanical Name : Allium douglasii
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. douglasii
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms : A. hendersonii. A. nevii.

Common Names: Douglas onion

Habitat :Allium douglasii is native to Western N. America – Washington to Oregon and Idaho. It grows on low hills in shallow soil that is wet in winter but dry in summer.
Allium douglasii is a perennial herb, growing to a BULB growing 6–16 inches in height.Erect to upright flowering stem, 2 grooved leaves. Plant particularly strong-smelling. Leaves shorter than flower stem, staying green through flowering.

It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects. Flowers numerous, tiny, star-shaped, in upright, tightly clustered flower head. Flowers are up to 10 mm across; tepals pink or purple with green midribs; anthers blue; pollen white or light gray. Often abundant populations of deep pink to white grow in spring-moist areas in steppe.

Allium douglasii produces egg-shaped bulbs up to 3 cm long. Scapes are round in cross-section, up to 40 cm tall..
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained dry to moist soil. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root

Bulb – raw or cooked. A mild and sweet flavour, it can be sliced and used in salads or used as a vegetable or flavouring in cooked foods. The bulb is up to 3cm long and 2cm wide. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses: ...Repellent….The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.
Known Hazards: Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.
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.