Herbs & Plants

Abies spectabilis

B]otanical Name : Abies spectabilis – (D.Don.)Spach.
Family: Pinaceae
Genus :
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Species: A. spectabilis
Abies webbiana – Lindl.Pinus spectabilis – D.Don.

Common Name :Talispatra, Himalayan Fir

Habitat: E. Asia – Himalayas from Afghanistan to Nepal.Abies spectabilis (East Himalayan Fir). It is sometimes held to include the Bhutan Fir (A. densa) as a variety.Found in Afghanistan, China, India, and Nepal, it is not considered a threatened species by the IUCN. It grows in the forests  of  Nepal between 2700 – 3900 metres  on moist open areas.Woodland Garden; Canopy;


An evergreen Tree.”A tree attaining in the E. Himalaya a height of 60 m.growing at a slow rate. Crown broadly conical. Branches horizontally spreading. Bark dark gray, rough and scaly. Shoots red-brown, deeply grooved, pubescent in the grooves. Buds large, globose, resinous. Needles on the upper side of the shoot arranged in several ranks, leaving a V-shaped depression between them, 2-6 cm long, with emarginate apex; upper surface dark green and glossy, with 2 broad stomata bands beneath. Cones cylindrical, 14-20 cm long and about 7 cm thick, violet-purple when young, later brown; seed scales 1.5-2 cm wide; bract scales concealed”

You may click to see  pictures                 Abies spectabilis              

It is hardy to zone 7 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year, and the seeds ripen from October to November. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.

Prefers a good moist but not water-logged soil[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are very shade tolerant, especially when young, but growth is slower in dense shade[81]. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution[1]. Prefers slightly acid conditions down to a pH of about 5. Prefers growing on a north-facing slope. This species is unsatisfactory in south-eastern Britain due to damage by late frosts, trees rarely live more than 40 years and have a poor thin crown. Trees grow far better in the milder and moister western side of the country. Young trees are very slow to establish because they are often damaged by late frosts, it is best to grow the young trees in high shade to get them through this time. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm in height. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus.

Seed – sow early February in a greenhouse or outdoors in March. Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 – 8 weeks. Stratification is said to produce a more even germination so it is probably best to sow the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if it is well stored. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Alternatively, if you have sufficient seed, it is possible to sow in an outdoor seedbed. One report says that it is best to grow the seedlings on in the shade at a density of about 550 plants per square metre whilst another report says that they are best grown on in a sunny position

Medicinal Actions  & Uses:-

Antiperiodic; Astringent; Carminative; Expectorant; Stomachic; Tonic.

The leaves are astringent, carminative, expectorant, stomachic and tonic. The leaf juice used in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis etc. An essential oil obtained from the leaves is used to treat colds, rheumatism and nasal congestion. The leaf juice is antiperiodic.

Other Uses:-
Essential; Fuel; Incense; Wood.

An essential oil is obtained from the plant, though the report does not give yields or uses. The dried leaves, mixed with other ingredients, are used in making incense. The wood is used for construction and thatching roofs. It is also used for fuel.

Scented Plants:-
Leaves: Crushed
The bruised leaves are aromatic.

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.


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Ayurvedic Herbs & Plants

Chopchini (Smilax china)

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Botanical Name: Smilax china
English Name : China Root
French Name : Sarutori ibara
Arabic Name : Khabsul Seeni, Jazar Seeni
Persian Name : Chobchini
Sanskrit Name : Madhusnuhi
Hindi Name : Chopchini, Chobchini
Chinese Name : Tu Fu Ling
German Name : Chinawurzel

Other name:Sarsaparilla, China root
Range :E. Asia – China, Japan.
Habitat :E. Asia,China, Japan. Shrub thickets in hills and mountains. Forests, thickets, hillsides, grassy slopes, shaded places along valleys or streams from near sea level to 2000 metres.

It is a climbing herbs with a large tuberous rhizome; stem and branches unarmed, polished; Leaves lanceolate, acuminate, rounded at the base, 3-nerved, glaucous underneath; Umbels axillary simple, sessile, solitary.


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It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Medicinal Uses:

Antibacterial activity has been observed with the lant extracts. They are useful in skin diseases, vitiated conditions of vata, flatulence, tuberculosis, and general debility. It helps in faster clearance of symptoms.

Roots are aphrodisiac, pseudorific, demulent, alteratively used in rheumatism, syphilis, and skin diseases. The rhizome is made into a paste and applied to painful swellings.

The root is depurative, diaphoretic, stimulant, alterative, resolvent, tonic, diuretic, aphrodisiac, antibiotic, alterative, antisyphilitic, astringent, sudorific and demulcent. Useful in sexual debility and in syphilis, scrofula and other skin diseases. Also useful in rheumatism, gout, epilepsy and chronic nervous diseases.

Useful in Following diseases : Blood Impurities, Epilepsy, Fevers, Gout, Nervous Debility, Psoriasis, Rheumatism, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Seminal Debility, Sexual Debility, Syphilis,

Used in Following medicines : Femone, Rheuma, SkinClear Syrup (Raktsafa),

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.


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Herbs & Plants

Aristolochia indica

Botanical name: Aristolochia indica
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Aristolochia
Species: A. indica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

English name: Indian birthwort.
Common name: Indian birthwort, Hooka-bel (Hindi), Isvaberusa (Kannada), Isvaramuli (Tamil), Esvaraveru (Telugu), Arkmula (Gujarati), Sampsun (Marathi), Garudakkoti (Malayalam)

Sanskrit name: Ishvari.
Vernacular names: Ben and Hin : Isharmul; Mal: Isvaramuli; Mar: Sapasan; Tel: Eswaramuli.
Trade name: Iswarmul.
Habitat:Found throughout the subcontinent, mainly in the plains and lower hilly regions from Nepal to Bangladesh.
Ecology and cultivation: Found in open scrub jungles; wild.
Medicinal Parts used:Root, aerial parts.
Twining herb, semiwoody, having more or less swollen nodes; leaves cordate or ovate, exstipulate; flowers irregular, often offensively smelling, perianth globose with a purple dilated and trumpet-shaped mouth with a strap-shaped brown purple appendage or lip behind; fruit a subglobose capsule.




Indigenous to Mediterranean regions, Asia Minor, and the Caucasus, this perennial is also found in numerous other regions. The plant grows to about three feet and has an unpleasant smell. The flowers are a dirty yellow and briefly trap the insects that pollinate them.

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The Duck Flower grows in the southern part of Mexico to Panama. It is a hairy vine that grows along streams and in other wet areas. The leaves are long-stemmed and appear heart-shaped. Before opening, the vine resembles the shape of a duck with the stalk appearing like a bill and a slender tail dangling at the other end. Flowering: June to October; Fruiting: November to March.


Aristolochia means “excellent birth” and refers to the traditional use of the fresh juice to induce labour. Indian Root was used mainly in childbirth. In England, it was known as birthwort and used for this purpose.
Theophrastus (c. 372-286 BCE) records that the plant was used to treat disorders of the uterus, reptile bites, and sores to the head.

Of the 350 or so species of Aristolochia, several carry the common name of snakeroot because many of the species were used by Native Americans to treat snake bites. They also employed the plants to treat stomachaches, toothaches, and fevers.

In the 16th century when Francisco Hernández was cataloging the flora of “New Spain”, he came across a plant that looked like the same as the herb he knew back in Europe. The Mexican species, however, can have enormous flowers. He reported that the Aztecs used it to treat abscesses, dysentery, deafness, and various other ailments.

Chemical contents: aristolochic acids, volatile oil and tannins
A crystalline substance-probably a glucoside, a micro-crys­talline principle glucosidic in nature named isoaristolochic acid, allantoin, 0.05% carbonyl compounds and a small amount of an oil, with the odour of isovanillin, ishwarone, ishwarane, aristolochene.

Medicinal Uses:It is anti-inflammatory ,antibiotic ,analgesic ,abortifacient ,diaphoretic ,induces menstration ,nervine ,tonic and wound healer

UNANI: a constituent of ‘Majnoon-e-Flasfa’.

Modern use: Plant: used as abortifacient; EtOH (50%) extract: diuretic and anti­inflammatory; Dried stem and root: used as drug, which should be used in minimal doses; the drug promotes digestion and controls menstruation; in higher doses, it may prove lethal, it is used as a stimulant, tonic and for fevers; in moderate doses, it is used as a gastric stimulant and in dyspepsia; Root: considered as a stimulant, tonic and emmenagogue and also used in intermittent fever and in bowl troubles of children; shows antifertility activity in experimental animals.

Traditional Uses:
tonic, stimulant, emetic, emmenagogue, in fever, in powder form is given with honey for leucoderma; Root-decoction: in impotency; Crushed root: applied on itching; Juice of leaf: in snake bite, used for cough; Seed: inflammations, biliousness and dry cough.
*Birthwort was formerly used induce labour; and, when taken after childbirth, it prevented infection while inducing menstruation.

*A decoction was taken to heal ulcers, as well as for asthma and bronchitis.

*It was also used to treat wounds, sores, and snakebites. Poultices and infusions were used by Native Americans for snakebites. It was also used for this purpose in the Amazon.

*Although used in China for lung disorders, pain, and fluid retention, Germany has banned the plant because of the toxicity of aristolochic acid. It is used in a wide variety of ways in nearly all European countries.

*It was also considered a strong fever remedy.

*In the Sudan, it is used for scorpion stings.

*In Iran, the European variety is used as a tonic and to induce menstruation.

*In India, it is used as a contraceptive.

*In Mexico, it has long been recommended for snake bite; and, interestingly, half a world away in Taiwan, a 1974 study of another species also effectively inactivated snake venom.

*It is used to stimulate the immune system, as well as in the treatment of allergically caused gastrointestinal and gallbladder colic.

*In Chinese medicine, it is used for joint pain, stomachache, malaria, and abscesses.

*Homeopathic uses include gynecological disorders and in the treatment of wounds and ulcers.

*It has been used in treatment after major surgery and in ear-nose-throat treatments.

Duck Flower has a number of reported uses in Central America. Generally not available in the US, it is available south of that border. Michael Balick and Rosita Arvigo state that it is one of the most popular herbal remedies used in Belize, where decoctions and infusions are commonly made from the vine. It can often be seen soaking in a bottle of rum in saloons since it is taken by the shot for hangovers, flu, flatulence, late menstrual periods, and irregular heartbeat. However, it is advised that it be used under the guidance of a knowledgeable professional as it is poisonous and contains a mutagen and carcinogenic.

It contains Aristolochic acid which not only stimulates white blood cell activity, it is also carcinogenic and damaging to the kidneys. However, it is an effective wound healer, according to Chinese research.

*This genus of plant is rarely used anymore because it is so dangerous. Therefore, it should be used only under strict knowledgeable supervision.

*It is contraindicated in pregnancy.

*Since it is highly toxic, it can lead to the development of tumors if low doses are taken over an extended period of time.

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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Herbs & Plants


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Botanical Name : Rosa
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Rosoideae
Genus: Rosa
Domain: Eukaryote
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Habitat :
The birthplace of the cultivated Rose was probably Northern Persia, on the Caspian, or Faristan on the Gulf of Persia. Thence it spread across Mesopotamia to Palestine and across Asia Minor to Greece. And thus it was that Greek colonists brought it to Southern Italy. It is beyond doubt that the Roses used in ancient days were cultivated varieties.There are more than a hundred species of wild roses, all from the northern hemisphere and mostly from temperate regions. The species form a group of generally prickly shrubs or climbers, and sometimes trailing plants, reaching 2.5 metres tall, occasionally reaching as high as 20 metres by climbing over other plants.

The name originates from Latin rosa, borrowed through Oscan from colonial Greek in southern Italy: rhodon (Aeolic form: wrodon), from Aramaic wurrdā, from Assyrian wurtinnu, from Old Iranian *warda (cf. Armenian vard, Avestan warda, Sogdian ward, Parthian wâr).

Rose hips are sometimes eaten, mainly for their vitamin C content. They are usually pressed and filtered to make rose hip syrup, as the fine hairs surrounding the seeds are unpleasant to eat (resembling itching powder). They can also be used to make herbal tea, jam, jelly and marmalade. A rose that has aged or gone rotten may not be particularly fragrant, but the rose’s basic chemistry prevents it from producing a pungent odor of any kind. Notably, when balled and mashed together the fragrance of the rose is enhanced. The fragrance of particularly large balls of mashed roses is enhanced even further. Rose hips are also used to produce an oil used in skin products. Rose shrubs are often used by homeowners and landscape architects for home security purposes. The sharp thorns of many rose species deter unauthorized persons from entering private properties, and may prevent break-ins if planted under windows and near drainpipes. The aesthetic characteristics of rose shrubs, in conjunction with their home security qualities, makes them a considerable alternative to artificial fences and walls.

The leaves of most species are 5″ long, pinnate, with leaflets and basal stipules; the leaflets usually have a serrated margin, and often a few small prickles on the underside of the stem. The vast majority of roses are deciduous, but a few (particularly in Southeast Asia) are evergreen or nearly so.

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The flowers of most species roses have five petals, with the exception of Rosa sericea, which usually has only four. Each petal is divided into two distinct lobes and is usually white or pink, though in a few species yellow or red. Beneath the petals are five sepals (or in the case of some Rosa sericea, four). These may be long enough to be visible when viewed from above and appear as green points alternating with the rounded petals. The ovary is inferior, developing below the petals and sepa.

The aggregate fruit of the rose is a berry-like structure called a rose hip. Rose species that produce open-faced flowers are attractive to pollinating bees and other insects, thus more apt to produce hips. Many of the domestic cultivars are so tightly petalled that they do not provide access for pollination. The hips of most species are red, but a few (e.g. Rosa pimpinellifolia) have dark purple to black hips. Each hip comprises an outer fleshy layer, the hypanthium, which contains 5–160 “seeds” (technically dry single-seeded fruits called achenes) embedded in a matrix of fine, but stiff, hairs. Rose hips of some species, especially the Dog Rose (Rosa canina) and Rugosa Rose (Rosa rugosa), are very rich in vitamin C, among the richest sources of any plant. The hips are eaten by fruit-eating birds such as thrushes and waxwings, which then disperse the seeds in their droppings. Some birds, particularly finches, also eat the seeds.

While the sharp objects along a rose stem are commonly called “thorns”, they are actually prickles   outgrowths of the epidermis (the outer layer of tissue of the stem). True thorns, as produced by e.g. Citrus or Pyracantha, are modified stems, which always originate at a node and which have nodes and internodes along the length of the thorn itself. Rose prickles are typically sickle-shaped hooks, which aid the rose in hanging onto other vegetation when growing over it. Some species such as Rosa rugosa and R. pimpinellifolia have densely packed straight spines, probably an adaptation to reduce browsing by animals, but also possibly an adaptation to trap wind-blown sand and so reduce erosion and protect their roots (both of these species grow naturally on coastal sand dunes). Despite the presence of prickles, roses are frequently browsed by deer. A few species of roses only have vestigial prickles that have no points.

Harvesting: Wild roses grow on road and hill sides, up to 8 feet tall. Flowers vary from pale pink to deep rose. Collect bright red hips in October, crack seeds open and dry. If using for food remove seeds, for tea simply crack open and infuse, then strain.

Medicinal Uses:

Rosa spp. The hips of the rose (the small-large orange-reddish berries that are produced int he fall and remain all winter) have the highest vitamin C content of all herbs helping to fight infection and curb stress. They are also made into a delicious jam. Rosewater made from the petals of the flowers are used for dry skin problems and to help lift depression, boost the spirits, and promote creativity and self-confidence.

Instructions: Use infusion of dried hips (steep 30minutes). Or make an extract 1 cup hips to 1 Â ½ cup water, cover (do not use copper or aluminum cookware) and simmer 15 minutes, let stand 24 hours. Strain, boil and add 2tbsp lemon juice for each pint. Pour in jars and seal. Use 2 tsp daily to supply an adult with vitamin C. Refrigerate after opening.

Properties: Vitamin C , A, E, D, B1, B2. Rose hips grown in northern countries and at higher elevations contain more vitamin C than those grown farther south.

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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