Tag Archives: Pacific Islands

Hibiscus diversifolius

Botanical Name : Hibiscus diversifolius
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Hibiscus
Species:H. diversifolius
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Malvales

Common Names: Swamp Hibiscus

Habitat : It occurs in tropical Africa, New Guinea, the Philippines, many Pacific Islands, Central and South America, the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Norfolk Island as well as the states of New South Wales and Queensland in Australia. There is disagreement over its native range. Some sources consider it native only to Africa, and naturalised elsewhere; but it is considered a native in New Zealand and Australia

It is found in low, swampy areas; in Africa it may occur inland or near the coast, but in all other continents it occurs only in coastal areas. This distribution, together with genomic evidence, suggests that it originated in Africa, and colonised the other continents through long-range salt-water dispersal.

Description:
Hibiscus diversifolius is a deciduous Shrub. It is a widespread species of hibiscus. It grows to between 1 and 2 metres in height, with prickly stems and yellow flowers with a maroon basal spot during spring summer.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The stems have many short prickles.

The leaves near the ends of the stems can be undivided and the lower leaves can have either three or five lobes, but the lobing is only shallow. The leaf margins are irregularly toothed. The leaf surfaces are rough to touch because of the short, stiff, bristle-like hairs.

The flowers are pale yellow with purple centres.

Flowers are carried in arching terminal sprays and are held facing the ground. Blooms are produced in the warmer months.

The calyx is covered with stiff bristles and the nectary is conspicuous.

The seed pod is also covered with rigid bristly hairs.

It is frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in full sun. A frost-tender shrub, it can be grown as an annual in temperate climates where it can flower and set seed in its first year of growth. Plants can also be overwintered in a cold greenhouse if the winter is fairly mild. As the specific name of this plant suggests, the leaves vary widely in shape. The first leaves to be produced are semi-circular in shape, but later leaves are distinctly three-lobed. Plants are self-fertile.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. The seed germinates inside 2 weeks and should be potted up into individual pots as soon as it is large enough to handle. Grow the plants on fast in a fairly rich compost and plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. These will be difficult to overwinter unless kept in heated environment.

Edible Uses:
Young leaf buds – they are good either raw or cooked. The young leaves can also be eaten, they are mild and quite mucilaginous, making a pleasant addition to the salad bowl. Flowers – raw or cooked with other foods. They have a very mild flavour and are very mucilaginous. They make a very acceptable and beautiful addition to the salad bowl. Root – it is edible but very fibrousy[144]. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour.

Medicinal Uses:
Abortifacient.
Known Hazards: Some caution should be observed when using this plant because there is a report that it might be used to procure abortions. No further details are found.

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/Hibiscus_diversifolius
http://www.hibiscus.org/species/hdiversifolius.php
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hibiscus+diversifolius

Operculina turpethum

Botanical Name :Operculina turpethum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Solanales
Family:    Convolvulaceae
Genus:    Operculina
Species :Operculina turpethum

Synonyms:Ipomoea turpethum,  Turpeth Root. Indian Jalap. Trivrit. Nisoth. Operculina Turpethum.

Common Names: Turpeth, Fue vao, and St. Thomas lidpod.

Vernacular Names: Indian Jalap, St. Thomas lidpod, transparent wood rose, turpeth root, white day glory • Hindi: nisoth, panila, pitohri • Kannada: aluthi gida, bangada balli, bilitigade, devadanti, nagadanti • Malayalam: tigade • Marathi: or  nisottar • Sanskrit: nishotra,triputa,trivrutt, trivrutha • Tamil: adimbu, caralam, civatai, kumpncan, paganrai • Telugu: tegada, trivrut tellatega • Bengali: tevudi • Arabic: turbuth.

Parts Used: Dried root, stem.

Habitat:  India. Ceylon, Pacific Islands, China, Australia

Description:
:Operculina turpethum is perennial herbaceous, hairy vines growing 4 to 5 meter in length, endemic to India. It is commonly found in North Circars and Deccan region up to 3000 ft. The leaves are alternate, very variable in shape, ovate, oblong and truncate or cordate at the base. The flowers are large, axillary and solitary. Fruit is a capsule with conspicuous enlarged sepals and thickened pedicles….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Constituents:
Resin, a fatty substance, volatile oil, albumen, starch, a yellow colouring matter, lignin, salts, and ferric oxide. The root contains 10 per cent of resin, which is a glucoside, Turpethin, insoluble in ether, but soluble in alcohol, to which it gives a brown colour not removable by animal charcoal. To obtain pure, the alcoholic solution is concentrated; the resin is precipitated by, and afterwards boiled with, water, then dried, reduced to powder, digested with ether, and finally redissolved by absolute alcohol and deposited by ether. After being treated several times in this way, it is obtained in the state of a brownish resin, yielding on pulverization a grey powder, which irritates the mucous membrane of the nostrils and mouth. It is inflammable, burning with a smoky flame and emitting irritant vapours. With strong bases it acts like jalapin, takes up water, and is transferred into a soluble acid, while with dilute acids it is decomposed into turpetholic acid, and glucose.

Medicinal  Uses: Cathartic and purgative. It is rather slow in its action, less powerful and less unpleasant than jalap.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operculina_turpethum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/turpet31.html

Mitragyna speciosa

Botanical Name : Mitragyna speciosa
Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Mitragyna
Species: M. speciosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Order: Gentianales

Common Names :Kratom,kratum, krathom

Habitat :Mitragyna speciosa is  native to Southeast Asia in the Indochina and Malesia floristic regions.

Description:
Mitragyna speciosa, kratom trees, usually grow to a height of 12–30 ft (3.7–9.1 m) tall and 15 ft (4.6 m) wide, although under the right conditions, certain species can reach up to 40 ft (12 m)–100 ft (30 m) in height. The stem is erect and branching. The leaves of the kratom tree are a dark green colour and can grow to over 7 inches (180 mm) long and 4 inches (100 mm) wide., ovate-acuminate in shape, and opposite in growth pattern.

You may click to see the picture
The flowers are yellow and grow in clusters. This genus is characterized by a globular flowering head, bearing up to 120 florets each. During the flower bud stage, the developing florets are surrounded and completely covered by numerous overlapping bracteoles.

Kratom leaves are constantly being shed and being replaced, but there is some quasi-seasonal leaf shedding due to environmental conditions. During the dry season of the year leaf fall is more abundant, and new growth is more plentiful during the rainy season.

When grown outside their natural tropical habitat, leaf fall occurs with colder temperatures, around 4 degrees Celsius. The kratom tree grows best in wet, humid, fertile soil, with medium to full sun exposure, and an area protected from strong winds.

Alkaloids:
Kratom contains many alkaloids including mitragynine (once thought to be the primary active constituent), mitraphylline, and 7-hydroxymitragynine (which is currently the most likely candidate for the primary active chemical in the plant).  Although 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine are structurally related to yohimbine and other tryptamines, their pharmacology is quite different, acting primarily as mu-opioid receptor agonists. Other active chemicals in kratom include raubasine (best known from Rauwolfia serpentina) and some yohimbe alkaloids such as corynantheidine.

Also, as stated by and according to references on erowid.org, there are several countries in which the cultivation and usage of this herb (flora) are forbidden, some with very harsh sentencing recommendations. The native countries (in the Eastern part of the world i.e. Thailand, etc.) have enacted laws forbidding the plants’ usage for any “medical” reason. There is limited research on this plant because of the restrictions, and as of the past 10 (ten) years, this plants’ popularity as a “recreational” drug have become widely noticed. References to this fact are countless; it can be bought as both whole leaf, or “isolate” which has the active alkaloids in it. The claims that this drug can be used as a “substitution” for opiate dependence are rare and the studies that do exist are sparse; therefore, it is up to the reader to take note to the laws of the country they reside in as to weather or not this plant bears ANY medical use. There are varied reports that cannot be cited properly due to poor testing conditions regarding the plant’s supposed medical benefits. However, individual experiences with this herb (flora) have shown results ranging from that of a placebo effect to noticeable effects dealing with opiate withdraw. More studies are needed before accurate citation is possible.

Effects:
Kratom’s primary pharmacology is mediated by the alkaloids 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine. While these molecules share structural similarities to the psychedelics, there is no psychedelic activity or similarities in effects to such substances. Instead these alkaloids primarily interact with the opioid receptors. Accordingly, kratom is known to prevent or delay withdrawal symptoms in an opiate dependent individual, and it is often used for this purpose. It can also be used for other medicinal purposes and is sometimes used recreationally.

click to see the pictures…>...(1).……...(2)..….(3).....
Kratom has been traditionally used in regions such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, but was discovered by Western civilization during the 19th century. Besides kratom (or krathom), in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands it also goes by the names ithang, biak biak, ketum, kakuam, and in southern regions, thom. In these areas kratom has a history of use by laborers and in folk medicine for opium dependence and diarrhea.

Of the two main active constituents, mitragynine has been studied more thoroughly than 7-hydroxymitragynine. At lower doses, Mitragynine exhibits a yohimbine-like binding to alpha-adrenergic receptors, as well as some binding to the delta opioid receptors. As doses increase, binding to delta receptors increases, and in yet higher doses, crossover to mu receptors occurs.

7-hydroxymitragynine was only recently understood to be the main active ingredient. Limited animal research suggests it is a potent opiate agonist, but with a ceiling effect that limits the potential for respiratory depression and euphoria. No fatal overdose of kratom is known to have occurred.

While one study of Thai users reported that kratom has sedative effects in low doses, changing over to stimulation in higher doses, this seems to be incorrect. Most other sources say that it is a stimulant in lower doses, becoming sedative in higher doses, which is consistent with mitragynine’s receptor binding profile. However, recent publications indicate that different alkaloids may be at work to achieve stimulation versus sedation: whereas higher concentrations of mitragynine are attributed to act as a stimulant, 7-hydroxymitragynine is the most significant alkaloid for sedation with more potent analgesic activity than that of morphine.  Effects come on within five to ten minutes after use, and last for several hours. The feeling has been described as happy, strong, and active, with a strong desire to do work. The mind is described as calm.

Side effects, although rare, may include dry mouth, increased or decreased urination, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting. Heavy use can result in a prolonged sleep. Possible side effects from long term use include anorexia and weight loss, insomnia, and dependence. Comprehensive scientific and clinical studies have yet to be conducted to establish the potential health risks associated with consistent long term consumption of kratom.

Kratom has recently become more known and used in Europe and North America where it has been prized for its applications to many conditions and ailments, primarily pain, depression, anxiety, and opiate withdrawal.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves of kratom have been used as an herbal drug from time immemorial by peoples of Southeast Asia. It is used as a stimulant (at low doses), sedative (at high doses), recreational drug, pain killer, medicine for diarrhea, and treatment for opiate addiction.

Inspired by traditional use, H. Ridley reported in 1897 that the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa were a cure for opium addiction. In more recent times, mitragynine has been used in New Zealand for methadone addiction detox. Kratom was smoked whenever the patient experienced withdrawal symptoms, over a 6 week treatment period. Patients reported a visualization effect taking place at night in the form of vivid hypnagogic dreams. While working on plans for ibogaine experiments in the USA, Cures Not Wars activist Dana Beal suggested that mitragynine could be used as an active placebo for comparison in the study. Acting Deputy Director of the NIDA Charles Grudzinskas rejected the proposal, however, saying that even less was known about mitragynine than ibogaine.

Although chemically similar, ibogaine and mitragynine work by different pathways, and have different applications in treatment of narcotic addiction. While ibogaine is intended as a one time treatment to cure addiction, mitragynine used to gradual wean the user off narcotics. The fact that mitragynine’s mu crossover is increased by the presence of opiate drugs may be exploitable in the treatment of narcotics addiction, because it directs binding to where it is needed, automatically regulating the attachment ratio and modulating it towards the delta receptors over a short time. Within a few days, the addict would stop use of the narcotic they are addicted to, and the cravings and withdrawal will be moderated by the binding of mitragynine to the delta receptors. Mitragynine could also perhaps be used as a maintenance drug for addicts not wishing to quit but trying to moderate an out of hand addiction.

In 1999, Pennapa Sapcharoen, director of the National Institute of Thai Traditional Medicine in Bangkok said that kratom could be prescribed both to opiate addicts and to patients suffering from depression, but stressed that further research is needed. Chulalongkorn University chemists have isolated mitragynine which researchers can obtain for study.

When taken as a tea, Kratom effects can be noticed in about 20 minutes. Generally, a feeling of stimulation and relaxation is noted, as well as a growing feeling of euphoria. Many become more sociable, and want to engage in conversation. In time, the stimulation fades and a strong sedation is noticed. This narcotic effect can be overpowering, and many will lay down and try to sleep. This can result in the waking dream state often times achieved by opiates. These effects can, in all, last between 2 to 5 hours. Extracts tend to take longer to take effect if they are eaten, but the effects can be noticed for a longer period of time.

Leaves can also be made into a crude resin extraction. This resin extract is made by preparing a water extract of the leaves, boiling it down, and then shaping it into small ball.

While new users may only need 5-10 grams of leaves to obtain the desired effects, some users find with time they need to increase doses, up to 50 grams leaves per day for a strong effect. It is best to take the leaves on an empty stomach.

One of the side effects of Kratom consumption is constipation and this is made use of in folk medicine to treat diarrhea. The fresh leaves are pounded and applied directly to wounds. The poultice of the leaves is applied to the upper part of the abdomen to expel worms in children.

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/Kratom
https://www.heavenly-products.com/cart/mitragyna-speciosa-rifat-strain-kratom-tree-cutting-p-934.html?osCsid=3bb79a035e787efb85ec54855a82fe92
http://www.iamshaman.com/eshop/10Expand.asp?ProductUID=1023&ProductCode=KFP-HOZ
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

Artocarpus lacucha

Botanical Name::Artocarpus lacucha
Family: Moraceae
Kingdom:Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Genus: Artocarpus
Species: A. lacucha
Synonyms:
Antiaris fretessii Teijsm. & Binn., Artocarpus acuminatissima Merr., Artocarpus cumingiana Trecul, Artocarpus cumingiana var. stenophylla Diels, Artocarpus dadah Miq., Artocarpus dadah var. pubescens Miq., Artocarpus dasyphylla var. flava J.J.Sm., Artocarpus ficifolia W.T.Wang, Artocarpus fretessii Teijsm. & Binn., Artocarpus inconstantissima (Miq.) Miq., Artocarpus lakoocha Roxb., Artocarpus lakoocha var. malayana King, Artocarpus leytensis Elmer, Artocarpus mollis Miq., Artocarpus ovatus Blanco, Artocarpus paloensis Elmer, Artocarpus peltatus Merr., Artocarpus refracta Becc., Artocarpus reniformis Becc., Artocarpus rufescens Miq., Artocarpus vrieseanus var. papillosus F.M.Jarrett, Artocarpus vrieseanus var. refractus (Becc.) F.M.Jarrett, Artocarpus tampang Miq., Artocarpus yunnanensis Hu, Ficus inconstantissima Miq., Ficus tampang Miq., Metrosideros spuria Rumph., Prainea rumphiana Becc.


Common Name
: Bahot, Barhal, Dephal, Monkey Jack, Dahu, Lakoocha, Esuluhuli, Wotomba, Jeuto, Irapala, Kammaregu, Lakuchamu.

Monkey fruit, Monkey Jack or Barhar (Hindi: Badahar,Bengali:Daua/Banta)

Local names in Borneo:
Anjarubi, Asam, Beruni, Beto, Burinik, Dadah, Dadak, Darak, Dudak, Tampan, Tampang, Tampang wangi.

Habitat
:From India and Bhutan and southern China to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. In Borneo collected throughout the island.


Description

Mid-canopy tree up to 37 m tall and 57 cm dbh. Stem with white sap. Stipules ca. 4 mm long, hairy. Leaves alternate, simple, penni-veined, hairy below. Flowers ca. 1 mm diameter, yellowish, flowers fused into a globose flower body. Fruits ca. 45 mm diameter, yellow-brown, fleshy, slightly warty syncarp with many seeds in pinkish-red flesh.

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Edible uses:

The fruits are edible.


Medicinal Uses:

The sap and juice of the bark is applied externally to boils, pimples, cuts and wounds.The root is astringent and is also used as a purgative
The macerated bark is used as a poultice for treating skin ailments. The bark is used to treat headache.

Other Uses:
Agroforestry Uses:
The tree is an important component of traditional agroforestry systems, being integrated into mixed cropping systems with other crops.

A fibre obtained from the inner bark is used for cordage.

A yellow colouring matter is obtained from the wood and roots. It is used for dyeing textiles

A sticky latex is present in all parts of the tree and has many uses.

The yellow wood is durable, hard and suitable for polishing. It is resistant to termites. It is used for timber, heavy construction, furniture and boat building.
The wood is an important local source of fuel. The wood is used for construction.

Propagation:
Seed – it has a very short viability and so is best sown as soon as it is ripe. The seedcoat is very thin – the seeds need to be handled carefully to avoid damaging them. Sow seeds in a nursery seedbed, or sow 2 seeds per individual container – any surplus seedlings can be moved to another pot. The seed germinates best at a temperature of 24 – 27°c. The seed germinates quite quickly and, when 2 – 3 weeks old, are robust enough to withstand full sun and rain. Seedlings are planted out when about 20 – 25cm tall.
Root cuttings.
Air layering.

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.asianplant.net/Moraceae/Artocarpus_lacucha.htm
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lakoocha_tree.JPEG

http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Artocarpus+lacucha

 

Kaashful(Saccharum spontaneum)

Botanical  Name: Saccharum spontaneum L.

Family: Poaceae
Kingdom: Plantae/ Poaceae
Genus: Saccharum
Order: Poales
Species: S. spontaneum
Common Name :Kans grass
Hindi Name: Kans, Kansi, Kas.
Bengali Name :Kaasful
Parts Used:Whole herb, Roots.

Habitat :Kans grass (Saccharum spontaneum) is a grass native to south Asia. It grows as wasteland weed.
Mountain slopes , gravelly river beds , low grassy places, forming colonies; below 2000 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Afghanistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Guinea, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Vietnam; Africa, SW Asia, Australia, Pacific Islands

Description:

It is a perennial grass, growing up to three meters in height, with spreading rhizomatous roots. Culms 1-4 m tall, 0.4-1 cm in diam., 5-10-noded, often hollow in center, nodes bearded , softly pilose below inflorescence. Leaf sheaths pilose at mouth and margin , sometimes tuberculate-pilose throughout; leaf blades 60-180 × 0.2-0.8 cm, glaucous, glabrous , margins serrate, tapering to midrib at base , apex long attentuate; ligule brown, 2-8 mm. Panicle 20-40 cm, axis silky pilose; racemes 4-17 cm; rachis internodes 1.5-5 mm, pilose with long silky hairs. Spikelets 3-4 mm; callus hairs 3-4 times length of spikelet; lower glume papery and dark brown below middle at maturity, membranous and pallid above, back glabrous, margins ciliate above, apex acuminate; lower lemma ovate-lanceolate, equal to glumes; upper lemma linear or linear-oblong, awnless. Lodicules ciliate. Anthers 3, 1.5-2 mm. Fl. and fr. Jul-Sep. 2n = 40-128.

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There are numerous local strains comprising a complex series of chromosome numbers. This species hybridizes readily with cultivated sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) and is used in sugarcane breeding programs. The name S. spontaneum var. juncifolium Hackel (S. juncifo-lium (Hackel) Janaki-Ammal) has been applied to extreme forms with the leaf blades narrowed to the midrib along their whole length.

Cultivation:
Kans grass’ has ability to quickly colonize disturbed soil has allowed it to become an invasive species that takes over croplands and pasturelands.

Medicinal Uses:
It is considered as valuable medicinal herb in traditional systems of medicine in India. It is popular folk medicine.
According to Ayurveda, roots are sweet, astringent, emollient, refrigerant, diuretic, lithotriptic, purgative, tonic, aphrodisiac and useful in treatment of dyspepsia, burning sensation, piles, sexual weakness, gynecological troubles, respiratory troubles etc.

Other Uses:
Planted to check soil-erosion.
Culm suitable for pulp to prepare different grades of papers.
Leaves are used for thatching.
Leaves are employed for cordage and broom.
Possess strong Allelochemicals and Allelopathic properties.
Used as material for sugarcane breeding.
Having religious importance

Click to see : Use of Saccharum spontaneum (wild sugarcane) as biomaterial for cell immobilization and modulated ethanol production by thermotolerant Saccharomyces cerevisiae VS3  :

In Nepal, Kans grass is harvested to thatch roofs or fence vegetable 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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saccharum_spontaneum
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/CropFactSheets/kans.html
http://zipcodezoo.com/Plants/S/Saccharum_spontaneum/

http://www.stuartxchange.org/Talahib.html
http://www.wildflowers.co.il/english/plant.asp?ID=410

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