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Herbs & Plants

Lactuca sativa longifolia

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Botanical Name: Lactuca sativa longifolia
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. sativa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Tribe :Cichorieae

Common Name : Cos Lettuce, Romaine lettuce

Habitat: Of garden origin, probably derived from L. serriola. It is grown on cultivated bed.

Description:
Lactuca sativa longifolia is an annual/biennial plant growing to 0.9 m (3ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.

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Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: 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. Succeeds in most well-drained, humus-rich soils but dislikes acid conditions. Plants strongly dislike dry conditions, quickly running to seed in such a situation. Early and late sowings are best in a sunny position, but summer crops are best given a position with some shade in order to slow down the plants tendency to go to seed and to prevent the leaves becoming bitter. The garden lettuce is widely cultivated in many parts of the world for its edible leaves and is probably the most commonly grown salad plant. This is the cos lettuce, a taller growing plant that has longer, thinner leaves and a more erect habit, it does not form a compact heart. There are many named varieties capable of providing fresh leaves throughout the year if winter protection is given in temperate areas. Lettuces are quite a problematic crop to grow. They require quite a lot of attention to protect them from pests such as slugs, aphids and birds. If the weather is hot and dry the plants tend to run very quickly to seed, developing a bitter flavour as they do so. In wet weather they are likely to develop fungal diseases. In addition, the seed needs to be sown at regular intervals of 2- 3 weeks during the growing season in order to provide a regular supply of leaves. Lettuces make a good companion plant for strawberries, carrots, radishes and onions. They also grow well with cucumbers, cabbages and beetroot.

Propagation:
Seed – sow a small quantity of seed in situ every 2 or 3 weeks from March (with protection in cooler areas) to June and make another sowing in August/September for a winter/spring crop. Only just cover the seed. Germination is usually rapid and good, thin the plants if necessary, these thinnings can be transplanted to produce a slightly later crop (but they will need to be well watered in dry weather). More certain winter crops can be obtained by sowing in a frame in September/October and again in January/February.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. A mild slightly sweet flavour with a crisp texture, lettuce is a very commonly used salad leaf and can also be cooked as a potherb or be added to soups etc. A nutritional analysis is available. Seed – sprouted and used in salads or sandwiches. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. The seed is very small, extraction of the oil on any scale would not be very feasible.

Medicinal Uses :
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[4]. 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[238]. 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. The cultivated lettuce does not contain as much lactucarium as the wild species, most being produced when the plant is in flower. 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[238] 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. The seed is anodyne and galactogogue. Lettuce has acquired a folk reputation as an anaphrodisiac, anodyne, carminative, diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, hypnotic, narcotic, parasiticide and sedative.

Other Uses:
Parasiticide. No further details are given, but it is probably the sap of flowering plants that is used. The seed is said to be used to make hair grow on scar tissue.

Known Hazards : The mature plant is mildly toxic.

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/Lettuce
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lactuca+sativa+longifolia

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Corallorhiza odontorhiza

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Botanical Name : Corallorhiza odontorhiza
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily:Epidendroideae
Tribe: Maxillarieae
Subtribe: Corallorhizinae
Genus: Corallorhiza
Species: C. odontorhiza
KingdomPlantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms–:  Dragon’s Claw. Coral Root. Chicken Toe.

Common names:   Fall coral-root or Small-flowered coral-root

Habitat:Corallorhiza odontorhiza is  Indigenous to the United States, from Maine to Carolina westward.  It grows in rich woods at the roots of trees.
Description:
Corallorhiza odontorhiza is aperennial  parasitic plant, growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in). It is in flower from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies……CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It  has been used by the herbalists for centuries.It is singular and leafless, with muchbranched and toothed coral-like root-stocks, the root being a collection of fleshy, articulated tubers, the scape about 14 inches high, fleshy, smooth, striate, with a few long purplish-brown long sheaths, the flowers, 10 to 20, greenish brown in colour, on a long spike, blooming from July to October, with a large, reflexed, ribbed, oblong capsule.

The root is the official part; it is small and dark, with a strong nitrous smell and a slightly bitter mucilaginous astringent taste, the fracture is short and presents under the microscope a frosted granular appearance.

Cultivation:           
We have very little 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 many parts of this country. It is a parasitic plant, growing at the roots of trees. We would suggest that it is best grown in a humus rich soil in light woodland. Orchids are, in general, shallow-rooting plants of well-drained low-fertility soils. Their symbiotic relationship with a fungus in the soil allows them to obtain sufficient nutrients and be able to compete successfully with other plants. They are very sensitive to the addition of fertilizers or fungicides since these can harm the symbiotic fungus and thus kill the orchid.

Propagation  :     
Seed – we have no information on this species but, like all members of the orchid family, the seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil. Surface sow the seed, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move. Division in autumn. Make sure that you keep plenty of soil with each plant. It is also said to be possible to transplant orchids after they have flowered but whilst they are still in leaf. Grow on for at least the first year before potting up and do not plant out until the plants are 2 – 4 years old. Division of offsets

Part Used   in medicines:—The root.
Medicinal Uses:

Diaphoretic;  Febrifuge;  Sedative.

The root is diaphoretic, febrifuge and sedative. It is one of the most certain, quick and powerful diaphoretics, but it is a scarce plant and therefore a very expensive medicine to obtain.

It is one of the most certain, quick and powerful diaphoretics, but its scarcity and high price prevents it being more generally used. It promotes perspiration without producing any excitement in the system, so is of value in pleurisy, typhus fever and other inflammatory diseases. In addition to being a powerful diaphoretic, its action has a sedative effect. It has been found efficacious inacute erysipelas, cramps, nightsweats, flatulence and hectic fevers generally, and combines tonic, sedative, diaphoretic and febrifuge properties without weakening the patient, its valuable properties being most marked in low stages of fever.

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/Corallorhiza_odontorhiza
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Corallorhiza+odontorhiza
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/crawl116.html

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Aspilia Africana

Aspilia foliacea
Aspilia foliacea (Photo credit: Mauricio Mercadante)

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Botanical Name: Aspilia africana
Family:
Asteraceae
Tribe:
Heliantheae
Genus:
Aspilia
Kingdom
:Plantae
Order:
Asterales

Habitat: Aspilia Africana is native to Africa, Madagascar, and Latin America.

Description:
Aspilia africana is a very rapid growing, semi-woody herb producing usually annual stems about 2 metres tall from a perennial woody root-stock. It has a somewhat aromatic carroty smell. It is widely gathered from the wild and used locally in traditional medicine.

YOU MAY CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES
Historically, Aspilia africana was used in Mbaise and most Igbo speaking parts of Nigeria to prevent conception, suggesting potential contraceptive and anti-fertility properties. Leaf extract and fractions of A. africana effectively arrested bleeding from fresh wounds, inhibited microbial growth of known wound contaminants and accelerated wound healing process. Aspilia is thought to be used as herbal medicine by some chimpanzees.

 

Medicinal Uses:
The potentials of the leaves of the haemorrhage plant, Aspilia africana C. D Adams (Compositae) in wound care was evaluated using experimental models. A. africana, which is widespread in Africa, is used in traditional medicine to stop bleeding from wounds, clean the surfaces of sores, in the treatment of rheumatic pains, bee and scorpion stings and for removal of opacities and foreign bodies from the eyes. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the potentials for use of leaves of this plant in wound care.

The leaves of A. africana possess constituents capable of arresting wound bleeding, inhibiting the growth of microbial wound contaminants and accelerating wound healing which suggest good potentials for use in wound care.

Aspilia africana is widely used in ethnomedical practice in Africa for its ability to stop bleeding, even from a severed artery, as well as promote rapid healing of wounds and sores, and for the management of problems related to cardiovascular diseases. In the present paper, the methylene chloride/methanol extract of A. africana leaves was tested for its contractile activity in vitro. Rings of rat aorta, with or without an intact endothelium, were mounted in tissue baths, contracted with norepinephrine, and then exposed to the plant extract. The effect of the extract was also assessed on the baseline tension of aortic rings in normal and calcium-free PSS. At the lower doses, A. africana slowly re-inforced contractions induced by norepinephrine and relaxed precontracted tension at the highest concentration. The relaxant activity of the extract was endothelium-independent and was not modified by pre-treatment with Nw-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester or indomethacin, suggesting that its effect was not mediated by either nitric oxide or prostacyclin. A. africana extract induced slow and progressive increase in the basal vascular tone which was partially endothelium-dependent. In calcium-free PSS, a high proportion of the contractile activity was inhibited (77%), suggesting that A. africana contractile activity in vascular tissue depends, in part, on extracellular calcium.
Aspilia africana (Asteraceae) is a plant currently used in Cameroon ethnomedicine for the treatment of stomach ailments. The methanol extract of the leaves of A. africana was investigated against gastric ulcerations induced by HCl/ethanol and pylorus-ligation. With both methods, the extract inhibited gastric ulcerations in a dose-related manner. Oral administration of the plant extract at the doses of 0.5 and 1 g/kg reduced gastric lesions induced by HCl/ethanol by 79 % and 97 % respectively. The extract at the dose of 1 g/kg reduced gastric lesion in the pylorus ligated rats by 52 % although the gastric acidity remained higher as compared to the control. These findings show that methanol extract of the leaves of A. africana possess potent antiulcer properties.

Africans Treat Malaria with Aspilia Africana:

Use and method of preparation:
Pound dry leaves into powder. Add two tablespoonsful of powder to half a tumpeco cup (250ml) of boiled water and take two times daily for 7 days.

You may click to see the Toxic Effect of the leaf of Aspilia Africana

Click to see the Potentials of leaves of Aspilia africana

Note: We tried to include as much information of Aspilia Africana as we could collect from the internet.As & when we get more information we will definitely mention in this blog.

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.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/7/24/abstract
http://lib.bioinfo.pl/pmid:12116882
http://www.bioline.org.br/request?tc05024

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspilia

http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Aspilia+africana

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