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Herbs & Plants

Adenophora Verticillata

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Botanical Name :  Adenophora verticillata, Fisch
Family : Campanulaceae
Genus : Adenophora
Synonyms: Adenophora tetraphylla – (Thunb.)Fisch.
Common Name: Glehnia root (yin tiao shen)or adenophora (pao shen)

Pharmaceutical name: Radix adenophonrae seu Glehniae
Japanese Pronunciation: shajin
Korean Pronunciation: sasam

Other Names: Nan sha shen, da sha shen, kong sha shen, pao shen (adenophora), bei sha shen, liao sha shen, tiao sha shen, yin tiao shen (Glehnia) lai yang shen hai sha shen ying sha shen liao sha shen

Habitat :E. Asia – Korea, Siberia.   Broad-leaved forests and shrubby formations.
Woodland Garden; Sunny Edge; Cultivated Beds;

Description:
Perennial growing to 1m.
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

click to see the pictures

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) 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.

Cultivation :-
Prefers a light rich slightly alkaline soil that is not too dry, and a warm sunny position. Grows well in the semi-shade of shrubs or in light woodland[88]. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance. The young growth is extremely attractive to slugs, they have been known to destroy even mature plants.

Propagation:-
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. The seed can also be sown in spring. Surface sow 2 – 3 seeds per pot in the spring in order to avoid transplanting[133]. We have found that if transplanted when very small seedlings grow away without difficulty. Germinates in 1 – 3 months at 10°c. Plant out into their permanent positions whilst young. Basal cuttings in spring. Division in spring – very difficult because the plant dislikes root disturbance.

Properties (characteristics): Sweet, cool, slightly bitter (pao shen) or bland (yin tiao shen)

Edible Uses:-
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root.

Root – raw or cooked. A sweet taste. Leaves – cooked.

Medicinal Actions & Uses:-
Antidote; Antifungal; Cardiotonic; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Sialagogue; Stomachic; Women’s complaints.

This is a commonly used medicinal plant in China. The root is antidote, antifungal, cardiotonic, expectorant, febrifuge, expectorant, sialogogue, stomachic and tonic. It is used in the treatment of women’s diseases, chronic bronchitis with dry cough, pulmonary infections with cough and thick yellow sputum, dry throat.

Very good for lung, stomach

Actions & Indications: Moisten lungs and to stop coughs; nourishes stomach and generates fluids and clears heat, in dryness of mouth and throat due to yinxu (yin deficient); for moisten dry skin.

Cautions: Do not use in cough due to wind cold, or in cases of pixu (spleen deficient). Do not use with li lu or fang ji

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.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Adenophora+verticillata
http://alternativehealing.org/sha_shen.htm
http://search.myway.com/search/redirect.jhtml?qid=7aa4469bac675026ea30e1be9ef56a7d&searchfor=pictures+of+Adenophora+verticillata&action=pick&pn=1&si=&ptnrS=&ss=sub&st=site&cb=DF&pg=GGmain&ord=0&redirect=mPWsrdz9heamc8iHEhldEbLRLiJ5DqL6jDZPuHi2ANDgCmDVWDJeBADIR%2FwjaGwKSdPDmA%2BFr5ik%2F9v8V5xGqxbGumoA3cogQcLApYbvwl4%3D&ct=AR
http://flower.onego.ru/other/adenopho.html

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News on Health & Science

Web Addiction a ‘Clinical Disorder’

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China could become the first country to classify internet addiction as a clinical disorder amid growing concern over compulsive web use by millions of Chinese, state media said 

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The health ministry is likely to adopt a new manual on Internet addiction next year drawn up by Chinese psychologists that recognises it as a condition similar to compulsive gambling or alcohol addiction, the China Daily reported.

It cited psychologists involved in drafting the diagnostic manual.

China has the world’s largest online population at 253 million people, according to official figures, and is growing rapidly as computer use rises along with income levels.

But that has also fed growing concerns over compulsive internet use.

A top Chinese legislator said in August that about 10% of China’s web users under the age of 18, or four million people, were addicted to the internet, mainly to “unhealthy” online games, state media said at the time.

Recent research by internet media company InterActiveCorp showed that 42% of Chinese youngsters polled felt “addicted” to the web, compared to 18% in the US. China has tried various measures to regulate the booming online gaming market and curb Web use by teens.

In 2006, it ordered all Chinese internet game manufacturers to install technology in their games that demands players reveal their real name and identification number.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Herbs & Plants

Delonix Regia or Krishnachura in Bengali

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Botanical Name:Peltophorum
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Tribe: Caesalpinieae
Genus: Delonix
Species: D. regia
Common Names:
Krishnachura, Gulmohar, Peacock Flower, Flame of the Forest, Malinche, and Tabachine, and one of several named the Flame tree. The species was previously placed in a genus Poinciana, named for Phillipe de Longviliers de Poincy who is credited with introducing the plant to the Americas.

Amharic(dire dawa zaf); Arabic(goldmore); Bengali(chura,radha); Burmese(seinban); Creole(poinciana royal); English(flamboyant,flamboyant flame tree,flame of the forest,flame tree,gold mohur,gul mohr,julu tree,peacock flower,royal poinciana); French(flamboyant,poinciana,royal); German(fammenßaum,Feuerbaum); Hindi(gulmohr,kattikayi,peddaturyl,shima sunkesula); Spanish(Acacia roja,clavellino,flamboyán,flor de pavo,framboyán,guacamaya,josefina,Morazán,poinciana); Swahili(mjohoro,mkakaya); Tamil(mayarum,mayirkonrai,panjadi,telugu); Thai(hang nok yung farang); Trade name(gold mohar); Vietnamese(phuong); Yoruba(sekeseke)

Synonyms: Poinciana regia Boj. ex Hook.

Habitat : The Royal Poinciana is endemic to Madagascar, where it is found in the West Malagasy forest. In the wild it is endangered, but it is widely cultivated elsewhere. In addition to its ornamental value, it is also a useful shade tree in tropical conditions, because it usually grows to a modest height (typically around 5 m, though it can reach as high as 12 m) but spreads widely, and its dense foliage provides full shade.

The Royal Poinciana is regarded as naturalised in many of the locations where it is grown, and is seen by some as an invasive species in some parts of Australia, partly because its dense shade and root system prevent the growth of other species under it. It is also found in India, where it is referred to as the Gulmohar. In West Bengal (India) and Bangladesh,
mainly in garden and roadside as avenue tree for its graceful foliage and beautiful flowers. it is called Krishnachura.

The seed pods of the Royal Poincianas are used in the Caribbean as a percussion instrument known as the shak-shak or maraca.

The Royal Poinciana requires a tropical or near-tropical climate, but can tolerate drought and salty conditions. It is very widely grown in the Caribbean, Hong Kong, the Canary Islands, Taiwan and southern China, and is also the city tree of Tainan, Taiwan and Xiamen, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China. National Cheng Kung University, a university located in Tainan, put Royal Poinciana on its emblem.

In the United States and United States Commonwealth, it grows only in South Florida, Southwest Florida, the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, ranging from the low deserts of Southern Arizona (to as high as Tucson), Southern California, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, where it is the official tree of the islands. It is much adored in the Caribbean; for example, many Puerto Rican paintings feature Flamboyant Trees. The Poinciana is also the national flower of St. Kitts and Nevis. Also Phillipe de Longviliers de Poincy was the first Lieutenant Governor of St. Kitts.

The Royal Poinciana is regarded as naturalised in many of the locations where it is grown, and is seen by some as an invasive species in some parts of Australia, partly because its dense shade and root system prevent the growth of other species under it. It is also found in India, where it is referred to as the Gulmohar. In West Bengal (India) and Bangladesh it is called Krishnachura.

Description:
It is a midium size tree with spreading dome-shaped crown. Leaves are bipinnate and leaflets are small and many. Flowering time is April to June. Flowers are red, showy in terminal corymbs. Fruiting occurs between August and October. Pods are 30-61 cm long, fleshy and become black when dry. The tree’s vivid red/vermilion/orange/yellow flowers and bright green foliage make it an exceptionally striking sight. In areas with a marked dry season, it sheds its leaves during the drought, but in other areas it is virtually evergreen.
click tom see the pictures…>......(01).….(1)……...(2).…….(3)….…(4)..….

 

The flowers are large, with four spreading scarlet or orange-red petals up to 8 cm long, and a fifth upright petal called the standard, which is slightly larger and spotted with yellow and white. The naturally occurring variety flavida has yellow flowers. Seed pods are dark brown and can be up to 60 cm long and 5 cm wide; the individual seeds, however, are small, weighing around 0.4 g on average. The compound leaves have a feathery appearance and are a characteristic light, bright green. They are doubly pinnate: Each leaf is 30-50 cm long and has 20 to 40 pairs of primary leaflets or pinnae on it, and each of these is further divided into 10-20 pairs of secondary leaflets or pinnules.

Fruit green and flaccid when young, turning to dark brown, hard, woody pods, 30-75 cm long, 3.8 cm thick, 5-7.6 cm broad, ending in a short beak when mature, with many horizontally partitioned seed chambers inside, indehiscent, finally splitting into 2 parts. The conspicuous pods hang down and remain attached most of the year even when the trees are leafless. Seeds 30-45, hard, greyish, glossy, to 2 cm long, oblong and shaped very much like date seeds, transversely mottled with a bony testa. They are arranged at right angles to the length of the pod.

Folwering Seasons:
South Florida: June
Caribbean:
May–September
India: April–June
Australia: December–February
Northern Mariana Islands: March-June
United Arab Emirates: April-June


Uses:

Agri-horticulture, Medicines, Phytochemistry, Products

Products
Apiculture: Flowers are reputed to produce bee forage. Fuel: The large pods as well as the wood are used for fuel. Timber: The sapwood is light yellow, and the heartwood is yellowish to light brown. It is soft, heavy (specific gravity 0.8), coarse grained, weak, brittle, takes good polish and is rather resistant to moisture and insects although very susceptible to attack by dry-wood termites. Gum or resin: The tree yields a thick mucilage of water-soluble of gum in yellowish or reddish-brown warty tears; the seeds contain gum that may find use in textile and food industries.

Medicine: Bark has medicinal properties. The traditional healers use the leaves of Peltophorum in form of decoction, to wash the unhealthy skin. It is commonly used in treatment of skin troubles. The healers use its fresh leaves also for this purpose. It is frequently used in treatment of ringworm. The traditional healers use this herb as major ingredient in popular herbal combinations used internally in treatment of constipation. The healers of Southern Chhattisgarh in India, use the leaf decoction in treatment of stomatitis. The patients are advised to gargle with this decoction. Its bark is also used for this purpose. The healers of Chhattisgarh Plains use its flower in treatment of insomnia. The aqueous extract of fresh flowers is massaged on soles before going to sleep. According to the healers, it induces good sleep. This is really surprising that the information on its medicinal uses and properties have not been mentioned in reference literatures related to different systems of medicine in India. As it is introduced herb, possibly due to this reason the ancient researchers have not studied and included this herb in literatures.


The timber is hard and fair.
The heartwood is used for rough posts, supports for flooring and for bridges as it is said to be very durable. General construction and furniture works are also done with the timber.

Services
Shade or shelter: D. regia is planted as a shade tree in dairy farms, tea plantations and compounds. Ornamental: It is mainly valued as a decorative tree, often being planted in avenues and gardens. Boundary or barrier or support: D. regia can be planted as live fence posts.

Often grown as an ornamental tree and given the name Royal Poinciana or Flamboyant,
The tree’s vivid red/vermilion/orange/yellow flowers and bright green foliage make it an exceptionally striking sight.

Other products: The hard, elongated seeds are occasionally used as beads.

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/Royal_Poinciana
http://www.worldagroforestrycentre.org/sea/products/AFDbases/AF/asp/SpeciesInfo.asp?SpID=648
http://botanical.com/site/column_poudhia/395_peela.html
http://www.worldagroforestrycentre.org/sites/TreeDBS/aft/speciesPrinterFriendly.asp?Id=648

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Herbs & Plants

TIENCHI GINSENG /GINSENG

Panax quinquefolius foliage and fruitImage via Wikipedia

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Botanical Name :Panax notoginseng, Panax pseudoginseng San qi.
Family:Araliaceae
Subfamily:Aralioideae
Genus:Panax
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:Apiales
Common Name
:Ginseng, San Qi,Tan Qi,Teinchi Ginseng
Part Used:
Tuberous root.
Collection and habitat: Origin
China, An Asian herb used primarily in Korea, China, and Japan; the root is gathered in the spring or fall. The older the roots, the better.

Description:Tien-chi Ginseng (Panax pseudoginseng) is a unique type of ginseng plant that grows in southwestern China; mainly cultivated in Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces. The main part of the tien-chi plant used as a health product is the root, which is valued for regulating blood circulation, as detailed in a 1979 report (cover pictured here). The flower is used somewhat differently, as a “heat clearing and toxin cleansing” herb, given to reduce inflammation, feverish feeling, skin eruptions, and sore throat.

…click to see the pictures>…....(01)…….(1).…(2)..…..…(3)..…..…(4)..…….

All parts of the ginseng plants contain the saponins-known as ginsenosides-that have been shown to be responsible for most of ginseng’s beneficial effects. Additionally, the flowers contain flavonoids that contribute to the cooling and detoxifying action. The flowers have a mild, pleasant taste, and subtle aroma. In China, the flower tea is a favorite summer drink, used to compensate for the hot weather of the central and southern regions. The flowers are collected in early summer and then extracted and concentrated onto cane sugar to yield an instant tea granule, manufactured by Shenbao Corporation of Guanxi Province.

WHAT IT DOES: Tien chi root is sweet and slightly bitter in taste, and warming in action. It stops bleeding while simultaneously reducing blood congestion and clotting. It also relaxes, detoxifies and repairs blood vessels, and speeds wound healing. It is a mild tonic.

Medicinal Uses: Immune tonic and stimulant, adaptogenic, hepatoprotective, antiviral, cardiotonic, anti-inflammatory, anticomplement, antihyperglycemic, antiulcer, antioxidant, hemostatic, analgesic; promotes blood circulation.

Functions in liver disease: Antiviral, hepatoprotective, strong stimulant and tonic for the immune system. Directly active against hepatitis viruses.

Properties: Warming, both hemostatic and anticoagulant (depending on the condition), disperses blood stasis, anti-swelling, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulating, hypolipemic (raw sanqi), hyperlipemic (cured sanqi), anti-atherosclerotic, antioxidant.

Most Common Traditional Uses: Hemorrhages of various kinds (e.g., coughing blood, vomiting blood, nosebleeds, hematochezia, and metrorrhagia), traumatic injuries with bleeding and pain, stabbing pain in chest and abdomen.

By Chinese standards, tienchi is not an ancient herb, being first described only about 400 years ago, in Li Shi-Zhen’s Ben Cao Gang Mu (circa 1590 A.D.). It is cultivated mainly in southern China, in the provinces of Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guangdong, at altitudes between 800 and 1,000 m. Tienchi is closely related to Asian ginseng and American ginseng.Like ginseng, it also contains ginsenosides (esp. Rb1 and Rg1) as its major active components. However, unlike ginseng, tienchi’s most well-known traditional use is not as a tonic but as a hemostatic, and is a common ingredient in many hemostatic formulas both for internal and external applications. Perhaps the most famous formula of this kind is Yunnan Baoyao (White Drug of Yunnan Province) which contains tienchi as a major component. This medicine was carried by both Chinese and American airmen (the Flying Tigers) during World War II to stop bleeding due to wounds and injuries.

After modern chemical and pharmacological studies have shown tienchi to contain ginsenosides and to exhibit broad biological activities that are typical of tonics (cardiovascular, immunomodulating, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, normalizing blood lipids and blood pressure, etc.), it is now also used in tonic formulas.

Research Highlights:-

• Studies from China show that it speeds recovery from wounds by over 50% (reported in Dharmananda, 1994).

• Studies have shown that this action is strengthened by repeated administration and tends to be dose-dependent (Gong YH et al., 1991).

• In mouse studies, Tien chi root extract has shown significant anti-tumor activity on skin tumors induced by chemical toxins (Konoshima et al., 1999).

• In a study of patients with essential hypertension, tien chi root saponins, were shown to precipitate remarkable improvement in left ventricular diastolic function. The researchers concluded that the herb could improve heart muscle relaxation by enhancing calcium pump activity, inhibiting intracellular calcium overload, and lightening left ventricular muscle mass (Feng et al., 1997). In spite of this positive effect, however, the herb is not a reliable blood pressure-lowering agent by itself, though it may be a useful addition to a treatment protocol (Lei XL et al., 1986).

•The development of cardiac dysfunction and weakness immediately following traumatic burns is a serious problem, and one that is very difficult to treat. In a placebo controlled trial performed on rats at the Institute of Burn Research in Chongqing, China, researchers determined that tien chi root was effective in improving early post-burn cardiac function (Huang et al., 1999).

• The actions of this herb on the cardiovascular system are complex, involving multiple mechanisms. Studies done at the Chinese Academy of Medical Science in Beijing have shown that the saponins in tien chi root act as calcium channel blockers in neurons (Ma et al., 1997).

• The protection the whole root affords against hypoxic damage is attributed to the improvement of energy metabolism, preserving the structural integrity of neurons (Jiang KY et al., 1995).

• Other effects include lipid-lowering activity (Xu et al., 1993), increased outflow of coronary vessels and relaxed constriction of ileum smooth muscles (Hu Y et al., 1992), and anti-arrhythmic activity (Gao BY et al., 1992).

• A study on rabbits suffering from hemorrhagic shock examined the effects of various combinations of salvia root, tien chi root and chuan xiong rhizome (Ligusticum wallichii). Blood tests showed that all three herbs were effective for relieving blood pressure and heart rate reduction, but that the combination of any two herbs was superior to
using a single herb, improving results and lowering the required dosage (Wang et al., 1997)

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://eatmoreherbs.com/zine/ginseng_tienchi.html
http://www.globalherbalsupplies.com/herb_information/ginseng_tienchi.htm#top
http://www.health-report.co.uk/phytochi_tienchi_ginseng.html
http://oneearthherbs.squarespace.com/important-herbs/tien-chi-root-panax-notoginseng.html
http://www.itmonline.org/jintu/tienchi.htm

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