Tag Archives: Persicaria

Sedum reflexum

Botanical Name : Sedum reflexum
Family:    Crassulaceae
Genus:    Sedum
Species:S. reflexum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Saxifragales

Synonym: Stonecrop Houseleek.

Common Names: Sedum reflexum or Sedum rupestre, also known as reflexed stonecrop, blue stonecrop, Jenny’s stonecrop and prick-madam, The Stonecrop Houseleek of the old herbalists goes now by the name of Crooked Yellow Stonecrop.

Habitat: Sedum reflexum is native to northern, central, and southwestern Europe.It grows on Walls, shingle and warm grassy places on sandy soils. Avoids acid soils.

Description:
Sedum reflexum is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.3 m (1ft) with sprawling stems and stiff foliage resembling spruce branches, with softer tissue. The leaves are frequently blue-gray to gray but range to light greens and yellows; the flowers are yellow. Like most other Sedum species, it has a prostrate, spreading habit.
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It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and 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 Bees, flies, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile.

Cultivation: 
Succeeds in most soils but prefers a fertile well-drained soil. Requires a sunny position. The plant flowers best when grown in a sunny position, though it also succeeds in semi-shade. Established plants are very drought tolerant, they grow well in dry soils and can also be grown in a crevice on a wall. This species is hardy to about -15°c. A mat forming plant, it spreads rapidly and it is not suitable for the rockery. All members of this genus are said to have edible leaves, though those species, such as this one, that have yellow flowers can cause stomach upsets if they are eaten in quantity. Plants in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow in spring in well-drained soil in a sunny position in a greenhouse. Do not allow the soil to dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If sufficient growth is made, it is possible to plant them out during the summer, otherwise keep them in a cold-frame or greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in early summer of the following year[K]. Division is very easy and can be carried out at almost any time in the growing season, though is probably best done in spring or early summer. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summe

Edible Uses:  
Leaves – raw or cooked. A slightly astringent sour taste makes this plant a useful addition to a green tossed salad and it can also be added to soups or used as a vegetable. Used in salads, it has a fine relish.

Medicinal Uses:
Culpepper considered that as ‘it is more frequent than the white stonecrop, flowering at the same time, it may very well supply its place.’ He goes on to tell us that the Houseleek, ‘though not given inwardly, yet is recommended by some to quench thirst in fever.’ Mixed with posset drink, 3 OZ. of the juice of this and Persicaria maculata, boiled to the consistence of a julep, are recommended to allay the heat of inflammation.

Other Uses:
Sedum reflexum is a popular ornamental plant, grown in gardens, containers, and as houseplants. It is drought-tolerant. There are named cultivars with variegated (multi-colored) leaves.

A good ground cover plant for a sunny position. The somewhat open growth habit makes it suitable for growing with larger bulbs such as some lilies.

Known Hazards:  Although not poisonous, if large quantities of this plant are eaten it can cause a stomach upset.

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/Sedum_reflexum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Sedum+reflexum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/stonec91.html

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Polygonum hydropiper

Botanical Name : Polygonum hydropiper
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus:     Persicaria
Species: P. hydropiper
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Caryophyllales

Synonyms:Persicaria hydropiper, Water Pepper. Biting Persicaria. Bity Tongue. Arcmart. Pepper Plant. Smartass. Ciderage. Red Knees. Culrage. Bloodwort. Arsesmart.

Common Names: Water-pepper or water pepper,Smartweed

Habitat:Polygonum hydropiper is a native of most parts of Europe, in Russian Asia to the Arctic regions. It occurs in Great Britain and Ireland, rarer in Scotland. It is a cosmopolitan plant, found in Australia, New Zealand, temperate Asia, Europe, and North America. It is  found abundantly in places that are under water during the winter.

Description:
Water pepper is an annual herb with branched stem, 2 to 3 feet in length, creeps at first, then becomes semi-erect. The leaves are alternate and almost stalkless. The leaf blades are narrowly ovate and have entire margins fringed by very short hairs. They are tapering with a blunt apex. Each leaf base has stipules which are fused into a stem-enclosing sheath that is loose and fringed at the upper end. The inflorescence is a nodding spike. The perianth of each tiny flower consists of four or five segments, united near its green base and white or pink at the edges. There are six stamens, three fused carpels and three styles. The fruit is black and dotted,dark brown oval,  as long as the perianth, three-sided and nut-like. The leaves have a pungent, acrid, bitter taste (something like peppermint), which resides in the glandulat dots on its surface, no odour. The fruit is a dark brown oval, flattened nut.
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Edible Uses:
In Japan this plant’s leaves are used as a vegetable – these are from the cultivar, not the wild type which has a far more pungent taste. Wild waterpepper produces oils that cause skin irritation, and the many acids in its tissues, including formic acid, make the plant unpalatable to livestock. Young red sprouts are used as a sashimi garnish, and are known as beni-tade ( red water pepper). Though livestock do not eat the wild type, some insects do, giving rise to the Japanese saying Tade ku mushi mo suki zuki, Some insects eat water pepper and like it), which may be translated as “There is no accounting for taste.” or more narrowly “Some prefer nettles.”

The seeds of the water-pepper may be added to wasabi.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used:  Whole herb and leaves.

Constituents: Water-pepper has several active ingredients. Two bicyclic sesquiterpenoids are present, polygodial (tadeonal, an unsaturated dialdehyde with a drimane backbone) and waburganal, which has been found responsible for the pungent taste (hence its edibility). The plant also contains rutin, a source of the bitter taste impression.

The plant contains an essential oil (0.5%) which consists of monoterpenoids and sesquiterpenoids: alpha-pinene, bita-pinene, 1,4-cineol, fenchone,  alpha-humulene, bita-caryophyllene, trans-bita-bergamotene. Carboxylic acids (cinnamic, valeric and caproic acid) and their esters were present in traces. The composition depends strongly on genetic factors.

Stimulant, diuretic, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, efficacious in amenorrhoea. A cold water infusion is useful in gravel, colds and coughs.

In combination with tonics and gum myrrh, it is said to have cured epilepsy – probably dependent on some uterine derangement. The infusion in cold water, which may be readily prepared from the fluid extract, has been found serviceable in gravel, dysentery, gout, sore mouths, colds and coughs, and mixed with wheat bran, in bowel complaints. Antiseptic and desiccant virtues are also claimed for it. The fresh leaves, bruised with those of the Mayweed (Anthemis Cotula), and moistened with a few drops of oil of turpentine, make a speedy vesicant.

Simmered in water and vinegar, it has proved useful in gangrenous, or mortified conditions. The extract, in the form of infusion or fomentation, has been beneficially applied in chronic ulcers and haemorrhoidal tumours, also as a wash in chronic erysipetalous inflammations, and as a fomentation in flatulent colic.

A hot decoction made from the whole plant has been used in America as a remedy for cholera, a sheet being soaked in it and wrapped round the patient immediately the symptoms start.

In Mexico, the infusion is used not only as a diuretic, but also put into the bath of sufferers from rheumatism.

A fomentation of the leaves is beneficial for chronic ulcers and haemorrhoids – in tympanitis and flatulent colic, and as a wash in chronic inflammatory erysipelas.

It was once held that a few drops of the juice put into the ear would destroy the worms that it was believed caused earache.

There is a tradition, quoted in old Herbals, that if a handful of the plant be placed under the saddle, a horse is enabled to travel for some time without becoming hungry or thirsty, the Scythians having used this herb (under the name of Hippice) for that purpose.

It was an old country remedy for curing proud flesh in the sores of animals. Culpepper tells us also that ‘if the Arsemart be strewed in a chamber, it will soon kill all the fleas.’

The root was chewed for toothache – probably as a counter-irritant – and the bruised leaves used as a poultice to whitlows.

A water distilled from the plant, taken in the quantity of a pint or more in a day, has been found serviceable in gravel and stone.

The expressed juice of the freshly gathered plant has been found very useful in jaundice and the beginning of dropsies, the dose being from 1 to 3 tablespoonfuls.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/smartw54.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygonum_hydropiper

Polygonum persicaria

Botanical Name : Polygonum persicaria
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Persicaria
Species: P. maculosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms : Polygonum maculata, Persicaria maculosa.Polygonum ruderalis, Polygonum ruderalis, Polygonum vulgaris, Polygonum dubium, Polygonum fusiforme, Polygonum minus and Polygonum puritanorum.

Common Names :Persicaria, Redleg, Lady’s-thumb, Spotted Ladysthumb, Gambetta, and Adam’s Plaster

Habitat :Polygonum persicaria is native to Europe, it is an invasive species in the Great Lakes region where it was first spotted in 1843. Grows in roadside and damp places.

Description:
Polygonum persicaria is an annual/ perennial plant.It grows up to 1 m high, and has narrow, lancet-shaped leaves 8–10 cm long. The leaves often have a brown or black spot. The white, pink or red flowers are in dense panicles and flower from early summer to late autumn and the seeds ripen from Aug to October.It is hardy to zone 5.

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It is native to Europe and Asia, where it can be mistaken for Polygonum minus, but P. minus has narrower leaves, usually less than 1 cm wide, while its ear is slimmer.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Self.The plant is self-fertile.

It has been introduced to North America and is naturalised in all mainland states, being found along roadsides, riverbanks, and on fallow ground. In the USA, it is very similar to Pennsylvania smartweed, but Redshank has a fringe of hairs at the top of the ocrea, something which Pennsylvania smartweed lacks.

Cultivation:      
Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil but prefers a moisture retentive not too fertile soil in sun or part shade. Repays generous treatment. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits.

Propagation:   
Seed – sow spring in situ.

 Edible Uses  
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Leaves and young shoots – raw or cooked. They contain about 1.9% fat, 5.4% pectin, 3.2% sugars, 27.6% cellulose, 1% tannin. Seed – raw or cooked. It is rather small and fiddly to utilize.

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent;  Diuretic;  Lithontripic;  Poultice;  Rubefacient;  Vermifuge.

The leaves are astringent, diuretic, rubefacient and vermifuge. An infusion has been used as a treatment for gravel and stomach pains. A decoction of the plant, mixed with flour, has been used as a poultice to help relieve pain. A decoction of the plant has been used as a foot and leg soak in the treatment of rheumatism. The crushed leaves have been rubbed on poison ivy rash.

The Anglo-Saxons used Polygonum persicaria as a remedy for sore eyes and ears.  They called it Untrodden to Pieces, perhaps because it was so hardy and though that it survived even being stepped upon or otherwise crushed.

Other Uses  
Dye.

A yellow dye is obtained from the plant when alum is used as a mordant.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been made for this species, there have been reports that some members of this genus can cause photosensitivity in susceptible people. Many species also contain oxalic acid (the distinctive lemony flavour of sorrel) – whilst not toxic this substance can bind up other minerals making them unavailable to the body and leading to mineral deficiency. Having said that, a number of common foods such as sorrel and rhubarb contain oxalic acid and the leaves of most members of this genus are nutritious and beneficial to eat in moderate quantities. Cooking the leaves will reduce their content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

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/Polygonum_persicaria
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polygonum+persicaria
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

Persicaria amphibia

Botanical Name :Persicaria amphibia
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Persicaria
Species: P. amphibia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names: Water knotweed, Water smartweed, and Amphibious bistort.

Habitat :Persicaria amphibia is native to much of North America and Eurasia, but it is known on most continents as an introduced species and sometimes a noxious weed. It grows in many types of wet habitat, such as ponds, streams, and marshes.

Description;
Persicaria amphibia is a rhizomatous perennial herb which takes a variety of forms and is quite variable in morphology. It may be an aquatic plant, growing submerged or floating in water bodies, it may grow in muddy and wet areas which are periodically inundated, and it may grow in moist spots on land, such as in meadows. Dry-land and fully aquatic plants are sometimes considered different named varieties of the species.

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The plant produces a thick stem from its rhizome. The stem may creep, float, or grow erect, rooting at stem nodes that come in contact with moist substrate. Stems are known to reach 3 meters long in aquatic individuals. The stems are ribbed and may be hairless to quite hairy in texture. Leaves are lance-shaped or take various other shapes and are borne on petioles. They may be over 30 centimeters in length. The inflorescence is a dense terminal cluster of many five-lobed pink flowers. Plants may have bisexual or unisexual flowers, with some plants bearing only male or only female flowers. The fruit is a shiny brown rounded achene around 3 millimeters long.

Medicinal Uses;
Various parts of this plant were used by several Native American groups as medicinal remedies and sometimes as food.
An infusion of the leaves and stems has been used to treat stomach pains and children with diarrhea.  The root has been eaten raw, or an infusion of the dried, pounded roots used, in the treatment of chest colds. A poultice of the fresh roots has been applied directly to the mouth to treat blisters.  As a cooling blood purifier this plant is preferred in France to Sarsaparilla.

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/Persicaria_amphibia
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Persicaria_amphibia_bluete.jpeg

http://www.nature-diary.co.uk/2006-07-04.htm

Polygonum bistorta

Botanical Name :Polygonum bistorta or Persicaria bistorta
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Persicaria
Species: P. bistorta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales
Synonyms: Persicaria bistorta (L.) Samp., Polygonum ampliusculum Gand., Polygonum bistorta L., Polygonum bourdinii Gand., Polygonum carthusianorum Gand., Polygonum ellipticum Willd. ex Spreng., Polygonum pilatense Gand.

Common Name : Bistort or Common Bistort,  Meadow bistort, Snakeweed

Numerous other vernacular names have been recorded for the species in historical texts, though none is used to any extent. Many of the following refer to the plant’s use in making puddings: Adderwort, Dragonwort, Easter giant, Easter ledger, Easter ledges, Easter magiant, Easter man-giant, Gentle dock, Great bistort, Osterick, Oysterloit, Passion dock, Patience dock (this name is also used for Rumex patientia), Patient dock, Pink pokers, Pudding grass, Pudding dock, Red legs, Snakeweed, Twice-writhen, Water ledges.

Habitat :     Polygonum bistorta is native to northern and central Europe, including Britain, mountains of S. Europe, western and central Asia. It grows in damp meadows and by water, especially on acid soils.

Description:
Polygonum bistorta is a perennial plant, growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate.   It  blooms  late spring into mid summer, producing tall stems ending in single terminal racemes that are club-like spikes of pink-rose colored flowers.  The seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.  The racemes are about 2 cm thick and 5-9 cm long and end 1 meter tall,upright growing stems. Plants grow in moist soils and under dry conditions go dormant, losing their foliage until adequate moisture exists again. This species is grown as an ornamental garden plant, especially the form ‘Superba’ which has larger, more showy flowers. Typically alpine plants growing from short, thick rhizomes that branch. The foliage is normally basal with a few smaller leaves produced near the lower end of the flowering stems. The leaves are oblong-ovate or triangular-ovate in shape and narrow at the base. The petioles are broadly winged.

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The Latin name “bistorta” refers to the twisted appearance of the root. In Northern England the plant was used to make a bitter pudding in Lent from a combination of the plant’s leaves, oatmeal, egg and other herbs. It is the principal ingredient of dock pudding or Easter-Ledge Pudding.  The root of Bistort can be used to produce an astringent that was used in medicine.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses: Container, Ground cover. Succeeds in an ordinary garden soil[1] but prefers a moisture retentive not too fertile soil in sun or part shade. The plant repays generous treatment. A very cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least -25°c. Bistort was formerly cultivated as a medicinal and edible plant, though it has now fallen into virtual disuse. Plants are somewhat spreading, forming quite extensive colonies especially in low-lying pastures. They seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Edible, Not North American native, Invasive, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually free and easy. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer if they have reached sufficient size. If not, overwinter them in a cold frame and plant them out the following spring after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Edible Uses::…Edible Parts: Leaves; Root; Seed.
Leaves – raw or cooked. One report says that they are rather bitter[5], but we have found them to have a fairly mild flavour, especially when the leaves are young, though the texture is somewhat chewy when they are eaten raw. They make an excellent substitute for spinach. In Northern England the leaves are an ingredient of a bitter Lenten pudding, called Easter ledger pudding, that is eaten at Lent. The leaves are available from late winter in most years and can be eaten until the early autumn though they become much tougher as the season progresses. The leaves are a good source of vitamins A and C, a nutritional analysis is available. Seed – raw or cooked. The seed is very small and rather fiddly to utilize. Root – raw or cooked. Rich in starch and tannin, it is steeped in water and then roasted in order to reduce the tannin content. It is then said to be a tasty and nutritious food. The root has also been boiled or used in soups and stews and can be dried then ground into a powder and used in making bread. The root contains 30% starch, 1% calcium oxalate and 15 – 36% tannin.
Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Fresh weight)

*0 Calories per 100g
* Water : 82.6%
*Protein: 3g; Fat: 0.8g; Carbohydrate: 7.9g; Fibre: 3.2g; Ash: 2.4g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 0mg; Phosphorus: 0mg; Iron: 0mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0mg; Niacin: 0mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses:

Bistort is one of the most strongly astringent of all herbs and it is used to contract tissues and staunch blood flow. The root is powerfully astringent, demulcent, diuretic, febrifuge, laxative and strongly styptic. It is gathered in early spring when the leaves are just beginning to shoot, and then dried. It is much used, both internally and externally, in the treatment of internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera etc. It is also taken internally in the treatment of a wide range of complaints including catarrh, cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis and excessive menstruation. Externally, it makes a good wash for small burns and wounds, and is used to treat pharyngitis, stomatitis, vaginal discharge, anal fissure etc. A mouth wash or gargle is used to treat spongy gums, mouth ulcers and sore throats. The leaves are astringent and have a great reputation in the treatment of wounds. In Chinese medicine the rhizome is used for: epilepsy, fever, tetanus, carbuncles, snake and mosquito bites, scrofula and cramps in hands and feet . Considered useful in diabetes.

Roots and leaves were used to counteract poisons and to treat malaria and intermittent fevers. Dried and powdered it was applied to cuts and wounds to staunch bleeding, and a decoction in wine was taken for internal bleeding and diarrhea (especially in babies). It was also given to cause sweating and drive out the plague, smallpox, measles and other infectious diseases. Bistort is rich in tannins and one of the best astringents. Taken internally, it is excellent for bleeding, such as from nosebleeds, heavy periods and wounds, and for diarrhea and dysentery. Since it reduces inflammation and mucous secretions it makes a good remedy for colitis and for catarrhal congestion. It was originally recommended in 1917 as a treatment for debility with a tendency towards tuberculosis. It has also been used externally for pharyngitis, stomatitis, vaginal discharge, anal fissure, purulent wounds, hemorrhoids, mouth ulcers and gum disease. Comes well with Geranium maculatum.

Other Uses:......Tannin.……The roots contain up to 21% tannin

Known Hazards:   Although no specific mention has been made for this species, there have been reports that some members of this genus can cause photosensitivity in susceptible people. Many species also contain oxalic acid (the distinctive lemony flavour of sorrel) – whilst not toxic this substance can bind up other minerals making them unavailable to the body and leading to mineral deficiency. Having said that, a number of common foods such as sorrel and rhubarb contain oxalic acid and the leaves of most members of this genus are nutritious and beneficial to eat in moderate quantities. Cooking the leaves will reduce their content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

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/Persicaria_bistorta
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Polygonum+bistorta

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