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Myroxlon pereirae

Botanical Name : Myroxlon pereirae
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Amburaneae
Genus: Myroxylon
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names: Peruvian Balsam

Habitat ; Myroxlon pereirae is native to Central America (primarily in El Salvador) and South America.

Description:
Myroxlon pereirae is a tall perennial woody plant having a main trunk and branches forming a distinct elevated crown; includes both gymnosperms and angiosperms. The tree is large, growing to 40 metres (130 ft) tall, with evergreen pinnate leaves 15 centimetres (5.9 in) long, with 5–13 leaflets. The flowers are white with yellow stamens, produced in racemes. The fruit is a pod 7–11 centimetres (2.8–4.3 in) long, containing a single seed. The tree is often called Quina or Balsamo, Tolu in Colombia, Quina quina in Argentina, and sometimes Santos Mahogany or Cabreuva in the lumber trade.

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Medicinal Uses:
The Myroxylon pereirae resin (MP; balsam of Peru) is a natural resin used in the local treatment of burns and wounds. M. pereirae extracts and distillates are very often contained in a wide range of cosmetic products and causes frequently allergic contact dermatitis – to the extent of being considered an allergy marker to perfumes. We have carried out a retrospective study of 863 patients who have been submitted to patch tests from January 2002 to June 2004. A total of 50 patients were positive to MP. Thus, the prevalence was 5.79%, slightly higher in men (7.32%) than in women (4.91%). The positive patch tests were relevant in 64%. Over the last years, it appears that there is a clear increase of the prevalence of the sensitization to MP in all the studies published. We observe an increase of the prevalence especially in aged patients, where the sensitization is linked with the use of topical medications secondary to stasis dermatitis. The high frequency of allergy to MP in our area might be associated with manipulation of citrus fruits. The increasing use of cosmetic products by the male population can also be held responsible for the higher sensitization rate in this group of patients.

Balsam of Peru has been in the US Pharmacopeia since 1820 used for bronchitis, laryngitis, dysmenorrhea, diarrhea, dysentery and leucorrhea and has also been used as a food flavoring and fragrance material for its aromatic vanilla like-odor. Today it is used extensively in topical preparations for the treatment of wounds, ulcers, and scabies, and can be found in hair tonics, anti-dandruff preparations, feminine hygiene sprays and as a natural fragrance in soaps, detergents, creams, lotions and perfumes.

Peruvian balsam is strongly antiseptic and stimulates repair of damaged tissue. It is usually taken internally as an expectorant and decongestant to treat emphysema, bronchitis, and bronchial asthma. It may also be taken to treat sore throats and diarrhea. Externally, the balsam is applied to skin afflictions. It also stimulates the heart, increases blood pressure and lessens mucus secretions. Traditionally used for rheumatic pain and skin problems including scabies, diaper rash, bedsores, prurigo, eczema, sore nipples and wounds. It also destroys the itch acarus and its eggs.

Other Uses :

The wood is dark brown, with a deep red heartwood. Natural oils grant it excellent decay resistance. In fact, it is also resistant to preservative treatment. Its specific gravity is 0.74 to 0.81.

As regards woodworking, the tree is moderately difficult to work but can be finished with a high natural polish; it tends to cause some tool dulling.

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/Myroxylon
https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/Myroxylon%20pereirae
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15932578

Gentiana manshurica

Botanical Name: Gentiana manshurica
Family: Gentianaceae
Genus: Gentiana
Species: G. manshurica
Order: Gentianales

Common Name : Gentiana manshurica

Habitat :Gentiana manshurica is native to East Asia – China, Manchuria. It grows on the grassland slopes, wet meadows, roadsides; 100-1100 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Taiwan, Zhejiang.

Description:
Gentiana manshurica is a perennial herb, growing 20-30cm tall. Stems glabrous. Lower stem leaves pale purple, 5-8 mm; middle to upper leaves linear to linear-lanceolate, 3-10 cm × 3-9(-14) mm, base narrowed to obtuse, margin slightly revolute and smooth, apex acuminate to acute, veins 1-3; upper leaves slightly smaller, longer than but not surrounding flowers. Flowers terminal, solitary, sessile or subsessile, rarely also few in axils of upper leaves; bracts linear-lanceolate, 1.5-2 cm. Calyx tube 8-10 mm, entire; lobes linear to linear-lanceolate, 0.8-1.5 cm, margin slightly revolute, apex acute, vein 1. Corolla violet to blue-purple, tubular-campanulate, 4-5 cm; lobes ovate-triangular, 7-9 mm, margin entire, apex acuminate; plicae obliquely ovate, 3.5-4 mm, margin irregularly denticulate, apex obtuse. Stamens inserted at basal part of corolla tube; filaments 0.9-1.2 cm; anthers narrowly ellipsoid, 3.5-4 mm. Style 2-3 mm. Capsules 1.5-1.8 cm; gynophore to 2 cm. Seeds 1.8-2.2 mm. Fl. and fr. Aug-Sep
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bumblebees, butterflies….CLICK &  SEE THE PICTURES

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 most parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. In general, gentians require a moist well-drained soil in a sheltered position, a certain minimum of atmospheric humidity, high light intensity but a site where temperatures are not too high. They are therefore more difficult to grow in areas with hot summers and in such a region they appreciate some protection from the strongest sunlight. Most species will grow well in the rock garden. A moisture loving plant, preferring to grow with full exposure to the sun but with plenty of underground moisture in the summer, it grows better in the north and west of Britain. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. It can also be sown in late winter or early spring but the seed germinates best if given a period of cold stratification and quickly loses viability when stored, with older seed germinating slowly and erratically. It is advantageous to keep the seed at about 10°c for a few days after sowing, to enable the seed to imbibe moisture. Following this with a period of at least 5 – 6 weeks with temperatures falling to between 0 and -5°c will usually produce reasonable germination. It is best to use clay pots, since plastic ones do not drain so freely and the moister conditions encourage the growth of moss, which will prevent germination of the seed. The seed should be surface-sown, or only covered with a very light dressing of compost. The seed requires dark for germination, so the pots should be covered with something like newspaper or be kept in the dark. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. The seedlings grow on very slowly, taking 2 – 7 years to reach flowering size. When the plants are of sufficient size, place them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Division in March. Most members of this genus have either a single tap-root, or a compact root system united in a single root head, and are thus unsuitable for division. Cuttings of basal shoots in late spring.

Medicinal Uses:
The roots of gentian species contain some of the most bitter compounds known and make an excellent tonic for the whole digestive system, working especially on the stomach, liver and gall bladder. The root is antibacterial and stomachic. It is used in the treatment of jaundice, leucorrhoea, eczema, conjunctivitis, sore throat, acute infection of the urinary system, hypertension with dizziness and tinnitus. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

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://vi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentiana_manshurica
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200018011
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Gentiana+manshurica

Vinegar Is Superb

With 175 different uses, this super item deserves a reserved space in your home.Around the House

Clear dirt off PCs and peripherals Your computer, printer, fax machine, and other home office gear will work better if you keep them clean and dust-free. Before you start cleaning, make sure that all your equipment is shut off. Now mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a bucket. Dampen a clean cloth in the solution — never use a spray bottle; you don’t want to get liquid on the circuits inside — then squeeze it out as hard as you can, and start wiping. Keep a few cotton swabs on hand for getting to the buildups in tight spaces (like around the keys of your PC keyboard).

Clean your computer mouse:
If you have a mouse with a removable tracking ball, use a 50/50 vinegar-water solution to clean it. First, remove the ball from underneath the mouse by twisting off the cover over it. Use a cloth, dampened with the solution and wrung out, to wipe the ball clean and to remove fingerprints and dirt from the mouse itself. Then use a moistened cotton swab to clean out the gunk and debris from inside the ball chamber (let it dry a couple of hours before reinserting the ball).


Clean your window blinds:

You can make the job of cleaning mini-blinds or venetians considerably less torturous by giving them “the white glove treatment.” Just put on a white cotton glove — the kind sold for gardening is perfect — and moisten the fingers in a solution made of equal parts white vinegar and hot tap water. Now simply slide your fingers across both sides of each slat and prepare to be amazed. Use a container of clean water to periodically wash off the glove.

Unclog and deodorize drains:
The combination of vinegar and baking soda is one of the most effective ways to unclog and deodorize drains. It’s also far gentler on your pipes (and your wallet) than commercial drain cleaners.

  • To clear clogs in sink and tub drains, use a funnel to pour in 1/2 cup baking soda followed by 1 cup vinegar. When the foaming subsides, flush with hot tap water. Wait five minutes, and then flush again with cold water. Besides clearing blockages, this technique also washes away odor-causing bacteria.
  • To speed up a slow drain, pour in 1/2 cup salt followed by 2 cups boiling vinegar, then flush with hot and cold tap water.


Get rid of smoke odor:

If you’ve recently burned a steak — or if your chain-smoking aunt recently paid you a surprise visit — remove the lingering smoky odor by placing a shallow bowl about three-quarters full of white or cider vinegar in the room where the scent is strongest. Use several bowls if the smell permeates your entire home. The odor should be gone in less than a day. You can also quickly dispense of the smell of fresh cigarette smoke inside a room by moistening a cloth with vinegar and waving it around a bit.

Wipe away mildew:
When you want to remove mildew stains, reach for white vinegar first. It can be safely used without additional ventilation and can be applied to almost any surface –bathroom fixtures and tile, clothing, furniture, painted surfaces, plastic curtains, and more. To eliminate heavy mildew accumulations, use it full strength. For light stains, dilute it with an equal amount of water. You can also prevent mildew from forming on the bottoms of rugs and carpeting by misting the backs with full-strength white vinegar from a spray bottle.

Clean chrome and stainless steel:
To clean chrome and stainless steel fixtures around your home, apply a light misting of undiluted white vinegar from a recycled spray bottle. Buff with a soft cloth to bring out the brightness.

Shine your silver:
Make your silverware — as well as your pure silver bracelets, rings, and other jewelry — shine like new by soaking them in a mixture of 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda for two to three hours. Rinse them under cold water and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

Polish brass and copper items:
Put the shimmer back in your brass, bronze, and copper objects by making a paste of equal parts white vinegar and salt, or vinegar and baking soda (wait for the fizzing to stop before using). Use a clean, soft cloth or paper towel to rub the paste into the item until the tarnish is gone. Then rinse with cool water and polish with a soft towel until dry

Erase ballpoint-pen marks:
Has the budding young artist in your home just decorated a painted wall in your home with a ballpoint original? Don’t lose your cool. Rather, dab some full-strength white vinegar on the “masterpiece” using a cloth or a sponge. Repeat until the marks are gone. Then go out and buy your child a nice big sketch pad.


Unglue stickers, decals, and price tags:

To remove a sticker or decal affixed to painted furniture or a painted wall, simply saturate the corners and sides of the sticker with full-strength white vinegar and carefully scrape it off (using an expired credit card or a plastic phone card). Remove any sticky remains by pouring on a bit more vinegar. Let it sit for a minute or two, and then wipe with a clean cloth. This approach is equally effective for removing price tags and other stickers from glass, plastic, and other glossy surfaces.

Burnish your scissors:
When your scissor blades get sticky or grimy, don’t use water to wash them off; you’re far more likely to rust the fastener that holds the blades together — or the blades themselves — than get them clean. Instead, wipe down the blades with a cloth dipped in full-strength white vinegar, and then dry it off with a rag or dish towel.


Get the salt off your shoes:

As if a winter’s worth of ice, slush, and snow wasn’t rough enough on your shoes and boots, the worst thing, by far, is all the rock salt that’s used to melt it. In addition to leaving unsightly white stains, salt can actually cause your footwear to crack and even disintegrate if it’s left on indefinitely. To remove it and prevent long-term damage, wipe fresh stains with a cloth dipped in undiluted white vinegar.

Clean your piano keys:
Here’s an easy and efficient way to get those grimy fingerprints and stains off your piano keys. Dip a soft cloth into a solution of 1/2 cup white vinegar mixed in 2 cups water, squeeze it out until there are no drips, then gently wipe off each key. Use a second cloth to dry off the keys as you move along, then leave the keyboard uncovered for 24 hours.

Deodorize lunch boxes, footlockers, and car trunks:
Does your old footlocker smell like, well, an old footlocker? Or perhaps your child’s lunch box has taken on the bouquet of week-old tuna? What about that musty old car trunk? Quit holding your breath every time you open it. Instead, soak a slice of white bread in white vinegar and leave it in the malodorous space overnight. The smell should be gone by morning.


Freshen a musty closet:

Got a closet that doesn’t smell as fresh as you’d like? First, remove the contents, then wash down the walls, ceiling, and floor with a cloth dampened in a solution of 1 cup each of vinegar and ammonia and 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 gallon (3.7 liters) water. Keep the closet door open and let the interior dry before replacing your clothes and other stuff. If the smell persists, place a small pan of cat litter inside. Replenish every few days until the odor is gone.

Brighten up brickwork:
How’s this for an effortless way to clean your brick floors without breaking out the polish? Just go over them with a damp mop dipped in 1 cup white vinegar mixed with 1 gallon (3.7 liters) warm water. Your floors will look so good you’ll never think about cleaning them with anything else. You can also use this same solution to brighten up the bricks around your fireplace.

Revitalize wood paneling:
Does the wood paneling in your den look dull and dreary? Liven it up with this simple homemade remedy: Mix 1 pint warm water, 4 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a container, give it a couple of shakes, and apply with a clean cloth. Let the mixture soak into the wood for several minutes, then polish with a dry cloth.

Restore your rugs:
If your rugs or carpets are looking worn and dingy from too much foot traffic or an excess of kids’ building blocks, toy trucks, and such, bring them back to life by brushing them with a clean push broom dipped in a solution of 1 cup white vinegar in 1 gallon (3.7 liters) water. Your faded threads will perk up, and you don’t even need to rinse off the solution.

Remove carpet stains:
You can lift out many stains from your carpet with vinegar:

  • Rub light carpet stains with a mixture of 2 tablespoons salt dissolved in 1/2 cup white vinegar. Let the solution dry, then vacuum.
  • For larger or darker stains, add 2 tablespoons borax to the mixture and use in the same way.
  • For tough, ground-in dirt and other stains, make a paste of 1 tablespoon vinegar with 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and rub it into the stain using a dry cloth. Let it set for two days, then vacuum.
  • To make spray-on spot and stain remover, fill a spray bottle with 5 parts water and 1 part vinegar. Fill a second spray bottle with 1 part nonsudsy ammonia and 5 parts water. Saturate a stain with the vinegar solution. Let it settle for a few minutes, then blot thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth. Then spray and blot using the ammonia solution. Repeat until the stain is gone.

Remove candle wax:
Candles are great for creating a romantic mood, but the mood can quickly sour if you wind up getting melted candle wax on your fine wood furniture. To remove it, first soften the wax using a blow-dryer on its hottest setting and blot up as much as you can with paper towels. Then remove what’s left by rubbing with a cloth soaked in a solution made of equal parts white vinegar and water. Wipe clean with a soft, absorbent cloth.Give grease stains the slip

Eliminate grease stains from your kitchen table or counter by wiping them down with a cloth dampened in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. In addition to removing the grease, the vinegar will neutralize any odors on the surface (once its own aroma evaporates, that is).

Conceal scratches in wood furniture:
Got a scratch on a wooden tabletop that grabs your attention every time you look at it? To make it much less noticeable, mix some distilled or cider vinegar and iodine in a small jar and paint over the scratch with a small artist’s brush. Use more iodine for darker woods; more vinegar for lighter shades.


Get rid of water rings on furniture:

To remove white rings left by wet glasses on wood furniture, mix equal parts vinegar and olive oil and apply it with a soft cloth while moving with the wood grain. Use another clean, soft cloth to shine it up. To get white water rings off leather furniture, dab them with a sponge soaked in full-strength white vinegar.

Wipe off wax or polish buildup:
When furniture polish or wax builds up on wood furniture or leather tabletops, get rid of it with diluted white vinegar. To get built-up polish off a piece of wood furniture, dip a cloth in equal parts vinegar and water and squeeze it out well. Then, moving with the grain, clean away the polish. Wipe dry with a soft towel or cloth. Most leather tabletops will come clean simply by wiping them down with a soft cloth dipped in 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup water. Use a clean towel to dry off any remaining liquid.

Revitalize leather furniture:
Has your leather sofa or easy chair lost its luster? To restore it to its former glory, mix equal parts white vinegar and boiled linseed oil in a recycled spray bottle, shake it up well, and spray it on. Spread it evenly over your furniture using a soft cloth, give it a couple of minutes to settle in, then rub it off with a clean cloth.

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