Herbs & Plants

Cadaba fruticosa

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Botanical Name : Cadaba fruticosa
Family: Capparaceae
Genus: Cadaba
Species: C. fruticosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales
Synonyms: Cleome fruticosa

Common Names
: Kodham, Pulika Indian Cadaba
Common Names in other languages:
Hindi: kodhab, dabi, kadhab • Marathi: habal, vaelivee • Tamil: Vizhuthi, Adamorinika, Chikondi, Piluka • Telugu: Aadamorinika, Chavukkuttiyanku, chekonadi, Chemudu

Habitat : It is endemic on Indian Subcontinent: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Indo-China: Myanmar.Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry shrubland. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Indian Cadaba is a climbing shrub, height up to 5 m. Oval leaves with rounded tip are arranged alternately on the branches. Flowers usually in terminal racemes, or axillary solitary. Petals 4, clawed. Disk-appendix about as long as the petal claw, tubular, often trumpet shaped, apex generally petaloid and more or less toothed. Stamens 4-6, exserted, spreading; filaments on a short androphore or irregularly fused with the gynophore. Fruit is nearly cylindrical, leathery – internal tissues surrounding the nearly round seeds are often orange coloured. Flowering: January-March.

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Medicinal Uses:
Tamil  nadu it is  used in Siddha medicine for more than 2000 years. The juice of the leaves is especially used to cure gonorrhoes.

You may click to see :Herbal folk medicines used for urinary complaints in tribal

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.


Herbs & Plants

Zang Qie(Anisodus tanguticus)

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Botanical Name :Anisodus tanguticus
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Anisodus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales
Species: A. tanguticus

Other  Names: Anisodus tanguticus is more commonly known in China as sh?n làngdàng  or Zang Qie.

Habitat : A. tanguticus is mainly located in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. It is present from altitudes from 2800 m to 4200 m. The population of A. tanguticus has decreased significantly from this region due to extensive collecting primarily due to its medicinal uses.Due to its distribution in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, which includes many mountains and valleys, A. tanguticus can be found in very isolated areas relative to another patch of the same plant. This has led to a high level of genetic differentiation of A. tanguticus.

Anisodus tanguticus is a species of flowering plant in the family Solanaceae which includes many important agricultural plants.  A. tanguticus are collected and used mostly for its medicinal effects thought to be derived from the plants biologically active nicotine and tropane alkaloids. It has a significant impact in China as one of the 50 traditional herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Anisodus tanguticus is a perennial plant. It has flowers that are mostly solitary and borne in leaf axils. The flowers are mostly star shaped and radial. Most of them are nodding but they can sometimes become erect.

The pedicels have a range of lengths, but most are around at an average of about 1.5-11 cm long. These pedicels can either have no hair or bristles (glabrous) or be covered with hair (pubescent).

The calyx or sepals are often found in a funnel shape and usually average about 2.5–4 cm long.

Most of the lobes of A. tanguticus appear broadly dentate. Closer examination of these lobes reveal one to two lobes being larger and longer than the other lobes. The apex of these lobes are either acute or obtuse and are slightly unequal and do not have any hair on them.

The petals that make up the corolla appear in a range of colors. Most of the time they are purple to dark purple, but in some cases can even appear pale yellow to green. These petals are also arranged into a funnel and tend to grow between 2.5-4 cm long.

The stamens are located at the base of the corolla tube and are half the length of the corolla. The filaments are about 0.8 cm long and are hairless.

The anthers are shaped oblong with length of about 5-6 mm. Upon maturity, they tend to dehisce longitudinally.

The ovary is shaped like a cone and above it has styles that are approximately 1.2 cm long. The stigma at the top are often shaped like a disc and dehisce a little bit upon maturity.

A few pollinators of the plant include flies, honeybees, and ants.
Attempts to increase population
The population of A. tanguticus is starting to dwindle in its main habitat of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. In addition to its collection for its medicinal purposes, the germination rate of A. tanguticus is very low, even under most natural conditions. This is probably due to its seeds which have a very hard seed coat which prevent water absorption and also act to inhibit gaseous exchange. The seeds of A. tanguticus are therefore classified as having coat-imposed dormancy.

A study conducted tried to find a way to break the dormancy in order to help germinate the seeds. They used several combinations of treatments which included chilling, gibberellic acid, and mechanical scarification.

The scarification method, which included breaking, scratching, or softening of the seed coat, was found to be the only way to increase germination. The rate improved to about 70% and the germination time was improved to 4.1 days.

The study hoped to find ways to increase the population of the plant.

Medicinal uses
A. tanguticus  is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine.

It has high levels of two tropane alkaloids called hyoscyamine and scopolamine. These chemicals primarily affect the parasympathetic nervous system and can act as anticholinergic agents.

Anisodamine and Anisodine are two drugs that are derived from A. tanguticus. These are primarily from the plant’s tropane alkaloids that are harvested through its roots. Both drugs are anticholinergic and are sometimes used to treat acute circulatory shock. These drugs primarily act through by being an anticholinergic agent.

Anisodamine in particular was introduced into clinical use in China in 1965 through the manufacture of a synthetic drug that concentrated the alkaloids from the plant. It was first use to treat epidemic meningitis, but was later used to treat other ailments. These included glomerular nephritis, rheumatoid arthritis, hemorrhagic necrotic enteritis, eclampsia, and lung edema, along with shock.

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.


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Herbs & Plants

Alangium Platanifolium

Botanical Name:Alangium platanifolium
Family :        Alangiaceae
Genus :          Alangium
Synonyms : Marlea platanifolia – Siebold.&Zucc.

Habitat : E. Asia – China, Japan.  Woodland thickets, 1200 – 2100 metres in W. China. Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade;

A decidious Shrub growing to 3m by 2m.  This outstanding understory shrub can become a small, wide-spreading tree of considerable beauty at maturity. The large (16-21cm long by 13-15cm wide), broadly ovate yellowish green leaves resemble those of the London plane (Platanus × hispanica). They are variable in shape but are generally tri-lobed, forward pointing toward the apex, with cordate bases. Often the acuminate lobes are twisted, adding to the distinctive foliar texture of this plant. In the spring the leaves unfold in the manner of hands in prayer and then turn a glorious yellow in the autumn. The flowers are white and appear in late June along the undersides of main horizontal branches often hidden by the verdant foliage. They are borne in 1- to 4-flowered cymes from the leaf axils of the previous year’s growth. Each flower consists of 6 petals narrowly strap-shaped and slightly twisted, forming a corolla tube at the base. Each petal reflexes to the midpoint to expose the bright yellow stamens and style. The pendulous, fleshy, egg-shaped fruit, coloured porcelain blue to dark violet, provides a stunning contrast to the golden fall leaf display.

It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower from June to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained soil[200]. Requires full sun and a sheltered position. A fairly hardy plant, but it does not succeed outdoors at Kew, the soft pithy shoots being cut back by winter cold. It grows well in Gloucestershire. This species is closely related to A. chinense.

Seed – we have no details for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in the spring. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in early summer and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in sand in a frame.

Edible Uses:-
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Young leaves – cooked.

Medicinal  Actions & Uses:-

The root is used in the treatment of rheumatism and other bone diseases.

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.

Other Uses

The leaves and the bark of the root are used as an insecticide. The leaves and stem bark according to another report.


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Herbs & Plants

Anise Hyssop

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Botanical Name:Agastache foeniculum
Family : Labiatae
Genus : Agastache

Common Names: Anise Hyssop, Blue giant hyssop

Habitat: Western N. America – Ontario to Washington, south to Colorado.  Dry thickets, fields and waste ground on prairies and plains.Cultivated Beds;

It is a Perennial plant.

This bushy, upright plant forms a nice sized clump and grows up to 90-100 cm tall (3 ft.) on the prairies. It is a member of the mint family with square stems and opposite leaves. The ovate leaves are medium green with a paler green underside. They are 2.5 to 7.5 cm long (1″-3″) with a serrated edge. The 10 cm (4″) lavender flower spikes are made of many small, tubular flowers packed together. Each plant produces a mass of flower spikes which results in a very attractive plant.

This  branching occasionally near the apex. The four-angled stems are glabrous or slightly pubescent. The opposite leaves are up to 4″ long and 2″ across, and have short petioles. They are cordate or broadly lanceolate, with crenate margins. The upper surface of the leaves is conspicuously veined and dull green, while the lower surface is white and finely canescent. The foliage has an anise scent. The upper stems terminate in spikes of flowers about 3-6″ long. The small flowers are arranged in dense whorls that are crowded along the spike, although sometimes the whorls are less crowded and more interrupted. The calyx of a flower is tubular and has five teeth; it is usually dull blue-violet or a similar color, becoming more colorful toward its tips. The tubular flowers are about 1/3″ long, extending beyond the calyx. They are blue-violet. The corolla of a flower is divided into a short upper lip and a longer lower lip. The lower lip has 2 small lateral lobes and a larger central lobe. Exerted from the throat of the flower are 4 stamens with blue-violet anthers, and a style that is cleft toward its tip. The flowers bloom in scattered locations along the spikes for about 1-2 months from mid- to late summer. During this time, calyx of each flower remains somewhat colorful. There is no floral scent. The flowers are replaced by nutlets that oval-shaped and smooth. The root system produces a taproot.

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It is hardy to zone 8 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen in August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Prefers a sunny position and a dry well-drained soil. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The young growth in spring is very susceptible to slug damage. The flowering plants are very attractive to bees and butterflies. There is at least one named variety. ‘Texas American‘ has an anise-pennyroyal fragrance and is used in a similar way to the species.

Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months at 13°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring. Fairly simple, if large divisions are used it is possible to plant them straight out into their permanent positions. Basal cuttings of young shoots in spring. Harvest the young shoots when they are about 10 – 15cm tall and pot them up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse. They should root within 3 weeks and can be planted out in the summer or following spring.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Edible Uses: Tea.

Leaves and flowers – raw or cooked. They are used as a flavouring in raw or cooked dishes. Excellent raw, they have a sweet aniseed flavour and are one of our favourite flavourings in salads. They make a delicious addition to the salad bowl and can also be used to flavour cooked foods, especially acid fruits.The only drawback to the leaves is that they tend to have a drying effect in the mouth and so cannot be eaten in quantity. A pleasant tasting tea is made from the leaves.The licorice flavoured leaves make fine herbal teas and jellies or can be included fresh in salads.

Medicinal Actions & Uses:-
Cardiac; Diaphoretic; Pectoral; Poultice.

The leaves are cardiac and diaphoretic. An infusion of the leaves is used in the treatment of colds, fevers, weak heart etc. When left to go cold, the infusion is used to treat pains in the chest (such as when the lungs are sore from too much coughing). A poultice of leaves and stems can be used to treat burns.

The root of anise hyssop was an ingredient in North American Chippewa Indian lung formulas, and the Cree sometimes carried the flowers in their medicine bundles. The Cheyenne employed an infusion of the leaves for colds, chest pains from coughing and a weak heart.  The leaves in a steambath were used to induce sweating; and powdered leaves on the body for high fevers.

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.


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Herbs & Plants

Aconitum Ferox

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Botanical Name:Aconitum ferox
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Aconitum
Species: A. ferox
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Name :Aconitum virorum,Indian Aconite,Bishnag

Syn: Aconitum virosum Don., A. napellus var. rigidum Hook, f & T.
English names: Wolf’s bane, Indian aconite.
Sanskrit names: Vatsanabha, Visa.
Vernacular names: Hin: Bish, Mahoor; Guj and Mar: Vachang; Kas: Mohra; Tam: Vasnumbi; Tel: Vasnabhi.
Trade name: Bish.
Genus : Aconitum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Species: A. ferox

Known Hazards:Aconitum ferox is considered the most poisonous plant in the world.   The whole plant is highly toxic – simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people

Habitat : E. Asia – Himalayas.  Shrubberies and forest clearings, 2100 – 3600 metres from C. Nepal to Bhutan.Abundant at Sandakphu, which is the highest point of the Darjeeling Hills in the Indian State of West Bengal.Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade;

A deciduous perennial that grows up to 1.0 metre tall by 0.5 metres wide and which favours many types of soil. They are handsome plants with the tall and erect stem crowned by racemes of large eye-catching blue, purple, white, yellow or pink zygomorphic flowers with numerous stamens. They are distinguished by having one of the five petaloid sepals (the posterior one), called the galea, in the form of a cylindrical helmet; hence the English name monkshood. There are 2-10 petals, in the form of [nectary|nectaries]. The two upper petals are large. They are placed under the hood of the calyx and are supported on long stalks.

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It’s roots look like the navel of children; leaves alternate, simple, rounded or oval, may be palmately 5-lobed; flowers borne on branched racemes, bracts and bracteoles present, large helmet-type, helmet vaulted with short sharp beak, pale dirty blue in colour, zygomorphic, floral parts arranged spirally on an elongated receptacle; follicles erect, usually densely villose-sometimes glabrous.

It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from August to September. The flowers are pollinated by Bees.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade. Prefers a calcareous soil. Grows well in open woodlands. The root of this plant is widely collected from the wild for medicinal use and is becoming much rarer in much of its range. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes. Closely related to A. napellus.

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year.

Constituents: It is from “Aconitum ferox” that the well known Indian poison bikh, bish, or nabee is produced. It contains large quantities of the alkaloid pseudaconitine, which is a deadly poison. Aconite was often used as an ingredient in the psychoactive drugs prepared by the descendants of Hecate (the Greek goddess of sorcery and witchcraft). It was also used in European witchcraft ointments and has been used by poisoners.
Root: pseudoaconitine (a toxic alkaloid), indactonitine, chasmaconitine, bikhaconitine.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses:-
Alterative; Anaesthetic; Antiarthritic; Deobstruent; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Sedative; Stimulant.

The dried root is alterative, anaesthetic, antiarthritic, deobstruent, diaphoretic, diuretic, sedative, stimulant. It is best harvested in the autumn as soon as the plant dies down. This is a very poisonous plant and should only be used with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. It has been used in India and Nepal in the treatment of neuralgia, leprosy, fevers, cholera and rheumatism. When the roots are soaked in cow’s urine, they become soft and lose their depressant action on the heart, becoming a stimulant instead.
Traditional use: AYURVEDA : Root: used in the mrityunjaya rasa (used to treat the fever supposed to be caused by deranged vayu, i.e., wind, sannipatika jvara, i.e., remittent fever, hingulesware-rasa, anandabhairav agnitundi vati, etc.

Vatsanabha has been used in medicine from a very remote period. It is regarded as healing and stimulant. It is used in a great variety of affections, but is specially recommended in fever, cephalagia, affections of throat, dyspepsia and rheumatism. HOMOEOPATHY: remedy for clotting of blood in heart or in lungs, pneumonia, Iymptisis, pleurisy, eye trouble, earache, toothache and urinary trouble.

Modern use: Extremely poisonous; used in leprosy, fever, cholera, nasal catarrah, tonsillitis, sore throat, gastric disorders, debility, etc., also used as a sedative and diaphoretic; applied in the form of paste in cases of neuralgia and rheumatism.

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: ferox

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