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Herbs & Plants

Plectranthus amboinicus

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Botanical Name : Plectranthus amboinicus
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Plectranthus
Species: P. amboinicus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names:Cuban oregano, Spanish thyme, Orégano Brujo (Puerto Rico), Indian Borage, Húng chanh (Vietnam), Big Thyme (Grenada) Mexican thyme, and Mexican mint

Habitat : Plectranthus amboinicus is native to Southern and Eastern Africa, but widely cultivated and naturalised in the Old and New World Tropics.

Description:
Plectranthus amboinicus is a tender fleshy perennial plant in the family Lamiaceae with an oregano-like flavor and odor.

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It  is now very commonly grown as a potted plant in many households. Plectranthus amboinicus is a fast growing plant. Propagation is via stem cuttings. To encourage a bushy plant, cut the tip of the top, insert into the soil and instantly, you have another plant as the cutting will grow within days.The Indian Borage ideally should be grown in a semi-shaded and moist location as the leaves will remain a beautiful jade-green colour. If it is getting too much sun, the leaves turn yellow, start curling and look unsightly; if not enough sun, the leaves turn a dark shade of green and spaced out.

Cultivation:
The herb grows easily in a well-drained, semi-shaded position. It is frost tender and grows well in sub-tropical and tropical locations, but will do well in cooler climates if grown in a pot and brought indoors, or moved to a warm sheltered position in winter. Water only sparingly.

Uses:
The leaves are strongly flavoured and make an excellent addition to stuffings for meat and poultry. Finely chopped, they can also be used to flavour meat dishes, especially beef, lamb and game.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves have had many traditional medicinal uses, especially for the treatment of coughs, sore throats and nasal congestion, but also for a range of other problems such as infections, rheumatism and flatulence. In Indonesia Plectranthus amboinicus is a traditional food used in soup to stimulate lactation for the month or so following childbirth.

The herb is also used as a substitute for oregano in the food trade and food labelled “oregano-flavoured” may well contain this herb.

In Kerala in India this is called as “panikoorka” and has various uses in treating cold / cough / fever in infants.

Used traditionally within Ayurvedic and Unani Tibb herbal medicine to help reduce inflammation and is prescribed for bronchitis and asthma. It is reputed to very effective as a treatment for coughs. Old people says that it is often referred to as “pokok asthma”.  The fresh leaves are pounded and the extracted juice mixed with water.  An alternative method recommended is to boil a sprig in water with honey thrown in for added measure.

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/Plectranthus_amboinicus
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Pathar Chur (Coleus Barbatus Mainmul)

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Botanical Name: Coleus barbatus  Mainmul
Family: mint family (Lamiaceae)
Common Name: Coleus, Gundeer, Pakhan bed, Juntiyana, Coleus barbatus Benth
Trade Name :  Pathar chur

Habitat:Growing wild on the Indian plains and the lower Himalayas on sun-exposed arid and semi-arid hill slopes of Uttar Pradesh (India) where it thrives from Simla eastward to Sikkim and Bhutan, the Deccan Plateau, the Eastern Ghats, the Eastern Plateau and the rainshadow regions of the Western Ghats in India. It has also been cultivated as an ornamental plant around the world and its root is used as a spice in Thailand, Myanmar and throughout Southeastern Asia. Makandi is one of 150 Coleus species commonly cultivated, but among a very few of these the roots (and to a lesser extent, the stems) of C. forskohlii are used for therapeutic purposes. In 1973, researchers first isolated the diterpene Forskolin from its roots, making it the only plant source thus far known for the substance.

Description:
It is a perennial, branched, aromatic herb. The entire plant is aromatic (whether fresh or dried). Members of the genus have square stems, branched, and the nodes are often hairy. The pale blue corolla is bilabiate, the lower lobes are elongated and concave, and it grows to a height of 30 cm to 62 cm. The roots are thick, tuberous, fasiculated, up to 20 cm long and 0.5-2.5 cm thick, and are conical, fusiform, straight and strongly aromatic. Leaves appear when the plant becomes pubescent, and are narrowed into petioles. Flowers vary from a very showy bluish to pale lavender. Racemes are perfect, the calyx is fine toothed and deflexed in the front. The plant possesses four parted ovaries. The leaves and tubers have quite different odors, the latter being reminiscent of ginger.
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Cultivation : It grows well in red sandy loam soil. Plants grow well in hot,humid climate and tropical and sub tropical situation under irrigation.

Propagation : Seeds, Roots

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Chemical Constituents : Forskolin

Medicinal Uses: This Herb decreases the blood pressure, cough, heart diseases etc
Coleus barbatus (C. forskohlii) is used medicinally in Africa, Arabia, and Brazil. The root tubers of the plant are prepared and eaten as a condiment in India. Other Indian Coleus spp. are used in traditional Ayurvedic healing. Chemical studies of alcoholic extracts of the tubers of C. barbatus led to isolation of the labdane diterpene forskolin (coleonol), which has become an important research tool in studying the roles of the enzyme adenylate cyclase and cyclic-AMP in cellular physiology. The compound may eventually become a useful drug in treating hypertension, glaucoma, asthma, and certain cancers. This article summarizes the investigations ofC. barbatus.

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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.springerlink.com/content/r770360k71767484/
http://apmab.ap.nic.in/products.php?&start=10#
http://www.holisticseek.com/articles.php?te_mode=view&te_key=98

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