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Drimys winteri

Botanical Name: Drimys winteri
Family: Winteraceae
Genus: Drimys
Species: D. winteri
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Canellales

Synonyms: True Winter’s Bark. Winter’s Cinnamon. Wintera aromatica. Wintera. Drimys aromatica. Murray. non (R.Br.)Muell. Wintera aromatica. Murray. non (R.Br.)Muell.

Common Names: Winter’s Bark, Canelo

Habitat: Drimys winteri is native to the Magellanic and Valdivian temperate rain forests of Chile and Argentina, where it is a dominant tree in the coastal evergreen forests. Boggy sites by streams etc in rich soils. It is found below 1,200 m (3,937 ft) between latitude 32° south and Cape Horn at latitude 56°. In its southernmost natural range it can tolerate temperatures down to ?20 °C (?4 °F).

Description:
Drimys winteri is an evergreen Shrub growing to 7.5 m (24ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a medium rate. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jan to June. The leaves are lanceolate, glossy green above, whitish below and can measure up to 20 cm (8 in). The flowers  are white with a yellow center, and comprise a great number of petals and stamens. The fruit is a bluish berry. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

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The bark is green and wrinkled, that of the branches smooth and green, erect and scarred, leaves alternate, oblong, obtuse, with a midrib veinless, glabrous and finely dotted underside. Flowers small on terminal peduncles, approximately one-flowered, simple. Fruits up to six obovate, baccate, and many seeded. The bark is the official part and is found in small carved pieces 1/4 inch thick, dull yellow grey externally. Both Canella and Cinnamodendron are found in its transverse section, exhibiting radiating white lines at the end of the last rays, diverging towards the circumference; odour aromatic with a warm pungent taste.
Cultivation:
Requires a light lime-free soil in semi-shade. Tolerates chalk in the soil. Requires a deep moist soil. Dislikes dry conditions. Prefers a warm sandy loam with some shelter. Fairly wind resistant. Another report says that the plant resents severe wind-chill. Succeeds against a wall at Kew and it thrives in an open position in S.W. England. Tolerates temperatures down to about -10°c. This species is less hardy than D. lanceolata but it usually recovers from damage. Another report says that it is hardier than D. lanceolata. A very ornamental plant. The sub-species D. winteri andina. Reiche. is a slow growing dwarf form seldom exceeding 1 metre in height. It usually commences flowering when about 30cm tall. A polymorphic species. The flowers have a delicate fragrance of jasmine, whilst the bark has a powerful aromatic smell. This plant was a symbol of peace to the indigenous Indian tribes of S. America in much the same way as an olive branch was used in Greece. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on the plants for at least their first winter in a cold frame. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Layering in March/April. Takes 12 months. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 – 15 cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Approximately 60% take. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth with a heel of older wood, November in a cold frame

Edible Uses : The aromatic pungent bark is powdered and used as a pepper substitute in Brazil, Chile and Argentina. It is rich in vitamin C.

Part Used: The Bark.

Constituents: An inodorous acrid resin, pale yellow volatile oil, tannic acid, oxide of iron, colouring matter and various salts.

Medicinal Uses:

Antidandruff; Antiscorbutic; Aromatic; Febrifuge; Parasiticide; Skin; Stimulant; Stomachic.

The bark is a pungent bitter tonic herb that relieves indigestion. It is antiscorbutic, aromatic, febrifuge, skin, stimulant and stomachic. An infusion of the bark is used in the treatment of indigestion, colic, dandruff and scurvy. It is also used as a parasiticide. The bark is harvested in the autumn and winter and is dried for later use.

Other Uses:
Essential; Parasiticide; Wood.

Canelo wood is reddish in color and heavy, with a very beautiful grain. It is used for furniture and music instruments. The wood is not durable outdoors because continuous rainfalls damage it. The wood is not good for making bonfires because it gives off a spicy smoke.The powerfully aromatic bark contains resinous matter and 0.64% of aromatic essential oil.

The bark is gray, thick and soft and is used as a pepper replacement in Argentina and Chile. The peppery compound in canelo is polygodial.

Known Hazards  : The sap of this plant can cause serious inflammation if it comes into contact with the eyes

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/Drimys_winteri
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/w/winbar25.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Drimys+winteri

Picraena excelsa

Botanical Name :Picraena excelsa
Family: Simaroubaceae
Genus: Picrasma
Species: P. excelsa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonym: Jamaica Quassia.

Common Names:Bitter Ash ,Picraena excelsa, Quassia undalata, Quassia amara

Habitat: Bitter Ash  is native to West Indies. It is found in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Venezuela. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Description:
This is the Quassia excelsa of Linnaeus, though the genuine plant is the Quassia amara. The species amara is a large shrub, or low tree, inhabiting Surinam; while the excelsa is a lofty tree with a very large trunk, and is found in Jamaica and other portions of the West Indies.The tree grows from 50 to 100 feet in height and has smooth, gray bark.  “Leaves alternate, unequally pinnate; leaflets opposite, oblong, acuminate. Flowers polygamous; sepals five, minute; petals five, pale; stamens five. Racemes axillary toward the ends of the brandies, very compound, panicled, many-flowered. Fruit of three black, shining drupes the size of a pea, only one of which comes to perfection.”

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Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used: Wood of trunk and branches, dried

Quassia is tonic, stomachic and antiseptic, possessing all the properties that belong to the other pure bitters. It is employed in cases of anorexia for promoting the appetite and assisting the digestive functions. It is wholly devoid of all irritant, stimulant, or astringent properties, and hence has been regarded as the type of the pure bitters. Its use is mostly confined to atonic states of the system, with indigestion and loss of appetite.

It is an excellent remedy in dyspeptic conditions due to lack of tone. As with all bitters, it stimulates the production of saliva and digestive juices and so increases the appetite. It may safely be used in all cases of lack of appetite such as anorexia nervosa and digestive sluggishness. The wood has been used to prepare “qQuassia cups.” A Quassia cup is filled with hot water and the wqater is allowed to cool somewhat before being drunk. This results in a liquid that is very bitter and thus acts to stimulate the appetitie. Quassia cups can be used in this way for a number of years and will retain an ability to produce a bitter water extract.. It is used in the expulsion of threadworms and other parasites, both as an enema and an infusion. The herb’s bitterness has led to its being used as a treatment for malaria and other fevers, and in the Caribbean it is given for dysentery. Externally as a lotion it may be used against lice infestations.

Known Hazards;
Allergies:

Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to quassia or its constituents.

Side Effects and Warnings:

*Quassia is likely safe when consumed in amounts found in foods and beverages. It has Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status in the United States.

*Quassia appears to have a very mild side effects profile. The most common side effects are nausea and vomiting, due to its bitter taste. There have also been reports of mucous membrane irritation.

* Quassia may cause drowsiness or sedation. Use cautiously if driving or operating heavy machinery. Long-term use of quassia may cause vision changes and blindness

*Use cautiously with cardiac (heart) medications and blood thinners.

*Avoid in people who are pregnant, and in males and females trying to become pregnant due to quassia’s potential antifertility effects.

* Avoid intravenous use in cardiomyopathy (heart disease) patients.

Other Uses:
Quassia has been used by brewers as a substitute for hops and is in general use by gardeners, mixed with soft soap, for spraying plants affected with green-fly.

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/Picrasma_excelsa
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/ashbi074.html
http://doctorschar.com/archives/quassia-picriena-excelsa/
http://www.appliedhealth.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=108436
http://www.thefreshcarrot.ca/ns/DisplayMonograph.asp?StoreID=5020E137E9014BC38944489AF1F99926&DocID=bottomline-quassia
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/cook/PICRAENA_EXCELSA.htm

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

Matico

Botanical Name : Piper angustifolium
Family: Piperaceae
Genus:     Piper
Species: P. aduncum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Piperales

Synonyms: Artanthe elongata. Stephensia elongata. Piper granulosum. Piper elongatum. Yerba soldado. Soldier’s Herb. Thoho-thoho. Moho-moho.

Common Names : Matico  or Soldier’s herb, gusanillo, herbe du soldat, higuillo,wer-ui-qui-yik higuillo de hoja, hoja santa, jaborandi falso, jawawa, jointwood, kakoro, malembe toto,tupa burraco, man-anihs, matico pepper, matico, maticoblätter, matika, matiko, menuda, moco-moco, moho-moho, mucumucu, pimenta de fruto ganxoso, pimenta-de-fruto-ganchoso, upnpoingpoing, pimenta-de-macaco, pimenta-matico, Santa Maria negro, shiatani, soldaten kraut, soldier’s herb, spiked pepper, tapa-curaco, tokondé,

Habitat:Matico is native to Southern Mexico, the Caribbean, and much of tropical South America. It is grown in tropical Asia, Polynesia, and Melanesia and can even be found in Florida, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

Description:
Matico is a tropical, evergreen, shrubby tree that grows to the height of 6 to 7 meter (20 to 23 ft) with lance-shaped leaves that are 12 to 20 centimeter (5 to 8 in) long.The tree produces cord-like, white to pale yellow, inflorescence spikes that contain many minute flowers that are wind-pollinated and that soon develop into numerous tiny drupes with black seeds. The seeds are then scattered easily by bats and birds. From these many seeds, it can form large stands of quickly-growing shrubby trees that can choke out other native vegetation. Established plants also thicken into clumps or stands by suckers arising from the root crown. In some countries Matico is considered as an invasive weed.
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In parts of New Guinea, although Matico is notorious for drying out the soil in the areas where it is invasive, the wood of this plant is nonetheless used by local residents for a myriad of uses such as for fuel and fence posts.

Edible Uses: The fruits are used as a condiment and for flavoring cocoa.It is sometimes used as a substitute for long pepper.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used:  The dried leaves.

Constituents: A volatile oil, slightly dextrogyrate, containing in some specimens Matico camphor. Some of the later specimens of oil are said to contain not camphor but asarol. A crystallizable acid called artanthic acid and a little tannin and resin are also found.

In the Amazon Rainforest, many of the native tribes use matico leaves as an antiseptic.It is effective as a topical application to slight wounds, bites of leeches, or after the extraction of teeth. The under surface of the leaf is preferred to the powder for this purpose. In Peru, it was used for stopping hemorrhages and treating ulcers, and in European practice in the treatment of diseases of the genitals and urinary organs, such as those for which cubeb was often prescribed.

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/m/matico24.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_aduncum

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Lippia dulcis

Botanical Name :Lippia dulcis
Family: Verbenaceae
Genus:     Phyla
Species: P. dulcis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms:Phyla dulcis, Yerba dulce. Mexican Lippia.

Common Names :Aztec Sweet Herb, Bushy Lippia, Honeyherb, Hierba Dulce, and Tzopelic-xihuitl (Nahuatl).

Habitat : Lippia dulcis is native to southern Mexico, the Caribbean (Cuba, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico), Central America, Colombia, and Venezuela. Lippia dulcis is well grown in mild and damp climate and under full sun exposure.

Description:
Lippia dulcis is a perennial herb. This 30 cm height grown plant isn`t evergreen, which means, it may lose its 5 cm sized leaves some months during the year. However, during spring time, small beautiful white conical spikes flowers appear. When grown, Lippia (Phyla) dulcis has a shrub-like development. For better performance, fertilize the soil by the end of the winter and water rarely, about once every 2-3 weeks. The pleasant sweetness rising from this special plant`s leaves comes from 4 main ingredients: ascorbic acid, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and hernandulcin. That is a natural sweetener for sugar and its substitutes in foods and beverages. Habit: Trailing .Flowering time:   Spring, Fall

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Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used : leaves

This plant has historically been used as a natural sweetener and medicinal herb in its native Mexico and parts of Central America. It was used by the Aztecs and introduced to the Spanish when they arrived.

The sweet taste is caused by a sesquiterpene compound called hernandulcin, which was discovered in 1985 and named for Francisco Hernández, the Spanish physician who first described the plant in the sixteenth century.

The Aztecs used this plant as a sugar plant for their cooking and to ease coughs, colds, bronchitis & asthma.

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/Phyla_dulcis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/lippia30.html
http://www.hishtil.com/htmls/page_3210.aspx?c0=22984&bsp=18227

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Coffee senna

Botanical Name :Senna occidentalis
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Tribe: Cassieae
Genus: Senna
Species: S. occidentalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms: Cassia occidentalis L.,Ditremexa occidentalis (L.) Britt. & Rose

Common Names:auaukoi in Hawaii, coffee senna, coffeeweed, Mogdad coffee, negro-coffee, senna coffee, Stephanie coffee, stinkingweed or styptic weed.

Habitat :Coffee senna grows throughout the tropics and subtropics (Liogier 1988, Stevens and others 2001) including the United States from Texas to Iowa eastward, Hawaii, the Pacific Island Territories, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (Natural Resources Conservation Service 2002). It appears to be of South American or New World origin (Haselwood and Motter 1966, Henty and Pritchard 1975, Raintree 2002).

Description:
Senna occidentalis varies from a semi-woody annual herb in warm temperate areas to a woody annual shrub or sometimes a short-lived perennial shrub in frostfree areas (Haselwood and Motter 1966, Henty and Pritchard 1975, Holm and others 1997). It usually’ matures at from 0.5 to 2.0 m in height. In Brazil it is reported to reach 5 to 8 m in height (Raintree 2002). Coffee senna produces a hard, woody tap root with relatively few laterals. It usually has a single purplish stem and sparse branching. Young stems are four-angled, becoming rounded with age. The crushed foliage has an unpleasant odor. Compound alternate leaves have four to six pairs of glabrous leaflets and a gland near the base of the petiole. Leaflets are ovate to ovate-lanceolate, pointed at the tip and rounded at the base.

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Senna occidentalis are few-flowered axillary racemes with yellow-petaled flowers about 2 cm across. The legumes (pods) are brown, flat, slightly curved and 5 to 12 cm long. They contain 40 or more brown to dark-olive, ovoid seeds about 4 mm long. The species has 2n = 26, 28 chromosomes (Henty and Pritchard 1975, Liogier 1988, Long and Lakela 1976, Stevens and others 2001).

Edible Uses:
Mogdad coffee seeds can be roasted and used as a substitute for coffee. They have also been used as an adulterant for coffee. There is apparently no caffeine in mogdad coffee.

Despite the claims of being poisonous, the leaves of this plant, Dhiguthiyara in Dhivehi, have been used in the diet of the Maldives for centuries in dishes such as mas huni and also as a medicinal plant.

Active Ingredients
Anthroquinones- dianthrone; Anthracene derivatives (2.5-3.5%): chief components sennosides A, A1, B, C and D. Naphthacene derivatives: including 6-hydroxymusizin glucoside, tinnevellin-6-glucosides. Laxative effect is due to the action of sennosides and their active metabolite, rhein anthrone in the colon. Effect occurs 8-12 hours after administration.

Medicinal Uses:
Laxative use, antifungal, decreases fever, cutaneous anti-infective, antispasmodic, antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory, Used for treatment of urinary infections and hemorroids. Purgative and cleansing. In Africa and Asia the leaves and seed pod were used to treat anemia, bronchitis, constipation, jaundice and skin problems.

Known Hazards:The plant is reported to be poisonous to cattle. The plant contains anthraquinones. The roots contain emodin and the seeds contain chrysarobin (1,8-dihydroxy-3-methyl-9-anthrone) and N-methylmorpholine.

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.fs.fed.us/global/iitf/pdf/shrubs/Senna%20occidentalis.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassia_occidentalis
http://www.bu.edu/bhlp/Clinical/cross-cultural/herbal_index/herbs/Senna%20Occidentalis.html

 

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