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Herbs & Plants

Rumex acetosa

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Botanical Name :  Rumex acetosa
Family:    Polygonaceae
Genus:    Rumex
Species:R. acetosa
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Caryophyllales

Common Names: Common sorrel or garden sorrel, often simply called sorrel
Other Names: Spinach dock and Narrow-leaved dock.

Habitat : Rumex acetosa occurs in grassland habitats throughout Europe from the northern Mediterranean coast to the north of Scandinavia and in parts of Central Asia. It occurs as an introduced species in parts of North America.

Description : Rumex acetosa is a perennial herb. It is a plant like the Common Dock, but handsomer, and distinguished by its sharp-pointed leaves being narrower and longer. It grows about 3 feet high, having erect, round, striated stems and small greenish flowers, turning brown when ripe……..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Edible Uses: The leaves may be pureed in soups and sauces or added to salads; they have a flavour that is similar to kiwifruit or sour wild strawberries. The plant’s sharp taste is due to oxalic acid.

In northern Nigeria, sorrel is known as yakuwa or sure (pronounced suuray) in Hausa or karassu in Kanuri. It is also used in stews usually in addition to spinach. In some Hausa communities, it is steamed and made into salad using kuli-kuli (traditional roasted peanut cakes with oil extracted), salt, pepper, onion and tomatoes. The recipe varies according to different levels of household income. A drink called solo is made from a decoction of the plant calyx.

In Romania, wild or garden sorrel, known as m?cri? or ?tevie, is used to make sour soups, stewed with spinach, added fresh to lettuce and spinach in salads or over open sandwiches.

In Russia and Ukraine it is called shchavel’   and is used to make soup called green borscht. It is used as a soup ingredient in other countries, too .

In Croatia and Bulgaria is used for soups or with mashed potatoes, or as part of a traditional dish containing eel and other green herbs.

In rural Greece it is used with spinach, leeks, and chard in spanakopita.

In the Flemish speaking part of Belgium it is called “zurkel” and preserved pureed sorrel is mixed with mashed potatoes and eaten with sausages, meatballs or fried bacon, as a traditional winter dish.

In Vietnam it is called Rau Chua and is used to added fresh to lettuce and in salads.

In Portugal, it’s called “azeda” (sour), and is usually chewed raw.

In India, the leaves are called chukkakura in Telugu and are used in making delicious recipes. Chukkakura pappu soup made with yellow lentils which is also called toor dal in India.

In Albania it is called lëpjeta, the leaves are simmered and served cold marinated in olive oil, it is used in soups, and even as an ingredient for filling byrek pies ( byrek me lakra ).

This name can be confused with the hibiscus calyces or Hibiscus Tea.

Medicinal Uses:
The root has been used in drinks and decoctions for scurvy and as a general blood cleanser, and employed for outward application to cutaneous eruptions, in the form of an ointment, made by beating it up with lard.

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://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/d/docks-15.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumex_acetosa

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Herbs & Plants

Oxyria reniformis

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Botanical Name : Oxyria reniformis
Family:    Polygonaceae (Knotweed family)
Genus:    Oxyria
Species:O. digyna
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:   Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Oxyria digyna, Rumex digynus, Rheum digynum, Oxyria reniformis

Common name: Mountain Sorrel, Wood sorrel, Alpine sorrel, Alpine mountainsorrel • Ladakhi, Lamanchu,Chu-lchum.

Habitat : Oxyria reniformis is native to Arctic regions and mountainous parts of the northern hemisphere.It grows in high mountains in many parts of the world.

Description;
Oxyria reniformis is a perennial plant with a tough taproot that grows to a height of 10 to 30 cm (4 to 12 in). It grows in dense tufts, with stems that are usually unbranched and hairless. Both flowering stems and leaf stalks are somewhat reddish. The leaves are kidney-shaped, somewhat fleshy, on stalks from the basal part of the stem. Flowers are small, green and later reddish, and are grouped in an open upright cluster. The fruit is a small nut, encircled by a broad wing which finally turns red. Forming dense, red tufts, the plant is easily recognized. Oxyria digyna grows in wet places protected by snow in winter. Oxyria (from Greek) means “sour”. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Mountain Sorrel is commonly found on open slopes and grazing grounds of the Himalayas, from Pakistan to SW China, at altitudes of 2400-5000 m. Flowering: May-July.

Edible Uses: The above parts of the plant  are cooked & eaten. , It can be used in salads.It is called qunguliq in Inuktitut.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves of Oxyria reniformis have a fresh acidic taste and are rich in vitamin C, containing about 36 mg/100g. They were used by the Inuit to prevent and cure scurvy.

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://flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Mountain%20Sorrel.html
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxyria_reniformis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/sormou66.html

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Herbs & Plants

Rumex crispus

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Botanical Name :Rumex crispus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Caryophyllales
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus:     Rumex
Species: R. crispus

Synonym: Curled Dock.Lapathum crispum Garsault [Invalid]. Lapathum crispum (L.) Scop. Rumex elongatus Guss.

Common Name :Curly dock” or “yellow dock

Habitat :Rumex crispus is native to Europe and Western Asia. It grows freely in  roadside ditches and waste places.
Description:
Rumex crispus is a perennial plant growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to October, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

The mature plant is a reddish brown color, and produces a stalk that grows to about 1 m high. It has smooth leaves shooting off from a large basal rosette, with distinctive waved or curled edges.The leaves are crisped at their edges. The stem is 1 to 3 feet high and branched, the leaves, 6 to 10 inches long.  On the stalk flowers and seeds are produced in clusters on branched stems, with the largest cluster being found at the apex. The seeds are shiny, brown and encased in the calyx of the flower that produced them. This casing enables the seeds to float on water and get caught in wool and animal fur, and this helps the seeds to spread to new locations.
click to see the pictures
The root-structure is a large, yellow, forking taproot. The roots are 8 to 12 inches long, about 1/2 inch thick, fleshy and usually not forked. Externally they are of a rusty brown and internally whitish, with fine, straight, medullary rays and a rather thick bark. It has little or no smell and a rather bitter taste.

Cultivation:  
Succeeds in most soils, preferring a moist moderately fertile well-drained soil in a sunny position[200]. The plant does not need any help in growing, it is doing very nicely in Britain where it is a serious weed of agriculture. A very important food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterfly[30].

Propagation:   
Seed – this plant does not require any help in its propagation.

Edible Uses:
Leaves are eaten raw or cooked. They can also be dried for later use. The leaves can be added to salads, cooked as a potherb or added to soups. Only the very young leaves should be used, preferably before the stems have developed, and even these are likely to be bitter. If used in early spring and in the autumn they can often be fairly pleasant tasting. The leaves are very rich in vitamins and minerals, especially iron and the vitamins A and C. A nutritional analysis is available. Stems – raw or cooked. They are best peeled and the inner portion eaten.

Seed are also eaten raw or cooked. It can be used as a piñole or can be ground into a powder and used as a flour for making pancakes etc. The seed is very fiddly to harvest and prepare. The roasted seed has been used as a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses:
Rumex crispus has a long history of domestic herbal use. It is a gentle and safe laxative, less powerful than rhubarb in its action so it is particularly useful in the treatment of mild constipation. The plant has valuable cleansing properties and is useful for treating a wide range of skin problems. All parts of the plant can be used, though the root is most active medicinally. The root is alterative, antiscorbutic, astringent, cholagogue, depurative, laxative and mildly tonic. It used to be sold as a tonic and laxative. It can cause or relieve diarrhoea according to the dose, harvest time and relative concentrations of tannin(astringent) and anthraquinones (laxative) that are present. It is used internally in the treatment of constipation, diarrhoea, piles, bleeding of the lungs, various blood complaints and also chronic skin diseases. Externally, the root can be mashed and used as a poultice and salve, or dried and used as a dusting powder, on sores, ulcers, wounds and various other skin problems. The root has been used with positive effect to restrain the inroads made by cancer, being used as an alterative and tonic. The root is harvested in early spring and dried for later use. Some caution is advised in its use since excess doses can cause gastric disturbance, nausea and dermatitis. The seed is used in the treatment of diarrhoea. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh root, harvested in the autumn before frost has touched the plant. It is only used in the treatment of a specific type of cough

The Zuni people apply a poultice of the powdered root to sores, rashes and skin infections, and use infusion of the root for athlete’s foot.

Other Uses:
Dye & Compost

Yellow, dark green to brown and dark grey dyes can be obtained from the roots. They do not need a mordant. An alternative ingredient of ‘QR‘ herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost.

Known HazardsPlants can contain quite high levels of oxalic acid, which is what gives the leaves of many members of this genus an acid-lemon flavour. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content will be reduced if the plant is cooked. 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. Avoid during pregnancy & breast feeding.

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.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Rumex+crispus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumex_crispus
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/d/docks-15.html

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Herbs & Plants

Rumex alpinus

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Botanical Name :Rumex alpinus
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus:     Rumex
Species: R. alpinus
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:     Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Herb Patience, Passion’s Dock.

Common Name :Monk’s-rhubarb, Munk’s rhubarb or Alpine dock

Habitat :Rumex alpinus is native to Central and Southern Europe and to Western Asia. It is naturalized in Britain.It can be found in arable land, fields, yards, rubbish dumps, roadsides and shores.This species prefers high-altitude environments rich in nitrates, at elevation of up to 2,000 to 2,400 metres (6,600 to 7,900 ft) above sea level.

Description
Rumex alpinus is a perennial plant with a creeping rhizome. It can reach a height of 60 to 200 centimetres (24 to 79 in). The stem is erect, striated and unbranched until just below the inflorescence. The leaves are very large, ovate-round, with long stout leaf stalks and irregular margins. The basal leaves have a hairless upper surface but have some hairs beside the veins on the lower surface. The upper leaves are alternate and are smaller and more elongated. Where their stalks meet the stem there is a membranous ochrea formed by the fusion of two stipules into a sheath which surrounds the stem and has a ragged upper margin. The flowers are arranged in much-branched, dense terminal compound panicles. The flowers are dioecious and anemophilous. The perianth segments are in two whorls of three. The outer ones are recurved and the inner ones form fruit valves, which are roundly, wider than long, with cordate bases and entire margins. There are six stamens, a pistil formed of three fused carpels, and three styles.

click to see the pictures

It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.The fruits are brown, three-sided achenes.

There are about ten or eleven kinds of native Docks.

Cultivation:  
A very easily grown and tolerant plant, it succeeds in most soils, preferring a moist moderately fertile well-drained soil in a sunny position. Hardy to about -20°c. Alpine dock was at one time cultivated for its edible leaves, though it has now fallen out of favour to be replaced by less strong-tasting plants. This is a pity because it is a very productive and useful vegetable and can produce its leaves all through the winter if the weather is not too severe. A very important plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterflies.

Propagation:   
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. The seed can also be sown as soon as it is ripe when it will germinate rapidly and will provide edible leaves from early spring the following year. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Division is easy at almost any time of the year, though the plants establish more rapidly in the spring. Use a sharp spade or knife to divide the rootstock, ensuring that there is at least one growth bud on each section of root. 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 summer.

Edible Uses:
Leaves are eaten raw or cooked. They can also be kept dried for later use. A strong flavour, the leaves can be used in salads in late autumn to the spring, but are better cooked like spinach. The fresh leaves can be available for most months of the year, only dying down for a short period in severe winters[K]. The leaves often become bitter in the summer. In taste trials, this has proved to be a very popular autumn and spring cooked leaf, making an excellent spinach.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is astringent and laxative. It has a regulatory effect on the digestive system, similar to but weaker than rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum). It can act either as a laxative or a cure for diarrhoea according to dosage. The root is harvested in early spring and dried for later use.

Other Uses:
Dye is made from the root. Brown and dark grey dyes can be obtained from the roots, they do not need a mordant

Known Hazards:  Plants can contain quite high levels of oxalic acid, which is what gives the leaves of many members of this genus an acid-lemon flavour. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content will be reduced if the plant is cooked. 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://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/d/docks-15.html#pat
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Rumex+alpinus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumex_alpinus

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Herbs & Plants

Rumex patientia

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Botanical Name : Rumex patientia
Family: Polygonaceae
Genus: Rumex
Species: R. patientia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales
Synonyms: Rumex callosus (Fr. Schmidtex ex Maxim.) Rech. fil.

Common Name :Garden patience”, “Herb patience”, or “Monk’s rhubarb

Habitat : Rumex patientia grows in Middle Europe, the Mediterranean, Balkany – Asia Minor, Armenian-Kurdish region. In the territory of the former USSR: the European part – Crimea, Black Sea Coast, Top and Middle Dnepr, the Bottom Don; Caucasus – Ciscaucasia, East, Western and Southern Transcaucasia, Dagestan; Western Siberia – Altai; the Far East -Ussurijsky, Udsky, Sakhalin areas. Grows in meadows, on edges of rivers, and on wet soils.

Description:
Rumex patientia is a herbaceous perennial plant. The stem is straight, thick, with grooves, 80-100 cm tall, branching in upper part. The bottom leaves are 20-30 cm long, 7-9 cm wide, ovate, pointed or blunt and a little bit wavy on the edges. The base of the bottom leaves is heart-shaped. Stalks of the bottom leaves are long. The top leaves are on short stalks, finer than bottom leaves, lanceolate. Flowers are thin, jointed in the bottom part, a little bit expanded. Flower whorls consist of 10-16 flowers, pulled together on almost leafless brush, which form together a long dense panicle. Internal shares of perianth are entire or with small denticles, light brown, ovary or heart-shaped, 6-8 mm long, 5-7 mm wide, mesh, round above or poorly pointed. Seeds are trihedral, oval, peaked, light brown, 3 mm long and 1.5-2 mm wide. Blossoms in June-July, fructifies in July-August.

You may click to see the pictures

Edible Uses:
Rumex patientia is often consumed as a leaf vegetable in Eastern Europe, especially in Bulgaria and Serbia. It is also used in Romania in spring broths.

Leaves are used as a vegetable, fresh and cooked, instead of spinach. In culture it is known under the name of English spinach.

Mrdicinal Uses:
The juice, and an infusion of the root, has been used as a poultice and salve in the treatment of various skin problems.  An infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of constipation. The leaves have been rubbed in the mouth to treat sore throats.

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/Rumex_patientia
http://www.agroatlas.ru/en/content/related/Rumex_patientia/
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm
http://www.flogaus-faust.de/e/rumepati.htm

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