Herbs & Plants

Tragia involucrata

Botanical Name : Tragia involucrata
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Tragia
Species: T. involucrata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Common Names:
Assamese: Dumuni Chorat
Bengali: Bichuti
English: Indian stinging nettle, climbing nettle, canchorie root-plant
Hindi: Pit Parni, Barhanta
Kannada: Turike Balli
Malayalam: Kodithumba, Cherukodithuva, Choriyanam, Coriyanam, Kodithoova
Marathi: Aagya, Laghumedhshingi, Aag Paan, Kallaavi
Nepali: Ut Kateri
Oriya: Kasalakku
Sanskrit: Duhsparsha, Vrischikacchad, Vrischikapatri, Vrischikali, Aagmavarta, Kashagnih
Tamil: Kanchori
Telugu: Telukondicettu

Habitat: Tragia involucrata is native to outer Himalayan ranges eastwards to Assam; southwards to Travancore, throughout warmer regions of India. It is mostly grown in wastecland.

Tragia involvucrata is a perennial evergreen twiner, more or less hispid. It is slender, twining herb with stinging hairs. Leaves 6-10 x 3-5.5 cm, ovate or elliptic, base acute or rounded, margin serrate, apex acuminate, hispidulous on both sides; petiole to 2.5 cm long. Spikes axillary, monoecious, to 2 cm long; male flowers above, female flowers 1-2, at the base. Male flowers c. 1.5 mm across; bracts spathulate; tepals 3, spreading; stamens 3, anthers subsessile. Female flowers c. 3 mm across, ebracteate; tepals 6, c. 1 mm long, ovate-lanceolate, enlarged and spreading in fruits; style 3, spreading. Capsule c. 0.6 x 1 cm, 3-lobed, hispid. Seeds globose….....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES 
Medicinal Uses:
Ayurvedic , Vrishchhikaali, Vrishchhika-patrikaa. Used in Kerala as Duraalabhaa.
Siddha/Tamil , Chenthatti, Sirrukan- chori.
Action :  Root—febrifuge, diaphoretic, alterative, blood purifier. Given in fever when the extremities are cold; also for pain in arms and legs. Used as a blood purifier in venereal diseases;   applied externally to skin eruptions. Fruit—paste used in baldness.

Roots are diaphoretic, alterative, diuretic and blood purifier. They are valued in febricula and in itching of the skin, also for pains in legs and arms. Roots are also used in old venereal complaints and externally in enlarged spleen; decoction of the root is useful in relieving bronchitis and the attendant fever. The fruits are rubbed on head with a little water to cure baldness. Leaf juice is given for jaundice in Rangamati by the Chakma.

This plant is used for healing all kinds of wounds. (The methanol extract of the roots of Tragia involucrata topically tested at doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg exerted significant wound healing
effect in Staphylococcus aureus-induced excision wound in rats.)

Roots are useful in pruritic skin eruptions, veneral diseases, diabetes, guinea worms. Leaves are supposed to be good for cephalagia.

Known Hazartds : Tragia involucrata leaves are highly irretant to our skin. Even if someone touches it, itching sensation on hand starts.

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.


Herbs & Plants

Clematis chinensis

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Botanical Name :Clematis chinensis
Family: Ranunculaceae
Subfamily: Ranunculoideae
Tribe: Anemoneae
Genus: Clematis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms : Clematis minor – Lour.

Common Name :Chinese Clematis

Habitat :E. Asia – C. and W. China.[Japan (including Ryukyu Islands), Vietnam.}  Open woods, hedges, thickets, roadsides and banks of streams

A decidious Climber growing to 5m by 5m. It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from September to October, and the seeds ripen from October to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.
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 and can grow in very alkaline soil. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

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Prefers a deep moist soil with its roots in the shade and its shoots growing up to the light[164]. Dislikes poorly-drained heavy clay soils, but grows well in clay if grit is added for drainage. Dislikes light sandy soils. Does well on chalk. Succeeds in acid as well as alkaline soils. When planting out, in order to avoid the disease ‘clematis wilt’, it is best to plant the rootball about 8cm deeper in the soil. This will also serve to build up a good root crown of growth buds. A twining plant. The leafstalks wrap themselves around twigs and branches for support. When a side of the stalk touches an object, the growth on that side slows down whilst the other side grows at its normal rate – this causes the leaf stalk to entwine the object it is touching. Plants flower in the autumn on the current season’s growth, any pruning is best carried out in the spring before new growth begins. The flowers are produced quite late in the season and can be damaged by late frosts, so plants generally do better in the milder western parts of the country. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants, especially legumes. The flowers are often damaged by winter cold.

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Sow stored seed as soon as it is obtained in a cold frame. Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and remove as much of the tail and outer coat as possible. A period of cold stratification is beneficial. The seed germinates in 1 – 9 months or more at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for the first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Internodal cuttings of soft to semi-ripe wood, late spring in sandy soil in a frame. Layering of old stems in late winter or early spring. Layering of current seasons growth in early summer

Edible Uses: Young shoots – cooked. They are said to be non-toxic in one report but caution is still advised due to reports of toxicity in this genus. It is quite probable that cooking destroys the acrimonious principle, though this is a plant that I have no desire to eat

Medicinal Uses:
Anodyne; Antidote; Antiperiodic; Antirheumatic; Antispasmodic; Antitumor; Cancer; Carminative; Diuretic.

The root is anodyne, antidote, antiperiodic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic and sedative[147, 176, 178, 218, 238]. A decoction is taken internally in the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis, tetanus and cold-type stomach-ache[147, 238]. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[238]. The whole plant is antirheumatic[147, 176, 178, 218]. The plant has a history of folk use in the treatment of cancer[147, 176, 178, 218]. The root contains anemonin, this has antibacterial, analgesic, sedative and antispasmodic actions. It also inhibits the heart and central nervous system and is rubefacient

A decoction of the root is taken internally in the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis, tetanus and cold-type stomach-ache.  The plant has a history of folk use in the treatment of cancer. The root contains anemonin, this has antibacterial, analgesic, sedative and antispasmodic actions. It also inhibits the heart and central nervous system and is rubefacient. 15 g of the drug in decoction with 250g of rice vinegar dissolves fish bones lodged in the throat

Known Hazards : This species is harmful if eaten. The toxic principle is dissipated by heat or by drying. The plant is also a mild skin irritant

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

Crinum asiatica

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Botanical Name : Crinum asiatica
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Tribe: Amaryllideae
Subtribe: Crininae
Genus: Crinum
Species: C. asiaticum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Common names : , Grand Crinum Lily, Grand Crinum Lily, Spider Lily,Kanwal, Nagdaun, Badakanvar, Chindar, Gadambhikanda, Nagadamani, Sudarshan, Poison bulb.

:Crinum asiaticum is native to tropical southeastern Asia( China, Hong Kong, India, Ryukyu Islands and Mainland Japan). It is now a favorite landscape plant in Florida, the Gulf Coast, California and other warm climate areas.

This big crinum lily makes an imposing presence in the garden. The dark green strap-like leaves may be more than 3 ft (1 m) long and 4 in (10 cm) wide. These are held erect and arranged in a spiral rosette to form impressive clumps up to 5 ft (1.5 m) in height by 7 ft (2 m) in width. The leaves emerge from huge bulbs that may weigh 10-20 lbs (5-9 kg)! Flowers are shaped like tubes that flair open into a crown of narrow petals. The flowers are white and are arranged in clusters atop thick, succulent stems.
Main features
: Grows up to 1.5m, in freshwater or brackish swamps.

Leaves: Long (2m) strap-like, fleshy.

Flowers: Clustered; white; fragrant.

Fruits: Globose; shiny white when ripe; seeds irregularly shape.

Grand crinum lily is happy in just about any type of well drained soil.
Light: It prefers bright sunny situations but will grow in part shade.

Moisture: Provide average water. Crinum lilies do well in dry soils and are fairly drought tolerant.

Hardiness:USDA Zone 9 – 11. You can grow this crinum in Zone 8, but foliage is killed by freezing winter temperatures. I have several of these growing in Tallahassee; they suffer some degree of cold damage every year but quickly recover their attractiveness in the spring.

Propagation: To propagate crinums, dig up a clump and separate the small offset bulbs from the parent bulb. Plant these in pots or directly in the garden where they will quickly root to form new plants.Grand crinum lily is happy in just about any type of well drained soil.

Medicinal Uses:

Traditional medicinal uses:
It is used as a poultice for aches, sores and chaps. Crushed leaves are used to treat piles, mixed with honey and applied to wounds and abscesses.

Click to see :Tonsilitis Home Remedy Using Crinum

Other Usage:
Use the grand crinum to create a tropical mood near the pool or patio. Use like sculpture to create a focal point in the garden or in an expanse of lawn. This big lily looks great with palm trees and ornamental grasses. Their drought resistance make them useful in xeriscapes. It also does well in a container.

Known Hazards:All parts of crinum lily may cause severe discomfort if ingested, and the sap alone can cause skin irritation.

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

Caesalpinia crista

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Botanical Name : Caesalpinia crista L.
Other scientific names :Caesalpinia nuga Ait.,Caesalpinia kwangtungensis Merr. ,Caesalpinia szechuenensis Craib. ,Caesalpinia bonducella (L.) Fleming ,Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb.
Family : Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Tribes: Caesalpinieae
Genus: Caesalpinia
Species: Caesalpinia crista

Syn. : C.donduc, C.donducella

Common Names :Nata, Karanja, Lathakaranja, Putikaranja, Bondoc nut, Indian Filbert, Molluca nut, Physic nut, Tapasi, Gajjaga,Bangbang (C. Bis.) ,Sabinit (Bik.),Bayag-kambing (Tag.), Smbar (Bag.),Dalagdag (Tag.),  Siñgor (Ilk.)Kamot-kabag (Tag.),  Dawer (Ilk.),Bebit (Sub.)  Physic nut (Engl.) , Binit (Bik.),  Grey niker seed (Engl.) ,Bugtong (Bis.),  Erolucca bean (Engl.), Dalugdug (Tag., Bis.), Bonduc seed  (Engl.),Kalumbibit (Tag., Pang.) Fever nut (Engl.)
Kamaunggi (Sul.)

Habitat :India and Sri Lanka through most of Southeast Asia to the Ryukyu Islands, Queensland, and New Caledonia. In thickets along and near the seashore.

The plant is a prickly shrub or woody vine reaching a length of 10 m or more.

click to see the pictures.

· Leaves: bipinnate, often nearly 1 m long, with the rachis armed with stout, sharp, recurved spines. The pinnae usually number about 10 pairs and are about 20 cm long with a pair of short, sharp spines at the point of attachment of each pair of leaflets. The leaflets also number 10 pairs and are oblong, 2 to 5 cm long and somewhat hairy.

click to see the pictures

· Flowers: yellow, borne in axillary, simple or panicled raceme and about 1 cm long. Calyx deeply cleft, the disk basal, the lobes imbricate, the lowest one larger than the others. Petals spreading, usually clawed, the uppermost smaller than the others. Stamens, 10, free, declinate, anthers versatile. Ovary few-ovuled.


· Fruits: pods, oblong 5 to 7 cm in length, inflated and covered with slender spines and contain one or two seeds. The seeds are large, somewhat rounded or ovoid, hairy, grey and shiny.

Properties and constituents :
Bitter tasting, cooling.
Reported as anticontusion, analgesic, antipyretic, antidiarrheal, antidote, antinociceptive, anxiolytic, diuretic, anthelmintic.
Study isolated four known cassane-type diterpenes and three new norcassane-type diterpenes.
Phytochemical studies of seeds have revealed alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, saponins, tanins and triterpenoids.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used : Leaves.
· Collect leaves from May to July; sun-dry.
· Propagation by seeds and cutting.

· Acute and chronic gastritis, gastric ulcer, carbuncle, furuncle.
· Dosage: Use 6 to 9 gms dried material in decoction. Pounded fresh material may be applied as poultice on carbuncle and furuncle.
• In Ayurveda, sprouts and root bark used to treat tumors. The juice of leaves for elephantiasis, worms. Paste of leaves used for pain and edema. Internally, used for abdominal pain, diarrhea, dysentery and colitis.
• In Assam, seeds are used in the treatment of diabetes.
• In traditional Indian medicine, used as antipyretic, antiperiodic, anticonvulsant and antiparalytic.

Anthelmintic: Anthelmintic activity of Chenopodium album (L.) and Caesalpinia crista (L.) against trichostrongylid nematodes of sheep: Study showed both C. crista and C. ablum possess anthelmintic activity in vitro and in vivo, supporting its traditional use in Pakistan.

• Antimalarial: (1) Study isolated 44 casssane- and norcassane-type diterpenes. Most of the tested diterpenes showed antimalarial activity; norcaesalpinin E showed the most potent activity, more than the drug chloroquine. (2) In a study of six plants used in traditional medicine for malaria, C. bonducella and Cassia abbreviata leaf ethanol extracts were the most promising for further studies.

Antioxidant: (1) Study showed the methanolic extract of C crista has potent antioxidant activity and ROS scavenging acitivity as well as iron chelating property. (2) Ethyl acetate extract showed a maximum of 49% free radical scavenging activity at the end of 1 hr. Although it may help in diabetes-linked oxidative stree, it does not necessarily contribute to its hypoglycemic activity.

• Antidiabetic / Hypoglycemic: (1) Study showed the seed kernel of Caesalpinia bonducella has significant antidiabetic and hypoglycemic effects. Activity may be partly due to a positive effect on glycogen synthesis in the liver, skeletal muscle and heart muscle due to an insulin-like action of its constituents and partly due to stimulatory action on insulin release. (2) Study of ethanolic and aqueous extracts showed significant blood sugar lowering effect of C. bonducella in the type 2 diabetic model. (3) Study of aqueous extract of C. bonducella seed shell showed very significant blood sugar lowering in glucose loaded, STZ and alloxan diabetic models.

• Antifilarial: Study showed the C. bonducella seed kernel extract and fractions showed microfilaricidal, macrofilaricidal and female-sterilizing efficacy against L. sigmodontin and microfilaricidal and female-sterilizing efficacy against B. malayi in animal models, suggesting a potential for its use in new antifilarial drug development.

• Anxiolytic Activity: Study of seed extract of C. bonducella showed a significant and dose-dependent anxiolytic activity.

• Antitumore / Antioxidant Activity: Study of methanol extract of C. bonducella showed significant antitumor and antioxidant activity in Erllich ascites carcinoma (EAC)-bearing mice.

Analgesic Activity: Study of flower extract of C. bonducella showed siginificant antinociceptive effect in the inflammatory phase of formalin-induced pain and acetic-induced parietal pain.

• Analgesic / Antipyretic / Anti-Inflammatory: Study showed the seed oil of C. bonducella could be a potential source of an anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and analgesic agent.

• Immunomodulatory: Study of the aqueous extract of C. bonducella seeds on cell mediated and humoral components of the immune system in rats produced an increase in hemagglutinating antibody titer and a change in delayed-type hypersensitivity suggesting that the extract could be a promising immunostimulatory agent.

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

Japanese Chaff Flower(Achyranthes japonica)

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Botanical Name :Achyranthes japonica
Family : Amaranthaceae
Synonyms: Achyranthes bidentata japonica – Miq.
Common names:Japanese chaff-flower
Genus : Achyranthes

Habitat : E. Asia – China, Japan(Honshu, Kyushu, Ryukyu Islands, Shikoku), Korea.  Woody areas in lowlands and hills

Perennial growing to 1m.It is Forb/herb.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)


The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. The plant prefers acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :-
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. However, judging by the plants native range, it is likely to succeed outdoors at least in the milder areas of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a rich, sandy, slightly acid soil in partial shade.

Seed – sow late spring in a greenhouse. Germination should be fairly rapid, prick out the seedlings into individual pots of fairly rich soil when they are large enough to handle. It is probably wise to grow this plant on in the greenhouse for its first winter, planting it out into its permanent position in late spring after the last expected frosts.

Medicinal Action &  Uses:-
Abortifacient; Analgesic; Antiinflammatory; Antispasmodic; Contraceptive; Diuretic; Hypotensive; Uterine tonic.

The root of the plant is used in Korea to treat oedema, rheumatism, delayed menses and as a contraceptive and abortifacient. The root contains triterpenoid saponins and has been shown to have analgesic, antiallergic, antiinflammatory, antispasmodic, diuretic, hypotensive and uterine stimulant properties. In addition, it contains protocatechuic acid, which has antioxidant properties, and also inhibits the aggregation of platelets.

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
Two insect-moulting hormones are found in the seeds. This may have a practical application as an insecticide afterward.


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