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Herbs & Plants

Scopola carniolica

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Botanical Name : Scopola carniolica
Family: Solanaceae
Genus:     Scopolia
Species: S. carniolica
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class:     Magnoliopsida
Order:     Solanales

Synonyms: Scopolia atropoides. Scopola. Belladonna Scopola. Japanese Belladonna.

Common Name: Henbane bell

Habitat:Scopolia carniolica is native to  Europe and Asia ( Bavaria, Austro-Hungary, South-western Russia.) It grows on wet soils in beech forests of southeastern Europe from lowlands to the mountainous zones.

Description:
Scopolia  carniolica is a little-known creeping, hardy perennial plant.It grows to 60 centimetres (24 in) in height, and has thin leaves, its fruit being a transversely dehiscent capsule. It has dark violet flowers on long hanging stems.

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The rhizome is horizontal, curved, almost cylindrical, and somewhat flattened vertically. It is usually found in pieces from 2 1/2 to 7 1/2 cm. long and 0.8 to 1.6 cm. broad, often split before drying. The upper surface is marked with closely-set, large, cup-shaped stem-scars, and the colour varies from yellowish-brown to dark, brownish-grey; the fracture is short and sharp, showing a yellowish-white bark, its corky layer dark brown, or pale brown, the central pith being rather horny. It has scarcely any odour, and the taste is sweetish at first, but afterwards bitter and strongly acrid. The Japanese rhizome is larger, with circular scars, not whitish when broken, and having a slightly mousy, narcotic odour, and practically no bitterness in taste.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: Dried rhizome.
Constituents: The alkaloidal constituents are similar to those of Belladonna Root, hyoscine (scopolamine), however, predominating. Inactive scopolamine, also known as atroscine, is present, melting at 82 degrees C. (179.6 degrees F.) and yielding by hydrolysis tropic acid and scopoline. The result of an assay of many tons of the root of Atropa Belladonna and of the rhizome of Scopolia, each of the best qualities to be found in the American market, showed that while belladonna yielded on an average 0.50 per cent of alkaloid, Scopolia yielded 0.58 per cent.

Narcotic and mydriatic. The medicinal properties are very like those of belladonna, but the crude drug has been scarcely used at all in internal medicine. Much of the hyoscine of commerce has been obtained from it during the last decade.

Many of the older investigations into the effects of scopolamine are contradictory because of the failure to realize the quantitative difference between racemic and laevoscopolamine. The former, sometimes called atrocine, is very much less powerful in its effects upon the autonomic nerves, though its action upon the central nervous system is about equal.

Its most important use is as a cerebral sedative, especially in manias, hysteria, and drug habits, while in insomnias and epilepsy it increases the effects of other drugs, such as morphine and bromides. It is also useful to allay sexual excitement. In 1900 the use of a combination of morphine and scopolamine was introduced as a means of producing anaesthesia, under the name of ‘Twilight Sleep,’ either alone or as a preliminary to chloroform or ether, as its peculiar effect in large doses is to cause loss of memory, including that of pain. However, the anaesthesia has often been found to be unsatisfactory, while the mortality has been high.

Known Hazards:Scopola carniolica is a  poisonous plant.It is poisonous, because it contains abundant quantities of tropane alkaloids, particularly atropine. The quantity of atropine is the highest in the root.

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/Scopolia_carniolica
http://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/scopolia-carniolica/671.html
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/scopol33.html

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Herbs & Plants

Corkwood

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Botanical Name :Duboisia myoporoides
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Duboisia
Species: D. myoporoides mmon Names:
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Synonym:  Duboisia.

Habitat: Corkwood is  native to high-rainfall areas on the margins of rainforest in eastern Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.

Common Name:Corkwood

Description:
Corkwood is a tall glabrous shrub or small tree, flowers, axillary clusters, white with two-lipped calyx; corolla, funnel-shaped; limb, five parted; five stamens within the corolla (two long and two short); one rudimentary ovary, two many-ovalled compartments and fruit berry-like; leaves, inodorous and bitter taste.

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It has a thick and corky bark.The leaves are obovate to elliptic in shape, 4–15 cm long and 1–4 cm wide. The small white flowers are produced in clusters. This is followed by globose purple-black berries (not edible).

Another species, Duboisia Hoopwoodii, contains an acrid liquid alkaloid, Piturine, which is said to be identical with nicotine; it is largely used by the natives of Central Australia rather in the same way that the Indians use Coca leaves. It is obtained from the leaves and twigs, which are collected while the flowers are in bloom in August; the natives smoke and chew it for its stimulating effect, which enables them to work at high pressure without food.

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: Leaves.

Chemical Constituents:Alkaloidal sulphates, mainly hyoscyamine and hyoscine.

Sedative, hypnotic and mydriatic (of variable strength), which augments the activity of the respiratory system. Its alkaloid, Sulphate of Duboisia, is sometimes used as a substitute for atropine. The homoeopaths use the tincture and the alkaloid for paralysis and eye affections; a red spot interfering with vision is an indication for its use. It is antidoted by coffee and lemon-juice.

The leaves are a commercial source of pharmaceutically useful alkaloids. The same alkaloids render all plant parts poisonous. The leaves contain a number of alkaloids, including hyoscine (scopolamine), used for treating motion sickness, stomach disorders, and the side effects of cancer therapy.

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/Duboisia_myoporoides
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/corkw100.html

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Herbs & Plants

Brugmansia

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Botanical Name :Brugmansia spp
Family: Solanaceae
Subfamily: Solanoideae
Tribe: Datureae
Genus: Brugmansia
Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Solanales

Species:Sanguinea

Synonyms:Datura candida (Pers.) Safford,Datura brugmansia

Common Name :Belladonna Tree, Bloodred Angel’s Trumpet, Borrachero Rojo, Chamico, El Guantug,  Floripondio, Guantug, Huacacachu, Huanto, Humoco, Misha Colorada, Perecillo, Poroporo, Red Brugmansia, Tonga, Yerba de Huaca

Habitat :Brugmansia trees are native to subtropical regions of South America, along the Andes from Colombia to northern Chile, and also in southeastern Brazil,
where it grows on sloping terrain under damp conditions.

Description:

Brugmansia Sanguinea is a perennial shrub-like tree, indigenous to the midlands of South America. It can grow 15 feet (5 meters ) tall, with long thin oval shaped leaves that grow up to 16 inches (40 cm) long and 6 inches (15 cm) wide. The flowers are up to 9 inches (23 cm) long, narrow and trumpet shaped, and range in color from a light pink to a deep blood-red, but it can also produce flowers that are pure yellow, yellow–red, green¬–red and pure red. Unlike the closely related Golden Angel’s Trumpet, the Sanguinea’s flowers do not produce an aromatic fragrance and tend to be slightly smaller.

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Brugmansia are long-lived, woody trees or bushes, with pendulous, not erect, flowers, that have no spines on their fruit.It is a genus of seven species of flowering plants  Datura species are herbaceous bushes with erect (not pendulous) flowers, and most have spines on their fruit.

Cultivation:
Brugmansia are easily grown in a moist, fertile, well-drained soil, in full sun to part shade, in frost-free climates. They begin to flower in mid to late spring in warm climates and continue into the fall, often continuing as late as early winter in warm conditions. In cool winters, outdoor plants need protection, but the roots are hardy and will resprout in April or May. The species from the higher elevations, in B. section Sphaerocarpium, prefer moderate temperatures and cool nights, and may not flower if temperatures are very hot. Most Brugmansias may be propagated easily by rooting 10–20 cm cuttings taken from the end of a branch during the summer.

Chemical Constituents:The plant’s stems, flowers, leaves and seed are known to contain large quantities of tropane alkaloids. Recent research has shown that the main active compound in this plant is Scopolamine, it also contains aposcopolamine, atropine, hyoscyamine, meteloidine, and norscopolamine. All of these compounds may be illegal in most parts of the world when extracted from their naturally occurring sources.

Medicinal Uses:
Although the plant is poisonous, natives in Brazil smoke the leaves for a strong narcotic effect that it is said to relieve asthma.
(Schultes, R. E. 1976. Ethnobotany.)

It seems that almost every tribe in region had a different medicinal use for this magical plant, most prominently it was used to treat rheumatism and arthritis. It has also been used to treat sore throats, stomach pains caused by parasitic worms, to cleanse wounds of infected pus, and to help sooth irritated bowels and reduce flatulence. Due to many undesirable side effects and after effects there are no currently accepted medicinal uses for this plant. Although, today in Ecuador, the pharmaceutical industry grows Brugmansia to produce pure Scopolamine for medicinal purposes.

Traditional preparations : There are several traditional ways in which the seeds, flowers, and leaves were prepared to produce various intoxicating drinks, teas and powders. The native Canelo Indians would scrape the pith from the stem and flowers and squeeze out the juices, which were then consumed straight away. Other preparations include steeping the leaves and flowers in hot water to make delirium inducing teas; in some areas the seeds would be dried and powered and then added to Chica, a fermented maize beer; there are also reports of Indians mixing the dried leaves with tobacco and smoking the resulting blend. One of the most powerful decoctions was exclusively made and consumed by shaman, they boiled the fruits and seeds of the plant to produce a potent drink called tonga.

Other Uses:
Traditional uses: Mestizo Shamans have used the Bloodred Angel’s Trumpet as a sacrament in their burial ceremonies and grieving rituals. It was believed that widows would be gently lulled into the afterworld by consuming a hallucinogenic maize beer, Chicha, while they were being buried alive with their deceased husband. Chicha was made from corn, tobacco and the Sanguinea flowers and allowed to ferment. Modern day shaman’s use this traveling plant to communicate with their ancestors as well as the animal spirit world, diagnose disease, find lost objects, prophesize and to predict the future. The native tribes still use the seeds, mixing them in with coffee, to induce sexual arousal or to harm someone and put them into a coma or even kill them, depending on the dosage.

As with Datura, all parts of Brugmansia are highly toxic. The plants are sometimes ingested for recreational or shamanic intoxication as the plant contains the tropane alkaloids scopolamine and atropine; however because the potency of the toxic compounds in the plant is variable, the degree of intoxication is unpredictable and can be fatal.

Ritualized Brugmansia consumption is an important aspect of the shamanic complexes noted among many indigenous peoples of western Amazonia, such as the Jivaroan speaking peoples. Likewise, it is a central component in the cosmology and shamanic practices of the Urarina peoples of Loreto, Peru.

Planted in ganden for beautification.

Scientific Research:
Brugmansia ×candida is a hybrid between Brugmansia aurea with Brugmansia versicolor. This hybrid can be found growing wild in nature therefore it is a “natural hybrid”.

Native Legends and Names:
Brugmansia is named after Sebald Justin Brugmans (1763-1819).
Even though Brugmansia has been in the USA for many many years, it has always been portrayed as a “Plant of Evil” and something undesirable to have growing in your yard.

Known Hazards:All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested or absorbed through the mucous membranes. Be careful to not rub your eyes after touching Brugmansia.

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://treesandshrubs.about.com/od/commonshrubs/p/angelstrumpet.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brugmansia
http://www.ntbg.org/plants/plant_details.php?plantid=11850
http://www.entheology.org/edoto/anmviewer.asp?a=31&z=5

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Brugmansia_arborea_with_fruit.jpg

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