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Herbs & Plants

Allium przewalskianum

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Botanical Name: Allium przewalskianum
Family:    Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily:Allioideae
Genus:    Allium
Species:A. przewalskianum
Kingdom:Plantae
Clade:    Angiosperms
Clade:    Monocots
Order:    Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Allium jacquemontii Regel
*Allium jacquemontii var. parviflorum (Ledeb.) Aswal
*Allium junceum Jacquem. ex Baker
*Allium przewalskianum var. planifolium Regel
*Allium rubellum var. parviflorum Ledeb.
*Allium stenophyllum Wall.
*Allium stoliczkii Regel

jimbuCommon Names: Jimbu

Habitat :  Allium przewalskianum  is widely distributed, reported from India, Nepal, Pakistan, Tibet, and parts of China(Gansu, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan)

Description:
Allium przewalskianum has narrow bulbs up to 10 mm across. Scape is up to 40 cm tall, round in cross-section. Leaves are tubular, about the same length as the scape. Umbel is densely crowded with many red or dark purple flowers.
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It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.

Cultivation:  
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. This species is only hardy in the milder areas of Britain, it probably tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation: 
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses:The herb  Allium przewalskianum  has a taste in between onion and chives, is most commonly used dried. In Mustang it is used to flavor vegetables, pickles, meat. In the rest of Nepal it is most commonly used to flavor urad dal or lentils. The dried leaves are fried in ghee to develop their flavor.

Bulb – raw or cooked. A very pleasant onion flavour[K], though rather on the small size and scarcely exceeding 10mm in diameter. Harvested in the autumn, they will store for at least 6 month. Leaves – raw or cooked. Tender and delicious. The leaves are rather on the small and thin side, but have an excellent onion favour[K]. They make a nice refreshing munch when working in the garden and also go very well in salads. They can be harvested from spring until the autumn. Flowers – raw. A pleasant onion flavour, they are used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses:

It is estimated that in Asiatic households use jimbu as medicine (mostly as a treatment believed to help flu).Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses: The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards:Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

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.

Resourcs:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_przewalskianum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimbu
http://www.amazon.com/Spice-Republic-Jimbu-Himalayan/dp/B006JUSA0M
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+przewalskianum

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Herbs & Plants

Forsythia Fruit (Forsythiae suspensae)

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Botanical Name :Forsythiae suspensae
Family   : OLEACEAE Olive Family

Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Forsythia
Species: F. suspensa
Synonyms : Syringa suspensa.

Common Names :  Forsythia Fruit , Lian Qiao, yellow bell

Parts Used: Fruit

Habitat : It is Native China.Shanxi, Shaanxi, Henan and throughout northern China. Now it grows in several places in the world.

Description:
A decidious Shrub growing to 5 m (16ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Mar to April. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is not self-fertile.

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Forsythia bushes are a popular ornamental here in the West, and like many other popular ornamental plants, forsythia has a long history of medicinal use in Forsythia fruit is combined with another backyard favorite, honeysuckle, in one of the most widely used cold remedies in China.Forsythia suspensa is a large to very large shrub, can be grown as a weeping shrub on banks, and has paler flowers. Many named garden cultivars can also be found. It belongs to spring flowering shrubs, with yellow flowers. And, it is grown and prized for being tough, reliable garden plants..

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You may click to see good Images of Forsythia Fruit plant, leaf etc. :

Forsythia fruit is the fruit of those lovely bright yellow bushes that are often the first thing to bloom in spring in any northern climate. Native to China, forsythia grows nearly everywhere in the world. In the US it is grown mostly as an ornamental. It is named for 18th century English gardening expert William Forsyth, who was one of the founders of the Royal Horticulture Society. Although native to China, it was brought to the west by botanist Robert Fortune in 1833. The fruit is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat colds and viral infections that present with a fever, as an anti inflammatory, antipyretic, and as part of a cardiovascular tonic. It was generally prescribed for all types of “over-heating” or heat related conditions. It’s most often combined with honeysuckle flowers in honeysuckle forsythia fruit, which is possibly the most widely used cold remedy in mainland China and in Chinese immigrant centers in other countries.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in all soil types but prefers a rich soil. Succeeds in limey soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. It prefers a sunny position but succeeds in semi shade though it is apt to get leggy if grown in the shade of trees. Succeeds against a north-facing wall. Plants are hardy to about -25°c. The flowers are produced quite early in the year and are frost-resistant. Plants are medium to fast growing. Flowers are produced on wood that is more than one year old. Any pruning is best done after the plant has finished flowering. A very ornamental plant, there are several named varieties. This species is notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates within 2 months. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood 10 – 15cm taken at a node, July/August in a frame. Plant out in autumn or spring. A very high percentage, they root within 3 weeks. Cuttings of mature wood in a sheltered outdoor bed. Good percentage. Layering in spring or summer. Plants often self-layer.

Main Chemical Content: forsythin, matairesinoside, betulinic acid, phyillygenin, pinoresinol,phillyrin,arctiin,forsythoside C,forsythoside D,etc.

Medicinal Uses:

Antidote;  Antiphlogistic;  Antitussive;  Cancer;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Febrifuge;  Laxative;  Tonic;  Vermifuge.

Lian Qiao has been used in Chinese herbalism for over 4,000 years and is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. A bitter tasting pungent herb with an antiseptic effect, it is chiefly used to treat boils, carbuncles, mumps and infected neck glands. The fruit is a bitter astringent herb that stimulates the heart, nervous system and gall bladder. It contains vitamin P, which is used to strengthen capillaries. The fruit is also antidote, antiphlogistic, antitussive, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, laxative and tonic. It is used internally in the treatment of acute infectious diseases such as mumps, and also for tonsillitis, urinary tract infections allergic rashes etc. The fruit is harvested when fully ripe and is dried for use in decoctions. The plant has a similar action to Lonicera japonica and is usually used in combination with that species to achieve a stronger action. The flowers have a broad-spectrum antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella dysenteriae, haemolytic streptococcus, Pneumococcus, Bacillus typhi, Mycobacterium tuberculi etc. The plant is vermifuge, though the part used is not stated. The leaves are febrifuge and are also poulticed onto ulcerated glands and haemorrhoids. A decoction of the leaves and twigs is used in the treatment of breast cancer. The root is used in the treatment of cancer, colds, fever and jaundice.

Remedies For:
Antibacterial, antiemetic, parasiticide, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory.

Forsythia is commonly used for the common cold or influenza. It is also useful for toxic sores, carbuncles, swollen lymph nodes, Forsythia should be considered when there is high fever with thirst and delirium. Forsythia fruit is commonly used for a variety of inflammatory conditions, including colds, sore throat, fevers, influenza, boils, car- buncles, and furuncles, and for the treatment of cancer (especially lung, throat, and breast cancer).

Properties:Bitter, Slightly Spicy, Cool

Clears Heat Toxins and Disperses Lumps and Nodules
For all sores from heat including abscesses, neck lumps, scrofula, and carbuncles.

Clears Wind-Heat
:   For Wind-Heat common cold. Also effective in treating high fever, thirst, and delirium.

Forsythia fruit has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine, though the first mention of its most common use * in honeysuckle forsythia flower blend * is in a 1789 herbal compendium. There?s been little modern research, though the anecdotal evidence for its effectiveness against fever, cough and chest complaints is well-documented in the annals of traditional medicine. One small study from Korea suggests that constituents found in forsythia flower may be helpful in improving the cholesterol profile by increasing the proportion of ‘good’ cholesterol in the blood and encouraging the excretion of bad cholesterol. In modern Chinese herbal medicine, lian qiao (forsythia fruit) is prescribed when a broad spectrum antibiotic effect is desired. In addition, forsythia fruit seems to have an antimicrobial, anti-emetic and anti-parasitic effect.

Modern applications: Antimicrobial effect, antiparasitic effect, antiemetic effect, for retina hemorrhage, for acute kidney infection, for pus forming in lungs, acute liver infection, and psoriasis.

Safety  Precautions: Forsythia fruit should not be used by those with weak and cold spleen/stomach conditions or for sores that are already open or are caused by yin deficiency.There are no reports of harmful side effects of using forsythia fruit, however its use while pregnant should be avoided.

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.holistic-online.com/herbal-Med/_Herbs/h359.htm
http://www.mdidea.com/products/proper/proper012paper.html#01
http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/forsythiafruit.php
http://woodyplants.nres.uiuc.edu/plant/forsu
http://www.bacara-gardens.ro/plante.html
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/images/low/Z920-0901020.jpg

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Forsythia+suspensa

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forsythia_suspensa

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Herbs & Plants

Chinese Horse Chestnut

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Botanical Name: Aesculus chinensis
Family : Hippocastanaceae
Genus : Aesculus

Habitat : Native in Chongqing, S Gansu, N Guangdong, Guizhou, SW Henan, W Hubei, Hunan, W Jiangxi, S Shaanxi, Sichuan, and NE Yunnan; cultivated in Hebei, N Henan, S Jiangsu, S Shaanxi, S Shanxi, and N Zhejiang.  Mountains of Szechwan. Woodland Garden; Canopy;

Description : A deciduous Tree growing to 25m by 10m at a slow rate.  The development of the The Chestnut is erect; in genereral in the lower part they have a pretty bare stem, while p many ramifications develop towards the top. This plant in the summer assumes a white colouring. It doesn’t keep its leaves in the winter. As they grow, these plants become the size of a tree.
It is hardy to zone 6 and is frost tender. It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.
....
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. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :-
Prefers a deep loamy well-drained soil but is not too fussy. Plants grow best in eastern and south-eastern areas of England, probably needing a continental climate in order to thrive. Although the trees are very hardy when dormant, the new growth can be damaged by late spring frosts. Most members of this genus transplant easily, even when fairly large.

Propagation:-
Seed – best sown outdoors or in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. The seed germinates almost immediately and must be given protection from severe weather. The seed has a very limited viability and must not be allowed to dry out. Stored seed should be soaked for 24 hours prior to sowing and even after this may still not be viable. It is best to sow the seed with its ‘scar’ downwards. If sowing the seed in a cold frame, pot up the seedlings in early spring and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer.

Medicinal Actions & Uses
Antirheumatic; Emetic.

The seed is antirheumatic and emetic. The sweet tasting seed is said to be used in the treatment of contracted limbs that are due to palsy or rheumatism. It is also used in the treatment of stomach aches.

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:-
Soap; Wood.
Saponins in the seed are used as a soap substitute. The saponins can be easily obtained by chopping the seed into small pieces and infusing them in hot water. This water can then be used for washing the body, clothes etc. Its main drawback is a lingering  odour of horse chestnuts.

Known Hazards : The seed is rich in saponins. Although poisonous, saponins are poorly absorbed by the human body and so most pass through without harm. Saponins are quite bitter and can be found in many common foods such as some beans. They can be removed by carefully leaching the seed or flour in running water. Thorough cooking, and perhaps changing the cooking water once, will also normally remove most of them. However, it is not advisable to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Aesculus+chinensis
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/208064/
http://www.gardening.eu/plants/Masts/Aesculus-chinensis/10/
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200013157

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