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Herbs & Plants

Larrea tridentata

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Botanical Name: Larrea tridentata
Family: Zygophyllaceae
Genus: Larrea
Species: L. tridentata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zygophyllales

Synonyms : L. divaricata. L. mexicana.

Common Name : Creosote Bush – Chaparral

Habitat : Larrea tridentata is a prominent species in the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan Deserts of western North America, and its range includes those and other regions in portions of
southeastern California, Arizona, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, New Mexico and Texas in the United States, and northern Chihuahua and Sonora in Mexico. The species grows as far
east as Zapata County, Texas, along the Rio Grande southeast of Laredo near the 99th meridian west. It grows in desert areas.

Description:
Larrea tridentata is an evergreen shrub growing to 1 to 3 metres (3.3 to 9.8 ft) tall, rarely 4 metres (13 ft). The stems of the plant bear resinous, dark green leaves with two opposite lanceolate    leaflets joined at the base, with a deciduous awn between them, each leaflet 7 to 18 millimetres (0.28 to 0.71 in) long and 4 to 8.5 millimetres (0.16 to 0.33 in) broad. The flowers are up to 25     millimetres (0.98 in) in diameter, with five yellow petals. Galls may form by the activity of the creosote gall midge. The whole plant exhibits a characteristic odor of creosote, from which the   common name derives. In the regions where it grows its smell is often associated with the “smell of rain”.

CLICK   &  SEE   THE PICTURES

As the creosote bush grows older, its oldest branches eventually die and its crown splits into separate crowns. This normally happens when the plant is 30 to 90 years old. Eventually the old
crown dies and the new one becomes a clonal colony from the previous plant, composed of many separate stem crowns all from the same seed.

Cultivation:
Requires a moderately fertile moisture-retentive soil in full sun or light shade. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and –
10°c. The plant is resinous and aromatic.

Propagation :
Seed – we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in spring. 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 new     growth in spring in a frame

Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

The flower buds are pickled in vinegar and used as a caper substitute. The stems and leaves are a tea substitute. The twigs are chewed to alleviate thirst. A resin is obtained from the leaves
and twigs, it delays or prevents oils and fats from becoming rancid.

Medicinal Uses:
Chaparal is used for treating such ailments as: tuberculosis, bowel complaints, stomach ulcers and bowel disorders, cancers, and colds and flu. It is found to be beneficial to the walls of
capillaries throughout the body, and so are good to take regularly in cases of capillary fragility. Chaparal contains N.D.G.A.. It is responsible for inhibiting several enzyme reactions, including
lipo oxyginase, which is responsible for some unhealthy inflammatory and immune-system responses. It has been shown to reduce inflammatory histamine responses in the lung, which is good    news for asthma sufferers. N.D.G.A. is one of the most highly anti-oxidant substances known to man. Several types of tumors, such as those in uterine fibroids and fibrosystic breast disease,   can be helped immensely by a concentrated extract of the plant. Chaparal can improve liver function, causing the liver metablolism to speed up, clearing toxins, and improving the livers’   ability to synthesize fatty acids into high density lipids (HDLs….the good quality cholesterol). The low density lipids levels (LDLs….the poor quality cholesterol) decrease. The strong anti-   oxident effects of Larrea t. appear to repair free radical damage caused by drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines.

External uses of the herb include poultices placed on aching joints, and the tea or a fomentation (applied several times per day and left on the area) for such things as ringworm, skin
fungi, and athletes’ foot. Has also been used for reducing fibroids A study in the Journal of Dental Research showed chaparral mouthwash reduced cavities by 75%.

Lipoxygenase and 5-hydroxyeicosatatraenois acid are usually high in the synovial fluid of arthritis sufferers which means Chapparal’s ability to inhibit these can help here as well.
Larrea contains active flavonoids and ligans that, in addition to being anti-oxidants, act as antifungals, antibiotics, and antivirals. It is in this last capacity, as an antiviral that prompted
investigations into its ability to inhibit the spl promoter HIV and as an inhibitor of Herpes simplex-1 in cell cultures; as well as Kaposi’s sarcoma virus. Clinical evaluations consisted of
testimonies from close to 36 persons. Larrea was prepared as an extract in an aloe-based lotion and was effective in reversing symptoms in nearly all cases of HSV-1 and shingles within 12-24
hours and in greatly reducing the severity of sores from Kaposi’s sarcoma in people in full-blown AIDS. The lotion proved to work faster and to be more effective than acyclovir, the main drug   for herpes.

When applied to the skin as a tea, tincture, or salve, Chaparral slows down the rate of bacterial grown and kills it with its antimicrobial activity. Chaparral will also help dry skin,
brittle hair and nails and cracks in the hands or feet.

Known Hazards : Acute hepatitis associated with oral use. Contact dermatitis also reported. Not considered safe as a herbal remedy

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/Larrea_tridentata
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Larrea+tridentata
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Cereus grandiflorus

Botanical Name: Cereus grandiflorus
Family:Cactaceae
Subfamily:Cactoideae
Tribe:Hylocereeae
Genus:Selenicereus
Species:S. grandiflorus
KingdomPlantae
Order:Caryophyllales

Synonyms:  Selenicereus grandiflorus

Common Names: Vanilla Cactus. Sweet-scented Cactus. Large-flowered Cactus

Other Common names:
Afrikaans: Koningin van die Nag
Chinese?Shé Bian Zhu ( Column of snake-like rope)
Danish: Nattens Dronning
Dutch: Koningin van de Nacht
English: Queen of the Night, Night-blooming Cereus, Large-flowering Cactus, Sweet-scented Cactus, Vanilla Cactus, Lunar Flower, Large Blooming Cereus, Large flowered torch thistle, Large-flowered Night Cactus
Estonian: Öökuninganna
Finnish: Yönkuningatar
French: reine de la nuit, princesse de la nuit, cierge à grande fleurs, vierge à grandes fleurs, cierge rampant à grandes fleurs, fleur d’amour
German: Königin der Nacht, Schlangencereus, Schlangenkaktus
Italian: cacto grandifloro, regina della notte
Japanese: Gekka Bijin (Beautiful woman under the moon)
Malayalam: Nisha Ghanthi(Nishagandhi)(Fragrance of the Night). This name is also used for Saussurea obvallata
Marathi: Brahma KamaLa. This name is also used for Saussurea obvallata
Portuguese: flor-de-baile, cardeiro trepador
Punjabi: Raat di sassi
Român?: Cactus din Antilele Olandeze
Sinhala: Kadupul
Spanish: Reina de las Flores, Reina Gigante, Cardon, Gigante, Organillo, Reina de la noche.
Swedish: nattens drottning
Tamil/Telugu  : Brahma Kamalam (Lord Bhrahma’s Flower). This name is also used for Saussurea obvallata
Kannada: Brahma Kamala. This name is also used for Saussurea obvallata
Arabic: Malikat Al lail
Vietnamese: Hoa qu?nh

Parts Used in medicines: The flowers, young and tender stems.

Habitat: Cereus grandiflorus is native to  Tropical America, Mexico, West Indies, and Naples
Description:
A fleshy, creeping, rooting shrub, stems cylindrical, with five or six not very prominent angles, branching armed with clusters of small spines, in radiated forms. Flowers, terminal and lateral from the clusters of spines, very large 8 to 12 inches in diameter, expanding in the evening and only lasting for about six hours, exhaling a delicious vanilla-like perfume. Petals are white, spreading, shorter than the sepals, which are linear, lanceolate, outside brown, inside yellow. Fruit ovate, covered with scaly tubercles, fleshy and of a lovely orange-red colour, seeds very small and acid. The flower only lasts in bloom about six hours and does not revive- when withered, the ovary enlarges, becomes pulpy and forms an acid juicy fruit, something like a gooseberry. The plant was brought to the notice of the medical profession by Dr. Scheile but it aroused little interest till a homoeopathic doctor of Naples, R. Rubini, used it as a specific in heart disease. The flowers and young stems should be collected in July and a tincture made from them whilst fresh. The plant contains a milky acrid juice….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
An easily cultivated, fast growing epiphyte or lithophytic plant. Needs a compost containing plenty of humus and sufficient moisture in summer. Should not be kept under 5°C (41°F) in winter. Perform best if grown in full sun. Extra light in the early spring will stimulate budding. Flowers in late spring or early summer, only blooms one night a year or several years and withers within hours.

Constituents:  No special analysis seems yet to have been made; the chief constituents are resins, the presence of the alleged alkaloid cactine not having been confirmed.

Medicinal  Uses:
Diuretic Sedative, Cardiac. Cereus has been used as a cardiac stimulant and as a partial substitute for digitalis. In large doses it produces gastric irritation, slight delirium, hallucinations and general mental confusion. It is said to greatly increase the renal secretion. It does not appear to weaken the nervous system. It has a decided action on the heart and frequently gives prompt relief in functional or organic disease. It has been found of some service in haemoptysis, dropsy and incipient apoplexy.
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/Selenicereus_grandiflorus
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/cernig48.html

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Herbs & Plants

Jajoba

Botanical Name ;Simmondsia chinensis
Family :Simmondsiaceae – Jojoba family
Genus : Simmondsia Nutt. – goatnut
Species: Simmondsia chinensis (Link) C.K. Schneid. – jojoba
Kingdom :Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class:Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Euphorbiales

Synonyms:
Simmondsia chinensis (Link) C.K. Schneid.

BUCH Buxus chinensis Link
SICA14 Simmondsia californica Nutt.

Common Names: Jajoba, goat nut, deer nut, pignut, wild hazel, quinine nut, coffeeberry, and gray box bush.(The name “jojoba” originated with the O’odham people of the Sonoran Desert in the southwestern United States, who treated burns with an antioxidant salve made from a paste of the jojoba nut)

Habitat : Jajoba is  native to areas of northern Mexico, Lower California, on the Islands off the coast of California, New Mexico, and Arizona. It inhabits the mountains bordering the Salton Sea basin in the Colorado Desert in California, and the southern portion of San Diego County. In Arizona, it is found in the mountains around Tucson, near Phoenix, and north of Yuma. In nature, it grows between 600 and 1500 m elevation in the desert, down to sea level near the coast, between latitudes 25° and 31° N. There is a major effort underway in the U.S., Mexico, and Israel to domesticate jojoba. There are reports that it has been planted in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Egypt, Haiti, Israel, Paraguay, Rhodesia, the Sahel, and South Africa for example. The Israeli examples are bearing fruit. We are anxious to hear more success stories. There seems to be no major difficulty in growing the plant in frost free, arid, subtropical, and tropical zones, but not many success stories have materialized.

Ranging from Warm Temperate Desert (with little or no frost) to Thorn through Tropical Desert Forest Life Zones, jojoba is reported to tolerate annual precipitation of 2 to 11 dm, annual temperature of 16 to 26°C, and pH of 7.3 to 8.2 (Duke, 1978). Jojoba is usually restricted to well-drained, coarse, well-aerated desert soils that are neutral to alkaline, with an abundance of phosphorus. It grows best where the annual rainfall exceeds 30 cm, but does exist where less than 12.5 cm occurs. Where rainfall is ca 75 mm, the jojoba grows to ca 1 m tall, where rainfall is 250–400 mm, it may attain 5 m. It tolerates full sun and temperatures ranging from 0° to 47°C. Mature shrubs tolerate temperatures as low as -10°C, but seedlings are sensitive to light frosts just below freezing.

Description:
Jajoba  grows to 1–2 metres (3.3–6.6 ft) tall, with a broad, dense crown. The leaves are opposite, oval in shape, 2–4 centimetres (0.79–1.6 in) long and 1.5–3 centimetres (0.59–1.2 in) broad, thick waxy glaucous gray-green in color. The flowers are small, greenish-yellow, with 5–6 sepals and no petals.

click to see the pictures…..>..….(01)......(1)..…..(2)…..…(3).…..(4)..

Each plant is single-sex, either male or female, with hermaphrodites being extremely rare. The fruit is an acorn-shaped ovoid, three-angled capsule 1–2 centimetres (0.39–0.79 in) long, partly enclosed at the base by the sepals. The mature seed is a hard oval, dark brown in color and contains an oil (liquid wax) content of approximately 54%. An average-size bush produces 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) of pollen, to which few humans are allergic.

Jajoba  foliage provides year-round food opportunity for many animals, including deer, javelina, bighorn sheep, and livestock. The nuts are eaten by squirrels, rabbits, other rodents, and larger birds. Only Bailey’s Pocket Mouse, however, is known to be able to digest the wax found inside the jojoba nut.

In large quantities, the seed meal is toxic to many mammals, and the indigestible wax acts as a laxative in humans. The Seri, who utilize nearly every edible plant in their territory, do not regard the beans as real food and in the past ate it only in emergencies.

Despite its scientific name Simmondsia chinensis, Jojoba does not originate in China; the botanist Johann Link, originally named the species Buxus chinensis, after misreading Nuttall’s collection label “Calif” as “China”.

Jojoba was briefly renamed Simmondsia californica, but priority rules require that the original specific epithet be used. The common name should also not be confused with the similar-sounding Jujube (Ziziphus zizyphus), an unrelated plant

Cultivation
Jojoba seeds retain nearly 99% germinability after 6 months, and 38% after 11 years stored in an open shed. Germination is good in alkaline sands at temperatures of 27°–38°C. Seedlings are frost sensitive. Field seeding can be done with a modified cotton planter. Seedlings need two or three irrigations during the first summer and must be protected from animals. Weeding is recommended after each irrigation. Adventitious roots may form on 50–80% of the cuttings treated with growth promoting substances. Plants could start producing seeds in 5 years, but full production would not be attained for 8 to 10 years. Using a 2 x 4 m spacing in planting would permit the planting of about 500 female and 50 male pollinating plants per hectare. Apomictic plants are known, lessening the need for male non-fruiting plants in the orchard. Suggested methods for planting include: Close spacing, ca 15 cm apart, resulting in hedge rows, with the seeds planted in flat borders or in a slightly depressed ditch so as to keep them moist until they germinate (ca 10–14 days). Male plants should be thinned out to about a 5–1 ratio, finally allowing about 2,500 plants per hectare, with possible annual yields of 2.5 MT/ha seed. Propagation by cuttings from selected shrubs could increase seed and/or oil yields. Generally flowering nodes and leaf nodes alternate, but some plants flower at nearly all nodes; some plants produce more than one flower per node. Transplanted seedlings survive readily, if the roots are pruned. Hence, cuttings could be made in a nursery for later transplanting in the field. The more efficient spacing for this method of planting is in rows 4 m apart, and the bushes in the rows 2 m apart. Male bushes should be interspersed throughout the grove (about 1,500 female and 250 male plants per hectare), possibly yielding ca 2.75 MT/ha seed. When softwood cuttings were treated with IBA, 4 mg/g of talc, they rooted 100% in 38 days.

Chemical constituents:
The seed contains liquid wax rather than oil, sort of unusual for the conventional analyses. Verbiscar and Banigan (1978) approximated a proximate analysis, some of which follows: per 100 g, the seed is reported to contain 4.3–4.6 g H2O, 14.9–15.1 g protein, 50.2–53.8 g fat, 24.6–29.1 g total carbohydrate, 3.5–4.2 g fiber, and 1.4–1.6 g ash. Seeds contain 2.25–2.34%, seed hulls, 0.19%. Core wood, 0.45; leaves, 0.19–0.23%; twigs, 0.63–0.75%; an inflorescence, 0.22%; simmondsin, a demonstrated appetite depressant, toxicant. Three related cyanomethylenecyclohexyl glucosides have also been isolated from the seed meal. The acute oral LD50 for crude jojoba oil to male albino rats is higher than 21.5 ml/kg body weight. Strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus can ameliorate this toxicity. The amino acid composition of deoiled jojoba seed meal is 1.05–1.11% lysine, 0.49% histidine, 1.6–1.8% arginine, 2.2–3.1% aspartic acid, 1.1–1.2% threonine, 1.0–1.1% serine, 2.4–2.8% glutamic acid, 1.0–1.1% proline, 1.4–1.5% glycine, 0.8–1.0% alanine, 1.1–1.2% valine, 0.2% methionine, 0.8–0.9% isoleucine, 1.5–1.6% leucine, 1.0% tyrosine, 0.9–1.1% phenyalanine, 0.5–0.8% cystine and cysteine, and 0.5–0.6% tryptophane. Detailed analyses of the wax esters, free alcohols, free acids, are reported in NAS (1975). Per 100 g jojoba meal, there is 1.4 g lysine, 0.6 g histidine, 1.9 g arginine, 2.6 aspartic acid, 1.3 threonine, 1.3 serine, 3.2 glutamic acid, 1.5 proline, 2.4 glycine, 1.1 alanine, 0.6 cystine, 1.5 valine, 0.1 methionine, 0.9 isoleucine, 1.8 leucine, 1.1 tyrosine, and 1.2 g phenylalanine. The two major flavonoid constituents of the leaves are isorhamnetin 3-rutinoside (narcissin) and isorhamnetin 3,7-dirhamnoside.

Edible Uses:
Seeds were said to be palatable and were eaten raw or parched by Indians. Recent studies suggest they are toxic. They may also be boiled to make a well-flavored drink similar to coffee, hence the name coffeberry.

Medicinal Uses:
Folk Medicine
This shrub is first mentioned in the literature by the Mexican historian Francisco J. Clavijero in 1789, who noted that the Indians of Baja California highly prized the fruit for food and the oil as a medicine for cancer and kidney disorders. Indians in Mexico use the oil as a hair restorer. According to Hartwell (1967–1971), the oil was used in folk remedies for cancer. Reported to be emetic, jojoba is a folk remedy for cancer, colds, dysuria, eyes, head, obesity, parturition, poison ivy, sores, sorethroat, warts, and wounds. Seri Indians applied jojoba to head sores and aching eyes. They drank jojoba-ade for colds and to facilitate parturition.

The leaves are good tea for chronic mucus-membrane inflammation, ranging from chronic colitis,vagnitis and hemorrhoids to stomach and esophageal ulcers.In Mxico it has been widly used as a floke medicine for asthma and emphysema, but it is a more matter of adding the injured pulmonary  membranes than addressing any underline causes.A tea for the  seeds will decrease inflamation in phryngitis,tonsillitis and various types sore throat.Two to three ounces of the infusion drunk every several hours decreas  the irretability of bladder and urithra membranes and painful urination.

Other uses:
Simmondsia is unique among plants in that its seeds contain an oil which is a liquid wax. Oil of Simmondsia is obtained by expression or solvent extraction. It is light yellow, unsaturated, of unusual stability, remarkably pure, and need not be refined for use as a transformer oil or as a lubricant for high-speed machinery or machines operating at high temperatures. The oil does not become rancid, is not damaged by repeated heating to temperatures over 295°C or by heating to 370°C for four days; the color is dispelled by heating for a short time at 285°C, does not change in viscosity appreciably at high temperatures, and requires little refining to obtain maximum purity. Since Simmondsia Oil resembles sperm whale oil both in composition and properties, it should serve as a replacement for the applications of that oil. The CMR (Nov. 28, 1983) reports that a new oil from the fish known as orange roughy is “attempting to make inroads on the jojoba and sperm whale markets.” Jojoba oil can be easily hydrogenated into a hard white wax, with a melting point of about 73°–74°C, and is second in hardness only to carnauba wax. The oil is a potential source of both saturated and unsaturated long-chain fatty acids and alcohols. It is also suitable for sulfurization to produce lubricating oil and a rubber-like material (factice) suitable for use in printing ink and linoleum. The residual meal from expression or extraction contains 30–35% protein and is acceptable as a livestock food.It is an important browse plant in California and Arizona, the foliage and young twigs being relished by cattle, goats and deer, hence the name goatnut.

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.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/simmondsia_chinensis.html
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SICH
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

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

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Simmondsia_chinensis_form.jpg

http://www.delange.org/Jojoba/Jojoba.htm

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Hyptis emoryi

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Botanical Name : Hyptis emoryi
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Hyptis
Species: H. emoryi
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name :Desert Lavender

Habitat :
It occurs mostly in areas with a water source; in the southwestern USA deserts it is commonly in the dry washes, intermixed with other species.

In the “Creosote Bush scrub” Yuma Desert-(western Sonoran Desert) of southwest Arizona, it is found with the palo verde, Bebbia, Encelia farinosa, desert ironwood (Olneya tesota), Lycium andersonii (wolfberry or Anderson thornbush), Psorothamnus spinosus (a type of smoke tree), and Acacia greggii, as some common associated species of the washes, elevation dependent.

In Arizona, found from central to southwestern Arizona of the Sonoran Desert; in northwest Arizona found in regions of the Mojave Desert. In southern California and Nevada, desert lavender is found in southern regions of the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert of southeast California.

Description:
Desert lavender is a medium to tall cold tender perennial shrub found in the southwestern United States of Arizona, Nevada, California, and northwestern Mexico in Sonora and Baja California.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is a multi-stemmed shrub reaching 15–18 ft in optimum locations. It has violet-blue flowers up to 1 in, in leaf axils. The flowers are profuse along the main stem and side branches and is an aromatic attractor of the honeybee and other species. Leaves are oval and a whitish gray-green-(in deserts), serrated margins, hairy, and 2-3 in. It is found in dry washes, and on rocky slopes, up to 3000 ft (900 m). It is evergreen or cold deciduous, depending on location.

Medicinal Uses:
Both the flowers and the leaves can be used to make a minty-tasting tea that is good for the stomach and throat.  It’s an anesthethic to the esophagus, thus extremely soothing to inflamed tissues. It is also a hemostatic, used by desert Indians to treat heavy menstruation and bleeding hemorrhoids as well as being given to women in childbirth.  Desert lavender is an excellent tea for hangovers and helps rid the mouth of the sour taste that comes with stomach flu.  Betulinic acid, with tumor-inhibitory properties, was identified from a chloroform extract by Sheth et al. (3). Tanowitz et al.  (4)  identified 34 constituents from the oil of a collection from San Diego Co., California, with 11.9% borneol as the most abundant constituent

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/Hyptis_emoryi
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_DE.htm

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Castela emoryi

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Botanical Name :Castela emoryi
Family : Simaroubaceae – Quassia family
Genus: Castela Turp. – castela
Species: Castela emoryi (A. Gray) Moran & Felger – crucifixion thorn
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision:  Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass:  Rosidae
Order: Sapindales

Common Name ;Crucifixion Thorn ,Castela emoryi

Habitat : Crucifixion thorn is endemic to the Sonoran Desert and southern Mojave Desert, is
widely scattered in southwestern Arizona (e.g., along Interstate 10) and reaches its
western limits as a few populations in the deserts of southeastern California (Turner, et al,
1995). This species also occurs in northwestern Sonora, but is reported from only 4-5
sites there (Turner, et al., 1995), and in northern Baja California at one site immediately
adjacent to the Crucifixion Thorn Natural Area (CTNA) population in Imperial County,
California (Turner, et al., 1995).

The crucifixion thorn barely reaches the WMPA as a few scattered populations and
individuals: Amboy Crater quad. (Davidson, 1920; Skinner and Pavlik, 1994); Lavic, 8
miles (13 km) west of Ludlow, occurs for some distance along a sandy wash (Ferris, 1919;
Munz and Johnston, 1922; Munz, 1974; Jepson, 1936; Tibor, 1997); east of Hector Mine
Road in a wash, Sunshine Peak quad. (Wear and Wade s.n., UCR, RSA; Skinner and
Pavlik, 1994); lava beds 25 mi. (40 km) northeast of Daggett, Dunn quad. (Greer s.n.,
SD; Jepson, 1936; Parish, 1921; Skinner and Pavlik, 1994); at the southeast edge of the
area at Clark’s Pass east of Twentynine Palms (Aulenbrock 127, UCR), and at Dale Dry
Lake (D. Swinney s.n., UCR).

Description:
Castela emoryi is a   short tree (up to 30 feet tall) with a crooked trunk and a wide spreading crown with many fine branches, leafless for much of the year.The tree looks like Jerusalem thorn – yellow paloverde

CLICK  &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

It  leaf is alternate, bipinnately compound, usually with only 2 major leaflets each about 1/2 inch long, blue-green and short lived. and the flowers are  loose clusters of bright yellow flowers with 5 lobes, entire flower 3/4 inch across, appearing in spring and early summer. The fruits are Two to 3 inch flat legume, light brown, mature in the summer and drop quickly.
Twigs are Slender, blue-green and smooth, straight spine at base of leaf. Barkis Initially smooth and green, later turning light brown and a bit scaly.

Medicinal Uses:
The Yavapai people traditionally used this as a medicinal plant, making a dermatological aid from its bud’s sap. The cold brewed tea is used to treat amoebic and giardic diarrhea, and any stomach or intestinal flu, particularly in the flat-tasting, early days of recuperation.  Soak the stem pieces in water to make it safer to drink. The tea makes a good skin wash for scratches and abrasions.

Other Uses:
Insecticide and fungicide:
Castela emoryi is a plant toxin insecticide. It contains quassinoids such as glaucarubolone glucoside which has antifeedant properties against termites such as Reticulitermes flavipes, or potential fungicidal activity for the control of grape downy mildew.

It also contains glaucarubol, a compound characteristic of the family, ellagic acid, betulin and (—)-syringaresinol.

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.discoverlife.org/mp/20o?search=Castela+emoryi
http://www.blm.gov/ca/pdfs/cdd_pdfs/crucif1.PDF
http://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/syllabus2/factsheet.cfm?ID=490
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/taxa/index.php?taxon=1167
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Castela_emoryi.jpg

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