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Herbs & Plants

One-Leaved Onion (Allium unifolium )

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Botanical Name: Allium unifolium
Family  : Alliaceae
Genus  : Allium
Synonyms : Allium grandisceptrum – Davidson.
Kingdom:: Plantae
Order  : Asparagales
Species: A. unifolium

Habitat: South-western N. AmericaCalifornia and Oregon. Moist soils in pine or mixed evergreen forest in the coastal ranges of California. Cultivated Beds;

Description:
Bulb growing to 0.6m by 0.1m.
It is hardy to zone 8 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects..

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:-
Prefers a hot dry sunny position in a light, rich well-drained soil[90, 200]. This species is difficult to maintain under cultivation in Britain, our weather is probably too wet and cool for it to really thrive. The plant has a summer resting period when it should be kept dry and so it is best grown in a cold greenhouse or bulb frame . Placing a cloche over outdoor-grown plants in the summer, especially after flowering, will help to ripen the bulbs . Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants . This species is not fully hardy in Britain and is unlikely to survive in the colder parts of the country. It is only marginally hardy in N.W. England. A new bulb is formed annually, the old one withering away. 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. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions

Edible Uses:-
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Bulb – raw or cooked. The bulbs are 10 – 15mm in diameter. Together with the young shoots, they are fried and eaten. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses :-
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:-
Repellent.

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 very 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 supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:-
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Allium+unifolium
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_unifolium
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Allium_unifolium
http://www.baynatives.com/plants/Allium-unifolium/
.

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Herbs & Plants

Ageratina Herbacea

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Botanical Nane: Ageratina herbacea
Family : Compositae / Asteraceae
Genus: Ageratina

Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Tribe: Eupatorieae
Species: A. herbacea

Synonyms : Eupatorium herbaceum – (A.Gray.)E.Greene. Eupatorium arizonicum Greene.

Common Names: Fragrant snakeroot and Apache snakeroot.
Habitat : It is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it grows in several habitat types.( South-western to South Central N. America.)   Pinyon-Juniper Woodland at elevations of 1500 – 2200 metres in California . Ageratina is found in forested areas. Woodland Garden; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Description:
This is a perennial herb growing a green, fuzzy stem from a woody caudex to heights between about 50 and 70 centimeters. The leaves are yellow to green or grayish and are triangular to heart-shaped. The inflorescence is a cluster of fuzzy flower heads under a centimeter long containing long, protruding white disc florets and no ray florets. The fruit is an achene a few millimeters long with a rough bristly pappus.
.CLICK & SEE THE  PICTURES
Ageratina herbacea has only white disc flowers, no ray flowers to create a “daisy” appearance. The flowers are mainly in groups at the end of stems. This appearance is similar to the Brickellias. However, the leaves of Ageratina are nearly triangular in shape and strongly toothed along the edge. In addition, the leaves are deeply veined. The veins are nearly parallel and mostly palmate from the leaf base except for some peripheral vein branching.

It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

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 :-
Succeeds in an ordinary well-drained but moisture retentive garden soil in sun or part shade.

Propagation:-
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame, only just covering the seed. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring.

Medicinal Uses:-
A cold infusion of the plant is drunk and also used as a lotion in the treatment of headaches and fevers.

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/database/plants.php?Ageratina+herbacea
http://www.wnmu.edu/academic/nspages2/gilaflora/ageratina_herbacea.html
http://tchester.org/gc/plants/species/ageratina_herbacea.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ageratina_herbacea

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Aconitum Violaceum

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Botanical Name : Aconitum violaceum
Family : Ranunculaceae
Genus  : Aconitum
Tibetan  Common Name:: bdud rtsi lo ma, bong nga nag po (Amrita leaves, black aconite)

Habitat : E. Asia – Himalayas.   Shrubberies and open slopes, 3600 – 4800 metres from Pakistan to C. Nepal

Description:
Perennial.
It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from August to October. The flowers are pollinated by Bees.

Click to see..the picture  >………..(1)………….(2)

 

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay 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 :
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by the native range of the plant it should succeed outdoors in many parts of the country. It is a polymorphic species. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade. Prefers a calcareous soil. Grows well in open woodlands. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legumes.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Roo
t.

Root – cooked. It is eaten as a pleasant tonic. These reports should be treated with great distrust due to the poisonous nature of the genus.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses:

Antidote; Antiinflammatory; Febrifuge.

The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency. Antidote, anti-inflammatory and febrifuge, it is used in the treatment of snake and scorpion bites, contagious infections and inflammation of the intestines.

BONG NAG: Vermicide (tapeworms); infectious fevers; relieving pains of arthritis and rheuma. Ashes used to increase body heat. DUDSI LOMA: white, long root, slightly milky: Rheuma, artritis -pains, skin disease, gall disease ass. with nagas. Tonsilitis.

Used part:
in sommer whole plant is used. In autumn, when the flow of the sap is reversed, especially the roots are used.
Various species of Aconitum are being used in Tibetan Medicine. The one here is very poisonous and only very small doses are being employed. Pills with Aconite are usually much smaller than regular Tibetan pills. Usually they are not being crushed with the teeth but on swallows them as such. Compare it with the use in Homoeopathy!

Another species, Aconitum heterophyllum, apparently is only very little poisonous. Some people claim that its roots are even being eaten in times of scarcity. It’s used in indigestion medicines a lot.

Aconitum heterophyllum is specially regarded  as a very endangered species since it is also popular in Ayurveda and is being collected in big quantities. Mainly the roots of Aconium spp. are being used. Thus collectors have to dig up the whole plants and in many cases destroyed entire populations in certain areas.

Known Hazards : The whole plant is highly toxic – simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people. Another report suggests that the root of this species might not be toxic.

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/database/plants.php?Aconitum+violaceum
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?where-taxon=Aconitum+albo-violaceum&where-photographer=Dr.+Nick+V.+Kurzenko
http://www.yuthog.org/?Tibetan_Medicine/Medicinal_Plants&ID=17

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News on Health & Science

Indoor Plants Can be Injurious to Health

Potted plants might add a certain aesthetic value to your house, but they are likely to have adverse health effects, suggests a new study. Indoor plants
INDOOR PLANTS IN PLASTIC POTS.INDOOR PLANTS IN PLASTIC POTS.jpg-1.INDOOR PLANTS IN PLASTIC POTS.jpg-2

The research team headed by Stanley J. Kays of the University of Georgia‘s Department of Horticulture has shown that these indoor plants actually release volatile organic compounds into the environment.

During the study, they identified and measured the amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by four popular indoor potted plant species Peace Lily, Snake Plant, Weeping Fig and Areca Palm.

Samples of each plant were placed in glass containers with inlet ports connected to charcoal filters to supply purified air and outlet ports connected to traps where volatile emissions were measured.

A total of 23 volatile compounds were found in Peace Lily, 16 in Areca Palm, 13 in Weeping Fig, and 12 in Snake Plant. Some of the VOCs are ingredients in pesticides applied to several species during the production phase.

Other VOCs released did not come from the plant itself, but rather the micro-organisms living in the soil.

“Although micro-organisms in the media have been shown to be important in the removal of volatile air pollutants, they also release volatiles into the atmosphere”, said Kays.

Furthermore, 11 of the VOCs came from the plastic pots containing the plants. Several of these VOCs are known to negatively affect animals.

Interestingly, VOC emission rates were higher during the day than at night in all of the species, and all classes of emissions were higher in the day than at night.

The study concluded, while ornamental plants are known to remove certain VOCs, they also emit a variety of VOCs, some of which are known to be biologically active.

“The longevity of these compounds has not been adequately studied, and the impact of these compounds on humans is unknown.”

Source: The study is published in the American Society for Horticultural Science journal HortScience.

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