Categories
Herbs & Plants

Indian chickweed

[amazon_link asins=’B01LWV4W1B,B00I6HPLAI,B01MG8WO9H,B00966C6PQ,B00IT2A16O,B01AN5S8WS’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’22e7517b-f13e-11e6-abaa-316b2205aaf8′]

[amazon_link asins=’B00T23EPT8,B00Z9N08LO,B00I8AQ82I,B01BUNVYKK,B00Z9N086O,B01M9C2D9H’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e500c29a-f13d-11e6-a52a-9302c02474cf’]
Botanical Name :
Stellaria media
Family:
Caryophyllaceae
Genus:    
Stellaria
Species:    
S. media
Kingdom:  
 Plantae
Order:
Caryophyllales

Other Names: Addre’s mouth, Chickweed, Indian chickweed, tongue grass, satin flower, star chickweed, starwort, starweed, stitchwort, winterweed, tongue-grass

Parts Used:dried herb

Habitat : Chickweed grows  in many areas across the globe, especially in fields, at the side of the road, in waste areas and so on. The scape has the average length of 7 inches and is covered with round-shaped leaves. The plant is characterized by white flowers of compact size.In both Europe and North America this plant is common in gardens, fields, and disturbed grounds. Control is difficult due to the heavy seed sets. Common Chickweed is very competitive with small grains, and can produce up to 80% yield losses among barley

Description:
Chickweed is an annual or biennial weed found in abundance all over the world in gardens, fields, lawns, waste places, and along roadsides. The usually creeping, brittle stems grow from 4 to 12 inches long and bear opposite, entire, ovate leaves. The small white flowers can be found blooming all year long in terminal, leafy cymes or solitary in the leaf axils.Chickweed is a plant with a lifespan of 1-2 years.

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

Chemical Constituents:
The active constituents are largely unknown. Chickweed contains relatively high amounts of vitamins and flavonoids, which may explain some of its effect. Although some older information suggests a possible benefit for chickweed in rheumatic conditions, this has not been validated in clinical practice.

Edible Uses:
There is some data on the fact that chickweed was used as a food supplement.Chickweed is still used today as a salad herb or may be cooked as a vegetable. It is one of the ingredients of the symbolic dish consumed in the Japanese spring-time festival, Nanakusa-no-sekku.

Medicinal Uses:
Chickweed is reputed to treat a wide spectrum of conditions in folk medicine, ranging from asthma and indigestion to skin disorders. Traditional Chinese herbalists use chickweed internally as a tea to treat nosebleeds.

Being a widely-used medication in herbal medicine, this herb is known for its ability to have a positive impact on the digestive system, respiratory system and even skin. In China this plant was applied in form of a hot drink to cure nose bleeding. The plant was extensively used to treat stomachaches, digestion problems, coughs, bronchitis, various inflammations and so on. Until recently it has been considered a universal remedy for almost every disease.

It’s applications have traditionally included: bronchitis, pleurisy, coughs, colds, hoarseness, rheumatism, inflammation, or weakness of the bowels and stomach, lungs, bronchial tubes.

Chickweed had been used for externallly for: skin diseases, boils, scalds, burns, inflamed or sore eyes, erysipelas, tumors, piles, cancer, swollen testes, ulcerated throat and mouth, and all kinds of wounds.

External application of chickweed is known to produce healing effect on skin sores of different types, as well as reduce inflammations locally (especially those related to throat diseases). Chickweed was even used to treat cancer.

Chickweed is used for boosting metabolism, healing inflammations, producing an expectorative effect and giving a relief from cough and respiratory diseases.

Severe skin problems like eczema and minor sores like insect bites are also regarded as cases of chickweed application. Stomach and bowel dysfunction, swollen testes, sore-throat, and various types of wounds are effectively treated by applying chickweed.

Chickweed may be useful for:
Used externally for:
Cuts, Wounds, itching and skin irritation; Skin diseases, boils, scalds, burns, inflamed or sore eyes.

Internally:
Rheumatism

Other indications include:
* Eczema
*Insect stings and bites
*Traditionally used for all cases of bronchitis, pleurisy, coughs, colds, hoarseness, rheumatism, inflammation, weakness of the bowels and stomach, lungs, bronchial tubes, and any other forms of internal inflammation.

*Crushed, fresh leaves many be used as a poultice for inflammation and indolent ulcers with most beneficial results. A poultice of Chickweed enclosed in muslin is a sure remedy for a carbuncle or an external abscess. The water in which the Chickweed is boiled should also be used to bathe the affected part.

Also said to regulate the thyroid gland.

Dosage:
Although formerly used as a tea, chickweed’s main use today is as a cream applied liberally several times each day to rashes and inflammatory skin conditions (e.g., eczema) to ease itching and inflammation. As a tincture, 1-5 ml per day can be taken.

Known Hazards:  S. media contains plant chemicals known as saponins, which can be toxic when consumed in large quantities. Chickweed has been known to cause saponin poisoning in cattle. However, as the animal must consume several kilos of chickweed in order to reach a toxic level, such deaths are rare.

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:
http://www.wildcrafted.com.au/Botanicals/Chickweed.html
http://www.holisticonline.com/herbal-med/_Herbs/h45.htm
http://www.oshims.com/herb-directory/c/chickweed

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

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements
Categories
Herbs & Plants

Purple allamanda

[amazon_link asins=’B00IOWKMAY,B01J5J88L4′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ee6ad7a6-0145-11e7-8d62-3d5b63f32998′]

[amazon_link asins=’B01NCWWEX5,B00X3RKU0M’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’364fd756-0146-11e7-96bf-1192d7b95ae6′]

Botanical Name :Cryptostegia grandiflora
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Cryptostegia
Order: Gentianales
Kingdom: Plantae
Species: C. grandiflora
Scientific Names : Cryptostegia grandiflora (Roxb.) R. Br. ,Nerium grandiflora Roxb.

Common Names :Indian rubber vine (Engl.),Purple allamanda (Engl.)

Habitat : Native to south-west Madagascar. It is also a significant weed in northern Australia, sometimes regarded in fact, as the worst weed in all of Australia. It has also been introduced to most other tropical and subtropical regions by man, because of its attractive flowers and the fact that its latex contains commercial quality rubber (hence the name). It is now naturalised in the Caribbean, East Africa, Mauritius, India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, the southern United States, Fiji and New Caledonia.It is Introduced in Philippines.Occasionally planted for ornamental purposes.Now, pantropic.

Description:
A rubber vine can grown up to 2 metres (m) tall as a shrub, but when it is supported on other vegetation as a vine, it can reach up to 30 metres in length. Rubber vine prefers areas where annual rainfall is between 400 and 1400 millimetres (mm), and is well adapted to a monsoonal climate. It can grow maximally on an annual rainfall of 1700 millimetres, but seeds that get an annual rainfall of 400 millimetres or less means rubber vine thrives on (in fact, requires) the extreme variability of rainfall and streamflow. This is a characteristic of central Queensland. The extreme variability (four times that of other countries to which it has been introduced) is almost certainly why rubber vine has become a major weed in Australia and not any other country in which it has been introduced.

You may click to see the pictures.....(01)..(1).…..(2).(3)…….(4)
..
Vine to subshrub.  Stems with numerous, small lenticels.  Lamina elliptic to orbicular, up to 10 cm long and 6.3 wide, glabrous; 11-13 secondary veins per side of midrib; tip acute; base cuneate; petiole 7-20.8 mm long, 0.9-3 mm diameter.  Cyme of 1 or 2 fascicles.  Flowers 5-6 cm long, 5-8.8 cm diameter; pedicels 4.2-8.5 mm long, 3-6.2 mm diameter, glabrous.  Calyx lobes lanceolate-ovate, 11.9-18.7 mm long, 5.6-9.8 mm wide.  Corolla pale pink to white; tube 1.9-4.5 cm long, 11.2-17 mm diameter; lobes 21-43 mm long, 13-22.5 mm wide.  Corolline corona of 5 bilobed filaments in throat of tube; each lobe ca 10 mm long overall, bilobed portion ca 8 mm long.  Staminal column 2-3 mm long, 3-4 mm diameter; anthers 4-4.5 mm long, 3-3.5 mm wide.  Translators obtuse, ca 3 mm long and 1.5 mm wide.  Style-head conical, ca 3.5 mm long and 2.5 mm diameter.  Ovaries ca 4 mm long and 2 mm wide.  Follicles fusiform-ovoid, 10-15.4 cm long, 2.1-4 cm diameter; seeds 5.2-9.7 mm long, 1.6-2.8 mm wide; coma white, 18.9-38 mm long.” (Marohasy and Forster, 1991; pp. 574-575).

“Woody ornamental lactiferous climber with opposite simple oblong shortly acuminate short-petiolate leaves 4-10 cm long, 3-5 cm wide; cymes of about 6-12 large reddish-purple flowers (sometimes lighter pink-violet); calyx-lobes about 1.2 cm long; corolla about 5 cm long (in bud); follicles 7.5-8.5 cm long.  The flowers resemble those of the purple Allamanda (Allamanda violacea)” (Stone, 1970; p. 487).

“Can be distinguished from C. madagascariensis by its stems with smaller, more numerous lenticels; leaf blades with 11-13 pairs of secondary veins; larger corollas (2-2.5 inches long); 2-lobed corona filaments; and larger fruit (4-6.25 inches long)”  (Staples & Herbst, 2005; p. 142).

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used :Leaves
Folkloric
No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
In Madagascar, reportedly used for criminal purposes and against vermin.
Powdered leaves, mixed with water, when swallowed can cause persistent vomiting after half an hour; death in 15 hours.

Studies
• Antiviral: In a study of medicinal plants for its antiviral activity, Cryptostegia grandiflora showed partial activity at higher concentraions.
Cardiac glycosides: Study of the leaves of C. grandiflora yielded four news cardiac glycosides: crptostigmin I to IV together with two known cardenolides.
Antibacterial: Study of the different extracts of Cryptostegia grandiflora was done for antibacterial potential against Pseudomonas cepacia, B megatorim, S aureus, E coli B subtilis. Almost all extracts produced significant antibacterial activity against all the microorganisms, comparable to standard antibiotic tetracycline hydrochloride. The petroleum ether extract showed maximum efficacy.
Latex Pro-Inflammatory Activity: Study investigating the pro-inflammatory activity of the latex of C grandifolia was investigated. Results showed the soluble proteins of the latex induced strong inflammatory activity, enlarged vascular permeability and increased myeloperoxidase acticvity locally in rats. It concludes that the latex of CG is a potent inflammatory fluid and implicates lactifer proteins in that activity.

Other Uses:Grown as a beautiful flower plant in house garden.

Known Hazards : Plant considered an irritant and poisonous.Leaves are 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://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/12188/
http://www.stuartxchange.com/IndianRubberVine.html
http://www.hear.org/pier/species/cryptostegia_grandiflora.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptostegia_grandiflora

Enhanced by Zemanta
Categories
Herbs & Plants

Dandelion

[amazon_link asins=’B000UVY2NK,B00DGRHZ98′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’86a6b15d-f0ca-11e6-8f16-2fb9cf76bb47′]

Botanical Name: Taraxacum officinale (WEBER)
Family: Asteraceae
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Taraxacum

Common Names: The common name dandelion ( dan-di-ly-?n, from French dent-de-lion, meaning “lion’s tooth”) is given to members of the genus and, like other members of the Asteraceae family, they have very small flowers collected together into a composite flower head. Each single flower in a head is called a floret. Many Taraxacum species produce seeds asexually by apomixis, where the seeds are produced without pollination, resulting in offspring that are genetically identical to the parent plant

Habitat  : Dandelion is    native to temperate areas of the globe. Throughout most of the northern hemisphere, including Britain.  A very common weed of grassland and cultivated ground.

A dandelion is a short plant, usually with a yellow flower head and notched leaves. A dandelion flower head consists of many tiny flowers. The dandelion is native to Europe and Asia, and has spread to many other places. The dandelion is also known by its genera name Taraxacum. In Northern areas and places where the dandelion is not native, it reproduces asexually.

The Dandelion, though not occurring in the Southern Hemisphere, is at home in all parts of the north temperate zone, in pastures, meadows and on waste ground, and is so plentiful that farmers everywhere find it a troublesome weed, for though its flowers are more conspicuous in the earlier months of the summer, it may be found in bloom, and consequently also prolifically dispersing its seeds, almost throughout the year.

Plant Description:
Dandelion (Taraxacum) is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. They are tap-rooted biennial or perennial herbaceous plants, native to temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere of the Old World. They are known as pests or weeds to the common person.

The genus is taxonomically very complex, with numerous macrospecies, and polyploidy is also common; over 250 species have been recorded in the British Isles alone (Richards 1972). Some botanists take a much narrower viewpoint, and only accept a total of about 60 species.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES.>....(01).…...(1)..…....(2).…..(3)…….(4)...…….

The leaves are 5-25 cm long, simple and basal, entire or lobed, forming a rosette above the central taproot. As the leaves grow outward they push down the surrounding vegetation, such as grass in a lawn, killing the vegetation by cutting off the sunlight. A bright yellow flower head (which is open in the daytime but closes at night) is borne singly on a hollow stem (scape) which rises 4-30 cm above the leaves and exudes a milky sap (latex) when broken. A rosette may produce several flowering stems at a time. The flower head is 2-5 cm in diameter and consists entirely of ray florets.

Away from their native regions, they have become established in the Americas, Australia and New Zealand as weeds. They are now common plants throughout all temperate regions.

—From its thick tap root, dark brown, almost black on the outside though white and milky within, the long jagged leaves rise directly, radiating from it to form a rosette Iying close upon the ground, each leaf being grooved and constructed so that all the rain falling on it is conducted straight to the centre of the rosette and thus to the root which is, therefore, always kept well watered. The maximum amount of water is in this manner directed towards the proper region for utilization by the root, which but for this arrangement would not obtain sufficient moisture, the leaves being spread too close to the ground for the water to penetrate.

The leaves are shiny and without hairs, the margin of each leaf cut into great jagged teeth, either upright or pointing somewhat backwards, and these teeth are themselves cut here and there into lesser teeth. It is this somewhat fanciful resemblance to the canine teeth of a lion that (it is generally assumed) gives the plant its most familiar name of Dandelion, which is a corruption of the French Dent de Lion, an equivalent of this name being found not only in its former specific Latin name Dens leonis and in the Greek name for the genus to which Linnaeus assigned it, Leontodon, but also in nearly all the languages of Europe.

There are many varieties of Dandelion leaves; some are deeply cut into segments, in others the segments or lobes form a much less conspicuous feature, and are sometimes almost entire.
The shining, purplish flower-stalks rise straight from the root, are leafless, smooth and hollow and bear single heads of flowers. On picking the flowers, a bitter, milky juice exudes from the broken edges of the stem, which is present throughout the plant, and which when it comes into contact with the hand, turns to a brown stain that is rather difficult to remove.

Flower Forms Dandelion clock :
The flower matures into a globe of fine filaments that are usually distributed by wind, carrying away the seed-containing achenes. This globe (receptacle) is called the “dandelion clock,” and blowing it apart is a popular activity for children worldwide. In German it’s called a Pusteblume, translated as “blow flower.” The number of blows required to completely rid the clock of its seeds is deemed to be dependent on the time of day.

Seeds:
The flower head is surrounded by bracts (sometimes mistakenly called sepals) in two series. The inner bracts are erect until the seeds mature, then flex down to allow the seeds to disperse; the outer bracts are always reflexed downward. Some species drop the “parachute” (called a pappus, modified sepals) from the achenes. Between the pappus and the achene, there is a stalk called a beak, which elongates as the fruit matures. The beak breaks off from the achene quite easily.

General Uses:
Dandelions are used as food plants by the larvae of some species of Lepidoptera.Small birds are very fond of the seeds of the Dandelion and pigs devour the whole plant greedily. Goats will eat it, but sheep and cattle do not care for it, though it is said to increase the milk of cows when eaten by them. Horses refuse to touch this plant, not appreciating its bitter juice. It is valuable food for rabbits and may be given them from April to September forming excellent food in spring and at breeding seasons in particular.

The young leaves of the Dandelion make an agreeable and wholesome addition to spring salads and are often eaten on the Continent, especially in France. The full-grown leaves should not be taken, being too bitter, but the young leaves, especially if blanched, make an excellent salad, either alone or in combination with other plants, lettuce, shallot tops or chives.

Young Dandelion leaves make delicious sandwiches, the tender leaves being laid between slices of bread and butter and sprinkled with salt. The addition of a little lemon-juice and pepper varies the flavour. The leaves should always be torn to pieces, rather than cut, in order to keep the flavour.

The young leaves may also be boiled as a vegetable, spinach fashion, thoroughly drained, sprinkled with pepper and salt, moistened with soup or butter and served very hot. If considered a little too bitter, use half spinach, but the Dandelion must be partly cooked first in this case, as it takes longer than spinach. As a variation, some grated nutmeg or garlic, a teaspoonful of chopped onion or grated lemon peel can be added to the greens when they are cooked. A simple vegetable soup may also be made with Dandelions.

The dried Dandelion leaves are also employed as an ingredient in many digestive or diet drinks and herb beers. Dandelion Beer is a rustic fermented drink common in many parts of the country and made also in Canada. Workmen in the furnaces and potteries of the industrial towns of the Midlands have frequent resource to many of the tonic Herb Beers, finding them cheaper and less intoxicating than ordinary beer, and Dandelion stout ranks as a favourite. An agreeable and wholesome fermented drink is made from Dandelions, Nettles and Yellow Dock.

The roasted roots are largely used to form Dandelion Coffee, being first thoroughly cleaned, then dried by artificial heat, and slightly roasted till they are the tint of coffee, when they are ground ready for use. The roots are taken up in the autumn, being then most fitted for this purpose. The prepared powder is said to be almost indistinguishable from real coffee, and is claimed to be an improvement to inferior coffee, which is often an adulterated product. Of late years, Dandelion Coffee has come more into use in this country, being obtainable at most vegetarian restaurants and stores. Formerly it used occasionally to be given for medicinal purposes, generally mixed with true coffee to give it a better flavour. The ground root was sometimes mixed with chocolate for a similar purpose. Dandelion Coffee is a natural beverage without any of the injurious effects that ordinary tea and coffee have on the nerves and digestive organs. It exercises a stimulating influence over the whole system, helping the liver and kidneys to do their work and keeping the bowels in a healthy condition, so that it offers great advantages to dyspeptics and does not cause wakefulness.

Chemical Constituents:-The chief constituents of Dandelion root are Taraxacin, acrystalline, bitter substance, of which the yield varies in roots collected at different seasons, and Taraxacerin, an acrid resin, with Inulin (a sort of sugar which replaces starch in many of the Dandelion family, Compositae), gluten, gum and potash. The root contains no starch, but early in the year contains much uncrystallizable sugar and laevulin, which differs from Inulin in being soluble in cold water. This diminishes in quantity during the summer and becomes Inulin in the autumn. The root may contain as much as 24 per cent. In the fresh root, the Inulin is present in the cell-sap, but in the dry root it occurs as an amorphodus, transparent solid, which is only slightly soluble in cold water, but soluble in hot water.

Patrs Used In Medicine:—The root, fresh and dried, the young tops. All parts of the plant contain a somewhat bitter, milky juice (latex), but the juice of the root being still more powerful is the part of the plant most used for medicinal purposes.

Medicinal   Uses:-Diuretic, tonic and slightly aperient. It is a general stimulant to the system, but especially to the urinary organs, and is chiefly used in kidney and liver disorders.

Dandelion is not only official but is used in many patent medicines. Not being poisonous, quite big doses of its preparations may be taken. Its beneficial action is best obtained when combined with other agents.

The tincture made from the tops may be taken in doses of 10 to 15 drops in a spoonful of water, three times daily.

It is said that its use for liver complaints was assigned to the plant largely on the doctrine of signatures, because of its bright yellow flowers of a bilious hue.

In the hepatic complaints of persons long resident in warm climates, Dandelion is said to afford very marked relief. A broth of Dandelion roots, sliced and stewed in boiling water with some leaves of Sorrel and the yolk of an egg, taken daily for some months, has been known to cure seemingly intractable cases of chronic liver congestion.

A strong decoction is found serviceable in stone and gravel: the decoction may be made by boiling 1 pint of the sliced root in 20 parts of water for 15 minutes, straining this when cold and sweetening with brown sugar or honey. A small teacupful may be taken once or twice a day.

Dandelion is used as a bitter tonic in atonic dyspepsia, and as a mild laxative in habitual constipation. When the stomach is irritated and where active treatment would be injurious, the decoction or extract of Dandelion administered three or four times a day, will often prove a valuable remedy. It has a good effect in increasing the appetite and promoting digestion.

Dandelion combined with other active remedies has been used in cases of dropsy and for induration of the liver, and also on the Continent for phthisis and some cutaneous diseases. A decoction of 2 OZ. of the herb or root in 1 quart of water, boiled down to a pint, is taken in doses of one wineglassful every three hours for scurvy, scrofula, eczema and all eruptions on the surface of the body.

Known Hazards : This plant has been mentioned in various books on poisonous plants but any possible toxins will be of very low concentration and toxicity. There are reports that some people have suffered dermatitis as a result of touching the plant, this is probably caused by the latex in the leaves and stems.

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.

Help taken from :en.wikipedia.org, www. botanical.com and Herbs That Heals

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

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Taraxacum+officinale

Enhanced by Zemanta
Categories
Herbs & Plants

Chicory

[amazon_link asins=’B00ZSTMR7M,B002Y2QT2K,B07212T5WL,B002KDIO12,B004H4LOCS,B0001M11HI,B01N31M9P8,B0000E5JKC,B00028OIVC’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’aa25ec18-e547-11e7-a5ed-333b1acd7f60′]

Botanical: Cichorium intybus
Family:    Asteraceae
Tribe:    Cichorieae
Genus:    Cichorium
Species:C. intybus
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:   Asterales

Synonyms
Succory. Wild Succory. Hendibeh. Barbe de Capucin.

Common Names:Chicory , Blue daisy, blue dandelion, blue sailors, blue weed, bunk, coffeeweed, cornflower, hendibeh, horseweed, ragged sailors, succory, wild bachelor’s buttons, and wild endive.

Chicory is the common name given to the flowering plants in genus Cichorium of the family Asteraceae. There are two cultivated species, and four to six wild species.

Common chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a bushy perennial herb with blue or lavender flowers. Originating from Europe, it was naturalized in North America, where it has become a roadside weed. The roots are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive in the plant’s Mediterranean region of origin, although its use as a coffee additive is still very popular in the American South, particularly in New Orleans. It is a staple in Cajun-style red-eye gravy. Common chicory is also known as blue sailors, succory, and coffeeweed. The plant is cultivated and used as endive under the common names radicchio, Belgian endive, French endive, or witloof. It is grown in complete darkness to keep new leaves tender and pale.

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

True endive (Cichorium endivia) is a species of chicory which is specially grown and used as a salad green. It has a slightly bitter taste and has been attributed with herbal properties. Curly endive and the broad-leafed escarole are true endives.

Cichorium is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Setaceous Hebrew Character and Turnip Moth.

Root chicory (Chicorium intybus var. sativum) has been in cultivation in Europe as a coffee substitute for a long time. Around 1970 it was found that the root contains up to 20% inulin. Since then, new strains have been created, giving root chicory an inulin content comparable to that of sugar beet (around 600 dt/ha). Inulin is mainly present in the plant family Asteraceae as a storage carbohydrate (for example Jerusalem artichoke, dahlia, etc.). It is used as a sweetener in the food industry (with a sweetening power 30% higher than that of sucrose). Inulin can be converted to fructose and glucose through hydrolysis.

Chicory, with sugar beet and rye was used as an ingredient of the East German Mischkaffee (mixed coffee), introduced during the ‘coffee crisis’ of 1976-9


Habitat:
Wild Chicory or Succory is not uncommon in many parts of England and Ireland, though by no means a common plant in Scotland. It is more common on gravel or chalk, especially on the downs of the south-east coast, and in places where the soil is of a light and sandy nature, when it is freely to be found on waste land, open borders of fields and by the roadside, and is easily recognized by its tough, twig-like stems, along which are ranged large, bright blue flowers about the size and shape of the Dandelion. Sir Jas. E. Smith, founder of the Linnean Society, says of the tough stems: ‘From the earliest period of my recollection, when I can just remember tugging ineffectually with all my infant strength at the tough stalks of the wild Succory, on the chalky hills about Norwich….


Description-:
–It is a perennial, with a tap root like the Dandelion. The stems are 2 to 3 feet high, the lateral branches numerous and spreading, given off at a very considerable angle from the central stem, so that the general effect of the plant, though spreading, is not rich and full, as the branches stretch out some distance in each direction and are but sparsely clothed with leaves of any considerable size. The general aspect of the plant is somewhat stiff and angular.
The lower leaves of the plant are large and spreading – thickly covered with hairs, something like the form of the Dandelion leaf, except that the numerous lateral segments or lobes are in general direction about at a right angle with the central stem, instead of pointing downwards, as in similar portions of the leaf of the Dandelion. The terminal lobe is larger and all the segments are coarsely toothed. The upper leaves are very much smaller and less divided, their bases clasping the stems.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowerheads are numerous, placed in the axils of the stem-leaves, generally in clusters of two or three. When fully expanded, the blooms are rather large and of a delicate tint of blue: the colour is said to specially appeal to the humble bee. They are in blossom from July to September. However sunny the day, by the early afternoon every bloom is closed, its petal-rays drawing together. Linnaeus used the Chicory as one of the flowers in his floral Clock at Upsala, because of its regularity in opening at 5 a.m. and closing at 10 a.m. in that latitude. Here it closes about noon and opens between 6 and 7 in the morning.

Part Used Medicinally:–The root. When dried – in the same manner as Dandelion it is brownish, with tough, loose, reticulated white layers surrounding a radiate, woody column. It often occurs in commerce crowned with remains of the stem. It is inodorous and of a mucilaginous and bitter taste.

Constituents:—A special bitter principle, not named, inulin and sugar.

Medicinal Action and Uses—Chicory has properties similar to those of Dandelion, its action being tonic, laxative and diuretic.

Ethnomedical Uses:
C. Endiva root has been used ethnomedically to treat dyspepsia, loss of appetite, liver and gallbladder problems, and intestinal worms, Type II Diabetes, and as a laxative for children.

Chicory as a herbal treatment :
Chicory, especially the flower, was used as a treatment in Germany, and is recorded in many books as an ancient German treatment for everyday ailments. Howard (1987) mentions is use as, variously, a tonic and appetite stimulant, and as a treatment for gallstones, gastro-enteritis, sinus problems and cuts and bruises.

Ayurvedic Medicinal Uses:

Constipation: The herb is natural laxative and very beneficial in the treatment of chronic Constipation.

Eye disorders:
Chicory contains food elements which are constantly needed by the optic system. It is one of the reachest source of vitamin A which is very useful for eyes. The addition of Juices of celery , parsley and carrot with chicory juice makes it highly nourishing food for the optic nerves and the mascular system.It can bring amazing results in correcting eye problems.

Asthma: Juices of carrot, chicory and celery are most helpful in Asthma and Hay fever. Powder of dry chicory root mixed with honey is a very good expectorant in chronic bronchitis.

Menstruation: A diction of chicory seeds is useful in obstructed menstruation.

Liver Disorders: The flowers,seeds and roots of chicory are medicinally used in the treatment of liver disorders. A decoction of all these can be used with beneficial results in thr treatment of tepidity of liver, stoppage of bile, jaundice and enlargement of spleen. Regular use of chicory juice promotes the secretion of bile and is therefore very good medicine for both liver and gall bladder dysfunctions.

Urinary Disorders:
Chicory is the herbal tonic which increases the secrition and discharge of urine.It is also a stimulant and mild laxative.

Anaemia: It is also an effective blood tonic. Chicory in combination with parsely and celery, is very much beneficial in anaemia. The blanched chicory leaves can be used with salads . Its mature green leaves can also be used as cooked vegetable.

Precautions: Gallstone patients should always consult a physician before using chicory. In rare cases, touching the herbs tiger allergic skin reaction.

Chicory and coffy mixes, dried chicory leaves and the whole plant are available in health food stores and herbal stores.

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.

Help taken from :www.botanical.com, en.wikipedia.org and Miracles of Herbs