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Claytonia virginica

Botanical Name: Claytonia virginica
Family: Montiaceae
Genus: Claytonia
Species:C. virginica
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Claytonia grandiflora.

Common Names: Virginia springbeauty, Eastern spring beauty, or Fairy spud,Spring Beauty, Hammond’s claytonia, Yellow Virginia springbeauty

Habitat:
Claytonia virginica is native to Eastern N. America – Quebec to Texas. A garden escape, locally naturalized in Britain. It grows in rich woods, thickets and clearings. Wetlands, seeps, moist woods, riparian hardwood forests, copses, bluffs, ravines and prairies from sea level to 1000 metres.

Description:
Claytonia virginica is a perennial plant, overwintering through a corm. It is a trailing plant growing to 5–40 cm long. The leaves are slender lanceolate, 3–14 cm long and 0.5–1.3 cm broad, with a 6–20 cm long petiole.

The flowers are 0.7–1.4 cm diameter with five pale pink or white (rarely yellow) petals, and reflect UV light. It has a raceme inflorescence, in which its flowers branch off of the shoot. The individual flowers bloom for three days, although the five stamens on each flower are only active for a single day. Flowering occurs between March and May depending on part of its range and weather. The seeds are between 0.2-0.3 cm in diameter and a shiny black. The seeds are released from the capsule fruit when it breaks open. Elaiosomes are present on the seeds and allow for ant dispersal.

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It is also a polyploid, having 2n between 12 and 191 chromosomes. The largest number of chromosomes was observed in New York City.

It is in flower from Mar to April, and the seeds ripen in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Rock garden, Woodland garden. Prefers a damp peaty soil and a position in full sun. Another report says that it requires some shade[188]. Requires a lime-free soil. Special Features:North American native, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow on a peat based compost in spring in a cold frame. Germination usually takes place within 2 – 4 weeks at 10°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Division of offsets in spring or autumn.

Edible Uses:
Root – raw or cooked. Rich in starch, it has a pleasant nutty flavour. A radish-like flavour when raw, it tastes like a cross between a potato and a chestnut when cooked. The root is rich in vitamins A and C. The globose tuber is up to 20cm in diameter.Algonquin people cooked them like potatoes. Spring beauty corms along with the entire above ground portion of the plant are safe for human consumption. Leaves and flowering stems – raw or cooked. Added to salads or used as greens. The leaves are often available in the winter.

Medicinal Uses:
This plant has been used medicinally by the Iroquois, who would give a cold infusion or decoction of the powdered roots to children suffering from convulsions. They would also eat the raw roots, believing that they permanently prevented conception.A cold infusion or decoction of the powdered roots has been given to children with convulsions.

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/Claytonia_virginica
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Claytonia+virginica

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Fumaria officinalis

Botanical Name: Fumaria officinalis
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Fumaria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales
Synonyms: Earth Smoke. Beggary. Fumus. Vapor. Nidor. Fumus Terrae. Fumiterry, Scheiteregi. Taubenkropp. Kaphnos. Wax Dolls.

Common Names: Common fumitory, Drug fumitory or Earth smoke

Habitat: Fumaria officinalis occurs in Europe and America. Parts of Asia, Australia and South Africa. It grows on arable land and as a weed in gardens, usually on lighter soils. It is also found growing on old walls.

Description:
Fumaria officinalis is an herbaceous annual plant, which grows weakly erect and scrambling, with stalks about 10 to 50 cm long. Its pink 7 to 9 mm flowers appear from April to October in the northern hemis phere. They are two lipped and spurred, with sepals running a quarter the length of the petals. The fruit is an achene. It contains alkaloids, potassium salts, and tannins. It is also a major source of fumaric acid….CLICK & SEE THE  PICTURES
Cultivation:
Prefers a light well-drained soil in a sunny position. This plant can be a common weed in some gardens, self-sowing freely, though it is fairly easy to control by hand weeding[K]. The flowers are seldom visited by insects, but they are self-fertile and usually set every seed.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ. There is normally very little need to sow this seed, the plant normally self-sows freely and should manage quite nicely by itself.

Part Used in medicines: The Herb.

Constituents:
The plant contains isoquinoline alkaloids protopine and allocryptopine. Both protopine and allocryptopine increased CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 mRNA levels in human hepatocyte cells. The use of products containing protopine and/or allocryptopine may be considered safe in terms of possible induction of CYP1A enzymes.

The leaves yield by expression a juice which has medicinal properties. An extract, prepared by evaporating the expressed juice, or a decoction of the leaves, throws out upon its surface a copious saline efflorescence. Fumaric acid was early identified as present, and its isomerism with maleic acid was established later. The alkaloid Fumarine has been believed to be identical with corydaline, but it differs both in formula and in its reaction to sulphuric and nitric acids. It occurs in colourless, tasteless crystals, freely soluble in chloroform, less so in benzine, still less so in alcohol and ether, sparingly soluble in water.

Edible Uses: ……Curdling agent.

The fresh or dried herb can be added to sour plant milks. A few sprays are added to each litre of liquid and left until the liquid has soured thickly. The sprays are then removed. It gives a tangy taste to the milk, acts as a preservative and prevents the rancid taste that can accompany soured milk.

Medicinal Uses:
A weak tonic, slightly diaphoretic, diuretic, and aperient; valuable in all visceral obstructions, particularly those of the liver, in scorbutic affections, and in troublesome eruptive diseases, even those of the leprous order. A decoction makes a curative lotion for milk-crust on the scalp of an infant. Physicians and writers from Dioscorides to Chaucer, and from the fourteenth century to Cullen and to modern times value its purifying power. The Japanese make a tonic from it. Cows and sheep eat it, and the latter are said to derive great benefit from it. The leaves, in decoction or extract, may be used in almost any doses. The inspissated juice has also been employed, also a syrup, powder, cataplasm, distilled water, and several tinctures.

French and German physicians still preferit to most other medicines as a purifier of the blood; while sometimes the dried leaves are smoked in the manner of tobacco, for disorders of the head. Dr. Cullen, among its good effects in cutaneous disorders, mentions the following:
‘There is a disorder of the skin, which, though not attended with any alarming symptoms of danger to the life of the patient, is thought to place the empire of beauty in great jeopardy; the complaint is frequently brought on by neglecting to use a parasol, and may be known by sandy spots, vulgarly known as freckles, scattered over the face. Now, be it known to all whom it may concern, that the infusion of the leaves of the abovedescribed plant is said to be an excellent specific for removing these freckles and clearing the skin; and ought, we think, to be chiefly employed by those who have previously removed those moral blemishes which deform the mind, or degrade the dignity of a reasonable and an immortal being.’

The herb has a stimulant action on the liver and gallbladder and is chiefly used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and exanthema.  Its action is probably due to a general cleansing mediated via the kidneys and liver.   It is also diuretic and mildly laxative.  Taken over a long period, it helps to cure depression.  Also used internally for biliary colic and migraine with digestive disturbances.  Externally used for conjunctivitis.

Other Uses:
 Dye & Baby care;

A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. A decoction makes a curative lotion for ‘milk-crust’ on the scalps of babies.

Caution: It was traditionally thought to be good for the eyes, and to remove skin blemishes. In modern times herbalists use it to treat skin diseases, and conjunctivitis; as well as to cleanse the kidneys. However, Howard (1987) warns that fumitory is poisonous and should only be used “under the direction of a medical herbalist.

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/Fumaria_officinalis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/fumito36.html

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

http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fumaria+officinalis

Honoring Passing Spaces

Saying Good-bye to a Home
Saying good-bye to a home or space is an important part of moving forward. It gives us a sense of completion.

When we move from one residence to another, we often get so caught up in the forward thrust of where we are going that we forget to properly say good-bye to the home we are leaving behind. Yet saying good-bye is an important part of moving forward. It gives us a sense of completion so that we are able to fully inhabit our new space, having left nothing of ourselves behind in the old one. In this way, we honor the space that has held and nurtured us. At the same time, we cleanse it and empty it of our energy so that the new residents can make the space theirs.

Plan a walk through your home that begins and ends at the front door. Ideally, you will be alone or accompanied only by a person who shared the space with you. Prepare yourself mentally to be as present as you can during this process. As you enter the house, you might say, “I have come to thank you for being my home and to say good-bye.” You might touch the walls with your hands as you move through the house, or you might burn sage as an offering, as well as an energy cleanser. Spend some time in each room expressing your gratitude and gathering or releasing any lingering energy from the room. As you do this, you are freeing your home to embrace its new occupants. Remember to visit your outside spaces as well. Plants are especially sensitive to the energy around them and will appreciate your consideration.

As you make your way back to the front door, know that you have completed your final journey through your home and that you have honored and blessed it with this ritual of farewell. As you close and lock the door behind you, say one last good-bye. Now you can walk freely into your future and fully inhabit the new spaces that will keep you safe and warm.

Source : Daily Om

Sharing Space and Energy

Cohabitating with Others
Our homes are our havens. These places where we come to rest, recharge, and dream in safety and comfort allow us to better face the challenges of the world outside our doors. When sharing a living space with others, an awareness of the thoughts and feelings of everyone involved is essential in creating the peace we all desire. Regardless of where we lived before, each time we cohabitate with others it is important that we make the effort to share the space in a way that supports everyone.

We need to remember that in a shared space, everything we sense can also be sensed by another person. Peace will not likely be the result when the senses are filled with the sight of unwashed plates, intrusive sounds, unpleasant smells, the feel of a foreign substance beneath bare feet, or the taste of food tainted by an uncovered onion in the fridge. But if we communicate and listen with respect to those with whom we share a space, we may find that one enjoys washing dishes to end the day, while the other can take out the garbage during their evening walk. Working with another’s schedule, you can still meditate or exercise to your favorite music while the other is out, and save reading for the times when they are trying to sleep. Being thoughtful of the energy that is required for something to be cleaned up may make everyone aware of being neater, whether that means taking off your shoes at the entrance or wiping up juice spilled on the kitchen floor.

In the same way, pent up resentment toward your living partners is just as easily felt. Keeping the energy clear requires the effort of communication, the awareness of another’s feelings, and courtesy toward the space you share. While that sometimes requires changing your schedule or habits, there are many times when having a caring someone nearby is worth all the effort. Living with others can help us learn to mingle our energies at home as well as at work and in the world at large in a way that benefits us and everyone around us.

Source: Daily Om

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Working with a Larger Energy

Going with the Flow ……..FLOWING RIVER
The expression going with the flow is a metaphor that applies to navigating a river. When we go with the flow, we follow the current of the river rather than push against it. People who go with the flow may be interpreted as lazy or passive, but to truly go with the flow requires awareness, presence, and the ability to blend one’s own energy with the prevailing energy. Going with the flow doesn’t mean we toss our oars into the water and kick back in the boat, hoping for the best. Going with the flow means we let go of our individual agenda and notice the play of energy all around us. We tap into that energy and flow with it, which gets us going where we need to go a whole lot faster than resistance will.

Going with the flow doesn’t mean that we don’t know where we’re going; it means that we are open to multiple ways of getting there. We are also open to changing our destination, clinging more to the essence of our goal than to the particulars. We acknowledge that letting go and modifying our plans is part of the process. Going with the flow means that we are aware of an energy that is larger than our small selves and we are open to working with it, not against it.

Many of us are afraid of going with the flow because we don’t trust that we will get where we want to go if we do. This causes us to cling to plans that aren’t working, stick to routes that are obstructed, and obsess over relationships that aren’t fulfilling. When you find yourself stuck in these kinds of patterns, do yourself a favor and open to the flow of what is rather than resisting it. Trust that the big river of your life has a plan for you and let it carry you onward. Throw overboard those things that are weighing you down. Be open to revising your maps. Take a deep breath and move into the current.

Source: Daily Om

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