Tag Archives: Thyme

Teucrium scordium

Botanical Name: Teucrium scordium
Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Ajugoideae
Genus: Teucrium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name: Water Germander

Habitat: Teucrium scordium is native to Europe, including Britain, from Sweden south and east to France, W. Siberia and Serbia. It grows on the Banks of rivers and ditches on calcareous soils and on dune slacks. A rare plant in Britain.

Description:
Teucrium scordium is a perennial plant growing to 0.6 m (2ft). It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, self.The plant is self-fertile.

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The square, hairy stalks, are of a dirty green colour and very weak. The leaves are short, broad, woolly and soft, and indented at the edges. The flowers are small, of a purplish-rose colour, in whorls, in the axils of the leaves. It flowers in July and August.

The whole plant is bitter and slightly aromatic.

The fresh leaves, when rubbed, have a penetrating odour, like Garlic, and it is said that when cows eat it through hunger, it gives the flavour of Garlic to their milk.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in any moderately good soil. See notes on the plants habitat for more ideas on its needs. Water germander was at one time cultivated in gardens as a medicinal herb, though it has fallen into disuse. The crushed plant has a penetrating odour that is somewhat like garlic. It is said to taint the milk if eaten by cows.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer if they are large enough. Otherwise, grow them on in a cold frame for the winter and plant them out in the following spring. Division in early spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame.

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Antidiarrhoeal; Antifungal; Antiseptic; Diaphoretic; Skin; TB; Tonic.

The herb is anthelmintic, antifungal, antiseptic, diaphoretic, skin, tonic. Water germander was at one time esteemed as an antidote for poisons and also as an antiseptic and anthelmintic, though it is scarcely used nowadays. However, its tonic and diaphoretic actions make it an excellent remedy for all inflammatory diseases. It us also used in the treatment of TB.

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/Teucrium
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/gerwat12.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Teucrium+scordium

Linum perenne

Botanical Name: Linum perenne
Family: Linaceae
Genus: Linum
Species: L. perenne
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Other Names: Perennial flax, Blue flax or Lint

Habitat: Linum perenne is native to Europe, primarily in the Alps and locally in England.

Description:
Linum perenne is a slender herbaceous perennial plant growing to 60 cm tall, with spirally arranged narrow lanceolate leaves 1–2.5 cm long. The flowers are pale blue, 2–2.5 cm diameter, with five petals.

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The English populations are sometimes distinguished as Linum perenne subsp. anglicum and high altitude populations in the Alps as Linum perenne subsp. alpinum. The similar western North American species Linum lewisii is sometimes treated as a subspecies of L. perenne.

Medicinal Uses:      Fluid extract of Linum perenne… 10 to 30 drops.
A tincture is also made from the entire fresh plant, 2 or 3 drops in water being given every hour or two for diarrhoea.

Country people boil the fresh herb and take it for rheumatic pains, colds, coughs and dropsy.

The Perennial Flax is a native plant not uncommon in some parts of the country upon calcareous soils. It grows about 2 feet in height and is readily distinguished from the annual kind by its paler flowers and narrower leaves. The rootstock usually throws up many stems. It flowers in July.

This species has been recommended for cultivation as a fibre plant, but it has been little adopted, the fibre being coarser and the seeds smaller than those of the Common Flax.

As the plant will last several years and yields an abundant crop of stems, it might be advantageously grown for paper making.

The seeds contain the same kind of oil as the ordinary species.

The All-Seed or Flax-Seed (Radiola linoides) belongs to the Flax family also; it is a minute annual with very fine, repeatedly forked branches. The leaves are opposite. Flowers in clusters very small, and seeding abundantly. It occurs inland on gravelly and sandy places, but is not common, from the Orkneys to Cornwall, e.g., near St. Ives, on the hills, and in the New Forest, near Lyndhurst.

Culpepper mentions remedies which include ‘Lin-seed,’ more than once – usually in the form of ‘mussilage of Lin-seed’; in one he mentions ‘the seeds of Flax’ and (later in the same prescription) ‘Linseed.’ He says it ‘heats and moistens, helps pains of the breast, coming cold and pleurises, old aches, and stitches, and softens hard swellings.’
Resources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/flaper25.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linum_perenne

Wild thyme

Botanical Name :Thymus serpyllum
Family:    Lamiaceae
Genus:    Thymus
Species:T. serpyllum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Lamiales

Synonyms: Other of Thyme. Serpyllum.

Common Names : Wild thyme , Creeping thyme, Breckland thyme,

Habitat:
Wild thyme is native to the palearctic zone of Europe and Asia. It is a plant of thin soils and can be found growing on sandy-soiled heaths, rocky outcrops, hills, banks, roadsides and riverside sand banks.

Description:
Wild thyme is a creeping dwarf evergreen shrub with woody stems and a taproot. It forms matlike plants that root from the nodes of the squarish, limp stems. The leaves are in opposite pairs, nearly stalkless, with linear elliptic round-tipped blades and untoothed margins. The plant sends up erect flowering shoots in summer. The usually pink or mauve flowers have a tube-like calyx and an irregular straight-tubed, hairy corolla. The upper petal is notched and the lower one is larger than the two lateral petals and has three flattened lobes which form a lip. Each flower has four projecting stamens and two fused carpels. The fruit is a dry, four-chambered schizocarp….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation: Wild Thyme will grow on any soil, but prefers light, sandy or gravel ground exposed to the sun.

Propagate by seeds, cuttings, or division of roots. Care must be taken to weed. Manure with farmyard manure in autumn or winter and nitrates in spring.

Cut when in full flower, in July and August, and dry in the same manner as Common Thyme.It is much picked in France, chiefly in the fields of the Aisne, for the extraction of its essential oil.

Propagation:         
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Seed can also be sown in autumn in a greenhouse. Surface sow or barely cover the seed. Germination can be erratic. 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. Division in spring or autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring. Cuttings of young shoots, 5 – 8cm with a heel, May/June in a frame. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Layering.

Edible  Uses:
Leaves are eaten raw in salads or added as a flavouring to cooked foods. Thyme retains its flavour well in long slow cooking. If the leaves are to be dried, the plants should be harvested in early and late summer just before the flowers open and the leaves should be dried quickly. An aromatic tea is made from the leaves.

Constituents;
When distilled, 100 kilos (about 225 lb.) of dried material yield 150 grams of essence (about 5 or 6 OZ.). It is a yellow liquid, with a weaker scent than that of oil of Thyme extracted from T. vulgaris, and is called oil of Serpolet. It contains 30 to 70 per cent of phenols: Thymol, Carvacrol, etc. It is made into an artificial oil, together with the oil of Common Thyme. In perfumery, oil of Serpolet is chiefly used for soap.

The flowering tops, macerated for 24 hours or so in salt and water, are made into a perfumed water.

Medicinal Uses:
In medicine, Wild Thyme or Serpolet has the same properties as Common Thyme, but to an inferior degree. It is aromatic, antiseptic, stimulant, antispasmodic, diuretic and emmenagogue.

The infusion is used for chest maladies and for weak digestion, being a good remedy for flatulence, and favourable results have been obtained in convulsive coughs, especially in whooping cough, catarrh and sore throat. The infusion, prepared with 1 OZ. of the dried herb to a pint of boiling water, is usually sweetened with sugar or honey and made demulcent by linseed or acacia. It is given in doses of 1 or more tablespoonfuls several times daily.

The infusion is also useful in cases of drunkenness, and Culpepper recommends it as a certain remedy taken on going to bed for ‘that troublesome complaint the nightmare,’ and says: ‘if you make a vinegar of the herb as vinegar of roses is made and annoint the head with it, it presently stops the pains thereof. It is very good to be given either in phrenzy or lethargy.’

Wild Thyme Tea, either drunk by itself or mixed with other plants such as rosemary, etc., is an excellent remedy for headache and other nervous affections.

Formerly several preparations of this plant were kept in shops, and a distilled spirit and water, which were both very fragrant.

 Other Uses:  Wild thyme is one of the plants on which the large blue butterfly larvae feed and it is also attractive to bees.Creeping and mounding variants of T. serpyllum are used as border plants and ground cover around gardens and stone paths. It may also be used to replace a bluegrass lawn to xeriscape low to moderate foot traffic areas due to its tolerance for low water and poor soils.

Numerous cultivars have been produced, of which ‘Pink Chintz’ has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.  A miniature creeping form is ‘Elfin’

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thymus_serpyllum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/thywil17.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Thymus+serpyllum

Indian chickweed


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.

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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

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Sweet Wormwood(Artemisia annu)

Botanical Name:Artemisia annu

Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. annua
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names:Sweet Wormwood, Sweet Annie, Sweet Sagewort or Annual Wormwood.   Annual sagebrush ,  Chinese wormwood,   qing hao

Habitat :Sweet Wormwood is a common type of wormwood that is native to temperate Asia, but naturalized throughout the world.

Description:
It has fern-like leaves, bright yellow flowers, and a camphor-like scent. Its height averages about 2 m tall, and the plant has a single stem, alternating branches, and alternating leaves which range 2.5–5 cm in length. It is cross-pollinated by wind or insects. It is a diploid plant with chromosome number, 2n=18.Sweet Wormwood  has leaves that are mildly perfume scented.
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Medicinal uses:
Medicinal properties: bitter   febrifuge   antimalarial   antibiotic
Parts Used: Leaves

Sweet Wormwood was used by Chinese herbalists in ancient times to treat fever, but had fallen out of common use, but was rediscovered in 1970’s when the Chinese Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergency Treatments (340 AD) was found. This pharmacopeia contained recipes for a tea from dried leaves, prescribed for fevers (not specifically malaria).

Extractions:
In 1971, scientists demonstrated that the plant extracts had antimalarial activity in primate models, and in 1972 the active ingredient, artemisinin (formerly referred to as arteannuin), was isolated and its chemical structure described. Artemisinin may be extracted using a low boiling point solvent such as diethylether and is found in the glandular trichomes of the leaves, stems, and inflorescences, and it is concentrated in the upper portions of plant within new growth.

Parasite treatment:
It is commonly used in tropical nations which can afford it, preferentially as part of a combination-cocktail with other antimalarials in order to prevent the development of parasite resistance.

Malaria treatment:
Artemisinin itself is a sesquiterpene lactone with an endoperoxide bridge and has been produced semi-synthetically as an antimalarial drug. The efficacy of tea made from A. annua in the treatment of malaria is contentious. According to some authors, artemesinin is not soluble in water and the concentrations in these infusions are considered insufficient to treatment malaria. Other researchers have claimed that Artemisia annua contains a cocktail of anti-malarial substances, and insist that clinical trials be conducted to demonstrate scientifically that artemisia tea is effective in treating malaria. This simpler use may be a cheaper alternative to commercial pharmaceuticals, and may enable health dispensaries in the tropics to be more self-reliant in their malaria treatment. In 2004, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health changed Ethiopia’s first line anti-malaria drug from Fansidar, a Sulfadoxine agent which has an average 36% treatment failure rate, to Coartem, a drug therapy containing artemesinin which is 100% effective when used correctly, despite a worldwide shortage at the time of the needed derivative from A. annua.

Cancer treatment:
The plant has also been shown to have anti-cancer properties. It is said to have the ability to be selectively toxic to some breast cancer cells [Cancer Research 65:(23).Dec 1, 2005] and some form of prostate cancer, there have been exciting preclinical results against leukemia, and other cancer cells.

Mechanism:
The proposed mechanism of action of artemisinin involves cleavage of endoperoxide bridges by iron producing free radicals (hypervalent iron-oxo species, epoxides, aldehydes, and dicarbonyl compounds) which damage biological macromolecules causing oxidative stress in the cells of the parasite.[citation needed] Malaria is caused by Apicomplexans, primarily Plasmodium falciparum, which largely resides in red blood cells and itself contains iron-rich heme-groups (in the from of hemozoin).

Precaution:During pregnancy this herb should not used.

Other uses:
In modern-day central China, specifically Hubei Province, the stems of this wormwood are used as food in a salad-like form. The final product, literally termed “cold-mixed wormwood”, is a slightly bitter salad with strong acid overtones from the spiced rice vinegar used as a marinade. It is considered a delicacy and is typically more expensive to buy than meat.

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/Artemisia_annua
http://www.crescentbloom.com/Plants/Specimen/AO/Artemisia%20annua.htm

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