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Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Liquidambar formosana

Botanical Name : Liquidambar formosana
Family: 
Altingiaceae
Genus: 
Liquidambar
Species:
L. formosana
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order: 
Saxifragales

Synonyms: Liquidambar acerifolia.

Common Names: Chinese sweet gum or Formosan gum,, Formosa Sweet Gum

Habitat : Liquidambar formosana is native to E. Asia – Central and southern China from Taiwan to south-west Sichuan. It grows mostly in woodland in warm temperate zones. It requires moist soil and can grow in light to no shade areas.

Description:
Liquidambar formosana is a large, native, deciduous tree that grows up to 30-40m tall. The leaves are 10~15 cm wide., and are three-lobed unlike five- to seven-lobed leaves of most American Liquidambar species. The foliage of the L. formosana turns a very attractive red color in autumn. Leaves grow in an alternate arrangement, and are simple, palmately-veined, with serrated margins. Roots can be aggressive and branches are usually covered with corky projections. The individual flowers of L. formosana are monoecious. However, both sexes can be found in the same plant. Male flowers are in catkins, female flowers form dense spherical heads, and the fruit is burr-like because of the persistent styles.  CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

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Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Aggressive surface roots possible, Specimen. Prefers a moist but not swampy loam in a sunny sheltered position. Succeeds in light shade[188]. Requires a deep fertile soil. Prefers a neutral to acid soil, growing poorly on shallow soils overlying chalk. Not all introductions of this species are hardy[11]. The Monticola group, which comes from western Hubei and north-eastern Sichuan, tolerates temperatures lower than -5°c. Young plants are susceptible to frost damage and should be protected for their first few years. This species resents root disturbance, young plants should be pot-grown and be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Harvest the seed capsules at the end of October or November, dry in a warm place and extract the seed by shaking the capsule. Stored seed requires 1 – 3 months stratification and sometimes takes 2 years to germinate. Sow it as early in the year as possible. Germination rates are often poor. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame or greenhouse for their first winter. Since they resent root disturbance, it is best to plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer of their second year and give them some protection from cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Suckers in early spring. Layering in October/November. Takes 12 months.

Medicinal Uses:
Liquidambar formosana has many medicinal uses. The leaves and roots are used in the treatment of cancerous growths. The stem bark is used in the treatment of fluxes and skin diseases. The fruits used in the treatment of arthritis, lumbago, oedema, oliguria, and decreased milk production and skin diseases. The resin from the stems is used to treat bleeding boils, carbuncles, toothache and tuberculosis. The trunk of this tree can be used for aromatic resin. The extract of this resin is used to promote blood circulation and relieve pain.

The stem bark is used in the treatment of fluxes and skin diseases. The fruits are antirheumatic, diuretic and galactogogue. They are used in the treatment of arthritis, lumbago, oedema, oliguria, decreased milk production and skin diseases. The root is used in the treatment of cancerous growths. The resin from the stems is used to treat bleeding boils, carbuncles, toothache and tuberculosis.

Other Uses :Liquidambar formosana is a rare in cultivation but in its native regions the wood is used for making tea chests and the leaves to feed silk worms. An aromatic resin is obtained from the trunk of this tree. It forms in cavities of the bark and is harvested in autumn. It is used medicinally. Wood. Used to make tea chests for higher grade teas.

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/Liquidambar_formosana
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Liquidambar+formosana

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Herbs & Plants

Cerbera manghas

 

Botanical Name : Cerbera manghas
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Cerbera
Species: C. manghas
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Names: Cerbera , Sea mango

Indigenous Names:
*Madagascar – Tanguin, Samanta, Tangena
*Samoa – Leva
*Tonga – Toto
*Fiji – Vasa
*Indonesia, Malay, Sunda – Bintaro….CLICK & SEE :
*Sri Lanka /Sinhalese – Kaduru
*Japan / Ryukyuan – Mifukuragi (also applied for the Japanese common name of this species

Habitat:
Cerbera manghas is naturally distributed from the Seychelle Islands in the Indian Ocean eastward to French Polynesia. It occupies
coastal habitats and is often associated with mangrove forests.This tree has been introduced to Hawaii and other tropical locations as an
ornamental.
Description:
Cerbera manghas is a shrub or a small to medium-sized tree up to 12 metres (39 ft) tall with white latex in all parts, glabrous; bole up to 70 cm in diameter; bark thick,
rough, peeling off, with large lenticels, grey to dark brown; branches thick and succulent, with many conspicuous leaf scars. Leaves   arranged spirally, clustered at the ends of branches, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole 1–4.5 cm long; blade narrowly obovate, 5–30  cm × 1–8 cm, cuneate at base, shortly acuminate at apex, leathery, pinnately veined with 15–40 pairs of lateral veins. Inflorescence a  terminal cyme up to 25 cm × 15 cm, many-flowered; peduncle 1.5–12 cm long; bracts about as long as sepals, deciduous. Flowers bisexual,  regular, 5-merous, fragrant; pedicel 0.5–3 cm long; sepals ovate or obovate, (0.5–)1–3.5 cm × c. 0.5 cm, spreading to recurved; corolla tube  funnel-shaped, 1.5–5.5 cm long, widened at apex, pale green with white or pale yellow scales in the throat, hairy inside, lobes obliquely  elliptical or obovate, 1.5–3 cm × 1–2 cm, spreading to recurved, white but pink at base; stamens inserted just below the top of corolla tube, included, covered by scales of corolla tube, anthers sessile; ovary superior, globose, consisting of 2 separate carpels, style long and slender,  pistil head consisting of a 5-ridged basal part, a veil and a cone-shaped apex. Fruit consisting of 1 or 2 separate or basally fused, drupe-like,  ellipsoid follicles 5–12 cm × 3–7 cm, rounded at both ends, dark red when mature, indehiscent, usually 1-seeded. Seed flattened orbicular, c.  2.5 cm in diameter, with small wing at apex. Seedling with hypogeal germination..CLICK & SEE :
The flowers of Cerbera manghas are pollinated by insects. The fruits, which are fibrous inside, float in water and can be distributed by sea  currents; they are quite commonly washed up on shores…..…CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Properties:

The seeds contain glycosides derived from the cardenolides tanghinigenin and digitoxigenin, such as cerberin, neriifolin, thevetin B and 2’-O-acetyl-thevetin B. The principal cardenolides contained in the bark and roots are gentiobiosyl-thevetoside and glucosyl-thevetoside along with other thevetosides derived from tanghinigenin. The amount of cardenolides in the leaves varies according to the season. Some of the cardenolides showed antiproliferative activity against human colon cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer and epidermoid carcinoma cell lines, as well as anti-oestrogenic activity. Cerberin acts on plain muscle preparations as a definite stimulant both with regard to tone and peristaltic movements. As such it behaves as a parasympatomimetic poison. It acts on both the rhythm and amplitude of the heart. In moderate doses cerberin has positive inotropic properties, but in high, toxic doses it produces a negative inotropic and chronotropic effect. Phytochemical investigations also revealed the presence of a series of lignans derived from olivil (cerberalignans) and monoterpenoids such as cerberidol. Ethanolic extracts of Cerbera manghas have shown selective activity against vesicular stomatis virus (VSV). Olivil, carinol and cycloolivil showed antioxidant activities.
The wood is lightweight to medium-weight, with the white to pale yellow-brown heartwood not demarcated from the sapwood; grain is straight to slightly interlocked, texture fine and uneven. The shrinkage upon seasoning is moderate, and the wood works easily. It is not durable, highly susceptible to blue-staining fungi, and resistant to preservative treatment under pressure.

Medicinal Uses:
Used much like digitalis.
The seeds of Cerbera manghas are used in traditional medicine in Madagascar to treat cardiac disorders. However they are very poisonous and were used until the middle of the 19th century as ordeal poison. In tropical Asia the seeds are used to treat scabies and itch, to prepare a hair tonic and as fish poison, the bark is used as a laxative and antipyretic and in the treatment of dysuria and ringworm, the flowers to treat haemorrhoids, and roots, bark and leaves to prepare a purgative.

Other Uses:
In Sri Lanka, this wood is used for making masks particularly because it is a light wood. The wood is also used in tropical Asia for mouldings, interior trim, fruit cases, core veneer, matches, shuttering, clogs, plain furniture and carving, and also for charcoal. Cerbera manghas is planted as an ornamental and the fibrous fruits, of which the skin and soft parts have decayed, are used in flower arrangements.

Mythology:.…….Because of its deadly poisonous seeds, the genus name is derived from Cerberus, the hell dog from the Greek mythology, thus
indicating the toxicity of the seeds. In Madagascar, the seeds were used in sentence rituals to poison kings and queens.

Known Hazards: ……Poison….The leaves and the fruits contain the potent cardiac glycoside cerberin, which is extremely poisonous if   ingested.

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/Cerbera_manghas
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://uses.plantnet-project.org/en/Cerbera_manghas_(PROTA)