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Herbs & Plants

Viburnum opulus

Botanical Name: Viburnum opulus
Family: Adoxaceae
Genus: Viburnum
Species: V. opulus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dipsacales

Synonyms: Cramp Bark. Snowball Tree. King’s Crown. High Cranberry. Red Elder. Rose Elder. Water Elder. May Rose. Whitsun Rose. Dog Rowan Tree. Silver Bells. Whitsun Bosses. Gaitre Berries. Black Haw.

Common Name: Guelder-rose, Cramp Bark , Stagbush, sweet viburnum, water elder, arrowwood

Other common names: Water elder, , Snowball tree and European cranberry bush

Part Used: Bark.

Habitat:The ‘Gaitre-Beries’ of which Chaucer makes mention among the plants that ‘shal be for your hele’ to ‘picke hem right as they grow and ete hem in,’ are the deep red clusters of berries of the Wild Guelder Rose (Viburnum Opulus, Linn.), a shrub growing 5 to 10 feet high, belonging to the same family as the Elder, found in copses and hedgerows throughout England, though rare in Scotland, and also indigenous to North America, where it is to be found in low grounds in the eastern United States.
It grows in hedges, scrub and woodland, usually on damp soils.
Description:
Viburnum opulus is a deciduous shrub growing to 4–5 m (13–16 ft) tall. The leaves are opposite, three-lobed, 5–10 cm (2–4 in) long and broad, with a rounded base and coarsely serrated margins; they are superficially similar to the leaves of some maples, most easily distinguished by their somewhat wrinkled surface with impressed leaf venation. The leaf buds are green, with valvate bud scales….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The hermaphrodite flowers are white, produced in corymbs 4–11 cm (2–4 in) in diameter at the top of the stems; each corymb comprises a ring of outer sterile flowers 1.5–2 cm in diameter with conspicuous petals, surrounding a center of small (5 mm), fertile flowers; the flowers are produced in early summer, and pollinated by insects. The fruit is a globose bright red drupe 7–10 mm diameter, containing a single seed. The seeds are dispersed by birds.
The bark is collected chiefly in northern Europe and appears in commerce in thin strips, sometimes in quills, 1/20 to 1/12 inch thick, greyish-brown externally, with scattered brownish warts, faintly cracked longitudinally. It has a strong, characteristic odour and its taste is mildly astringent and decidedly bitter.

Constituents: The active principle of Cramp Bark is the bitter glucoside Viburnine; it also contains tannin, resin and valerianic acid.
Edible Uses:
The fruit is edible in small quantities, with a very acidic taste; it can be used to make jelly. It is however very mildly toxic, and may cause vomiting or diarrhea if eaten in large amounts.

Medicinal Uses: The bark, known as Cramp Bark, is employed in herbal medicine. It used formerly to be included in the United States Pharmacopoeia, but is now omitted though it has been introduced into the National Formulary in the form of a Fluid Extract, Compound Tincture and Compound Elixir, for use as a nerve sedative and anti-spasmodic in asthma and hysteria.

In herbal practice in this country, its administration in decoction and infusion, as well as the fluid extract and compound tincture is recommended. It has been employed with benefit in all nervous complaints and debility and used with success in cramps and spasms of all kinds, in convulsions, fits and lockjaw, and also in palpitation, heart disease and rheumatism.

Crampbark is effective at relieving any over-tense muscle, whether smooth muscle in the intestines, airways, or uterus, or striated muscle in the limbs or back. It may be taken internally or applied topically to relieve muscle tension. The herb also treats symptoms arising from excess muscle tension, including breathing difficulties in asthma, and menstrual pain caused by excessive contraction of the uterus.. For night cramps and back pain, lobelia is often mixed with crampbark. The herb also relieves constipation, colic, and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as the physical symptoms of nervous tension. Useful as a protection against threatened miscarriage. Its astringent action gives it a role in the treatment of excessive blood loss in periods and especially bleeding associated with the menopause. In some cases of arthritis, where joint weakness and pain have caused muscles to contract until they are almost rigid, crampbark can bring remarkable relief. As the muscles relax, blood flow to the area improves, waste products such as lactic acid are removed and normal function can return. Crampbark is commonly used in treatments for high blood pressure and other circulatory conditions.

It is a specific remedy for pains in the thighs and back and a bearing-down, expulsive pain in the uterus, whether during pregnancy and childbirth or during menstruation. Crampbark combines well with bearberry for bladder infections with painful cramping and frequent urination with little passed.

For the relief of cramp it may be combined with Prickly Ash and Wild Yam. For uterine and ovarian pains or threatened miscarriage it may be used with Black Haw and Valerian. For bladder infections with painful cramping combine with bearberry.

Other uses:
The term cramp bark is related to the properties of the bark’s ability to reduce smooth muscle tightness. It is called cramp bark as relieving this type of muscle tightness is most often associated with relieving women’s menstrual (period) cramps. However, this can also be used during pregnancy for cramps or pain and general muscle cramping.

Cultural meaning:
Viburnum opulus (Kalyna) is one of the National symbols of Ukraine.   Mentions of the bush can be found throughout the Ukrainian folklore such as songs, picturesque art, Ukrainian embroidery, and others. Chervona Kalyna was the anthem of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. Kalyna Country is an ecomuseum in Canada.

This bush’s symbolic roots can be traced to the Slavic paganism of millennia ago. According to a legend Kalyna was associated with the birth of the Universe, the so-called Fire Trinity: the Sun, the Moon, and the Star.  Its berries symbolize blood and the undying trace of family roots. Kalyna is often depicted on the Ukrainian embroidery: towels and shirts. In Slavic paganism kalyna also represents the beauty of a young lady which rhymes well in the Ukrainian language: Ka-ly-na – Div-chy-na. That consistency was reviewed by numerous Ukrainian folklorists such as Nikolay Kostomarov, Oleksandr Potebnia (founder of the Kharkiv Linguistic.
Known Hazards : Large quantities of the fruit can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. The fruit is of very low or zero toxicity, it only causes mild upsets when eaten unripe or in large quantities.

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/Viburnum_opulus
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/gueros44.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Viburnum+opulus

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

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Herbs & Plants

Crampbark

Botanical Name :Viburnum opulus
Family: Adoxaceae
Genus:
Viburnum
Species:
V. opulus
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Dipsacales

Common Names :Cramp Bark, Guelder Rose , Highbush Cranberry, Snowball Bush, Viburnum opulus , Red Elder, Water Elder, May Rose, Whitsun Rose, Dog Rowan Tree, Silver Bells, Whitsun Bosses, Gaitre Berries.Crampbark, Cranberry Bush,Cranberry Tree, Guelder Rose, Pembina, Pimbina,Whitten Tree. Indian name : Udvests chala

Habitat : Crampbark is indigenous to Europe as well as North America and is also found growing in the northern regions of Africa and Asia. It grows in woodlands, low grounds, thickets, and hedges . It prefers moist soils and full sun.

Description:
Crampbark is a deciduous shrub  and usually grows up to a height of 4 meters to 5 meters. The leaves of this herb appear opposite to each other on the stalk and each leaf has three lobes that are about 5 cm to 10 cm in length and width having a smooth base and roughly indented margins. The leaves of crampbark have resemblance to those of some varieties of maples and can be told apart very easily by means of their rather creased surface having underlying network of veins on the leaf. The leaf buds of crampbark are green in color and have bud scales that meet without overlying (valvate).
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It bears white flowers possessing both the male as well as the female parts (hermaphrodite). The flowers are produced in a type of inflorescence called corymbs that are about 4 cm to 11 cm across at the apex of the stems. Every corymb includes an outer circle of sterile flowers that is about 1.5 cm to 2 cm across having very noticeable petals, which encircle a small center of fertile flowers. This center of small flowers is about 5 mm in diameter. Crampbark blossoms during the beginning of the summer and is mainly insect-pollinated. The fruit of crampbark has the shape of a globe and is actually a vividly red drupe that measures about 7 mm to 10 mm across. The fruits of this shrub enclose a solitary seed, which is scattered by birds for propagation.

The flowers are large up to 3 to 5 inches’s, flat-topped clusters of white or reddish-white florets. The inner florets are tiny, complete flowers while the florets along the outer edge of the cluster are bigger and showy . The leaves are broadly triangular shaped at base, and and turn a rich purple color in the fall. The ripe red berries are high in vitamin C, but if uncooked,are poisonous. The bark has a strong smell and a bitter, astringent taste.

Cultural meaning:
Viburnum opulus (Kalyna) is one of the National symbols of Ukraine. Mentions of the bush can be found throughout the Ukrainian folklore such as songs, picturesque art, Ukrainian embroidery, and others. Chervona Kalyna was the anthem of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. Kalyna Country is an ecomuseum in Canada.

This bush’s symbolic roots can be traced to the Slavic paganism of millennia ago. According to a legend Kalyna was associated with the birth of the Universe, the so-called Fire Trinity: the Sun, the Moon, and the Star. Its berries symbolize blood and the undying trace of family roots. Kalyna is often depicted on the Ukrainian embroidery: towels and shirts. In Slavic paganism kalyna also represents the beauty of a young lady which rhymes well in the Ukrainian language: Ka-ly-na – Div-chy-na. That consistency was reviewed by numerous Ukrainian folklorists such as Nikolay Kostomarov, Aleksandr Potebnia (founder of the Kharkiv Linguistic School).

Edible Uses: The fruit  is edible in small quantities, with a very acidic taste; it can be used to make jelly. It is however very mildly toxic, and may cause vomiting or diarrhea if eaten in large amounts.

Medicinal Uses:

Parts used: Bark from branches.

Cramp bark can be used in two ways Firstly it is used to cure muscular cramps and uterine muscle disorders. Secondly it may be used to treat threatened miscarriage.It play a good role as a astringent & treat the excessive blood loss in periods . It relaxes the uterus and smoothe the painful cramps associated with menstruation. It has been used with success in cramps and spasms of all types, in convulsions, fits and lockjaw, and also in irregular heart beat, heart disease and rheumatism.

It is very efficacious treatment of all types such as breathing difficulties associated with asthma ,colic , spastic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and the physical indications of nervous tension , hysteria, cramps of the limbs or other parts in females, especially in the time of pregnancy, It is thought that cramp bark is a effective for the prevention of abortion , and to make the way for the process of parturition.In some cases of migraine cramp bark works effectively.

crampbark is used to ease the symptoms of various conditions related to spasms in the stomach, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is also used to treat conditions related to the respiratory system, such as loosening up the airways in the instance of asthma and, also employed for treating the musculoskeletal system to provide respite from tension/ stress in the case of pain caused by arthritis. Crampbark is also used in conjunction with various other herbs for treating problems related to the cardiovascular system as well as to lower high blood pressure (hypertension).

Cramp bark is most used to ebb cramps, along with menstrual cramps, muscle cramps, and stomach cramps. Cramp Bark will relax the uterus and so ebb painful cramps associated with dysmenorrhoea disorders. It has astringent property which works effectively to treat excessive blood loss in periods and especially bleeding associated with the menopause .

The US National Formulary documented crampbark as late as in the 1960s in the form of a tranquilizer for conditions related to the nervous system as well as in the form of an antispasmodic in treating asthma. As the name ‘crampbark’ suggests, the therapeutic use of this herb is primarily related to easing cramps as well as other conditions, for instance, painful menstruation due to excessive tightening of the muscles as well as colic.

While crampbark may be used internally as well as externally on its own, often it is also combined with other herbs to treat specific conditions. For instance, the bark is combined with wild yam and prickly ash to ease cramps. In order to ease ovarian and uterine pain or even susceptible miscarriage, crampbark may well be used in combination with valerian and black haw.

Side Effects:
Using of cramp bark during pregnancy,( when the blood pressure is low ) is not recommended.

Women who are lactating (breast-feeding) should not use cramp bark without consulting a physician.

It may cause nausea or skin rash, if use more than two cups per day for three consecutive days.

Side effects occurring from the use of cramp bark have not been shown in the medical literature. However, since some reliable scientific studies involving the use of cramp bark have been done in humans, it may have side effects that are not yet known. If the person feel unexplained side effects while using cramp bark, one should stop taking it and consult doctor .

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.health-care-tips.org/herbal-medicines/cramp-bark.htm
http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_crampbark.htm
http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_crampbark.htm

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

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Herbs & Plants

Viburnum dilatatum

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Botanical Name :Viburnum dilatatum
Family :
Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle family)/Adoxaceae
Genus:
Viburnum
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Dipsacales

Common Name :Linden Viburnum

Habitat : Native to  E. Asia – China, Japan. Grows in thickets in hills and at low elevations in mountains in Japan

Description:
A scruffy multi-stemmed deciduous shrub, upright to rounded, 8-10 ft. tall by 6-10 ft. across.
Leaves are opposite, dark green, shiny, with shallowly toothed margins, nearly round to straplike, 2-5 in. long by 1-2½ in. wide; usually covered in soft hairs; leaves drop relatively late in the fall.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Flowers are small creamy white  in numerous flattened clusters 3-5 in. wide; May to early June; fruits are bright red, flattened spheres, about 1/3 in. wide.

It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower in June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is not self-fertile.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. 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:
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils but is ill-adapted for poor soils and for dry situations. It prefers a deep rich loamy soil in sun or semi-shade. Best if given shade from the early morning sun in spring. Plants are self-incompatible and need to grow close to a genetically distinct plant in the same species in order to produce fruit and fertile seed. A very ornamental and polymorphic species, there are some named varieties developed for the ornamental value of the fruit.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Germination can be slow, sometimes taking more than 18 months. If the seed is harvested ‘green’ (when it has fully developed but before it has fully ripened) and sown immediately in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring. Stored seed will require 2 months warm then 3 months cold stratification and can still take 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame or greenhouse. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of soft-wood, early summer in a frame. Pot up into individual pots once they start to root and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8 cm long with a heel if possible, July/August in a frame. Plant them into individual pots as soon as they start to root. These cuttings can be difficult to overwinter, it is best to keep them in a greenhouse or cold frame until the following spring before planting them out. Cuttings of mature wood, winter in a frame. They should root in early spring – pot them up when large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer if sufficient new growth is made, otherwise keep them in a cold frame for the next winter and then plant them out in the spring. Layering of current seasons growth in July/August. Takes 15 months

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves.

Fruit – raw or cooked. A sweet flavour. The ovoid fruit is about 8mm long and contains a single large seed. Leaves – cooked

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Astringent; Vulnerary.

A decoction of the leaves is astringent and vermifuge. It is used for washing and healing maggoty sores. The twigs are also vermifuge whilst the fruits are used as a vermifuge for children.

Other Uses:
Fibre.

A fibre obtained from the inner bark is used for making ropes

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://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Viburnum+dilatatum

Click to access Viburnum%20dilatatum_Invasive%20Plants%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf


http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/pubs/midatlantic/vidi.htm

http://aquiya.sakura.ne.jp/zukan/Viburnum_dilatatum.html

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

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Herbs & Plants

Black Haw (Viburnum prunifolum )

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Botanical Name :Viburnum prunifolum
Family: Adoxaceae/CAPRIFOLIACEAE Honeysuckle
Genus: Viburnum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dipsacales
Species: V. prunifolium

Common Names
Black Haw , Stagbush, sweet viburnum, guelder-rose, water elder, arrowwood

Habotat :Native to southeastern North America, from Connecticut west to eastern Kansas, and south to Alabama and Texas.

Description:
It is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 2–9 m tall with a short crooked trunk and stout spreading branches; in the northern parts of its range, it is a shrub, becoming a small tree in the southern parts of its range. The bark is reddish-brown, very rough on old stems. The branchlets are red at first, then green, finally dark brown tinged with red. The winter buds are coated with rusty tomentum. The flower buds ovate, 1 cm long, much larger than the axillary buds. The leaves are simple, up to 9 cm long and 6 cm broad, oval, ovate or orbicular, wedge-shaped or rounded at base, serrate, acute, with serrated edges with a grooved and slightly winged red petiole 1.5 cm long; they turn red in fall. The leaves are superficially similar to some species of Prunus (thus “prunifolium”); they come out of the bud involute, shining, green, tinged with red, sometimes smooth, or clothed with rusty tomentum; when full grown dark green and smooth above, pale, smooth or tomentose beneath.
click to see the pictures.>..…(001)……(01)….....(1)..…....(2)..……...(3).....(4).….…(5)…..

The flowers are creamy white, 9 mm diameter; the calyx is urn-shaped, five-toothed, persistent; the corolla is five-lobed, with rounded lobes, imbricate in bud; the five stamens alternate with the corolla lobes, the filaments slender, the anthers pale yellow, oblong, two-celled, the cells opening longitudinally; the ovary is inferior, one-celled, with a thick, pale green style and a flat stigma and a single ovule. The flowers are borne in flat-topped cymes 10 cm in diameter in mid to late spring. The fruit is a drupe 1 cm long, dark blue-black with glaucous bloom, hangs until winter, becomes edible after being frosted, then eaten by birds; the stone is flat and even, broadly oval. Wherever it lives, black haw prefers sunny woodland with well-drained soil and adequate water.

Uses :
It has both value in the pleasure garden, providing good fall color and early winter provender for birds, and medicinal properties.

It has hybridized with Viburnum lentago in cultivation, to give the garden hybrid Viburnum × jackii.

The wood is brown tinged with red; heavy, hard, close-grained with a density of 0.8332.

Benefits:

•Flowers provide nectar for butterflies and other pollinators
•Plants provide excellent nesting sites and cover for birds
•Red-purple foliage contrasts with blue-black fruit in the fall
•Berries are a great source of food for birds and other wildlife in fall
•Grows well in dry soil

Cultivation:
*Easy to grow in full sun or part shade.
*Plant in well-drained, dry to average soil. Tolerates drought.
*Prune immediately after flowering since flower buds form in summer for the following year.
*Can be grown as a large, multi-stemmed shrub or small tree.

Medicinal uses:
For centuries, black haw has been used for medical purposes, mainly for gynecological conditions. The bark is the part of the plant used in treatments.

The active components include scopoletin, aesculetin, salicin, 1-methyl-2,3 clibutyl hemimellitate, and viburnin. Tannin is another chemical component of black haw.

Native Americans used a decoction of black haw to treat gynecological conditions, including menstrual cramps, aiding recovery after childbirth, and in treating the effects of menopause. As a folk remedy, black haw has been used to treat menstrual pain, and morning sickness. Due to its antispasmodic properties, the plant may also be of use in treating cramps of the digestive tract or the bile ducts.

Black haw’s primary use was to prevent miscarriages. American slaveholders also used the plant to prevent abortions. Slaves were a valuable asset, and their owner also owned their offspring, so ensuring that female slaves gave birth was of paramount importance. In defiance, some slave women would attempt to use cotton seeds to cause a miscarriage. The slaveowners would therefore force pregnant slaves to drink an infusion of black haw to prevent that.

The primary use of black haw today is to prevent menstrual cramps. The salicin in black haw may also be of use in pain relief.

Black haw Viburnum prunifolum and cramp bark V. opulus act in similar ways and both have a long history of use by Native and pioneer women to prevent threaten miscarriage, relieve uterine cramps, and painful periods. Black haw is a stronger uterine relaxant than cramp bark, and large or frequent doses may lower blood pressure. The herb is also included in herbal mixtures for treating asthma. These tradition uses are born out with modern chemical analysis, both viburnums contain phytochemicals that facilitate uterine relaxation, two of which (aesculetin and scopoletin) also work against muscle spasms, and the pain-relieving salicin in the herb is also closely related to aspirin.

Side Effects:

Some evidence suggests black haw may aggrevate tinnitus. Not recommend for use for those with kidney stones

Safety issues
Like many other plants, including many food plants and those used as culinary herbs, black haw contains salicin, a chemical relative of aspirin. Those who are allergic to that substance should not use black haw. In addition, due to the connection between aspirin and Reye’s syndrome, young people or people afflicted with a viral disease should not use black haw.

The chemicals in black haw do relax the uterus and therefore probably prevent miscarriage; however, the salicin may be teratogenic. Consequently, pregnant women should not use black haw in the first two trimesters.Furthermore, anyone using herbs for medical reasons should only use them under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.

Black haw is not on the “generally recognized as safe list” of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail71.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viburnum_prunifolium
http://www.abnativeplants.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/plants.plantdetail/plant_ID/20/index.htm
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=VIPR&photoID=vipr_006_avp.jpg

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