Herbs & Plants

Magnolia liliiflora

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Botanical Name : Magnolia liliiflora
Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Magnolia
Subgenus: M. subg. Yulania
Section: M. sect. Yulania subsect. Yulania
Species: M. liliiflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Magnoliales

Synonyms : M. obovata. non Thunb. M. purpurea. M. quinquepeta. (Buc-Holz.)Dandy. Lassonia quinquepeta.

Common Names : Mu-Lan, Woody Orchid, Lily Magnolia,Mulan magnolia, Purple magnolia, Red magnolia, Lily magnolia, Tulip magnolia, Jane magnolia and Woody-orchid

Habitat: Magnolia liliiflora is native to southwest China (in Sichuan and Yunnan), but cultivated for centuries elsewhere in China and also Japan. It grows in slopes and forests edges at elevations of 300 – 1600 metres in Fujian, Hubei, Sichuan and NW Yunnan Provinces.
Magnolia liliiflora is a deciduous shrub, exceptionally a small tree, to 4m tall (smaller than most other magnolias). Bloom Color: Pink, Purple. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer, Mid fall. Form: Spreading or horizontal, Upright or erect. It blooms profusely in early spring with large showy flowers, before the leaf buds open.The seeds ripen from Sep to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Beetles…...CLICK  &  SEE THE  PICTURES

Landscape Uses:Border, Specimen. Best grown in a warm position in a moderately rich free soil of an open texture. Prefers a neutral to acid soil but tolerates alkaline soils so long as they are deep and rich in humus. Plants cannot be grown on limy or chalky soils. The branches are brittle so a sheltered position is required. This species is said to be fairly wind tolerant. It is very tolerant of atmospheric pollution. Plants are hardy to about -20°c, but they require the protection of a wall when grown in northern Britain. The fleshy roots are easily damaged and any transplanting is best done during a spell of mild moist weather in late spring. The flowers, which start to be produced when the plant is less than a metre tall, are deliciously scented. The young wood is aromatic. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Extended bloom season in Zones 9A and above, Fragrant flowers, Blooms are very showy.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed must be kept cold over the winter and should be sown in late winter in a cold frame[200]. The seed usually germinates in the spring but it can take 18 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter. They can be planted out into their permanent positions when they are more than 15cm tall, though should be well mulched and given some protection from winter cold for their first winter or two outdoors. Layering in early spring .

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic; Anodyne; Carminative; Febrifuge; Sedative; Tonic.

The flowers and unopened flower buds are analgesic, anodyne, carminative, febrifuge, sedative and tonic. The main effect of this herb is to constrict blood vessels in the nasal passages and so it is taken internally in the treatment of sinusitis, allergic rhinitis and colds with a runny nose or catarrh. In excess it can cause dizziness. This herb is incompatible with Astragalus membranaceus. The flowers are harvested in the spring and can be used fresh or dried.

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.


Herbs & Plants

Boesenbergia rotunda

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Botanical Name : Boesenbergia rotunda
Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Boesenbergia
Species: B. rotunda
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zingiberales

Synonyms:Boesenbergia pandurata,Kaempferia pandurata

Common Names: Chinese keys, Fingerroot, Lesser galangal or Chinese ginger

(In English, the root has traditionally been called fingerroot, because the shape of the rhizome resembles that of fingers growing out of a center piece.)

It is known as temu kunci in Indonesian  and in Manipuri, it is called Yai-macha .

Habitat :Boesenbergia rotunda is native to China and Southeast Asia.(Cambodia; China (Yunnan); Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Thailand)

This species is a rhizome geophyte which grows in humid forest and deciduous forest. It is cultivated throughout Indo-China. Zingiberaceae species grow naturally in damp, shaded parts of the low-land or on hill slopes, as scattered plants or thickets.

Boesenbergia rotunda is a small perennial plant of about 15–40 cm in height. Its leaves are broad and light green while the leaf sheath is red. Each shoot consists of 3–5 elliptic-oblong-red sheathed leaves of about 7–9 cm in width and 10–20cm in length. The underground portion of the plant consists of a small globular shaped central subterraneous rhizome (1.5–2.0?cm in diameter) from which several slender and long tubers sprout all in the same direction like the fingers of a hand, thus the common name fingerroot. The tubers are about 1.0–1.5cm thick in diameter and 5–10cm long. The tissue of the tuber is looser, softer, and more watery than the central rhizome. Both the colour of the central rhizome and the tubers are dependent on the variety of B. rotunda. The yellow variety produces bright yellow rhizomes, while other varieties produce red and black rhizomes. They are strongly aromatic although different from each other. The flowers are scarlet and bloom throughout the year in tropical countries. These beautiful flowers are usually hidden at the base of the foliage, making them unnoticeable....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:  Boesenbergia rotunda is very easy  to grow. It is found it to be just as successful in the ground as it is in containers. The plant prefers rich, well drained soil. Simply plant the rhizome 1″ deep, and keep evenly moist. It will emerge in approximately two weeks.

Edible Uses:
It is widely used in Javanese cuisine in Indonesia. In Thai cooking it is called krachai  and is an ingredient of dishes such as kaeng tai pla. It is used in some kroeung pastes of Cambodian cuisine and is known as k’cheay (Khmer). In the west it is usually found pickled or frozen. It is sometimes confused with Alpinia officinarum, another plant in the family Zingiberaceae which is also known as lesser galangal.

Medicinal Uses:
Boesenbergia rotunda root is used  to treat colic and diarrhoea  in China.

Advancement in drug design and discovery research has led to the development of synthetic drugs from B. rotunda metabolites via bioinformatics and medicinal chemistry studies. Furthermore, with the advent of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, new insights on the biosynthetic pathways of B. rotunda metabolites can be elucidated, enabling researchers to predict the potential bioactive compounds responsible for the medicinal properties of the plant. The vast biological activities exhibited by the compounds obtained from B. rotunda warrant further investigation through studies such as drug  discovery, polypharmacology, and drug delivery using nanotechnology.

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.


Herbs & Plants

Cyathula officinalis

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Botanical Name : Cyathula officinalis

Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Cyathula
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names; Cyathula root, Radix Cyathula, Ox Knee, Chinese: Chuan Niu Xi

Habitat :  Cyathula officinalis is  native to the China (Guizhou, Hebei, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang) and Nepal

Cyathula officinalis is a  perennial herb, 50-100 cm tall. Stem erect, slightly quadrangular, much branched or strigose. Petiole 0.5-1.5 cm, densely strigose; leaf blade elliptic or narrowly elliptic, rarely obovate, 3-10 × 1.5-5.5 cm, abaxially densely strigose, adaxially long strigose, base cuneate or broadly cuneate, margin entire, apex acuminate. Flower clusters in terminal spikes, light green, nearly white when dried, 1-1.5 cm in diam. Bracts shiny, 4-5 mm, apex pointed or hooked. Tepals of perfect flowers lanceolate, 3-5 mm, apex acute, inner 3 slightly narrow. Filaments densely hairy at base; pseudostaminodes rectangular, 0.3-0.4 mm, dentate-lobed at apex. Ovary cylindric or obovoid, 1.3-1.8 mm; style ca. 1.5 mm. Utricles light yellow, ellipsoid or obovoid, 2-3 × 1-2 mm. Seeds shiny, ellipsoid, 1.5-2 mm, smooth. Fl. Jun-Jul, fr. Aug-Sep.


Medicinal Uses:
This is an alternate source material for the herb Niu Xi, for which the name means ox knee, the original material Achyranthes bidentata has nodes that are reminiscent of ox knees; comparatively, Chuan Niu Xi is thought to be better at transforming static blood, while Niu Xi is better at nourishing the liver and kidney).  Chinese root used to treat pain due to “wind-dampness” to clear atrophy and spasm of the lower extremities, much like the previous species.  Do not use during pregnancy

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.



Herbs & Plants

Callicarpa arborea Roxb

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Botanical Name : Callicarpa arborea Roxb.
Family : Verbenaceae
Common Names :Khoja, Bormala,Guren (Np), Maaraa (Rai), Bori (Tha.)

Habitat :Mixed forests on mountain slopes; 1000-2500 m. Guangxi, SE Xizang, S Yunnan [Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam].250-2000 m; Himalaya (Kumaun to Bhutan).

Trees ca. 8 m tall; branchlets, inflorescences, and petioles densely tomentose, hairs stellate or verticillately branched. Leaf blade elliptic, oblong-elliptic, or ovate, 13-37 X 7-13 cm, leathery, abaxially densely yellow-brown stellate tomentose, adaxially dark green and shiny, base cuneate to rounded, margin entire. Cymes 6-11 cm across; peduncle 4-angled, longer than petioles. Calyx cup-shaped, truncate or nearly so, outside densely gray stellate tomentose. Corolla purple, ca. 3 mm. Stamens much longer than corolla. Ovary densely stellate tomentose. Fruit purple-brown, ca. 2 mm in diam. Fl. May-Jul, fr. Aug-Dec.
Click to see the picture

Medicinal Uses:


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.


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Herbs & Plants

Mishamitita (Coptis teeta)

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Botanical Name:Ranunculaceae/Yunnan goldthread/Coptis teeta WAL
Family: Ranunculaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Genus: Coptis
Species: C. teeta
Common name: Yun lian

Arabic: mamiran chini
Assamese: misimi tita
Hindi: haladiya bachnaga, mahamirana, mamira, mamiram, mamiran, mimira, mishmitita
Malayalam: pitarohini
Sanskrit: mamira, mamirah, mishamitita, mishamlita, pita, pitamula, supita, tikta, tiktamula
Tamil : pitarohini, pitarokini, peetarogini, pidarokini, mamiran
Urdu : mameeran, mameesa (mamira,mamiran), mamiran-i-chini, mamira
Other Common Names: From various places around the Web, may not be correct. See below.
Altin Ipligi [E], Chih Lien [E], Chonlin [H], Chuen-lien [H], Coptidis Radix [H], Coptidis Rhizoma [H], Honglane [H], Huang Lien [E], Hwang-lien [H], Mahmira [H], Mishmi Bitter [H], Mishmi Tita [H], Mu-lien [H], Tita [H], Wang Lien [E]

Mainly Used: In Ayurveda, Unani and Sidha L.

Parts Used: Dried Root

Habitat :E. Asia – N. China to the temperate regions of the Himalayas. Few species are endemic to India recorded only in the Himalayan region across Darjeeling in the West Bengal, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in an altitude range of 2500-3000 m. It has been recorded in Lohit district, Dibang Valley district, Siang and upper Subansiri districts of Arunachal Pradesh.

Description: An evergreen perennial growing to 0.15m. . It is in leaf all year. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. We rate it 1 out of 5 for usefulness.

click to see the pictures...

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Coptis teeta is a rare species of flowering plant in the buttercup family. It is a species of importance in Chinese herbology. Known as Yunnan goldthread, its rhizome is used as an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. A number of factors contribute to its endangerment. It is endemic to a very small area in the eastern Himalayas where its habitat is rapidly declining, due in part to deforestation, it is overcollected for medicinal use, and its reproductive success is low. The plant is cultivated on a small scale in Yunnan using techniques that aim to conserve the species within its natural habitat. The Lisu people of the local area earn much of their income from cultivation of the plant, which they grow using traditional agroforestry methods that have little adverse impact on the ecosystem.

Cultivation details
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. It is cultivated as a medicinal plant in China. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.

Succeeds in a light moist humus-rich slightly acidic soil with a northerly aspect or light shade.

Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in an ericaceous compost[164]. Seal the pot in a polythene bag until germination takes place, which is usually within 1 – 6 months at 10°c. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible. Four weeks cold stratification may be beneficial. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a shady part of the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in mid-autumn or in spring.
The root is harvested in the autumn and can be used fresh or dried.

Medicinal Uses:

Alterative; Anaesthetic; Analgesic; Antibacterial; Antispasmodic; Febrifuge; Ophthalmic; Pectoral.

The root is a pungent, very bitter, cooling herb that controls bacterial and viral infections, relaxes spasms, lowers fevers and stimulates the circulation. It is locally analgesic and anaesthetic and is used in Chinese medicine as a general panacea with alterative, ophthalmic and pectoral activity. The root contains several compounds that are effective in inhibiting various bacteria and they are a safe and effective treatment for many ailments, such as some forms of dysentery, that are caused by bacteria.

Improves appetite, restores digestion, gas, visceral obstructions, jaundice,improves bile flow, chronic gall bladder inflammation, debility, convalescence after fevers, debilitating diseases, atonic indigestion, mild forms of intermittent fevers, catarrhal and rheumatic conjunctivitis, dries excessive body moisture (e.g., water retention), all Pitta disorders, anal fissure, ulcerative colitis, vaginal infections, tumors, boils, carbuncles, inflammatory skin conditions, externally applied to sores (including mouth sores).

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.


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