Thursday, March 29, 2012

Black Currant/Blackcurrant


Other names: Cassis, quinsy berries

Description:

Black currant is a shrub with edible berries that can be found in Northern/Central Europe and Asia.  It has woody branches that grows to a height of 2 meters.  The leaves are deeply lobes and used to improve the
taste and color or Vodka.  The flowers are small and white.  During summer the black currant berries are formed which are small (1 cm in diameter), dark purple to black in color, glossy skin and contains several seeds.

Black currants are added to make cordial, liqueur and beer.  It is very sweet and made into jellies, jams, juice and ice cream or added to desserts, sauces, and salad dips.

Parts used:
Fruits, leaves and seeds (for oil).

Medicinal properties and uses:

Black currants are rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients and vitamins especially Vitamin C. It also contains essential fatty acids like Gamma Linoleic Acid(a very rare Omega-6 essential fatty acid), flavonoids,
proanthocyanidins, cassis polysaccharide (CAPS) and anthocyanins that inhibit the enzymes Cyclo-oxgenase 1 and 2, and reduce inflammation and gives relief to arthritis. Black currants are also rich in potassium having
twice the potassium of bananas.

The oil from the seed of the black currant has linoleic, alpha-linolenic, gamma-linolenic, which are essential fatty acids the our body cannot produce on its own.

Black currant leaves is known for its diuretic property. The leaves are dried to make a tea and used againsts:

Arthritis
Diarrhea
Urinary problems
Bleeding gums

Black currant juice are high in Vitamin C and is used to treat:

Cough
Sore Throats

Black Currant Seed Oil (BCSO) contains gamma-linolenic acid which is a powerful anti-inflammatory used to treat:

Swelling/Inflammation
Pain Relief
Arthritis

The black currant seed oil is also effective for treating a wide variety of disorders like:

Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
Gastritis/Ulcers
Allergies

Black currant may also help prevent cancer.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

BURDOCK



Scientific name: Arctium lappa (Great Burdock); Arctium Minus (Lesser Burdock)

Other names: Cocklebur, Gobo root, Clot bur, Burr Seed,  Thorny Burr, Fox's
Clote, Beggar's Buttons, Cockle Buttons


Description:

Burdock is an herb with prickly seeds that grows freely by the roadside, hedgerows and wastelands.

Burdock have large about a foot long, heart-shaped or wavy leaves that lay on the ground. The upper leaves are much smaller and the stems about 3 to 4 feet long.   In the early summer, the stem sends up round heads of pink, white or purple flowers. This turns into prickly seeds that cling to clothing and animal fur.

There are various subspecies of burdock depending on its appearance like the size of the flower-heads, length of the stalks etc.


Parts used: roots, seeds and leaves


Medicinal properties:

Burdock has many medicinal properties and has been used in many herbal remedies.

Traditionally, burdock has been used as a remedy for acne, measles, arthritis, gout, rheumatism, tonsillitis, sore throat and colds. 

The root of the burdock is edible and used as a diuretic as well a blood purifier by removing toxins from the blood.

The seeds can be used as a diaphoretic which cleanses the body of toxins and treat gallbladder, liver and kidney disorders.


Burdock is also used in oncology today. But the seeds of the burdock when soaked in milk has been used traditionally to cure cancer. The extract from the pounded seeds or leaves are used to soothe aching joints and also treats skin problems like acne, eczema, psoriasis and other scalp problems.

The Japanese used Burdock as a source of vitamins and other nutrients.  It contains flavonoids, arcigen, calcium, iron, chlorogenic acid, essential oil, lactone, mucilage, polyacetylenes, potassium, resin, tannin and
polyacetylenes which are known to be effective antifungal and antibacterial agents.

In many places, burdock is eaten as a vegetable for it has the same taste as the asparagus.  It is also eaten as a salad with oil and vinegar.

In China, burdock is used as an aphrodisiac and is found effective in treating impotence.





THOUGH THE CONTENT OF THIS BLOG HAD BEEN TRIED/TESTED AND HAD BEEN USED
AS FOLK/HERBAL MEDICINE IT IS STILL BEST TO CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TRYING THIS. AVOID SELF-DIAGNOSIS AND SELF-MEDICATION.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Agar Agar


Scientific name: Gelidiella Acerosa, genera Gelidium and Gracilaria and Sphaerococcus euchema

Description:

Agar-agar is extracted from marine red algae. The seaweeds (Sphaerococcus Euchema and Gelidium) that grows to 15 to 25 cm high are mostly found off the Pacific coast and the coast of South Africa.  Fronds are elongated, cylindrical, soft or subcartilaginous and dichotomously branched.

The seaweeds are laid out along the shore to get bleached and dried. By boiling them in water the mucilage can be strained and filtrated.  After which it is dried again under the sun.

You'll find the Agar Agar most often in the form of white powder or as a clear bar.  It has almost no color, no taste, calorie-free and has 80% percent fiber.

One can also blanch the entire plant and eat as salad.


Parts Used: Seaweed extract and the whole plant.

Medicinal properties and Uses:

Agar agar contains gelose, protein, galactose, pentose, fructose; iodine, iron and other
trace elements and minerals

This seaweed rich in soluble fiber that is very good for dieters. Agar agar absorbs water making you feel full. So, munching on agar agar before each meal prevents you from overeating.

Constipation - as agar agar is rich in soluble fiber it is used as a bulk laxative because it
absorbs water in the intestines  resulting in increased bowel activity.

Diabetes - Agar Agar will capture the sugars, fats and toxins.

Sores and Swollen knee joints - An agar agar poultice is used for swollen knee joints and sores.

It is also use for menorrhagia, leucorrhea and other intestinal and bladder difficulties.

An agar agar decoction given for dysentery and diarrhea as a folk medicine. It is also found
to be useful for coughs and other pulmonary complaints.

High doses may cause flatulence.

Agar agar readily forms a gel and is used as a stabilizer, thickening, gelling, bulking agent and food additive.

THOUGH THE CONTENT OF THIS BLOG HAD BEEN TRIED/TESTED AND HAD BEEN USED
AS FOLK/HERBAL MEDICINE IT IS STILL BEST TO CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE
TRYING THIS AND AVOID SELF-DIAGNOSIS AND SELF-MEDICATION.

“My doctor recommended that I try these Laminine® capsules, so I started taking 2 in the am and 2 in the early evening. I just went about my day as normal and a noticed that when it was time to eat, I wasn’t hungry. The second weekend, I visited my cousin and forgot to bring them and I noticed that I wanted to eat the whole day. On Monday, I started taking them again and the cravings went away almost instantly. I also noticed that I wanted to go to bed early and woke up refreshed in the morning.” - Kristen.




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Friday, March 2, 2012

Lantana


Botanical Name : Lantana Camara

Common Names :
coronitas, Lantana Weed, Wild Sage, Shrub Verbena, Yellow Sage, Kantutay

  
Description:

Lantana is a perennial flowering plants native to tropical regions of the Americas and Africa. It is a somewhat hairy shrub that when bruised gives a spicy pungent odor. The aromatic flowers are borne in clusters and are a mixture of red, yellow, blue, lilac, white and orange florets.  The leaves are pointed at the tip, rounded at the base and toothed in the margins.

Lantana is an introduced species in the Australian-Pacific region and it is a low-maintenance, gregarious plant that can grow up to 1.2 m high.

Despite it's nickname, lantana is not related to the Sage family instead they are in the same family and are close relatives of Verbena.  Another plant named, wild lantanas is also not related and belong to the genus Abronia.


Parts Used:
leaves, roots, flowers

CAUTION: Lantana seeds/green berries are known to be toxic.
  

Medicinal Uses and Properties:

LEAVES:

Pound leaves and place on skin or put a handful of fresh leaves in a mesh bag and dip in your water bath.
soothes insect stings, the itch of chicken pox and measles and other skin eruptions, cuts, scrapes, ulcerations and scabies.  The water bath also relieves symptoms of rheumatism

In folklore, the crushed leaves of the lantana is effective in snakebite case.  It is directly applied on the bitten area.

As a tea, lantana leaves can be used for relief from headaches, fever, flu, coughs, colds toothaches and indigestion.  It also relieves the symptoms of rheumatism and other joint pains.

Use pounded fresh leaves applied as poultice for sprains, wounds and contusions.

To use as an inhalant for respiratory problems:

Pound lantana leaves. Boil in water for 5 minutes using a tight fitting lid. Uncover and inhale the steam directly from the pot or pour into a container with a narrow mouth and inhale the steam.

The dried lantana leaves that have been burned in a glass jar is also known to be a natural mosquito repellent. On the other hand, the crushed leaves is used as a furniture polish. 

The lantana leaves are also known to be antiphlogistic, anti-dermatoses and have a cooling effect.


ROOTS:

The roots of the lantana are known to be refrigerant and antifebrile.
The decoction of dried roots are used for gonorrhea, cough, mumps, malaria and influenza.


FLOWERS:

Flowers known to be hemostatic and the decoction of dried flowers is used for hemoptysis and pulmonary tuberculosis.



THOUGH THE CONTENT HAD BEEN USED AS FOLK/HERBAL MEDICINE IT IS STILL BEST TO CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TRYING THIS. AVOID SELF-DIAGNOSIS AND SELF-MEDICATION.