czwartek, 11 grudnia 2014

Gleditsia triacanthos / Gleditsia sinensis - Honey Locust / Chinese Honey Locust

Polska wersja

        PLANT PROFILE


  Gleditsia is a legume tree, very characteristic for its turfs of thorns growing straight from the trunk and branches of the tree, but there are thornless cultivars (Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis) as well. This tree genus can be found as a part of wild flora in many regions of south and east of Asia, both Americas and Africa. Like with many other plants, botanists that have been pioneering Linneus binomial system, have left big mess in this genus. There are few species, that in my opinion differ only by different people that named it. Different botanists from different countries have been naming plants, often without even seeing it in its natural habitat, judging by single example. And probably most of them desperate to ''discover'' and give names to more plants than their colleagues. Todays internet era of botany have oportunity and responsibility to clean this mess. So please prove me wrong if You can, but according to my researches there is no significant differences ( bigger than those betwen plants with same parents growing in different conditions ) in apperance betwen what is claimed to be Gleditsia triacanthos L. and Gleditsia sinensis Lam.. First is said to be of central North American origin and second with Chinese ancestry. Also trees called Gleditsia japonica Miq., Gleditsia koraiensis Nakai., Gleditsia macarantha Desf., Gleditsia horrida Willd. and Gleditsia officinalis Hemsl. seems to be the same to me. Different sources called it synonims to different ''species'' and there was much more latin names used in the past. And isn't that strange that trees growing wild in China's neighbourhood of Kirgizia are called by scientists Gleditsia triacanthos ? Does it realy came from North America ? Or is it only modern, latinized botany and medicine that came from west ? And if You look at their medicinal uses and chemical compound data You'll see how it owerlap. All those Gleditsias have edible seeds and very sweet seedpod pulp, that brought its common name Honey Locust. Gleditsia triacanthos is reported to be used tradictionally by indigenous Indians but seems to have less significance in American herbal medicine than Gleditsia sinensis have in China ( its thorns are one of 50 fundamental herbs in Tradicional Chinese Medicine). Also Japan, Korea and Vietnam seems to have very long tradicion of useing Gleditsia as a herb.
   Gleditsia is sometimes planted in Europe as well as in its homelands, as an ornamental tree, but in some areas of USA and Australia it is considered an invasive weed. Leaves of Gleditsia are turning beautifully golden-yellow before they fall in autumn, but there is cultivar that have yellow leaves straight from spring ( Gleditsia triacanthos 'Sunburst' ) and reddish brown ( Gleditsia triacanthos 'Ruby Lace' ).



    CULTIVATION AND HARVESTING

   Gleditsia is a fast growing tree up to around 30m h. In its homelands it commonly grow on moist, fertile soils near streams or lakes, but it tolerate well sandy or loamy, dry poor soils with pH  6,0-8,0. It is hardy to -30'C, cope well with salinity of soil and is widely planted for windbreaks and to stop soil erosion. If trimmed it can made a thick impenetrable hedge. Honey Locust tolerate transplantation, droughts, heat and scourching sun, but don't like shade. In late spring male and female flowers appear on seperate plants, but some of them might have both sex organs, and they are polinated by insects. In fall edible seedpods are fully developed. Brown pods are good for medicine and use of beans, but if You want to enjoy its sweet pulp, it should be picked while still green and fleshy. Brown dried pods usually lasts on trees till spring time. There are few similar looking trees with poisonous seedpods, so You better make sure it is the right tree before You'll eat anything.
These pods are also often used as a fodder. Old pods can be used as a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Spikes can be colected all year round, but best time for its harvesting is just like for bark, between late fall and early spring. Only still growing, young, reddish-brown or still green thorns should be gathered. Old, dead, gray in colour spines are useless.
   Caution is highly advised around thorny Gleditsias, as any twig might cause serious hurt by its thorns. Watch Your steps, stamping on dead branch laying on ground, might couse wounds, made by thorns able to puncture shoe soles.


      COSMETIC USES

   Fully riped, dried pods, sometimes called Soap Pods, thanks to its saponin content, are boiled and obtained liquid is used as a detergent in many different cultures. In China dried pods are simply powderd and used instead of soap. It was commonly used for at least 2000 years, till 1970, when chemical detergent Tides came from abroad. Vietnamese wild Gleditsia, called Bo ket or Boket (Gleditsia australis F. B. Forbes & Hemsley, Gleditsia fera (Lour.) Merr. in latin ), is traditionally used as a shampoo. Dried pods are slightly roasted, crumbled or grinded, boiled and obtained decoction ( sometimes with grapefruit or lime peel, essential oil or other natural perfume added ) is simply used to rinse hairs. It cures dandruf, head fungi, revitalise sebaceus glands, prewent hair-loss, stimulate hair growth and is giving hairs, smooth and silky appearance . It is also main ingredient in some of commercially produced shampoos for apparently black hairs like My Hao, Dau Goi Bo Ket FRESH or SunSilk Black Silky.

   
                                                                                               CULINARY USES

    Seedpods of Honey Locust have very sweet (with slightly bittery aftertaste), tasty pulp in it when still green and it can be added to any dessert, made into a drink or fermented into alcohol. There are reports that some people are experiencing throat iritation after eating fresh seedpods pulp, that might be caused by its saponins content. Cherokee used powdered pods as a sweetener. Protein rich seeds can be cooked as beans or eaten fresh, esspecialy when they are still green and soft. Fully ripened seeds can be roasted and used as coffee substitute or grounded into gluten-free flour. Young seedpods can be whole cooked and eaten like green beans.
   Even though I've found no reports about usage of thorns from Gleditsia triacanthos like about those from Gleditsia sinensis. Similarities between both, inclined me to try use thorns of European offspring of probably American G. triacanthos ancestry. And I've found hot water infusion made from tablespoon of shreded thorns (young reddish-brown) to be tasty, invigorating tonic, a good black tea substitute. All part of this plant might be unhealthy if consumed in excess, and it is advised to avoid Gleditsia during pregnancy.


      MEDICINAL USES

    Gleditsia have been used as a medicinal herb for centuries in different regions of the world. And today there is growing number of medicinal studies from many countries confirming properties of this tree. However similar in appearance, many Gleditsias from different regions vary as chemotypes, so origin of crude drug herb substance, should be considered important. Nevertheless both tradicional uses and modern medicine researches about Gleditsias from different countries, are showing strong similarities in influences on human health.
   All parts of G. triacanthos contain alkaloid triacanthine, that act hypotensive and antispasmotic on bronchial smooth muscles and intestines, and also support process of burning fat, but is toxic in excess (LD50  35mg/kg, young leaves have highest concentration of triacanthine in this plant, which is up to 1%). Foster and Duke gives remedies made from Gleditsia triacanthos the same safety level as for coffee. Also G. sinensis have many specific alkaloids and triterpenoidal saponins isolated from its parts, of which any should be used with cautious.
    Fully ripened, dried pods of G. triacanthos are made into tea for indigestion, stomach and duodenum ulcers (except open ones), measles and catarh. It is antiseptic, analgesic, mydriatic, adjuvant and anthelmitic. Cherokee use pods for dysentery, dyspepsia and measles. Alcoholic extracts have been proved effective against cancer. It contain saponins. alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides and tanins. In Tradicional Chinese Medicine, G. sinensis pods ( Zao Jiao, Fructus Gleditsiae Sinensis or Gleditsia Abnormalis Fructus) in form of powder or pils, are used for constipation (induces bowels movement), coughs, congestion in chest, asthma, apoplexy, headache, epilepsy, to dispels flegm, reduce swellings, open orifices, alievating nasal symptoms of allergic rhinitis and awaken the spirit. Paste made from boiled pods and vinegar is applied on swollen sores (before ulceration). Extracts proved to be effective anti cancer drug, with potential in leucemia treatment. It is pungent, warm in property, acts on lungs and large intestine chanels. Overdose might couse vomiting and diarrhea.
Bark from twigs of Gleditsia triacanthos was used in form of infusions by Delaware Indians as a cough remedy and to cleanse blood. Fox Indians used it for colds, fevers, measles and smallpox. Meskwaki used to give it to ill persons to help them regain strenght. Infusions was also used to induce sweating, reduce bronchial congestion and for treatment of dyspepsia. 
 I didn't found any information about use of thorns of American Gleditsia except one - Creek Indians used boiled branches with thorns for measles and smallpox. But Chinese highly value thorns of their trees, called Zao Jiao Ci (Spina Gleditsiae Sinensis ). As one of 50 fundamental herbs in TCM, it is used for swellings, oedema, suppuration, tinea, psoriasis, eczema, scabies, nodules, boils, ringworms, swallen painfull breasts, preulcerous sores, carbuncle, for flegm remowal and coughs. It is acrid and worm, act immunomodulatory, antialergic, antiinflamatory, antibacterial, anthelmitic, relax spasms of trachea and bronchus, expel winds and draws out toxins. Both water and ethanol extracts proved its anticancer properties it laboratory tests, among others it proved to be specificly effective against uterine and breast cancer cells. Organic acids extracted from G. sinensis thorns, showed strong anti-HIV activity.
    Any parts of Gleditsia should be avoided by pregnant women and people with open sores, qi or yin deficienciec and hemoptysis.
















     Sources

'' Florida Ethnobotany '' - Daniel F. Austin, CRC Press 2004
'' Handbook of Edible Weeds '' - James A. Duke, CRC Press 2000
'' CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonus Plants '' - Umberto Quattrocchi, CRC Press 2012
'' Medicinal Plants of Central Asia : Uzbekistan and Kyrgystan'' - Sasha W. Eisenman, Lena Struwe,      David E. Zaurow,  Springer Science & Business Media 2012
'' Integrating Conventional and Chinese Medicine in Cancer Care'' - Tai Lahans, Elsevier Health      Sciences 2007
'' Chinese Materia Medica : Combinations and Applications '' - Xu Li, Elsevier Health Sciences 2002
'' A Materia Medica for Chinese Medicine : Plants, Minerals and Animals Products ''
 - Carl-Hermann Hempen, Toni Fisher, Elsevier Health Sciences 2009
'' The CABI Encyclopedia of Forest Trees '' CABI 2013

https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Gleditsia_triacanthos.html
http://www.na.fs.fed.us/pubs/silvics_manual/volume_2/gleditsia/triacanthos.htm
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/treedb/AFTPDFS/Gleditsia_triacanthos.pdf
http://firstways.com/2011/11/01/wild-candy-in-the-honey-locust-tree/
http://www.foragingtexas.com/2008/08/mesquitehoney-locust.html
http://www.inpaws.org/images/resources/Gordon%20Mitchell%20Articles/GM_honey_locust.pdf
http://blog.163.com/hesanlin_123/blog/static/49678472010101353140127
http://khartasia-crcc.mnhn.fr/ja/node/1432
http://www.vashsad.ua/plants/dendrolog/articles/show/8497/
http://hortuscamden.com/plants/view/gleditsia-sinensis-lam
http://blog.daum.net/sa55jung/15973609
http://www.loc.gov/preservation/about/prd/gardfor/essays/spongberg.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkGf71nTGKM
http://herbaria.plants.ox.ac.uk/bol/plants400/Pages/Gleditsia
http://plantillustrations.org/taxa.php?id_taxon=1767
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoSrNt426-4
http://www.saigoncosmetics.com/Tin-Tuc/Mon-qua-thien-nhien-cho-toc
http://www.eastbound88.com/showthread.php/33865-What-Vietnamese-used-before-Shampoo
http://www.meo.vn/cay-bo-ket-va-cong-dung-chua-benh.html
http://herbalis.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=381
http://www.1000listnik.ru/lekarstvennie-travi/04/15-gledichiya.html
http://www.rootdown.us/Herbs/Zao+Jia?MeridianID=10#Profile
http://duiyaoonline.com/herbs/zaojiao.htm
http://www.epharmacognosy.com/2012/08/chinese-honeylocust-fruit-zao-jiao.html
http://www.zhongyibaike.com/wiki/%E7%9A%82%E8%8D%9A%E5%88%BA
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20564491
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/12/243
http://www.mammalive.net/research/breast-cancer-and-herbs
http://www.scientific-publications.net/get/1000002/1401701849442581.pdf
http://www.relaquim.com/archive/2009/p2009373218-229.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17885844
http://gxsti01.vicp.net/english/detail/8bfc5382-ce7b-4a8f-ab02-3a8ae4bc6bbe
http://www.captura.uchile.cl/bitstream/handle/2250/16439/Cassels_Bruce.pdf?sequence=1
http://www.plant-ecology.com/Jweb_zwstxb/EN/abstract/abstract11346.shtml
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.25116/pdf
http://www.niscair.res.in/ScienceCommunication/AbstractingJournals/mapa/FullTextSearch/2009/October%202009/Pharmacology-Oct09.htm
http://delawaretribe.org/wp-content/uploads/LENAPE-MEDS.pdf
http://www.cjcmm.com.cn/cjcmmen/ch/reader/view_abstract.aspx?file_no=11842&flag=1
http://www.weiku.com/products/18310876/Chinese_Honeylocust_Gleditsia_sinensis_soap_bean_ornamental_tree.html
http://chineseherbinfo.com/zao-jiao-ci-gleditsia-spinethorn/
http://www.kamwo.com/help/herb-guide.php?single-herb=Zao-Jiao
http://libproject.hkbu.edu.hk/was40/detail?channelid=1288&lang=en&searchword=herb_id=D00916
http://www.carolinanature.com/trees/gltr.html

sobota, 8 listopada 2014

Dodonaea viscosa - Hopbush

Polska wersja

     PLANT PROFILE

   Dodonaea viscosa is a shrub that might become a small tree, that grows in many tropical and worm regions of the world. It is popular in Australasia - which is probably the centre of its origin, Africa, India and Pakistan, Hawaii, Peru and Brasil. Many different unrelated cultures discovered its medicinal values long ago and still use it frequently in practise. As latin word viscosa indicates, young leaves of this herb are sticky, as their surface is covered with resin. It is often planted as an ornamental plant, mostly for its nice looking seed capsules an foliage (esspecialy cultivar 'Purpurea' from New Zealand, with purple leaves), as its tiny flowers are not much showy. It is often planted to avoid soil erosion, for dune fixation and as a wind shield. Its extremely hard wood is used in many cultures for tools and weapons. Most used english common name for this herb - Hopbush or Sticky Hopbush is related to its use as a hops substitute in beer making by early Australian settlers.


      CULTIVATION AND HARVESTING

  There are different subspiecies of Dodonaea viscosa, often considered seperate species and cultivars of this plant, that can cope with different conditions. But in general this is a dense, fast growing, evergreen shrub that can become a small tree up to 8m high. It likes a lot of sun, sandy, loamy or rocky, well drained soils (pH 6,5-9,2), don't mind droughts and strong winds but fear of shade and temperatures lowest than -5'C. In spring time tiny, seperate male and female flowers are opening, but sadly mostly on seperate plants. In summer time atractive looking seed capsules appear on female plants. Pollen is wind dispersed, but even unfertilized flowers are developing capsules. Leaves are harvested in summer.


      CULINARY USES

  Seeds capsules are used instead of hops in brewing and its infusions are drinked as a tonic.



     MEDICINAL USES

   Dodonaea viscosa is widely used in tradicional herbalism of Australia and many other countries where it is common. Its leaves fresh, dried and powdered or in form of decoction are commonly applied for wounds, as it stimulate human dermal fibroblast and have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, analgesic and antipruritic activity. It is also used for skin disorders like iritating rashes, ringworms, boils, sprains, bruises, burns, snake bites, stingray stings, veneral deseases, rheumatism and bone fractures. Leaf juice is applied on trachoma.
   Leaves can be chewed or decoction might be used as a gargle, for toothache, sore throat or oral thrush. Decoction made from new leaf tips or young leaves are used internally for fevers, colds, coughs, influenza, arthritis, asthma, stomach troubles (it relax smooth muscles), diarrhea, ulcers, measles, headaches and to induce sweatings but caution is necessary as plant contain small amounts of cyanogenic toxins that may couse cyanide poisoning. It also contain lot of tanins (up to 18%), saponins, sterols, di- and triterpens, flavonoids including glycosides of quercitin and kaempherol, 1-8 cineole rich essential oils.
   In East Africa, roots of Hopbush, fresh or in form of decoction are used by women to stimulate lactation, treat dysmenorrhoea and irregular menstruation. Essential oils and extracts from leaves act antibacterial and hypotensive. Water and alcoholic extracts exhibited cardiac depresant and coronary-constricting properties. In Peru young, sticky leaves are chewed for its stimulating effect like coca leaves. Leaves, fruits, stems and bark can be used for preparations of baths, good for skin infections, sciatica, candida infections and veneral diseases. Several studies indicated anti-diabetic properties of water and alcoholic extracts from leaves. Brazilians apply sap on tumors. In southern part of India, Dodonaea seeds are grounded with black pepper and used to induce sterility in women.




      Sources

'' Medicinal Activity of Dodonaea viscosa - A preliminary study '' - Andrew Pengelly, Australian Government, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, 2008
'' Duke's Handbook of Medicinal Plants of Latin America '' - James A. Duke, CRC Press 2008
'' CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonus Plants '' - Umberto Quattrocchi CRC Press 2012

http://jprhc.in/index.php/ajprhc/article/viewFile/54/52
http://www.stuartxchange.com/Kalapinai.html
http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantcd/dodonaeavisangust.htm
http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/interns-2007/dodonaea-viscosa.html
http://www.ccma.vic.gov.au/GLOBAL/uploaded/Speciesnotes-Dodonaeaviscosa.pdf
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~eherring/hawnprop/dod-visc.htm
http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/view/Dodonaea_viscosa
http://www.fao.org/forestry/14636-0ddae3eed6e5208d80d92fb8dd2892b4.pdf
http://ntbg.org/plants/plant_details.php?plantid=4259
http://www.fs.fed.us/global/iitf/pdf/shrubs/Dodonea%20viscosa.pdf
http://bie.ala.org.au/species/urn:lsid:biodiversity.org.au:apni.taxon:298605#tab_names
http://herbs-treatandtaste.blogspot.com/2011/08/hopebush-dodonaea-viscosa-uses-and.html
http://www.indianetzone.com/49/aliar.htm
http://www.ijpbs.net/issue-4/Ph-21.pdf
http://www.apstas.com/Hop_bushes.html
http://database.prota.org/PROTAhtml/Dodonaea%20viscosa_En.htm

środa, 22 października 2014

Ptelea trifoliata - Hop Tree, Wafer Ash

Polska wersja

        PLANT PROFILE

    Ptelea trifoliata is a bush or small tree native to eastern part of North America. It have long tradiction of medicinal use and even being esteemed as sacred by Menomini tribe. Although root bark of this plant is praised by some medics as a supreme tonic, comparable to quinine, it is today not popular in its homeland and nearly unknown as a herb anywhere else. In early 19th century its popularity in USA as a great respiratory drug, uplifted its prices so high, that later it become a bit forgoten. Ptelea's fruits are used as a hop substitute in brewery, hence its common name Hop Tree, and was growing for this purpose in certain parts of Russia. Other common names of this plant are : Wafer Ash, Tree Trefoil, Stinking Ash, Quinine Tree and Shrubby Trefoil. It is often planted in its homeland as well as in Europe, for its ornamental purposes, and it is more about its samasara kind of a fruits than about its flowers. There are also highly attractive cultivars with (all year round, untill fall ) golden leaves - Ptelea trifoliata var. aurea and some variegated forms. Whole plant have yields strong smell when brushed, it have a citrusy note ( it is far relative of citruses ) and a hint of hops, but many people found this fragnance unpleasant. Some people found even smell of flowers to be too intense, other praise it, comparing it to that of an orange and honeysuckle flowers.



      CULTIVATION AND HARVESTING

   Ptelea trifoliata is slow growing bush that can become small tree, up to 8m high. It can be pruned to sustain as a dense bush. Naturally it ussually appear in woodlands or on brinks of forests, so it prefer semi-shade but can also tolerate full shade or full sun. It like wet but not to boggy soils. It is said to tolerate any pH of soil. It can stand cold temperatures even to -30'C. Tiny, but very fragnant, typical citrusy flowers gathered in clusters appear in early summer, followed by small samasara, wafer fruits in late summer. Those fruits ussually lasts on trees till spring. Bark and root bark should be colected after fruit is ripe but before the leaves begin to fade. Leaves should be collected in late summer, flowers and fruits when fully developped. In sunny days, skin protection is highly advised while dealing with this plant, just like with Rue and some citrus plants, as direct contact might couse photosensitivity and result with the same dermatisis.


         CULINARY USES

   Hop Tree is most common name for this plant. Its samsara kind of a fruits are used as a hop substitute for brewing beers and make a nice herbal tea that support digestion and revitalised body. It is also added when making bread to yeast to make it rise quicker.



        MEDICINAL USES

   North American Indian tribe, Menomini praised Ptelea trifoliata as a sacred plant, its bark and root bark are used as a panacea and is added to other herbs to increase their effectivness. It is said to be excellent tonic, of which cold infusions not iritate mucus membranes, like most of tonics do and sooth them when their are iritated. Root bark was mostly used part of Ptelea trifoliata in Eclectic herbalism and tinctures are said to be the most effective. There are reports about treatment of asthma, that starts with present relief, but might couse - '' a troublelesome external erysipelatous inflamation, either general or local but which if use of tincture be persisted in, finaly disappears, and the patient becomes at the same time permatently cured of the disease for which he was treated.'' ( ''King's American Dispensatory'' John King 1854 ). Ptelea's bark is also used to increase appetite and digestion, dissolve calculi, for rheumatism, intermittent and remittent fevers, malaria, bronhitis, phthisis, syphilis, scrofula, pineworms, roundworms, diarrhoea, muscles pain, anorexia, general debility and convalescence. It contain insoluble in water oleoresin, tanic and galic acids, berberine, arginine, cumarine, dictamnine, saponins, many specific quinoline alkaloids and voltile oil.
   It act as a tonic, stimulant, stomachic, orexigenic, expectorant, alterative, analgesic, antipiretc, antibacterial, antifungal, antiperiodic, astringent, anthelmitic, intoxicant, vulnerary and diaphoretic. Leaves, fruits and flowers have similar but weaker actions and can be used in the same manner. Water infusions of any part of the plant, or crushed leaves can be applied on wounds as an promoting healing antiseptic.
  Diana Beresford-Kroeger, botanist and medicinal biochemist, wrote in her book, that pregnant and breastfeeding women shouldn't even handle this tree, becouse of its high cumarin content. This plant can also cause photosensitization of the skin and dermatitis may appear, as a resoult of open contact on sunny days.







    Sources

'' Historical Review of Ptelea trifoliata in Botanical and Medical Literature '' - Virginia Long Bailey
'' Florida Etnobotany '' - Daniel F. Austin, CRC Press 2004
'' American Medicinal Plants ''- Charles F. Millspaugh, Dover Publications Inc. 1974
'' Arboretum America - A Philosophy of the Forest '' - Diana Beresford-Kroeger,
    University of Michigan Press 2003
'' Let's Get Natural with Herbs'' - Debra Rayburn, Ozark Moutain Publishing 2007
''The Royal Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Herbs & Their Uses'' - Deni Brown, DK 2002

http://doctorschar.com/archives/hoptree-ptelea-aquatica/
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/ptelea.html
https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/ashwa078.html
http://keys2liberty.wordpress.com/tag/ptelea-trifoliata/
http://www.friendsofeloisebutler.org/pages/plants/hoptree.html
http://www.manataka.org/page73.html
http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/ethnobot.pl?ethnobot.taxon=Ptelea%20trifoliata
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1710/#b

sobota, 4 października 2014

Rhus typhina, Rhus hirta - Staghorn Sumac

Polska wersja

      PLANT PROFILE

   Staghorn Sumac is a low growing tree or tall bush with a picturesqe shape, fancy, velvety red fruit cones and leaves that are turning beautiful, scarlet red in autumn. It is native to eastern North America but is very popular in Europe, cultivated for its ornamental purposes. Rhus typhina syn. Rhus hirta is most common sumac in north of Europe. It hybridise not only with North American Smooth Sumac - Rhus glabra and Shining Sumac - Rhus copallina that share its medicinal and culinary values and so should their hybrids. But also with Miditerranean Rhus coriaria, which fruits are popular spice in Scilly, Turkey, Syria, Tunisia and also other countries of this region. There are also closely related, edible sumacs in China - Rhus chinensis, India - Rhus punjabensis and other South Asian countries. If You are affraid of sumacs because you have heard about poison sumac, you have to know that it looks very differently and have white fruits while all edible sumacs have red fruits. And it is also highly unlikely to find any poison sumac if you are anywhere in Europe and even hard in its homeland in North America. Dr. Henryk Różański famous Polish herbalist claims that tiny spikes/hears, that cover leaves, fruits and young stems of Staghorn sumac can couse breathing problems, allergies or even trigger asthma attack and skin rushes when rubbed. I never heard or read anything about it from any other source, and haven't noticed it myself, though I know this plant for many years. But it sounds reasonable to me and so I advice you to check it yourself for good, before you decide to grow it near your house.



   CULTIVATION AND HARVESTING

   Staghorn sumac is easy to grow bush that is quickly turining into small beautifull tree. It can grown 2m height in just 3 years but ussually stops growing up after reaching about 5m. Its crown width is ussually bigger than its hight and it have majestatic shape that looks wonderful especiall after leaves turning scarlet red and gold before they drop in late fall. Its crimson fruit cones that appear in late summer are also very ornamental. They are much more vivid than its greeny-yellow flowers and lasts much longer. It is giving its charm, staying at the tops of brunches even for whole winter, but if you want to use it in your kitchen pick it as soon as it will turn fully red. Don't wait till rains will wash away most of its flavour or it'll start to rot. After colecting you can use it fresh, freeze it for later or crumble into small pieces and dry. While most of Staghorn sumacs are dioecious which means they have either male or female flowers there are also some that have both and can self polinate. Rhus typhina can adapt to any soil and nearly any conditions ( at least in temperate climate zones ), so it is not the question of where it will feel good, but where You will feel good with it ( though not poisonous like Poison Sumac, it might couse alergic reactions ). It is hardy to -30'C and can stand severe heats and droughts, the only thing it seems to dislike is swampy, boggy ground and dark shade. It usually spreads through its rhizomes creating colonies of bushes around mother plants so it is better to start control it before it will become quite invasive.


      CULINARY USES

   Staghorn sumac fruits have nicely sour taste and soaked in cold water are giving pleasant lemonade like drink - sumac-ade, it can also be used as a lemon juice or vinegret substitute or brewed into wine.  Dried, grounded fruits of Rhus coriaria (identical in taste to those of Rhus typhina) are a popular spice in Middle East and Miditerranean area, called simply Sumac - which means red in Syrian language. It is added to kebabs, rosted chickens, fish dishes, stews, pizzas, rice, potatos and salads. It is also an ingredient of some of many variations of popular arab spices mix called Za'atar, that is based on Origanum syriacum.

   
     MEDICINAL USES

   Rhus typhina have been traditionally used by native North American Indians for common ailments. Fruits are consumed raw, dried or in form of infusion, for coughs, fevers, diabetis, to aid digestion and stop diarrhoea, stomach upset and bowels complains. They are astringent, antimicrobial, diuretic and puryfies the blood. It contains mainly malic acid, tanins, polyphenols, and amino acids, vitamins: C, B1, B2, B6, B12, cyanocobalamin, nicotinamide and biotin. It is also good source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorum and sodium.
   Dried bark is rich in tannins and act antiseptic, astringent, galactogogue and tonic. In form of decoction it is used to treat diarrhoea, fevers, piles, general debility, uterine debility and to increase lactation. Sap is used applied on warts, but in some people it might couse alergic rash









    Sources

http://firstways.com/2011/08/23/how-and-why-to-eat-sumac/
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhus+typhina
http://theepicentre.com/spice/sumac/
http://www.thejaps.org.pk/docs/v-22-2/44.pdf
http://rozanski.li/?p=81
http://telemedicine.org/botanica/bot6.htm
http://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/47400
http://www.academicjournals.org/article/article1380377737_Borchardt%20et%20al.pdf
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/rhus-glab.html
http://pjbs.org/pjnonline/fin1548.pdf

czwartek, 11 września 2014

Plectranthus amboinicus, Coleus aromaticus - Cuban oregano

Polska wersja

       PLANT PROFILE

   The plant that You can see on photos here is a herb that have many names. Its most popular latin name is Plectranthus amboinicus, but this name is also used commonly for closely related Plectranthus cremnus, Plectrantus tomentosa and their many hybrids. Other are Coleus aromaticus, Coleus amboinicus, and Plectranthus aromaticus. Most popular english common name seems to be Cuban Oregano, but its also called Mexican mint, Country borage, Indian borage, Big thyme, Spanish thyme, Allherb, Queen of herbs and by many other names, all of which are also used for Plectranthus cremnus and tomentosa mentioned above. There is a mess about its origin as well. According to some sources it is native to south-east of Africa, but other claims it to come from south-east Asia. What's certain about this plant, is that it is valuable herb, known in India since ancient sanskrit times and nowadays very popular around whole tropical world. The reason for this is colonial history that helped to spread it to places where it thrive well. European colonists probably quickly found out that their beloved Mediterranean Oregano and Thyme can't cope with tropical weather. And luckily they've found good substitute, as Plectranthus amboinicus contain thymol and carvacrol, chemical compounds responsible for smell and taste of Oreganos and Thymes. In few recent years this earlier unknown herb gained some popularity in northern Europe, and with its easy indoor maintance, pleasant aroma and many health benefits. I think it is just the matter of time when it'll become as popular as Aloe vera.


     CULTIVATION AND HARVESTING

   Coleus aromaticus is small succulent shrub with tendency for climbing or creeping, it can reach over 1m hight and even more in width. It have strong stems with fleshy, hairy leaves and blue-violet or white-pink flowers in summer time. It grows best in rich, compost soil with neutral pH and high humidity, but if there will be excess of water in the ground its roots might start to rot. On the other hand it cope well with severe droughts, as it have lots of water stored in its succulent flesh. It also cope well with severe heat and scourging sun, as well as with strong shade (except variegata form with white staid green leaves), but feels best in partial shade. For all those reasons, it is very easy to grow indors and that is why it is becoming more and more popular house plant in northern Europe. Cuban oregano can't stand temperatures lower than 0'C and feel bad even when its colder than 10'C. Best way for using it is to pick it fresh, as its leaves and stems contain so much water, that even cuted into small pieces it won't dry well. Besides with good conditions, You can enjoy its fresh, tender, crunchy leaves all year round, so there's no point to gather and storage any for later.

      CULINARY USES

   Cuban oregano is quite similar in taste to Greek Oregano (Origanum vulgare), so it might be used in the same way. It can be cutted in small pieces and added to salads, sandwiches, soups, meat dishes and many other meals. In India its whole, fresh, crunchy leaves are dipped in batter and fried in deep oil, this snack is called ,,Ajwain ke patta pakoda''. It also can be pickled or mashed into chutney. Squizzed juice or chopped fresh leaves are added to both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for its flavour.


     MEDICINAL USES

   Coleus aromaticus is still quite unknown among Eastern herbalists, but as the plant is becoming more popular, so is the knowledge about it. There is growing number of researches that are proving its effectivnes in fighting ailments, that it was used for in Asia for centuries. It contain carvacrol, thymol, eugenol, quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, salvigenin, genkwanin caryophyllene, patchoulane and p-cymene. This herb is antioxidant, antimicrobial, radioprotective, carminative, tonic, stimulant, emmenagogue, hepatoprotective, diaphoretic and antiepileptic.
   Cuban oregano leaves are simply eaten fresh for coughs, colds, malarial fevers, asthma, bronhit, mouth and nasal infections, diarrhea, indigestion, flatulence, dyspepsia, epilepsy, rheumatism, kidney stones and helminthiasis. Fresh crushed leaves are applied on burns, sprains, skin infections, scorpio bites or on ferehead to ease headache. Decoction from leaves is giving after childbirth and soup with it is given to breastfeeding mothers to support lactation. It is also given to children for colic and colds. For ear aches (otalgia) pure fresh juice is poured into the ear and keep for 10 minutes.






























    Sources

http://www.stuartxchange.com/Oregano.html
http://www.greenpharmacy.info/article.asp?issn=0973-8258;year=2008;volume=2;issue=3;spage=182;epage=184;aulast=Kaliappan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plectranthus_amboinicus
http://www.tarladalal.com/Ajwain-Patta-ke-Pakode-4970r
http://www.sailusfood.com/2010/06/19/vaamu-aaku-bajji-ajwain-patta-fresh-carom-leaves-ke-pakode/
http://www.bawarchi.com/recipe/vamu-aaku-patchadi-ajwain-leaves-chutney-oeswBjedeiadh.html
http://whateverchumps.blogspot.com/2011/07/ajwain-patta-parantha.html
http://www.lifewithspices.com/2011/11/karpuravallicuban-oregano-rasam.html
http://www.ayurveda-florida.com/Ayurvedic_Materia_Medica_Articles/Table2.htm