poniedziałek, 28 lipca 2014

Ceanothus americanus - New Jersey tea, Redroot


     PLANT PROFILE

   Ceanothus americanus is a small shrub that grows on praries in east part of North America, where it have been used as a herb for centuries by local Indians. Nowadays it is prescribed by trained medicians and drink as a tea or coffe alternative but outside USA and Canada it seems to be known only as an ornamental. In fact in this field it's not very popular neither, as its white flowers are not that attractive as blue flowers of its famous cousin Ceanothus thyrsiflorus. Some beekeepers are praising its value as a high volume nectar source for bees. This plant gained name New Jersey tea during American Revolution, when shortage of tea forced Americans to search for accessible substitute. Native people have been tradicionally drinking infusion made from leaves as a beverage and remedy. But it is the root of the plant that have very significant medicinal value. Redroot is a name of crude drug that refer to red coloured root from few species of Ceanothus.


      CULTIVATION  AND HARVESTING

   Ceanothus americanus is a dense shrub growing up to 1,2m. It grows on sandy, well drained soils (neutral or slightly acidic) and is a drought resistant plant, that can't grow in wet ground. It feels good in full sun or partial shade as it comes from praries and outskirts of forests. It is said to cope even with severe frosts (-30'C) as long as there is no excess of humidity. Thanks to special fungi growing on its roots this plant have a nitrogen fixing ability. Beautifull clusters of white flowers appear for about month in early summer. Leaves are best to gather while plants are in full bloom, it is losing leaves before winter. Roots are best to gather in late fall and early spring.

     CULINARY USES

  Infusion made from dried or fresh leaves of Ceanothus americanus is a good tea substitute called New Jersey tea.

    COSMETIC USES

  Flowers of this plant have contain high volume of saponins and its foam creating properties brought its use as a pleasantly smelling, soaped sponge substitute. Also roots have been used to make soap and shampoo.

    MEDICINAL USES

   Leaves of Ceanothus americanus are tradicionaly used by Cherokee people to cure indigestion, diarrhea, inflammations of chest, throat, nose and mouth. Astringent properties of decoction are used to treat wounds, veneral sores and skin cancer. It is also used to fight depression and is good source of highly antioxidant flavonoids.
  Root of the plant is used to treat fevers, catarrh, sore throat, asthma, syphilis, hemorrhoids, inflammations and indigestion. Redroot stymulates lymphatic system and is astringent, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, expectorant, antispasmotic, mildly hypotensive and sedative. Powder made from root bark is applied on sores. This herb act as an anti-coagulant, therefore should be used with lot of caution while using other anti-coagulant. It also should be avoided by pregnant and nourishing women.



   Sources

 ''Rodale's 21st-Century Herbal'' - Michael Balick, Rodale Inc 2014

http://bearmedicineherbals.com/ceanothus.html
http://www.redrootmountain.com/red-root-balance-the-body-by-way-of-the-spleen/66
http://www.eattheweeds.com/ceanothus-americanus-revolutionary-tea-2/
http://food-nutrition.knoji.com/herbs-redroot-or-california-lilac-history-nutrition-and-medicinal-uses/
http://www.swsbm.com/FOLIOS/RedRtFol.pdf
http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/ceanothus.html
http://doctorschar.com/archives/new-jersey-tea-ceonanthus-americana/
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja01048a032

środa, 2 lipca 2014

Hemerocallis - Daylily

Polska wersja 

      PLANT PROFILE

   Daylily is a perennial plant, growing in clusters that provide abundance of beautiful, and what not many people suspect, delicious flowers. Every single flower is open for one day only, hence it's name Daylily and Hemerocallis which means ''day-beautifull'' in greek. But before you go to to try it, please make sure it is the right one. The most important thing to avoid is to get mixed with Lilies. They both have basically same shape of flowers as they are closely related. Fortunately they differ in general appearance. Daylilies are growing in form of clumps of long leaves growing straight from the ground, while highly poisonous Lilies are creating single flowering stems with small leaves growing straight from the stalk. What is also important is that there are hundreds of cultivars of Daylilies and some of them are reported to be not palatable or iritate stomach. But don't worry, it is not that hard to find the right one, that have been used in China, Korea and Japan for centuries, both as a vegetable and medicine. Mainly there are two types of asian Daylilies, which in many regions of USA and Europe escaped from cultivation and become popular wildplants. One have orange/tawny flowers and is called Hemerocallis fulva, and second one is yellow, Hemerocallis flava. These are the safest for harvest of edible raw or cooked, flowers, buds, young greens and tubers. But you have to be carefull with them as well. Even though delicious in taste in bigger quantities they are laxative, and older uncooked leaves might couse hallucinations. Some people also are allergic to Daylilies. So if you want to try one of those two types for the first time or try some new variaties without certain recommentadion, take a small part, chew it, taste it and spit it out. If you feel fine after about hour, try to eat small piece, but do it with someones assistance in case of sever allergic reaction. Fortunately I didn't found any human death reports but there are some informations about poisoning of cattle and cats.
    In Asia dried leaves and it's fibres are used to made sandals, ropes and even paper.



      CULTIVATION AND HARVESTING

   Daylilies are easy to grow perrennials growing up to 1,2m with flower stalks reaching even 2m hight. It can create a vast clumps, spreading through it's rhizomes, and so it can be easily propageted by division. This method of propagation is better from culinary point of view as it create exact clone of motherplant. While propagation from seeds is risky becouse of cross polination, very common among Daylilies. It can be fun though as sometimes hybrids might taste better than it's parents. It is a sun loving plant but tolerate moderate shade. It copes well with heats, temporary droughts and severe frosts (zones 3-9), but it is adviced to leave old dead leaves over winter as a natural cover. It can grow on nearly any soil, but prefer rich compost, neutral or slightly acid and quite wet soils. Leaves are best to gather when young, especially when they are just comming out from the ground in late winter or early spring. Older leaves are less atractive in both taste and texture, have stronger laxative effect and if eaten in excess uncooked, can couse hallucinations. Tubers are best from late fall to early spring, becouse of highest accumulation of nutrients, but can be digged up at any time of year. Buds and flowers can be picked at any time of development, most varieties are producing flowers from late spring to late summer. If some flowers will be left and the seed pods will start to develop, that plant may stop growing new flowers.


     CULINARY USES

  Young leaves, tubers, roots, buds and open flowers can be eaten raw, blanched or cooked in many ways. It can be added to salads, soups, stews, stir fries or used as a fillings. Flower buds while small and green, can be used like a green beans. Flowers can be dried and used as a thickening, fried in batter or turned into a jelly. Moderation is adviced because of laxative properties of uncooked green parts that if eaten in excess may lower ability to concentrate or even couse hallucinations.


     MEDICINAL USES

  Fresh leaves of Hemerocallis fulva acts sedative and might be used as a pain relief. Chinese are saing that it uplift the spirit and Chinese word for Daylily is synonym for ''forget-worry'', it is used as a treatment for post traumatic stress disorder, but consumed with excess it might couse hallucinations. It also have laxative properties.
  Tubers and roots are antimicrobial, diuretic, laxative and are used to cure jaundice, hemorrhoids, constipation, pneumonia, also breast tumors and other form of cancer. It also kills parasitic worms that couse filariasis. Juice from roots is effective antidote in cases of arsenic poisoning.
  Flowers are diuretic, depurative, febrifuge, antiemetic, sedative, antispasmotic, antidepresant and anodyne, in China it is used for this purpose even by women in childbirth. They are good source of protein, iron, beta-caroten and also contain rutin.In Japan both flowers and leaves are used to treat insomnia. Crushed petals or infusion made from flowers can be applied for sprains and bruises.







    Sources

http://www.thesouthernherbalist.com/articles/Daylily.html
http://www.survivalschool.us/edible-medicinal-plant-uses/day-lily-hemerocallis-fulva/
http://practicalplants.org/wiki/Hemerocallis_fulva
http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/hemerocallis-fulva-orange-daylily
http://www.floridata.com/ref/h/Hemerocallis_fulva.cfm
http://honest-food.net/2010/06/29/dining-on-daylilies/
http://brigittemars.com/other/day-lilies/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15172183
http://www.susunweed.com/Article_Liliacea-family.htm
http://blog.chestnutherbs.com/delectable-daylily
http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1055/#b
http://ipm.missouri.edu/MEG/2012/6/Daylily-Americas-Favorite-Perennial/
http://www.hgtvgardens.com/foraging/wild-man-dig-into-some-delicious-daylilies
http://books.google.pl/books?id=MaduhNghjb4C&pg=PA146&lpg=PA146&dq=hemerocallis+medicinal+uses&source=bl&ots=AJiDBVSNTE&sig=BCTHhZ2VwJgdTgyPEBu8NAXJj0w&hl=en&sa=X&ei=SkqpU8znBoXB7AbIiYGgAg&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAjge#v=onepage&q=hemerocallis%20medicinal%20uses&f=false
http://greentropicals.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/daylily-hemerocallis-fulva/
http://books.google.pl/books?id=10IMFSavIMsC&pg=PA2231&lpg=PA2231&dq=hemerocallis+medicinal+uses&source=bl&ots=7GbOv2KY7V&sig=eTio6bj5iWGW0yDoFOzQjgP3Efg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=IvGpU-3aN5Sp7Aai84HICg&ved=0CFAQ6AEwCDgo#v=onepage&q&f=false
http://www.teasofkyushu.com/health-forum/health-kwanso
http://books.google.pl/books?id=6jRsF1nOmqgC&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=hemerocallis+medicinal+uses&source=bl&ots=S_AjkT9TR5&sig=rrDwc4dWULK2Zf3EzGyVRNvc340&hl=en&sa=X&ei=4J2oU9SyINHy7Aa344G4Aw&ved=0CDcQ6AEwBDgU#v=onepage&q=hemerocallis%20medicinal%20uses&f=false
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Hemerocallis+fulva

Stachys byzantina - Lamb's Ears

Polska wersja

      PLANT PROFILE


   Stachys byzantina is a low growing perennial native to Turkey, Armenia and Iran, but quite popular in whole Europe thanks to it's hardiness and atrative outlook. Today it is almost totaly forgotten as a herb. But it is probably one of those few herbs that Dioscorides was calling Sideritis, which comes from greek word ''sideros'' that means iron. This name indicated not only antibacterial properties helpfull in cases of wounds made by iron weapons. But also use of it's leaves as a wound dressing, thanks to it's wooliness.


    CULTIVATION AND HARVESTING

  Stachys byzantina is small perennial reaching around 80cm in hight and up to 2m in diameter. It cope well with strong sunlight, heats and droughts as well as severe frosts (-30'C). But it not tolerate shade and wet ground over longer period as well as acidic pH. It grows well on sandy, poor quality soil. Flowers appear in june.



     CULINARY USES

  Leaves and flowers can be used as an original, wolly, slightly bitter vegetable. For example in Brazil, where it is called Lambari, it is fried in batter.

 
     MEDICINAL USES

  Leaves and flowers of Stachys byzantina have been used for centuries, mainly for it's antibacterial, antiseptic, antipyretic and astringent properties. Laboratory studies confirmed those values of this herb, which are coused by flavonoids and tanins that it contain. Juice squized over stings reduces swellings. Infusions are helpfull with colds, diarrhea, throat and gums infections, asthma, internal bleedings, varicose veins and also strengthens liver and heart. Fresh leaves squeezed in order to release it's antiseptic, anti-inflammatory juices onto the surface are excelent cover for wounds and simmered and cooled, can be used as an eyewash for pikeye and sties.



   Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stachys_byzantina
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba_oistgVHw
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2792521/
https://webstu.onu.edu/garden/node/353
https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-0031-1282312
http://www.naturalcuresnotmedicine.com/2014/06/grow-antibacterial-bandages.html
http://books.google.pl/books?id=YC_lAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA3551&lpg=PA3551&dq=stachys+Byzantina+medicinal+use&source=bl&ots=cUXgEce8_x&sig=yzxMOb4_g_XZx-Ni0j_TYXDkmNQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=B76eU6mOBqHF7AbxtIEg&ved=0CDsQ6AEwBTgU#v=onepage&q=stachys%20Byzantina%20medicinal%20use&f=false