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 effectiveness 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, antiepileptic and galactagogue.
   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 forehead 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

środa, 3 września 2014

Anemopsis californica - Yerba Mansa

Polska wersja

     PLANT PROFILE

   Anemopsis californica is a small perenial plant, growing in form of rosettes of leaves that create clusters. As the latin name indicate it is native to southwest coast of USA, but also Nevada, Arizona, Texas and north Mexico. It have been used for centuries as a healing herb by indigenous people and some of them regarded it as a panaceum. Today it is respected as a valuable medicine, by many doctors from other regions as well, as scientific researches proved its effectivnes. Its common name is Yerba Mansa, yerba means herb in spanish, and mansa means gentle, calm, which might refer to its soothing, antinflammatory properties as well as its action against stomach infections. Whole plant is rich in essential oils which is given it its unique, strong, spicy fragnance, that in sunny days can be smelt from distance. This smell is a bit similar to eucaliptus, as both plants contain significant amounts of the same chemical compound called methyleugenol.


     CULTIVATION AND HARVESTING

  Anemopsis is a low growing perenial plant, with rosettes of leaves and flower stems coming out straight from its fleshy root. It grow no more than 40cm in hight, but thru its stolons with new small clumps of leaves, rooting quicky, it spreads creating big colonies. Even though this plant grows mostly in dessert areas, it is allways in boggy places, near ponds or rivers, often temporally partialy immersed. On the other hand it can stand severe droughts in short term. It likes alkaline soils and it is said to tolerate saline and slightly acidic ground as well. Leaves are turning red and dying before winter to shoot back from its root in early spring. It tolerate frosts to -15'C as well as strong heats. Yerba Mansa prefers light shade but copes very well in full sun. Flowers in summer. Roots should be gathered no sooner than in second year, after leaves turn dead dry or in early spring before new leaves come out. Leaves are best to pick for drying while plants are producing flowers.


     CULINARY USES

  Aromatic leaves and roots of Anemopsis californica can be eaten fresh or cooked. Seeds can be grounded and used as a flour. Tea made from leaves or roots of Yerba Mansa can be drink as a tonic and is consider a panacea.


     MEDICINAL USES

   Yerba Mansa have not only long tradiction of use in herbal medicine, but also high esteem in modern medicine, due to its many values proven by clinic and laboratory tests. Its medical actions are mainly coused by essential oils, that differ significantly between leaves and roots and also noticibly vary acording to chemotype origin. Both parts are astringent, antiseptic, vulnerary, antifungal, analgesic, stomachic, carminative, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, anti-emetic, general tonic and blood purifing.
    Leaves essential oil contain elemicin (53%), piperitone (11,5%), methyleugenol (6,9%), (E)-caryophyllene (4,6%), 1,8-cineole (2,5%), alpha-pinene and beta-phellandrene. Fresh pounded leaves are applied on abrasions, cuts, burns, insect bites, ringworms, aching muscles, skin ulcers and for rheumatism. Infusions are used for colds, chest congestions, blood purification and stomach ulcers or to bathe aching muscles, sore feet and veneral infections. Dried, poudered leaves and roots can be applied on wounds, and athletes foot.
    Roots are rich in esssential oil that contain methyleugenol (57%), thymol (13,8%), piperitone (8%), isoeugenol, cymene, limonene, alpha-pinene, 1,8-cineole, myrtenol, elemicin. Roots are chewed for toothache, infalmmations of gums, throat and affections of mucous membranes. Infusion from roots is used for colds, flu, malaria, inflammations, bronchial cough, pleurisy, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, typhoid, dysentery, arthrisis, menstrual cramps, urinary tract infections and as a general pain remedy. Externaly it is applied on wounds, sores and syphylis. Scientific tests proved its bioactivity against uterine and cervical cancer cell lines.



    Sources

 http://medplant.nmsu.edu/yerba.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2330197/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anemopsis
http://www.fireflyforest.com/flowers/99/anemopsis-californica-yerba-mansa/
https://deborahsmall.wordpress.com/tag/anemopsis-californica/
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2014/273878/
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=5456546&page=1
http://doctorschar.com/archives/lizard-tail-anemopsis-californica/
http://www.gardenguides.com/taxonomy/yerba-mansa-anemopsis-californica/
http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/42/7/1578.full
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Anemopsis+californica
http://www.yerbamansa.org/YM-benefits.html
http://nathistoc.bio.uci.edu/Plants%20of%20Upper%20Newport%20Bay%20(Robert%20De%20Ruff)/Saururaceae/Anemopsis%20californica.htm