Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
1:51 PM | Author: Atie

Matricaria chamomilla, commonly known as chamomile, German chamomile, Hungarian chamomile, wild chamomile or scented mayweed, is an annual plant of the composite family Asteraceae.

Many have noted that Chamomile has a distinctly apple like taste and aroma and in fact the word Chamomile as we have come to know it comes from the ancient Greek word Kamai-melon or ground apple. In Spanish the name for Chamomile is pronounced Manzanilla or "little apple."

Chamomile is used in many traditional remedies today included but not limited to a cure for the common cold, inflammation of the skin, bronchitis, fever and the liver. It is also an appetite stimulator and is also good for gallbladder complaints. One herbal medicine guide has even claimed that you won't have nightmares if you drink chamomile tea before bed.

Chamomile was called the "Plant's Physician in the past because they claimed that it was such a good companion plant. It's been said that if you plant chamomile near a sickly or drooping plant that 9 out of ten times the plant will recover.

Chamomile Tea is one of the most popular herbs in the world and is available in many different forms. The most prominent way in which this herb is relished is as a tisane, or herbal tea, its non-caffeinated herbal concoction made by pouring hot water over the leaves, stems, and roots of plants. You can make your own chamomile tea with other plants like lavender or tulsi to vary the flavor, or drink it alone.

Chamomile has many health benefits, especially for digestion. Chamomile can be used to treat abdominal pain, inflammation of the intestine, and as a sleeping pill (sedative). Moreover, it can be used to make herbal tea, by adding 2 tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers per cup of tea. To cope with abdominal pain (inflamed), it is recommended to drink a cup of chamomile tea every morning without breakfast for 2 or 3 months.

Chamomile is a popular herbal remedy. Available in two varieties – German and Roman – chamomile is used as an anti-depressant in addition to its use as a disease alleviator. 

Here are the top five health benefits of chamomile.
  • Muscle relaxant and for menstrual cramps
One of the top uses of chamomile is for muscle relaxation. It can be used as a balm or a tablet. Alternately, one can brew one’s own chamomile tea. Two to three cups a day is ideal to de-stress and keep muscles relaxed. It also calms muscle spasms during menstrual cramps.
  • Aids sound sleep
Chamomile has components that have soothing properties. Take it before going to bed and it will help you sleep better.
  • Soothes the stomach
Chamomile soothes stomachaches and helps alleviate bowel problems. It also helps with digestion.
  • Fights the common cold 
A cup of hot chamomile tea will help fight common colds as the herb has antibacterial properties.
  • Heals wounds faster
Apply a paste of chamomile flowers on wounds to make them heal faster.

In addition to the above benefits, chamomile is considered to be good for preventing the escalation of diabetic ailments. Chamomile oil is a good remedy for skin ailments and also helps improve skin quality. For stomach ailments, muscle spasms, and help in falling asleep, use about one tablespoon of dried herb per cup of water. Pour boiling water over the herbs and allow to steep for about 5 minutes. Strain and enjoy.

Some people have serious allergic reactions (including anaphylaxis) to chamomile. If you are allergic to other plants in the same family such as daisy, ragweed, aster, chrysanthemum, or marigold you should use caution when using chamomile.

Chamomile should be avoided during pregnancy because it may act as a uterine stimulant and therefore increase the chance of abortion.

People with bleeding disorders or on blood thinners should avoid chamomile, as it contains coumarin and may increase the chance of bleeding.
Pale purple coneflower
1:11 PM | Author: Atie
Echinacea pallida (Nutt.), commonly called pale purple coneflower, is a species of herbaceous perennial plant in the family Asteraceae. It is sometimes grown in gardens and used for medicinal purposes. Its native range is the south central region of the United States.

Flowers are single on end of stout hairy stem, with 15-20 purplish pink to nearly white rays (petals), each 1½ to 3 inches long and less than ¼ inch wide, with three notched teeth at the tips. Petals grow out and up, hanging down with maturity. In the center is a large round reddish brown disk covered in tiny brown disk flowers with white pollen.

Leaves are mostly basal, with stem leaves widely spaced and alternately attached on the lower half of the stem. Lower leaves are long and narrow, to 8 inches long, ½ to 1 inch wide, on long stalks, becoming smaller and stalkless as they ascend the stem. Edges are toothless and there are 3 distinct veins along the length. Stems and leaves are hairy and rough to the touch. Stems may be green or purple tinged, rarely branched.

Similar species: Glade coneflower (E. simulata) has yellow, not white pollen; it occurs mainly in the eastern Ozarks.

Size:  Height: to 3 feet.

Habitat and conservation:  Occurs in prairies, glades, savannas, openings of dry upland forests, pastures, roadsides and railroads. Along with other flowers in the genus Echinacea, this plant is often targeted by unscrupulous "root collectors" who sell them to manufacturers of herbal medicines. Such vandalism is one reason laws were enacted restricting the collecting of plants from Missouri's public highways.

Distribution in Missouri:  Scattered statewide, although apparently absent from the Mississippi Lowlands; in the eastern Ozarks, glade coneflower (Echinacea simulata) tends to predominate.

Human connections:  Though scientists debate its efficacy, this and other echinaceas are used for medicinal purposes and are threatened by root diggers. Laws restricting collection have been enacted to protect wild populations. Coneflowers are easily grown in gardens and are available at native plant nurseries.

Ecosystem connections:  The seeds of coneflowers are eaten by goldfinches, whose late-summer breeding time corresponds with the abundant seed set of these and other sunflower-family flowers such as goldenrods, ironweed and others. The tough rootstocks of coneflowers prevent erosion.

Purple cone flowers are used to make herbal teas that are designed to strengthen the immune system, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Native Americans commonly used the purple cone flower for medicine, according to Today more than 200 medicines are made from purple coneflower extract.
Hempedu Bumi (Bile Earth)
10:37 AM | Author: Atie

Bile Earth
Scientific name: Andrographis paniculata
Family: Acanthaceae
Common Name: Bile earth
Other names: The root story, sambilata, nivalembu, king of bitter, all-Tita
Location found: Malaysia, Thailand, India, Indonesia

The plant of the tiny while flowers at the axils is a herb known as Andrographis paniculata. The Malays call it Hempedu Bumi (Bile of the Earth)/Pokok Cerita (Plant of Tales) while other locals call it the antibiotic plant. Hempedu Bumi is a medicinal plant that grows in India, China and South East Asia. The name in Malay means ‘Bile of the earth’.  It is very bitter and is nicknamed ‘King of Bitters’.

The Chinese call the plant Chaun xin lian. It is widely cultivated in China, Thailand, the East and West Indies and Mauritius . This medicinal plant is also popular in South East Asia and India. It is one of the ingredients used in traditional herbal formulations.

Research on this herb has shown its effectiveness against several strains of the HIV virus. It prevents the virus from infecting healthy T-cells and inhibits the spread of infection, while other studies show that the herb is able to fight HIV in cells even after they have been infected. This action is the same as AZT, a commonly used AIDS drug with a number of debilitating side-effects, including a low blood count.

Other reported applications include its use in cases of malaria, dysentery and herpes.

The global flu epidemic of 1918 was one of the most devastating infectious outbreaks in world history - more virulent even than the Black Death in the 14th century - killing 50 million people worldwide. No country escaped its onslaught but in India, Hempedu Bumi [Andrographis paniculata], was credited with stopping the spread of the deadly virus.

Nowadays in the West, those who use ‘alternative medicine’ turn to this plant to prevent and treat the common cold. Research has indicated its effectiveness against upper respiratory infection by increasing the body's resistance . It is also an expectorant (promotes mucus discharge from the respiratory system)

Scientists have discovered that this herb helps boost the immune system by stimulating the production of antibodies and macrophages - large white blood cells that scavenge foreign matter.

Hempedu Bumi extracts are also showing promise in relieving diarrhea associated with E.coli bacterial infections.

Bile earth leaves can be used to lower high blood pressure in addition to treating diabetes. Boil the leaves and drinks.  The leaves can also treat wounds by grinding the leaves and put it on the wound. Chemical substances in the leaf can break the fat molecules that have clogged bloodstream causing blood pressure to increase. Leaf boiled water that has bitter trigger it to break down fat molecules. But it is undeniable that taste bitter, and sour so difficult to separated local natural herbal medicine. But the taste does not attract a large part of our society. They prefer to taste the sweet and salty. Of sweet and salty in excess can cause certain diseases. But if we balance the tastes are good for health. 

Currently scientists are focusing on the herb’s ability to prevent the formation of blood clots and prevent the re-clogging of arteries after angioplasty - a technique used to treat blocked arteries by inserting a balloon into the blood vessels which is then inflated to widen the artery.

Further research reveals that the herb activates fibrinolysis, a natural process in the body in which blood clots are dissolved. It also relaxes the smooth muscle in the walls of blood vessels and has a blood pressure-lowering effect. It performs as well as many conventional drugs but without the harmful side-effects, the herb is hypoglycemic – it can reduce blood sugar .

This herbs can be a good treatment for diabetes, high blood pressure. asthma, arteriosclerosis, chest pain due to heart disease, malaria, fever, stimulates the activity of the stomach, tonic, restore body functions, snake bites and venomous stings.

In fact, this plant is also suitable for treating insect bites. The easiest way is to take a few leaves and crush. Rub in place bitten. But it is more popular in the treatment of high blood pressure and fever. The usual method is that we need to take a few leaves and clean them. Then soak the leaves in a glass of hot water and let it heat water that is warm. After that, drink slowly. It tastes quite bitter, particularly for the first time you take it. But bear in mind, as other herbaceous plants often do not drink very much in a day. Enough to drink once a day.

Planting material can be propagated using seeds. Bile earth can be planted on the ridge with 30 cm spacing between plants in the row and 30 cm between rows. Collection of revenue shall be carried out at 8-10 weeks after planting with trees cut 5 cm from ground level. Fertilizer rates needed for sandy soils is 10 t / ha chicken manure and 500 kg / ha NPK compound fertilizer = 10:10:10. Only 250 kg / ha of semi-organic fertilizer needed for alluvial soils. Dry yield potential is in the range of 1.0-1.5 t / ha.

Generally, bitter herbs have an affinity with the heart, liver and gall bladder. Hempedu Bumi has an amazing broad range of beneficial properties. It is used in a variety of herbal traditions. Found in the Indian Pharmacopoeia, it is prominent in at least 26 Ayurvedic formulas. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Hempedu Bumi is an important "cold property" herb: it is used to rid the body of heat, as in fevers, and to dispel toxins from the body. This herb is also used in SE Asia traditional medicine. 

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