Manayupa (Desmodium Adscendens) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Manayupa (Desmodium Adscendens) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Manayupa (Desmodium Adscendens) Overview

Manayupa (Desmodium Adscendens) other names : Amor-do-campo , Amor Seco , Barba de Boi , Beggar-lice , Burbur , Hard Man , Hard Stick , Manayupa , Margarita , Mundubirana , Mundurana , Pega Pega , Strong Back , Tick-clover.

Manayupa is a flowering plant belonging to the Desmodium genus, which is a member of Fabaceae family (also known as the bean family). There are several dozen plants in Desmodium genus and the delimitation of this genus has changed significantly over time.

Manayupa (Desmodium Adscendens) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Manayupa (Desmodium Adscendens) plant

Manayupa (scientific name Desmodium Adscendens) has its origin in the equatorial regions, especially in Africa and South America. However, the manayupa herb is more widespread in the tropical coastal areas of Africa, where they are found growing in the wild.

Manayupa is a perennially growing weedy herb. The manayupa usually reaches a maximum height of 3 feet and bears oval leaves that appear alternately. In Suriname, manayupa is a very common, native weed found growing naturally in yards and the length of roads. The manayupa bears small green hued beans in pods measuring anything between 1 inch and 1 1/2 inches. The pods of Manayupa are muggy, while the flowers of manayupa are small and their color may vary from light purple to pink.

Some plants of this species bear large or bright flowers. While some manayupa plants can grow to become sizeable, most of them are herbs or simply small shrubs. The fruits of manayupa are loments by nature. In other words, each seed of the manayupa fruit is dispersed separately while remaining encircled in its section. This is one reason why these plants are considered obstinate. In fact, a number of species of Desmodium genus are believed to be weeds by people in several regions where the plants grow naturally. Nevertheless, these plants have various uses. The modest appearance of these plants does not usually manifest their uses.

Traditional healers in Africa use manayupa for treating a variety of liver problems, such as jaundice, or toxic or viral hepatitis. Manayupa is also used for treating damaged liver. On the other hand, people in Venezuela used Desmodium for treating epilepsy. Only the aerial parts of manayupa, such as the leaves, stems and flowers, are used for therapeutic purposes.

Manayupa plants are often found in places at an altitude of 1,000 meters above sea level. However, these plants are mostly found growing naturally at altitudes between 3,000 meters and 4,000 meters above sea level in the mountainous regions of Peru in Latin America.

Manayupa (Desmodium Adscendens) Health Benefits

Manayupa has several applications in the medicine systems of the regions where the plant is native. People in those places have been traditionally using the manayupa herb for treating a variety of health conditions including asthma, allergies, malaria, inflammation, gastritis, parasites, viruses, kidney stones, and in the form of a blood purifier and also as a sedative.

In the herbal medicine of Peru people prepare a tea with manayupa leaves and drink it to purify their blood. In addition, they also use the manayupa herb to detoxify the body and eliminate all environmental chemicals and toxins, to cleanse the urinary tract, alleviate headaches, inflammation and pain as well as to ease kidney stress. The manayupa leaf tea is also employed to cure problems related to the ovary, for instance irritation and inflammation, hemorrhages and vaginal discharges.

Drinking manayupa tea in small doses or amounts may prove to be highly effective. At the same time, no adverse or toxic effect of drinking this leaf infusion tea has been reported thus far. A number of native tribes are of the belief that manayupa possesses magical powers. As a result, they often administer this herb to a lover who no longer seems to be interested in his/ her mate with a view to rekindle the old relationship.

Even in the present times, the tribal population in the tropical regions where manayupa is found growing naturally continues to use this herb in the same manner as their ancestors to treat various health conditions afflicting them. The worth of the manayupa herb as well as its therapeutic uses have remained unchanged for them. Some inhabitants of the Amazon region prepare a tea with the leaves of this herb and this infusion is used to bathe the breasts of women after childbirth with a view to augment their breast milk production. Some other tribes in the region pound the leaves and add lime juice to it to prepare a paste, which is applied directly to wounds to heal them as well as prevent the injuries from being infected. In addition, the tea prepared from manayupa leaves is also employed for curing convulsions as well as venereal sores. This tea or infusion has also been used traditionally to treat diarrhea and malaria, in addition to curing venereal diseases. It is also used in the form of a digestive tonic.

Manayupa (Desmodium Adscendens) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Manayupa (Desmodium Adscendens) fruits

Currently, scientists are examining the effectiveness of manayupa in treating asthma. This is primarily owing to the fact that the shamans and herbalists have been traditionally and successfully using this herb to treat asthma since long. They claim that manayupa is highly effective in treating this respiratory problem.

Manayupa offers several therapeutic benefits and, hence, has a number of applications, especially by the native populations where the plant grows in the wild. Manayupa is said to be effective in treating all types of inflammatory conditions, as it works by enhancing the functioning of the kidneys. At the same time, Manayupa promotes urine flow and acts as a diuretic. Manayupa is also effective in getting rid of all waste deposits in the urinary tract. In addition, Manayupa is used by people in South America to treat conditions related to every kind of inflammation, primarily owing to the plant’s anti-allergic and anti-asthma properties.

In the traditional medicine of Suriname, manayupa is used for treating constipation, diarrhea, dysentery, bronchial asthma, liver dysfunctions, and malaria, problems related to the urinary system and also for curing chronic and severe hepatitis. In Belize, people prepare an infusion by soaking the whole herb in rum for a day and drink the infusion for alleviating back pain.

This herb is also beneficial for people enduring nervousness and fatigue. Manayupa also helps to regulate the liver and is used for treating several hepatic conditions. Manayupa is especially beneficial for treating hepatitis and gallbladder infections. Manayupa possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-infective properties.

It is said that manayupa also helps to speed up fat metabolism, thereby is beneficial for people undergoing weight loss treatments.

Manayupa (Desmodium Adscendens) Side effects

Manayupa (Desmodium Adscendens) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Manayupa (Desmodium Adscendens) flower

Manayupa is commercially available in a variety of forms including the dry herb, tincture, capsule, extract and others. It has been established that this herb is non-toxic. However, when taken in elevated doses, Manayupa can produce laxative effect. Hence, it is advisable that you check with your therapist or herbalist before you start taking manayupa. They are the best persons to decide whether this herb is suitable for your use and also determine the correct dosage for you.

Mexican Oregano (Lippia Graveolens) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Mexican Oregano (Lippia Graveolens) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Mexican Oregano (Lippia Graveolens) Overview

Mexican Oregano (Lippia Graveolens) other names : Desert Oregano , Mexican Oregano.

Mexican oregano (botanical name Lippia graveolens) is a partially woody shrub, primarily used in culinary, especially in Mexcan and South-western cuisines. Mexican oregano brings a spicy essence to foods, something that does not happen with the ordinary oregano. Usually, Mexican oregano grows up to a height of about 24 to 36 inches. The Mexican oregano has a fine mounding shape, extending to about 18 to 24 inches.

Mexican oregano is not genuine oregano. It is indigenous to Mexico, some regions of South America and Guatemala.

Mexican Oregano (Lippia Graveolens) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Mexican Oregano (Lippia Graveolens) leaves

The species is grown as an evergreen during the winter in many regions, while it may shed its leaves when it is too cold and the plants are under stress. However, throughout the summer Mexican oregano plants are seen covered with white tubular blossoms. Similar to majority of other herbs, Mexican oregano plants need to be trimmed during the summer. These plants thrive well in humid regions, especially the coastal gulf regions, which make Mexican oregano an excellent landscape plant. Compared to other herbs, Mexican oregano prefers some additional moisture.

The Mexican oregano bears petite star-like blooms that appear sporadically all through the season. Mexican oregano responds excellently to pruning and, hence, you may think of altering their original forms, such as espaliers and topiaries. The foliage is aromatic and its flavour is sweet and intense, which is preferred by several gourmet chefs. When you place the whole branches of the plant over the hot charcoal, they impart an unbelievably pleasant essence to grilled foods.

Compared to the usual Italian as well as the Greek oregano, which are sold at the grocery stores, the flavour of Mexican oregano is more potent. In recent times, the flavour of this species is becoming increasingly and quickly popular with chefs, as it is not only potent, but also has a faint sweetness, which is exclusive to this variety of oregano native to Mexico.

In fact, the flavour of Mexican oregano is somewhat akin to that of the conventional oregano, which is a wonderful alternative for the usual Mediterranean oregano, especially when you add this species at nearly half the amount necessary for preparing a recipe. You may add Mexican oregano to the Mexican as well as South-western cuisines in required amounts necessary to add a strong oregano essence.

Although the flavour of Mexican oregano is akin to that of the traditional oregano, the two species are entirely different. The aromatic leaves of Mexican oregano are employed in conventional Mexican culinary, wherein they pass on a potently earthy essence. Conventionally, the leaves of Mexican oregano were used to prepare an herbal tea for treating minor problems related to the respiratory system.

While the names of Mexican oregano and traditional oregano are quite similar, Mexican and common oregano are separate species. While Mexican oregano is a member of the Verbenaceae plant family, the common or traditional oregano is a member of the mint family. The botanical name of Mexican oregano is Lippia graveolens, while the botanical name of the common oregano is Origanum vulgare.

The white flowers of Mexican oregano are delicate and aromatic and they bloom throughout the year when grown in places where there is no frost. Even plants grown in greenhouses produce flowers all the year around. The flowers of Mexican oregano are loaded with nectar and attract butterflies, in addition to other insects that help in pollination. Even birds visit this plant frequently to feed on its nutritious seeds. In addition, lots of wildlife have their nest in the large Mexican oregano shrubs. All these make this species a wonderful plant in any wildlife garden.

Mexican Oregano (Lippia Graveolens) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Mexican Oregano (Lippia Graveolens) flower

Hot summer days are excellent for growing Mexican oregano. It requires a sandy textured soil for optimal growth. In addition, Mexican oregano grows best in complete sunlight and soils that are well drained.

Basically, Mexican oregano is a close cousin of lemon verbena. Most of the commercially grown oregano that is used in the United States is Mexican oregano and not the common oregano. In places having cold climatic conditions, Mexican oregano should be cultivated in the form of a tender perennial. Mexican oregano is an ideal culinary herb for growing in containers and gardens.

Mexican Oregano (Lippia Graveolens) Health Benefits

Mexican oregano is indigenous to Mexico, Central America and the American Southwest. The leaves of Mexican oregano are used to prepare a conventional “country tea” or herbal tea that was once employed for treating infections of the respiratory tract and delayed or scanty menstrual flow.

Consumption of Mexican oregano in the form of an herbal tea is believed to alleviate minor problems related to the respiratory tract. However, it is not necessary to become ill to take delight in the wonderfully pleasant flavour of this herbal tea. It is very easy to prepare this tea - you just require adding one tablespoon of fresh or dried out herb to boiling water, filter the solution and drink it.

The herbal tea prepared from the Mexican oregano leaves is employed for treating diarrhea, stomach pains, and colds. Findings of a number of studies involving the antioxidant flavonoids present in Mexican oregano have shown enough potential for use as remedies for various ailments.

All plants belonging to genus Lippia (Verbenaceae) are known to possess anti-inflammatory, anti-malarial, sedative, spasmolitic and hypotensive properties. Usually, the flavonoids (phenolic compounds) or the essential oils extracted from the herb are believed to be its active principles.

Mexican Oregano (Lippia Graveolens) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Mexican Oregano (Lippia Graveolens) plant

In Mexico, people use Mexican oregano leaves in their culinary as a substitute for common oregano. The aroma as well as flavour of Mexican oregano is almost the same as common oregano, but the former is sweeter as well as more intense compared to the species belonging to the genus Origanum.

The dry leaves of Mexican oregano are used in numerous traditional as well as typical cuisines, especially in marinades, sauces as well as spice rubs. Hence, it is not surprising to note that Mexican oregano has a great affinity for all indigenous ingredients, including chillies, tomatoes, beans and avocados. Similar to other dried herbs, heat brings out the best aroma and flavour of Mexican oregano. Therefore, if you are using Mexican oregano in any uncooked dish, for instance salsa, you need to warm it for some time in a drying pan or gently rub it between your palms to help release the essential oils enclosed by it.

In addition to being used in the form of a spice in cooking, Mexican oregano may also be used to prepare a delightful herbal tea. In fact, Belizeans add three teaspoons of the dried herb or half cup of the fresh Mexican oregano leaves to three cups of boiling water and steep it for about 15 minutes. Subsequently, the resultant solution is filtered and drank warm.

Mexican oregano is wonderful for adding essence to various dishes. You may either use the leaves fresh or dry out the leaves or store them in a sealed container for future use. The dried leaves of Mexican oregano can also be used to prepare tea.

Mexican oregano is excellent when used with dishes based on tomatoes or beans and meat preparations. It also goes well with cheesecake.

Mexican Oregano (Lippia Graveolens) Health Benefits

Not enough is known about the safety of using Mexican oregano.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of Mexican oregano during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Hoodia (Hoodia Pilifera) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Hoodia (Hoodia Pilifera) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Hoodia (Hoodia Pilifera) Overview

Hoodia (Hoodia Pilifera) other names: Cactus, Cactus Hoodia, Cactus du Kalahari, Extrait de Hoodia, Hoodia Cactus, Hoodia Extract, Hoodia Gordonii, Hoodia Gordonii Cactus, Hoodia P57, Kalahari Cactus, Kalahari Diet, P57, Xhoba.

The herb Hoodia pilifera gets is name from Van Hood, who was a keen and tender cultivator. On the other hand, the botanical name of the species is derived from the Latin term ‘pilus', ‘hair; trifle' + ‘i' - the connective vowel is made use of in Latin from the Latin word ‘fero', denoting ‘to bear, carry and bring'. In effect, this refers to the apical hairy spines present on the tip of every tubercle (a small, firm, rounded nodule).

Hoodia (Hoodia Pilifera) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Hoodia (Hoodia Pilifera) picture

Native to South Africa, Hoodia pilifera is a leafless plant having a fat, succulent stem. Generally, Hoodia pilifera is found growing in parched areas at an altitude of approximately 300 meters to 900 meters. The Hoodia pilifera produces saucer shaped flowers that have a deep purple to nearly black to pinkish brown color inside, while on the exterior it has a reddish green hue. The flowers of Hoodia pilifera may appear solitarily or even in small clusters or inflorescences. The flowers of the Hoodia pilifera are somewhat diminutive having a corolla that is pinkish-yellow in most cases, while the corona has a yellow hue with a potent wicked smell. On the other hand, the pedicels are comparatively long which makes the flower somewhat droopy at times.

It may be noted that the Hoodia pilifera plants are uses in the same manner as the Hoodia gordonii to suppress appetite and thirst.

Hoodia pilifera is a succulent plant growing up to a height of 0.5 meters, having plump, uneven and thorny stems that originate from a common base. The flowers of Hoodia pilifera possesses the smell of decaying flesh with a view to draw flies and blowflies, which act as main pollinators. The seed capsules of Hoodia pilifera remind you of the horns of a goat and enclose numerous brown seeds having silky seed hairs. Currently, three sub-species of the Hoodia pilifera are known. The sub-species pilifera bears purple-brownish flowers that grow up to 20 mm in diameter, while the sub-species annulata bears flowers that have deep purple to black color and grows up to 20 mm to 30 mm in diameter with unfolding lobes. The third known sub-species is called pillansii which produces flowers whose color ranges from yellow to pink and are devoid of the elevated rim or annulus, which is present in the other two sub-species. The main species that is under commercial development is Hoodia gordonii, which produces large, flesh-colored flowers.

Hoodia (Hoodia Pilifera) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Hoodia (Hoodia Pilifera) flower

Native to the arid regions of Southern Africa, hoodia has been cultivated on a trial level and is yet to be commercialized completely. Although it is very simple to cultivate the plants in the Hoodia species, the plants are vulnerable to root decay owing to excessive watering as well as lack of clean air. The plant generally requires watering during the growing season and very rarely during the winters. Normally, it is advisable to over-winter the plants when they are grown in warm conditions - at around 10°C. However, despite being native to Africa, the Hoodia species appear to grow excellently as well as produce flowers devoid of any additional heat that one may have considered necessary for cultivating these plants. Sometimes the plants are also able to endure temperatures close to 0°C or even below provided they are maintained in a dry state.

Hoodia (Hoodia Pilifera) Health Benefits

Hoodia is a cactus-type plant from the Kalahari desert in Africa.

People use hoodia to curb their appetite so they are able to lose weight. According to some claims, San bushmen in Africa eat hoodia to fight off hunger during long hunts.

The stems of the plants belonging to the Hoodia species as well as other succulents are also known as carrion flowers or stapeliads - locally called ‘ghaap'. Traditionally, the Khoi-San herders of Namibia and South Africa use the stems of the hoodia to suppress their appetite as well thirst. It may be mentioned that the appetite suppressant code has been isolated, recognized as well as patented. Currently, scientists are studying the appetite suppressant principle of the Hoodia with a view to develop a medication to cure obesity.

Hoodia (Hoodia Pilifera) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Hoodia (Hoodia Pilifera) plant

In South Africa, the country where the plant originated, people use the Hoodia plant species as an expedient food during emergencies. In addition, Hoodia is also used as a source of moisture in ruthless parched surroundings. Hoodia pilifera possesses a bland, but cool and watery flavor. Some people consume the plant raw, while there are others who preserve it in sugar before eating the plant, especially the stems.

The unripe pods of Hoodia pilifera are a favourite among the people for its sweetness. Like Hoodia gordonii as well as many other succulents that are referred to as carrion flowers or stapeliads, plants of this species may be used to suppress appetite as well as thirst. To eat the plant, the stem of Hoodia pilifera is cut into small pieces, the skin of Hoodia pilifera is peeled to remove the thorns and consumed fresh. However, the most favourable dose of this Hoodia pilifera is yet to be known.

Be careful when buying hoodia products. According to news reports, some samples of hoodia sold on the Internet do not contain any hoodia at all. You might not get what’s listed on the label.

Hoodia (Hoodia Pilifera) Side effects

There isn’t enough information to know if hoodia is safe.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of hoodia during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea) Overview

Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea) other names: Dé de Bergère, Dead Man's Bells, Digitale, Digitale Laineuse, Digitale Pourpre, Digitale Pourprée, Digitalis lanata, Digitalis purpurea, Doigtier, Fairy Cap, Fairy Finger, Foxglove, Gant-de-Bergère, Gant-de-Notre-Dame, Gantelée, Gantière, Grande Digitale, Lady's Thimble, Lion's Mouth, Purple Foxglove, Scotch Mercury, Throatwort, Witch's Bells, Woolly Foxglove.

Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea) image

The herbal plant known as the foxglove can reach six feet in height. The foxglove has a straight stem without branches and grows as a biennial plant. During the spring bloom, foxglove flowers hang in bunches on the stem - the flowers of the foxglove have a dull pink or purple coloration, and often come with white spots on the corolla. The large sized leaves of the foxglove possess distinct and prominent veins running along the lamina.

Among all the traditional medicinal plants of old, the foxglove is considered to be among the loveliest, the most significant, the best known and even the most lethal. The plant poison called digitalis is simply the powdered down dried leaves of the foxglove plant. Digitalis is a well known cardiac stimulating compound that has helped millions of heart patients stay alive due to its property of stimulating the cardiac muscles.

Withering identified the foxglove as the curative herb from the old woman's mostly useless bag of weeds. The physician found that foxglove was capable of treating the swelling or edema, which accompanies congestive heart failure in a person. Withering would also find the poisonous nature of the foxglove herb and the real ability of the digitalis in the herb to completely stop the pulsation of the human heart, even while it was also capable of shocking the heart into contraction. The physician would spend a decade conducting precise experiments on the use of the foxglove to determine the proper dosage for this new herbal remedy. Withering would publish a paper on the properties of the foxglove herb in 1785, the record of his findings is considered a classic of medical literature and was referred by many physicians in his day.

The shape of the blossoms give the herb its name, as the glove shaped flowers resembled gloved fingers and the name foxglove is an allusion to the white paws of the common red fox.

While the foxglove has been mainly identified as a native English plant and associated with English countryside, the foxglove is found growing in many places throughout Europe and in the North American woods. The foxglove is a very easy to grow in most garden soils, particularly if such soils are rich in the content of organic matter and humus. The foxglove grows best in light dry soils in sites with a semi-shade; however, the foxglove can also succeeds very well in sites with full exposure to the sunlight if the soil at the site is also moist or wet. 

Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea) Health Benefits

Foxglove is a plant. Although the parts of the foxglove that grow above the ground can be used for medicine, foxglove is unsafe for self-medication. All parts of the foxglove are poisonous.

Chemicals taken from foxglove are used to make a prescription drug called digoxin. Digitalis lanata is the major source of digoxin in the US.

Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea) plant

The foxglove was originally used by the Irish as healing herb in the folk medicine of Ireland to treat skin problems such as boils and ulcers, as well as headaches and paralysis. The main chemical compound found in the foxglove plant is a glycoside called digitoxin; this chemical compound has been chemically isolated in the laboratory and is now artificially synthesized as well. The compound is employed as a major medication, called digitalis, used in the treatment of congestive heart failure and to right congenital heart defects in patients. The contraction of cardiac muscles is strengthened and boosted by the digitoxin; the compound also slows the pulsation rate of the human heart. Foxglove also contains one more important glycoside called digoxin; this compound has a diuretic effect on the kidneys and is used in some medications. The reason for the traditional fear of the foxglove herb is that any of the chemicals found in the plant are extremely dangerous when ingested in high doses by humans or animals. The compounds in the foxglove can induce cardiac rhythm disorders, sudden depression, heart failure or asphyxiation if they are ingested in large quantities.

Foxglove is used for congestive heart failure (CHF) and relieving associated fluid retention (edema); irregular heartbeat, including atrial fibrillation and “flutter;” asthma; epilepsy; tuberculosis; constipation; headache; and spasm. The foxglove is also used to cause vomiting and for healing wounds and burns.

Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea) Side effects

Foxglove is unsafe for anyone to take by mouth without the advice and care of a healthcare professional. Some people are especially sensitive to the toxic side effects of foxglove and should be extra careful to avoid use.

Foxglove can cause irregular heart function and death. Signs of foxglove poisoning include stomach upset, small eye pupils, blurred vision, strong slow pulse, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, excessive urination, fatigue, muscle weakness and tremors, stupor, confusion, convulsions, abnormal heartbeats, and death. Long-term use of foxglove can lead to symptoms of toxicity, including visual halos, yellow-green vision, and stomach upset.

Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea) flower

Deaths have occurred when foxglove was mistaken for comfrey.

Children: Taking foxglove by mouth is likely unsafe for children. 

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Foxglove is unsafe when taken by mouth for self-medication. Do not use.

Heart disease: Although foxglove is effective for some heart conditions, it is too dangerous for people to use on their own. Heart disease needs to be diagnosed, treated, and monitored by a healthcare professional.

Kidney disease: People with kidney problems may not clear foxglove from their system very well. This can increase the chance of foxglove build-up and poisoning.