Lemon balm a member of the mint family, is considered a calming herb. It was used as far back as the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion.
Lemon Balm was dedicated to the goddess Diana, and used medicinally by the Greeks some 2,000 years ago. In the Middles Ages lemon balm was used to soothe tension, to dress wounds, and as a cure for toothache, skin eruptions, mad dog bites, crooked necks, and sickness during pregnancy. It was even said to prevent baldness. As a medicinal plant, lemon balm has traditionally been employed against bronchial inflammation, earache, fever, flatulence, headaches, high blood pressure, influenza, mood disorders, palpitations, toothache and vomiting. A tea made from Lemon balm leaves is said to soothe menstrual cramps and helps relieve PMS.
The herb is used for nervous agitation, sleeping problems, functional gastrointestinal complaints, menstrual cramps and urinary spasms. It is thought that the volatile oils in lemon balm contain chemicals that relax muscles, particularly in the bladder, stomach, and uterus, thereby relieving cramps, gas, and nausea.
Kabatiti is a climbing, smooth shrub, reaching a height of 6 meters. Leaves are shining, ovate, 5 to 9 centimeters long, 2 to 6 centimeters wide; with pointed tips, rounded bases and toothed margins. Three nerves arise from the base of the leaf. Flowers are yellowish green, about 4 millimeters in diameter, borne on axillary, short inflorescences which are about 1 centimeter long. Fruit is somewhat rounded, 7 to 9 millimeters in diameter, and surrounded at the base by the calyx, green and fleshy, becoming dark brown with age, and contains three seeds.
Asiatica leaves contain a useful saponin-like substance (Johnston 1971, in Schultz, 1992). In Hawai‘i and elsewhere, the plant is used medicinally and its leaves have long been used for soap as they form a lather in water (Neal 1965, in Schultz, 1992).
Speargrass is one of the most dominant and noxious weeds in agricultural and non-agricultural fields. It is a prolific seed producer, when detached from stalks the seeds are carried by wind at long distances, and difficult to eradicate because of persistent rhizomes. It is ranked as the world’s seventh worse weed. In Nigeria, it is reported to have the potential to invade 260 million hectares of land.
Comparative anti-hyperglycemic potentials of medicinal plants: Roots of IC has had folkloric use as an antidiabetic agent. The study showed no significant lowering in blood glucose levels with Imperata cylindrica. Isolation and partial characterization of immunostimulating polysaccharides from Imperata cylindrica. Crude extract and some of the purified polysaccharides enhance the proliferation of murine splenocytes. Anti-Platelet Aggregation: Antiplatelet Aggregating Activity of Extracts of Indonesian Medicinal Plants: All eight Indonesian medicinal plants, including Imperata cylindrica, studied showed inhibitory effects on platelet aggregation. The study yielded two novel lignans, graminones A and B. Graminone B showed inhibitory activity on the contraction of the rabbit aorta.
Kabal or better known as False Coffee Tree is a tree growing about 6 meters or more in height. Leaves are opposite, very leathery, oblong ovate or ovate, 15 to 33 centimeters in length, 8 to 18 centimeters in width, rounded or somewhat heart-shaped at the base, and pointed at the tip. Stipules form a cup around the stem on which the leaves are borne. Flowers are borne in clusters on terminal inflorescences which are often 20 to 30 centimeters in length. Corolla is white, funnel-shaped, about 2.5 to 3 centimeters in diameter, with 5 prominent lobes. Fruit is a broadly ovoid or rounded berry, about 1 centimeter in diameter, containing many seeds and borne in good sized bunches.
Cayenne pepper is a small perennial shrub, reaching about 90-100 cm in height. It prefers well drained sandy soil and warm climate. Its woody stem with numerous branches covered with thick dark-green foliage. Small creamy-white flowers appear all over the bush which subsequently develop into long, slender, glossy bright green color fruits (pods). The fruits finally attain mature status when they turn deep-red color. Interiorly, each cayenne fruit features numerous tiny, flat, disk-shaped, off-white or cream colored seeds. The seeds are actually clinging on to the central white placenta.
Cayenne chilies have a strong spicy taste that comes to them from the active alkaloid compounds’ capsaicin, capsanthin, and capsorubin. The hotness of cayenne measured in “Scoville heat units” (SHU). On the Scoville scale, cayenne pepper has 30,000 to 50,000 SHU. On comparison scale, bell peppers have “zero” SHU. Cayenne contains health benefiting alkaloid compound, capsaicin which gives them a strong spicy pungent character. Early laboratory studies on experimental mammals suggest that capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. When used judiciously it also found to reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals.
Garlic has a 5000 year history as an indispensable part of ancient and modern civilizations’ medicine, cooking, religious traditions, and folklore. From the Chinese to the Vikings, medieval barbers in Europe to Native Americans, World War I soldiers to Egyptian nobility, garlic was valued for its antimicrobial properties before microbes were discovered. Ancient legends of its arousing, fortifying, and life-giving effects are increasingly corroborated by modern scientific evidence that shows how garlic improves cardiovascular health. When Hebrew slaves escaped Egypt, they complained to Moses about how much they missed the garlic that their captors fed them. The history of garlic is a rich history.
For many thousands of years, garlic has been prized for its myriad health benefits by civilizations ancient and modern. Garlic, a member of the lily family and cousin to other alliums, such as leeks, onions, and shallots, has been used medicinally by diverse cultures ranging from the Ancient Chinese to the Vikings. Doctors in Medieval Europe as well as Native Americans used garlic as a medicine. The ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome used it to fortify athletes and manual laborers. Garlic was even considered an aphrodisiac in Ancient India and Ancient Japan.
Garlic was prescribed to remove poisons from the body, prevent plague, support respiration, aid digestion, treat diarrhea, and control worm infestations. The fragrant herb was used to treat fatigue, headache and insomnia. It may have been used as a treatment for depression and to improve male potency (Moyers 1996).
Ringworm Bush or better known as Akapulko is a coarse, erect, branched shrub, 1.5 to 3 meters high. Leaves are pinnate and 40 to 60 centimeters long, with orange rachis on stout branches. Each leaf has 16 to 28 leaflets, 5 to 15 centimeters in length, broad and rounded at the apex, with a small point at the tip. Leaflets gradually increase in size from the base towards the tip of the leaf. Inflorescences are terminal and at the axils of the leaves, in simple or panicled racemes, and 10 to 50 centimeters long. Flowers are yellow, about 4 centimeters inn diameter, at the axils of thin, yellow, oblong, concave bracts which are 2.5 to 3 centimeters long. Pod is rather straight, dark brown or nearly black, about 15 centimeters long and 15 millimeters wide. On both sides of the pods there is a wing that runs the length of the pod. Pod contains 50 to 60 flattened, triangular seeds.
Akapulko has a long history of medical usage and has a long list of folkloric health benefits for the following conditions. Akapulko is commonly used as an antibacterial and anti-fungal treatment for various skin diseases that include: tinea infection, ringworms, eczema, scabies, insect bites, and all sorts of skin itchiness. Akapulko is used as mouth wash for various mouth problems that include ulcers, sores, and toothache.