Showing posts with label diabetes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label diabetes. Show all posts

Friday, March 20, 2015

Ashoka Tree Medicinal Use for Diabetes, Pile, Skin Alergies

By Liliana Usvat
Blog 310-365

Ashoka is one of the most legendary and sacred trees of India, and one of the most fascinating flowers in the Indian range of flower essences. It belongs to Caesalpaeniaceae family. 

Known to Indians since vedic period, Ashoka tree is one of the most beautiful plants of the Indian forests. In Atharva veda  parishishta it is mentioned that color of flowers of Ashoka is red. Known botanically as Saraca indica or asoca ,uniqueness of  Ashoka tree lies in being known as woman’s friendly tree.
Ashoka tree is also known by the name of Hempushpa, vanjula,Tamra pallava (leaves are copper like when they start emerging) ,Kankeli, Gandhpushpa (Flowers having fragrant smell), kankeli and pindpuspa.
A small ever green tree having bark with warty surface, Ashoka tree has its flowering season in March April. Ashoka tree has fragrant orange or orange yellow colored flowers arranged in dense corymbs. Though available in central and eastern Himalaya, its concentration is reported in South India.  It is believed that Ravana had a separate garden of Ashoka tree.
It is a very handsome, small, erect evergreen tree, with deep green foliage and very fragrant, bright orange-yellow flowers, which later turn red. The flowering season is around April and May. It is found in central and eastern Himalayas as well as on the west coast of Bombay.

Ashoka is a Sanskrit word meaning without grief or that which gives no grief. Of course, the tree has many other names in local languages as well. One such name means the tree of love blossoms. The Hindus regard it as sacred, being dedicated to Kama Deva, God of Love. T
he tree is a symbol of love. Its beautiful, delicately perfumed flowers are used in temple decoration. There are also festivals associated with this flower. Lord Buddha was born under the Ashoka tree, so it is planted in Buddhist monasteries.

Ashoka allowed to grow naturally into a normal large tree with plenty of shade.

Medicinal Uses

  • Herbally, the bark of this tree is a household remedy for uterine disorders. The essence also helps women to be fertile. It is said that 'weeping woman, weeping womb,' in that the woman's emotional state affects her reproductive organs. Therefore, the essence, like the herb, helps in the uterine problems like excessive bleeding, irregular menstrual periods and infertility.
  • Dysentery: An extract of the Ashoka flower can be used to effectively treat hemorrhagic dysentery. The extract is made by grinding the flowers along with some water. Doses of 15–60 drops can be taken.
  • Piles: For internal piles, the bark of the Ashoka tree can be used. To prepare the decoction, take around 90 grams of the bark and boil it in 360 ml of water and 30 ml of milk until the entire quantity reduces to around 90 grams. Two to three doses of this can be taken each day.
  • Pain: The specific analgesic properties present in Ashoka can used to calm the nerves when they have been aggravated by the Vata.
  • Complexion: The Ashoka herb is also said to improve the complexion of skin. This herb can be used to obtain relief from burning sensations on the skin. It also helps to get rid of the toxins from the body. The Ashoka herb is also effective in purifying the blood naturally and in preventing skin allergies.
  • The other Ashoka tree uses include treating the sting from a scorpion. The bark of the tree is used for scorpion sting treatment. 
  • Dried Ashoka flowers can be helpful in treating diabetes
  • Seed powder of Ashoka with water helps to check kidney stone.
  • Decoction of bark of Ashoka tree is useful in amenorrhoea, leucorrhoea and other gynaecological disorders. Use of Ashoka bark tones the musckes of uterus.
  • When there is pain due to scanty menstruation, use of Ashoka’s bark gives good result.
  • Overdose of Ashoka bark acts as abortifacient. I.e it aborts the foetus. In market it is adulterated with barks of some other plants like polyialathia longifoila which do not have such side effects. That is why its ill effects of overdose are not reported
  • Milk boiled with decoction of bark of  Ashoka tree is useful in excessive bleeding in female

Useful Parts of the Plant
  • Flowers- Dried
  • Stem- Dried
  • Bark- Fresh and dried

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cecropia Tree Medicinal Use for Obesity, Diabetes Asthma, Kidney Disorder

By Liliana Usvat
Blog 304-365

One of the most interesting symbioses in the rainforest exists between the Cecropia tree and the Cecropia ant (Azteca sp.) The Cecropia trees recruit ants to live in them and protect the tree.  

The ants drive off herbivorous insects, attack herbivorous vertebrates, and remove epiphytes and competing plants.  Their wastes also provide a lot of nitrogen to the plant.   The plant provides them with housing (inside hollow stems) and gylcogen-rich  bodies.  At least, that's the simple explanation of the relationship.

The Cecropia leaf is quite popular among the Amazonian Indian tribes who use it for its anti-inflammatory qualities in the treatment of lung, kidney and rheumatic inflammations. For instance, these tribes prepare a tea made of leaves to treat respiratory problems and diabetes. 

It is further used to cure liver disorders and to stimulate menstruation. People from Trinidad take these leaves as a remedy for colds, fever, flu, snake and scorpion bites. The Palikur indigenous people resort to Cecropia leaves when they need to take care of bruises, wounds, bone fractures and mostly to clean the genitalia and relieve the pain felt after childbirth.

Cecropia is a Neotropical genus consisting of sixty-one recognized species with a highly distinctive lineage of dioecious trees.

The genus is easily identified by its large, circular, palmately lobed leaves, about 30–40 cm in diameter and deeply divided into 7-11 lobes. The trees consist of very few branches, usually with candelabrum-like branching system. In Costa Rica, three-toed sloths are often spotted easily in Cecropia trees because of Cecropias’ open, leafless branches compared to other trees. 

Cecropia trees have a hollow trunk and branches, which are divided into a series of chambers by partitions. The tree produces special structures in velvety-brown glandular patches under the leaf stems, providing nourishment for Azteca ants, which defend the leaves.

Common nameTrumpet tree, embauba, trompettier, snake wood, yagruma, bois cannon, Yagrumo hembra, ambay, sandpaper tree.

FamilyMoraceae (Mulberry family).

Medicinal Uses

The trumpet tree or embauba is widely used in traditional medicine throughout Central and South America.Virtually every part is used – bark, roots, sap, leaves and fruit – to treat a diversity of ailments. 

Each country has different uses for extracts of this plant, such as treatment for bronchitis and snakebites in Trinidad and a cure for diabetes and hypertension in Guatemala.

Recent scientific research on the trumpet tree has shown 

  • potential for treating obesity, as well as 
  • bacterial infections and 
  • cancer. 
  • The tree is regularly used throughout the world by herbalists for treating respiratory disorders and 
  • diabetes.

Suriname's traditional medicine.

  • The leaves of Embauba are used against: albumin in the urine and 
  • have a good effect on the urinary passages, 
  • bladder and 
  • kidney disorders.

Tea made from the leaves is used as

  •  a cure for asthma
  • cough and 
  • other upper- respiratory complaints such as bronchitis
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), 
  • emphysema, 
  • pulmonary sarcoidosis.
Trumpet tree is also used to treat 
  • high blood pressure, for 
  • childbirth and 
  • menstruation and 
  • to strengthen the heart.
The other parts of the plant are also useful: 
  • the bark decreases mucus, 
  • the roots ease bile problems and 
  • the fruit greatly soothes the skin thanks to its emollient qualities.
 In many parts of Latin America, Cecropia tea is considered to be 
  • a miraculous cure for asthma and apparently it is brewed from its leaves.
  • Cecropia has a beneficial effect in patients who suffer from type 2 diabetes. 
Tincture: 1 - 3 ml daily
Infusion (herbal tea): 1 - 2 cups daily

Plant Chemicals

Trumpet tree has among its plant chemicals: glycosides; lipids; alkaloids; flavonoids; isoorientin; chlorogenic acid; tannins; resins; ambain; cecropin; cardenolid; leucocyanidin; methyl-salicylate; proanthocyanidins; ursolic and stearic acids. The latex contains an alkaloid, cowleyin.


Cecropia trees are common in the rainforest - and in the tropical dry forest as well.  The trees are often seen along the roadsides as well. They are related to the mulberry tree.  

They often invade disturbed areas (hence their presence on roadsides) and are considered a pioneer species.  They don't do well in the shade; in the rainforest they depend on the appearance of openings due to treefalls, landslides, fires, etc.  

They are very quick-growing and shed the lower limbs (this shedding epiphytes as well).  In addition to the ants, the Cecropia trees have a number of chemical defenses including latex ducts (which gum up the mouthparts of feeding insects) and tannins.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mango Tree Useful for Forestation and as a Medicinal Plant

By Liliana Usvat
Blog 164 -365

Mango grows in any kind of soil and produces the fruit that may either be licked, eaten or slurped.
Mango is a good tree to consider for plating large areas of land, a tree that is useful  and can prevent landslides that we saw that are happening in the world.

More Mango trees can be planted in parks and public spaces. Public Garden should include Mango in the garden architectures of cities in warm areas.

  • Dried mango flowers are used in the treatment of diarrhea, chronic dysentery and some problems of the bladder.

Mango (Mangifera sp) is a fruit that grows in tropical regions throughout the world. It serves as the main food of many people in tropical countries and is often called the king of tropical fruits. Mangoes are eaten fresh or are used in making desserts, preserves, and some other foods. The fruit is an excellent source of vitamins A and C.

Mangoes were first cultivated about 4,000 years ago in India and the Malay Archipelago. In the 1700's and 1800's, European explorers brought mangoes from India to other tropical countries. Today, farmers grow mangoes in Brazil, India, Mexico, and the Philippines. In the United States, mangoes grow in Florida and in Hawaii.

The mango tree is an evergreen that grows about 70 feet (21 meters) tall. It has long, slender leaves and small, pinkish-white flowers. The fruit develops from the ovaries of the blossoms and ripens about five months after the flowers bloom.

Mangoes are evergreen trees that are drought tolerant and love sunshine.  Here are some great tips for growing and caring for Mango Trees:
  • Are accustomed to hot and dry climates so plant in full sun and do not over water. A good rule is to water a newly planted tree every three days for the first month, once a week for the next two months, and only during extended dry spells after that.
  • Be careful of over watering while fruit is developing as this can cause the fruit to burst.
  • Tropical plant that can become temporarily dormant at temperatures of 40 degrees or below and will be damaged or die at 32 degrees or below.  Be sure to cover during frost with coverings staked to the ground as this allows the heat from the ground to keep the tree warm.
  • Pruning is not recommended for amateurs and should only be done with sterilized blades.
  • Mango seeds do not produce the same quality fruit as the tree they originate from.  If you eat a particularly flavorful mango, its seed will not produce the same delicious fruit.  For this reason, many mango trees are grafted.
- See more at:
 Mango is a good tree that is used in Agroforestry

Mangoes are evergreen trees that are drought tolerant and love sunshine.  Here are some great tips for growing and caring for Mango Trees:
  • Are accustomed to hot and dry climates so plant in full sun and do not over water. A good rule is to water a newly planted tree every three days for the first month, once a week for the next two months, and only during extended dry spells after that.
  • Be careful of over watering while fruit is developing as this can cause the fruit to burst.
  • Tropical plant that can become temporarily dormant at temperatures of 40 degrees or below and will be damaged or die at 32 degrees or below.  Be sure to cover during frost with coverings staked to the ground as this allows the heat from the ground to keep the tree warm.
  • Pruning is not recommended for amateurs and should only be done with sterilized blades.
  • Mango seeds do not produce the same quality fruit as the tree they originate from.  If you eat a particularly flavorful mango, its seed will not produce the same delicious fruit.  For this reason, many mango trees are grafted.
- See more at:
Why Agroforestry

In many areas of the world, forests are more than just wildlife habitat or recreation sites. Many communities and families rely on local forests for the food they eat, the wood they use to keep their houses warm and the products they sell to support themselves. Without proper education, though, these life-giving forests are often degraded faster than natural restoration can occur, leaving the surrounding areas with poorer water quality, increased air pollution and a dwindling forest.

Agroforestry is a growing practice around the world in which forests are cared for by local residents, who also sustainably harvest fruits, nuts and sometimes the trees themselves. With proper management and reforestation practices, these forests and their “farmers” flourish, reaping benefits from each other.

One such project is Sangarédi, Guinea, and surrounding villages. Alcoa Foundation, American Forests and Association Guinéenne d’Eveil au Développement Durable are planting 28,000 trees with 2,500 volunteers in villages around Sangarédi, Guinea.

Cultural significance

The mango is the national fruit of India and the Philippines. It is also the national tree of Bangladesh. In India, harvest and sale of mangoes is during March–May and this is annually covered by news agencies. "Frooti" is an Indian mango drink 

The Mughal emperor Akbar (1556-1605 AD) is said to have planted a mango orchard having 100,000 trees in Darbhanga, eastern India. The Jain goddess Ambika is traditionally represented as sitting under a mango tree.

In Hinduism, the perfectly ripe mango is often held by Lord Ganesha as a symbol of attainment, regarding the devotees potential perfection. Mango blossoms are also used in the worship of the goddess Saraswati.

No Telugu/Kannada New Year's Day called Ugadi passes without eating ugadi pachadi made with mango pieces as one of the ingredients. In Tamil Brahmin homes mango is an ingredient in making vadai paruppu on Sri Rama Navami day (Lord Ram's Birth Day) and also in preparation of pachadi on Tamil New Year's Day.

 Medicinal Uses

  • The leaf of the mango plant is known to be very effective in controlling diabetes and blood pressure. Boil three to four mango leaves in water and allow the mixture to ferment overnight. Crush the leaves and drink this infusion first thing in the morning.
  • Suffering from hair fall or grey hair? Try mango seed oil. An excellent source of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, the mango seed kernel has great moisturizing properties. You don’t need to go looking for the oil in the market. Just remove the outer coat of the mango seed and add them to a jar of coconut, til (sesame) or mustard oil.  Place the jar in sunlight for a few days. Use this concoction regularly for long, black and thick hair.   
  • few qualities of this amazing fruit
  •  Increases immunity: According physicians, a normal size Mango is more nutritious than butter or almonds. It strengthens and invigorates all the nerves, tissues and muscles in the brain, heart and other parts of the body. It cleans the body from within and helps to improve immunity. 
    • Provides protection against cancer: Mangoes are rich in dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals, and poly-phenolic flavonoids (an antioxidant compound). It has been found that mangoes have qualities that can protect against colon, breast and prostate cancers as well as from leukaemia.
    • Helps maintain good vision: Mangoes are an excellent source of Vitamin-A and flavonoids like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. Together, these compounds are antioxidants and can help in improving and maintaining good vision. The carotene content in the fruit helps to protect the body from lung cancer.
    • Aids control of blood pressure:  Fresh mangoes are a good source of potassium. Nutritionists say that 100 g of the fruit provides 156 mg of potassium and just 2 mg of sodium. Potassium is an important component of the cell and body fluids. It also helps to control the heart rate and blood pressure.
    • Improves skin and complexion: Packed with Vitamin A, mangoes help by providing the body with an  essential nutrient  to maintaining healthy skin and complexion as well as the integrity of the mucus membranes.
    • Protects from heart disease: Mangoes are also a very good source of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin-C and vitamin-E. Vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infections and scavenges harmful free radicals. Vitamin B-6 or pyridoxine is required for GABA hormone production (a hormone required to maintain muscle tone) within the brain. It also helps to control homocystiene levels within the blood, which in turn helps to protect the heart from CAD (coronary artery disease) and stroke.
    • Prevents anemia: The fruit contains moderate amounts of copper. Copper is an essential co-factor for the proper function of many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase. Copper is also required for the production of red blood cells.
    Heat Stroke
    Boil raw mangoes in water till cooked. Extract the juice, and mix with sugar, water, salt and a pinch of cumin seeds. Drink this consistently in the hot summer, especially when you suffer a heat stroke or get prickly heat.

    Aamchur or sun-dried raw mango powder is great to aid the digestive system. Eating one or two small tender mangoes in which the see is still not fully formed, with salt and honey is an effective medicine for summer diarrhea, dysentery, piles, morning sickness, chronic dyspepsia and indigestion.

    Blood Disorders
    Raw mangoes increase the elasticity of the blood vessels, and help the formation of new blood cells. It aids absorption of food iron. It increases resistance against TB, anemia, cholera and dysentery.

    Bilious Disorders
    The acids contained in the green mangoes increase the secretion of bile and act as an intestinal antiseptic. Have it with honey and black pepper daily. This paste is also good for toning the liver.

    Eye Disorders
    Mango Milkshakes are very good for the eyes, due to Vitamin A. Night blindness, dryness of the eyes, itching and burning of the eyes.

    Loss of weight
    Mango with milk, or preferably, Soya milk gives an ideal mixture of sugar and protein for under-weight people. Consuming this three times a day for a month will lead to better health, weight gain and vigor.

    The tender leaves of the mango tree are used to prevent and control early symptoms of diabetes. Soak the fresh leaves in water overnight and squeeze them in water before straining it the next morning. Alternatively, these leaves should be dried, powdered and preserved. Take half a teaspoon of this powder twice a day.

    Spleen enlargement, dysentery and diarrhea
    The mango stone should be dried and powdered. (you may do the same with the jamun seeds). Mix this powder with a big tablespoon of curd to cure spleen enlargement, dysentery and diarrhea.

    Throat disorder
    The mango bark is very effective in the treatment of diphtheria and other throat diseases.

    Gum inflammation
    Boil two tablespoons of mango flowers and tender buds in two cups of water and use as a mouth-wash regularly to cure the infammation of the gums

    Skin disorders
    The gum of the mango tree and the resinous substance exuded from the stem end of the fruits can be mixed with lime juice and use to heal coetaneous infections and scabies.

    So, amazingly, almost every part of the mango tree is used to cure common diseases. So, here, like the coconut tree, we have a mango tree which has immense practical use in our daily lives.
Not only do they provide excellent shade but some of the tastiest and most popular fruit in the world. - See more at:

Not only do they provide excellent shade but some of the tastiest and most popular fruit in the world. - See more at:


Friday, March 14, 2014

Byble Plants - Lebanon Cedars - History, Symbolysm, Medicinal Uses

by Liliana Usvat

Cedrus libani (Lebanon Cedar)  

Cedrus libani is a species of cedar native to the mountains of the Mediterranean region. Lebanon cedar or Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani subsp. libani or var. libani) - grows in Lebanon, Palestine, northwest Jordan, western Syria, and south central Turkey.

History, Symbolism and Medicinal Uses

The Cedar of Lebanon was important to various ancient civilizations. The trees were used by the Phoenicians for building commercial and military ships, as well as houses, palaces, and temples. The ancient Egyptians used its resin in mummification, and its sawdust has been found in the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs. The Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh designates the cedar groves of Lebanon as the dwelling of the gods to which Gilgamesh, the hero, ventured.
Hebrew priests were ordered by Moses to use the bark of the Lebanon Cedar in circumcision and the treatment of leprosy.

According to the Talmud, Jews once burned Lebanese cedar wood on the Mount of Olives to celebrate the new year.

Because of its significance the word Cedar is mentioned 75 times (Cedar 51 times, Cedars 24 times) in the Bible.

Beyond that, it was also used by Romans, Greeks, Persians, Assyrians and Babylonians.

Medicinal Uses

Part Used Young Shoots
Plant Stem Cell Therapy  - Cedrus libani are widely used as traditional medicine in Lebanon for treatment of different infection diseases.
  • Himachalol from Cedrus Libani has shown potent anti-allergic activity.
  • The decoction has been used in intermittent fevers, rheumatism, dropsy, coughs, scurvy, and as an emmenagogue. 
  • The leaves, made into an ointment with fat, are a helpful local application in rheumatism.
  •  An injection of the tincture into venereal warts is said to cause them to disappear.
  •  For violent pains the Canadians have used the cones, powdered, with four-fifths of Polypody, made into a poultice with lukewarm water or milk and applied to the body, with a cloth over the skin to prevent scorching. 
  • Dosage---Of fluid extract, 1/4 drachm, three to six times a day, as stimulating expectorant and diuretic. The infusion of 1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water is taken cold in tablespoonful doses.  
  • Inhale the steam of cedarwood essential oil to treat respiratory infections and clear congestion.
  •  Add a few drops to a sitz bath to ease the pain and irritation of urinary infections and to cure the infection more quickly.
  •  Applied to oily skin, cedarwood essential oil is an astringent that dries and helps clear acne. Incorporate it into a facial wash, spritzer, or other cosmetic (10 drops of essential oil per ounce of preparation). 
  • Added to a salve (15 drops of essential oil per ounce of salve), it relieves dermatitis and, in some cases, eczema and psoriasis. 
  • For bites and itching, mix cedarwood and an equal part of alcohol or vegetable oil, and dab directly on the area. Add two drops of essential oil to every ounce of shampoo or hair conditioner to ease dandruff and possibly slow hair loss. 
  • Anti-inflammatory, topical Insecticidal. Antiparasitic, Antibacterial, Anticandida, Scabies infections and to heal wounds in humans and domestic animals, both internally and externally. Himachalol from Cedrus Libani has shown potent anti-allergic activity. Dry Eczema - (dry white crusty skin) - Psoriasis, Pruritus, Hyper-Keratosis, chronic dermatitis, lichenoid dermatosis, Callosity, Diaper Rashes,
  •  Dermatitis Herpetiformis (in Celiac Disease), 
  • anti aging of the skin. Dry skin and Anti-Wrinkle. 
  • Also works on the Elastin and Collagen of the skin. Anti-furrow; Furrows are where there may be wrinkle lines complicated by the loss of subcutaneous fat and/or ligament support. Increases the ability of the skin &/or scalp to retain water. 
  • This is a Botox equivalent over a six month period excellent for dry skin. Hair loss, Dandruff, dry skin accompanied with acne. If Oily Acne then use Elm. 
  • Himachalol from Cedrus Libani has shown potent anti-allergic activity especially skin allergic reaction. Leaf and bread molds phycomycotic diseases. Topical Deet alternative 1, 15ml bottle diluted in 20 ounces of distilled water and put into a frosted plastic spray bottle and used as a natural Repellent of Ticks and Mosquitoes. Keep away from eyes also can be used on animals in place of Frontline toxic products.
  • 'A' Diabetes, inhibit amylase, excellent in acute and chronic pancreatitis.
  • A' Antitumor. Cytotoxicity against human epidermal carcinoma of the nasopharynx. Sesquiterpenes can also erase or deprogram miswritten codes in cellular memory (DNA). The root problem with a cancer cell is that it contains misinformation, and sesquiterpenes can delete that garbled information.
  • Tropical uses UTFor scabies use 1 drop on each affected area every 2 hour 4 to 6 times per day. Takes around 10 applications to be eradicated. Could potentially be a DEET replacement due to a “novel sesquiterpene Isolongifolenone” Repellent of Ticks and Mosquitoes.Combats hair loss alopecia areata. Cuts or wounds to disinfect and protect from infection.   
  • Musculoskeletal System: 'A' The Antispasmolytic activity was similar to that of papaverine as observed by the effect of himachalol on various isolated smooth muscles and several agonists.Fibromyalgia 
  • Infectious Diseases: 'A' Antiviral Herpes Simplex HSV1. Scabies, Molluscicidal activity. Antiviral, Antifungal, Expectorant, Lymphatic cleanser. 

Is widely cultivated as an ornamental species in southern climates. Requires about 1000 mm of rain a year. They form open forests with a low undergrowth of grasses in their native habitat.  

Propagate from seed, sown as soon as it ripens. Difficult to propagate from cuttings, and does not like to be transplanted.

Over the centuries, extensive deforestation has occurred, with only small remnants of the original forests surviving. Deforestation has been particularly severe in Lebanon and on Cyprus; on Cyprus, only small trees up to 25 m (82 ft) tall survive, though Pliny the Elder recorded cedars 40 m (130 ft) tall there.

Extensive reforestation of cedar is carried out in the Mediterranean region, particularly Turkey, where over 50 million young cedars are being planted annually.

The Lebanese populations are also now expanding through a combination of replanting and protection of natural regeneration from browsing by goats, hunting, forest fires, and woodworms.

World Heritage Site

The Cedars of God Forest is one of the last vestiges of the extensive forests of the Cedars of Lebanon (Cedrus libani ) that thrived across Mount Lebanon in ancient times. Their timber was exploited by the Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians as well as the Phoenicians. The wood was prized by Egyptians for shipbuilding; the Ottoman Empire also used the cedars in railway construction.

Concern for the biblical "cedars of God" goes back to 1876, when the 102-hectare (250-acre) grove was surrounded by a high stone wall, paid for by Queen Victoria, to protect saplings from browsing by goats. Nevertheless during World War I, British troops used cedar to build railroads

In 1998, the Cedars of God were added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

Current status
The forest is rigorously protected. It is possible to tour it escorted by an authorized guide. After a preliminary phase in which the land was cleared of detritus, the sick plants treated, and the ground fertilized, the "Committee of the Friends of the Cedar Forest" initiated a reforestation program in 1985. These efforts will only be appreciable in a few decades due to the slow growth of cedars. In these areas the winter offers incredible scenery, and the trees are covered with a blanket of snow.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Beautiful Red Flower Tree Triplaris Cumingiana Long John or Ant Tree Medicinal Uses

By Liliana Usvat
Blog 149-365
Alternative Names
Triplaris cumingiana Long John  Ant Tree Dilla, Guayabo hormiguero, Palo santo, Vara santa

The Long John Tree is native to Central America and tropical South America Panama to and Peru.  It is sometimes called the Ant Tree, because in its native habitat, its hollow branches are inhabited by stinging ants which protect the tree from herbivores.  This tree can attain a height of 50-70′ with an oblong canopy that remains narrow.  The bark peels off in patches, giving it a smooth blotchy trunk.  

The brown seeds, small square nuts, have wings. When the seeds of this tree fall they look like many small helicopters gyrating to earth. They can be carried away by the wind for many miles before reaching the ground.

This tree is dioecious, meaning there are male and female plants.  The blossoms of the female tree are more deeply colored than the male tree, and produce nutlike seeds attatched to three brilliant red 2″ long propeller like wings, that are wind dispersed, fluttering down like tiny helicopters.  They flower in the dry season from November to early spring. 

A medium to large, dry deciduous tree from mixed forests at low to medium elevations along the Andes between Panama and Bolivia with large, glossy leaves, cream colored flowers on male trees and pink to bright red flowers on female trees.

Medicinal Uses
  • Triplaris Surinamensis is used in Shamanism to prepare Ayahuasca (both a medicinal tradition specific to the Amazonas and a shamanic medicinal brews).
  • A decoction of the bark is used in the treatment of dysentery, diarrhoea and piles 

Agro Forestry Uses

A fast-growing, natural pioneer species within its native range, it can be used for re-establishing native woodland, especially in moister soils and in areas subject to inundation.
Seed - best as as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed. A high germination rate can be expsoon ected, with the seed sprouting within 20 - 30 days. When the seedlings are 4 - 6cm tall, pot them up into individual containers and they should be ready to plant out 4 - 5 months later
Growing tips:
- Grow well in full sun or a slightly shaded place. Young plants require some amount of shade.
- Soil - good drained, water retentive. Rich in nutrients.
- They require constant humidity and warm temperatures
Special Character:
  • Rare Plant or difficult to get plant
  • Good for screening
  • Attracts bees
  • Recommended for creating shade
  • Quick growing trees
  • Evergreen trees
  • Suitable for avenue planting
  • Grows best in humid and warm regions
  • Must have for Farm house or big gardens

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sacred Trees - Banyan Trees- Wish Fulfilling Tree - Medicinal Uses

By Liliana Usvat
Blog 146-365

This is a  Banyan tree. The interesting thing about these trees is that the roots acutally grow down from the branches. Once they hit the ground, they grow into trunks.

As these roots grow down from the branches and the tree expands, the new roots become known as “accessory trunks”. In Miami, where there are often hurricanes, the banyan trees are the only trees that don’t blow over in the strong winds.  The many roots and accessory trunks make them strong and able to withstand even Category 4 hurricanes.

Native to India many Banyan tree seedlings were imported to south Florida in the late 1800's. These trees can grow up to 100 feet in height (30.5 meters) and live approximately 1,000 years.

A Banyan (also Banian) is a fig that starts its life as an epiphyte (a plant growing on another plant) when its seeds germinate in the cracks and crevices on a host tree (or on structures like buildings and bridges). "Banyan" often refers specifically to the Indian banyan or Ficus benghalensis, which is the national tree of the Republic of India, though the term has been generalized to include all figs that share a characteristic life cycle, and systematically to refer to the subgenus Urostigma.

Banyan tree is a  member of the ficus family.

The prop roots form columns over time, indistinguishable from the main trunk. The main trunk can even die leaving behind the columns which keep growing outward.

Should a “tree” be thought of only as a single organism? Especially in the tropics, trees can literally constitute an entire city as they support a network of other plants and animals. When trees provide favorable conditions for life by other species, they are considered “keystone” species. Yet trees are often dependent on other species. Many trees could not live without other cooperative species with which they have relations, usually mutually advantageous ones. 
Nature is full of evolutionary co-dependencies in which particular tree species requires one particular pollinator to reproduce (for example, Ficus species). Many trees are dependent on animals for seed dispersal. Oaks and pines are known to be particularly dependent on mycorrhizae, a soil-borne fungi that significantly increases the absorptive area and efficiency of a tree's roots. 

A single fungal mycelium may extend for acres and also may interact with many plants of different species. Are these linked organisms a tree or many trees? Species evolution can certainly be described as a strange mix of collaborations as well as competitions! 

The name was originally given to F. benghalensis and comes from India where early travellers observed that the shade of the tree was frequented by banias or Indian traders.
In the Gujarati language, banya means "grocer/merchant," not "tree."

Religion and mythology

It is sacred to both Buddhists and Hindus. Krishna is said to have achieved enlightenment under one, and Shiva, in his role of Universal teacher, Dakshinamurti, sat under a bohar tree to enlighten the sages who had come to hear his teachings. 

It is India’s national symbol, symbolizing India’s unity through diversity (as the tree has several trunks and many aerial roots).
In Hinduism, the leaf of the Banyan tree is said to be the resting place for the god Krishna. In the Bhagavat Gita Krishna said "There is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and its branches down, and the Vedic hymns are its leaves. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas." 

The Banyan tree is also a symbol of spiritual knowledge. In the Pralaya it is written that only Krishna survived the great Cosmic Flood, and he is depicted sucking his toe, while floating over the flood waters on a banyan leaf in many Indian Tajore paintings.
 In Hindu mythology it is known as the ‘wish fulfilling tree’. Its ever expanding branches represent eternal life

Here the material world is described as a tree whose roots are upwards and branches are below.

We have experience of a tree whose roots are upward: if one stands on the bank of a river or any reservoir of water, he can see that the trees reflected in the water are upside down.

The branches go downward and the roots upward. Similarly, this material world is a reflection of the spiritual world. The material world is but a shadow of reality. In the shadow there is no reality or substantiality, but from the shadow we can understand that there is substance and reality.

In many stories of Philippine Mythology, the banyan, (locally known as balete or balite) is said to be home to a variety of spirits (diwata and engkanto) and demon-like creatures (among the Visayans, specifically, the dili ingon nato, meaning "those not like us"). Maligno (Evil spirits, from Spanish for 'malign') associated with it include the kapre (a giant), duwende (dwarves), and the tikbalang (a creature whose top half is a horse and whose bottom half is human).

 Medicinal Uses

The banyan is sacred to the Hindus, and plays a great part in their ceremonies. The leaves are made into plates. 
The wood yields an inferior rubber and is used in medicine to 
  • be applied externally to relieve pain, 
  • bruises and 
  • rheumatism. 
An infusion of the bark is regarded as a powerful tonic and poultice. 
  • The health benefits and the therapeutic uses of the banyan tree include its effectiveness in curing dysentery and chronic diarrhea. In this treatment, the leaf buds of the banyan tree are soaked in water overnight and then consumed the next morning. In fact the medicinal benefits of the banyan tree are also found in its latex which is also used to treat dysentery and diarrhea.
  • Health benefits of the banyan tree also result in the treatment of female sterility. In this treatment the roots of the banyan tree should be dried  and then ground to a fine powder  which should then be mixed with five times the quantity of milk and consumed for three nights consecutively after every menstruation cycle till the woman conceives
  • The health benefits of the banyan tree also extend to teeth disorders. It has been observed that cleaning the teeth using the aerial roots of the banyan tree is known to help in preventing various teeth disorders. The astringent properties of the roots of the banyan tree tends to cleanse as well as strengthen the gums and the teeth.
  • The latex obtained from the bark of the banyan tree is also known to be used locally as a natural treatment for lumbago and rheumatic pain. The latex is also used locally to treat skin disorders such as ulcers, bruises and sores.
  • For diabetes, soak overnight, 1 sq. inch of the bark of the tree in a glass of water and drink the infusion the next morning.   
  • For eczema, char the tender leaf-buds in hot ashes and dissolve the same in gingelly oil for application on the affected areas.
  • For gum problems and pyorrhea, chew crushed prop roots, hold in mouth for a while and then rinse the  mouth with lukewarm water.
  •   Boil 1-3 sq. inches of the bark of the tree in 2 cups of water for 5-10 minutes. Cool and use this decoction for gargling. Repeat several times a day. This helps relieve bad breath and oral ulcers.
  •  For leucorrhea, boil 1-3 tablespoons of the powdered dry bark of the fig tree and the banyan tree in 1-2 litres of water till it is reduced to1/2 litre. Strain and when lukewarm, douche the vagina. Repeat several times a day.
  • For pimples or acne, make a fine paste of the prop roots and apply on the affected parts. Repeat as needed.
  •  To cure skin diseases and venereal diseases, boil 3-5 tablespoons of the bark in 4-5cups water till the volume is reduced to 1 cup. Add 1 teaspoon of honey and drink. Use 2 or 3 times a week.
  • Apply the latex externally on the affected parts in cases of bruises, hemorrhoids, swellings, lumbago and rheumatism.
  • For rashes, apply a paste of the leaves on the affected areas.
The fruit is eaten. The wood is of little value but is durable under water. 


Widely distributed in India, the tree may be propagated by seeds and cuttings. The seeds should be sown as soon as they ripen, preferably in pots in fine leaf mould mixture with powdered charcoal. Large cuttings should be put down at the commencement of the monsoon.