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Horse chestnut

AESCULUS HIPPOCASTANUM (HORSE CHESTNUT)

HORSE CHESTNUT

Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse chestnut), this perennial tree of about 20 to 30 meters tall, from which we can find many different species. The flowers of horse chestnut tree are very colourful and as you can see in the picture, they are disposed of in very nice clusters. The name Hippocastanum derives from the Latin word for Horse chestnut [1]. 

In spite its popularity in some Mediterranean countries, where it is part of traditional recipes, horse chestnut has been proven to exert many health benefits. Scientist and laboratories have investigated some of its active constituents as aescin, a saponin that has been used to treat venous and microcirculatory problems, pro-anthocyanidin A-2, effective to lower cholesterol levels...etc. Let's see some of them. Image: See credits under ref. [14] below. 

WARNING: Horse chestnut is NOT EDIBLE! see the warning at the end of this page.


AESCULUS HIPPOCASTANUM

Family: Sapindaceae

Genus: Aesculus

Common name: Horse chestnut, Conker tree


 

Ayahuma Cannonball tree

CANNONBALL TREE FLOWER AYAHUMA FLOWER

Couroupita guianensis, a plant from the Lecythidaceae family commonly known as Ayahuma or Cannonball tree, is distributed in the tropical regions of northern South America and Southern Caribbean [1].

The evergreen tree is allied to the Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) [5], and it is known as Cannonball tree because of its brown canon-ball-like fruits (see right image at the end of this article).

The tree is quite common in India, where you can find it in places as Rajpipla, in Gujarat, a state in northwestern India, with four trees in the Indrajit-Padmini Mahal, better known as Vadia [6]. 

Among the many medicinal properties that this plant has we can mention its use to treat hypertension, tumours, pain, inflammatory processes, cold, stomach ache, skin diseases, malaria, wounds and toothache [1]. Image left: Cannonball tree flower by Steven Brewer under Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA 2.0).


COUROUPITA GUIANENSIS

Family: Lecythidaceae

Genus: Couroupita

Common name: Ayahuma, Cannonball Tree, Brazil nut, নাগেকশর, Nagakeshar, নাগািলংগম, Nagalingam


 

Health benefits of Manuka honey

HEALTH BENEFITS

MANUKA HONEY

If you are one of those intensely passionate about nature and life, use to visit from time to time herbal shops and have a look at herbal news sites, you may have heard about a very special honey type, the Manuka honey.

Manuka honey price reaches 2'5 times the prices of other regular honey available in the market and has been claimed to exert many health benefits and properties. But what makes Manuka honey so special? Image: See credits under reference [23] below.


LEPTOSPERMUM SCOPARIUM

Family: Myrtaceae

Genus: Leptospermum

Common name: Manuka tree, tea-tree, Leptospermum, Jelly bush.


 

Raspberry leaf tea

HEALTH BENEFITS OF RASPBERRY LEAF TEA

RASPBERRY

Raspberry, an edible fruit from the Rubus genus, is known to possess many health benefits, it is a powerful antioxidant, has antiproliferative activity against cancer in vitro [1], increases fertility, suppress induced hepatic lesions (in rats), reduces weight via raspberry leaf ketones, helps pregnant women during labor, this last due to certain uterine relaxant effects [5,38,39].

Some of its phytochemicals are even used as the source of aromatic compounds used by the industry in many commercial products...etc., but what scientific and medical evidence is behind all these claimed benefits? 

In this article, we try to document the evidence behind the claimed properties of raspberry tea and raspberry leaf. Image: See credits below under reference [44].


RUBUS IDAEUS

Family: Rosaceae

Genus: Rubus

Common name: Red raspberry


 

Health benefits of garlic

HEALTH BENEFITS

GARLIC

Garlic (Allium sativum), a plant native to central Asia, has been used since thousands of years ago for culinary and as medicinal purposes, being part of ancient natural remedies for the treatment of some of the most common ailments and illnesses, as well as for some of its health benefits and properties, among which we can mention being a natural expectorant and an anti-microbial agent

Sumerians, Chinese, ancient Indians, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Tibetans, Slavic, Arabic and the list goes on and on naming hundreds of cultures that used garlic not only for its known culinary properties but for its health benefits and as a well-trusted universal folk remedy for the treatment of various illnesses and ailments. 

Some cultures still know garlic as ‘Russian penicillin’, ‘natural antibiotic’, ‘vegetable viagra’, ‘plant talisman’, ‘rustic's theriac’ and ‘snake grass’ [5,6]. Image: Garlic by Mo Riza under Creative Common license (CC BY 2.0). 


ALLIUM SATIVUM

Family: Amaryllidaceae

Genus: Allium

Common name: Garlic