Plant used for/Cosmetic
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- Used to improve one's physical appearance.
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Here is EcoReality's seed inventory for plants that are used as Cosmetic:
|ID||common name||family||latin name||date||quantity||action||days to germ||propagation||days to maturity||habitat||sun||drainage||soil||inventory||notes||nutrients||needs||use|
|2||Elderberry, Black; Black Elder; Elder Berry||Caprifoliaceae||Sambucus nigra (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-23 00:00:00||182 each seeds in||plant||Soak berries overnight, smash them, and remove the seeds. Sow in outdoor conditions, in pots or flats, and expect germination in the spring. Alternatively, you may wish to remove the seeds from the fruits and then store the seeds in moist medium in a sealed plastic bag or jar in the refrigerator (not the freezer) for 90 days, then remove from fridge and sow. The best conditions for germination are cool, moist shade. We find that this method is pretty reliable. Elderberries will not grow properly in sterile soil. Sow seeds in very rich and composty soil medium. The breakdown of fungi in the soil will produce gibberellic acid, a growth hormone which is helpful for germination. Once germinated, the seedling grows very rapidly into a handsome bush or small tree. Grow out in a shaded place in pots for a year before transplanting to final location.
Seed best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, when it should germinate in early spring. Stored seed can be sown in the spring in a cold frame but will probably germinate better if it is given 2 months warm followed by 2 months cold stratification first. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If good growth is made, the young plants can be placed in their permanent positions during the early summer. Otherwise, either put them in a sheltered nursery bed, or keep them in their pots in a sheltered position and plant them out in spring of the following year.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame.
Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, 15 - 20cm with a heel, late autumn in a frame or a sheltered outdoor bed.
Division of suckers in the dormant season.
A very easily grown plant, it tolerates most soils and situations, growing well on chalk, but prefers a moist loamy soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates some shade but fruits better in a sunny position. Tolerates atmospheric pollution and coastal situations.
The elder is very occasionally cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties though most of these have been developed for their ornamental value. The sub-species S. nigra alba has white/green fruits that are nicer than the type species and are quite nice raw.
The elder also has a very long history of folk use, both medicinally and for a wide range of other uses. All in all it is a very valuable plant to have in the garden. The leaves often begin to open as early as January and are fully open in April. The leaves fall in October/November in exposed sites, later in sheltered positions. Young stems can be killed by late frosts but they are soon replaced from the ground level.
Very tolerant of pruning, plants can be cut back to ground level and will regrow from the base.
The flowers have a sweet, almost overpowering smell, not exactly pleasant for it has fishy undertones, but from a distance its musky scent is appealing.
Very resistant to the predations of rabbits. The flowers are very attractive to insects. The fruit is very attractive to birds and this can draw them away from other cultivated fruits.The elder is an early colonizer of derelict land, the seed arriving in the defecations of birds and mammals. It is a very good pioneer species for re-establishing woodlands. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
|127||It's probably a good idea to grow 3 trees for pollination purposes, although we have certainly seen good crops of fruit from a single tree grown in isolation. Elderberries are best placed as an understory to a higher tree canopy. Will also grow in full sun if the roots are kept cool and moist.||sun or partial shade||moist||loam||50 each||Perennial, deciduous, multistemmed bush to small tree native to Europe. Wild form. This is the most tried-and-true species for medicinal use, and the berries are very tasty, and about twice as big as the berries of other species. Elderberry berries are rich in anthocyanins, bioflavonoids, vitamins and antioxidants.
The syrup, tincture or glycerite of the berries is excellent for treating the common cold and for overall increase in immunity. The fresh green leaves may be infused in olive oil to make an emollient embrocation for treating sunburn, rough skin, age spots, and/or diaper rash (normally individuals will not have both age spots and diaper rash, but it can happen). Truly, all parts of the plant may be used in herbal medicine, and this is much expanded upon in my book "Making Plant Medicine."
Flowers generally appear in year 3. Flowers turn rapidly into heavy clusters of fruits.
Elder has a very long history of household use as a medicinal herb and is also much used by herbalists. The plant has been called 'the medicine chest of country people'.
The flowers are the main part used in modern herbalism, though all parts of the plant have been used at times. The inner bark is collected from young trees in the autumn and is best sun-dried. It is diuretic, a strong purgative and in large doses emetic. It is used in the treatment of constipation and arthritic conditions.
An emollient ointment is made from the green inner bark.
The leaves can be used both fresh or dry. For drying, they are harvested in periods of fine weather during June and July. The leaves are purgative, but are more nauseous than the bark. They are also diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant and haemostatic.
The juice is said to be a good treatment for inflamed eyes. An ointment made from the leaves is emollient and is used in the treatment of bruises, sprains, chilblains, wounds etc.
The fresh flowers are used in the distillation of 'Elder Flower Water'. The flowers can be preserved with salt to make them available for distillation later in the season. The water is mildly astringent and a gentle stimulant. It is mainly used as a vehicle for eye and skin lotions. The dried flowers are diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, galactogogue and pectoral. An infusion is very effective in the treatment of chest complaints and is also used to bathe inflamed eyes. The infusion is also a very good spring tonic and blood cleanser.
Externally, the flowers are used in poultices to ease pain and abate inflammation. Used as an ointment, it treats chilblains, burns, wounds, scalds etc. The fruit is depurative, weakly diaphoretic and gently laxative. A tea made from the dried berries is said to be a good remedy for colic and diarrhoea.
The fruit is widely used for making wines, preserves etc., and these are said to retain the medicinal properties of the fruit. The pith of young stems is used in treating burns and scalds.
The root is no longer used in herbal medicine but it formerly had a high reputation as an emetic and purgative that was very effective against dropsy.
A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh inner bark of young branches. It relieves asthmatic symptoms and spurious croup in children.
The plant is a valuable addition to the compost heap, its flowers are an alternative ingredient of 'QR' herbal compost activator and the roots of the plant improve fermentation of the compost heap when growing nearby.
The leaves are used as an insect repellent, very effective when rubbed on the skin though they do impart their own unique fragrance. They can be powdered and placed amongst plants to act as a deterrent, or made into a spray when they act as an insecticide. This is prepared by boiling 3 - 4 handfuls of leaves in a litre of water, then straining and allowing to cool before applying. Effective against many insects, it also treats various fungal infections such as leaf rot and powdery mildew. The dried flowering shoots are used to repel insects, rodents etc.
The flowers are used in skin lotions, oils and ointments. Tolerant of salt-laden gales, this species can be grown as a shelter hedge in exposed maritime areas, it is rather bare in the winter though.
This is an excellent pioneer species to use when re-establishing woodlands. It is very tough and wind-resistant, grows quickly and provides shelter for longer-lived and taller woodland species to establish. It will generally maintain itself in the developing woodland, though usually in the sunnier positions.
A dye is obtained from the fruit and the bark. The bark of older branches and the root have been used as an ingredient in dyeing black. A green dye is obtained from the leaves when alum is used as a mordant. The berries yield various shades of blue and purple dyes. They have also been used as a hair dye, turning the hair black.
The blue colouring matter from the fruit can be used as a litmus to test if something is acid or alkaline. It turns green in an alkaline solution and red in an acid solution.
The pith in the stems of young branches pushes out easily and the hollow stems thus made have been used as pipes for blowing air into a fire. They can also be made into musical instruments. The pith of the wood is used for making microscope slides and also for treating burns and scalds. The mature wood is white and fine-grained. It is easily cut and polishes well. Valued highly by carpenters, it has many used, for making skewers, mathematical instruments, toys etc.
Fruit eaten raw or cooked. The flavour of the raw fruit is not acceptable to many tastes, though when cooked it makes delicious jams, preserves, pies and so forth. It can be used fresh or dried, the dried fruit being less bitter. The fruit is used to add flavour and colour to preserves, jams, pies, sauces, chutneys etc, it is also often used to make wine.
The fruit is about 8mm in diameter and is borne in large clusters. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
Flowers eaten raw or cooked. They can also be dried for later use. The flowers are crisp and somewhat juicy, they have an aromatic smell and flavour and are delicious raw as a refreshing snack on a summers day, though look out for the insects. The flowers are used to add a muscatel flavour to stewed fruits, jellies and jams (especially gooseberry jam). They are often used to make a sparkling wine.A sweet tea is made from the dried flowers. The leaves are used to impart a green colouring to oils and fats.
|Antiinflammatory, Aperient, Beverage, Compost, Cosmetic, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Dye, Emetic, Emollient, Expectorant, Food, Forage, Fungicide, Galactogogue, Haemostatic, Hedge, Immunostimulant, Insect Repellant, Insecticide, Laxative, Litmus, Ophthalmic, Pioneer, Pipes, Purgative, Salve, Stimulant, Wood|
|32||Goat's Rue||Fabaceae||Galega officinalis (dg fo pf wp)||2012-04-05 00:00:00||51 each seeds in||plant||Scarify seed by rubbing on sandpaper. Pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and then sow the seed in spring or autumn in a cold frame. Spring-sown seed can be slow to germinate, a period of cold stratification may improve the germination time. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. If you have sufficient seed, then it is possible to sow outdoors in situ in mid to late spring. DIVISION in spring or autumn. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.||Plant prefers poor garden soil and full sun. Difficult to get this herb these days, and international trade and some domestic trade in this species has been disallowed due to the misconception that it is an invasive weed. I've found that it disappears without care. Succeeds in most soils but repays generous treatment. Prefers full sun and a deep moist soil but it also succeeds in light shade. Grows well even in poor soils. Plants are very tolerant of neglect and can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn. A long-lived plant, it can be invasive in good growing conditions.||partial shade||moist||poor||50 each||This is the most active of all galactagogue herbs. Promotes milk flow more reliably than anything I know (except childbirth). Works equally well for lactating human mothers and also domestic stock such as goats, horses and cows.
Goat's rue was once important in the treatment of plague, fevers and infectious diseases. It is still used in modern herbalism, though mainly for its effect in promoting milk-flow in lactating mothers (it has been shown to increase the flow of milk in cows and goats by 35 - 50%) and for its positive effect on the digestive system.
The plant contains galegine, an alkaloid that strongly reduces blood sugar levels which make it useful in the treatment of diabetes. The leaves and flowering tops are diaphoretic, diuretic, galactogogue and hypoglycaemic.
It has also been used in the treatment of fevers. It is taken internally to treat insufficient lactation, late-onset diabetes, pancreatitis and digestive problems, especially chronic constipation caused by a lack of digestive enzymes. The plant is harvested as it is just coming into flower and is dried for later use.
A fast-growing plant, it makes a good green manure crop, enriching the soil with organic matter and also fixing atmospheric nitrogen. The plant is used cosmetically in hand and foot bathes.Leaves cooked and eaten like spinach.
|Nitrogen||Cosmetic, Curdling agent, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Food, Forage, Galactogogue, Green manure, Hypoglycaemic|
|367||Red Currant||Ribes rubrum (dg fo pf wp)||2014-11-14 00:00:00||28 each cuttings in greenhouse soil||plant||90||Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 months cold stratification at between 0 and 5°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible[113, 164]. Under normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 - 15cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[78, 113]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, preferably with a heel of the previous year's growth, November to February in a cold frame or sheltered bed outdoors[78, 200].||Damp soils in hedges and woods, avoiding acid soils.||sun or partial shade||well drained||garden||Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality[11, 200]. Plants are quite tolerant of shade, even succeeding on a north-facing wall, though they do not fruit so well in such a position. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 to 6. Hardy to about -20°c. Red currants are often cultivated in temperate zones for their edible fruit, there are some named varieties, including forms with white fruits[4, 61]. Most cultivars are self-fertile and set a good crop on their own. The fruit is produced at the base of one-year old and older wood, plants start to fruit at 3 - 4 years from seed. This is an aggregate species comprising R. spicatum and R. rubrum. There is some confusion in nomenclature with some botanists only recognising 2 species, R. silvestre. (syn R. sativum) and R. spicatum (syn R. rubrum)[17, 200]. Plants can harbour a stage of white pine blister rust, so should not be grown in the vicinity of pine trees. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.||Antioxidants, Fibre: Soluble, Iron, Manganese, Potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin K||Antirheumatic, Antiscorbutic, Aperient, Cosmetic, Dye, Poultice, Refrigerant, Sialagogue|
|79||Witch Hazel||Hamamelidaceae||Hamamelis virginiana (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-20 00:00:00||other||30||Seed is quite hard and germinates best after some cold conditioning. Fall planted seed may germinate in a few months in a cold greenhouse, or if planted in the shadehouse or outdoor nursery bed will germinate in the spring. To sow in spring, plant early enough so that the seed experiences at least 30 days of cold moist soils, or give 30 days cold moist stratification in the refrigerator before planting. All this said, the germplasm is viable and robust, and given the right conditions the seeds do germinate reliably. Germination usually occurs between 30 and 90 days after planting.
Seed can be very slow to germinate. It is best to harvest the seed 'green' (as soon as it is mature but before it has dried on the plant) around the end of August and sow it immediately in a cold frame. It may still take 18 months to germinate but will normally be quicker than stored seed which will require 2 months warm stratification then 1 month cold followed by another 2 weeks warm and then a further 4 months cold stratification. Scarification may also improve germination of stored seed. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Overwinter them in a greenhouse for their first winter and plant out in late spring.
Layering in early spring or autumn. Takes 12 months. Good percentage.
Softwood cuttings, summer in a frame.
Prefers a moist sandy loam in a sunny position, though it tolerates some shade. Prefers a rich well-drained soil. Dislikes dry limy soils but will succeed in a calcareous soil if it is moist. Prefers a position sheltered from cold drying winds in a neutral to slightly acid soil. A very hardy plant tolerating temperatures down to about -35°c.Witch hazel is a widely used medicinal herb. The bark is harvested commercially from the wild in N. America. The twigs have been used in the past as dowsing rods for water divining. A slow growing shrub, it takes about 6 years to flower from seed. The flowers have a soft sweet perfume. This species is notably susceptible to honey fungus.
|2190||The witch hazel bush itself is full of surprises, flowering in midwinter and waiting to eject its seed until autumn. Plant prefers full sun to part shade and well-drained, slightly acid soils. It likes to be able to get its roots down into the aquifer, so it can often be found growing in dried up riparian zones or in moist but well-drained woodlands. It does fine as a permaculture bush/tree in city lots or on the farm.||sun or partial shade||well drained||rich||20 each||Woody perennial bush to small tree native to the US. A sturdy and handsome addition to the medicinal landscape, with a multi-stemmed habit.
The bright green leaves and young twigs, picked at the height of their glory and dried, produce the quintessential astringent. Water extracts or tinctures with low alcohol content and 10% glycerine thrown in to stabilize the tannins (see "Making Plant Medicine") prove to be very useful for treating hemorrhoids, herpes lesions, or any inflammatory conditions of the skin. Very nice way to tone up the waydown tissues after childbirth. Excellent post-operative swipe. Can be taken internally as well as used externally -- nontoxic.
For all you farmers market plant-seller type people, and nursery folks, a little tip -- the plants develop quicly into saleability and in our experience tend to be bestsellers. Trees on a pot will evoke remeniscent smiles and ready purchases among a significant cross section of your customers, including housepeople, herbalists, grandfolks and eager gardeners everywhere.
Witch hazel bark is a traditional herb of the North American Indians who used it to heal wounds, treat tumours, eye problems etc. A very astringent herb, it is commonly used in the West and is widely available from both herbalists and chemists. It is an important ingredient of proprietary eye drops, skin creams, ointments and skin tonics. It is widely used as an external application to bruises, sore muscles, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, sore nipples, inflammations etc.
Tannins in the bark are believed to be responsible for its astringent and haemostatic properties. Bottled witch hazel water is a steam distillate that does not contain the tannins from the shrub, this is less effective in its action than a tincture. The bark is used internally in the treatment of diarrhoea, colitis, dysentery, haemorrhoids, vaginal discharge, excessive menstruation, internal bleeding and prolapsed organs. Branches and twigs are harvested for the bark in the spring. An infusion of the leaves is used to reduce inflammations, treat piles, internal haemorrhages and eye inflammations. The leaves are harvested in the summer and can be dried for later use. A homeopathic remedy is made from fresh bark. It is used in the treatment of nosebleeds, piles and varicose veins.Seed is eaten raw or cooked, and has an oily texture. The seeds are about the size of a barley grain and have a thick bony coat. A refreshing tea is made from the leaves and twigs.
|Antiseptic, Astringent, Beverage, Cosmetic, Haemostatic, Homeopathy, Sedative, Tannin, Tonic, Wood|
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