Botanical Profiles

Learn about the cultural use, botany, and medicinal properties of plants in Shoots & Roots Bitters. 

 

CHAI JOLOKIA BITTERS

Tea

Latin name: Camellia sinensis 

Family: Theaceae

Parts used: bud, leaf, flowers

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Habitat: The tea plant naturally grows in the understory of broad-leaved evergreen forests at altitudes between 100 - 2,200 m. The native tea growing area, or ‘tea belt’, encompasses southwestern China (Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi and Guizhou provinces), northern Laos, northern Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and northeastern India. Some forest-growing tea plants are also found outside of the tea belt in eastern China, Japan, southern Korea, Thailand and Taiwan. The center of diversity of tea is in the Upper Mekong River Region of Yunnan Province of southwestern China. Today, tea plants are primarily found in terraced landscapes in the tea belt and other tropical, subtropical and temperate regions where tea cultivation has been introduced, including Sri Lanka, Indonesia, central Africa, Turkey, Argentina and Russia. Tea plants are found between latitudes 42’ N and 30’ S in areas that fit the specific ecophysiological requirements of tea cultivation.

Medicinal and other uses: Tea is the most popular drink in the world asides from water. Buddhists and Zen monks drank tea to keep themselves awake during long meditation sessions. Tea has an extensive history of use as a medicine, tonic, beverage, and food for energy and wellbeing. It is also consumed as a social beverage and for expression of cultural traditions. Tea is used to for strengthening the immune system, balancing the body’s hot and cold levels, detoxifying blood, treating rheumatism and stones, remedying headaches, and reducing swelling and soft tissue. It is also used to treat mental wellbeing including invigorating the mind and relieving stress. Additionally, tea is used for providing nutrition, aiding digestion, and preventing obesity.

Bioactivity: Catechin polyphenols are the primary compounds responsible for the claimed health benefits of green tea, including its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Caffeine contributes to green tea’s stimulant properties, while the amino acid theanine contributes to its relaxing properties. Significant variation of catechin and caffeine content occurs between green tea types depending on environmental growth conditions and processing.

 

 

 

Mace

Latin name: Myristica fragrans

Family: Myristicaceae 

Parts used: fruit and seed

Habitat: Native to the Banda Islands in the Spice Islands of Indonesia.

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Traditional medicinal and other uses: A prized spice used for medicine, flavoring, and as a preservative. Historically used in rural eastern Indonesia and India as a form of snuff sometimes mixed with betel. In traditional Korean medicine, mace is used as a treatment of various intestinal diseases including colitis. Believed to ward off the plague in Elizabethan times that became responsible for its expanded commercialization and trade. Also reported to be used as a traditional abortifacient. Butter from the nut contains trimyristin, which can be turned into myristic acid, a 14-carbon fatty acid, used as a replacement for cocoa butter.

Bioactivity: Contains the compound macelignan that has been found to exert antimicrobial activity against Streptococcus mutans and inhibit Jurkat cell activity in human leukemia. Alkaloids in mace seed have been shown to have analgesic activity. An extract of mace was found to elicit a significant antidepressant-like effect in a mouse model that seems to be mediated by interaction with the adrenergic, dopaminergic, and serotonergic systems. Mace seed extract was also found to ameliorate dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis in mice by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines. In large doses, mace is found to have psychoactive effects.

 

 

 

Black pepper

Latin name: Piper nigrum

Family: Piperaceae

Parts used: fruit

Habitat: Native to south India; extensively cultivated in tropical regions; Vietnam is the world's largest producer and exporter.

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Traditional medicinal and other uses: Black pepper is the world’s most traded spice and is valued as a flavoring and medicine. Used to treat a range of health conditions including congestion, constipation, diarrhea, earache, eye problems, gangrene, heart disease, hernia, hoarseness, indigestion, insect bites, insomnia, joint pain, liver problems, lung disease, oral abscesses, soar throat, sunburn, tooth decay, and toothaches.

Bioactivity: Piperine is the phytochemical compound that imparts the spicy flavor to black pepper. This compound has been found to enhance the body’s thermogenesis of lipid and accelerates energy metabolism as well as increase brain serotonin and beta-endorphin production. The outer fruit layer of black pepper also contains the aromatic terpenes pinene, sabinene, limonene, caryophyllene, and linalool that contribute to citrus, woody, and floral notes. Extracts of black pepper fruit were found to significantly improved memory performance and exhibit antioxidant potential in an amyloid beta (1-42) rat model of Alzheimer's disease. Studies have further found black pepper to have pronounced activities against pathogenic microbes Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeroginosa, Salmonella typhi, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans. Black pepper contains small amounts of safrole that is found to be a mildly carcinogenic compound.



Star anise

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Latin name: Illicium verum

Family: Schisandraceae

Parts used: fruit and pericarp of fruit

Habitat: Native to southwest China and northeast Vietnam.

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Traditionally used to treat rheumatism and aid in digestion. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, star anise is prescribed to relieve cold-stagnation in the middle jiao.

Bioactivity: Star anise is a major source of shikimic acid that is a primary precursor in the pharmaceutical synthesis of the anti-influenza drug oseltamivir used in Tamiflu. Extracts of star anise have been found to have Central Nervous System depressant action and anxiolytic effect without interfering with motor coordination. In addition, studies have confirmed the flavonols of star anise to have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.

 

 

Clove

Latin name: Syzygium aromaticum

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Family: Myrtaceae

Parts used: flower buds

Habitat: Native to the Maluku Islands of the Spice Islands of Indonesia. Today, the world’s largest producer of cloves is Pemba Island off the coast of Tanzania.

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Used to treat a range of ailments in Indian Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and western Herbalism including to treat digestive problems, as a carminative, to increase the stomach’s hydrochloric acid, improve peristalsis, and serve as a natural anthelmintic. Topically clove oil is used in aromatherapy, to warm the digestive track, relieve toothache from cavities, and treat hypotonic muscles including multiple sclerosis. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, cloves are regarded to act on the kidney, spleen, and stomach meridians and warm the middle, direct stomach qi downward and strengthen kidney yang. It is also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat impotence impotence, vaginal discharge from yang deficiency, morning sickness combined with ginseng and patchouli, and vomiting and diarrhea resulting from spleen and stomach coldness.

Bioactivity: Eugenol is one of the primary compounds in clove oil. The ellagitannin tellimagrandin II found in cloves have anti-herpesvirus properties. Cloves have also been found to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as being effective in reducing blood sugar levels.

 

Naga jolokia

Latin name: Capsicum chinense x C. fructescens

Family: Solanaceae 

Parts used: fruit pods

Habitat: Chili peppers are native to Peru and the Americas with new hybrids such as Naga jolokia being developed around the world.

Traditional medicinal and other uses: This hybrid is the world’s hottest chili pepper on the basis of the Scoville Scale of heat units with ratings ranging from 855,000 - 1,041,427 Scoville units. The naga jolokia hybrid was developed by Michael and Joy Michaud from the Naga Morich or Naga Jolokia chile cultivated in Bangladesh that they purchased at an Indian market in England. Chili peppers were used topically in some Native American medical systems as a circulatory stimulant and as an analgesic. Also used in a range of treatment including anti-obesity, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, post-herpetic neuralgia, post-mastectomy pain, hemodialysis-associated pruritus, psoriatic itching and pain, and painful neuropathies.

Bioactivity: The alkaloids capsaicinoids found in chili pepper fruit pods impart the heat sensation and vary on the basis of genetic and environmental conditions. These compounds are regarded to have evolved as defense mechanism against mammalian predators. Capsaicin is the active ingredient that is most concentrated in the rib or membrane and less concentrated in the seeds with the least concentration in the flesh.

 

 

KI BITTERS

Mume plums

Latin name: Prunus mume

Family: Rosaceae

Parts used: fruit and flowers

Habitat: native to China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Long used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and medical systems of other East Asian countries as medicine to harmonize the stomach, resolve phlegm, and soothe the liver. Prescribed to treat indigestion, stomachache, poor appetite, chest pain, and dizziness. Valued for its antimicrobial properties including topical oral use for preventing dental cavities. Mume plums are widely used in liquor, juices, and sauces as a flavoring and nutritional enhancement and are pickled and eaten as a snack.

Bioactivity: Studies in an animal model found mume plums to have antimicrobial properties and inhibit Helicobacter pylori associated with gastritis and gastric ulcers. Mume plums contain the compound MK615 that has shown to have in vitro anti-tumor activities against several cancer cell lines including hepatocellular carcinoma.

 

 

Japanese allspice

Latin name: Chimonanthus praecox

Family: Calycanthaceae

Parts used: flower buds and seeds

Habitat: native to China

Traditional medicinal and other uses: In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Japanese allspice is used to relieve summer-heat, promote the secretion of saliva or body fluid, and relieve cough and is prescribed to treat whooping cough, choking sensation in chest, polydypsia due to heat disease, and coughs. Externally it is used for healing burns and scalds. It is also used to aid digestion.

Bioactivity: Flowers contain the bioactive volatile compounds elemene, muurolene, caryophyllene, cadinol and spathulenol that have shown to have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Methylxanthines D-calycanthine and L-folicanthine in the seeds of Japanese allspice have also shown to have antifungal properties.

 

 

 

Kousa dogwood

Latin name: Cornus kousa

Family: Cornaceae

Parts used: fruit and leaves

Habitat: native to China and Eastern Asia; found in forests and scrub in the mountains, valleys, shaded slopes, by streams and roadsides at elevations of 400 – 2,200 meters.

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Traditionally used for the treatment of hyperglycemia.

Bioactivity: Leaves of Cornus kousa contain polyphenols that have significant antioxidant activity. In addition, the leaves were also found to exhibit pharmacological effects for the treatment of hyperglycemia and type 2 diabetes.

 

 

 

Nezuko thuja

Latin name: Thuja standishii

Family: Cupressaceae

Parts used: leaves and stem bark

Habitat: native to southern Japan

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Used as a general strong immune booster and to fight off the common cold, flu, upper respiratory issues including pneumonia and bronchitis, and strep throat. Also used for treatment of nerve pain, herpes infections, join pains, muscle aches, skin diseases, and warts.

Bioactivity: The stem bark contains the diterpenes ferruginol, sugiol, isocupressic acid, sandaracopimaric acid, and 15-oxolabda-8,13 E-dien-19-oic acid (6). Diterpenes of Thuja standishii were found to show strong inhibitory effect on the Epstein-Barr virus early antigen. The labdane diterpenoid derived from the stem bark has been found to demonstrate anti-inflammatory, antimicronial, antifungal, cytotoxic, and cardiotonic activities.

 

 

 

Hawthorn

Latin name: Crataegus pinnatifida

Family: Rosaceae

Parts used: fruit and fruit stone

Habitat: native to China

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a digestive aid and for heart strengthening. In cuisine, hawthorn is used to make fruit preserves and haw flakes.

Bioactivity: The haw pectin penta-oligogalacturonide prepared from hawthorn fruit contains antioxidant and anti-lipidemic effects in vitro and in mice and suggest the effective use of hawthorn as a dietary supplement for the prevention of fatty liver and oxidative damage. The fruit stone contains proanthocyanidins with antioxidant activities as well as the ability to inhibit tyrosinase activities, including the monophenolase activity and the diphenolase activity. The phenylpropanoids have been shown to have antithrombotic activity by inhibiting platelet aggregation in rat plasma. Polyphenols from hawthorn fruit have found to exhibit anti-tumor properties on the skin.

 

 

Jujube

Latin name: Ziziphus jujuba

Family: Rhamnaceae

Parts used: fruit, leaves, root, and seeds

Habitat: Natural distribution is considered to be southern Asia, Nepal, Korean peninsula, south and central China, and possibly southeastern Europe

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Korean medical practice to alleviate stress and sore throats as well as a treatment for insomnia. In traditional Persian medicine, jujube is used to treat flu and cold. The root in Traditional Chinese Medicine is used to regulate menstruation, stop bleeding, expel wind, alleviate pain, tonify the spleen, and control diarrhea.

Bioactivity: The leaves contain the compound ziziphin that suppresses the ability to perceive sweet taste. Jujube contains flavonoid C-glycosides, triterpene acids, and unsaturated fatty acids including the volatiles betulinic acid and oleic acid. Various studies have reported on the fruit’s antifungal, antibacterial, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, sedative, antispastic, antifertility, hypotensive, antinephritic, cardiotonic, antioxidant, immunostimulant, and wound healing properties.

 

 

Luo han guo

Latin name: Siraitia grosvenorii

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Parts used: fruit

Habitat: native to southern China and northern Thailand

Traditional medicinal and other uses: The fruit is 300 times sweeter than sugar and has been used as a low calorie sweetner for prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the fruit are considered to clear lung-heat and moisten the intestine. It is prescribed in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat constipation due to blood deficiency, cough due to phlegm-fire, and a whooping cough. It is also used as a pulmonary demulcent and emollient for the treatment of dry cough, dire thirst, and constipation.

Bioactivity: The mogrosides, a group of triterpene glycosides, primarily account for the sweet taste of lou han guo. These compounds are also found to have antioxidant properties and inhibit cancer cell growth as well as inhibit the induction of Epstein-Barr virus. Fruit extracts of luo han guo were found to have significant anti-fatigue effects on mice. The polysaccharides from luo han guo were found to have glucose-lowering effect on hyperglycaemic and this mechanism may be related to amelioration of lipid metabolism and restoring the blood lipid levels.

 

MOUNT APO

Banaba

Latin name: Lagerstroemia flos-reginae

Family: Lythraceae

Parts used: leaves

Habitat: Native to tropical southern and southeast Asia; cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical areas

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Used in Philippino medicine for treatment of diabetes, kidney related diseases, to control blood pressure and cholesterol, facilitate bowel movement and as an analgesic. Banaba is promoted by the Philippines Department of Health.

Bioactivity: The primary bioactive compounds are corosolic acid, gallotannins and the ellagitannin lagerstroemin.  Penta-O-galloyl-glucopyranose (PGG) is the e most potent gallotannin in banaba. In vitro and in vivo studies have confirmed the antidiabetic activity of banaba in decreasing blood sugar levels by exhibiting an insulin-like glucose transport inducing activity as well as anti-adipogenic properties.

 

 

 

Guava

Latin name: Psidium guajava

Family: Myrtaceae

Parts used: fruit, leaves, bark, flowers

Habitat: tropical and subtropical regions around the world; likely domesticated in Peru &nbsp

Traditional medicinal and other uses: The leaves and bark are used by some tribes in the Amazon and communities throughout Latin America to treat diarrhea, dysentery, sore throats, vomiting, gastric disorders, stomach upsets, hemorrhages, and vertigo. Tender leaves are also chewed to treat bleeding gums, bad breath, mouth sores as well as prevent hangovers. Guava is further used and to regulate menstrual periods, to clear vaginal discharge, and to tone vaginal walls after childbirth. Topically, the leaves, bark, or flowers are used to treat wounds, ulcers, skin sores, sun strain, conjunctivitis, or eye injuries. Outside of Latin America, guava is also used in Central and West Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Dutch Pharmacopoeia.

Bioactivity: The leaves contain flavonol morin, morin-3-O-lyxoside, morin-3-O-arabinoside, quercetin, and quercetin-3-O-arabinoside. Laboratory studies in a rat model validated guava leaf’s antimicrobial, antidiabetic effect, and protective effect on altered glucose metabolism.



Pandan

Latin name: Pandanus amaryllifolius

Family: Pandanaceae

Parts used: leaf

Habitat: tropical; rare in the wild; widely cultivated

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Widely used in Southeast Asian cooking as a flavoring and for maintenance of health. 

Bioactivity: The aroma compound 2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline imparts a sticky rice or bread characteristic. Contains flavonoid and phenolic acids including epicatechin, naringin, gallic acid, cinnamic acid, and ferrulic acid.Found to exhibit growth of the MCF-7 cancer cell line and this displaying anticancer promoting properties.

 

Lemongrass

Latin name: Cymbopogon citratus

Family: Poaceae 

Parts used: stem

Habitat: native to India and tropical Asia

Traditional medicinal and other uses: The stem is used for its anxiolytic, hypnotic, and anticonvulsant properties.

Bioactivity: The key bioactive compounds in lemongrass are citronellol, citral, citronella, citronellol, and geranilol. Laboratory studies have found lemongrass to have cytoprotective, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, and anti-fungal properties.

 

 

 

Anise

Latin name: Pimpinella anisum

Family: Apiaceae

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Parts used: seeds and fruit

Habitat: native to Mediterranean and southwest Asia;<span>&nbsp; </span>grows in the Eastern Mediterranean, West Asia, the Middle East, Mexico, Egypt, and Spain; likes fertile well-drained soil

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Widely used in traditional Persian medicine and cuisine as a digestive, relief of gastrointestinal spasms, treatment of neurological disorders, enhancer of milk for lactating women, and as a flavoring. Anise seeds are also used to treat menstrual cramps, insomnia, as an analgesic for migraine, and as an anti-septic. The essential seed oil is used as an insecticide for head-lice.

Bioactivity: The volatile oil primarily consists of a phytoestrogen known as trans-anethole and lipids rich in fatty acids including palmitic and oleic acids. Other major compounds and classes of compounds include methylchavicol, anisaldehyde, estragole, coumarins, scopoletin, umbelliferone, estrols, terpene hydrocarbons, polyenes, and polyacetylenes. Anise seeds were found to have neuroprotective effects in a rat model including anti-seizure and anti-hypoxia effects likely via inhibition of synaptic plasticity. Clinical trials found anise efficacious for treating constipation. In vitro studies on clinical isolates of seven species of yeasts and four species of dermatophytes showed anise seed oil to have antifungal properties. Found beneficial for hot flashes in menopausal women.

 

 

 

Sambong  

Latin name: Blumea balsamifera

Family: Asteraceae

Parts used: leaves

Habitat: distributed in tropical and sub-tropical Asia; found in disturbed lands and regarded a weed

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Used in traditional Philippino medicine to treat the common cold, as a diuretic for kidney stones and urinary tract infections, reduce blood pressure, astringent for wounds, anti-spasmotic, and anti-diarrheal.

Bioactivity: Primary bioactivity of sambong is from limonene, camphor, borneol, saponins, tannins and sesquiterpenes.

 

 

 

Malunggay

Latin name: Moringa oleifera

Family: Moringaceae

Parts used: fruits, leaves, mature seeds, oil pressed from the mature seeds, and roots

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Habitat: native to the Himalaya foothills in northwestern India; widely cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical areas.

Traditional medicinal and other uses: The species is valued for food security with its rich nutrient profile. It is also used in traditional medicine including systems of Siddha medicine, Ayurveda, and healing systems in the Philippines. The leaves as considered regulate blood pressure, glucose levels, and lactation.

Bioactivity: The leaves contain B vitamins, vitamin C, provitamin A, vitamin K, manganese, and protein.

 

 

 

Mugwort  

Latin name: Artemisia vulgaris

Family: Asteraceae

Parts used: leaves, stem

Habitat: native to temperate Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and Alaska; naturalized in North America where it is regarded as a weed.

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Used as an anthelminthic, for moxibustion, and to treat cardiac conditions, and general feelings of unease and unwellness. Mugwort is used in numerous traditional medicinal systems including those of China, Japan, Korea, and Germany. It was one of the nine herbs of the pagan Anglo-Saxon Nine Herbs Charm. Mugwort is used to dye rice in Chinese regional cuisine. It is also used in cuisine as a flavoring.

Bioactivity: Contains the phytochemical cineole thujone, flavonoids, triterpenes, and coumarin derivatives.


Black walnut

Latin name: Juglans nigra

Family: Juglandaceae

Parts used: hulls and nuts

Habitat: native to eastern North America 

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Used to treat parasites. Also used as a dessert flavoring and valued for its nutritional profile.

Bioactivity: Has a rich fatty acid profile including linoleic acid, oleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid.


Yohimbe

Latin name: Pausinystalia yohimbe

Family: Rubiaceae

Parts used: bark

Habitat: Africa 

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Used to treat erectile dysfunction.

Bioactivity: Contains the alkaloid yohimbine along with ~55 other alkaloids including corynanthine, an alpha-1 adrenergic receptor blocker.


Orris

Latin name: Iris germanica

Family: Iridaceae

Parts used: roots

Habitat: a European hybrid

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Often a component of <em>Ras el hanout</em>, a blend of herbs and spices used in Moroccan cuisine and other food cultures of the Middle East and North Africa.

Bioactivity: Contains the compounds irigenin S, iriside A, stigmasterol, a-irone, γ-irone, 3-hydroxy-5-methoxyacetophenone, irilone, irisolidone, irigenin, stigmasterol-3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside, irilone 4'-O-β-D-glucopyranoside and iridin. Found to have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory compounds.


INDIGO SAFFRON BITTERS

Saffron

Latin name: Crocus sativus

Family: Polygonaceae

Parts used: stigmas

Habitat: native to southwest Asia and Greece; considered to first to cultivated in Greece; distributed in southern Europe

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Saffron has been documented as being used in treating health conditions for over 4,000 years for over 90 different health conditions in various cultures from Iran to China. The styles and stigmas are used in health treatments as an anodyne, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, appetizer, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative, stimulant, and diaphoretic. Saffron is used to treat chronic haemorrhages in the uterus, induce menstruation, treat period pains, and calm indigestion and colic. The stigmas yield a dental analgesic. Saffron is used in Persian, Indian, Arab, Turkish, and European cuisines.

Bioactivity: The bitter glucoside picrocrocin and the volatile safranal are the two key compounds contributing to the aroma and taste of saffron. Overall, saffron contains ~150 aromatic compounds. The carotenoid crocin is largely responsible for imparting a rich golden-yellow hue to foods and beverages prepared with saffron. Other colored compounds in saffron include zeaxanthin, lycopene, and various carotenes.

 

Chinese indigo

Latin name: Strobilanthes cusia

Family: Acanthaceae

Parts used: leaf and roots

Habitat: native to tropical Asia; distributed in lowland and foothills of moist habitats in India and China

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Used in traditional Dai and Chinese medicine for various ailments including for treating malnutrition, indigestion syndrome, clearing heat, and detoxicating, and cooling the blood. <em>Baphicacanthus cusia</em> is traditionally referred to as Huang Man by the Dai of southwestern China’s Xishuangbanna and refers to the highest medicine enshrine for the Buddha. According to the Xishuanbanna Dai YaoZhi, the Buddha Gumalabie passes this plant to all living creatures as to be a good remedy for curing heat. The Dai also use <em>Baphicacanthus cusia</em> for deinsectization and clearing heat according to the Dai Yi Yao.

Bioactivity: The active compounds of <em>Baphicacanthus cusia</em> include indirubin that imparts a sticky rice aroma.


Mulberry  

Latin name: Morus alba

Family: Moraceae

Parts used: leaves, roots, root bark, stems, and fruit

Habitat: central and northern China in secondary forests and in gardens

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine for its medicinal properties including antibacterial, astringent, diaphoretic, hypoglycaemic, odontalgic, ophthalmic, anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, diuretic, antiasthmatic, anthelmintic, purgative, antitussive, diuretic, expectorant, antibacterial, hypotensive, fungicidal activity, sedative, and pectoral. Used for the treatment of colds, influenza, eye infections, asthma, coughs, bronchitis, oedema, hypertension, diabetes, nosebleeds, rheumatic pains and spasms, to relieve toothache, as a tonic effect on kidney energy, urinary incontinence, dizziness, tinnitus, insomnia due to anaemia, neurasthenia, hypertension, diabetes, premature greying of the hair, constipation in the elderly, it is used to expel tape worms.

Bioactivity: Albanol A is a lead compound being investigated for developing a drug for treatment of leukemia. The compounds moracin m, steppogenin-4-O-β-D-glucoside, and mulberroside A from the root bark have been shown to produce hypoglycemic effects. The glycosylated stilbenoid, mulberroside A, has been shown effective in the treatment of hyperuricemia and gout.

        

Life everlasting

Latin name: Helichrysum steochas

Family: Asteraceae

Parts used: stem tops and flowers

Habitat: Mediterranean region; south and western Europe; grows in dry banks and rocky and sandy areas.

Traditional medicinal and other uses: The stem tops and the flowers are deobstruent and expectorant and have been used in the treatment of colds and as diaphoretics and discutients.

Bioactivity: Polyphenols in life everlasting contribute to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This species has been found to have cytogenetic effects in human lymphocytes culture as well as antimicrobial properties.

 

Gentian

Latin name: Gentiana lutea

Family: Gentianaceae

Parts used: root

Habitat: alpine habitats in temperate Europe, Asia and the Americas

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Gentian root has a long history of use as an herbal bitter for the treatment of digestive disorders. It has been used in the treatment of exhaustion from chronic disease, debility, fevers, hypertension, parasites, wounds, malaria, weakness of the digestive system, liver complaints, indigestion, gastric infections, anorexia, and lack of appetite. It is also regarded a strengthener of the human system that stimulates the liver, gall bladder, and digestive system. Gentian root is further valued for its anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, febrifuge, refrigerant, and stomachic properties.

Bioactivity: Gentian contains among of the most bitter compounds known and is used as a scientific basis for measuring bitterness. The root has been found to have anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties.


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SHANGRILA

Tartary buckwheat

Latin name: Fagopyrum tataricum

Family: Polygonaceae

Parts used: seeds

Habitat: The wild ancestor is considered native to the Himalayan foothill area of Yunnan Province of China; distributed in Southwest China including Sichuan and Guizhou Provinces.

Traditional medicinal and other uses: <span>&nbsp;</span>Used as a key dietary component in several Himalayan cultures.

Bioactivity: Contains notable levels of the antioxidants rutin and quercitin as well as other polyphenols. Studies suggest that the complex nutrient and flavonoid rich profiles of tartary buckwheat are more efficient than single active substances in their health promoting effects. Tartary buckwheat has been found to have antigenotoxic effect against tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BOOH) induced DNA damage in human hepatoma cell line (HepG2).

 

Goji

Latin name: Lycium chinense

Family: Solanaceae

Parts used: fruit and root bark

Habitat: Southern, northern, and central China

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as an herbal tisane and in tonic soups. The fruit and root bark are used in several traditional medicine systems of Asia to treat neurodegenerative disease. Also medicinally used for cardiovascular diseases and vision conditions. Dried fruits are commonly mixed in rice congees and used to make wine.

Bioactivity: The fruit contain numerous phytochemicals including beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and polysaccarides and are packed with essential dietary minerals, amino acids and vitamins. Goji berries contain tetraterpene glycosides including lyciumtetraterpenic hexaarabinoside and tetraterpenyl hexaarabinoside. Studies show goji berries have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Goji extracts have also been found to have neuroprotective effects and possible beneficial effects in Parkinson's disease by attenuating rotenone induced toxicity.


Vetiver

Latin name: Chrysopogon zizanioides

Family: Poaceae

Parts used: grass blade and roots

Habitat: Native to India 

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Used in traditional Tamil medicine as well as other medicinal systems of South Asia, South East Asia, and West Africa for a wide range of ailments including treatment of seizures. Widely cultivated for its aromatic profile. Vetiver is among the most common ingredients in perfumes and is considered to be in over 90% of all western perfumes.

Bioactivity: Extracts of vetiver were found to exhibit significant anticonvulsant activity in mice. Two tricyclic sesquiterpenes from vetiver roots, khusenic acid and khusimol, were found to be effective as antimycobacterial agents against various drug-resistant mutants of Mycobacterium smegmatis. The roots were further found to have antimycobacterial activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H(37)Rv and H(37)Ra strains using a radiometric BACTEC 460 TB system. Vetiver contains over 100 volatile compounds including benzoic acid, furfurol, vetivene, vetivenyl, vetivenate, terpinen-4-ol, 5-epiprezizane Khusimene, α-muurolene, khusimone, Calacorene, β-humulene, α-longipinene, γ-selinene, δ-selinene, δ-cadinene, valencene, calarene, gurjunene, α-amorphene, epizizanal, 3-epizizanol, khusimol, Iso-khusimol, valerenol, β-vetivone, α-vetivone and vetivazulene.


Ginger

Latin name: Zingiber officinale

Family: Zingiberaceae

Parts used: root

Habitat: Domesticated in South Asia

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Used in a wide range of medical systems to treat a wide range of health conditions including treatment of flu, the common cold, stomachache, blood circulation issues, sore throat, rheumatism, wind in the blood, headache, pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and joint and muscle injury. Most commonly, ginger is used as a remedy for colds. It is also regarded as a panacea cure all.

Bioactivity: The volatile compounds zingerone, shogaols and gingerols are primarily responsible for the characteristic aroma and flavor of ginger. Laboratory studies found that gingerols have analgesic, sedative, antipyretic and antibacterial properties.

 

Hawthorn

Latin name: Crataegus pinnatifida

Family: Rosaceae

Parts used: fruit and fruit stone

Habitat: native to China

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a digestive aid and for heart strengthening. In cuisine, hawthorn is used to make fruit preserves and haw flakes.

Bioactivity: The haw pectin penta-oligogalacturonide prepared from hawthorn fruit contains antioxidant and anti-lipidemic effects in vitro and in mice and suggest the effective use of hawthorn as a dietary supplement for the prevention of fatty liver and oxidative damage. The fruit stone contains proanthocyanidins with antioxidant activities as well as the ability to inhibit tyrosinase activities, including the monophenolase activity and the diphenolase activity. The phenylpropanoids have been shown to have antithrombotic activity by inhibiting platelet aggregation in rat plasma. Polyphenols from hawthorn fruit have found to exhibit anti-tumor properties on the skin.


Gentian

Latin name: Gentiana lutea

Family: Gentianaceae

Parts used: root

Habitat: alpine habitats in temperate Europe, Asia and the Americas

Traditional medicinal and other uses: Gentian root has a long history of use as an herbal bitter for the treatment of digestive disorders. It has been used in the treatment of exhaustion from chronic disease, debility, fevers, hypertension, parasites, wounds, malaria, weakness of the digestive system, liver complaints, indigestion, gastric infections, anorexia, and lack of appetite. It is also regarded a strengthener of the human system that stimulates the liver, gall bladder, and digestive system. Gentian root is further valued for its anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, febrifuge, refrigerant, and stomachic properties.

Bioactivity: Gentian contains among of the most bitter compounds known and is used as a scientific basis for measuring bitterness. The root has been found to have anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties.