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Week 8

by: Bailey Dickinson

Week 8 HORT 3440

Bailey Dickinson
GPA 3.87

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Week 8
Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants
James Affecter
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Bailey Dickinson on Friday September 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HORT 3440 at University of Georgia taught by James Affecter in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views.


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Date Created: 09/30/16
Week 8 Notes for HORT 3440 CRN10344 Monday: Valerian, Valeriana officinalis, Valerian family • Herbaceous perennial • Native to Europe and western Asia • Part used: roots • Roots have a disagreeable odor, used by Pied Piper • Clinical studies support use as mild tranquilizer (restlessness, stress, insomnia) • Efforts to isolate and identify the active principle have been unsuccessful; effect may depend on interaction of several chemical components • Consumers sometimes confuse Valerian and Valium; they are unrelated • Side effects: may cause excitability if too large a dose is taken • Does not potentiate alcohol, does not affect driving ability, does not produce hangover • Scientists aren’t sure how valerian works, but they believe it increases the amount of a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain • GABA helps regulate nerve cells and has a calming effect on anxiety • Drugs such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium) also work by increasing the amount of GABA in the brain. Researchers think valerian may have a similar, but weaker effect • Horticulture: attractive perennial for sun or partial shade; vanilla scented flowers; can go dormant in summer heat, reviving in fall Passion Flower, Passiflora incarnate, Passion Flower Family • Perennial vine • Native to southeastern US; big genus of tropical vines • Part used; aerial shoots • Also known as Maypop • Ornate flowers said to symbolize events of the Crucifixion • Introduced as a medicine by a Mississippi MD in 1840; now used in many OTC preparations in Germany • Non-addictive tranquilizer for nervous unrest; reduces anxiety and induces sleep • Does not potentiate alcohol • Caution: do not take with monoamine oxidase-inhibiting (MAO) antidepressants; contains uterine stimulants so avoid during pregnancy • Called maypop because it produces a hollow green fruit that pops if you step on it • 10 petals (10 true disciples), the corona appendage (crown), 5 anthers (5 wounds) 3 branches- 3 nails • Blue Passionflower (P. caerulea, native to Brazil and Argentina) is often cultivated, but it contains cyanogenic glycosides, so don’t confuse the two species! • Horticulture: attractive vine when climbing a lattice or a fence; edible fruit, “maypop” refers to the sound the fruit makes when stomped on the ground; propagate from cuttings or divisions Kava, Piper methysticum, Pepper family • Shrub • Native to South Pacific region • Part used: root • Anxiety, stress, insomnia • 118 known cultivars in South Pacific region • Important ceremonial drink, aphrodisiac • Western use has largely evolved in Germany • Kava lactones depress CNS, so do not use with other CNS depressants (including alcohol) • Cautions: avoid during pregnancy, depression; long-term use can cause reversible yellowing of skin, hair, nails • The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning that using kava supplements has been linked to a risk of severe liver damage • In 2007, a safety panel of the WHO reported a possible link between kava use and seven deaths and 14 liver transplants, mostly in Europe • But the WHO report suggested that the liver toxicity may be limited to keve formulations that used the whole kava plant instead of just the root, or used acetone and ethanol to extract the active ingredient instead of water • Kava has been used in the Pacific Islands where it is grown for centuries without evidence of liver problems. Keve clinical trial published in Psychopharmacology • Subjects were 37 people with GAD and depression • Week 1: all patients took placebo • Week 2: half took kava, half took placebo • Week 3: cross-over, reversing week 2 Kava results • Based on standardized questionnares, participants reported much less anxiety when taking kava • Depression levels also dropped • No serious side effects observed; formulation used was a water- extract of kava; long term safety not addressed St. John’s Wort, Hypericum, St. John’s-wort Family • Herbaceous perennial • Native to Europe and Asia and widely established as an introduced species in the US • Part used: leaves and flowering tops • Treats depression and anxiety (Nature’s Prozac) • Doctrine of Signatures: reddish juice and “pores” on leaf suggest flesh wounds • Causes photo-sensitivity • Sales skyrocketed in 1997 following 20/20 story • Cautions: interactions with pharmaceutical drugs: MAO inhibitors, reduces blood serum levels of several drugs (including oral contraceptives) (Examples of plants that represent their use: eyebright, maidenhair fern, liverleaf) Drugs that interact with St. Johns wort • Indinavir (used to treat HIV infection) • Cyclosporin (tissue rejection) • Digoxin (heart disease) • Warfarin (anticoagulant and a synthetic derivative of a plant coumarin found in Sweet Woodruff, Licorice, and Lavender) • Oral contraceptives Wednesday: Horticulture is the branch of agriculture that deals with “garden crops” (e.g. fruits, nuts, vegetable, ornamental plants, medicinal plants) Commercial Production Methods for Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal plants • Field cultivation • Greenhouse cultivation • Hydroponics • Artificial shade • Woodland culture Field production of MAPS • Most economical method • Climate and soils must be suited to crop • Preparation of seedbed, planting, weed and pest control, and harvesting can be highly mechanized, depending on the crop and scale of operation • Certified organic production brings a premium price Absinthe is an alcoholic drink made from anise, fennel and wormwood (Artemesia absinthium); it’s experiencing a resurgence in the uS • Banned in 1912 in US because of supposed hallucinogenic effects; certain products were legalized in 2007 • Strong licorice aroma and taste • Contains a compound called thujone that is toxins in excessive amounts, but you would probably die of alcohol poisoning before you drank enough absinthe to feel the effects • Favorite of Picasso and Oscar Wilde; rumors link it to Van Gouh’s cutting off his ear Geography and climate play an important role in field production. Certain climates favor the production of certain herbs and spices. For example: Jamaica produces allspice, ginger, and turmeric Canada produces mustard, oregano, and parsley Organically produced crops can be sold at a premium, and this technique is often appropriate for culinary herbs and medicinal plants • No use of prohibited substances on site for at least three years • Soil organics must be maintained or improved • Regular testing of surface and ground water • Maintenance of buffer zones around crops Greenhouse production • Environmental conditions can be optimized for plant growth • Year-round growth • Useful for herbs that are tender, in great demand, where appearance is a factor • Good for propagating herbs for wholesale market or as transplants Hydroponic Production (max level of control over plant and environment) • Growing plants in a nutrient solution without soil • Allows precise control over nutrients; eliminates soil bourne weeds and diseases, minimizing herbicide and pesticide use • Require less fertilizer and water than field production • Extended growing season • Allows intensive production in small space Artificial shade • Some MAPS cannot tolerate full sun • Shade cloth and wooden lath allow control over how much light reaches plants • Exposes plants to ambient temperature and some air flow • Less expensive than greenhouses Woodland Culture • Growing plants under forest canopy • Useful for many of our native southeastern plants that grow in the forest understory (ginseng, goldenseal, black cohosh) • Can vary in intensity and expense List at least three advantages of cultivating medicinal plants (or culinary herbs) vs. collecting them from the wild Advantages of Cultivation over Harvesting from the Wild • Supply and availability • Quality control (identification, adulteration, harvest, conditions, sanitation) • Genetic manipulation • Agronomic manipulation • Post-harvest handling What are some ways that you can improve medicinal plants using genetic or agronomic techniques? • Yield (response to fertilization) • Chemistry (aroma, nutrition) • Appearance (important in fresh material) • East of harvest (size, date of maturation • Pest and disease resistance • Climatic tolerances (hardiness, drought resistance) Field production of Peppermint: • Perennial plant, propagated by runners or cuttings • Plantings last 5-6 years • Needs rich, well-drained soil • Requires full sun and lots of moisture • Production in the USA are centered in the Midwest and northwest • Distill in large trucks or in beakers • These oils are kind of like opium- not just one compound- made up of many compounds • Depending on how you treat the plants before and after harvest, you can control which compounds and what the composition is of the oil Friday: Oil is extracted by putting the plants in a flask and heating it up (called distilling) The essential oil that’s extracted is a mixture of 15-20 essential oil compounds; very complex; good for southeastern plants Goldenseal, Hydrastis Canadensis, Buttercup family • Herbaceous perennial • Native to eastern US • Part used: rhizome and roots (contains burbarin- antibacterial and anti- inflammatory alkaloid) • Colds and flu, astringent, antibacterial • Cautions: heart disease, pregnancy • Goldenseal is easier to grow than ginseng because it is tolerant of higher light intensity and less subject to pest and disease damage • Unlike ginseng, goldenseal does not continually increase in value with the age of the plant; decay begins after 4 year, making harvest in 3 or 4 year is optimal • Need winter cold for root dormancy (probably no further south than north GA) • Rich soil with good drainage (avoid bottomlands and clay soils) • For forest associates look for mayapple, trillium, bloodroot, black cohosh Light requirements: good level is 75% shade; can provide with forest cover, lath, or shade cloth Site Preparation • Build raised beds if possible • Add compost or dead leaves for organic matter • Goldenseal likes a pH of 5.5-6.0; pH affects growth, root yield, and root alkaloid content; can add dolomitic limestone to raise pH Fertilization • Initial bed preparation can incorporate compost, poultry litter products, soybean meal • A light folicar feeding in the sprins with an organic fertilizer (fish emulsion or seaweed is helpful) Pests and disease • Slugs are the major pests in the SE • Weeds are best controlled by mulch • Disease is best controlled by site selection If you grow goldenseal in a 10x bigger area with artificial shade instead of in the woods, you make $45K over 4 years as compared to $2,500 When grown organic, $50/lb (dried roots) when grown in artificial shade $15/lb (not dry roots) Ginseng, Panax ginseng, P. quinquefolius, Ginseng family • Herbaceous perennials • Native to east Asia and eastern North America • Part used: root (the seeds are also valuable- to people who want to grow ginseng) • Fatique, tonic, athletic performance • Cautions: high blood pressure, heart palpitations • Doesn’t apply much in allopathic medicine because it focuses on prevention of stress •


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