Young kids will need help with this! Dangle the avocado into the glass or jar by using the toothpicks as support. The bottom of the seed should be in the water. Be sure to maintain the water level and keep in a warm place out of direct light. In a few weeks you should see roots and a stem begin to sprout! Observe this inner world of flowers and learn first-hand about the parts of a flower. This activity is all about observing what you find. Through careful observation, you should be able to find many flower parts. Instructions: Take your big beautiful flower and examine it.
You may want to take notes about what you see. What do you see? Can you find any flower parts? Around the edge of the flower are the colorful petals. Right in the center is the pistil and those funny ball looking things, those are the anthers. Look at the anthers under a magnifying glass. Do you see little grains? Next, gently pull the petals off your flower to reveal the bottom of the pistil.
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The swelling you see is the place where the seeds grow, called the ovary. You may be able to use your magnifying glass to see small round structures at the base of the pistil. Instructions: Gently spread out a leaf with the underside veins facing up on a hard surface. Invite your friends and family to join you.
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You either hunt together or make a friendly game of it and see who can find the most things from the list! As you hunt, you can either collect the items you find, take pictures of them, or just make a note about where you found it. There is a magic circle of breath and energy between animals and plants on our beautiful Earth.
Have you ever seen a picture that shows how the inside of our lungs looks like the upside down branches of a winter tree? We need each other for healthy breathing and indeed to survive. We already talked a little bit about photosynthesis , remember? The thing is that the process of photosynthesis is one of the incredible ways that plants support human and animal life on Earth. And in fact, in considering photosynthesis, we can see how people and animals support plants as well.
Remember that plants use carbon dioxide from the surrounding air for photosynthesis? They get the carbon dioxide from the very air we exhale! Carbon dioxide is formed inside the cells of our body as part of the process that liberates energy from the food we eat. Guess what? And plants make the very oxygen we need! It is a circle of breathing and energy between people, animals and plants on our beautiful Earth. This is a simple yet profound exercise. This is best done sitting outside, perhaps leaning against a big tree or laying in a lovely patch of plants.
Being by taking a few big breaths deep into your tummy. Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. It may help to put your hands on your stomach and feel it rising with your breath.
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Now imagine the circle you are making with your breath. You are breathing in life-giving oxygen produced by our green friends, the plants.
Breathe deep and feel the oxygen coming into every cell of your body. Take a few more breaths in and out, imagining that circle and feeling the connection we share with them. If you want to learn more about botany and how to identify plants check out:. Thank you for joining us on another herbal adventure. Our exploration of botany was designed to give kids an approachable introduction to the science of plants.
This is a vast subject in itself and can be a wonderful topic for further exploration. As herbalists, we speak the language of plants. We talk about what part of the plant we are using in our remedies. We talk about where the plant grows and what it looks like. Botany gives us a common language to describe what we see and to share with one another. Are the hairs soft and downy or are they stiff hispid hairs?
How do the leaves appear on the plant? Are they present in an alternating, opposite, or whorled pattern?
What does this tell us about the plant? Using plant identification keys, these details will help us identify the plant we are looking at. Take it a bit further and you will find that plants in certain families really do share common characteristics. When encountering a new plant, knowledge of these characteristics instantly helps us make an educated guess as to which plant family our new friend belongs and also what healing properties it may posses.
Please note that some of the activities offered require parental guidance and in particular help for small children with toothpicks Watch A Seed In Action and a knife Flower Discovery. Beyond trying out some of the activities listed there are many ways to support your child in their learning about botany. Take the scavenger hunt with your child and see what you can find. Visit your local botanical garden. Most botanical gardens offer classes for kids as well. There are also many books about botany for kids which can offer a deeper look into this fascinating subject!
A Reminder: Safety First! Please help your kids be safe when using herbs. It is important that kids be supervised when using herbs, especially if they are very small. Instruct your child ren to always check with you first before handling or ingesting any plants. We will be talking about herbs that are generally considered to be safe for children. Wait 24 hours to see if there is any reaction before using the herb with your child. Parents, do you want to expand your learning about herbalism? Membership to The Herbarium offers a wonderful resource for herbalists and students alike.
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Use of Medicinal Plants by Traditional Herbal Healers in Central India
Then check your email to find a welcome message from our Herbal Academy team with a special link to download our " Herbal Tea Throughout The Seasons " Ebook! The Herbal Academy supports trusted organizations with the use of affiliate links. Affiliate links are shared throughout the website and the Herbal Academy may receive compensation if you make a purchase with these links. Information offered on Herbal Academy websites is for educational purposes only.
The Herbal Academy makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. The Herbal Academy neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their content. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements. View Cart 0. Contact Us. Sign In. Meet My Friend, Herb! Part Two Welcome! Special Botanical Terms Source: Print When learning about botany and herbs, you will encounter many interesting and sometimes strange words. Here is a key to help you understand some of the words in this article.
Botany : A branch of science that is focused on the study of plants.
Use of Medicinal Plants by Traditional Herbal Healers in Central India
It is used by plants for the process of photosynthesis. Chlorophyll : A green pigment color inside plants that captures light energy for photosynthesis. Genus Name : In botany, the genus name is the first part of the Latin name for a plant. Scientists use the symbol O2 to symbolize oxygen. Photosynthesis : The word photosynthesis can be broken down into the two words, photo and synthesis. Photo means light and synthesis means to make or put together.
So photosynthesis means to make with light. And plants do just that! Using sunlight, water and carbon dioxide, plants makes food and oxygen. Plant Family Characteristics : These are patterns that occur in plants which help botanists group plants into families. Spring Reads for Children. About Post Author. They believed that the human body and the planets were made up of the same four elements earth, fire, air, and water. For the body to operate well, all four elements had to be in harmony with no imbalances.
It was believed that the moon had the greatest influence on fluids on earth, and that it was the moon that had the ability to affect positively or negatively the four elements in the body. Where the moon and planets were, a knowledge of this was considered important when making a diagnosis and deciding on a course of treatment. Physicians needed to know when to treat a patient and when not to, and the position of the planets determined this. A so-called Zodiac Chart also determined when bloodletting should be done as it was believed by some that the moon and planets determined this as well.
Medical charts informed physicians what not to do for people born under a certain astrology sign. Galen was the most influential ancient physician during the Middle Ages. He held undisputed authority over medicine in the Middle Ages. He described the four classic symptoms of inflammation redness, pain, heat, and swelling and added much to the knowledge of infectious disease and pharmacology.
His anatomic knowledge of humans was defective because it was based on dissection of animals, mainly apes, sheep, goats, and pigs. Some of Galen's teachings tended to hold back medical progress. His theory, for example, that the blood carried the pneuma, or life spirit, which gave it its red color, coupled with the erroneous notion that the blood passed through a porous wall between the ventricles of the heart, delayed the understanding of circulation and did much to discourage research in physiology.
His most important work, however, was in the field of the form and function of muscles and the function of the areas of the spinal cord. He also excelled in diagnosis and prognosis. The importance of Galen's work cannot be underestimated, for through his writings, knowledge of Greek medicine was subsequently transmitted to the Western world by the Arabs. Herbs, flowers, and perfumes formed a large part of everyday life in the Middle Ages and were inextricably linked with magic and medicine. Medicinal plants and herbs were an important and major part in the pharmacopeia.
Medicines were made from herbs, spices, and resins. This was a practical text dealing with the medicinal use of more than plants in the second century. Although the original text of Dioscorides is lost, there are many surviving copies. His texts formed the basis of much of the herbal medicine practiced until Some plants were used for specific disorders, while others were credited with curing multiple diseases.
In many cases, preparations were made of many different herbs. Vapor and herb baths were prescribed for all kinds of ailments. Scented garlands decorated homes. Every herb, every tree, and every flower had its own special quality. But of all the scents, the rose is the one most associated with the Middle Ages. Crusaders brought home many different kinds of perfumes from the Middle East; one among them was rosewater and the nobility put bowls of rosewater for guests to wash their hands after meals.
Rose petals were also used to perfume baths. However, in the Middle Ages, the study of medicinal plants was in the hands of monks who in their monasteries planted and experimented on the species described in classic texts. No monastic garden would have been complete without medicinal plants. The sick went to the monastery, local herbalist, or apothecary to obtain healing herbs. Most monasteries developed herb gardens for use in the production of herbal cures, and these remained a part of folk medicine, as well as were being used by some professional physicians.
Books of herbal remedies were produced by monks as many monks were skilled at producing books and manuscripts and tending both medicinal gardens and the sick. However, works of this period simply imitated those of classical antiquity. Headache and aching joints were treated with sweet-smelling herbs such as rose, lavender, sage, and hay. A mixture of henbane and hemlock was applied to aching joints. Coriander was used to reduce fever. Stomach pains and sickness were treated with wormwood, mint, and balm. Lung problems were treated with a medicine made of liquorice and comfrey.
Cough syrups and drinks were prescribed for chest and head-colds and coughs. Wounds were cleaned and vinegar was widely used as a cleansing agent as it was believed that it would kill disease. Mint was used in treating venom and wounds. Myrrh was used as an antiseptic on wounds. There was no experimentation to test the efficacy of a particular herb treatment on ailments. If successful, it was ascribed to their action upon the humors within the body and the belief that such natural herbal remedies must have been intended for such purpose by God. The use of herbs also drew on the doctrine of signatures , a philosophy shared by herbalists from the time of Dioscorides to Galen and which stated that herbs that resemble various parts of the body can be used to treat ailments of that part of the body.
For example, the spotted leaves of lungwort, which was used for tuberculosis, bear a similarity to the lungs of a diseased patient. The medieval Christian Church provided a theological justification for this philosophy by reasoning that God had provided some form of alleviation for every ill, and these things, be they animal, vegetal, or mineral, carried a mark or a signature upon them that gave an indication of their usefulness.
This of course is regarded as superstition since there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that plant shapes and colors help in the discovery of medical uses of plants. One of the most devastating pandemics in human history was The Black Death. It is thought to have started in China or central Asia before spreading west. It swept through the Mediterranean and Europe in the 13th and 14th centuries. It took years for Europe's population to recover. The plague reoccurred occasionally in Europe until the 19th century.
The aftermath of the plague created a series of religious, social, and economic upheavals which had profound effects on the course of European history. The Black Death arrived in Europe by sea in October when 12 Genoese trading ships docked at the Sicilian port of Messina after a long journey through the Black Sea.
The people who gathered on the docks to greet the ships were met with a horrifying surprise: Most of the sailors aboard the ships were dead, and those who were still alive were gravely ill. They were overcome with fever, unable to keep food down, and were delirious from pain. However, they were not equipped for the horrible reality of the Black Death.
The Black Death was terrifyingly contagious. When people who were perfectly healthy went to bed at night, they could be dead by morning. How did the people of the Middle Ages cope with such a horrible disease? No medical knowledge existed at the time to deal with the infection. Bacteria and contagion were unknown. Doctors tried every possible cure and prevention. Physicians relied on crude and unsophisticated techniques such as bloodletting and boil-lancing practices that were dangerous as well as unsanitary and superstitious practices such as burning aromatic herbs and bathing in rosewater or vinegar.
So, bells were rung, guns were fired, and birds were released to fly around rooms. In the absence of medical understanding of such a frightful disease, people turned to prayers and pilgrimage. According to the Church, the Black Death was God's punishment for the sinfulness of humankind.
People invoked Christ, the Virgin Mary, and saints for help.
People who believed that they had sinned showed their true repentance by inflicting pain on themselves — the so-called flagellants who whipped themselves to show their love of God and their true repentance at being a sinner, a practice that is still re-enacted during Holy Week in some Catholic countries. Clearly, of course, this custom was no cure for the plague, but power of faith was potent medicine for the sick in the Middle Ages. Today, physicians understand that the Black Death, now known as the plague, is spread by a bacillus called Yersina pestis.
The French biologist Alexandre Yersin discovered this germ at the end of the 19th century.