A Associação "Trilhos d'Esplendor" com sede na Praia de Quiaios, Figueira da Foz, pretende fazer em caminhadas guiadas uma descrição fotográfica da Flora da Serra da Boa Viagem e das Dunas de Mira, Gândara e Gafanhas. Também mostramos o uso fito-terapêutico desta Flora cujo valor na medicina tradicional é bem conhecido na população local. São todos convidados para descobrir a beleza florística desta terra. Visitem uma das regiões mais importantes de biodiversidade de Portugal!

Download of PDFs (2 Volumes - Eds. 2014):

"Polunin - Flowers of South-West Europe - revisited" (Vol. I - Introdução - 371 pp.) (->Download)

"Polunin - Flowers of South-West Europe - revisited" (Vol. II - Portugal - 1559 pp.) (-> Download)

(contains Web links to Flora-On for observed plant species, Web links to high resolution Google satellite-maps (JPG) of plant-hunting regions from the Iberian peninsula; illustrated text in Portuguese language)


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quinta-feira, 28 de janeiro de 2010

Ailanthus altissima

Ailanthus altissima






Descrição (segundo Wikipédia e Flora Digital de Portugal):


Árvore-do-céu, Ailanto ou Espanta-lobos (Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle; Simaroubaceae) é uma planta ornamental de porte magnífico, que pode crescer até 35 m e também possui uma casca aromática no seu tronco. As folhas são alternas e irregular ou regulamente pinadas. É muito conhecida pelas suas flores pequenas amareladas ou esverdeadas, que aparecem em forma de cachos.

A Árvore-do-céu é uma planta nativa do norte da China. Foi introduzida na Europa em 1751 por um padre jesuíta francês que a trouxe de Nanquim para a Inglaterra.

Devido ao seu crescimento rápido e alta tolerância a factores adversos como a pobreza do solo e a poluição, é considerada uma espécie invasora em regiões de clima temperado, nomeadamente na Europa e América do Norte.






Locais de registo na Praia de Quiaios e na Serra da Boaviagem:

Encontramos a espécie numa caminhada de Quiaios para a Lagoa das Braças.





Identificação:








Distribuição em Portugal: Todo Portugal. Planta ornamental e invasora.


Utilização medicinal e fitoterapéutica (From Wikipédia):


Medicinal

Nearly every part of A. altissima has some application in Chinese traditional medicine. One of the oldest recipes, recorded in a work from 732 AD, is used for treating mental illness. It involved chopped root material, young boys' urine and douchi. After sitting for a day the liquid was strained out and given to the patient over the course of several days.

Another source from 684 AD, during the Tang dynasty and recorded in Li Shizhen's Compendium of Materia Medica, states that when the leaves are taken internally, they make one incoherent and sleepy, while when used externally they can be effectively used to treat boils, abscesses and itches. Yet another recipe recorded by Li uses the leaves to treat baldness. This formula calls for young leaves of ailanthus, catalpa and peach tree to be crushed together and the resulting liquid applied to the scalp to stimulate hair growth.

The dried bark, however, is still an officinal drug and is listed in the modern Chinese materia medica as chun bai pi (Chinese: 椿白皮; pinyin: chūnbáipí), meaning "white bark of spring". Modern works treat it in detail, discussing chemical constituents, how to identify the product and its pharmaceutical uses. It is prepared by felling the tree in fall or spring, stripping the bark and then scraping off the hardest, outermost portion, which is then sun-dried, soaked in water, partially re-dried in a basket and finally cut into strips. The bark is said to have cooling and astringent properties and is primarily used to treat dysentery, intestinal hemorrhage, menorrhagia and spermatorrhea. It is only prescribed in amounts between 4 and 10 grams, so as not to poison the patients. Li's Compendium has 18 recipes that call for the bark. Asian and European chemists have found some justification for its medical use as it contains a long list of active chemicals that include quassin and saponin, while ailanthone, the allelopathic chemical in the tree of heaven, is a known antimalarial agent. It is available in most shops dealing in Chinese traditional medicine. A tincture of the root-bark has been used successfully in treating cardiac palpitation, asthma and epilepsy.

The samaras are also used in modern Chinese medicine under the name feng yan cao (simplified Chinese: 凤眼草; traditional Chinese: 鳳眼草; pinyin: fèngyǎncǎo), meaning "herbal phoenix eye". They are used as a hemostatic agent, spermatorrhea and for treating patients with blood in their feces or urine. It was clinically shown to be able to treat trichomoniasis, a vaginal infection caused by the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis. In occident, an extract of the bark sold under the synonym A. glandulosa is sometimes used as an herbal remedy for various ailments including cancer.[43]

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the plant may be mildly toxic. The noxious odours have been associated with nausea and headaches, as well as with contact dermatitis reported in both humans and sheep, who also developed weakness and paralysis. It contains a quinone irritant, 2,6-dimethoxybenzoquinone, as well as active quassinoids (ailanthone itself being one) which may account for these effects, but they have, however, proved difficult or impossible to reproduce in humans and goats. In one trial a tincture from the blossom and foliage caused nausea, vomiting and muscular relaxation.


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