Amaranthus viridis

Botanical Name : Amaranthus  viridis
Family:    Amaranthaceae
Genus:    Amaranthus
Species:A. viridis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Caryophyllales

Synonyms :   A. gracilis.

Common Names: Slender Amaranth or Green Amaranth.

Bengali name is Bon notey or notay sak. In Kerala it is called Kuppacheera.In Manipur it is known as Cheng-kruk
In Greece it is called vlita

Habitat : Original habitat is not very well known. But this plant occurs in Tropical  countries of the world.

Description:
Amaranthus viridis is a annual plant growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is frost tender. It is in leaf 10-Apr It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind, self.The plant is self-fertile.
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Cultivation:       
Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position. Requires a hot sheltered position if it is to do well. Plants should not be given inorganic fertilizers, see notes above on toxicity. Cultivated as a food plant in the tropics.

Propagation:      
Seed – sow late spring in situ. An earlier sowing can be made in a greenhouse and the plants put out after the last expected frosts. Germination is usually rapid and good if the soil is warm. A drop in temperature overnight aids germination. Cuttings of growing plants root easily.

Edible Uses  :
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.

Leaves – cooked as a spinach. A mild flavour. The leafy stems and flower clusters are similarly used. On a zero moisture basis, 100g of leaves contains 283 calories, 34.2g protein, 5.3g fat, 44.1g carbohydrate, 6.6g fibre, 16.4g ash, 2243mg calcium, 500mg phosphorus, 27mg iron, 336mg sodium, 2910mg potassium, 50mg vitamin A, 0.07mg thiamine, 2.43mg riboflavin, 11.8mg niacin and 790mg ascorbic acid. Seed – cooked. Very small, about 1mm in diameter, but it is easy to harvest and very nutritious. The seed can be cooked whole, and becomes very gelatinous like this, but it is rather difficult to crush all of the small seeds in the mouth and thus some of the seed will pass right through the digestive system without being assimilated. The seed contains 14 – 16% protein and 4.7 – 7% fat.

Chemical Constituents: Leaves (Dry weight) 283 Calories per 100g
*Water : 0%
*Protein: 34.2g; Fat: 5.3g; Carbohydrate: 44.1g; Fibre: 6.6g; Ash: 16.4g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 2243mg; Phosphorus: 500mg; Iron: 27mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 336mg; Potassium: 2910mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 50mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.07mg; Riboflavin (B2): 2.43mg; Niacin: 11.8mg; B6: 0mg; C: 790mg;
Medicinal Uses:
Amaranthus viridis is used as a medicinal herb in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, under the Sanskrit name Tanduliya.

A decoction of the entire plant is used to stop dysentery and inflammation. The plant is emollient and vermifuge. The root juice is used to treat inflammation during urination. It is also taken to treat constipation.

Other Uses:Yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant.
Known Hazards: No members of this genus are known to be poisonous, but when grown on nitrogen-rich soils they are known to concentrate nitrates in the leaves. This is especially noticeable on land where chemical fertilizers are used. Nitrates are implicated in stomach cancers, blue babies and some other health problems. It is inadvisable, therefore, to eat this plant if it is grown inorganically.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Amaranthus+viridis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaranthus_viridis

Amaranthus tricolor

Botanical Name : Amaranthus tricolor
Family:    Amaranthaceae
Genus:    Amaranthus
Species:A. tricolor
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:   Caryophyllales

Synonyms: A. gangeticus. L. A. melanocholicus.

Common Names: Tandaljo or Tandalja bhaji  (In India),callaloo in the Caribbean and Joseph’s coat after the Biblical figure Joseph. It is commonly known as Lal sak  or ranga sak in Bengal.

Common Names in Chinese: Hong Xian (Taiwan), Xian
Common Names in Danish: Papegøjeamarant
Common Names in English:Chinese Spinach, Chinese Amaranth, Chinese-Spinach, Early Splendor Amaranthus, Een Choy, Joseph´s Coat, Joseph´s-Coat, Joseph’s Coat, Joseph’s-Coat, Josephs Coat, Summer Poinsettia, Summer-Poinsettia, Tampala, Vegetable amaranth
Common Names in French:Amarante Comestible, Amarante De Gange, Amarante Du Gange, Amarante Tricolore, Pariétaire Noire, Pariétaire Sauvage
Common Names in German:Chinesischer Salat, Dreifarbiger Fuchsschwanz, Gemüseamarant, Surinamesischer Fuchsschwanz
Common Names in Hindi:Chaulaai (Chaulai), Chauli, Chavleri, Lal Bhaji, Lal Sag, Rajgeera, Rajgira, Rajkiri
Common Names in Indonesian:Aupa
Common Names in Japanese:Ha Geitou ganraikou, Hageito, Hiyu
Common Names in Portuguese:Amarantos, Amarantos a Folhas, Carurú, Espinafre Africano
Common Names in Russian:Amarant Trekhtsvetnyi, shiritsa Trekhtsvetnaia
Common Names in Sinhalese:Tampala
Common Names in Spanish:Amaranto, Moco De Pavo
Common Names in Swedish:Papegojamarant
Common Names in Tamil:Cerikkirai, Cirukirai, Thandukkeerai
Common Names in Thai:Phak Khom Suan

Habitat : Amaranthus tricolor is native to South America, many varieties of amaranth can be found across the world in a myriad of different climates due to it being a C4 carbon fixation plant, which allows it to convert carbon dioxide into biomass at an extremely efficient rate when compared to other plants. Cultivars have striking yellow, red and green foliage.

Description:
Amaranthus tricolor is a annual flowering plant, growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a medium rate. Form: Pyramidal, Upright or erect.
It is in leaf 10-Apr It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. Bloom Color is Red.The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind, self.The plant is self-fertile.

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Cultivation:  
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Specimen. Prefers a light well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position, though it does succeed in heavier soils. Tolerates fairly acid soils. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 7.8. This is basically a tropical plant and so requires a hot sheltered position in temperate climates if it is to do well. Plants should not be given inorganic fertilizers, see notes above on toxicity. A polymorphic species, it is often cultivated for its edible leaves, there are many named varieties. This species is often cultivated in Asia for its edible leaves and seed. It is a very ornamental plant and is often grown in the flower garden. Most if not all members of this genus photosynthesize by a more efficient method than most plants. Called the ‘C4 carbon-fixation pathway’, this process is particularly efficient at high temperatures, in bright sunlight and under dry conditions. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Edible, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

Propagation:
Seed – sow late spring in situ. An earlier sowing can be made in a greenhouse and the plants put out after the last expected frosts. Germination is usually rapid and good if the soil is warm. A minimum soil temperature of 10°c is required for germination, germination is better at temperatures above 20°c. A drop in temperature overnight aids germination. Cuttings of growing plants root easil

Edible Uses:
The leaves may be eaten as a salad vegetable as well as the stems. In Africa, it is usually cooked as a leafy vegetable. It is usually steamed as a side dish in both China and Japan.

It appears on the coat of arms of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where it is called “flowers gentle”.

Chemical constituents: Leaves (Dry weight)
*0 Calories per 100g
*Water : 0%
*Protein: 0g; Fat: 0g; Carbohydrate: 0g; Fibre: 0g; Ash: 0g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 2441mg; Phosphorus: 1008mg; Iron: 51mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 34mg; Potassium: 4475mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 37623mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.68mg; Riboflavin (B2): 2.37mg; Niacin: 11.5mg; B6: 0mg; C: 730mg;

Medicinal Uses:
The whole plant is astringent. A decoction of the root is used with Cucurbita moschata to control haemorrhage following abortion. A decoction of very old plants is taken internally to improve vision and strengthen the liver.

Other Uses: Dye.
Yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant.

Known Hazards:    No members of this genus are known to be poisonous, but when grown on nitrogen-rich soils they are known to concentrate nitrates in the leaves. This is especially noticeable on land where chemical fertilizers are used. Nitrates are implicated in stomach cancers, blue babies and some other health problems. It is inadvisable, therefore, to eat this plant if it is grown inorganically.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://zipcodezoo.com/Plants/A/Amaranthus_tricolor/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaranthus_tricolor

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Amaranthus+tricolor

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Bombax ceiba (Shimul in Bengali)

Botanical Name : Bombax ceiba
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Bombax
Species: B. ceiba
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Synonyms: Salmalia malabarica

Common Nams:  cotton tree, Red Silk-Cotton, Red Cotton Tree  or ambiguously as silk-cotton or kapok, both of which may also refer to Ceiba pentandra.

This tree is commonly known as semal (Hindi) or shimul (Bengali) in India.  The local Urdu and Punjabi name for the tree is sumbal.

Habitat:  Bombax ceiba is native to India, tropical southern Asia, northern Australia and tropical Africa.

Description:
Bombax ceiba grows to an average of 20 meters, with old trees up to 60 meters in wet tropical weather. The trunk and limb bear numerous conical spines particularly when young, but get eroded when older. The leaves are palmate with about 6 leaflets radiating from a central point, an average of 7~10 centimeters wide, 13~15 centimeters in length. The leaf’s long flexible petiole is up to 20 cm long.
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Cup-shaped flowers solitary or clustered, axillary or sub-terminal, fascicles at or near the ends of the branches, when the tree is bare of leaves, an average of 7~11 centimeters wide, 14 centimeters in width, petels up to 12 centimeters in length, calyx is cup-shaped usually 3 lobed, an average of 3~5 centimeters in diameter. Staminal tube is short, more than 60 in 5 bundles. stigma is light red, up to nine centimeters in length, ovary is pink, 1.5~2 centimeters in length, with the skin of the ovary covered in white silky hair at 1mm long. Seeds are numerous, long, ovoid, black or gray in colour and packed in white cotton. Fruiting can start as early as March. The fruit, which reaches an average of 13 centimeters in length, is light-green in color  immature fruits, brown in mature fruits.

Cultivation:
The cotton fibers of this tree can be seen floating in the wind around the time of early May. This tree shows two marked growth sprints in India: in spring and during the monsoon months.

Edible Uses: The dry cores of the Bombax ceiba flower are an essential ingredient of the nam ngiao spicy noodle soup of the cuisine of Shan State and Northern Thailand, as well as the kaeng khae curry. At the peak of its flowering season in Hong Kong, elderly people could often be found picking flowers off the ground to dry, which is used to make a type of tea.

Chemical constituents :
All parts of the plant gave betasitosterol and its glucosides; seeds, bark and root bark, lupeol; flowers, hentriacontane, hentriacontanol; root bark, in addition, gave -hydroxycadalene. The seed oil yields arachidic, linoleic, myristic, oleic and palmitic acids; seeds contain carotenes, n-hexacosanol, ethylgallate and tocopherols; the gum contains gallic and tannic acids, yields L-arbinose, D-galactose, D-galacturonic acid and D-galactopyranose. Younger roots contain more sugars (arabinose and galactose  and peptic substances than the older ones. They contain mucilage, starch, mineralmatter, tannins  and non-tannins, along with other constituents. [Indian Medicinal Plants An Illustrated Dictionary

Medicinal Uses:
Bombax ceiba or shimul  has various uses in medicine.(Astringent, demulcent, diuretic,aphrodisiac, emetic):-
Ayurvedic uses: Raktapitta, Vrana, Daha.

Unani uses: Jaryan, Auram

To increase the potency of a man - seedling roots of Bombax ceiba L. (salamali) to chew. To treat the nocturnal pollution [The nocturnal pollutions are, in fact, involuntary loss of  semen during sleep. Most often, pollutions occur during the so-called “wet dreams” or erotic dreams] consume the flowers of Bombax ceiba L. (salmali). Rural folk of Assam use leaf to treat infertility; Santals find seedling spermatorrhoea.

Garhwalis and tribes of Dahanu forest use root to treat impotency. The roots are used in dysentery. The gum is useful in dysentery, haemoptysis of pulmonary tuberculosis, burning sensation. The bark is used for healing wounds. Leaves are good for skin eruption. Flowers are good for skin troubles. [Herbal Cures: Traditional Approach]

Young root tips are dried in shade and cooked as a vegetable for patients suffering from impotency. This vegetable is considered to be as good as the leaves of Adansonia digitata to increase the amount of sperm in semen. A half-cup extract of bark and flowers is taken for 3 d to treat sexual diseases such as hydrocele, leucorrhoea and gonorrhoea and to treat an irregular menstrual cycle. [Herbal Drugs: Ethnomedicine to Modern Medicine

Young roots (Semulmusali)— astringent, (used for dysentery) stimulant, demulcent. Fruits—stimulant, diuretic, expectorant. Used for chronic inflammation of bladder, kidney also for calculus affections. Flowers— astringent and cooling, applied to cutaneous affections. Leaves— anti-inflammatory. Stem bark— demulcent, styptic. Aqueous extract with curd is given for blooddysentery. Bark—paste is applied to skin eruptions, boils, acne, pimples. Seeds used for chickenpox, smallpox, catarrhal affections, chronic cystitis and genitourinary diseases. Gum—astringent, demulcent, styptic. Used for diarrhoea, dysentery, haemoptysis, bleeding piles, menorrhagia, spermatorrhoea. Root and pod—used for the treatment of low vitality and debility.

Various parts of the plant are used in fever, smallpox, rheumatism and leprosy. Bark is demulcent and tonic and is used in menorrhagia, leucorrhoea, diarrhoea, dysentery, boils, acne, pimples and coughs. Roots have stimulant, tonic and aphrodisiac properties and are given in impotency. Roots and barks are emetics. Young fruits are stimulant, expectorant and diuretic and beneficial in calculous affections, chronic inflammation and ulceration of bladder and kidneys. Seed extract is used as oxytocic and gonorrhea. burned infections, dysentery and urinary problems.

Other Uses:
This tree is planted on road side for beautification. The phenomenon paints the whole landscape in an enchanting red hue.

The fruit, the size of a ping-pong ball. These are full of cotton-like fibrous stuff. It is for the fiber that villagers gather the semul fruit and extract the cotton substance called “kopak”. This substance is used for filling economically priced pillows, quilts, sofas etc. The fruit is cooked and eaten and also pickled. Semul is quite a fast growing tree and can attain a girth of 2 to 3 m, and height about 30 m, in nearly 50 years or so. Its wood, when sawn fresh, is white in color. However, with exposure and passage of time it grows darkish gray. It is as light as 10 to 12 kg, per cubic foot. It is easy to work but not durable anywhere other than under water. So it is popular for construction work, but is very good and prized for manufacture of plywood, match boxes and sticks, scabbards, patterns, moulds, etc. Also for making canoes and light duty boats and or other structures required under water. Bombax species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the leaf-miner Bucculatrix crateracma which feeds exclusively on Bombax ceiba.

The flowers are very attractive to local wildlife, with many birds like the Japanese White-eye, a type of fruit eating bird, which often draws a hole in an unopened Bombax ceiba flower bud. Honey bees, and bumble bees also attracted to the flowers to collect pollen and nectar. Because the flowers attract many insects, Crab Spiders can be occasionally found on a fully opened flower, hunting bees.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombax_ceiba

http://flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Silk%20Cotton%20Tree.html

http://medplants.blogspot.in/search/label/Bombax%20ceiba

Meyna spinosa Roxb.

Botanical Name: Meyna spinosa Roxb.
Family:    Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Ixoroideae
Tribe:    Vanguerieae
Genus:    Meyna
KingdomPlantae
Clade:    Angiosperms
Clade:    Eudicots
Clade:    Asterids
Order:    Gentianales

Synonyms : Vangueria spinosa  (Roxb. ex Link) Roxb.; Vangueria spinosa var. mollis Hook. f.; Pyrostria spinosa (Roxb. ex Link) Miq.; Vangueria miqueliana Kurz ; Vangueria mollis Wall.; Vangueria stellata Blanco.

Common names: Mainakanta, Madan, Maniphal

Vernacular names in other Languages :

Bengali : Mainakanta, Maniphal, Madan | Sanskrit : Pinditaka | Hindi : Maniphal, Pundrika | Tribal : Serali | English : Voavanga | Other Languages : Manakkarai (Tam.) ; Cegagadda (Tel.) ; Moltakanta (Ori.)

Habitat :Mainakanta is native to tropical Asia & Africa.It grows in hot and humid climate with a slightly acidic to neutral (pH 6.3-7.3) soil condition.

Description:
Meyna spinosa Roxb  is a thorny bushy shrub. The plant has straight, sharp spines and whorled green leaves arranged in opposite manner. Flowering season starts in late spring and lasts until early summer. It is distributed in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and also found in the plain lands of Java and Myanmar. In Bangladesh it is known as ‘Moyna’. Fruits of M. spinosa are reported to contain sugar, gum and tannic acid whereas the seeds contain esters of palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids.

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Medicinal Uses:

Chemical constituents: The present study was undertaken to investigate the antibacterial and cytotoxic activity of the ethanol extract of Meyna spinosa stem. Antibacterial activity was investigated against Staphylococcus aureus. Streptococcus pyogenes, Escherichia coli and Shigella dysenieriae by disc diffusion and broth macrodilution assay. In disk diffusion assay, the extract inhibited all the microorganisms except E. coli. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the extract was 1000 μg/ml for S. aureus, S. pyogenes and E. coli, whereas 500 μg/mLfor S. dysenieriae. For cytotoxicity test, the extract was subjected to brine shrimp lethality bioassay. The LD50 of M. spinosa stem extract was found to be 40 μg/mL. Findings of the study justify the use of the plant in traditional medicine and suggests for further investigation.

Meyna spinosa Roxb., a medicinal plant enjoys it use in the traditional medicine in Bangladesh for the treatment of a number of ailments. Fruits are used in the treatment of fever, inflammation, biliary complaints and hepatic congestion. Leaves are used in bone fracture and in the treatment of diphtheria. The plant is also reported to be used traditionally in the treatment of skin irritation abortion and renal diseases .

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/83173978/antibacterial-cytotoxic-activity-meyna-spinosa-roxb-stem

http://thai-shopping-mall.com/muyna-meyna-spinosa-5-seeds-p-1375.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meyna

http://thinkinglaymen.org.in/plant_details.php?id=568a

Justicia adhatoda (Bengali :Bakash or Vasok)

Botanical Name: Justicia adhatoda
Family:    Acanthaceae
Genus:    Justicia
Species:J. adhatoda
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Angiosperms
Class:    Eudicots
Order:    Lamiales

Synonyms:Adhatoda vasica, Adhatoda zeylanica,

Common Names:  Adhatoda, Adathodai, Adusoge, Vasaka, Adalodakam, Malabar Nut, Arusa Adulsa, Bakash, Addasaramu.

vernacular names:
*sinhala: pawatta
*Malayalam: Atalotakam
*Sanskrit: Sinhapuri, Vasaka
*Hindi: Adosa, Arusha, Rus, Bansa
*Bengali: Adulsa, Bakash,Vasok
*Gujarati: Aradus?, Adulso, Aduraspee, Bansa
*Kannada: Adusogae
*Marathi: Adulsa, Adusa
*Oriya: Basanga
*Punjabi: Bhekkar
*Tamil: Adathodai
*Telugu: Adamkabu, Adampaka, Addasaram
*Nepali: Asuro, Kalo vasak
*Mizo: Kawldai

Habitat: Justicia adhatoda is native to Asia, widely used in Siddha Medicine, Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine.The plant’s range includes Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and China, as well as Panama where it is thought to have been introduced

Description:
Justicia adhatoda is a shrub with lance-shaped leaves 10 to 15 centimeters in length by four wide. They are oppositely arranged, smooth-edged, and borne on short petioles. When dry they are of a dull brownish-green colour. They are bitter-tasting. When a leaf is cleared with chloral hydrate and examined microscopically the oval stomata can be seen. They are surrounded by two crescent-shaped cells at right angles to the ostiole. The epidermis bears simple one- to three-celled warty hairs, and small glandular hairs. Cystoliths occur beneath the epidermis of the underside of the blade.

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Called Simha Mukhi in Sanskrit because the shape of its flowers resembles a lion’s head, Justicia adhatoda is found growing in abundance in plain areas. The bitter taste of this herb is source of its name, a goat will not eat it. There are distinct differences in male  and female  varieties of this plant, it can be found as either a tree with spines (male) or a small bush with spineless leaves (female). In maturity, this herb has dark green leaves with yellow undersides 10 to 16 cm in length. The fruit which holds the most potency of the herb is a small capsule usually with four seeds. The pendulant flowers of this herb are found in white, red and black, with the white flowered variety the most commonly found. Typically found throughout India, and particularly in the Himalayan mountain area, it flourishes at altitudes up to 1.000 meters above sea level.

Medicinal Uses:
Plant Parts Used: Leaves, roots, fruit, stem bark and flowers.
Chemical composition: Several alkaloids are present in the leaves. The most important is vasicine, a quinazoline alkaloid. The vasicine yield of the herbage has been measured as 0.541 to 1.1% by dry weight.

This shrub has a number of traditional medicinal uses in Siddha Medicine, Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine.

*In Ayurveda this herb is called Vasa and traditionally only the female (Mada) variety of Adhatoda vasica were used, with preference for potency to Mada plants with red flowers, which are almost as rare as those with black flowers. It is the white flowered Mada variety of Adhatoda vasica that is most commonly used in medicinal preparations.

* Justicia adhatoda is an herb that has unique properties which support the entire respiratory system, and its bronchial function. The leaves, flowers and root of this herb have been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of chest congestion and inflammation. In addition to mucolytic action, benzylamines, a potent alkaline that is derived from  Justicia adhatoda inhibit the effects of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

*In addition, the fruit of  Justicia adhatoda’s expectorant properties are valued for treating asthma, fever, coughs, vomiting and chronic bronchitis. The leaves are dried and smoked for asthma relief.

*In pharmacology, this herb provides two valuable alkaloids, vasicine and vasicinone, produced by the oxidation process of vasicine has been found to be a more potent broncho-dilator, in addition to decreasing sensitivity to airborne irritants.

*Rich in vitamin C, carotene and the leaves also yield an essential oil and Adhatodic acid, an organic acid. The juice of the leaves and root are used to relieve symptoms of pyorrhea and bleeding gums and cure glandular tumor, diarrhea and dysentery. The leaves are also powdered and used a poultice for dressing wounds, relief of rheumatism and as an alterative in cases of neuralgia, epilepsy, hysteria and mental imbalance.

*Expectorant action is due to the volatile oil content and the bronchodilator activity of vasicine is used in conjunction with atropine. Vasicine is also the reason for its use in stimulating the contraction of uterine muscles to accelerate or induce labor.

*The leaves are boiled and combined with honey, ginger and black pepper (piper nigrum) to treat coughs and respiratory ailments. A decoction of the herb is used to expel intestinal parasites and wasting of the body (phthisis).

*Fresh flowers of this plant are used to treat eye conditions such as opthalmia. The leaf has also shown significant protective qualities in conditions leading to liver damage

Vasicine, the active compound, has been compared to theophylline both in vitro and in vivo. Another, vasicinone, showed bronchodilatory activity in vitro but bronchoconstrictory activity in vivo. Both the alkaloids in combination (1:1) showed pronounced bronchodilatory activity in vivo and in vitro. Both alkaloids are also respiratory stimulants. Vasicine has a cardiac–depressent effect, while vasicinone is a weak cardiac stimulant; the effect can be normalized by combining the alkaloids. Vasicine is reported to have a uterine stimulant effect. Vasicinone was shown to have an antianaphylactic action. Clinical trials of a commercial drug containing vasicinone and vasicinone have not revealed any side effects while treating bronchial asthma.

Known Hazards: The use of the leaf extract, is considered safe. However, the uterine tonic and abortifacient activity prevents its use during pregnancy, except during childbirth. Due to the potency of this herb it should be taken under medical supervision.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://ezinearticles.com/?Adhatoda-Vasica&id=730923

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justicia_adhatoda

Foods That Cleans Arteries

1.Avocados:
People often think they shouldn’t eat avocado because it is a “fatty” fruit. But this creamy teardrop-shaped fruit contains oleic acid, the same monounsaturated fat found in olive oil and known to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. A study published in the Archives of Medical Research showed that people with moderately high cholesterol levels who ate a diet high in avocados increased their levels of HDL (good) cholesterol by 11% and decreased their levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol.http://myhealingkitchen.com/medical-conditions/heart-disease/heart-disease-healing-food/arteries-love-avocado/

2.Whole Grains.
The soluble fiber found in whole grains such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal binds the cholesterol in your meal and drags it out of your body, Madden says. “And, when your body needs to utilize cholesterol in the future, it draws on your blood cholesterol supply, effectively lowering your total blood cholesterol level and your risk for heart disease.” And oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast; you can enjoy it any time of day with these easy recipes.

3.Olive Oil  :
A 2011 study found that people ages 65 or older who regularly used olive oil (for both cooking and as a dressing) were 41 percent less likely to have a stroke compared to those who never use olive oil in their diet. Use a little olive oil instead of butter or drizzle some over pasta, salad, or veggies to take advantage of its high mono- and polyunsaturated fats, Madden says. “And although it’s a healthier option, remember to use these oils sparingly, as all fats still contain the same number of calories.”

4.Nuts:
Grabbing a handful of nuts is a heart-healthy way to beat the afternoon itch for a cookie, Madden says. “Almonds are very high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, and fiber, while walnuts are a great plant-based source of an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid.” According to the American Heart Association, monounsaturated fats can help reduce levels of bad cholesterol in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.

5.Plant Sterols:
Sterols are compounds that compete with the cholesterol in your food for absorption within your digestive tract, Madden says. “Sterols have been shown to lower both total and LDL cholesterol and can be found in certain brands of fortified orange juice, margarine spreads, and milk.” Just be sure to check the label—make sure the margarine is trans fat-free and that “partially hydrogenated oil” does NOT appear on the ingredient list.

6.Salmon (or Other Fatty Fish)
Fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, tuna, and salmon are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, Madden says. “Eating fish twice a week can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by decreasing inflammation and lowering triglyceride levels, and it may even help boost your HDL levels.” Try any of these heart healthy and delicious salmon recipes for dinner tonight.

7.Asparagus:
Asparagus is one of the best, natural artery-clearing foods around, says Shane Ellison, an organic chemist and author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures. “Asparagus works within the 100,000 miles of veins and arteries to release pressure, thereby allowing the body to accommodate for inflammation that has accumulated over the years.” It also helps ward off deadly clots, Ellison says. We just love the versatile vegetable’s crunch in this salad recipe.

8.Pomegranate:
Pomegranate contains phytochemicals that act as antioxidants to protect the lining of the arteries from damage, explains Dr. Gregg Schneider, a nutritionally oriented dentist and expert on alternative medicine. A 2005 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice stimulated the body’s production of nitric oxide, which helps keep blood flowing and arteries open.

9.Broccoli:
Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, which is needed for bone formation and helps to keep calcium from damaging the arteries, Dr. Schneider says. Not to mention, broccoli is full of fiber, and studies show a high-fiber diet can also help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Enjoy this veggie for dinner tonight with this side dish recipe.

10.Turmeric:
The spice turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory,” Dr. Schneider says. “It contains curcumin which lowers inflammation—a major cause of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries.” A 2009 study found that curcumin helps reduce the fatty deposits in arteries by as much as 26 percent. Sounds like a good reason to try some in this delicious recipe for spicy chicken soup from pop star Rihanna.

11. Persimmons:
Forget the old ‘an apple a day’ adage—it seems eating a daily persimmon is a better way to keep the doctor away. Research shows the polyphenols found in this fruit (which has twice as much fiber and more antioxidants than an apple) can help decrease levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

12. Orange Juice.
A 2011 study published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking two daily cups of 100-percent orange juice can help reduce diastolic (resting) blood pressure. OJ contains an antioxidant that has been found to help improve blood vessel function.

13. Spirulina.
A daily 4,500mg dose of this blue-green algae (usually found in supplement or powder form) can help relax artery walls and normalize blood pressure. It may also help your liver balance your blood fat levels—decreasing your LDL cholesterol by 10 percent and raising HDL cholesterol by 15 percent, according a recent study.

14.Cinnamon.
Just one teaspoon a day of antioxidant-rich cinnamon can help reduce fats in the bloodstream, helping to prevent plaque build up in the arteries and lower bad cholesterol levels by as much as 26 percent, according to recent research. Sprinkle some on your morning coffee or on these delicious crepes.

15.Cranberries.
Research shows that potassium-rich cranberries can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels and help raise the good HDL levels in your body, and regular consumption of the holiday favorite may help reduce your overall risk of heart disease by as much as 40 percent.

16.Coffee.
According to researchers in The Netherlands, people who drank more than two, but no more than four, cups of coffee a day for 13 years had about a 20 percent lower risk of heart disease than people who drank more or less coffee or no coffee at all. Moderation is the key to coffee’s heart-health benefits—the caffeine is a stimulant which can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure, and in excess, can lead to irregular heart beat.

17.Cheese.
Believe it or not, cheese could help lower your blood pressure! A recent study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that people who eat three servings a day of low-fat dairy have lower (three points less) systolic blood pressure than those who eat less. Here are some tasty, low fat picks to start snacking on today.

18.Green Tea.
Green tea is rich in catechins, compounds that have been shown to decrease cholesterol absorption in your body. Another bonus? It may help prevent cancer and weight gain, too!

19.Watermelon.
Talk about a perfect snack—watermelon is not only a diet-friendly food, but it can help protect your heart too! A Florida State University study found that people given a 4,000mg supplement of L-citrulline (an amino acid found in watermelon) lowered their blood pressure in just six weeks. Researchers say the amino acid helps your body produce nitric oxide, which widens blood vessels.

20.  Cucumber.
The flesh of cucumbers is primarily composed of water but also contains vitamin C and caffeic acid, both of which help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling—which is why cucumbers are often used to help swollen eyes and sunburn.

Resources: The Times Of India

Jaboticaba

Botanical Name:Myrciaria cauliflora
Family:    Myrtaceae
Genus:    Plinia
Species:P. cauliflora
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:   Myrtales

Synonyms:Plinia cauliflora

Common Name:Jaboticaba

Other Common Names:Brazilian Grape Tree, Jaboticaba, Jabotica, Jabuticabeira, Guaperu, Guapuru, Hivapuru, Sabará and Ybapuru (Guarani).

Habitat: Jaboticaba is native to Minas Gerais and São Paulo states in southeastern Brazil. Related species in the genus Myrciaria, often referred to by the same common name, are native to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru and Bolivia.

Description:
Jaboticaba is a slow growing large shrub or small, bushy tree. It reaches a height of 10 – 15 feet in California and 12 – 45 feet in Brazil, depending on the species. The trees are profusely branched, beginning close to the ground and slanting upward and outward so that the dense, rounded crown may attain an ultimate spread as wide as it is tall. The thin, beige to reddish bark flakes off much like that of the guava.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The evergreen, opposite leaves are lanceolate to elliptic, 1 – 4 inches in length and 1/2 – 3/4 inch wide. In color they are a glossy dark green with a leathery texture. The size, shape and texture varies somewhat from one species to another.

Small yellow-white flowers dramatically emerge from the multiple trunks, limbs and large branches in groups of four. It has been reported from Brazil that solitary jaboticaba trees bear poorly compared with those planted in groups, which indicates that cross-pollination enhances productivity.

The fruit is grape-like in appearance and texture but with a thicker, tougher skin. Most California fruit is dark purple to almost black in color. Averages size is one inch in diameter but can run from 3/4 to 1-1/2 inches, depending on species and variety. The gelatinous whitish pulp contains from one to four small seeds and has a pleasant, subacid flavor markedly similar to certain muscadine grapes. The skin has a slight resinous flavor that is not objectionable. Fruit may be produced singly or in clusters from the ground up all over the trunk and main branches, and the plant may fruit up to five times per year. Fresh fruit is delicious eaten out-of-hand and can be made into jellies, jams and wine. The skin is high in tannin and should not be consumed in large quantities over a long period of time.

Propagation: Most seeds are polyembryonic, producing a plant that is true or close to the parent plant. The seeds germinate in about one month. A suggested potting mixture is 2 parts peat, 2 parts coarse sand and 1 part coarse perlite, wood shavings or compost. Selected strains can be reproduced by inarching (approach grafting) or air-layering. Budding is not easily accomplished because of the thinness of the bark and the hardness of the of the wood. Veneer or side grafts are fairly successful. The grafted plant will fruit considerably earlier than a seedling. One may expect a grafted plant to produce fruit within three years, It can take from 8 to 15 years for a seedling to mature into a fruiting tree. It is this very slow growth that has kept this plant from becoming as popular as it deserves to be. Grafting older trees over to a different variety is inadvisable because it is the trunk and inner branches which produce the fruit. One would have to cut the tree back to a one-inch stump in order to change its fruiting nature.

Edible Uses:
The Jaboticaba fruit is purple-black in color with plum-sized fruits cluster which is directly around the stem and main branches of the tree. These fruits are grape-like in appearance and also the flavor tastes as that of grapes, being sweet with an attractive sub acid tang. The fruits skin is tougher than grapes and this aids storage and handling.

The jabuticaba is a fresh juicy fruit that can be eaten fresh off the tree. It is also used in jellies, or left to ferment and become wine and hard liquor.

Taste-The fruit Jaboticaba’s appearance invited Trubus to taste those ripe fruits. Rosy Nur Apriyanti, Trubus reporter, picked up from the fruits. ‘It tastes sweet,’ as the grape like fruit flesh with soft texture was enjoyed by the tongue. “On the first day of the fruit picked, its flavour is like guava, and the second day it is like mangosteen, and the third day is lychee taste, the forth is passion fruit taste, the fifth is sweetsop fruit; the sixth up to the eighth is grape fruit nature of taste.” The best flavor impression is on the ninth day when fruit becomes perfectly ripe and it tastes sweet and smells good.

Medicinal Uses:
Jaboticaba is used for the treatment of hemoptysis, asthma, diarrhea and dysentery also as a gargle for chronic inflammation of the tonsils are by the caustic decoction of the sun-dry skins is agreed in Brazil. Such use of fruit also may lead to excessive consumption of tannin.

The fruit of Jaboticaba contain compounds similar to known to have positive biological effects in cranberries, grapes and other related species, including anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory and the antioxidant qualities.

It is discovered that several anticancer compounds in this fruit , so scientists hope to be useful in the fight against this disease.

Other Uses: The jaboticaba makes an attractive landscape plant.
Cultural aspects:
The name jabuticaba, derived from the Tupi word Jabuti (tortoise) + Caba (place), meaning the place where you find tortoises. The Guarani name is “Yvapuru”, where yva means fruit, and the onomatopoeic word pur? for the crunching sound the fruit produces when bitten.

A traditional song from the eastern region of Bolivia refers to a young woman as having “eyes like the guapuru” (because of their soft blackness) and a mouth “as sweet as the achachairu.”

The jabuticaba tree, which appears as a charge on the coat of arms of Contagem, Minas Gerais, Brazil, has become a widely used species in the art of bonsai, particularly in Taiwan and parts of the Caribbean.

In Brazil, it is common to refer to something allegedly unique to the country as a “jabuticaba” since the tree supposedly only grows in Brazil. It is usually a pejorative expression.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.fruitsinfo.com/Jabotacaba-Exotic-fruits.php

http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/jaboticaba.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jabuticaba

http://www.thegardenguru.net/edible-fruiting-tropical-plants/jaboticaba-the-brazilian-tree-grape/

Knee Care

The knees are one of the larger joints in the body, supporting its entire weight. It is a hinge joint, like that of a door, capable only of moving forwards and backwards. Attempts to force a door to move sideways or push it open in the wrong direction will result in the door “coming off its hinges.” A similar problem occurs when the knee is forced to move in the wrong direction.

Click & see the pictures:

The knee joint is composed of three bones, the lower end of the femur and the upper ends of the tibia and fibula, articulating with one another. The raw bones do not grate against each other. They are separated by a “joint space” filled with synovial fluid, lined with articulating cartilage and separated by little washers called meniscii. There are ligaments inside the joint holding it in place. Considering the size of the knee joint, these ligaments are woefully inadequate. In the front of the knee is the kneecap or patella.

Click & see: Anatomy of knee :

The knee undergoes constant wear and tear. Our daily activities involve walking and climbing stairs as well as exercising. In a lifetime, the knee joint functions over and above its capacity!

The knee undergoes constant wear and tear. Our daily activities involve walking and climbing stairs as well as exercising. In a lifetime, the knee joint functions over and above its capacity!

Pain in the joint can be acute and occurs owing to injury, infection, or age-(or overuse) related degeneration. The cartilage breaks down, exposing parts of the bone underneath. The raw nerves are exposed and this becomes very painful. Bits of broken cartilage can get trapped in the joint. When that occurs, movement can result is sudden pain and the joint can get locked.

Dislocations and injuries are more common in the young — basketball and football are notorious for causing knee injuries. This is because there are sudden abrupt changes in the direction of movement, which may be against the normal anatomical direction of movement. The player may land awkwardly or fall, bruising and injuring the joint.

The two knees support the weight of the entire body between them. The bones are physically capable of supporting only a certain amount of weight. Obesity causes the knees to degenerate rapidly. Depending on gait and posture, one side may wear out faster than the other. This may result in a bow-legged appearance. Walking is extremely painful and the gait may be crab like. The entire joint may be swollen and painful. Or, the pain may be localised on one side. At times, instead of the whole joint, the area under the patella gets worn down and irregular. As that rubs against the bones underneath, there is terrible pain with movement.

Children seldom develop knee pain without injury or a fracture. Boys can develop pain as part of certain inherited congenital syndromes or birth defects in the knee. The patella may also get dislocated. This is more common in teenage girls.

Click & see :

Infections, acute trauma and fractures result in swollen, warm and tender joints. Arthritis, especially rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, can produce a similar picture. Infection always produces fever. Gout usually affects the big toe but can present itself as a painful knee joint. It may be worth checking uric acid levels.

CLICK & SEE:

Ayurvedic remedies  of knee pain

Ayurvedic Therapy – A Promising Treatment for Knee Osteoarthritis?

Natural Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Knee Pain
Ayurveda for Osteo Arthritis (Knee Joint Pain)

Homeopathy for Knee Pain

Knee Injury Treatment With Six Homeopathic Medicines

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata, Indi

Frankenia grandifloria

Botanical: Frankenia grandifloria
Family: N.O. Frankeniaceae
Synonyms: Frankenia. Flux Herb.
Common Name: Yerba Reuma
Habitat:  Frankenia grandifloria is native to California, Nevada, Arizona and Northern Mexico.Heliotropium curassavicum,and alkaline places, from the coast to the desert. SAn Joaquin Valley, central coast, south coast, Channel Islands, eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada, Mojave Desert, Nevada, Mexico, to South America.It grows in salt marshes in clay loam soil, with high salt content. in salt marshes, full sun, pink fls. no trees, low vegetation.
It tolerates seaside conditions, alkaline soil, salt, no drainage and seasonal flooding.

Description:
Frankenia grandifloria is a perennial, rhizomatous and small shrubby plant, with a prostrate, much-branched stem, about 6 inches long, growing in sandy places.It’s leaves are opposite, entire and glabrous to densely hairy, the lower ones obovate and the upper narrow, and axillary fascicles are often present.
The solitary rose-purple flowers are about 3/8″ long and are sessile in the upper leaf axilsThe 5-cleft calyx is tubular with acute teeth, and the corolla contains five petals with 4-7, generally 5 or 6, stamens. There are normally three style branches.  The fruit is a linear capsule 3/16″ long with 1-20 brown seeds.    It blooms from June to October.  These four pictures were taken in Upper Newport Bay. It is salty to the taste, leaving an astringent aftertaste. It has somewhat fkeshy leaves ( no odour), small white to pink flowers, forms clumps, CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: The Herb.
Constituents: It contains about 6 per cent of tannin.

The herb is used as a remedy in catarrhal affections, especially of the nose and genitourinary tract.
When diluted with from two to five times its volume of water, it may be used as an injection or spray. It may also be taken internally.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/frankenia-grandiflora

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/y/yerreu06.html

http://www.calflora.net/bloomingplants/alkaliheath.html