Category Archives: Fruits & Vegetables

Raspberry

Botanical Name : Rubus idaeus
Family: Rosaceae
Genus:     Rubus
Subgenus: Idaeobatus
Species:R. idaeus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Rosales

Synonyms: -Raspbis. Hindberry. Bramble of Mount Ida.
(Danish) Hindebar.
(Dutch) Braamboss.
(German) Hindbur.
(Saxon) Hindbeer.

Common Names :Raspberry, also called red raspberry or occasionally as European raspberry

Habitat : Raspberry is native to Europe and northern Asia

Description:
Raspberry is generally a perennial plant which bears biennial stems (“canes”) from a perennial root system. In its first year, a new, unbranched stem (“primocane”) grows vigorously to its full height of 1.5-2.5 m, bearing large pinnately compound leaves with five or seven leaflets, but usually no flowers. In its second year (as a “floricane”), a stem does not grow taller, but produces several side shoots, which bear smaller leaves with three or five leaflets. The flowers are produced in late spring on short racemes on the tips of these side shoots, each flower about 1 cm diameter with five white petals. The fruit is red, edible, and sweet but tart-flavoured, produced in summer or early autumn; in botanical terminology, it is not a berry at all, but an aggregate fruit of numerous drupelets around a central core. In raspberries (various species of Rubus subgenus Idaeobatus), the drupelets separate from the core when picked, leaving a hollow fruit, whereas in blackberries and most other species of Rubus, the drupelets stay attached to the core.
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The well-known Raspberry, grown so largely for its fruit. It flowers in May and June.

Raspberry has several Species:
Examples of raspberry species in Rubus subgenus Idaeobatus include:

Rubus crataegifolius ,,,(Korean raspberry)
Rubus gunnianus (Tasmanian alpine raspberry)
Rubus idaeus (European red raspberry)
Rubus leucodermis (Whitebark or Western raspberry, Blue raspberry, Black raspberry)
Rubus occidentalis (Black raspberry)
Rubus parvifolius (Australian native raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (Wine raspberry or Wineberry)
Rubus rosifolius (West Indian raspberry)
Rubus strigosus (American red raspberry) (syn. R. idaeus var. strigosus)
Rubus ellipticus (Yellow Himalayan Raspberry)

Several species of Rubus, also called raspberries, are classified in other subgenera, including:

Rubus arcticus (Arctic raspberry, subgenus Cyclactis)
Rubus deliciosus (Boulder raspberry, subgenus Anoplobatus)
Rubus nivalis (Snow raspberry, subgenus Chamaebatus)
Rubus odoratus (Flowering raspberry, subgenus Anoplobatus)
Rubus sieboldii (Molucca raspberry, subgenus Malachobatus)

Cultivation & propagation:  The plant is generally propagated by suckers, though those raisedfrom layers should be preferred, because they will be better rooted and not so liable to send out suckers. In preparing these plants their fibres should be shortened, but the buds which are placed at a small distance from the stem of the plant must not be cut off, as they produce the new shoots the following summer. Place the plants about 2 feet apart in the rows, allowing 4 or 5 feet between the rows. If planted too closely, without plenty of air between the rows, the fruit will not be so fine.

The most suitable soil is a good, strong loam. They do not thrive so well in a light soil.

In October, cut down all the old wood that has produced fruit in the summer and shorten the young shoots to about 2 feet in length. Dig the spaces between the rows well and dress with a little manure. Beyond weeding during the summer, no further care is needed. It is wise to form new plantations every three or four years, as the fruit on old plants is apt to deteriorate.

Chemical Constituents: The Raspberry contains a crystallizable fruit-sugar, a fragrant volatile oil, pectin, citric and malic acids, mineral salts, colouring matter and water. The ripe fruit is fragrant, subacid and cooling: it allays heat and thirst, and is not liable to acetous fermentation in the stomach.

Vitamin C and phenolics are present in red raspberries. Most notably, the anthocyanins cyanidin-3-sophoroside, cyanidin-3-(2(G)-glucosylrutinoside) and cyanidin-3-glucoside, the two ellagitannins sanguiin H-6 and lambertianin C are present together with trace levels of flavonols, ellagic acid and hydroxycinnamate.

Polyphenolic compounds from raspberry seeds are efficient antioxidants. Raspberry ketones found in red raspberries are also marketed as having weight loss benefits, However, there is no clinical evidence for this effect in humans. The average estimated daily intake of dietary raspberry ketone has been estimated to be 0.42 mg/kg/day

Edible Uses:
It is a very delicious fruit to eat.

Raspberry vinegar is an acid syrup made with the fruit-juice, sugar and white-wine vinegar, and when added to water forms an excellent cooling drink in summer, suitable also in feverish cases, where the acid is not an objection. It makes a useful gargle for relaxed, sore throat.

A home-made wine, brewed from the fermented juice of ripe Raspberries, is antiscrofulous, and Raspberry syrup dissolves the tartar of the teeth.

Medicinal Uses:
Astringent and stimulant. Raspberry Leaf Tea, made by the infusion of 1 OZ. of the dried leaves in a pint of boiling water, is employed as a gargle for sore mouths, canker of the throat, and as a wash for wounds and ulcers. The leaves, combined with the powdered bark of Slippery Elm, make a good poultice for cleansing wounds, burns and scalds, removing proud flesh and promoting healing.

An infusion of Raspberry leaves, taken cold, is a reliable remedy for extreme laxity of the bowels. The infusion alone, or as a component part of injections, never fails to give immediate relief. It is useful in stomach complaints of children.

Raspberry Leaf Tea is valuable during parturition. It should be taken freely – warm.

Red raspberries contains 31 ?g/100 g of folate. Red raspberries have antioxidant effects that play a minor role in the killing of stomach and colon cancer cells.

Young roots of Rubus idaeus prevented kidney stone formation in a mouse model of hyperoxaluria.  Tiliroside from raspberry is a potent tyrosinase inhibitor and might be used as a skin-whitening agent and pigmentation medicine.

Raspberry fruit may protect the liver.

Traditional lore suggests that pregnant women use raspberry leaf tea, especially as an aid in delivery. However, scientific research has found no evidence to support this claim. Every Woman’s Herbal claims that raspberry leaf tea will enrich the mother’s milk, especially during periods when the baby is going through a growth spurt.

There is considerable discussion around the possible benefits of raspberry leaf tea taken late in pregnancy. The consensus seems to be that while taking raspberry leaf tea should not be expected to bring the onset of labour forward, it might shorten the second stage of labour. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial published in 2001 found that consumption of 2.4 g of raspberry leaf tablets, consumed from 32 weeks’ gestation until labor by low-risk nulliparous women did not shorten the first stage labor. The study observed a slight reduction in the second stage labor (9.6 minutes) and a forceps delivery rate that was 37% lower than that of the control group.

Most of the evidence available is anecdotal, and a recent scholarly review stressed concern at the lack of evidence for safety and efficacy and called recommendations of its use “questionable”
Click to seeRaspberry ketone: The latest in fat reduction

Other Uses:
The fruit is also utilized for dyeing purposes.

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

Resources:

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

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

https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/r/raspbe05.html

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Pea

Botanical Name :Pisum sativum
Family:Fabaceae
Subfamily:Faboideae
Genus: Pisum
Species:P. sativum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms: Pisum vulgare Jundz, Lathyrus oleraceus Lam.

Common Names:     Pea, field; garden pea, In India motor,In bengal Karai sunti
click & see other names :

Habitat :Pea is native to the eastern Mediterranean areas. Growing from the regions of Turkey east to Syria, Iraq, and Iran where they initially grew in rocky areas. Nowadays, the pea has been cultivated and is typically grown in gardens for commercial sale or personal use.Pea plants live in the temperate regions. They grow and produce best in regions were the summer’s temperatures are not too hot; they prefer temperatures of 55-64oF. Developing best in the spring, cool summers, or the beginning of fall, peas grow best in sandy-loam soils.

History:
The wild pea is restricted to the Mediterranean basin and the Near East. The earliest archaeological finds of peas date from the late neolithic era of current Greece, Syria, Turkey and Jordan. In Egypt, early finds date from ca. 4800–4400 BC in the Nile delta area, and from ca. 3800–3600 BC in Upper Egypt. The pea was also present in Georgia in the 5th millennium BC. Farther east, the finds are younger. Peas were present in Afghanistan ca. 2000 BC, in Harappa, Pakistan, and in northwest India in 2250–1750 BC. In the second half of the 2nd millennium BC, this pulse crop appears in the Gangetic basin and southern India.

Description:
Pea is an annual plant, with a life cycle of one year. It is a cool season crop grown in many parts of the world; planting can take place from winter to early summer depending on location.Pea plant has both low-growing and vining cultivars. The vining cultivars grow thin tendrils from leaves that coil around any available support and can climb to be 1–2 m high. A traditional approach to supporting climbing peas is to thrust branches pruned from trees or other woody plants upright into the soil, providing a lattice for the peas to climb. Branches used in this fashion are sometimes called pea brush. Metal fences, twine, or netting supported by a frame are used for the same purpose. In dense plantings, peas give each other some measure of mutual support. Pea plants can self-pollinate…..click & see
click to see the peas pictures
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to September, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Self. Occasionally bees.The plant is self-fertile. It can fix Nitrogen.

Varieties:
There are many varieties (cultivars) of garden peas. Some of the most common varieties are listed here. PMR indicates some degree of powdery mildew resistance; afila types, also called semi-leafless, have clusters of tendrils instead of leaves.Unless otherwise noted these are so called dwarf varieties which grow to an average height of about 1m. Extra dwarf are suitable for container growing, reaching only about 25 cm. Semi-tall reaches about 1.5m and tall grows to about 2m.

Cultivation:      
Requires a well-drained moisture retentive soil. Prefers a calcareous soil. Prefers a pH in the range 6 to 7.5. Prefers a rich loamy soil. A light soil and a sheltered position is best for early sowings. Peas have long been cultivated as a food crop and a number of distinct forms have emerged which have been classified as follows. A separate record has been made for each form:- P. sativum. The garden pea, including petit pois. Widely cultivated for its sweet-tasting edible immature seeds, as well as the immature seedpods and mature seeds, there are many named varieties[183] and these can provide a crop from May to October. P. sativum arvense. The field pea. Hardier than the garden pea, but not of such good culinary value, it is more often grown as a green manure or for the dried seeds. P. sativum elatius. This is the original form of the species and is still found growing wild in Turkey. P. sativum elatius pumilio. A short, small-flowered form of the above. P. sativum macrocarpon. The edible-pod pea has a swollen, fibre-free and very sweet seedpod which is eaten when immature. The garden pea is widely cultivated and there are many named varieties. There are two basic types of varieties, those with round seeds and those with wrinkled seeds. Round seeded varieties are hardier and can be sown in the autumn to provide an early crop in May or June, wrinkled varieties are sweeter and tastier but are not so hardy and are sown in spring to early summer. Within these two categories, there are dwarf cultivars and climbing cultivars, the taller types tend to yield more heavily and for a longer period but smaller forms are easier to grow, often do not need supports and can give heavier crops from the area of land used (though less from each plant). Cultivars developed for their edible young seeds tend to have pods containing a lot of fibre but some cultivars have now been selected for their larger and fibre-free pods – these cultivars are harder to grow for their seed, especially in damp climates, because the seed has a greater tendency to rot in wet weather. Peas are good growing companions for radishes, carrots, cucumbers, sweet corn, beans and turnips. They are inhibited by alliums, gladiolus, fennel and strawberries growing nearby. There is some evidence that if Chinese mustard (Brassica juncea) is grown as a green manure before sowing peas this will reduce the incidence of soil-borne root rots. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.

Propagation:
Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in situ in succession from late winter until early summer. A minimum temperature of 10°c is required for germination, which should take place in about 7 – 10 days. The earlier sowings should be of suitably hardy varieties, the ’round seeded’, whilst later sowings can be of the tastier varieties, the ‘wrinkle seeded’. By making fresh sowings every 3 weeks you will have a continuous supply of fresh young seeds from early summer until early autumn. If you want to grow the peas to maturity then the seed needs to be sown by the middle of spring. You may need to protect the seed from the ravages of mice. Another sowing can be made in middle to late autumn. This has to be timed according to the area where the plants are being grown. The idea is that the plants will make some growth in the autumn and be perhaps 15 – 20cm tall by the time the colder part of winter sets in. As long as the winter is not too severe, the plants should stand well and will grow away rapidly in the spring to produce an earlier crop. Make sure you choose a suitably hardy variety for this sowing.

Edible Uses:  
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Immature seedpods – raw or cooked. The young seedpods have a sweet flavour, but there is only a thin layer of flesh with a fibrous layer beneath it. Immature seeds – raw or cooked. Sweet and delicious, they can be added to salads, or lightly cooked. A nutritional analysis is available. The mature seeds are rich in protein and can be cooked as a vegetable or added to soups etc. They can also be sprouted and added to salads, soups etc. The mature seed can also be dried and ground into a powder, then used to enrich the protein content of flour when making bread etc. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. Leaves and young shoots – cooked and used as a potherb. The young shoots taste like fresh peas, they are exceptionally tender and can be used in salads.

Constituents:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Green seed (Fresh weight)

*44 Calories per 100g
*Water : 76.5%
*Protein: 6.2g; Fat: 0.4g; Carbohydrate: 16.9g; Fibre: 2.4g; Ash: 0.9g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 32mg; Phosphorus: 102mg; Iron: 1.2mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 6mg; Potassium: 350mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 405mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.28mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.11mg; Niacin: 2.8mg; B6: 0mg; C: 27mg;

Nutritional value:
Peas are starchy, but high in fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and lutein. Dry weight is about one-quarter protein and one-quarter sugar.Pea seed peptide fractions have less ability to scavenge free radicals than glutathione, but greater ability to chelate metals and inhibit linoleic acid oxidation

Medicinal Uses:
Contraceptive;  Skin.

The seed is contraceptive, fungistatic and spermacidal. The dried and powdered seed has been used as a poultice on the skin where it has an appreciable affect on many types of skin complaint including acne. The oil from the seed, given once a month to women, has shown promise of preventing pregnancy by interfering with the working of progesterone. The oil inhibits endometrial development. In trials, the oil reduced pregnancy rate in women by 60% in a 2 year period and 50% reduction in male sperm count was achieved.

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

Resources:

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

http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Pisum+sativum

http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2009/tarmann_sama/habitat.htm

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Cowpea beans (Barboti)

Botanical Name :Vigna unguiculata
Family: Fabaceae
Genus:    Vigna
Species:V. unguiculata
kingdom:K Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names : Cowpea beans ,Barboti

Southern United States, where they are often called black-eyed peas or field peas. In India, in Tamil it is called K?r?mani, or Thatta Payir, the beans are called thatta kaai. In Oriya, it is called jhudunga, in Bengali, it is called barboti kolai or barboti, in Kannada, it is called Alasande, in Telugu, it is called Alasandalu , Bobbarlu. In Hindi, it is called lobhia or bura (when used as a string bean). In Gujarati, these are called chola or chowla. In Marathi, these are called chawali or chavali. It is an integral part of the cuisine in the southern region of India.

Habitat :Cowpeas are one of the most important food legume crops in the semiarid tropics covering Asia, Africa, southern Europe and Central and South America.

Description:
Cowpea beans is an annual an  herb, erect or suberect, spreading, to 80 cm or more tall, glabrous, taproot stout with laterals near soil surface, roots with large nodules, stems usually procumbent, often tinged with purple, first leaves above cotyledons are simple and opposite, subsequent trifoliolate leaves are alternate, the terminal leaflet often bigger and longer than the two asymmetrical laterals, petiole, stout, grooved, 5–15 cm long; leaflets ovoid-rhombic, entire or slightly lobed, apex acute, 6.5–16 cm long, 4–11 cm wide, lateral leaflets oblique; inflorescence axillary, 2–4-flowered, crowded, near tips on short curved peduncles 2.5–15 cm long; calyx campanulate with triangular teeth, the upper 2 teeth connate and longer than rest; corona dull white, yellow, or violet with standard 2–3 cm in diameter, keel truncate; stamens diadelphous, the anthers uniform; pods curved, straight or coiled; seeds 2–12 mm long, globular to reniform, smooth or wrinkled, red, black, brown, green buff or white, as dominant color; full colored, spotted, marbled, speckled, eyed, or blotched; (5–30 g/100 seeds, depending on the cv). Germination phanerocotylar. Fl. early summer. Fr. mid- and late summer, depending on the cv sensitivity tp ;pca;photoperiod and tmperature conditions.
click to see the pictures

Cultivation:
Seeds remain viable for several years. Germination is epigeal. Should be planted after danger from frost is past. If seeded for hay or seed, crop should be sown early, but for green manure and pasture purposes, may be seeded late with good results. Rate of seeding varies with method: when planted in rows 10–40 kg/ha, for broadcasting, 90 kg/ha. Cowpeas may be planted in rows, broadcast, or mixed with such other plants as cassava, corn, sorghum, sudangrass, johnsongrass, millets, peanuts, or soybeans. When grown for seed, it is painted in rows, for forage or green manture, broadcast. For hog feed or silage, cowpeas are planted with corn, either at the sime time as or at the last cultivation of corn. In rows, cowpeas are spaced of 5–7.5 cm apart, in rows 75–90 cm apart two or more cultivations are necessary to control weeds. Ordinary corn cultivator equipment is satisfactory, and cultivation should stop when flowering begins. In United States, 600–1,000 kg/ha of a 4-8-8 NPK fertilizer may be applied in bands 5 cm below seeds when planting. Cowpeas are usually grown rainfed, rarely irrigated. For weed control, amines of 2-4-D and MCPA are said to be effective as preemergence sprays. Trifluralin at 0.56–1.12 kg/ha just before sowing is said to give good control. Cowpeas respond slightly to K application up to 45 kg/ha. Calcium ions in the soil aid inoculation. In the United States, application of ca. 1 MT of lime is recommended and favors seed increase more than hay increase. Superphosphate recommendations are 112–224 kg/ha in the United States. Sulfur can limit seed production and/or protein synthesis. Molybdenum recommendations are 20–50 g/ha, and Mn, Cu, Zn, and B are essential, in very small quantities, for effective nodulation and seed yield increases. The cowpea symbiosis has genetic potential for large seed yields: cowpea Rhizobium associations should require only nominal amounts of fertilizer N, if any.

Harvesting:
Early maturing cvs produce pods in 50 days, seed in 90 days, late cvs mature seed in 240 days. Crop ripens unevenly and proper Stage for harvesting is difficult to determine. Usually flowers and green and ripe pods occur on vines at same time. Crop is cut for seed when one-half to two-thirds of pods are ripe. May be harvested by hand, with a special harvester or by self-rake reapers. For hay, crop cut when most pods are fully developed, and first ones have ripened. If cut too early, hay is difficult to cure; if cut too late, stems are long and woody and seed and leaves shatter badly. Ordinary mowing machine is used for harvesting cowpeas.

Edible Uses:
Cultivated for the seeds (shelled green or dried), the pods and/or leaves that are consumed as green vegetables or for pasturage, hay, ensilage, and green manure. The tendency of indeterminate cvs to ripen fruits over a long time makes them more amenable to subsistence than to commercial farming. However, erect and determinate cvs, more suited to monocultural production systems, are now available. If ctut back, many cvs continue to produce new leaves, that are eaten as a potherb. Leaves may be boiled, drained, sun-dried and then stored for later use. In the United States, green seeds are sometimes roasted like peanuts. The roots are eaten in Sudan and Ethiopia. Scorched seeds are occasionally used as a coffee substitute. Peduncles are retted for fiber in northern Nigeria. Crop used to some extent as pasturage, especially for hogs, and may be used for silage, for which it is usually mixed with corn or sorghum. Crop is very useful as a green manure, and leafy prostrate cvs reduce soil erosion.

In Tamilnadu, India, between the Tamil months of Maasi (February) and Panguni (March), a cake-like dish called kozhukattai (steamed sweet dumplings – also called adai in Kerala) is prepared with cooked and mashed cowpeas mixed with jaggery, ghee, and other ingredients. Thatta payir in sambar and pulikkuzhambu (spicy semisolid gravy in tamarind paste) is a popular dish in Tamil Nadu.

In Sri Lanka, cowpeas are cooked in many different ways, one of which is with coconut milk.

In Turkey, cowpeas can be lightly boiled, covered with olive oil, salt, thyme, and garlic sauce, and eaten as an appetizer. Also, they are cooked with garlic and tomatoes. And they can be eaten in bean salad.

In bengal Cowpea beans or barboti is used as a palatable vrgitable with different vegitable curry.

According to the USDA food database, the leaves of the cowpea plant have the hig
hest percentage of calories from protein among vegetarian foods.

• Gabi-Paayap Instant Baby Food: A nutritious baby food from a blend of gabi powder, roasted paayap grits processed by extrusion cooking, with a 100-gram pack providing 394 kcal and 19.4 g protein.

Kamote-Paayap Weaning / Baby Food: A rootcrop-legume combo of dried kamote cubes and paayap girts containing 376 kcal and 12.5 g of protein per 100 g.

• Rice-Paayap Sesame Powder: A blend of 3/4 cup of roasted rice flour and two tablespoons each of roasted paayap flour and roasted sesame flour, provides 424 Kcal and 14 grams protein per 100 grams.

Medicinal Uses:
Constituents:
Study shows of dried edible seeds : moisture, 6.20-8.92%; protein, 20.5-31.7%; fat 1.14-3.03%; fiver 1.70-4.5%; carbohydrate 56-65.7%, with varying amounts of cyanide, tannin, total oxalate and phytate.

In other folkloric medicinal systems, various parts of the cowpea plants (roots, leaves, and seeds) are used for a variety of medical ailments including dysmenorrhea, epilepsy, headaches, constipation,  chest pains and bilharzia.

Different Studies:
*Report on Flatulence and Abdominal Discomfort on Ingestion: 1989 report on abdominal discomfort associated with ingestion of cowpea and the decreased incidence of side effects with pressure cooking and dehulling.

*Antifungal / Antiviral: Study presents evidence of multiple proteins with antifungal and antiviral potency in cowpea seeds. The two proteins, designated alpha-antifungal and beta-antifunga, were capable of inhibiting HIV reverse transcriptase and one glycohydrolases associated with HIV infection. The proteins also retarted the mycelial growth of a variety of fungi, with the alpha-protein more potent in most cases.

*Protein Source/ Anti-Nutrient Factors : Study suggests cowpea as a valuable protein source with the predicted protein deficit in Southern Africa. Unlike other legumes, VU contain antinutritional factors (ANF) as trypsin inhibitors, tannins and phytates.

*Anti-Inflammatory: Study on the anti – inflammatory activity of Vigna unguiculata seed extract..

* Anti-Bleeding: Rats on boild white rice dite developed symptoms of severe vitamin K deficiency and the addition of autoclaved beans of V. unguiculata in the diet prevented the bleeding syndrome.

* Antifungal / Antibacterial: Results have indicated antifungal and some antibacterial activity by cowpea leaf extracts.

* Lipids / Constituents: Dried edible seeds of V unguiculata and P vulgaris grown in Northern Nigeria were studied for its chemical constituents. Iodine values were higher in vigna. Overall, potassium was the most abundant element in the seeds.16 amino acides were identified. Study highlights the safety and high nutritive values of the studied varieties.

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

Resources:

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

http://stuartxchange.com/Paayap.html

https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Vigna_unguiculata.html

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Potato

Botanical Name :Solanum tuberosum
Family: Solanaceae
Genus:     Solanum
Species: S. tuberosum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Solanales

Common Names:Potato,patata,Bengali name :Alu

Habitat : Origin for potatoes in the area of present-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia (from a species in the Solanum brevicaule complex), where they were domesticated 7,000–10,000 years ago. Now potato is cultivated throughout the world and is most common and popular vegetable for human.

Description:
Potato plants are herbaceous perennials that grow about 60 cm (24 in) high, depending on variety, the culms dying back after flowering. They bear white, pink, red, blue, or purple flowers with yellow stamens. In general, the tubers of varieties with white flowers have white skins, while those of varieties with colored flowers tend to have pinkish skins. Potatoes are cross-pollinated mostly by insects, including bumblebees, which carry pollen from other potato plants, but a substantial amount of self-fertilizing occurs as well. Tubers form in response to decreasing day length, although this tendency has been minimized in commercial varieties.

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After potato plants flower, some varieties produce small green fruits that resemble green cherry tomatoes, each containing up to 300 true seeds. Potato fruit contains large amounts of the toxic alkaloid solanine and is therefore unsuitable for consumption. All new potato varieties are grown from seeds, also called “true seed” or “botanical seed” to distinguish it from seed tubers. By finely chopping the fruit and soaking it in water, the seeds separate from the flesh by sinking to the bottom after about a day (the remnants of the fruit float). Any potato variety can also be propagated vegetatively by planting tubers, pieces of tubers, cut to include at least one or two eyes, or also by cuttings, a practice used in greenhouses for the production of healthy seed tubers. Some commercial potato varieties do not produce seeds at all (they bear imperfect flowers) and are propagated only from tuber pieces. Confusingly, these tubers or tuber pieces are called “seed potatoes,” because the potato itself functions as “seed”.

Edible Uses:
Potatoes are prepared in many ways: skin-on or peeled, whole or cut up, with seasonings or without. The only requirement involves cooking to swell the starch granules. Most potato dishes are served hot, but some are first cooked, then served cold, notably potato salad and potato chips/crisps.
click to see
Common dishes are: mashed potatoes, which are first boiled (usually peeled), and then mashed with milk or yogurt and butter; whole baked potatoes; boiled or steamed potatoes; French-fried potatoes or chips; cut into cubes and roasted; scalloped, diced, or sliced and fried (home fries); grated into small thin strips and fried (hash browns); grated and formed into dumplings, Rösti or potato pancakes. Unlike many foods, potatoes can also be easily cooked in a microwave oven and still retain nearly all of their nutritional value, provided they are covered in ventilated plastic wrap to prevent moisture from escaping; this method produces a meal very similar to a steamed potato, while retaining the appearance of a conventionally baked potato. Potato chunks also commonly appear as a stew ingredient.

Potatoes are boiled between 10 and 25 minutes, depending on size and type, to become soft.

Constituents:-–The tuber is composed mainly of starch, which affords animal heat and promotes fatness, but the proportion of muscle-forming food is very small – it is said that 10 1/2 lb. of the tubers are only equal in value to 1 lb. of meat. The raw juice of the Potato contains no alkaloid, the chief ingredient being potash salts, which are present in large quantity. The tuber also contains a certain amount of citric acid – which, like Potash, is antiscorbutic – and phosphoric acid, yielding phosphorus in a quantity less only than that afforded by the apple and by wheat.

It is of paramount importance that the valuable potash salts should be retained by the Potato during cooking. If peeled and then boiled, the tubers lose as much as 33 per cent of potash and 23 per cent of phosphoric acid, and should, therefore, invariably be boiled or steamed with their coats on. Too much stress cannot be laid on this point. Peeled potatoes have lost half their food-value in the water in which they have been boiled.

Medicinal Uses:
Potatoes, of any kind, whether they are raw, boiled, peeled, or mashed all have medicinal and healing properties. Even the water that you used to boil them in can be used. A potato’s skin is rich in fiber, iron, zinc, potassium, and calcium. It even contains your B & C vitamins. When you are cooking potatoes, boil them with the skins still on but washed good. That way you still have the benefits of these needed nutrients.

A potato that happens to have a greenish tinge to it, or that has begun to sprout, may contain a large concentration of solanine. This may affect your nerve impulses, along with causing vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea. For your own safety, please stay away from these.

 Warts -– Place a thin slice of raw potato over the wart and cover with a bandage to hold it in place. Leave this on overnight and remove it in the morning when you get up. Repeat this process for a week. If your wart is still present after a week, try substituting garlic for the potato slice.

Freckles — Potato water can fade your summertime freckles. Wet a washrag with some of your potato water and wring out any excess. Place the washrag over your freckles and leave it on for 10 minutes. You can do this daily and in time, you will see those freckles begin to fade.

Indigestion, Stomach Pain, Heartburn -– Drinking raw potato juice will neutralize the acid in your stomach. To get potato juice, grate a potato over a thin towel. Wrap your grated potato in the towel and squeeze it over a cup until all of the liquid is out of the potato. Dilute 1 T of the potato juice in 1/2 cup of warm water and drink slowly. For heartburn, add twice as much warm water as you have of the potato juice and drink this mixture. You can also relieve heartburn by eating a slice of raw potato.

1st Degree Burns — Apply a slice of raw potato, unpeeled, or a slice of onion can be used also, directly over the burn. This will draw out the heat and the pain from the burned area. Leave this on the burned area for 15 minutes. Remove for 5 minutes, and replace with a fresh slice of raw potato for an additional 15 minutes.

Insect Stings — To relieve the pain and swelling from an insect sting, use one of the following for 1/2 hour and then follow with ice on the bite for another 1/2 hour: the juice from a raw potato or an onion, wet salt, or toothpaste.

To carry a raw potato in the pocket was an old-fashioned remedy against rheumatism that modern research has proved to have a scientific basis. Ladies in former times had special bags or pockets made in their dresses in which to carry one or more small raw potatoes for the purpose of avoiding rheumatism if predisposed thereto. Successful experiments in the treatment of rheumatism and gout have in the last few years been made with preparations of raw potato juice. In cases of gout, rheumatism and lumbago the acute pain is much relieved by fomentations of the prepared juice followed by an application of liniment and ointment. Sprains and bruises have also been successfully treated by the Potato-juice preparations, and in cases of synovitis rapid absorption of the fluid has resulted. Although it is not claimed that the treatment in acute gout will cure the constitutional symptoms, local treatment by its means relieves the pain more quickly than other treatment.

Potato starch is much used for determining the diastatic value of malt extract.

Hot potato water has in years past been a popular remedy for some forms of rheumatism, fomentations to swollen and painful parts, as hot as can be borne, being applied from water in which 1 lb. of unpeeled potatoes, divided into quarters, has been boiled in 2 pints slowly boiled down to 1 pint Another potato remedy for rheumatism was made by cutting up the tubers, infusing them together with the fresh stalks and unripe berries for some hours in cold water, and applying in the form of a cold compress. The potatoes should not be peeled.

Uncooked potatoes, peeled and pounded in a mortar, and applied cold, have been found to make a very soothing plaster to parts that have been scalded or burnt.

The mealy flour of baked potato, mixed with sweet oil, is a very healing application for frost-bites. In Derbyshire, hot boiled potatoes are used for corns.

Boiled with weak sulphuric acid, potato starch is changed into glucose, or grape sugar, which by fermentation yields alcohol this spirit being often sold under the name of British Brandy.

A volatile oil – chemically termed Amylic alcohol, in Germany known as Fuselöl – is distilled by fermentation from potato spirit.

Although young potatoes contain no citric acid, the mature tubers yield enough even for commercial purposes, and ripe potato juice is an excellent cleaner of silks, cottons and woollens.

A fine flour is prepared from the Potato, and more used on the Continent than in this country for cake-making.

click to see :Natural medicinal uses of potato  :

Other uses:

1.Potatoes are used to brew alcoholic beverages such as vodka, potcheen, or akvavit.

2.They are also used as food for domestic animals.

3.Potato starch is used in the food industry as, for example, thickeners and binders of soups and sauces, in the textile industry, as adhesives, and for the manufacturing of papers and boards.

4.Maine companies are exploring the possibilities of using waste potatoes to obtain polylactic acid for use in plastic products; other research projects seek ways to use the starch as a base for biodegradable packaging.

5.Potato skins, along with honey, are a folk remedy for burns in India. Burn centers in India have experimented with the use of the thin outer skin layer to protect burns while healing.

6.Potatoes (mainly Russets) are commonly used in plant research. The consistent parenchyma tissue, the clonal nature of the plant and the low metabolic activity provide a very nice “model tissue” for experimentation. Wound-response studies are often done on potato tuber tissue, as are electron transport experiments. In this respect, potato tuber tissue is similar to Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans and Escherichia coli: they are all “standard” research organisms.

Click to see :>10 Surprising Uses For Potatoes  :

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

Resources:

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

http://www.examiner.com/article/medicinal-uses-of-potatoes

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/potato65.html

Yacon

Botanical Name :Smallanthus sonchifolius
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Smallanthus
Species: S. sonchifolius
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Polymnia edulis, P. sonchifolia

Common Names:Yacon,aricoma, arboloco, aricona, arikuma, colla, chiriguano, ipio, jacón, jicama, jiquima, jikima, jiquimilla, leafcup, llacon, llacoma, mexican potato, polaco, poire de terre, potato bean, puhe, shicama, taraca, yacón, yacuma, yacumpi  Another name for the yacón is Peruvian ground apple.

Habitat :Yacon is native to the lower Andes regions and cloud forests of South America and can be found in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Colombia. It is now widely cultivated for its edible roots throughout Andean South America and has been exported into Japan, Taiwan, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, and even the United States as a novel edible root crop.

Yacon plant is  traditionally grown in the Northern and Central Andes from Colombia to Northern Argentina

Description :
Yacon is a perennial herb growing 1.5 to 3 m tall with dark green celery-like leaves. The plant produces both male and female daisy-like yellow to orange flowers that are pollinated by insects. Each plant forms a underground clump of 4 to 20 fleshy large tuberous roots. Each weighs, on average, about 500 g. The skin of the tuber when fresh is a tan to a light yellow in color but quickly turns dark brown to dark purple when exposed to air. Yacon is a member of the sunflower family and while it grows in the warm, temperate valleys of the Andes, it can be found at altitudes up to 3200 meters.
Click to see the pictures…>…(01)....(1).…...(2).....(3)..…(4).…….(5).(6).
Fresh yacon tubers are crisp and juicy with a delicate flavor reminiscent of apple or melon and a surprising sweetness that increases with storage. They are usually eaten raw, (fresh or sun-dried) or steamed, baked, roasted, or juiced into syrup. In the Peruvian Andes where yacon production is flourishing, one can find yacon processed into almost anything in the local markets. . . from pancake syrup, to soft drinks, jam, breakfast cereals, and pudding.

Unlike many other root vegetables domesticated by the Indigenous Peoples of the Andes (ulluco, oca) and mashua, yacón is not photoperiod sensitive, and can produce a commercial yield also in the subtropics.

Cultivation & propagation:
Yacón can easily be grown in home gardens in climates with only gentle frosts. It grows well in southern Australia (including Tasmania) and New Zealand, where the climate is mild and the growing season long. The plant was introduced to Japan in the 1980s, and from there spread into other Asian countries, notably South Korea, China, the Philippines, and is now widely available in markets in these countries. Yacón has also recently been introduced into farmers’ markets and natural food stores in the United States.

Propagation roots with growing points can be planted in a well-dug bed in early spring, near the time of the last expected frost. While aerial parts are damaged by frost, the roots are not harmed unless they freeze solid. Yacón is a vigorous grower much like Jerusalem artichokes. The plants grow best with fertilization.

After the first few frosts the tops will die and the plants are ready for harvest. It is generally best to leave some in the ground for propagating the following spring. Alternatively, the propagating roots can be kept in the refrigerator or buried away from frost until spring. While usable-sized tubers develop fairly early, they taste much sweeter after some frost.

Edible Uses:
The tubers are simply just eaten like a fruit or they are juiced and boiled down to a syrup. The leaves are traditionally prepared as a decoction and taken in dosages of 1 cup two to three times daily.

Current practical uses :
While yacon root is currently being marketed to diabetics and dieters… no blood sugar lowering effects have been published in humans or animals for the tubers (only the leaves). Because it contains a type of sugar that isn’t metabolized (as well as being much lower in calories), it is certainly an appropriate sweetening substitute over regular sugar for diabetics and dieters. Consumers should be aware however, yacon root is not going to help diabetics lower or maintain blood sugar levels as some are trying to market it for (and the tuber actually does contain glucose and fructose).

In local Andean markets today yacon root is considered a fruit and sold with other fruits like pineapple and apples (not in the very large and diverse potato section of the market). The tubers have a wonderful crispy sweet flavor which is enhanced with drying them in sunlight until the peels are slightly wrinkled. They are then peeled and eaten out of hand, chopped into salads, and steamed or fried. The tubers are also juiced and then concentrated into syrups and sweeteners (much like dark corn syrup) or further dried and concentrated to produce solid dark-brown sweet blocks called chancaca. Here in the U.S. several relatively new yacon root syrups are now available in health food stores and natural products markets as a low-calorie alternative to corn syrup or molasses. Try them… they’re great!

Unfortunately, there are also one or two yacon root capsules on the market today which are making claims or pointing to the studies for blood sugar regulation, and/or antimicrobial actions which really only pertain to yacon leaves and not the root/tuber. If one takes yacon root in capsule form, about the only real benefit is as a prebiotic to help gut flora bacteria and possibly increase the natural production of immunostimulating beta-glucans (but it will certainly take much more than a 500 mg capsule or two… remember they eat the tuber by the pound in the Andes, and not by the gram). To aid blood sugar metabolism, look for yacon leaves in capsules or simply dried and cut up leaves sold in packages. There are a only a handful of products to choose from in the U.S. market place as this is a relatively new natural remedy for this country

Chemical Constituents:
The yacon root or tuber is a rich source (up to 67%) of fructooligosaccharides (FOS). These compounds helps gives the tuber its sweet flavor however most of these types of sugars are not readily digested or metabolized easily by humans. For this reason, yacon shows much promise as a food for diabetics and as a base for a low calorie sweetener. These oligofructans have been recently classified as “prebiotics.” Since they are not digested in the human gastrointestinal tract they are transported to the colon where they are fermented by a selected species of gut micro-flora (especially Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus) and help to balance gut flora and aid digestion. One laboratory study suggests that the prebiotic effect of yacon tuber extracts during the fermentation process enhanced the natural production of beta-glucans which act as non-specific immunostimulants.

In addition to these sweet compounds, yacon tubers are also rich in free fructose, glucose and sucrose as well as inulin and starch. Both the tuber and the leaves of the plant contain chlorogenic, ferulic and caffeic acids which are known to provide an antioxidant effect. Several sesquiterpene lactones can be found in the leaves of the yacon plants which have evidenced antibacterial and antifungal actions in laboratory tests.

Other chemicals documented in yacon include: y-cadinene, caffeic-acid, 3-caffeoylquinic-acid, chlorogenic-acid, 2,4-dicaffeoylaltraric-acid, 2,5-dicaffeoylaltraric-acid, 3,5-dicaffeoylaltraric-acid, 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic-acid, enhydrin, ferulic-acid, fluctuanin, gallic-acid, gentisic-acid, inulin, melampolides, oligofructans, beta-pinene, protocatechuic-acid, rosmarinic-acid, sonchifolin, tryptophan, 2,3,5-tricaffeoylaltraric-acid, 2,4,5-tricaffeoylaltraric-acid, and uvedalin

Medicinal Uses:

Hypoglycemic, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, liver protector

Main Uses (leaves):
1.for diabetes and high blood sugar
2.as a liver tonic and for liver problems
3.as an antimicrobial for kidney and bladder infections
4.as an antioxidant (especially for the liver)

Properties/Actions Documented by Research:
antibacterial, antidiabetic, antifungal, antioxidant, hepatoprotective (liver protector), hepatotonic (liver tonic), immunostimulant,

Other Properties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use:
antidiabetic, stomachic (digesive aid)

Cautions: The leaves will enhance the effect of insulin and diabetic drugs

Other Uses:
In colonial times yacón consumption was identified with a Catholic religious celebration held at the time of an earlier Inca feast. In the Moche era, it may have been food for a special occasion. Effigies of edible food may have been placed at Moche burials for the nourishment of the dead, as offerings to lords of the other world, or in commemoration of a certain occasion. Moche depicted these yacón in their ceramics.
click to see

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

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yac%C3%B3n

http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail514.php

http://www.rain-tree.com/yacon.htm#.Udw60b7D-eA

orangeBitter

Botanical Name :Citrus aurantium L.
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Citrus
Species: C. × aurantium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms : Citrus bigarradia – Loisel.,  Citrus vulgaris – Risso.

Common Names:Bitter orange, Seville orange, sour orange, bigarade orange, or marmalade orange

Habitat :Bitter oranges originate from northeastern India and certain regions of China and Myanmar. The fruit has spread to the rest of the world by the 1st century CE, when the Romans first started cultivating bitter oranges to use them in natural remedies and as a delicious treat. With fall of Roman Empire, the cultivation of Bitter Orange has staggered for a while in Europe. It was the Arabs who spread it all the way to Spain, where they grow even today, lining the streets and spreading the wonderful aroma of the fresh citrus blossoms. Some of these trees are more than 600 years old, but oldest live bitter orange tree is supposedly one planted back in 1421, and still growing at the Palace of Versailles outside Paris.

When the Americas were discovered, Spanish people brought the seeds of bitter orange to North America, namely to Florida and the Bahamas. Florida is today known as the world’s largest producer of oranges, and the fragrant blossoms of the orange tree are listed as Florida state symbols.

Description:
An evergreen Tree growing to 9m by 6m.
It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from April to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Apomictic (reproduce by seeds formed without sexual fusion), insects. The plant is self-fertile.
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The plant prefers medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid and neutral soils and can grow in very alkaline soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Varities:
*Citrus x aurantium subsp. amara is a spiny evergreen tree native to southern Vietnam, but widely cultivated. It is used as grafting stock for citrus trees, in marmalade, and in liqueur such as triple sec, Grand Marnier and Curaçao. It is also cultivated for the essential oil expressed from the fruit, and for neroli oil and orange flower water, which are distilled from the flowers.

*Seville orange (or bigarade) is a widely-known, particularly tart orange which is now grown throughout the Mediterranean region. It has a thick, dimpled skin, and is prized for making marmalade, being higher in pectin than the sweet orange, and therefore giving a better set and a higher yield. It is also used in compotes and for orange-flavored liqueurs. Once a year, oranges of this variety are collected from trees in Seville and shipped to Britain to be used in marmalade.[6] However, the fruit is rarely consumed locally in Andalusia.

*Chinotto, from the myrtle-leaved orange tree, C. aurantium var. myrtifolia, is used for the namesake Italian soda beverage.[8] This is sometimes considered a separate species.
Daidai, C. aurantium var. daidai, is used in Chinese medicine and Japanese New Year celebrations. The aromatic flowers are added to tea.

*Wild Florida sour orange is found near small streams in generally secluded and wooded parts of Florida and the Bahamas. It was introduced to the area from Spain.

*Bergamot orange is probably a bitter orange and limetta hybrid; it is cultivated in Italy for the production of bergamot oil, a component of many brands of perfume and tea, especially Earl Grey tea.

Cultivation :
Prefers a moderately heavy loam with a generous amount of compost and sand added and a very sunny position. Prefers a pH between 5 and 6[200]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.8 to 8.3. Plants are intolerant of water logging. When growing plants in pots, a compost comprising equal quantities of loam and leafmould plus a little charcoal should produce good results[260]. Do not use manure since Citrus species dislike it. When watering pot plants it is important to neither overwater or underwater since the plant will soon complain by turning yellow and dying. Water only when the compost is almost dry, but do not allow it to become completely dry. Dormant plants can withstand temperatures down to about -6°c so long as this is preceded by cool weather in order to harden off the plant. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. A tree grown outdoors on the coast at Salcombe in Devon lived for over 200 years. The bitter orange is often grown for its edible fruit in warm temperate and tropical zones, there are many named varieties. In Britain it can be grown in a pot that is placed outdoors in the summer and brought into a greenhouse during the winter. Plants dislike root disturbance and so should be placed into their permanent positions when young. If growing them in pots, great care must be exercised when potting them on into larger containers.

Propagation:
The seed is best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it ripe after thoroughly rinsing it. Sow stored seed in March in a greenhouse[3]. Germination usually takes place within 2 – 3 weeks at 13°c. Seedlings are liable to damp off so they must be watered with care and kept well ventilated. The seed is usually polyembrionic, two or more seedlings arise from each seed and they are genetically identical to the parent but they do not usually carry any virus that might be present in the parent plant. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least three growing seasons before trying them outdoors. Plant them out in the summer and give them some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Layering in October.

Edible Uses:

Edible Parts: Fruit.

Edible Uses: Condiment; Oil.

Fruit – raw or cooked. Very bitter. It is used in making marmalade and other preserves. The fruit is about 5 – 7cm in diameter. The rind of the fruit is often used as a flavouring in cakes etc. Used in ‘bouquet garni’. An oil obtained from the seeds contains linolenic acid and is becoming more widely used as a food because of its ability to reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood. The flowers are used for scenting tea. An essential oil from the dried peel of immature fruits is used as a food flavouring

Cooking:
The unripe fruit, called narthangai, is commonly used in Southern Indian cuisine, especially in Tamil cuisine. It is pickled by cutting it into spirals and stuffing it with salt. The pickle is usually consumed with yoghurt rice thayir sadam. The fresh fruit is also used frequently in pachadis. The juice from the ripe fruit is also used as a marinade for meat in Nicaraguan, Cuban, Dominican and Haitian cooking, as it was in Peruvian Ceviche until the 1960s. The peel can be used in the production of bitters. In Yucatan (Mexico), it is a main ingredient of the cochinita pibil.

The Belgian Witbier (white beer) is made from wheat spiced with the peel of the bitter orange. The Finnish and Swedish use bitter orange peel in gingerbread (pepparkakor), some Christmas bread and in mämmi. It is also used in the Nordic mulled wine glögg. In Greece and Cyprus, the nerántzi or kitrómilon, respectively, is one of the most prized fruits used for spoon sweets, and the C. aurantium tree (nerantziá or kitromiliá) is a popular ornamental tree. Throughout Iran, the juice is popularly used as a salad dressing, souring agent in stews and pickles or as a marinade. The blossoms are collected fresh to make a prized sweet-smelling aromatic jam (“Bitter orange blossom jam” Morabba Bahar-Narendj), or added to brewing tea. In Turkey, juice of the ripe fruits can be used as salad dressing, especially in Çukurova region.

Medicinal Uses:
Antibacterial; Antiemetic; Antifungal; Antispasmodic; Antitussive; Aromatherapy; Carminative; Contraceptive; Diaphoretic; Digestive; Miscellany; Sedative; Stimulant; Stomachic; Tonic.

Citrus species contain a wide range of active ingredients and research is still underway in finding uses for them. They are rich in vitamin C, flavonoids, acids and volatile oils. They also contain coumarins such as bergapten which sensitizes the skin to sunlight. Bergapten is sometimes added to tanning preparations since it promotes pigmentation in the skin, though it can cause dermatitis or allergic responses in some people. Some of the plants more recent applications are as sources of anti-oxidants and chemical exfoliants in specialized cosmetics. The plants also contain umbelliferone, which is antifungal, as well as essential oils that are antifungal and antibacterial. They also contain the pyrone citrantin, which shows antifertility activity and was once used as a component of contraceptives. Both the leaves and the flowers are antispasmodic, digestive and sedative. An infusion is used in the treatment of stomach problems, sluggish digestion etc. The fruit is antiemetic, antitussive, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive and expectorant.The immature fruit can be used (called Zhi Shi in China) or the mature fruit with seeds and endocarp removed (called Zhi Ke). The immature fruit has a stronger action. They are used in the treatment of dyspepsia, constipation, abdominal distension, stuffy sensation in the chest, prolapse of the uterus, rectum and stomach. The fruit peel is bitter, digestive and stomachic. The seed and the pericarp are used in the treatment of anorexia, chest pains, colds, coughs etc. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is ‘Radiance’. It is used in treating depression, tension and skin problems.

The leaves have a high vitamin C content in the form of ascorbic acid, and the fruit is full of this too. The fruit also contains flavonoid-glycosides such as aldehytes, ketone-free acids, esters, coumarins and tetranotriterpenoids (limonin). Synephrine is the main chemical constituent in the fruit flavones naringin and neohesperidin. The fruit contains vitamin A and some B-complex vitamins, with the minerals calcium, iron and phosphorous; amino acids are also present.

Herbal stimulant:
The extract of bitter orange (and bitter orange peel) has been marketed as dietary supplement purported to act as a weight-loss aid and appetite suppressant. Bitter orange contains the tyramine metabolites N-methyltyramine, octopamine and synephrine, substances similar to epinephrine, which act on the ?1 adrenergic receptor to constrict blood vessels and increase blood pressure and heart rate.p-Synephrine alone or in combination with caffeine or other substances has been shown to modestly increase weight loss in several low-quality clinical trials. Following bans on the herbal stimulant ephedra in the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere, bitter orange has been substituted into “ephedra-free” herbal weight-loss products by dietary supplement manufacturers. Like most dietary supplement ingredients, bitter orange has not undergone formal safety testing, but it is believed to cause the same spectrum of adverse events as ephedra. Case reports have linked bitter orange supplements to strokes, angina, and ischemic colitis. The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that “there is currently little evidence that bitter orange is safer to use than ephedra.” Bitter orange may have serious drug interactions with drugs such as statins in a similar way to grapefruit.

Contraindications:
Because of the potential for additive effects, synephrine use is best avoided in patients with hypertension, tachyarrhythmia, or narrow angle glaucoma.

Pregnancy/Lactation:
Avoid use due to lack of clinical data regarding safety and efficacy during pregnancy and lactation.

Bitter Orange Interactions
Bitter orange may inhibit intestinal CYP3A4 and intestinal efflux and may interact with numerous drugs, including anxiolytics, antidepressants, antiviral agents, calcium channel blockers, dextromethorphan, GI prokinetic agents, vasoconstrictors, and weight-loss formulas.

Other Uses

Essential; Hedge; Oil; Repellent; Rootstock.
This species is much used as a rootstock for the sweet orange, C. sinensis, because of its disease resistance and greater hardiness. Grown as a hedging plant in N. America. A semi-drying oil obtained from the seed is used in soap making. Essential oils obtained from the peel, petals and leaves are used as a food flavouring and also in perfumery and medicines. The oil from the flowers is called ‘Neroli oil’ – yields are very low from this species and so it is often adulterated with inferior oils. The oil from the leaves and young shoots is called ‘petit-grain’ – 400 kilos of plant material yield about 1 kilo of oil. This is also often adulterated with inferior products. Neroli oil, mixed with vaseline, is used in India as a preventative against leeches

Toxicology
Medical literature primarily documents cardiovascular toxicity, especially due to the stimulant amines synephrine, octopamine, and N-methyltyramine, which may cause vasoconstriction as well as increased heart rate and blood pressure.

Known Hazards: (Bitter Orange Adverse Reactions)
There are numerous case reports of adverse cardiac reactions associated with C. aurantium extract use.

Following an incident in which a healthy young man suffered a myocardial infarction (heart attack) linked to bitter orange, a case study found that dietary supplement manufacturers had replaced ephedra with its analogs from bitter orange

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

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citrus_%C3%97_aurantium

http://www.drugs.com/npp/bitter-orange.html

http://www.fragrantica.com/notes/Bitter-Orange-79.html

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Citrus+aurantium

Garlic (Allium sativum)

Botanical Name :Allium sativum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. sativum
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Common Name:Garlic

Habitat: Garlic is native to central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa, and Europe. It was known to Ancient Egyptians, and has been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.

Description:
Allium sativum is a bulbous plant. It grows up to 0.6 m (2 ft) in height. Its hardiness is USDA Zone 8. It produces hermaphrodite flowers. Pollination occurs by insects and bees.

Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and rakkyo. With a history of human use of over 7,000 years,

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Varieties:
Within the species, Allium sativum, there are also two main subspecies or varieties.
Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon (Link) Döll, called Ophioscorodon, or hard necked garlic, includes porcelain garlics, rocambole garlic, and purple stripe garlics. It is sometimes considered to be a separate species, Allium ophioscorodon G.Don.
Allium sativum var. sativum, or soft-necked garlic, includes artichoke garlic, silverskin garlic, and creole garlic.
click to see :Italian garlic PDO (Aglio Bianco Polesano)
Bulb garlic is available in many forms, including fresh, frozen, dried, fermented (black garlic) and shelf stable products (in tubes or jars). In addition, see Culinary uses for other edible parts of the garlic plant.

Origin and major types:
According to Zohary and Hopf, “A difficulty in the identification of its wild progenitor is the sterility of the cultivars”, though it is thought to be descended from the species Allium longicuspis, which grows wild in central and southwestern Asia. Allium sativum grows in the wild in areas where it has become naturalized. The “wild garlic”, “crow garlic”, and “field garlic” of Britain are members of the species Allium ursinum, Allium vineale, and Allium oleraceum, respectively. In North America, Allium vineale (known as “wild garlic” or “crow garlic”) and Allium canadense, known as “meadow garlic” or “wild garlic” and “wild onion”, are common weeds in fields.[8] One of the best-known “garlics”, the so-called elephant garlic, is actually a wild leek (Allium ampeloprasum), and not a true garlic. Single clove garlic (also called pearl or solo garlic) originated in the Yunnan province of China

European garlic:
There are a number of garlics with Protected Geographical Status in Europe; these include:

*Aglio Rosso di Nubia (Red Garlic of Nubia) from Nubia-Paceco, Provincia di Trapani, Sicily, Italy

*Aglio Bianco Polesano from Veneto, Italy (PDO)

*Aglio di Voghiera from Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (PDO)

*Ail blanc de Lomagne from Lomagne in the Gascony area of France (PGI)

*Ail de la Drôme from Drôme in France (PGI)

*Ail rose de Lautrec a rose/pink garlic from Lautrec in France (PGI)

*Ajo Morado de las Pedroñeras a rose/pink garlic from Las Pedroñeras in Spain (PGI)

Cultivation:
Garlic is easy to grow and can be grown year-round in mild climates. While sexual propagation of garlic is indeed possible, nearly all of the garlic in cultivation is propagated asexually, by planting individual cloves in the ground In cold climates, cloves are planted in the autumn, about six weeks before the soil freezes, and harvested in late spring. The cloves must be planted at sufficient depth to prevent freeze/thaw which causes mold or white rot[11] Garlic plants are usually very hardy, and are not attacked by many pests or diseases. Garlic plants are said to repel rabbits and moles. Two of the major pathogens that attack garlic are nematodes and white rot disease, which remain in the soil indefinitely after the ground has become infected. Garlic also can suffer from pink root, a typically nonfatal disease that stunts the roots and turns them pink or red.

Garlic plants can be grown closely together, leaving enough space for the bulbs to mature, and are easily grown in containers of sufficient depth. Garlic does well in loose, dry, well drained soils in sunny locations, and is hardy throughout USDA climate zones 4 – 9. When selecting garlic for planting, it is important to pick large heads from which to separate cloves. Large cloves, along with proper spacing in the planting bed, will also improve head size. Garlic plants prefer to grow in a soil with a high organic material content, but are capable of growing in a wide range of soil conditions and pH levels.

There are different types or subspecies of garlic, most notably hardneck garlic and softneck garlic. The latitude where the garlic is grown affects the choice of type as garlic can be day-length sensitive. Hardneck garlic is generally grown in cooler climates; softneck garlic is generally grown closer to the equator.

Garlic scapes are removed to focus all the garlic’s energy into bulb growth. The scapes can be eaten raw or cooked.

Edible Uses:
Garlic is widely used around the world for its pungent flavor as a seasoning or condiment.

The garlic plant’s bulb is the most commonly used part of the plant. With the exception of the single clove types, garlic bulbs are normally divided into numerous fleshy sections called cloves. Garlic cloves are used for consumption (raw or cooked) or for medicinal purposes. They have a characteristic pungent, spicy flavor that mellows and sweetens considerably with cooking.

Other parts of the garlic plant are also edible. The leaves and flowers (bulbils) on the head (spathe) are sometimes eaten. They are milder in flavor than the bulbs,[2] and are most often consumed while immature and still tender. Immature garlic is sometimes pulled, rather like a scallion, and sold as “green garlic”.[20] When green garlic is allowed to grow past the “scallion” stage, but not permitted to fully mature, it may produce a garlic “round”, a bulb like a boiling onion, but not separated into cloves like a mature bulb. Additionally, the immature flower stalks (scapes) of the hardneck and elephant types are sometimes marketed for uses similar to asparagus in stir-fries.[6][dead link]

Inedible or rarely eaten parts of the garlic plant include the “skin” and root cluster. The papery, protective layers of “skin” over various parts of the plant are generally discarded during preparation for most culinary uses, though in Korea immature whole heads are sometimes prepared with the tender skins intact.[22] The root cluster attached to the basal plate of the bulb is the only part not typically considered palatable in any form.

Garlic is a fundamental component in many or most dishes of various regions, including eastern Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, northern Africa, southern Europe, and parts of South and Central America. The flavour varies in intensity and aroma with the different cooking methods. It is often paired with onion, tomato, or ginger. The parchment-like skin is much like the skin of an onion, and is typically removed before using in raw or cooked form. An alternative is to cut the top off the bulb, coat the cloves by dribbling olive oil (or other oil-based seasoning) over them, and roast them in an oven. Garlic softens and can be extracted from the cloves by squeezing the (root) end of the bulb, or individually by squeezing one end of the clove. In Korea, heads of garlic are fermented at high temperature; the resulting product, called black garlic, is sweet and syrupy, and is now being sold in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

Garlic may be applied to different kinds of bread to create a variety of classic dishes, such as garlic bread, garlic toast, bruschetta, crostini and canapé.

Oils can be flavored with garlic cloves. These infused oils are used to season all categories of vegetables, meats, breads and pasta.

In some cuisines, the young bulbs are pickled for three to six weeks in a mixture of sugar, salt, and spices. In eastern Europe, the shoots are pickled and eaten as an appetizer.

Immature scapes are tender and edible. They are also known as “garlic spears”, “stems”, or “tops”. Scapes generally have a milder taste than the cloves. They are often used in stir frying or braised like asparagus. Garlic leaves are a popular vegetable in many parts of Asia. The leaves are cut, cleaned, and then stir-fried with eggs, meat, or vegetables.

Mixing garlic with egg yolks and olive oil produces aioli. Garlic, oil, and a chunky base produce skordalia. Blending garlic, almond, oil, and soaked bread produces ajoblanco.

Garlic powder has a different taste from fresh garlic. If used as a substitute for fresh garlic, 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder is equivalent to one clove of garlic.

Medicinal Uses:
Garlic is claimed to help prevent heart disease (including atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure) and cancer. Animal studies, and some early research studies in humans, have suggested possible cardiovascular benefits of garlic. A Czech study found garlic supplementation reduced accumulation of cholesterol on the vascular walls of animals. Another study had similar results, with garlic supplementation significantly reducing aortic plaque deposits of cholesterol-fed rabbits. Another study showed supplementation with garlic extract inhibited vascular calcification in human patients with high blood cholesterol. The known vasodilative effect of garlic is possibly caused by catabolism of garlic-derived polysulfides to hydrogen sulfide in red blood cells (RBCs), a reaction that is dependent on reduced thiols in or on the RBC membrane. Hydrogen sulfide is an endogenous cardioprotective vascular cell-signaling molecule.

A randomized clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2007 found the consumption of garlic in any form did not reduce blood cholesterol levels in patients with moderately high baseline cholesterol levels.

However, a 2012 meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials looking at the effects of garlic on serum lipid profiles, found garlic was superior to placebo in reducing serum total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Compared with the placebo groups, serum total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the garlic groups was reduced by 0.28 (95% CI, ?0.45, ?0.11) mmol L?¹ (P = 0.001) and 0.13 (95% CI, ?0.20, ?0.06) mmol L?¹ (P < 0.001), respectively.

Allium sativum has been found to reduce platelet aggregation and hyperlipidemia.

In 2007, the BBC reported Allium sativum may have other beneficial properties, such as preventing and fighting the common cold. This assertion has the backing of long tradition in herbal medicine, which has used garlic for hoarseness and coughs. The Cherokee also used it as an expectorant for coughs and croup. However, in contrast to these earlier claims concerning the cold-preventing properties of garlic, a 2012 report in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews concludes that “there is insufficient clinical trial evidence regarding the effects of garlic in preventing or treating the common cold. A single trial suggested that garlic may prevent occurrences of the common cold but more studies are needed to validate this finding. Claims of effectiveness appear to rely largely on poor-quality evidence.”

Garlic is also alleged to help regulate blood sugar levels. Regular and prolonged use of therapeutic amounts of aged garlic extracts lower blood homocysteine levels and has been shown to prevent some complications of diabetes mellitus. People taking insulin should not consume medicinal amounts of garlic without consulting a physician.

Garlic was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene during World War I and World War II. More recently, it has been found from a clinical trial that a mouthwash containing 2.5% fresh garlic shows good antimicrobial activity, although the majority of the participants reported an unpleasant taste and halitosis.

Garlic cloves are used as a remedy for infections (especially chest problems), digestive disorders, and fungal infections such as thrush. Garlic can be used as a disinfectant because of its bacteriostatic and bacteriocidal properties.

Garlic has been found to enhance thiamin absorption, and therefore reduces the likelihood for developing the thiamin deficiency beriberi.

In 1924, it was found to be an effective way to prevent scurvy, because of its high vitamin C content.

Garlic has been used reasonably successfully in AIDS patients to treat Cryptosporidium in an uncontrolled study in China. It has also been used by at least one AIDS patient to treat toxoplasmosis, another protozoal disease.

Garlic supplementation has been shown to boost testosterone levels in rats fed a high protein diet.

A 2010 double-blind, parallel, randomised, placebo-controlled trial, involving 50 patients whose routine clinical records in general practice documented treated but uncontrolled hypertension, concluded, “Our trial suggests that aged garlic extract is superior to placebo in lowering systolic blood pressure similarly to current first line medications in patients with treated but uncontrolled hypertension.”

Other uses:
The sticky juice within the bulb cloves is used as an adhesive in mending glass and porcelain. An environmentally benign garlic-derived polysulfide product is approved for use in the European Union  and the UK as a nematicide and insecticide, including for use for control of cabbage root fly and red mite in poultry

Spiritual and religious uses:
Garlic has been regarded as a force for both good and evil. According to Cassell’s Dictionary of Superstitions, there is an Islamic myth that considers that after Satan left the Garden of Eden, garlic arose in his left footprint and onion in the right. In Europe, many cultures have used garlic for protection or white magic, perhaps owing to its reputation as a potent preventative medicine. Central European folk beliefs considered garlic a powerful ward against demons, werewolves, and vampires. To ward off vampires, garlic could be worn, hung in windows, or rubbed on chimneys and keyholes.

In both Hinduism and Jainism, garlic is considered to stimulate and warm the body and to increase one’s desires. Some devout Hindus generally avoid using garlic and the related onion in the preparation of foods for religious festivities and events. Followers of the Jain religion avoid eating garlic and onion on a daily basis.

A belief among some Hindus is that when Devas and Asuras fought for nectar during churning of the ocean of milk (Samudramathan) in the other world, two Asuras were able to get access to nectar and had some quantity in their mouths in stealthy ways. Knowing the Asuras’ foul play the God cuffed the heads of those Asuras before they could swallow it and as a result nectar fell down on the earth from their mouths in drops which later grew as garlic; that is why the vegetable has such wonderful medicinal properties.

In some Buddhist traditions, garlic – along with the other five “pungent spices” – is understood to stimulate sexual and aggressive drives to the detriment of meditation practice.

In the Philippine folklore garlic is used to drive away monsters.

Known Hazards:
Garlic is known for causing bad breath (halitosis), as well as causing sweat to have a pungent “garlicky” smell, which is caused by allyl methyl sulfide (AMS). AMS is a volatile liquid which is absorbed into the blood during the metabolism of garlic-derived sulfur compounds; from the blood it travels to the lungs (and from there to the mouth, causing bad breath; see garlic breath) and skin, where it is exuded through skin pores. Washing the skin with soap is only a partial and imperfect solution to the smell. Studies have shown sipping milk at the same time as consuming garlic can significantly neutralize bad breath.[60] Mixing garlic with milk in the mouth before swallowing reduced the odor better than drinking milk afterward. Plain water, mushrooms and basil may also reduce the odor; the mix of fat and water found in milk, however, was the most effective.

The green, dry “folds” in the center of the garlic clove are especially pungent. The sulfur compound allicin, produced by crushing or chewing fresh garlic, produces other sulfur compounds: ajoene, allyl polysulfides, and vinyldithiins. Aged garlic lacks allicin, but may have some activity due to the presence of S-allylcysteine.

In a rat study allicin was found to be an activator of TRPA1. The neurons released neurotransmitters in the spinal cord to generate pain signals and released neuropeptides at the site of sensory nerve activation, resulting in vasodilation, as well as inflammation. Allicin is released only by crushing or chewing raw garlic and cannot be formed from cooked garlic.

Some people suffer from allergies to garlic and other plants in the allium genus. Symptoms can include irritable bowel, diarrhea, mouth and throat ulcerations, nausea, breathing difficulties, and, in rare cases, anaphylaxis. Garlic-sensitive patients show positive tests to diallyl disulfide, allylpropyldisulfide, allylmercaptan and allicin, all of which are present in garlic. People who suffer from garlic allergies will often be sensitive to many plants, including onions, garlic, chives, leeks, shallots, garden lilies, ginger, and bananas.

Garlic reduces platelet aggregation (as does aspirin); this had caused very high quantities of garlic and garlic supplements to be linked with an increased risk of bleeding, particularly during pregnancy and after surgery and childbirth, although culinary quantities are safe for consumption.

Several reports of serious burns resulting from garlic being applied topically for various purposes, including naturopathic uses and acne treatment, indicate care must be taken for these uses, usually testing a small area of skin using a very low concentration of garlic. On the basis of numerous reports of such burns, including burns to children, topical use of raw garlic, as well as insertion of raw garlic into body cavities, is discouraged. In particular, topical application of raw garlic to young children is not advisable. The side effects of long-term garlic supplementation, if any exist, are largely unknown, and no FDA-approved study has been performed. Possible side effects include gastrointestinal discomfort, sweating, dizziness, allergic reactions, bleeding, and menstrual irregularities. The safety of garlic supplements has not been determined for children; some breastfeeding mothers have found their babies slow to feed and have noted a garlic odour coming from their baby when they have consumed garlic.

Garlic may interact with warfarin, antiplatelets, saquinavir, antihypertensives, calcium channel blockers, quinolone family of antibiotics such as Cipro,and hypoglycemic drugs, as well as other medications. Members of the alium family might be toxic to cats or dogs. Some degree of liver toxicity has been demonstrated in rats, particularly in extremely large quantities exceeding those that a rat would consume under normal situations

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

Resaources:

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

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

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Apple

Apple 'Sundown' Showing use of a common name a...

Apple ‘Sundown’ Showing use of a common name as part of the cultivar name (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Botanical Name  : Malus domestica
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Malus
Species: M. domestica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names  : Apple , Apple cider vinegar, wine vinegar

Habitat :  The apple tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have been present in the mythology and religions of many cultures, including Norse, Greek and Christian traditions. In 2010, the fruit’s genome was decoded, leading to new understandings of disease control and selective breeding in apple production.

Description:
The apple forms a tree that is small and deciduous, reaching 3 to 12 metres (9.8 to 39 ft) tall, with a broad, often densely twiggy crown. The leaves are alternately arranged simple ovals 5 to 12 cm long and 3–6 centimetres (1.2–2.4 in) broad on a 2 to 5 centimetres (0.79 to 2.0 in) petiole with an acute tip, serrated margin and a slightly downy underside. Blossoms are produced in spring simultaneously with the budding of the leaves. The flowers are white with a pink tinge that gradually fades, five petaled, and 2.5 to 3.5 centimetres (0.98 to 1.4 in) in diameter. The fruit matures in autumn, and is typically 5 to 9 centimetres (2.0 to 3.5 in) in diameter. The center of the fruit contains five carpels arranged in a five-point star, each carpel containing one to three seeds, called pips.

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Histry:
The center of diversity of the genus Malus is in eastern Turkey. The apple tree was perhaps the earliest tree to be cultivated, and its fruits have been improved through selection over thousands of years. Alexander the Great is credited with finding dwarfed apples in Kazakhstan in Asia in 328 BCE; those he brought back to Macedonia might have been the progenitors of dwarfing root stocks. Winter apples, picked in late autumn and stored just above freezing, have been an important food in Asia and Europe for millennia, as well as in Argentina and in the United States since the arrival of Europeans. Apples were brought to North America by colonists in the 17th century, and the first apple orchard on the North American continent was planted in Boston by Reverend William Blaxton in 1625. The only apples native to North America are crab apples, which were once called “common apples”. Apple varieties brought as seed from Europe were spread along Native American trade routes, as well as being cultivated on Colonial farms. An 1845 United States apples nursery catalogue sold 350 of the “best” varieties, showing the proliferation of new North American varieties by the early 19th century. In the 20th century, irrigation projects in Washington state began and allowed the development of the multibillion dollar fruit industry, of which the apple is the leading product.

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Until the 20th century, farmers stored apples in frostproof cellars during the winter for their own use or for sale. Improved transportation of fresh apples by train and road replaced the necessity for storage. In the 21st century, long-term storage again came into popularity, as “controlled atmosphere” facilities were used to keep apples fresh year-round. Controlled atmosphere facilities use high humidity and low oxygen and carbon dioxide levels to maintain fruit freshness.

About 69 million tonnes of apples were grown worldwide in 2010, and China produced almost half of this total. The United States is the second-leading producer, with more than 6% of world production. Turkey is third, followed by Italy, India and Poland. Apples are often eaten raw, but can also be found in many prepared foods (especially desserts) and drinks. Many beneficial health effects have been found from eating apples; however, two forms of allergies are seen to various proteins found in the fruit.

Cultivars:
There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples. Cultivars vary in their yield and the ultimate size of the tree, even when grown on the same rootstock.  Different cultivars are available for temperate and subtropical climates. The UK’s National Fruit Collection, which is the responsibility of the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs, has a collection of over 2,000 accessions in Kent. The University of Reading, which is responsible for developing the UK national collection database, provides access to search the national collection. The University of Reading’s work is part of the European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources of which there are 38 countries participating in the Malus/Pyrus work group.[33] The UK’s national fruit collection database contains a wealth of information on the characteristics and origin of many apples, including alternative names for what is essentially the same ‘genetic’ apple variety. Most of these cultivars are bred for eating fresh (dessert apples), though some are cultivated specifically for cooking (cooking apples) or producing cider. Cider apples are typically too tart and astringent to eat fresh, but they give the beverage a rich flavour that dessert apples cannot.[34]
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Commercially popular apple cultivars are soft but crisp. Other desired qualities in modern commercial apple breeding are a colourful skin, absence of russeting, ease of shipping, lengthy storage ability, high yields, disease resistance, common apple shape, and developed flavour.[31] Modern apples are generally sweeter than older cultivars, as popular tastes in apples have varied over time. Most North Americans and Europeans favour sweet, subacid apples, but tart apples have a strong minority following.[35] Extremely sweet apples with barely any acid flavour are popular in Asia[35] and especially India.

Old cultivars are often oddly shaped, russeted, and have a variety of textures and colours. Some find them to have a better flavour than modern cultivars,[36] but may have other problems which make them commercially unviable from low yield, disease susceptibility, or poor tolerance for storage or transport. A few old cultivars are still produced on a large scale, but many have been preserved by home gardeners and farmers that sell directly to local markets. Many unusual and locally important cultivars with their own unique taste and appearance exist; apple conservation campaigns have sprung up around the world to preserve such local cultivars from extinction. In the United Kingdom, old cultivars such as ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ and ‘Egremont Russet‘ are still commercially important even though by modern standards they are low yielding and susceptible to disease.

Human Consumption:
Apples are often eaten raw. The whole fruit including the skin is suitable for human consumption except for the seeds, which are slightly poisonous. The core is often not eaten and is discarded. Varieties bred for raw consumption are termed dessert or table apples.
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Apples can be canned or juiced. They are milled to produce apple cider (non-alcoholic, sweet cider) and filtered for apple juice. The juice can be fermented to make hard cider, ciderkin, and vinegar. Through distillation, various alcoholic beverages can be produced, such as applejack, Calvados, and apfelwein. Apple seed oil and pectin may also be produced.

Popular uses :
Apples are an important ingredient in many desserts, such as apple pie, apple crumble, apple crisp and apple cake. They are often eaten baked or stewed, and they can also be dried and eaten or reconstituted (soaked in water, alcohol or some other liquid) for later use. Puréed apples are generally known as apple sauce. Apples are also made into apple butter and apple jelly. They are also used (cooked) in meat dishes.
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*In the UK, a toffee apple is a traditional confection made by coating an apple in hot toffee and allowing it to cool. Similar treats in the US are candy apples (coated in a hard shell of crystallized sugar syrup), and caramel apples, coated with cooled caramel.

*Apples are eaten with honey at the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah to symbolize a sweet new year.

*Farms with apple orchards may open them to the public, so consumers may themselves pick the apples they will purchase.

Sliced apples turn brown with exposure to air due to the conversion of natural phenolic substances into melanin upon exposure to oxygen. Different cultivars vary in their propensity to brown after slicing. Sliced fruit can be treated with acidulated water to prevent this effect

Organic production:
Organic apples are commonly produced in the United States. Organic production is difficult in Europe, though a few orchards have done so with commercial success, using disease-resistant cultivars. A light coating of kaolin, which forms a physical barrier to some pests, also helps prevent apple sun scalding
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Nutrition:
The proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”, addressing the health effects of the fruit, dates from 19th century Wales. Fruit specialist J.T. Stinson popularized this proverb during a lecture at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.

Research suggests that apples may reduce the risk of colon cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer. Apple peels contain ursolic acid which, in rat studies, increases skeletal muscle and brown fat, and decreases white fat, obesity, glucose intolerance, and fatty liver disease.

Apple peels are a source of various phytochemicals with unknown nutritional value and possible antioxidant activity in vitro. The predominant phenolic phytochemicals in apples are quercetin, epicatechin, and procyanidin B2.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a typical apple serving weighs 242 grams and contains 126 calories with significant dietary fiber and vitamin C content.

Apple juice concentrate has been found to increase the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in mice. Other studies have shown an “alleviation of oxidative damage and cognitive decline” in mice after the administration of apple juice. Fruit flies fed an apple extract lived 10% longer than other flies fed a normal diet.

Constituents:  acetic-acid, alpha-linolenic-acid, benzoic-acid, benzyl-acetate, caffeic-acid, calcium-oxalate, chlorogenic-acid , ferulic-acid, geraniol, hyperoside, isoquercitrin, lactic-acid,lutein,p-coumaric-acid, protocatechuic-acid, quercetin, rutin, sugar, ursolic-a

Properties: * Anti-inflammatory * Antifungal * Astringent * Laxative
Parts Used: fruit, flowers, bark

Medicinal Uses: * Arthritis * Athletes Foot/Ringworm * Cardiovascular * Cholesterol * Diabetes * Nutrition * Rheumatoid_arthritis * Sunburns

The old folks really knew a good thing when they saw it. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”; this humble fruit can help prevent two of the major lifestyle diseases of modern life, diabetes and heart disease. Apples contain malic and tartaric acids, and salts of potassium, sodium, magnesium, and iron. They also contain soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol, help prevent plaque buildup in your arteries, and slow the uptake of glucose, helping you maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Herbalists consider apples to be cleansing and tonic to the liver and kidneys. The best of the medicinal compounds are contained in the apple peel, so buy organic whenever possible and always wash thoroughly.84

Apple cider vinegar is such a useful and versatile substance, truly no household should be without it. You can’t go wrong with something that is good to eat, prevents hair loss, softens skin, and cleans and disinfects the bathroom to boot. When it is made from whole, crushed apples vinegar contains all the nutrition of apples, with some added enzymes and amino acids formed by fermentation. 125 The mother of all home remedies for arthritis is 3 tablespoons of ACV mixed with honey every day. This simple remedy has so much anecdotal evidence of its benefit that I can think of no reason for anyone with arthritis not to try it. If nothing else cut down on calories by substituting a fresh  vinaigrette salad dressing with herbs for the calorie laden, bottled kind to help increase weight loss. Vinegar is often touted for its alkalizing, effect as a balance to the many acid producing foods we tend to overeat, like meats and grains. There is some disagreement over whether vinegar, which is an acidic substance, makes the body more acidic, which acts to prevent food poisoning by killing harmful bacteria, 124 or whether it indeed has alkalizing, effect on the body. In any case, there is wide agreement that two or three tablespoons of vinegar as a daily tonic works to decrease inflammation, increase metabolism, and may help to alleviate the crippling pain of arthritis.

The entire apple tree is useful in home and herbal medicine. In addition to the fruit of the apple tree, its bark, flowers, and leaves all have healthy properties. Herbalists use the apple tree much like its cousin the rose, for its astringent properties. The inner bark of the apple tree as well as blossoms are an astringent tonic, and can be used as an infusion for sore throats. The wild crab apple tree is considered better than modern cultivars for use in herbal medicine.

Allergy:
One form of apple allergy, often found in northern Europe, is called birch-apple syndrome, and is found in people who are also allergic to birch pollen.[citation needed] Allergic reactions are triggered by a protein in apples that is similar to birch pollen, and people affected by this protein can also develop allergies to other fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Reactions, which entail oral allergy syndrome (OAS), generally involve itching and inflammation of the mouth and throat,[59] but in rare cases can also include life-threatening anaphylaxis. This reaction only occurs when raw fruit is consumed—the allergen is neutralized in the cooking process. The variety of apple, maturity and storage conditions can change the amount of allergen present in individual fruits. Long storage times can increase the amount of proteins that cause birch-apple syndrome.

In other areas, such as the Mediterranean, some individuals have adverse reactions to apples because of their similarity to peaches. This form of apple allergy also includes OAS, but often has more severe symptoms, such as vomiting, abdominal pain and urticaria, and can be life-threatening. Individuals with this form of allergy can also develop reactions to other fruits and nuts. Cooking does not break down the protein causing this particular reaction, so affected individuals can eat neither raw nor cooked apples. Freshly harvested, over-ripe fruits tend to have the highest levels of the protein that causes this reaction.

Breeding efforts have yet to produce a hypoallergenic fruit suitable for either of the two forms of apple allergy.

Toxicity of seeds:
The seeds of apples contain small amounts of amygdalin, a sugar and cyanide compound known as a cyanogenic glycoside. Ingesting small amounts of apple seeds will cause no ill effects, but in extremely large doses can cause adverse reactions. There is only one known case of fatal cyanide poisoning from apple seeds; in this case the individual chewed and swallowed one cup of seeds. It may take several hours before the poison takes effect, as cyanogenic glycosides must be hydrolyzed before the cyanide ion is released.

 

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/Apple

http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail424.php

Raphanus sativus

Botanical Name : Raphanus sativus
Family: Brassicaceae– Mustard family
Genus: Raphanus L.– radish
Species: Raphanus sativus L.– cultivated radish
Kingdom:Plantae– Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta– Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta– Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta– Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida– Dicotyledons
Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order: Capparales

Synonyms: Raphanus raphanistrum sativus – (L.) G. Beck.

Common Name :Radish

Habitat :The origin of Raphanus sativus is not found, it is a plant  of cultivation. It probably arose through cultivation.

Description:
Raphanus sativus is an annual herb growing to 0.45m by 0.2m at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone 0 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from July to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.

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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
Very easily cultivated fast-growing plants which prefer a rich light soil with ample moisture. They dislike very heavy or acid soils. Plants are susceptible to drought and require irrigation during dry spells in the summer or the root quality will rapidly deteriorate and the plant will go to seed. Radishes are widely cultivated for their edible roots. There are many named variet that are able to supply edible roots all year round. Over the centuries a number of distinct groups have evolved through cultivation, these have been classified by the botanists as follows. A separate entry has been made for each group:- R. sativus. The common radish. Fast maturing plants with small roots that can be round or cylindrical and usually have red skins. They are grown primarily for their roots which in some varieties can be ready within three weeks from sowing the seed and are used mainly in salads. These are mainly grown for spring, summer and autumn use and can produce a crop within a few weeks of sowing. R. sativus caudatus. The rat-tailed radishes. This group does not produce roots of good quality, it is cultivated mainly for the edible young seedpods which are harvested in the summer. R. sativus niger. The Oriental and Spanish radishes. These are grown for their larger edible root which can be round or cylindrical and can be available throughout the winter. R. sativus oleiformis. The fodder radishes. These are grown mainly for their leaves and oil-rich seeds, they are used as a green manure or stock feed though they can also be eaten by people. The roots of these plants soon become fibrous, though they make acceptable eating when young. Radishes are a good companion plant for lettuces, nasturtiums, peas and chervil, tomatoes and cucumbers. They are said to repel cucumber beetles if planted near cucumber plants and they also repel the vine borers which attack squashes, marrows and courgettes. They grow badly with hyssop and with grape vines.

Propagation:
Seed – sow outdoors in situ in succession from late winter to the middle of summer. Germination takes place within a few days of sowing the seed. If you want a constant supply of the roots then you need to sow seed every 2 – 3 weeks

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root; Seed; Seedpod.

Edible Uses: Oil.
Young leaves – raw or cooked. A somewhat hot taste, and the texture is somewhat coarse. As long as they are young, they make an acceptable addition in small quantities to chopped salads and are a reasonable cooked green[K]. A nutritional analysis is available. Young flower clusters – raw or cooked. A spicy flavour with a crisp pleasant texture, they make a nice addition to salads or can be used as a broccoli substitute. Seeds – raw. The seed can be soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then allowed to sprout for about 6 days. They have a hot spicy flavour and go well in salads. Young seedpods – raw. Crisp and juicy with a mildly hot flavour. They must be eaten when young because they quickly become tough and fibrous. Root – raw or cooked. Crisp and juicy, they have a hot and spicy flavour and are a very popular addition to salads. The summer crops do not store well and should be used as soon as possible after harvesting. The winter varieties (including the Japanese forms) have much larger roots and often a milder flavour. These store well and can be either harvested in early winter for storage or be harvested as required through the winter. An edible oil is obtained from the seed.

Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.

Leaves (Dry weight) : 287 Calories per 100g
*Water: 0%
*Protein: 28.7g; Fat: 5.2g; Carbohydrate: 49.6g; Fibre: 9.6g; Ash: 16.5g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 1913mg; Phosphorus: 261mg; Iron: 35.7mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 956mg; Potassium: 4348mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 21mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.7mg; Riboflavin (B2): 2.43mg; Niacin: 34.8mg; B6: 0mg; C: 704mg;

Notes: Vitamin A is mg not IU

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Antibacterial; Antifungal; Antiscorbutic; Antispasmodic; Astringent; Cancer; Carminative; Cholagogue; Digestive; Diuretic; Expectorant; Laxative; Poultice; Stomachic.

Radishes have long been grown as a food crop, but they also have various medicinal actions. The roots stimulate the appetite and digestion, having a tonic and laxative effect upon the intestines and indirectly stimulating the flow of bile. Consuming radish generally results in improved digestion, but some people are sensitive to its acridity and robust action. The plant is used in the treatment of intestinal parasites, though the part of the plant used is not specified. The leaves, seeds and old roots are used in the treatment of asthma and other chest complaints. The juice of the fresh leaves is diuretic and laxative. The seed is carminative, diuretic, expectorant, laxative and stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of indigestion, abdominal bloating, wind, acid regurgitation, diarrhoea and bronchitis. The root is antiscorbutic, antispasmodic, astringent, cholagogue, digestive and diuretic. It is crushed and used as a poultice for burns, bruises and smelly feet. Radishes are also an excellent food remedy for stone, gravel and scorbutic conditions. The root is best harvested before the plant flowers. Its use is not recommended if the stomach or intestines are inflamed. The plant contains raphanin, which is antibacterial and antifungal. It inhibits the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, streptococci, Pneumococci etc. The plant also shows anti-tumour activity.

Radish root stimulates the appetite and digestion.  The common red radish is eaten as a salad vegetable and an appetizer.  The juice of the black radish is drunk to counter gassy indigestion and constipation.  Radish juice has a tonic and laxative action on the intestines and indirectly stimulates the flow of bile.  Consuming radish generally results in improved digestion, but some people are sensitive to its acridity and robust action. It is crushed and used as a poultice for burns, bruises and smelly feet. The leaves, seeds and old roots are used in the treatment of asthma and other chest complaints.  The juice of the fresh leaves is diuretic and laxative.  In China, radish is eaten to relive abdominal distension.  The root is also prepared “dry-fried” to treat chest problems.  The seed is used to treat abdominal fullness, sour eructations, diarrhea caused by food congestion, phlegm with productive cough and wheezing.  Because of its neutral energy, it is very effective in breaking up congestion in patients with extreme heat.  Radishes are also an excellent food remedy for stone, gravel and scorbutic conditions. The plant contains raphanin, which is antibacterial and antifungal. It inhibits the growth of Staphylococcuc aureus, E. coli, streptococci, pneumococci etc. The plant also shows anti-tumor activity.

Other Uses:
Green manure; Oil; Repellent.

The growing plant repels beetles from tomatoes and cucumbers. It is also useful for repelling various other insect pests such as carrot root fly. There is a fodder variety that grows more vigorously and is used as a green manure.

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Known Hazards: The Japanese radishes have higher concentrations of glucosinolate, a substance that acts against the thyroid gland. It is probably best to remove the skin.

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://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Raphanus_sativus

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=RASA2

http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Raphanus_sativus

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

Guava

Botanical Name :Psidium guajava
Family: Myrtaceae
Subfamily: Myrtoideae
Tribe: Myrteae
Genus: Psidium
Species: P. guajava
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Common Name :Guava,known as Goiaba in Brazil and Guayava in parts of The Americas.

The term “guava” appears to derive from Arawak guayabo “guava tree”, via the Spanish guayaba. It has been adapted in many European languages: goiaba (Portuguese), guava (Romanian, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian, also Greek  and Russian , Guave (Dutch and German), goyave (French), gujawa (Polish), koejawel (Afrikaans).

Outside Europe, the Arabic  j(a)wafa~gawafa, the Japanese guaba , the Tamil “koiyaa” , the Tongan kuava and probably also the Tagalog bayabas are ultimately derived from the Arawak term.

Another term for guavas is pera or variants thereof. It is common around the western Indian Ocean and probably derives from Spanish or Portuguese, which means “pear”, or from some language of southern India, though it is so widespread in the region that its origin cannot be clearly discerned any more. Pera itself is used in Malayalam, Sinhala and Swahili. In Marathi it is peru , in Bengali pearah , in Assamese “Madhuriam”,in Kannada it is pearaley  or seebe kaayi  and in Dhivehi feyru. In Telugu language it is “Jama kaya”. It is called pijuli in Oriya language in eastern India.

Guava is also called Amrood  in North India and Pakistan, which is possibly a variant of Armoot meaning “pear” in Arabic and Turkish languages, and possibly linked to the Moghul occupation of this region.

Additional terms for guavas from their native range are, for example, sawintu (Quechua) and x?lxocotl (N?huatl) Another term for guavas (Ethiopian, Amharic) is “Zeytuna”.

Habitat :Guava plants have 100 species of tropical shrubs and small trees. They are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Guavas are now cultivated and naturalized throughout the tropics and subtropics in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, subtropical regions of North America, and Australia.

Widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions around the world, guava fruits can range in size from as small as an apricot to as large as a grapefruit. Various cultivars have white, pink, or red flesh, and a few also feature red (instead of green) skin.

Description:

Psidium guajava is a tropical evergreen shrubs or a small tree. The bark, smooth and greenish, naturally peels away in strips to reveal a bone-like inner trunk. The leaves are 2 to 6 inches long and 1 to 2 inches wide, with very noticeable veins and a down on the underside. The white flowers have four to five petals, are aromatic, and quickly fall off, leaving a tuft of stamen and anthers. Guava blooms throughout the year but especially at the beginning of spring….

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Plant..…...flower….leaf & bud…fruit….……….

Guava fruit, usually 4 to 12 centimetres (1.6 to 4.7 in) long, are round or oval depending on the species. The outer skin may be rough, often with a bitter taste, or soft and sweet. Varying between species, the skin can be any thickness, is usually green before maturity, but becomes yellow, maroon, or green when ripe.

Guava fruit generally have a pronounced and typical fragrance, similar to lemon rind but less sharp. Guava pulp may be sweet or sour, tasting something between pear and strawberry, off-white (“white” guavas) to deep pink (“red” guavas), with the seeds in the central pulp of variable number and hardness, depending on species.

Cultivation:
Requires a well-drained sandy loam with leafmold. Requires cool greenhouse treatment in Britain. Tolerates short-lived light frosts  and cool summers so it might succeed outdoors in the mildest areas of the country. Dislikes much humidity. Sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a warm greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. If trying the plants outdoors, plant them out in the summer and give them some protection from winter cold for at least their first two winters. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame.

Edible Uses:
In Hawaii, guava is eaten with soy sauce and vinegar. Occasionally, a pinch of sugar and black pepper are added to the mixture. The fruit is cut up and dipped into the sauce.

In Mexico, the Agua fresca beverage is popularly made with Guava. The entire fruit is a key ingredient in punch, and the juice extract is often used in culinary sauces (hot or cold), as well as artisan candies, dried snacks, fruit bars, desserts, or dipped in Chamoy. Pulque de Guava is a popular blend of the native alcoholic beverage.

In Pakistan and India, guava is often eaten raw, typically cut into quarters with a pinch of salt and pepper and sometimes cayenne powder/masala. Street vendors often sell guava fruit for a few rupees each.

In the Philippines, ripe guava is used in cooking sinigang.

Guava juice is very popular in Cuba, Costa Rica, Egypt, Mexico, Colombia, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Malaysia,Indonesia and South Africa.

The fruit is also often prepared as a dessert, in fruit salads. In Asia, fresh guava slices are often dipped in preserved prune powder or salt. In India it is often sprinkled with red rock salt, which is very tart.

Because of its high level of pectin, guavas are extensively used to make candies, preserves, jellies, jams, and marmalades (such as Brazilian goiabada and Colombian and Venezuelan bocadillo), and also for juices and aguas frescas.

“Red” guavas can be used as the base of salted products such as sauces, substituting for tomatoes, especially for those sensitive to the latter’s acidity. In Asia, a drink is made from an infusion of guava fruits and leaves. In Brazil, the infusion made with guava tree leaves (chá-de-goiabeira, i.e. “tea” of guava tree leaves) is considered medicinal.

Medicinal Uses:
Guava has been widely used in Latin American traditional medicine as a treatment for diarrhea and stomachaches due to indigestion.  Treatment usually involves drinking a decoction of the leaf, roots, and bark of the plant.  It also has been used for dysentery in Panama and as an astringent in Venezuela.  A decoction of the plant’s bark and leaves is also reported to be used as a bath to treat skin ailments. Chinese and Caribbean traditional medicine have used guava in the control of diabetes, but a study in Mexico found that guava did not lower blood sugar levels in rabbits.

In the Philippines the astringent, unripe fruit, the leaves, the cortex of the bark and roots – through more often the leaves only – in the form of a decoction, are used for washing ulcers and wounds. Guerrero states that the bark and leaves are astringent, vulnerary, and when decocted, antidiarhetic. The bark is used in the chronic diarrhea of children and sometimes adults; half an ounce of the bark is boiled down with six ounces of water to 3 ounces; the dose (for children) is one teaspoonful 3 to 4 times a day. The root-bark has been recommended for chronic diarrhea. In a decoction of ½ oz. in 6 oz. of water, boiled down to 3 oz. and given in teaspoonful doses; and also recommended as a local application in prolapsus and of children. A decoction of the root-bark is recommended as a mouthwash for swollen gums.

Guava leaves are used in folk medicine as a remedy for diarrhea and, as well as the bark, for their supposed antimicrobial properties and as an astringent. Guava leaves or bark are used in traditional treatments against diabetes.The leaves, when chewed, are said to be remedy for toothache. In Trinidad, a tea made from young leaves is used for diarrhea, dysentery and fever The decocted leaves are used in Mexico for cleansing ulcers. The ground leaves make an excellent poultice. A decoction of the young leaves and shoots is prescribed in the West Indies for febrifuge and antispasmodic baths, and an infusion of the leaves for cerebral affections, nephritis, and cachexia; the pounded leaves are applied locally for rheumatism; an extract is used for epilepsy and chorea; and the tincture is rubbed into the spine of children suffering from convulsions. The leaves have also been used successfully as an astringent in diarrhea. In Mexico the leaves are said to be a remedy for itches. In Uruguay, a decoction of the leaves is used as a vaginal and uterine wash, especially in leucorrhoea.

In Costa Rica, a decoction of the flower buds is considered an effective remedy for diarrhea and flow of blood. The fruit is astringent and has a tendency to cause constipation. The fruit is  anthelmintic in Mexico. The guava jelly is tonic to the heart and good for constipation. The ripe fruit is good aperient, and should be eaten with the skin, for without it, costiveness results. The unripe fruit is said to be indigestible, causing vomiting and feverishness, but it is sometimes employed in diarrhea. Water in which the fruit is soaked is good for diabetes.

Since the 1950s, guavas – particularly the leaves – have been the subject for diverse research on their constituents, pharmacological properties and history in folk medicine. Most research, however, has been conducted on apple guava (P. guajava), with other species remaining unstudied. From preliminary medical research in laboratory models, extracts from apple guava leaves or bark are implicated in therapeutic mechanisms against cancer, bacterial infections, inflammation and pain. Essential oils from guava leaves display anti-cancer activity in vitro.

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

http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Psidium+cattleianum

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

http://www.ehow.com/about_6098971_guava-trees.html

http://media.photobucket.com/image/guava%20tree/wrimulanchibinjong/guava_tree.jpg?o=1

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