Category Archives: Fruits & Vegetables

Sweet Potato

Botanical Name: Ipomoea batatas
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Ipomoea
Species: I. batat
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Names: Sweet Potato, Yam, Kumara 
Although the soft, orange sweet potato is often called a “yam” in parts of North America, the sweet potato is botanically very distinct from a genuine yam (Dioscorea), which is native to Africa and Asia and belongs to the monocot family Dioscoreaceae. To add to the confusion, a different crop plant, the oca, Oxalis tuberosa (a species of wood sorrel), is called a “yam” in many parts of Polynesia, including New Zealand. To prevent confusion, the United States Department of Agriculture requires sweet potatoes to be labeled as “sweet potatoes” and not as “yams”

The Portuguese took the Taino name batata directly, while the Spanish also combined it with the Quechua word for potato, papa, to create the word patata for the common potato. In Argentina, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic it is called batata. In Mexico, Peru, Chile, Central America, and the Philippines, the sweet potato is known as camote (alternatively spelled kamote in the Philippines), derived from the Nahuatl word camotli. Boniato is another name widely used in mainland Spain and in Uruguay.

In Peru, the Quechua name for a type of sweet potato is kumar, strikingly similar to the Polynesian name kumara and its regional Oceanic cognates (kumala, umala, ‘uala, etc.), which has led some scholars to suspect an instance of Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact.

In New Zealand, the most common variety is the Red (purple) cultivar, and is called kumara, though orange (Beauregard) and gold varieties are also available. Kumara is particularly popular as a roasted food or in contemporary cuisine, as kumara chips, often served with sour cream and sweet chili sauce. Occasionally shops in Australia will label the purple variety “purple sweet potato” to denote its difference to the other varieties. About 95% of Australia’s production is of the orange variety named “Beauregard”, originally from North America, known simply as “sweet potato”. A reddish-purple variety, Northern Star, is 4% of production and is sold as kumara.

In Papua New Guinea, sweet potatoes are known as kaukau in Tok Pisin. In South Korea, sweet potatoes are known as ‘goguma’

Habitat: The origin and domestication of sweet potato is thought to be in either Central America or South America. In Central America, sweet potatoes were domesticated at least 5,000 years ago. In South America, Peruvian sweet potato remnants dating as far back as 8000 BC have been found. Now sweet potato is grown all over the world.

Sweet potato, Ipomoea batatas, is an herbaceous perennial plant grown for its edible storage roots. The sweet potato plant is a branching, creeeping vine with spirally arranged lobed, heart shaped leaves and white or lavender flowers. The plant has enlarged roots called tubers which act as an energy store for the plant. The tubers can be variable in shape and can be red, yellow, brown, white or purple in color. Sweet potato vines can reach 4 m (13 ft) in length and the plant is usually grown as an annual, harvested after one growing season. Sweet potatoes may also be referred to as yams or Spanish potatoes and originate from Central America.


Cultivation & Propagation:
Sweet potatoes grow very well in tropical and subtropical climates and they are very sensitive to cold weather.
The plant does not tolerate frost. It grows best at an average temperature of 24 °C (75 °F), abundant sunshine and warm nights. in well-draining, loamy soil with a pH of 5.6–6.6. Sweet potatoes should be planted in full sun and require plenty of space as the vines will spread over large areas. Annual rainfalls of 750–1,000 mm (30–39 in) are considered most suitable, with a minimum of 500 mm (20 in) in the growing season. The crop is sensitive to drought at the tuber initiation stage 50–60 days after planting, and it is not tolerant to water-logging, as it may cause tuber rots and reduce growth of storage roots if aeration is poor.

Edible Uses:
Sweet potato tubers are eaten cooked as a vegetable or may be processed into flour or starch. The leaves can be eaten fresh or after cooking. Sweet potatoes pack a powerful nutritional punch. They have got over 400% of our daily needs for vitamin A in one medium spud, as well as loads of fiber and potassium. They have got more grams of natural sugars than regular potato but more overall nutrients with fewer calories.


People allover the world eat sweet potato (both the tubers & the leaves) as vegetable  & also  in different forms.

Medicinal Uses & health benefits:
Possible health benefits of consuming sweet potatoes:
Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many adverse health conditions. Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like sweet potatoes decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion, increased energy, and overall lower weight.

Sweet potatoes are considered low on the glycemic index scale, and recent research suggests they may reduce episodes of low blood sugar and insulin resistance in people with diabetes. The fiber in sweet potatoes makes a big difference too. Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One medium sweet potato provides about 6 grams of fiber (skin on).

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 21-25 grams of fiber per day for women and 30-38 grams per day for men, which most people do not reach.

Blood pressure:
Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure, however increasing potassium intake may be just as important. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, fewer than 2% of US adults are meeting the daily 4,700 mg recommendation for potassium.3 One medium sweet potato provides about 542 milligrams.

Also of note, high potassium intake is associated with a 20% decreased risk of dying from all causes.

Among younger men, diets rich in beta-carotene may play a protective role against prostate cancer, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition.4 Beta-carotene has also been shown to have an inverse association with the development of colon cancer in the Japanese population.

Digestion and regularity:
Because of its high fiber content, sweet potatoes help to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.

For women of childbearing age, consuming more iron from plant sources appears to promote fertility, according Harvard Medical School‘s Harvard Health Publications. The vitamin A in sweet potatoes (consumed as beta-carotene then converted to vitamin A in the body) is also essential during pregnancy and lactation for hormone synthesis.

Plant foods like sweet potatoes that are high in both vitamin C and beta-carotene offer an immunity boost from their powerful combination of nutrients.

Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient in sweet potatoes that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.6

In a study published by the Journal of Medicinal Food, purple sweet potato extract was found to have positive anti-inflammatory and antilipogenic effects as well as free radical scavenging and reducing activity.

According to Duke ophthalmologist Jill Koury, MD, vitamin A deficiency causes the outer segments of the eye’s photoreceptors to deteriorate, damaging normal vision. Correcting vitamin A deficiencies with foods high in beta-carotene will restore vision.

Also of note, the antioxidant vitamins C and E in sweet potatoes have been shown to support eye health and prevent degenerative damage.

A higher intake of all fruits (3 or more servings per day) has also been shown to decrease the risk of and progression of age-related macular degeneration.
Other Uses:
In South America, the juice of red sweet potatoes is combined with lime juice to make a dye for cloth. By varying the proportions of the juices, every shade from pink to black can be obtained.

All parts of the plant are used for animal fodder.

Sweet potatoes or camotes are often found in Moche ceramics.

Several selections are cultivated in gardens as ornamental plants for their attractive foliage, including the dark-leafed cultivars ‘Blackie’ and ‘Ace of Spades’ and the chartreuse-foliaged ‘Margarita’.

Cuttings of sweet potato vine, either edible or ornamental varieties, will rapidly form roots in water and will grow in it, indefinitely, in good lighting with a steady supply of nutrients. For this reason, sweet potato vine is ideal for use in home aquariums, trailing out of the water with its roots submerged, as its rapid growth is fueled by toxic ammonia and nitrates, a waste product of aquatic life, which it removes from the water. This improves the living conditions for fish, which also find refuge in the vast root systems.

Researchers at North Carolina State University are breeding sweet potato varieties that would be grown primarily for biofuel production.

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.


Luffa Acutangua (Bengali Jingha)

Botanical Name : Luffa Acutangua
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Luffa
Species: L. acutangula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales

Common Names: Angled luffa, Chinese okra, Dish cloth gourd, Ridged gourd, Sponge gourd, Vegetable gourd, Strainer vine, Ribbed loofah, Silky gourd, Ridged gourd, Silk gourd, and Sinkwa towelsponge

Names in other languages:

Assamese: Jeeka
Bengali : Jhingge , Jhinga and Sataputi
Burmese: Bjuda; also Boun Loun
Hindi: Torai, Turai
Gujarati: Turiya
Kannada: Heere kayi
Tagalog: Patola
Lao: Mark noy
Vietnamese: Muop Khia
Tamil: Peerkangai
Telugu: Beera kaaya
Thai: Buap liyam
Marathi: Dodaki
Konkani: Gossale
Indonesian: Gambas, Oyong
Javanese: Oyong
Mandarin Chinese: Pinyin: Guangdongsigua
Cantonese Chinese: Sin qua or sing kwa(Australian spelling), Ling Jiao Si Gua, You Lin Si Gua, Sze Gwa, Sigwa
Hokkian: Kak kuey
Malayalam: Peechinga
Malay: Petola segi
Sinhalese: Watakolu
Japanese: Ito uri, Tokado hechima

Habitat : Luffa Acutangua is native to India and naturalized throughout tropics and subtropics of the world.

Luffa Acutangua is a large climber, with usually 3-fid tendrills. Leaves orbicular in outline, 15-20 cm long, palmately 5-7 angled or sublobate, scabrid. Flowers yellow, large; male flowers in axillary 12-20 flowered racemes; female flowers solitary. Fruit 15-30 cm long, clavate-oblong, tapering towards the base, longitudinally ribbed.

Chemical Constituents:
The plant contains a bitter substance luffin. Seeds contain 20% of a saponin glycoside, enzyme and a fixed oil (Chopra et al., 1992). Flowers and fruits contain free amino acids, arginine, glycine, threonine, lysine, alanine, asparagines, aspartic and glutamic acids and leucines. Ripe seeds contain bitter glycosidic principles, cucurbitacins B, D, G and H (luffins) and oleanolic acid; roots contain cucurbitacin B and traces of C (Ghani, 2003).
Edible Uses: 
The young fruit of some cultivars are used as cooked vegetables or pickled or eaten raw, and the shoots and flowers are sometimes also used……..CLICK  & SEE

Young fruit can be eaten raw like cucumber or cooked like squash, while the young leaves, shoots, flower buds, as well as the flowers can be eaten after being lightly steamed. The seeds can be roasted as a snack, or pressed to produce oil.

Medicinal Uses:
Luffa Acutangua plant is bitter tonic, emetic, diuretic and purgative and useful in asthma, skin diseases and splenic enlargement. It is used internally for rheumatism, backache, internal hemorrhage, chest pains as well as hemorrhoids. Externally, it is used for shingles and boils. The dried fruit fibers are used as abrasive sponges in skin care, to remove dead skin and to stimulate the circulation. The fruits are anthelmentic, carminative, laxative, depurative, emollient, expectorant, tonic and galactagogue and are useful in fever, syphilis, tumours, bronchitis, splenopathy and leprosy. The vine is most commonly grown for the fibrous interior of the fruits. Kernel of seed is expectorant, demulcent and used in dysentery. Seed oil is used in leprosy and skin diseases. Fruit is intensely bitter and fibrous. It has purgative property and is used for dropsy, nephritis, chronic bronchitis and lung complaints. It is also applied to the body in putrid fevers and jaundice.

Other Uses: Like Luffa aegyptica, the mature fruits are harvested when dry and processed to remove all but the fruit fibre, which can then be used as a sponge or as fibre for making hats
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.


Daikon (Indian Radish)

Botanical Name ; Raphanus sativus
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Raphanus
Species: sativus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Common Names: Daikon, Indian Radish

Hindi Name : Mooli,  Bengali Name : Mullo

In culinary contexts, “daikon” or “daikon radish” (from its Japanese name) is the most common in all forms of English, although historical ties to South Asia permit “mooli” (from its Hindi name and also in Urdu) as a general synonym in British English. The generic terms “white radish”, “winter radish”, “Oriental radish“, “long white radish”, etc. are also used. Other synonyms usually vary by region or describe regional varieties of the vegetable. When it is necessary to distinguish the usual Japanese form from others, it is sometimes known as “Japanese radish” or “true daikon”. The vegetable’s Mandarin names are still uncommon in English; in most forms of Chinese cuisine, it is usually known as Chinese white radish” although in Cantonese and Malaysian cuisine it is encountered as “lobak”, “lo pak”, etc. In the cuisines of Hokkien-speaking areas such as Singapore, it is also known as “chai tow” or “chai tau” and, in South Asia, as “mooli”. In any of these, it may also simply be referred to as “radish”, with the regional variety implied by context. In English-speaking countries, it is also sometimes marketed as “icicle radish”.

In mainland China and Singapore, the calque “white carrot” or misnomer “carrot” is sometimes used, owing to the similarity of the vegetables’ names in Mandarin and Hokkien. This variant gave the title to a popular guidebook on Singaporean street food, There’s No Carrot in Carrot Cake, which refers to chai tow kway, a kind of cake made from daikon.

The official general name used by the United States Department of Agriculture is “oilseed radish”, but this is only used in non-culinary contexts. Other English terms employed when daikon is being used as animal feed or as a soil ripper are “forage radish”, “fodder radish”, and “tillage radish”

Habitat : Daikon is native to Southeast or continental East Asia, daikon is harvested and consumed throughout the region (as well as in South Asia) but is primarily grown in North America as a fallow crop, with the roots left unharvested to prevent soil compaction and the leaves (if harvested) used as animal fodder.
Daikon is an herbaceous annual or biennial plant in the family Brassicaceae, grown for its edible taproot. The radish plant has a short hairy stem and a rosette (ground level horizontal and circular leaves) of oblong shaped leaves which measure 5–30 cm (2–12 in) in length. The top leaves of the plant are smaller and lance-like. The taproot of the plant is cylindrical or tapering and commonly red or white in color. The radish plant produces multiple purple or pink flowers on racemes which produce 2–12 seeds. The reddish brown seeds are oval, and slightly flattened. Radish is generally grown as an annual plant, surviving only one growing season and can reach 20–100 cm (8–39 in) in height depending on the variety. Radish may also be referred to by the name of the cultivar and names may include Chinese radish, Japanese radish or oriental radish……...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The most common variety in Japan (aokubi-daikon) produces an elongated root in the shape of a giant white carrot approximately 20 to 35 cm (8 to 14 in) long and 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 in) in diameter. Most Chinese and Indian forms are roughly similar.

The turnip-shaped “giant white radish” or “Sakurajima radish” is cultivated around Kagoshima in Japan and grows as large as 50 cm (20 in) in diameter and 45 kg (100 lb) in mass.

There are a number of non-white varieties. The Cantonese lobak, lo pak, etc. sometimes refers to the usual Chinese form but is also applied to a form of daikon with light green coloration of the top area of the root around the leaves. The “Korean radish”, also called “mu”, is similarly colored but with a rounder, more potato-like shape. Both are often spicier than the long white radishes. The heirloom “watermelon radish” is another Chinese variety of daikon with a dull green exterior but a bright rose or fuchsia-colored center. Its Chinese name is sometimes irregularly romanized as the “shinrimei radish” and sometimes translated as the “beauty heart”, “beautiful heart inside” or “roseheart radish”

The Chinese and Indian varieties tolerate higher temperatures than the Japanese one. These varieties grow well at lower elevations in East Africa. It is best if there is plenty of moisture and it can grow quickly; otherwise, the flesh becomes overly tough and pungent. The variety “Long White Icicle” is available as seed in Britain, and will grow very successfully in Southern England, producing roots resembling a parsnip by midsummer in good garden soil in an average year.

The roots can be stored for some weeks without the leaves if lifted and kept in a cool dry place. If left in the ground, the texture tends to become woody, but the storage life of untreated whole roots is not long.

Certain varieties of Daikon can be grown as a winter cover crop and green manure. These varieties are often named “tillage radish” because it makes a huge, penetrating root which effectively performs deep cultivation. They bring nutrients lower in the soil profile up into the higher reaches; are good nutrient scavengers, so they are good partners with legumes instead of grasses; if harsh winters, the root will decompose while in the soil in Spring releasing early nitrogen stores.
Radishes are fast growing cool-season vegetables that grow very well in cool moist climates. the optimum temperature for the growth of radishes is between 10 and 18°C (50–65°F) and they grow best in a well-draining sandy loams which are rich in organic matter with a pH between 5.8 and 6.8.. Radish should be grown in full sun to part shade.
Edible Uses:
The radish root can be eaten fresh in salads or cooked with other ingredients such as meat. The leaves of the plant are also edible and can bu used as a salad green.

Nutritional information:
Daikon is very low in food energy. A 100-gram serving contains only 76 kilojoules or 18 Calories (5 Cal/oz), but provides 27 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. Daikon also contains the active enzyme myrosinase.

Medicinal Uses (Health Benefits):
Cancer Prevention:
Daikon is one of many cruciferous vegetables linked in studies with successful cancer prevention. Daikon contains several great antioxidants associated with fighting free radical damage, a known cause of cancer. Research has also shown that daikon juice helps prevent the formation of dangerous chemicals and carcinogens inside the body and helps the liver process toxins.

High In Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that not only combats free radical activity in the body but also offers great immune system support and helps prevent illness such as the common cold. 100 grams of daikon provides 34% the DV of vitamin C. Daikon leaves have a much higher concentration of vitamin C than that of daikon roots

Antibacterial & Antiviral:
Daikon appears to be able to combat bacterial and viral infections.

Research suggests that high levels of vitamin C and B, such as found in daikon, help to prevent chronic inflammation in the body which can lead to problems such as arthritis and heart disease.

Digestive Aid:
Raw daikon juice is abundant with human digestive enzymes that help the body process proteins, oil, fat and carbohydrates.

Daikon helps the kidneys discharge excess water. A natural diuretic, it may also be helpful in treating urinary disorders.

Respiratory Health:
Raw daikon juice may help dissolve mucus and phlegm and aid in the healthy function of the respiratory system. Its ability to combat bacteria and viral infections may make it an effective combatant of respiratory disease such as bronchitis, asthma and flu.

Skin Health:
Applied topically or ingested, daikon juice has proven effective in preventing and treating acne and other skin conditions.

Bone Health:
Daikon leaves are an excellent source of calcium, which helps promote healthy bone growth and may lower the risk of osteoporosis.

Weight Loss:
In Asia, it is believed that daikon helps the body to burn fat, though this has not been proven. Whether it helps burn fat or not, daikon radish is extremely low in fat and cholesterol, but dense with nutrients, making it a great addition to any effective weight loss program.
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.


Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea italica
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Brassica
Species: B. oleracea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Common Names: Broccoli
Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family whose large flowerhead is eaten as a vegetable…....CLICK &  SEE

The word broccoli comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which means “the flowering crest of a cabbage”, and is the diminutive form of brocco, meaning “small nail” or “sprout”.[3] Broccoli is often boiled or steamed but may be eaten .

Habitat: Broccoli is native to Mediterranean Region. It is a result of careful breeding of cultivated leafy cole crops in the northern Mediterranean starting in about the 6th century BC. Since the Roman Empire broccoli has been considered a uniquely valuable food among Italians. Broccoli was brought to England from Antwerp in the mid-18th century by Peter Scheemakers. Broccoli was first introduced to the United States by Italian immigrants, but did not become widely known there until the 1920s.

Broccoli is an herbaceous annual or biennial plant grown for its edible flower heads which are used as a vegetable. The broccoli plant has a thick green stalk, or stem, which gives rise to thick, leathery, oblong leaves which are gray-blue to green in color. The plant produces large branching green flower heads covered with numerous white or yellow flowers. Broccoli can be annual or biennial depending on the variety and can grow to 1 m (3.3 ft) in height. Broccoli may also be referred to as sprouting broccoli and likely originates from the Mediterranean although the exact location has not been determined……..CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

Broccoli plants in a nursery:
There are three commonly grown types of broccoli. The most familiar is Calabrese broccoli, often referred to simply as “broccoli”, named after Calabria in Italy. It has large (10 to 20 cm) green heads and thick stalks. It is a cool season annual crop. Sprouting broccoli has a larger number of heads with many thin stalks. Purple cauliflower is a type of broccoli sold in southern Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. It has a head shaped like cauliflower, but consisting of tiny flower buds. It sometimes, but not always, has a purple cast to the tips of the flower buds.

Other cultivar groups of Brassica oleracea include cabbage (Capitata Group), cauliflower and Romanesco broccoli (Botrytis Group), kale and collard greens (Acephala Group), kohlrabi (Gongylodes Group), Brussels sprouts (Gemmifera Group), and kai-lan (Alboglabra Group). Rapini, sometimes called “broccoli raab” among other names, forms similar but smaller heads, and is actually a type of turnip (Brassica rapa). Broccolini or “Tenderstem broccoli” is a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. Beneforté is a variety of broccoli containing 2-3 times more glucoraphanin that was produced by crossing broccoli with a wild Brassica variety, Brassica oleracea var villosa.

Succeeds in full sun in a well-drained fertile preferably alkaline soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 8.3. Prefers a heavy soil. Succeeds in any reasonable soil. Succeeds in maritime gardens. Some forms are very cold-hardy, tolerating temperatures down to about -17°c. Broccoli is closely related to the cauliflowers (C. oleracea botrytis) and is often grown for its edible young flowering stems which, by careful selection of varieties, can be available almost all year round from early summer right round to late spring. There are many named varieties and these can be classified into three main groups:- Calabrese, which matures in summer and autumn, is the least cold-hardy form. It produces green, or sometimes purple, flowering heads. Some forms will produce a number of side shoots once the main head has been harvested, though other forms seem unable to do this. Romanesco matures in late summer and the autumn. It has numerous yellowish-green conical groups of buds arranged in spirals. Given a little protection from the cold, it is possible to produce a crop throughout the winter. Unlike the other types of broccoli, romanesco seems unable to produce side shoots once the main head has been harvested. Sprouting broccoli is the most cold-hardy group. It does not form a central head like the other two groups but instead produces a mass of side shoots from early spring until early summer. The more you harvest these shoots, especially if you do so before the flowers open, then the more shoots the plant produces. A good companion for celery and other aromatic plants since these seem to reduce insect predations. Grows badly with potatoes, beet and onions. Grows well with potatoes, beet and onions according to another report.

Seed – sow sprouting broccoli in a seedbed outdoors in March to May. Plant out in June. Do not let the seedlings get overcrowded or they will soon become leggy and will not make such good plants. If your seedlings do get leggy, it is possible to plant them rather deeper into the soil – the buried stems will soon form roots and the plant will be better supported. Romanesco and calabrese are often sown in situ in the spring.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Young flowering stems and leaves – raw or cooked. The shoots of sprouting broccoli are harvested when about 10cm long, and before the flowers open, the shoots look somewhat like a small white or purple cauliflower and have a delicious flavour. They are considered to be a gourmet vegetable. When picking the stems, make sure that you leave behind a section of the stem with leaves on it, since the plants will often produce new side shoots from the leaf axils. Calabrese and Romanesco plants produce a central inflorescence rather like a small cauliflower, which are sometimes followed by a number of smaller flowering shoots. They usually come into bearing in the late summer or autumn and are very productive if they are regularly harvested. Sprouting broccoli plants come into production in late winter to early spring and can be very heavy bearing over a period of two months or more so long as all the flowering stems are harvested before coming into flower.
Broccoli is high in vitamin C and dietary fiber. It also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties, such as diindolylmethane (DIM) and small amounts of selenium. A single serving provides more than 30 mg of vitamin C and a half-cup provides 52 mg of vitamin C. DIM is a potent modulator of the innate immune response system with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activity. Broccoli also contains the compound glucoraphanin, which can be processed into an anti-cancer compound sulforaphane, though the anti-cancer benefits of broccoli are greatly reduced if the vegetable is boiled. Broccoli is also an excellent source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.Sulforaphane, another compound in broccoli has been shown to stop over-rapid aging.

Boiling broccoli reduces the levels of suspected anti-carcinogenic compounds, such as sulforaphane, with losses of 20–30% after five minutes, 40–50% after ten minutes, and 77% after thirty minutes. However, other preparation methods such as steaming, microwaving, and stir frying had no significant effect on the compounds.

Broccoli has the highest levels of carotenoids in the brassica family.[20] It is particularly rich in lutein and also provides a modest amount of beta-carotene
Meditional Uses:
*Broccoli can provide us with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if we cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in broccoli do a better job of binding together with bile acids in our digestive tract when they’ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels.

*Raw broccoli still has cholesterol-lowering ability—just not as much.

*Broccoli has a strong, positive impact on our body’s detoxification system, and researchers have recently identified one of the key reasons for this detox benefit. Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin are 3 glucosinolate phytonutrients found in a special combination in broccoli. This dynamic trio is able to support all steps in body’s detox process, including activation, neutralization, and elimination of unwanted contaminants. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) are the detox-regulating molecules made from broccoli’s glucosinolates, and they help control the detox process at a genetic level.

*Broccoli may help us solve our vitamin D deficiency epidemic. When large supplemental doses of vitamin D are needed to offset deficiency, ample supplies of vitamin K and vitamin A help keep our vitamin D metabolism in balance. Broccoli has an unusually strong combination of both vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and vitamin K. For people faced with the need to rebuild vitamin D stores through vitamin D supplements, broccoli may be an ideal food to include in the diet.

*Broccoli is a particularly rich source of a flavonoid called kaempferol. Recent research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body. This kaempferol connection helps to explain the unique anti-inflammatory benefits of broccoli, and it should also open the door to future research on the benefits of broccoli for a hypoallergenic diet
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.


Kohl Rabi (Bengali Olkopi)

Botanical Name : Brassica oleracea gongylodes
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Brassica
Species: B. oleracea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonyms: Brassica caulorapa. Pasq.

Common Names: Kohl Rabi , German turnip or Turnip cabbage
Bengali Name : Olkopi

Habitat: It is grown allover the world as vegitable. In tropical countries it grows in winter and in colder countries in summer.

Brassica oleracea gongylodes is an annual/biennial vegetable plant, growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate. It is a low, stout cultivar of cabbage. Kohlrabi can be eaten raw as well as cooked.
It is not frost tender.


Kohlrabi has been created by artificial selection for lateral meristem growth (a swollen, nearly spherical shape); its origin in nature is the same as that of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts: they are all bred from, and are the same species as, the wild cabbage plant (Brassica oleracea).

The taste and texture of kohlrabi are similar to those of a broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter, with a higher ratio of flesh to skin. The young stem in particular can be as crisp and juicy as an apple, although much less sweet.

Except for the Gigante cultivar, spring-grown kohlrabi much over 5 cm in size tend to be woody, as do full-grown kohlrabi much over perhaps 10 cm in size; the Gigante cultivar can achieve great size while remaining of good eating quality. The plant matures in 55–60 days after sowing. Approximate weight is 150 g and has good standing ability for up to 30 days after maturity.

There are several varieties commonly available, including White Vienna, Purple Vienna, Grand Duke, Gigante (also known as “Superschmelz”), Purple Danube, and White Danube. Coloration of the purple types is superficial: the edible parts are all pale yellow. The leafy greens can also be eaten.
Succeeds in full sun in a well-drained fertile preferably alkaline soil[200]. Succeeds in any reasonable soil, though it is best not grown in an acid soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 7.5. Prefers some shade and plenty of moisture in the growing season. Established plants are drought tolerant but the best stems are formed when the plant does not go short of moisture. Succeeds in maritime gardens. Very winter hardy, kohl rabi withstands severe frosts and so can be left in the ground all winter in most areas and be harvested as required. The young growing plant, however, is sensitive to low temperatures and a week at 10°c will cause the plants to bolt. It grows best at a temperature between 18 and 25°c. Kohl rabi is often cultivated for its edible swollen stem which can be available almost all year round from successional sowings. There are several named varieties and stem colour can range from white to green and purple. Green forms are faster to mature and so more suitable for early sowings, the purple forms are hardier and later to mature, they are used mainly for winter crops. Very fast growing, the stems of some cultivars can be harvested 6 – 8 weeks after sowing. The plant is more tolerant of drought and high temperatures than turnips, which it resembles in flavour, and so it is often grown as a substitute for that species. Grows well with onions, beet and aromatic herbs which seem to reduce insect predations. Plants also grow well with cucumbers, the roots of each species occupying different levels in the soil. Grows badly with strawberries, runner beans and tomatoes.

Propagation :
Seed – sow April to August in situ. Earlier sowings can be made under cloches

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves; Stem.
Edible Uses:

Leaves – cooked. Used as a vegetable, though the quality is not as good as cabbage. The young leaves can also be added to salads, though some people find them difficult to digest. A nutritional analysis is available. Stem – raw or cooked. The plant produces a swollen stem just above ground level, and this is often used as a root vegetable. It has a mild cabbage flavour, when finely grated it makes a good addition to mixed salads and, when cooked, is an excellent vegetable. It is best eaten whilst fairly small and tender, between golf ball and tennis ball size. It becomes coarse with age. A nutritional analysis is available.

Kohlrabi stems are surrounded by two distinct fibrous layers that do not soften appreciably when cooked. These layers are generally peeled away prior to cooking or serving raw, with the result that the stems often provide a smaller amount of food than one might assume from their intact appearance.

The Kohlrabi root is frequently used raw in salad or slaws. It has a texture similar to that of a broccoli stem, but with a flavor that is sweeter and less vegetal.

Kohlrabi leaves are edible and can be used interchangeably with collard greens and kale.

Kohlrabi is an important part of the Kashmiri diet and one of the most commonly cooked foods. It is prepared with its leaves and served with a light gravy and eaten with rice

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

•320 Calories per 100g
•Water : 0%
•Protein: 23.5g; Fat: 2.5g; Carbohydrate: 62.5g; Fibre: 13g; Ash: 10.5g;
•Minerals – Calcium: 430mg; Phosphorus: 450mg; Iron: 10.5mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 80mg; Potassium: 3100mg; Zinc: 0mg;
•Vitamins – A: 15000mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.6mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.7mg; Niacin: 4.5mg; B6: 0mg; C: 670mg;
Medicinal Uses:.…..Digestive: Tonic……..The leaf is digestive and tonic

Other Uses: Some varieties are grown as feed for cattle.

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.



Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea botrytis
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Brassica
Species: B. oleracea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Common Name: Cauliflower (The name comes from Latin caulis (cabbage) and flower)

Habitat: Cauliflower is grown allover the world. It is cultivated form of B. oleracea.

Description:     Cauliflower an annual /biennial plant that reproduces by seed, growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in).    It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September in Colder countries but in tropical countries it is an winter vegitable. Typically, only the head (the white curd) is eaten. The cauliflower head is composed of a white inflorescence meristem. Cauliflower heads resemble those in broccoli, which differs in having flower buds. Brassica oleracea also includes broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, and kale, though they are of different cultivar groups.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.

CLICK &  SEE THE PICTURES….………....Cauliflower Plant..……Cauliflower…...Cauliflower seeds

Classification and identification:…….Major groups:…….There are four major groups of cauliflower.

*Italian: Diverse in appearance, and biennial and annual in type, this group includes white, Romanesco, various brown, green, purple, and yellow cultivars. This type is the ancestral form from which the others were derived.

*Northern European annuals: Used in Europe and North America for summer and fall harvest, it was developed in Germany in the 18th century, and includes the old cultivars Erfurt and Snowball.

*Northwest European biennial: Used in Europe for winter and early spring harvest, this was developed in France in the 19th century, and includes the old cultivars Angers and Roscoff.

*Asian: A tropical cauliflower used in China and India, it was developed in India during the 19th century from the now-abandoned Cornish type,and includes old varieties Early Benaras and Early Patna.

Varieties: There are hundreds of historic and current commercial varieties used around the world. A comprehensive list of about 80 North American varieties is maintained at North Carolina State University.

Colours: ....White……..White cauliflower is the most common color of cauliflower.

Orange:....Orange cauliflower (B. oleracea L. var. botrytis) contains 25% more vitamin A than white varieties. This trait came from a natural mutant found in a cauliflower field in Canada. Cultivars include ‘Cheddar’ and ‘Orange Bouquet’.

Green:.…..Green cauliflower, of the B. oleracea botrytis group, is sometimes called broccoflower. It is available in the normal curd shape and with a fractal spiral curd called Romanesco broccoli. Both have been commercially available in the U.S. and Europe since the early 1990s. Green-curded varieties include ‘Alverda’, ‘Green Goddess’ and ‘Vorda’. Romanesco varieties include ‘Minaret’ and ‘Veronica’.

Purple:…….The purple color in this cauliflower is caused by the presence of the antioxidant group anthocyanins, which can also be found in red cabbage and red wine. Varieties include ‘Graffiti’ and ‘Purple Cape’.
In Great Britain and southern Italy, a broccoli with tiny flower buds is sold as a vegetable under the name “purple cauliflower”; it is not the same as standard cauliflower with a purple curd.
Cultivation :
Succeeds in full sun in a well-drained moisture-retentive fertile soil with plenty of lime. Cauliflowers, especially the winter and spring maturing types, should not be given a soil that is too rich in nitrogen since this can encourage soft, sappy growth that is more susceptible to winter cold damage. Prefers a heavy soil]. Requires a warm sunny position. Prefers a pH in the range 6 to 7, though it tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 8.3. Succeeds in maritime gardens. Lack of moisture in the growing season can cause the plant to produce small or deformed curds. Summer varieties are not very cold hardy and will be damaged by light frosts, winter cauliflower plants are more hardy and will tolerate temperatures down to about -6°c, though the curds are more sensitive and can suffer damage at about -2°c. This damage can often be prevented by bending over the leaves so that they cover the curd. Cauliflowers are widely grown for their edible immature flower heads (or curd). There are many named varieties and, by careful selection, it is possible to provide a year round supply. The summer and autumn maturing cultivars are annuals, they need to produce a certain number of leaves before curd development will be initiated. The optimum temperature for this is around 17°c, but at temperatures above 20°c the curds will either be of poor quality or not be produced at all. Winter and spring maturing forms are biennial and need exposure to temperatures below 10°c before they will produce curds and once again, this will not happen unless the plant has reached a certain size. Grows well with celery and other aromatic plants since these seem to deter insect predations. Grows badly with beet, tomatoes, onions and strawberries.

Propagation :
Seed – sow in a seedbed outdoors in April to June depending on the cultivar. Plant out into their permanent position when the plants are 5 – 10cm tall. Seed of some cultivars can be sown in late winter in a greenhouse in order to obtain a harvest in early summer. Do not let the seedlings get overcrowded or they will soon become leggy and will not make such good plants. If your seedlings do get leggy, it is possible to plant them rather deeper into the soil – the buried stems will soon form roots and the plant will be better supported.

Edible Uses: 
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Immature flowering head – raw or cooked. A mild cabbage-like flavour, they make an excellent cooked vegetable and are also very acceptable in salads. By careful selection of cultivars, it is possible to produce flowering heads all year round. Leaves – cooked. A mild cabbage flavour, they make a good cooked vegetable. Do not over-harvest them, however, since this would adversely affect the production of the flowering head .

Medicinal Uses:
Protection against certain cancers. Naturally occurring chemicals (indoles, isothiocyanates, glucosinolates, dithiolethiones, and phenols) in cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables appear to reduce the risk of some cancers, perhaps by preventing the formation of carcinogens in your body or by blocking cancer-causing substances from reaching or reacting with sensitive body tissues or by inhibiting the transformation of healthy cells to malignant ones.

All cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane, a member of a family of chemicals known as isothiocyanates. In experiments with laboratory rats, sulforaphane appears to increase the body’s production of phase-2 enzymes, naturally occurring substances that inactivate and help eliminate carcinogens. At the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, 69 percent of the rats injected with a chemical known to cause mammary cancer developed tumors vs. only 26 percent of the rats given the carcinogenic chemical plus sulforaphane.

In 1997, Johns Hopkins researchers discovered that broccoli seeds and three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain a compound converted to sulforaphane when the seed and sprout cells are crushed. Five grams of three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain as much sulforaphane as 150 grams of mature broccoli. The sulforaphane levels in other cruciferous vegetables have not yet been calculated………....Click & see : 
Other Uses :…….Fungicide……..An extract of the seeds inactivates the bacteria that causes black rot.

Known Hazards:
Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter). Cruciferous vegetables, including cauliflower, contain goitrin, thiocyanate, and isothiocyanate. These chemicals, known collectively as goitrogens, inhibit the formation of thyroid hormones and cause the thyroid to enlarge in an attempt to produce more. Goitrogens are not hazardous for healthy people who eat moderate amounts of cruciferous vegetables, but they may pose problems for people who have a thyroid condition or are taking thyroid medication.

Intestinal gas. Bacteria that live naturally in the gut degrade the indigestible carbohydrates (food fiber) in cauliflower, producing intestinal gas that some people find distressing.

Food/Drug Interactions: Anticoagulants. Cauliflower contains vitamin K, the blood-clotting vitamin produced naturally by bacteria in our intestines. Additional intake of vitamin K may reduce the effectiveness of anticoagulants (warfarin, Coumadin, Panwarfin), requiring larger-than-normal doses to produce the same effect.

False-positive test for occult blood in the stool. The active ingredient in the guiac slide test for hidden blood in feces is alphaguaiaconic acid, a chemical that turns blue in the presence of blood. Cauliflower contains peroxidase, a natural chemical that also turns alphaguaiaconic acid blue and may produce a positive test in people who do not actually have blood in the stool.

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.


Chinese Kale

Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea alboglabra
Family : Brassicaceae or Cruciferae
Species: Brassica oleracea
Cultivar group: Alboglabra Group

Common Name : Chinese Kale , Chinese broccol, Kai-lan, Gai-lan

Habitat : Not known in the wild, it probably originated in the Mediterranean and is very close to B. oleracea costata, the Couve tronchuda.

Brassica oleracea alboglabra is a perennial plant growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate.
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.

Chinese kale is recognized as an interesting and a delicious vegetable in China. This vegetable is similar to western broccoli in appearance, so it is also known as Chinese broccoli. Two varieties of Chinese kale can be found in the present world. However, both these varieties are heat resistant and they will grow through winter in most areas. Therefore people can grow them with less hassle at any part of the world.

An easily grown plant, it succeeds in full sun in a well-drained but moisture-retentive fertile preferably alkaline soil. Prefers a heavy soil. Plants prefer a pH in the range 5.5 – 6.5. Succeeds in any reasonable soil. Plants tolerate several degrees of frost once they are past the seedling stage. They also tolerate higher summer temperatures than most members of this genus. Closely related to broccoli (B. oleracea italica), this species is often cultivated in the Orient for its edible leaves and flowering stems. There are several named forms. A perennial plant, it is usually cultivated as an annual . It is fairly slow-growing, but it provides a crop over a long period in the summer and autumn. In a suitable climate they can crop for a period of six months. Most cultivars have been developed in the warmer parts of China and are best suited to warmer conditions than usually occur in Britain, though some forms have been developed that are more suitable for cooler conditions. Plants can be transplanted, if moved under cover in the autumn they will continue to grow slowly and provide a crop all winter.
Seed – sow in succession from late spring to late summer or even early autumn in favoured areas. The heaviest yields are from the mid to late summer sowings. Early sowings may bolt if there is a period of cold weather. Cuttings of lateral shoots root easily and can be used to produce more plants
Edible Uses: ….Young flowering shoots and small leaves- raw or cooked. Delicious if used when fairly young though they can become tough with age. Older stems should be peeled. All parts of the growing plant are used, including the developing inflorescence. Plants take about 3 months from sowing to their first harvest. Either the whole plant can be harvested, or, if a further harvest is required, just the terminal shoot is harvested which encourages the development of lateral shoots. Yields of 2 kg per square metre can be obtained

Medicinal Uses:
Chinese Kale has high iron content with low calories & high fiber content . It is filled with high nutrients, vitamins & magnesium .It is a great food which helps digestion. It is filled with antixodients like carotenoids and flavonoids which helps to protect against various types of cancers.Kale is a great cardiovascular support, eating this vegetable regularly reduces cholesterol.

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.

Apple Gourd (Tinda)

Botanical Name: Apple Gourd
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Tribe: Benincaseae
Subtribe: Benincasinae
Genus: Praecitrullus  Pangalo
Species: P. fistulosus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales
Common Names: Tinda, Indian round gourd , Indian baby pumpkin, Meha (in  Sindhi language),  Dhemase (in Marathi)
Habitat : Apple Gourd is native to South Asia. Specially grown in India & Pakinthan
The plant is, as with all cucurbits, a prolific vine, and is grown as an annual. The fruit is approximately spherical, and 5–8 cm in diameter. The seeds may also be roasted and eaten. Tinda is a famous nickname among Punjabi families in India. This unique squash-like gourd is native to India, very popular in Indian and Pakistani cooking with curry and many gourmet dishes. Green colored, apple sized fruits are flattish round in shape and 50-60 grams in weight. Plants are vigorous, productive and begin to bear fruits in 70 days after planting.
Cultivation:  Sandy loam soils rich in organic matter with good drainage and pH ranging from 6.5-7.5 is best suited for Tinda cultivation. This crop requires a moderate warm temperature.
Propagation: Sow the seeds on one side of the channel. hin the seedlings after 15 days to maintain two/pit at 0.9 m spacing.
Tinda is famous vegetable in India and Pakistan and regarded as super food due to its numerous health benefits. It contains antioxidants like carotenoids and many anti-inflammatory agents, which are effective for controlling blood pressure, heart diseases, and strokes and prevent cancer formation.
It is very mild and soothing vegetable for intestinal tract. A lot of fiber helps in digestion, helps in diarrhea by increased water absorption, relieves stomach acidity, and prevents constipation. Some researches indicate that they are good food for healthy skin and hairs, its consumption result in very long and healthy hairs. It increases the urinary flow and excretes toxins from the kidney.
It is very effective in prevention of prostitutes and prostate cancer. Prostate is male gland present near bladder and its inflammation and cancers are becoming common now a days, it is also very effective in urinary tract infections.
Carotenes present in pumpkins slow the aging process and prevent age related changes in body like cataract formation, grey hairs, thickening of blood vessels bone degeneration, and age related brain cell degeneration. Over all this vegetable, have magical effects on body if used regularly.
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.

Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum)

Botanical Name: Lycopersicon esculentum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. lycopersicum

Synonyms :Lycopersicon lycopersicum.

Common Name: Tomato

Habitat: Original habitat is obscure, probably Western S. America, a cultivated form of Lycopersicon cerasiforme

Lycopersicon esculentum is a ANNUAL growing to 2 m (6ft) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in). The plants typically grow to 1–3 meters (3–10 ft) in height and have a weak stem that often sprawls over the ground and vines over other plants. It is a perennial in its native habitat, although often grown outdoors in temperate climates as an annual. An average common tomato weighs approximately 100 grams (4 oz)

Tomato plants are dicots, and grow as a series of branching stems, with a terminal bud at the tip that does the actual growing. When that tip eventually stops growing, whether because of pruning or flowering, lateral buds take over and grow into other, fully functional, vines....CLICK & SEE:

Tomato vines are typically pubescent, meaning covered with fine short hairs. These hairs facilitate the vining process, turning into roots wherever the plant is in contact with the ground and moisture, especially if the vine’s connection to its original root has been damaged or severed.

Most tomato plants have compound leaves, and are called regular leaf (RL) plants, but some cultivars have simple leaves known as potato leaf (PL) style because of their resemblance to that particular relative. Of RL plants, there are variations, such as rugose leaves, which are deeply grooved, and variegated, angora leaves, which have additional colors where a genetic mutation causes chlorophyll to be excluded from some portions of the leaves

It is frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Requires a rich well-drained soil in a warm sunny position. The tomato is widely grown throughout the world for its edible fruit. There are many named varieties and over the considerable period of cultivation by humans two distinct types have emerged. These are:- L. esculentum cerasiforme (Dunal.)A.Gray. This is the cherry tomato. Closer to the original species, it produces a large crop of small fruits with a delicious sweetness. L. esculentum esculentum. This is the more commonly grown tomato with much larger fruits. There are a very large number of cultivars with a wide variety of colours and fruit shapes and sizes. Tomato plants are not frost-tolerant and generally need to be started off in a greenhouse in the spring if they are to succeed outdoors in Britain. They also need a hot sunny summer if they are to fruit well. Some varieties have been developed that can be successfully grown outdoors during the summer in temperate climates such as Britain, although good summers are still required in order to get reasonable yields. Varieties have been developed in Eastern Europe that can flower and set fruit at 7°c (this is compared with a temperature requirement of 11 – 13°c in earlier varieties). These varieties could provide a basis for the commercial outdoor cultivation of tomatoes in Britain. Tomatoes grow well with asparagus, parsley, brassicas and stinging nettles. They are also a good companion for gooseberries, helping to keep them free of insect pests. They dislike growing near fennel, kohl-rabi, potatoes and brassicas (this is not a typing error, merely a difference of opinion between different books). This species hybridizes with L. pimpinellifolium (which is called L. esculentum pimpinellifolium by some botanists) but it does not hybridize with L. peruvianum.

Seed – sow early spring in a warm greenhouse. Germination is usually quick and good. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots of fairly rich compost as soon as the first true leaf appears and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Seed can also be sown in situ under a cloche at the end of April, though in a cool summer the results may be disappointing. The seedcoat may carry tomato mosaic virus. However, by sowing the seed 15mm deep the seedcoat will remain below the soil surface when the seed germinates and the disease will be inactivated

Edible Uses:..…Fruit – raw or cooked. It can be used as a savoury vegetable or flavouring in cooked foods, or can be eaten out of hand as a dessert fruit. It is much used in salads and as a flavouring in soups and other cooked foods. A juice made from the fruit is often sold in health food shops. The fruit can also be dried and ground into a powder that can be used as a flavouring and thickening agent in soups, breads, pancakes etc. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. Suitable for culinary purposes. The seed is small and it would be very fiddly to utilize. It is only viable to use the seed as a source of oil if large quantities of the plants are being grown for their fruits and the seed is not wanted.

Medicinal Uses:

Antirheumatic; Cardiac; Homeopathy; Odontalgic; Skin.

The pulped fruit is an extremely beneficial skin-wash for people with oily skin. Sliced fruits are a quick and easy first aid treatment for burns, scalds and sunburn. A decoction of the root is ingested in the treatment of toothache. The skin of tomato fruits is a good source of lycopine, a substance that has been shown to protect people from heart attacks. It seems to be more effective when it is cooked and so can be obtained from food products such as tomato ketchup and tinned tomatoes. Lycopine has also been shown to have a very beneficial effect upon the prostate and is being used increasingly to treat enlarge prostate and the difficulties in urination that accompany this disorder. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism and severe headaches.
Other Uses:
Cosmetic; Insecticide; Oil; Repellent.

The strong aroma of this plant is said to repel insects from nearby plants. A semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. It can be used in making soap. See the notes above regarding utilization. A spray made from tomato leaves is an effective but very poisonous insecticide. It is especially effective against ants but should be used with great caution because it will also kill beneficial insects and, if ingested, is toxic to humans. The pulp of the fruit is used cosmetically in face-pack

Known Hazards :All green parts of the plant are poisonous.
Plant toxicity:
Leaves, stems, and green unripe fruit of the tomato plant contain small amounts of the toxic alkaloid tomatine. They also contain solanine, a toxic alkaloid found in potato leaves and other plants in the nightshade family. Use of tomato leaves in herbal tea has been responsible for at least one death. However, levels of tomatine in foliage and green fruit are generally too small to be dangerous unless large amounts are consumed, for example, as greens. Small amounts of tomato foliage are sometimes used for flavoring without ill effect, and the green fruit is sometimes used for cooking, particularly as fried green tomatoes. Compared to potatoes the amount of solanine in green or ripe tomatoes is low; however, even in the case of potatoes while solanine poisoning resulting from dosages several times normal human consumption has been demonstrated, actual cases of poisoning resulting from excessive consumption of potatoes that have high concentration of solanine are rare.

Tomato plants can be toxic to dogs if they eat large amounts of the fruit, or chew plant material. Tomatoes have been linked to seven salmonella outbreaks since 1990
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.


Onion (Allium cepa)

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

Synonyms : Allium angolense, Allium aobanum, Allium ascalonicum, Cepa esculenta

Common Names: Onion, Garden onion , Bulb onion or Common onion

Habitat: Onion is believed to be native to W. Asia – Iran. The original habitat is obscure. It is unknown in the wild but has been grown and selectively bred in cultivation for at least 7,000 years.Now it is cultivated and grown through out the world and treated as vegetable.
The common onion is a biennial plant but is usually grown as an annual. Modern varieties typically grow to a height of 15 to 45 cm (6 to 18 in). The leaves are yellowish-green and grow alternately in a flattened, fan-shaped swathe. They are fleshy, hollow and cylindrical, with one flattened side. They are at their broadest about a quarter of the way up beyond which they taper towards a blunt tip. The base of each leaf is a flattened, usually white sheath that grows out of a basal disc. From the underside of the disc, a bundle of fibrous roots extends for a short way into the soil. As the onion matures, food reserves begin to accumulate in the leaf bases and the bulb of the onion swells…....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES…> ....(1)......(2)…..

In the autumn the leaves die back and the outer scales of the bulb become dry and brittle, and this is the time at which the crop is normally harvested. If left in the soil over winter, the growing point in the middle of the bulb begins to develop in the spring. New leaves appear and a long, stout, hollow stem expands, topped by a bract protecting a developing inflorescence.It is in flower from Jun to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects. The inflorescence takes the form of a globular umbel of white flowers with parts in sixes. The seeds are glossy black and triangular in cross section.
Prefers a sunny sheltered position in a rich light well-drained soil. Prefers a pH of at least 6.5. Plants tolerate a pH in the range of 4.5 to 8.3. Onions are best grown in a Mediterranean climate, the hot dry summers ensuring that the bulbs are ripened fully. For best growth, however, cool weather is desirable at the early stages of growth. Plants are frost-tolerant but prolonged temperatures below 10°c cause the bulb to flower. Optimum growth takes place at temperatures between 20 and 25°c. Bulb formation takes place in response to long-day conditions. Plants are perennial but the cultivated forms often die after flowering in their second year though they can perennate by means of off-sets. The onion was one of the first plants to be cultivated for food and medicine. It is very widely cultivated in most parts of the world for its edible bulb and leaves, there are many named varieties capable of supplying bulbs all the year round. This species was derived in cultivation from A. oschaninii. Most forms are grown mainly for their edible bulbs but a number of varieties, the spring onions and everlasting onions, have been selected for their edible leaves. There are several sub-species:- Allium cepa ‘Perutile’ is the everlasting onion with a growth habit similar to chives, it is usually evergreen and can supply fresh leaves all winter. Allium cepa aggregatum includes the shallot and the potato onion. These are true perennials, the bulb growing at or just below the surface of the ground and increasing by division. Plants can be divided annually when they die down in the summer to provide bulbs for eating and propagation. Allium cepa proliferum is the tree onion, it produces bulbils instead of flowers in the inflorescence. These bulbils have a nice strong onion flavour and can be used raw, cooked or pickled. Onions grow well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but they inhibit the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation :
Seed. Early sowings can be made in February in a greenhouse to be planted out in late spring. The main sowing is made in March or April in an outdoor seedbed, this bed must be very well prepared. A sowing can also be made in an outdoor seedbed in August of winter hardy varieties (the Japanese onions are very popular for this). These overwinter and provide an early crop of onion bulbs in June of the following year. Onion sets can be planted in March or April. Sets are produced by sowing seed rather thickly in an outdoor seedbed in May or June. The soil should not be too rich and the seedlings will not grow very large in their first year. The plants will produce a small bulb about 1 – 2cm in diameter, this is harvested in late summer, stored in a cool frost-free place over winter and then planted out in April. A proportion of the bulbs will run quickly to seed but most should grow on to produce good sized bulbs.
Edible Uses:
Bulb – raw or cooked. A very versatile food, the bulb can be 10cm or more in diameter and is widely used in most countries of the world. Eaten raw, it can be sliced up and used in salads, sandwich fillings etc, it can be baked or boiled as a vegetable in its own right and is also commonly used as a flavouring in soups, stews and many other cooked dishes. Some cultivars have been selected for their smaller and often hotter bulbs and these are used for making pickles. Leaves – raw or cooked. There are some cultivars, the spring onions, that have been selected for their leaves and are used in salads whilst still young and actively growing – the bulb is much smaller than in other cultivars and is usually eaten with the leaves. By successional sowing, they can be available at any time of the year. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads. The flowers are somewhat dry and are less pleasant than many other species. The seeds are sprouted and eaten. They have a delicious onion flavour….CLICK & SEE ...

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

* 72 Calories per 100g
* Water : 79.8%
* Protein: 2.5g; Fat: 0.1g; Carbohydrate: 16.8g; Fibre: 0.7g; Ash: 0.8g;
* Minerals – Calcium: 37mg; Phosphorus: 60mg; Iron: 1.2mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 12mg; Potassium: 334mg; Zinc: 0mg;
* Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.06mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.02mg; Niacin: 0.2mg; B6: 0mg; C: 8mg;

Medicinal Uses;
Anthelmintic; Antiinflammatory; Antiseptic; Antispasmodic; Appetizer; Carminative; Diuretic; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Homeopathy; Hypoglycaemic;
Hypotensive; Lithontripic; Skin; Stings; Stomachic; Tonic.

Although rarely used specifically as a medicinal herb, the onion has a wide range of beneficial actions on the body and when eaten (especially raw) on a regular basis will promote the general health of the body. The bulb is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, hypotensive, lithontripic, stomachic and tonic. When used regularly in the diet it offsets tendencies towards angina, arteriosclerosis and heart attack. It is also useful in preventing oral infection and tooth decay. Baked onions can be used as a poultice to remove pus from sores. Fresh onion juice is a very useful first aid treatment for bee and wasp stings, bites, grazes or fungal skin complaints. When warmed the juice can be dropped into the ear to treat earache. It also aids the formation of scar tissue on wounds, thus speeding up the healing process, and has been used as a cosmetic to remove freckles. Bulbs of red cultivars are harvested when mature in the summer and used to make a homeopathic remedy. This is used particularly in the treatment of people whose symptoms include running eyes and nose. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Allium cepa Onion for appetite loss, arteriosclerosis, dyspeptic complaints, fevers & colds, cough/bronchitis, hypertension, tendency to infection, inflammation of mouth and pharynx, common cold for critics of commission

Other Uses :
Cosmetic; Dye; Hair; Polish; Repellent; Rust.

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent and can also be rubbed onto the skin to repel insects. The plant juice can be used as a rust preventative on metals and as a polish for copper and glass. A yellow-brown dye is obtained from the skins of the bulbs. Onion juice rubbed into the skin is said to promote the growth of hair and to be a remedy for baldness. It is also used as a cosmetic to get rid of freckles. The growing plant is said to repel insects and moles. A spray made by pouring enough boiling water to cover 1kg of chopped unpeeled onions is said to increase the resistance of other plants to diseases and parasites.

Known Hazards:  There have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of this plant. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible. Hand eczema may occur with frequent handling. May interfere with drug control of blood sugar

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.