Prunus mahaleb

Botanical Name : Prunus mahaleb
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Species: P. mahaleb
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names :Prunus mahaleb, aka mahaleb cherry, aka St Lucie cherry

Habitat :Prunus mahaleb  is native in the Mediterranean region, Iran and parts of central Asia. It is adjudged to be native in northwestern Europe or at  least it is naturalized there.The tree occurs in thickets and open woodland on dry slopes; in central Europe at altitudes up to 1,700 m, and in highlands at  1,200-2,000 m in southern Europe. It has become naturalised in some temperate areas, including Europe north of its native range (north to Great Britain and  Sweden), and locally in Australia and the United States.

Description:
Prunus mahaleb is a deciduous tree or large shrub, growing to 2–10 m (rarely up to 12 m) tall with a trunk up to 40 cm diameter.The tree’s bark is  grey-brown, with conspicuous lenticels on young stems, and shallowly fissured on old trunks. The leaves are 1.5-5 cm long, 1-4 cm. wide, alternate, clustered at the end of alternately arranged twigs, ovate to cordate, pointed, have serrate edges, longitudinal venation and are glabrous and green. The petiole is  5-20 mm, and may or may not have two glands. The flowers are fragrant, pure white, small, 8-20 mm diameter, with an 8-15 mm pedicel; they are arranged 3-10  together on a 3-4 cm long raceme. The flower pollination is mainly by bees. The fruit is a small thin-fleshed cherry-like drupe 8–10 mm in diameter, green at  first, turning red then dark purple to black when mature, with a very bitter flavour; flowering is in mid spring with the fruit ripening in mid to late  summer……....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES.

Cultivation:  
Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil, growing best in a poor soil. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:       
Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Layering in spring.

Edible Uses:
The fruit might be edible. The fruits of all members of this genus are more or less edible, may not be always of very good quality. However, if the fruit is bitter it should not be eaten in any quantity due to the presence of toxic compounds. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter and contains one large seed. Seeds are eaten  raw or cooked. The dried seed kernels are used as a flavouring in breads, sweet pastries, confectionery etc. They impart an intriguing flavour. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
The seed is tonic. Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.

Known Hazards:      Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

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/Prunus_mahaleb

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+mahaleb

Tilia Europoea

Botanical Name :Tilia Europoea
Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Tilioideae
Genus: Tilia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Synonyms: Tilia vulgaris. Tilia intermedia. Tilia cordata. Tilia platyphylla. Linden Flowers. Linn Flowers. Common Lime. Flores Tiliae. Tilleul.

Common Names:Lime trees, (they are not closely related to the lime fruit. Other names include linden and basswood)

Habitat: Tilia Europoea is native throughout most of the temperate Northern Hemisphere  especially British Isles.

Description:
Tilia Europoea is a  deciduous tree  reaching typically 20 to 40 metres (66 to 130 ft) tall, with oblique-cordate leaves 6 to 20 centimetres (2 to 8 in) across  and when in bloom perfumes its whole neighbourhood. The leaves are obliquely heart-shaped, dark green above, paler below, from 2 1\2 to 4 inches long and sharply toothed. The yellowish-white flowers hang from slender stalks in flattened clusters. They have five petals and five sepals. The original five stamens have each developed a cluster, and there is a spoon-shaped false petal opposite each true one.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The Tilia’s sturdy trunk stands like a pillar and the branches divide and subdivide into numerous ramifications on which the twigs are fine and thick. In summer, these are profusely clothed with large leaves and the result is a dense head of abundant foliage.

In particular, aphids are attracted by the rich supply of sap, and are in turn often “farmed” by ants for the production of the sap which the ants collect for their own use, and the result can often be a dripping of excess sap onto the lower branches and leaves, and anything else below. Cars left under the trees can quickly become coated with a film of the syrup (“honeydew”) thus dropped from higher up. The ant/aphid “farming” process does not appear to cause any serious damage to the trees

Edible Uses: Linden Tea is much used on the Continent, especially in France, where stocks of dried lime-flowers are kept in most households for making ‘Tilleul.’

Medicinal Uses:
Most medicinal research has focused on Tilia cordata, although other species are also used medicinally and somewhat interchangeably. The dried flowers are mildly sweet and sticky, and the fruit is somewhat sweet and mucilaginous. Limeflower tea has a pleasing taste, due to the aromatic volatile oil found in the flowers. The flowers, leaves, wood, and charcoal (obtained from the wood) are used for medicinal purposes. Active ingredients in the Tilia flowers include flavonoids (which act as antioxidants) and volatile oils. The plant also contains tannins that can act as an astringent.

Linden flowers are used in herbalism for colds, cough, fever, infections, inflammation, high blood pressure, headache (particularly migraine), and as a diuretic (increases urine production), antispasmodic (reduces smooth muscle spasm along the digestive tract), and sedative. In the traditional Austrian medicine Tilia sp. flowers have been used internally as tea for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, fever and flu. New evidence shows that the flowers may be hepatoprotective. The wood is used for liver and gallbladder disorders and cellulitis (inflammation of the skin and surrounding soft tissue). That wood burned to charcoal is ingested to treat intestinal disorders and used topically to treat edema or infection such as cellulitis or ulcers of the lower leg.

Usually, the double-flowered species are used to make perfumes. The leaf buds and young leaves are also edible raw. Tilia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera; see List of Lepidoptera that feed on Tilia.

Lime-flowers are only used in infusion or made into a distilled water as household remedies in indigestion or hysteria, nervous vomiting or palpitation. Prolonged baths prepared with the infused flowers are also good in hysteria.

In the Pyrenees they are used to soothe the temporary excitement caused by the waters, and M. Rostan has used them with success against spasms. The flowers of several species of Lime are used.

Some doctors prefer the light charcoal of lime wood to that of the poplar in gastric or dyspeptic disturbances, and its powder for burns or sore places.

If the flowers used for making the tisane are too old they may produce symptoms of narcotic intoxication.

Other Uses:
The honey from the flowers is regarded as the best flavoured and the most valuable in the world. It is used exclusively in medicine and in liqueurs.

The wood is useful for small articles not requiring strength or durability, and where ease in working is wanted: it is specially valuable for carving, being white, close-grained, smooth and tractable in working, and admits of the greatest sharpness in minute details. Grinley Gibbons did most of his flower and figure carvings for St. Paul’s Cathedral, Windsor Castle, and Chatsworth in Lime wood.

It is the lightest wood produced by any of the broad-leaved European trees, and is suitable for many other purposes, as it never becomes worm-eaten. On the Continent it is much used for turnery, sounding boards for pianos, in organ manufacture, as the framework of veneers for furniture, for packingcases, and also for artists’ charcoal making and for the fabrication of wood-pulp.

The inner bark or bast when detached from the outer bark in strands or ribands makes excellent fibres and coarse matting, chiefly used by gardeners, being light, but strong and elastic. Fancy baskets are often made of it. In Sweden, the inner bark, separated by maceration so as to form a kind of flax, has been employed to make fishing-nets.

The sap, drawn off in the spring, affords a considerable quantity of sugar.

The foliage is eaten by cattle, either fresh or dry. The leaves and shoots are mucilaginous and may be employed in poultices and fomentations.

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/Tilia

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/limtre28.html

Pandanus

Botanical Name :Pandanus tectorius
Family:    Pandanaceae
Genus:    Pandanus
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Pandanales

Synonyms: Pandanus chamissonis,,Pandanus douglasii,Pandanus menziesii,Pandanus odoratissimus

Common Names: Pandanus, screw pine, or Pandan,Hala,Pu hala

Habitat: Pandanus trees are native to the Old World tropics and subtropics. They are classified in the order Pandanales.

Description:
Pandanus trees are palm-like, dioecious trees and shrubs growing 20 to 30 feet in height and from 15 to 35 feet in diameter. The trunk is stout and the branches grow at wide angles to it. It has distinctive long blade-like leaves (lau hala) about 2 inches wide and over 2 feet long. Most varieties have spines along the edges and on the midribs of the leaves. Spineless and variegated forms are available. The leaves are spirally arranged towards the ends of the branches and leave a spiral pattern on the trunk when they fall.  Pandanus trees develop support or prop roots (ule hala) at the base of the trunk and sometimes along the branches.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Pandanus trees are either male or female. Female trees produce a large, segmented fruit somewhat resembling a pineapple. Male trees produce large clusters of tiny, fragrant flowers surrounded by white to cream colored bracts. These clusters are about 1 foot long and are called hinano in Hawaiian.

Propagation:
Female Pandanus tectorius trees flower 1 to 3 times a year, while male trees flower every 2 months. Pandanus tectorius is thought to reproduce sexually in Hawai’i, but there is some evidence that asexual seed development (apomixis) also occurs. Wind and small insects are assumed to be the pollinators.
The fruit of Pandanus tectorius is a round or oval head about 8 inches long and consisting of numerous segments called carpels, phalanges, or keys. There are 40 to 80 keys in each fruit. The color of the fruit ranges from yellow to orange to reddish when ripe. It takes several months for the fruits to ripen. Ripe fruits are very fragrant.

Pandanus keys are wedge shaped and 1 to 2 inches long. The inner end of the key is fleshy and the outer end is woody, generally containing a single seed. Lee found that larger fruit often contain seedless keys. Sometimes keys contain 2 seeds; infrequently, they contain more than 2 seeds.

Pandanus trees can be grown from large cuttings.

Edible Uses:
Pandan (P. amaryllifolius) leaves are used in Southeast Asian cooking to add a distinct aroma to rice and curry dishes such as nasi lemak, kaya (‘jam’) preserves, and desserts such as pandan cake. In Indian cooking, the leaf is added whole to biryani, a kind of rice pilaf, made with ordinary rice (as opposed to that made with the premium-grade Basmati rice). The basis for this use is that both Basmati and Pandan leaf contain the same aromatic flavoring ingredient, 2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline. Pandan leaf can be used as a complement to chocolate in many dishes, such as ice cream. They are known as daun pandan in Indonesian and Malay;(b?n lán) in Mandarin; (su mwei ywe) in Myanmar, and as  (bai toei; pronounced ) in Thailand. Fresh leaves are typically torn into strips, tied in a knot to facilitate removal, placed in the cooking liquid, then removed at the end of cooking. Dried leaves and bottled extract may be bought in some places.

Kewra is an extract distilled from the pandanus flower, used to flavor drinks and desserts in Indian cuisine. Also, kewra or kewadaa is used in religious worship, and the leaves are used to make hair ornaments worn for their fragrance as well as decorative purpose in western India.

Species with large and medium fruit are edible, notably the many cultivated forms of P. tectorius (P. pulposus). The fruit is eaten raw or cooked. Small-fruited pandanus may be bitter and astringent.

Throughout Oceania, almost every part of the plant is used, with various species different from those used in Southeast Asian cooking. Pandanus trees provide materials for housing; clothing and textiles including the manufacture of dilly bags (carrying bags), fine mats or ‘ie toga; food, medication,[citation needed] decorations, fishing, and religious uses.

Medicinal Uses:
Pandanus leaves and roots are found to have medicinal benefits. Such parts of the plant have been found to have essential oils, tannin, alkaloids and glycosides, which are the reasons for the effective treatment of various health concerns.

Pandanus Health Benefits:
•.Treats leprosy, smallpox and wounds.
• Helps reduce fever
• Solves several skin problems
• Relives headache and arthritis
• Treatment for ear pains
• Functions as a laxative for children
• Eases chest pains
• Helps in speeding up the recuperation of women who have just given birth and are still weak
• Pandan reduces stomach spasms.

Pandan flowers have also been traced with characteristics that function as aphrodisiac.
Pandan also manifests anti-cancer activities,
It can also be used as antiseptic and anti-bacterial, which makes it ideal for healing wounds.

Preparation & Use of Pandan:
Decoction of the bark may be taken as tea, or mixed with water that is to be used in bathing, in order to remedy skin problems, cough, and urine-related concerns.
• Apply pulverized roots of pandan to affected wound areas to facilitate healing.
• The anthers of the male flowers are used for earaches, headaches and stomach spasms.
• Chew the roots to strengthen the gum.
• Extract oils and juices from the roots and flowers are used in preparing the decoction to relieve pains brought about by headache and arthritis.

Other Uses:
Pandan is used for handicrafts. Craftsmen collect the pandan leaves from plants in the wild. Only the young leaves are cut so the plant will naturally regenerate. The young leaves are sliced in fine strips and sorted for further processing. Weavers produce basic pandan mats of standard size or roll the leaves into pandan ropes for other designs. This is followed by a coloring process, in which pandan mats are placed in drums with water-based colors. After drying, the colored mats are shaped into final products, such as place mats or jewelry boxes. Final color touch-ups may be applied.
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/Pandanus

http://www2.hawaii.edu/%7Eeherring/hawnprop/pan-tect.htm

http://rullanamador.blogspot.in/2010/01/pandan-pandanus-tectorius.html

Aframomum corrorima

Botanical Name; Aframomum corrorima
Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Aframomum
Species: A. corrorima
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zingiberales

Synonyms: Amomum corrorima Braun (1848), Amomum korarima J.Pereira (1850), Aframomum korarima (J.Pereira) K.Schum. ex Engl. (1908), Aframomum usambarense Lock (1976).

Common Names:  Korarima, Ethiopian cardamom, or False cardamom

Vernaculr Names:  Korarima, cardamome d’Ethiopie, poivre d’Ethiopie (Fr). Korarima, Ethiopian cardamom, false cardamom (En).

Habitat :Aframomum corrorima is native to Tanzania, western Ethiopia (in the vicinity of Lake Tana and Gelemso), southwestern Sudan, western Uganda. It is cultivated in both Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Description:
Aframomum corrorima is a perennial, rhizomatous, aromatic herb with  leafy stems 1–2 m tall; rhizome subterete, up to 1 cm in diameter, profusely branched, red-brown, covered with thin, subovate scales up to 6 cm × 4 cm and bearing thin, fibrous, pale brown roots; stem unbranched, mainly formed by the leaf sheaths, subterete, up to 1 cm in diameter but at base usually thickened up to 3 cm diameter. Leaves alternate, distichous, simple; sheaths covering each other, yellow-green, with prominent veins and scarious, ciliate margins; ligule deeply bilobed, thin, ciliate, lobes acute, up to 3 cm long; petiole 4–10 mm long, deeply grooved above; blade elliptical to oblong, 10–30 cm × 2.5–6 cm, obliquely obtuse at base, cuspidate at apex, margin entire, glossy dark green above, paler green and often a bit reddish below, lateral veins fine, pinnately arranged but parallel, making a very sharp angle with the midrib, 4–9 per 5 mm above, 12–16 per 5 mm below. Inflorescence a shortly stalked head arising from the rhizome near the base of a leafy stem, sometimes situated at the end of a rhizomatous runner, up to 5-flowered; peduncle up to 7 cm long, covered by imbricate, purplish-brown, subovate scales 2.5 cm × 1.5 cm; head covered with imbricate, purplish-brown, ovate to square bracts up to 4.5 cm in diameter; each flower surrounded by a scarious, suboblong bract up to 6 cm × 2 cm, bidentate, ciliate. Flowers bisexual, zygomorphic; calyx spathaceous, up to 4.5 cm × 1 cm; corolla tubular, 3-lobed at apex, white to pale violet, tube up to 4.5 cm long, densely woolly in upper 2 cm, lateral lobes ovate-oblong, up to 4 cm × 2 cm, dorsal lobe up to 4 cm × 3 cm, labellum obovate in outline, with a half-tubular fleshy claw up to 3 cm × 1.5 cm and a subovate to orbicular lobe up to 3 cm × 3.5 cm, thin, slightly notched, yellow at throat inside; fertile stamen 1, filament fleshy, slightly rounded, 6 mm × 5 mm, connectivum fleshy, at apex with 2 lateral horns 4 mm long, thecae 2, narrowly ellipsoid, about 11 mm × 1 mm; ovary inferior, 3-locular, style thin, terete, up to 5 cm long, stigma funnel-shaped, 2 mm wide, ciliate, top of ovary provided with 2 (sometimes more) lobed, fleshy outgrowths (probably nectaries), partly clasping the style. Fruit an indehiscent, subconical berry up to 6 cm × 3.5 cm, usually showing 3 longitudinal furrows but sometimes more, shiny green when immature, turning bright red at maturity, with 3 cells containing 45–65 seeds each. Seeds subglobose in outline but usually somewhat angular, 2–5 mm in diameter, testa finely lined, glossy brown, hilum circular, whitish, aril thin, a bit fleshy, completely covering the seed.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES :

Edible Uses:
Dried seeds are extensively used in Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. It is an ingredient in berbere, mitmita, awaze, and other spice mixtures, and is also used to flavor coffee.

Constituents:
Korarima seed has a mild, sweet flavour and is less peppery or pungent than seed of Aframomum melegueta K.Schum. (grain of paradise). The seeds contain essential oil which has a typical odour and is sometimes called ‘nutmeg-cardamom’. After distillation of dried comminuted fruits, 3–3.5% of a pale yellow volatile oil with a flat cineolic odour can be obtained, in which the following compounds have been found (all monoterpenes, approximate amount of the major ones): 1,8-cineol 32–35%, limonene 7–14%, B-pinene 4–7%, sabinene 7–9%, terpinen-4-ol 3–5%, geraniol 5%, P-cymene 4%, A-pinene, A-terpineol and Y-terpinene 3% each. Sesquiterpenes were identified in another analysis; the total was dominated by about 75% monoterpenes including 1,8-cineol (38%) and terpinyl acetate (11%), and 17% sesquiterpenes including nerolidol (11–14%), ?-caryophyllene (2%) and caryophyllene oxide (1%).

Medicinal Uses:
In Ethiopian herbal medicine the seeds are used as a tonic, carminative, and laxative.

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/Aframomum_corrorima

http://www.prota4u.org/protav8.asp?fr=1&g=pe&p=Aframomum+corrorima+

http://database.prota.org/PROTAhtml/Aframomum%20corrorima_En.htm

Elsholtzia ciliata

Botanical Name:Elsholtzia ciliata
Family: Lamiaceae /Labiatae
Genus: Elsholtzia
Species: E. ciliata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales.

Synonyms:Elsholtzia cristata Willd., Elsholtzia patrinii (Lepech.) Garcke, Hyssopus ocymifolius Lam., Mentha cristata Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don, Mentha ovata Cav., Perilla polystachya D. Don, Sideritis ciliata Thunb.

Common Names:Crested latesummer mint, Vietnamese Balm or kinh gioi

Engl.: crested latesummer mint, Vietnamese balm, Vietnamese mint. Deu.: Vietnamesische Melisse, Echte Kamminze, Kamminze. Suom.: helttaminttu. Sven.: kammynta. Bot.

Habitat :  Elsholtzia ciliata is native to Asia; however, the exact extent of its original range is unclear.Today it is found throughout Nepal at elevations of 1500 to 3400 m. It is found elsewhere, including through much of India, eastern Asia, and Europe. In modern times it has become popular as an ornamental plant, though first being reported in the Americas as a weed in 1889. It prefers moist soil, and grows mostly on exposed rocky slopes and other open, gravelly areas.

Description:
The plant is an erect annual herb that grows to about 60 cm in height. The leaves are long, stalked, and serrated, and reach 2 to 8.5 cm in length and .8 to 2.5 cm in width. In shape they are ovate to lanceolate, with a gland-dotted underside. Flowers of a purple color bloom in flat spikes in September and October. Seeds propagate within them….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation: 
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils. Cultivated for ornament in N. and E. Europe.
Propagation:
Seed  is sown late spring in situ.

Edible Uses:  The seeds are sometimes powdered and used for flavoring food.

It is used in Vietnamese cuisine, where it is called rau kinh gi?i or lá kinh gi?i.

Elsholtzia ciliata inhibits mast cell-mediated allergic inflammatory reactions.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant contains an essential oil. It is antibacterial, antipyretic, antiviral, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic and stomachic. Its use is said to relieve the effects of excess alcohol. It is used in the treatment of common colds, fevers, headaches, diarrhoea, oedema and oliguria. The plant has a broad-spectrum antibacterial action. It is harvested when in flower and dried for later use.

Elsholtzia ciliata is common in herbal medicine, as it is carminative and astringent.

Other Uses:
Elsholtzia ciliata has many cultural uses. Sometimes  it is grown as an ornamental plant.

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/Elsholtzia_ciliata

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Elsholtzia+ciliata

http://www.henriettes-herb.com/plants/elsholtzia/ciliata.html

Eucalyptus staigeriana

Botanical Name:Eucalyptus staigeriana
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus:     Eucalyptus
Species: E. staigeriana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Myrtales

Common Names::  Lemon Ironbark or Lemon-scented Ironbark

Habitat :Eucalyptus staigeriana is native to Australia, Tasmania, and nearby islands.

Description:
Eucalyptus staigeriana is a small evergreen tree up to 10 meters high. Sparse canopy of grey-coloured
leaves contrasting with fissured dark-coloured bark. Juvenile leaves alternate and are light green on both surfaces. The leaves have a pleasant lemony aroma. The cream coloured flowers are small and are followed by seed capsules…..click & see the pictures

Edible Uses:
It has a fruity-lemon fragrance with rosemary-like back tones. E. staigeriana fresh weight leaves yield 2.9-3.4% essential oil. It contains a range of essential oil components, including geranial, methyl geranate, geranyl acetate, limonene, phellandrene, neral, terpinolene and geraniol.

Brazil and Guatemala are the major producers of Eucalyptus staigeriana oil, with Brazil producing up to 60 tonnes pa. Lemon ironbark is also grown in its country of origin in small-scale plantations in Queensland and Northern New South Wales, including for leaf as a bushfood spice.

The leaf is used in cooking like bay-leaf, and as an herbal tea ingredient in Australia. Lemon ironbark leaf has a high free radical scavenging ability.

E. globulus a fresh and earthy aroma that promotes healing and well being. Dilute 50:50. Can be used as a dietary supplement. Approved by the FDA as a Food Additive (FA) or Flavoring Agent (FL), however, not advised for children less than 6 years of age.

Medicinal Uses:
Traditionally, Eucalyptus species have been used for insect repellent, respiratory infections and mouth washes. The Australian Aborigines have used the leaves to disinfect wounds and treat infections for thousands of years.

Its properties are: anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-aging, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, deodorant, insecticidal, mucolytic and expectorant.

The uses of eucalyptus globulus include: respiratory and sinus infections, viral infections (herpes), Candida, acne, bronchitis, rheumatism and arthritis, muscle aches and pains, diabetes, measles, migraines, ulcers, wounds, ear inflammation and iris inflammation.

The complex essential oil is distilled from the leaves and used for flavouring, perfumery and aromatherapy.

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/Eucalyptus_staigeriana

http://shop.chozen.co.za/lemon-scented-ironbark-eucalyptus-staigeriana-10ml/

http://www.experience-essential-oils.com/uses-of-eucalyptus.html

Pangium edule

Botanical Name:Pangium edule
Family: Achariaceae
Genus:     Pangium
Species: P. edule
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:    Malpighiales

Common Names: Pangi, Pakem, Sis, Riamel, Kepayang, or Football fruit. (Indonesian: keluak or keluwak; Malay: kepayang)

Habitat :Pangium edule is  native to the mangrove swamps of Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea). It produces a large poisonous fruit (the “football fruit”) which can be made edible by fermentation.

Description:
Pangium edule is a  large, alien tree with large shiny leaves and huge fruits grows to heights of 25 m (80 ft).In the initial stage the tree grows fast.  It only needs about six months to reach full maturity.

click & see……...(1).……....(2)...

The flowers are yellowish-green or whitish, having a faint odor, about 4 centimeters across. Fruit is pendant upon thick, brown stalks, ovoidly rounded, 10 to 20 centimeters in diameter, brown and rough, containing seeds which are 3 to 5 centimeters across, compressed, somewhat angular, embedded in a yellowish, sweet, aromatic and edible pulp.  In English this plant is sometimes referred to as the “football tree”.

The tree requires many years to mature and the seeds are therefore most frequently harvested from wild trees, as it is not economically feasible to cultivate. Although poisonous to humans, the seeds of the tree form part of the natural diet of the babirusa (Babyroussa babyrussa)

Edible Uses:
The fresh fruit and seeds contain hydrogen cyanide and are deadly poisonous if consumed without prior preparation. The seeds are first boiled and then buried in ash, banana leaves and earth for forty days, during which time, they turn from a creamy white colour to dark brown or black. The method relies on the fact that the hydrogen cyanide released by the boiling and fermentation is water soluble and easily washed out.

The kernels may be ground up to form a thick black gravy called rawon, popular dishes include nasi rawon, beef stew in keluwek paste, and sambal rawon. A stew made with beef or chicken also exists in East Java. The Toraja dish pammarrasan (black spice with fish or meat, also sometimes with vegetables) uses the black keluak powder. In Singapore and Malaysia, the seeds are best known as an essential ingredient in ayam (chicken) or babi (pork) buah keluak, a mainstay of Peranakan cuisine.The edible portions of the plant are an excellent source of vitamin C and high in iron.

Medicinal Uses:
In the Philippines,people uses all parts of the plant for as anthelmintic.The seeds,fruits,leaves and barks are considered as narcotic,  in excessive doses causes sleepiness, headache, intoxication, delirium, and occasionally becomes fatal.Malaya people uses crushed seeds to apply on boils to cure.

Other Uses:
Pangium edule oil used as illuminant and for making soap. In the Camarines, plant is used as a fish poison.In Pohnpie, poisonous seeds are  used as bait to kill rats.  Fresh seeds and oil used as dart poison by Sakais.The wood is used to make matchsticks.

Known Hazards:The fruit is considered poisonous.
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/Pangium_edule

http://books.google.co.in/books?id=_ZZEAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA783&lpg=PA783&dq=medicinal+uses+of+pangium+edule&source=bl&ots=zhFPIvzwRp&sig=ExNgdjsHWKX3sFQVfaPAOd5jLJM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dh4dVLKkJpDJuATc_4HoBA&sqi=2&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=medicinal%20uses%20of%20pangium%20edule&f=false

http://manoa.hawaii.edu/botany/plants_of_micronesia/index.php/full-database/468-pangium-edule

http://rfcarchives.org.au/Next/Fruits/Pangium/Pangium11-97.htm

http://www.stuartxchange.org/Pangi.html

Kawakawa,

Botanical Name:Macropiper excelsum
Family: Piperaceae
Genus:     Macropiper
Species: M. excelsu
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Piperales

Common Name: Kawakawa,

Habitat:Kawakawa is found throughout the North Island, and as far south as Okarito (43.20 °S) on the West Coast and Banks Peninsula  on the east coast of the South Island.It prefers a moist rich & free-draining soil. It prefers a semi-shade to shade position. Kawakawa will tolerate an open windy situation but is frost tender.

Description:
Kawakawa is a densely branching shrub in the shade. Consequently it can be used under established planting that has started to open out below the canopy.
The  leaves are about 5–10 cm long by 6–12 cm wide; they are opposite to each other, broadly rounded with a short drawn-out tip and are heart-shaped at their bases. The leaves are deep green in color if growing in the forest but may be yellowish-green when growing in more open situations.The flowers are produced on greenish, erect spikes that are 2.5-7.5 cm long. Kawakawa flowers are quite minute and very closely placed around the spike. After pollination the flowers gradually swell and become fleshy to form small, berry-like fruits that are yellow to bright orange.

The fruit which are only on female trees (2 to 5 cm) long are a whole lot of little fruit clustered on a central stem, green at first but changing to orange when ripe The seed in the soft, orange spikes that are a favoured food of many birds in late summer and are dispersed by them.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The name Kawakawa in Maori refers to the bitter taste of the leaves.

The leaves are often covered with insect holes due to damage by Kawakawa looper moth caterpillar (Cleora scriptaria, Family: Geometridae).See photo  below.
Berries. Each berry is the size of a small plum and egg-shaped. Ripening period is January and February. These fruits are favoured by kereru, or New Zealand pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) and tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae).

The leaves are often covered with insect holes. The images depict the variety majus which has larger and more glossy leaves than M. excelsum.

Medicinal Uses:
The fruit, bark and leaves of the kawakawa all have medicinal properties. The leaves are made into a tea by being steeped in hot water. Maori custom is to use the leaves as a head wreath for tangis, chew the leaves to reduce toothache and place leaves on a fire to create an insect repellent.

The root, fruit, seeds and especially the leaves of the Kawakawa plant were favourite medicinal remedies of the New Zealand Maori.  In fact the kawakawa is one of the only plants still used by the Maori people today. Externally, Kawa Kawa was used to heal cuts and wounds, as an ingredient in vapour baths, and also as an insect repellent. Internally, it was found to be effective as a blood purifier in cases of eczema, boils, cuts, wounds, rheumatism, neuralgia, ringworm, itching sore feet, and all forms of kidney and skin ailments. The leaves were chewed to alleviate toothache. The bruised leaves drew pus from boils and skin infections. A drink made from the leaves helped stomach problems and rheumatics when rubbed on joints. The leaf, if dried and burnt is an insect repellent.

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/Macropiper_excelsum

http://www.nznativeplants.co.nz/Articles/Macropiper+excelsum.html

http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/table-1/kawakawa.html

Boesenbergia rotunda

Botanical Name : Boesenbergia rotunda
Family: Zingiberaceae
Genus: Boesenbergia
Species: B. rotunda
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zingiberales

Synonyms:Boesenbergia pandurata,Kaempferia pandurata

Common Names: Chinese keys, Fingerroot, Lesser galangal or Chinese ginger

(In English, the root has traditionally been called fingerroot, because the shape of the rhizome resembles that of fingers growing out of a center piece.)

It is known as temu kunci in Indonesian  and in Manipuri, it is called Yai-macha .

Habitat :Boesenbergia rotunda is native to China and Southeast Asia.(Cambodia; China (Yunnan); Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Thailand)

This species is a rhizome geophyte which grows in humid forest and deciduous forest. It is cultivated throughout Indo-China. Zingiberaceae species grow naturally in damp, shaded parts of the low-land or on hill slopes, as scattered plants or thickets.

Description:
Boesenbergia rotunda is a small perennial plant of about 15–40 cm in height. Its leaves are broad and light green while the leaf sheath is red. Each shoot consists of 3–5 elliptic-oblong-red sheathed leaves of about 7–9 cm in width and 10–20cm in length. The underground portion of the plant consists of a small globular shaped central subterraneous rhizome (1.5–2.0?cm in diameter) from which several slender and long tubers sprout all in the same direction like the fingers of a hand, thus the common name fingerroot. The tubers are about 1.0–1.5cm thick in diameter and 5–10cm long. The tissue of the tuber is looser, softer, and more watery than the central rhizome. Both the colour of the central rhizome and the tubers are dependent on the variety of B. rotunda. The yellow variety produces bright yellow rhizomes, while other varieties produce red and black rhizomes. They are strongly aromatic although different from each other. The flowers are scarlet and bloom throughout the year in tropical countries. These beautiful flowers are usually hidden at the base of the foliage, making them unnoticeable....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:  Boesenbergia rotunda is very easy  to grow. It is found it to be just as successful in the ground as it is in containers. The plant prefers rich, well drained soil. Simply plant the rhizome 1″ deep, and keep evenly moist. It will emerge in approximately two weeks.

Edible Uses:
It is widely used in Javanese cuisine in Indonesia. In Thai cooking it is called krachai  and is an ingredient of dishes such as kaeng tai pla. It is used in some kroeung pastes of Cambodian cuisine and is known as k’cheay (Khmer). In the west it is usually found pickled or frozen. It is sometimes confused with Alpinia officinarum, another plant in the family Zingiberaceae which is also known as lesser galangal.

Medicinal Uses:
Boesenbergia rotunda root is used  to treat colic and diarrhoea  in China.

Advancement in drug design and discovery research has led to the development of synthetic drugs from B. rotunda metabolites via bioinformatics and medicinal chemistry studies. Furthermore, with the advent of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, new insights on the biosynthetic pathways of B. rotunda metabolites can be elucidated, enabling researchers to predict the potential bioactive compounds responsible for the medicinal properties of the plant. The vast biological activities exhibited by the compounds obtained from B. rotunda warrant further investigation through studies such as drug  discovery, polypharmacology, and drug delivery using nanotechnology.

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/Fingerroot

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/49521/

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/44392164/0

http://www.randys-tropicalplants.com/Boesenbergia-rotunda.html

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/473637/

http://www.allrareherbs.com.au/products/Chinese-Keys%2C-500ml-pot.html

Epazote

Botanical Name: Dysphania ambrosioides
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Chenopodioideae
Tribe:     Dysphanieae
Genus:     Dysphania
Species: D. ambrosioides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Chenopodium ambrosioides

Common Names: Epazote, wormseed, Jesuit’s tea, Mexican tea, Paico or Herba Sancti Mariæ, Herba Sancti Mariæ

Indian Names: Hindi: Sugandha-vastooka • Kannada: guddada voma, huli voma, kaadu voma, • Manipuri: Monshaobi-manbi • Marathi: Chandanbatva • Mizo: Buarchhimtir

Habitat:Dysphania ambrosioides is native to Central America, South America, and southern Mexico.It grows  in warm temperate to subtropical areas of Europe and the United States (Missouri, New England, Eastern United States), sometimes becoming an invasive weed.

Description:
Epazote is an annual or short-lived perennial plant (herb), growing to 1.2 m (3.9 ft) tall, irregularly branched, with oblong-lanceolate leaves up to 12 cm (4.7 in) long. The flowers are small and green, produced in a branched panicle at the apex of the stem.
CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES

&  EPAZOTE

Edible Uses:
Epazote is eaten  as a leaf vegetable, an herb and an herbal tea for its pungent flavor. Raw, it has a resinous, medicinal pungency, similar to anise, fennel, or even tarragon, but stronger. Epazote’s fragrance is strong but difficult to describe. A common analogy is to turpentine or creosote. It has also been compared to citrus, savory, or mint.

Although it is traditionally used with black beans for flavor and its carminative properties (less gas), it is also sometimes used to flavor other traditional Mexican dishes as well: it can be used to season quesadillas and sopes (especially those containing huitlacoche), soups, mole de olla, tamales with cheese and chile, chilaquiles, eggs and potatoes and enchiladas.

Medicinal Uses:
Epazote is commonly believed to prevent flatulence. It has also been used in the treatment of amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, malaria, chorea, the now discredited diagnosis of hysteria, catarrh, and asthma.

Some of its chemical constituents have been shown in the laboratory to affect certain cancer cell lines, and it has also been reported to be highly carcinogenic in rats. A Nigerian group, however, concluded in 2007 that it is neither mutagenic nor cytotoxic.

Oil of chenopodium is derived from this plant. Merriam-Webster defines it as “a colorless or pale yellow toxic essential oil of unpleasant odor and taste, … formerly used as an anthelmintic”.

In the early 1900s it was one of the major anthelmintics used to treat ascarids and hookworms in humans, cats, dogs, horses, and pigs. Usually, oil of chenopodium was used. It was sometimes referred to as Baltimore Oil, because of the large production facility in Baltimore, Maryland[10] that specialized in extracting the oil from the plant. Chenopodium was replaced with other, more effective and less toxic anthelmintics in the 1940s.

Chenopodium is still used to treat worm infections in humans in many countries. In Honduras, as well as other Latin American countries, the whole plant or the leaves are ground and added to water. This mixture is then consumed. In a few areas in Latin America, the plant also is used to treat worm infections in livestock.

Epazote essential oil contains ascaridole (up to 70%), limonene, p-cymene, and smaller amounts of numerous other monoterpenes and monoterpene derivatives (?-pinene, myrcene, terpinene, thymol, camphor and trans-isocarveol). Ascaridole (1,4-peroxido-p-menth-2-ene) is rather an uncommon constituent of spices; another plant owing much of its character to this monoterpene peroxide is boldo. Ascaridole is toxic and has a pungent, not very pleasant flavor; in pure form, it is an explosive sensitive to shock. Allegedly, ascaridole content is lower in epazote from Mexico than in epazote grown in Europe or Asia.

Other Uses:  The essential oils of epazote contain terpene compounds, some of which have natural pesticide capabilities. A study from the University of California found that the compound ascaridole in epazote inhibits the growth of nearby plants, so it would be best to relegate this plant at a distance from other inhabitants of the herb garden. Even though this plant has an established place in recipes and in folklore, it is wise to use only the leaves, and those very sparingly, in cooking.

Companion plant:  Epazote not only contains terpene compounds, it also delivers partial protection to nearby plants simply by masking their scent to some insects, making it a useful companion plant. Its small flowers may also attract some predatory wasps and flies.

Known Hazards:  Overdoses of the essential oil have caused human deaths (attributed to the ascaridole content),the symptoms including severe gastroenteritis with pain, vomiting and diarrhoea.
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/Dysphania_ambrosioides

http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Mexican%20Tea.html