Backhousia myrtifolia

Botanical Name : Backhousia myrtifolia
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus:     Backhousia
Species: B. myrtifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Myrtales

Common Names:carrol, carrol ironwood, neverbreak, ironwood or grey myrtle, or Australian lancewood. Cinnamon myrtle

Habitat :Backhousia myrtifolia is native to subtropical rainforests of Eastern Australia.

\Description:
Backhousia myrtifolia is an evergreen Shrub growing to 12 m (39ft 4in). It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in May. The leaves are ovate or elliptic, 4-7 cm long, with a cinnamon-like odour. Flowers are star-shaped and borne in panicles.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)  The small papery fruit are bell-shaped.The attractive flowers are creamy coloured and star shaped, followed by star-like capsules.
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Cultivation:        
Prefers a position in full sun in a fertile moisture retentive well-drained soil. A very ornamental plant, in Britain it is only reliably hardy in the Scilly Isles. Plants in Australian gardens tolerate temperatures down to at least -7°c, but this cannot be translated directly to British gardens due to our cooler summers and longer, colder and wetter winters. Seed can remain viable on the plant for 3 – 4 years.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow in spring or autumn in a greenhouse and keep the compost moist until germination takes place. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame

Edible uses:  Leaves can be harvested as sprigs for use in cooking.

The leaves of cinnamon myrtle have a cinnamon-like aroma sweet aroma and flavour, and can be used as a spice in various dishes. It’s used in
savory recipes, deserts, confectionary and herbal teas.

The main essential oil isolate in cinnamon myrtle is elemicin, which is also a significant flavouring component in common nutmeg.

Cinnamon myrtle can also be used in floristry.

Medicinal Uses:
Not available in the internet

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

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Backhousia+myrtifolia

http://www.daleysfruit.com.au/CINNAMON-MYRTLE,–Backhousia-myrtifolia.htm

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

Cinnamomum loureiroi (Saigon cinnamon)

Botanical Name: Cinnamomum loureiroi
Family:    Lauraceae
Genus:    Cinnamomum
Species:C. loureiroi
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Laurales

Common Names: Saigon cinnamon, Vietnamese cinnamon or Vietnamese cassia.The scientific name was originally spelled as Cinnamomum loureirii, but because the species is named after the botanist João de Loureiro, this is to be treated under the ICN as an orthographic error for the correctly derived spelling of loureiroi.

English Name:    Saigon cinnamon
French Name:    Cannelle de Saïgon, Cannelle de Cochinchine
German Name:    Vietnamesischer Zimt, Saigon-Zimt
Vietnamese Name: Que, Que quì, Que thanh hoá
Habitat : Saigon cinnamon is indigenous to mainland Southeast Asia. Despite its name, it is more closely related to cassia (C. cassia) than to cinnamon (C. verum, “true cinnamon”, Ceylon cinnamon), though in the same genus as both. Saigon cinnamon has 1-5% essential oil in content and 25% cinnamaldehyde in essential oil, which is the highest of all the cinnamon species. Consequently, out of the three species, it commands the highest price.

Saigon cinnamon is produced primarily in Vietnam, both for domestic use and export. The Vietnam War disrupted production, but since the beginning of the early 21st century Vietnam has resumed export of the spice, including to the United States, where it was unavailable for nearly 20 years. Although it is called Saigon cinnamon, it is not produced in the area around the southern city of Saigon, but instead in the central and Central Highlands regions of the country, particularly the Qu?ng Ngai Province of central Vietnam.

Description:
Cinnamomum loureiroi is a small tree.The cinnamone is obtained by drying the central part of the bark and is marketed as stick cinnamon or in powdered form. The waste and other parts are used for oil of cinnamon, a medicine and flavoring. Cassia or Chinese cinnamon (C. cassia) was used in China long before true cinnamon. Though considered an inferior substitute for true cinnamon, the spice and oil derived from its bark and that of the related Saigon cinnamon (C. loureiroi) are more commonly sold as cinnamon than spice derived from C. verum bark, which is more delicately flavored. Cinnamon and cassia (often confused) have been favorite spices since biblical times, used also as perfume and incense. Cinnamon is classified in the division Magnoliophyta

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Saigon cinnamon or Cinnamomum loureiroi  is used primarily for its aromatic bark, which is quite similar to that of Cinnamomum aromaticum but with a more pronounced, complex aroma.

Edible Uses: In Vietnamese cuisine, Saigon cinnamon bark is an important ingredient in the broth used to make a noodle soup called ph?.

Principal Constituents.—A volatile oil (Oleum Cinnamomi), tannin, and sugars. (Oil of Cinnamon of medicine is Cassia Oil (Oleum Cassiae) derived from Cinnamomum Cassia (Nees), Blume.)

Medicinal Uses:
Cinnamon is an aromatic stimulant, carminative and astringent. Besides it possesses marked internal hemostatic power. That this is not wholly due to the tannin contained in the bark is shown by the prompt action of the tincture of the oil. Oil of Cinnamon has properties which make it nearly specific for certain conditions. While no tests have been made that convinces one of its power over germ-life, there seems to be no question that some such germicidal action is exerted by it in acute infections, as “common colds,” and as la grippe or epidemic influenza. Aromatic bodies, like cinnamon and camphor, have been overlooked in recent years, though the use of the latter has been revived as an antiseptic stimulant in pneumonia. That they possess antibacterial virtues we believe will be found true should investigations be made of them in that line. Cinnamon imparts a flavor to unpleasant medicines and may be used to preserve them from rapid changes. Medicines dispensed in but few drops in a half glass of water will not keep sweet long at any time and will quickly sour in summer time. A few drops of Specific Medicine Cinnamon added to such mixtures give an agreeable sweetness and aroma and will help the medicine to preserve its balance for several days. Children invariably like the flavor. Even cinnamon can be overdone, however. It should not be added day after day for a long period lest the stomach revolt and the taste recoil. Nor should much be put in mixtures for little children, for if overdone it smarts the mouth severely; nor should it be employed when the mouth is irritated or ulcerated. When too much has been added the oil of cinnamon separates and floats upon the surface, and if thus given it is decidedly irritant. If the medicine to which it has been added in over-amount is too valuable to throw away, the excess of cinnamon may be easily removed by lightly sweeping over the surface with a clean piece of bibulous paper-blotting paper or filter paper-or a firm, non-crumbling piece of bread.

Cinnamon is frequently employed as an ingredient of mixtures to restrain intestinal discharges, and the powder with or without chalk or bismuth, or its equivalent in infusion has long figured in the treatment of diarrhea and acute dysentery, though it does not equal in the latter condition other agents which we now use specifically. In diarrhea it should be used in small doses if of the acute type, and in large doses in chronic non-inflammatory and non-febrile forms. It warms the gastro-intestinal tract and dispels flatus, being decidedly useful as a carminative. It has the advantage of preventing griping when given with purgatives, and it enters into the composition of spice poultice, a useful adjuvant in the treatment of some forms of gastro-intestinal disorders.

Cinnamon has been proved in Eclectic practice to be a very important remedy in hemorrhages. It acts best in the passive forms. The type of hemorrhage most benefited is the post-partum variety, though here it has its limitations. If the uterus is empty and the hemorrhage is due to flaccidity of that organ due to lack of contraction, then it becomes an important agent. Then it strongly aids the action of ergot and should be alternated with it. If retained secundines are the provoking cause of the bleeding, little can be expected of this or any other agent until the offenders have been removed. Cinnamon should be frequently given, preferably a tincture of the oil, though an infusion might be useful, but it cannot be prepared quickly enough or be made of the desired strength. Specific Medicine Cinnamon is a preferred preparation. Oil of erigeron acts very well with it. In menorrhagia, even when due to fibroids and polypi, it has had the effect of intermittently checking the waste: but only a surgical operation is the rational course in such cases.

Other hemorrhages of a passive type are benefited by cinnamon. Thus we have found it a very important agent in hemoptysis of limited severity. In such cases we have added it to specific medicine ergot and furnished it to the patient to keep on hand as an emergency remedy. By having the medicine promptly at hand the patient becomes less agitated or frightened, and this contributes largely to the success of the treatment. Rest and absolute mental composure on the part of the patient and the administration of cinnamon have been promptly effective. If not equal to the emergency, then a small hypodermatic injection of morphine and atropine sulphates will usually check the bleeding. When used with ergot in pulmonary hemorrhage probably more relief comes from the cinnamon than from the ergot, for ergot alone is far less effective. We are told that ergot does not act as well in pulmonary bleeding as in other forms of hemorrhage because of the sparse musculature and poor vaso-motor control of the pulmonic vessels. But cinnamon has given results which have been entirely satisfactory. Hemorrhages from the stomach, bowels, and renal organs are often promptly checked by the timely administration of cinnamon.

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

Resources:

http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/felter/cinnamomum.html

http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Cinnamon+plant

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

Cinnamomum burmannii

Botanical Name ; Cinnamomum burmannii
Family:    Lauraceae
Genus:    Cinnamomum
Species:C. burmannii
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Laurales

Common Names: Indonesian cinnamon, Padang cassia, or korintje,Cinnamon, Cassia vera

Habitat : Cinnamomum burmanii is native to Southeast Asia and Indonesia. It is normally found in West Sumatra and western Jambi province, with the Kerinci region being especially known as the center of production of quality, high essential-oil crops. C. burmanii grows in wet, tropical climates, and is an introduced species in parts of the subtropical world, particularly in Hawai?i, where it is naturalized and invasive. It was introduced to Hawai?i from Asia in 1934 as a crop plant.

Description:
Cinnamomum burmannii is an evergreen tree growing up to 7 m in height with aromatic bark and smooth, angular branches.The leaves are glossy green, oval, and about 10 cm (3.9 in) long and 3–4 cm (1.2–1.6 in) wide. Small yellow flowers bloom in early summer, and produce a dark drupe.Fruit an ellipsoid berry, subtended by a small cupule that has the basal, truncate parts of tepals attached to the rim.
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It is one of several plants in the genus Cinnamomum whose bark is sold as the spice cinnamon. The most common and cheapest type of cinnamon in the US is made from powdered C. burmannii. Cinnamomum burmannii oil contains no eugenol. It is also sold as quills of one layer.

Edible Uses:
Cinnamomum burmannii is the source of the spice called Cassia, similar to cinnamon yet different. Cassia is the powder obtained from the bark of the tree.
At harvest, the bark is stripped off and put to dry in the sun, where it curls into a specific form called “quills.”

The quills are dried and cut into thin strips or ground into powder.Cassia is less costly than cinnamon and is often sold ground as cinnamon.
The difference between Cassia and cinnamon is that cinnamon is used for sweet dishes that are requiring a subtle flavor, while cassia is used for strong, spicy, main dishes such as curries and spicy meat dishes. Dried Cassia leaves are the Indian herb called “tejpat” and incorrectly called “bay leaves”. Cassia is also an ingredient in Chinese five-spice.

Cassia buds are often used in stewed fruits, especially apples and with mixed spices for pudding spice, pastry spice and mulling spices.

Chemical Constituents:     Cassia bark can contains up to 4% oils, as well as tannins, catechins, proanthocyanidins, resins, mucilage, gum, sugars, calcium oxalate, cinnzelanin, cinnzelanol, and coumarin.

Medicinal Uses:
The properties of Cassia and Cassia oil are similar to those of cinnamon. Cassia is a tonic, carminative and stimulant. It is used to treat nausea and flatulence. It is also used alone or in combination to treat diarrhea.

Known Hazards:    It has been noted by the German Commission E that some people are in fact allergic to cinnamon, with side effects ranging from an allergic skin reactions to mucosa. It is not recommended for medicinal uses during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

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://ntbg.org/plants/plant_details.php?plantid=2799

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

http://www.goldenneedleonline.com/Cinnamon-Cinnamomum-burmannii-Sticks-Organic.html

Cicely (Myrrhis odorata)

Botanical Name:Myrrhis odorata
Family:    Apiaceae
Genus:    Myrrhis
Species: M. odorata
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Apiales

Common Names: Cicely or Sweet Cicely,Myrhh

Habitat :Cicely is native to mountains of southern and central Europe, introduced and naturalized elsewhere in cultivated areas. I grows on woodland margins, roadside verges, river banks and grassland.

Description:
Cicely is an herbaceous perennial plant  growing to 2 m [6 ft 6 in] tall, depending on circumstances. The leaves are 2-4-pinnate, finely divided, feathery, up to 50 cm long, with whitish patches near the rachis. The plant is softly hairy and smells strongly of aniseed when crushed. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles.The plant is self-fertile. The flowers are white, about 2–4 mm across, produced in large umbels. The fruits are slender, 15–25 mm long and 3–4 mm broad.
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Cultivation: 
Prefers a moist rich soil in a shady position. Thrives in all soils in sun or shade. This species is hardy to about -15°c according to one report whilst another says that it is hardy to at least -20°c. Plants often self-sow freely. Sweet cicely used to be quite widely cultivated as a food plant but is now only occasionally grown in the herb garden. This is a shame since it is an extremely useful and tasty plant to grow and can provide food all year round. A good bee plant.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe since stored seed is difficult to germinate. The seed can be sown in an outdoor seedbed or, if supplies are limited, it can be sown in pots in a cold frame. Thin the seedlings in the outdoor bed as necessary (eat the thinnings) and transplant the young plants into their final positions in the following spring. Prick out the pot-grown seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in spring. Division in spring or autumn. Remove the tapering tap root and cut the remaining root into sections with at least one eye per section and replant in their permanent position.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. Excellent raw, the leaves have a delicious sweet aniseed flavour and are liked by the majority of people who try them. They are also used as a flavouring for vegetables, and are an important ingredient of the herb mix ‘bouquet garni’. They can be cooked with tart fruits in order to reduce their acidity. The plant produces fresh leaves from late winter to early the following winter. The leaves can also be dried for later use. It is best to prevent the plant from flowering if the leaves are required for culinary use, because they lose their flavour when the plant is in flower. Root – raw or cooked. A similar flavour to the leaves. So long as it is not too old, the root can be boiled and mixed with other vegetables or added to salads. Seed – raw or cooked. An aniseed flavour, it is usually used as a flavouring but can also be eaten raw whilst it is still green and before the fibrous coat has formed. It makes an excellent mouth freshener. A tea is made from the leaves.

Medicinal Uses:
Cicely  has a history of use as a medicinal.The whole plant, including the seed, is aromatic, carminative, expectorant and stomachic. It is useful in the treatment of coughs and flatulence, and also as a gentle stimulant for the stomach. The root is antiseptic and a decoction has been used to treat snake and dog bites. An ointment made from the roots has been used to ease gout and soothe wounds.

Other Uses:
The leaves and the seed make good polishes for wood. You just rub them over the wood and then rub the wood with a clean cloth to remove any greenness. It is particularly good on oak panels, giving a lovely glossy finish and an aromatic smell.

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

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Myrrhis+odorata

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

Brassica juncea (Brown Mustard)

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

Common Names: Brown Mustard,  Mustard greens, Indian mustard, Chinese mustard, or Leaf mustard, Green mustard cabbage

Habitat : Primary center of origin thought to be central Asia (northwest India), with secondary centers in central and western China, eastern India, Burma, and through Iran to Near East. Has been cultivated for centuries in many parts of Eurasia. The principle growing countries are Bangladesh, Central Africa, China, India, Japan, Nepal, and Pakistan, as well as southern Russia north of the Caspian Sea. Considered a principle weed in Canada, a common weed in Argentina and Australia, and a weed in Fiji, Mexico, and the United States, Indian Mustard is widely distributed as a cultivar and escape in subtropical and temperate climates.

Description:
Brassica juncea is a Perennial herb, usually grown as an annual or biennial, up to 1 m or more tall; branches long, erect or patent; lower leaves petioled, green, sometimes with a whitish bloom, ovate to obovate, variously lobed with toothed, scalloped or frilled edges, lyrate-pinnatisect, with 1–2 lobes or leaflets on each side and a larger sparsely setose, terminal lobe; upper leaves subentire, short petioled, 30–60 mm long, 2–3.5 mm wide, constricted at intervals, sessile, attenuate into a tapering, seedless, short beak 5–10 mm long. Rooting depth 90–120 cm. Seeds about 5,660–6,000 per 0.01 kg (1/3 oz).
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Edible Uses:
The leaves, the seeds (Raai in Gujarati), and the stem of this mustard variety are edible. The plant appears in some form in African, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and soul food cuisine. Cultivars of B. juncea are grown as greens, and for the production of oilseed. In Russia, this is the main variety grown for production of mustard oil, which after refining is considered[according to whom?] one of the best vegetable oils. It is widely used in canning, baking and margarine production in Russia, and the majority of table mustard there is also made from this species of mustard plant.

The leaves are used in African cooking, and leaves, seeds, and stems are used in Indian cuisine, particularly in mountain regions of Nepal, as well as in the Punjab cuisine of India and Pakistan, where a famous dish called sarson da saag (mustard greens) is prepared. B. juncea subsp. tatsai, which has a particularly thick stem, is used to make the Indian pickle called achar, and the Chinese pickle zha cai. The mustard made from the seeds of the B. juncea is called brown mustard. The leaves & seeds (Raai in Gujarati)are used in many Indian dishes.

The Gorkhas of Darjeeling and Sikkim prepare pork with mustard greens (also called rayo in Nepali). It is usually eaten with relish with steamed rice, but could also be eaten with chapati (griddle breads).

Brassica juncea is more pungent than the closely related Brassica oleracea greens (kale, cabbage, collard greens, et cetera), and is frequently mixed with these milder greens in a dish of “mixed greens”, which may include wild greens such as dandelion. As with other greens in soul food cooking, mustard greens are generally flavored by being cooked for a long period with ham hocks or other smoked pork products. Mustard greens are high in vitamin A and vitamin K.

Chinese and Japanese cuisines also make use of mustard greens. In Japanese cuisine it is known as Takana and is often pickled and used as filling in onigiri or as a condiment. A large variety of B. juncea cultivars are used, including zha cai, mizuna, takana (var. integlofolia), juk gai choy, and xuelihong. Asian mustard greens are most often stir-fried or pickled. A Southeast Asian dish called asam gai choy or kiam chai boey is often made with leftovers from a large meal. It involves stewing mustard greens with tamarind, dried chillies and leftover meat on the bone.

Medicinal Uses:
Reported to be anodyne, apertif, diuretic, emetic, rubefacient, and stimulant, Indian Mustard is a folk remedy for arthritis, footache, lumbago, and rheumatism. Seed used for tumors in China. Root used as a galactagogue in Africa. Sun-dried leaf and flower are smoked in Tanganyika to “get in touch with the spirits.” Ingestion may impart a body odor repellent to mosquitoes (Burkill, 1966). Believed to be aperient and tonic, the volatile oil is used as a counterirritant and stimulant. In Java the plant is used as an antisyphilitic emmenagogue. Leaves applied to the forehead are said to relieve headache (Burkill, 1966). In Korea, the seeds are used for abscesses, colds, lumbago, rheumatism, and stomach disorders. Chinese eat the leaves in soups for bladder, inflammation or hemorrhage. Mustard oil is used for skin eruptions and ulcers.

Other Uses:
Phytoremediation:
This plant is used in phytoremediation to remove heavy metals, such as lead, from the soil in hazardous waste sites because it has a higher tolerance for these substances and stores the heavy metals in its cells. The plant is then harvested and disposed of properly. This method is easier and less expensive than traditional methods for the removal of heavy metals. It also prevents erosion of soil from these sites preventing further contamination

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/Brassica_juncea

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Brassica_juncea.html

Blue fenugreek

Botanical Name: Trigonella caerulea
Family:    Fabaceae
Genus:    Trigonella
Species:T. caerulea
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Fabales

Synonyms: Trigonella melilotus-caerulea, Melilotus caeruleus, Trifolium caeruleum, Grammocarpus caeruleus

Common Names: Blue fenugreek, Sweet Trefoil

Other Names:
English:Blue–white clover, Blue–white trigonella, Sweet trefoil, Curd herb, Blue melilot

French:    Trigonelle bleue, Mélilot bleu, Baumier, Trèfle musque, Trèfle bleu, Lotier odorant, Mélilot d’Allemagne

Georgian: Utskho suneli, Utsxo suneli

German:    Schabziegerklee, Blauer Steinklee, Blauklee, Bisamklee, Brotklee, Hexenkraut, Ziegerkraut, Zigerchrut, Ziegerklee, Käseklee, Blauer Honigklee

Habitat:Blue fenu­greek is found in the Alps, in the moun­tains of East­ern and South East­ern Europe and in the Cau­casus.The plant is naturalized on waste and arable land.

Description:
Blue fenugreek  is an annual herb in the. It is 30-60 cm tall. Its leaves are obovate or lance-shaped, 2-5 cm long, 1-2 cm wide and saw-toothed in upper part. Its flower stalks are compact, globular racemes, longer than the leaves. The sepals are twice as short as the corolla, its teeth are equal to the tube. The corolla is 5.5-6.5 mm long and blue. The pods are erect or slightly curved, compressed, 4-5 mm long with beak 2 mm. The seeds are small and elongated. It blossoms in April-May, the seeds ripen in May-June. It is self-pollinated.
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Cultivation:         
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. Prefers a well-drained loamy soil in full sun. Cultivated in the Mediterranean for its leaves which are used as a flavouring. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.

Propagation:
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in situ.

Edible Uses:
Young seedlings are eaten with oil and salt. The leaves and young plants are eaten cooked. The dried powdered leaves and flowers are used as a flavouring and colouring for bread etc. They are also used as a condiment in soups and potato dishes. A decoction of the leaves is used as an aromatic tea and as a flavouring for China tea

Blue fenugreek is widely used in Georgian cuisine, where it is known as utskho suneli. It is one of the ingredients of the Georgian spice mix khmeli suneli. Both the seeds, the pods and the leaves are used. The smell and taste are similar to ordinary fenugreek, but milder. In Switzerland it is used for flavouring the traditional schabziger cheese.

Constituents:  According to a some­what older publication, ??keto-acids are respon­sible for the flavour of blue fenu­greek: pyruvic acid, ??keto glutaric acid, ??keto isovalerianic acid and even a-keto isocapronic acid

Medicinal Uses: Not available in the internet
Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Trigonella+caerulea

http://gernot-katzers-spice-pages.com/engl/Trig_cae.html

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

Cardamom

Botanical Name : Amomum subulatum,/ Amomum costatum
Family:    Zingiberaceae
Genus:Amomum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Zingiberales

Common Names: Black cardamom, Hill cardamom, Bengal cardamom,Greater cardamom, Indian cardamom, Nepal cardamom, winged cardamom, or Brown cardamom
Other Names:
French: cardamome
German: Kardamom
Italian: cardamomo, cardamone
Spanish: cardamomo
Burmese: phalazee
Chinese: ts’ao-k’ou
Indian: chhoti elachi, e(e)lachie, ela(i)chi, illaichi
Indonesian: kapulaga
Sinhalese: enasal
Thai: grawahn, kravan

In Bengali It is called baro illach for Black Cardamom and choto illach for green Cardamom.

Habitat: Black cardamom is  native to India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bhutan.

Description:
Black Cardamom is a herbaceous plant.It is a perennial bush of the ginger family, with sheathed stems reaching 10-12 feet in height.

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It has a large tuberous rhizome and long, dark green leaves 30-60 cm (1-2 ft) long, 5-15 cm (2-6”) wide.

Trailing leafy stalks grow from the plant base at ground level, these bear the seed pods.

The flowers are white with blue stripes and yellow borders.

The fruit is a small pod or capsule with 8 to 16 brown seeds; the seeds are used as a spice.

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The pods are used as a spice, in a similar manner to the green Indian cardamom pods, but with a different flavor. Unlike green cardamom, this spice is rarely used in sweet dishes. Its smoky flavor and aroma derive from traditional methods of drying over open flames.

At least two distinct species of black cardamom occur: Amomum subulatum (also known as Nepal cardamom) and A. costatum. The pods of A. subulatum, used primarily in the cuisines of India and certain regional cuisines of Pakistan, are the smaller of the two, while the larger pods of A. costatum  are used in Chinese cuisine, particularly that of Sichuan; and Vietnamese cuisine.

Edible Uses:
Black cardamom is often erroneously described as an inferior substitute for green cardamom by those unfamiliar with the spice; actually, it is just not as well suited for the sweet/hot dishes which typically include cardamom, and that are more commonly prepared outside the plant’s native range. Black cardamom, by contrast, is better for hearty meat stews and similar dishes. Although the flavor differs from the smaller green cardamom, black cardamom is sometimes used by large-scale commercial bakers because of its low cost.

In China, the pods are used for jin-jin braised meat dishes, particularly in the cuisine of the central-western province of Sichuan. The pods are also often used in Vietnam, where they are called thao quo and used as an ingredient in the broth for the noodle soup called pho.

Chemical constituents:
The content of essential oil in the seeds is strongly dependent on storage conditions, but may be as high as 8%. In the oil were found ?-terpineol 45%, myrcene 27%, limonene 8%, menthone 6%, ?-phellandrene 3%, 1,8-cineol 2%, sabinene 2% and heptane 2%.[15] Other sources report 1,8-cineol (20 to 50%), ?-terpenylacetate (30%), sabinene, limonene (2 to 14%), and borneol.

In the seeds of round cardamom from Jawa (A. kepulaga), the content of essential oil is lower (2 to 4%), and the oil contains mainly 1,8 cineol (up to 70%) plus ?-pinene (16%); further­more, ?-pinene, ?-terpineol and humulene were found.

Medicinal Uses:
The largest producer of the black cardamom is Nepal, followed by India and Bhutan. In traditional Chinese medicine, black cardamom is used for stomach disorders and malaria.

Green cardamom is broadly used in South Asia to treat infections in teeth and gums, to prevent and treat throat troubles, congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of eyelids, and digestive disorders. It also is used to break up kidney and gall stones, and was reportedly used as an antidote for both snake and scorpion venoms. Amomum is used as a spice and as an ingredient in traditional medicine in systems of the traditional Chinese medicine in China, in Ayurveda in India, Pakistan, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Among other species, varieties, and cultivars, Amomum villosum cultivated in China, Laos, and Vietnam is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat stomach problems, constipation, dysentery, and other digestion problems. Tsaoko cardamom, Amomum tsao-ko, is cultivated in Yunnan and northwest Vietnam, both for medicinal purposes and as a spice.

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/Cardamom

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

http://www.spicesmedicinalherbs.com/black-cardamom-spice.html

http://www.discoverplants.com/plant-types/herbs/black-cardamom/

Lemon basil

Botanical Name:Ocimum americanum
Family:    Lamiaceae
Genus:    Ocimum
Species:O. × citriodorum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Lamiales

Synonyms: Ocimum canum

Common name: Hoary Basil, Wild basil, Lemon basil • Hindi: Kali tulasi • Manipuri: Mayangton • Marathi: Ran-tulshi • Tamil: Nai Thulasi • Malayalam: Kattu-tulasi • Telugu: Kukka Thulasi • Kannada: Nayi tulasi • Bengali: Kalo-tulashi • Sanskrit: Kshudraparna, Gambhira

Habitat :The herb is grown primarily in northeastern Africa and southern Asia for its strong fragrant lemon scent, and is used in cooking.

Description:
Lemon basil is an annual herb that should be replanted each year after the frost, Lemon Basil has narrow pointed green leaves that are very fragrantly scented. Small growing Lemon Basil will only reach a height of  about 45cm and needs regular harvesting to keep it bushy and extend the growing period before the white flowers appears.
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It is  hybrid between basil (Ocimum basilicum) and African basil (Ocimum americanum). It is recognizes its herbaceous culinary composition by displaying heady aromas and notes of citrus, specifically lemon and lime. The stems can grow to 20–40 cm tall. It has white flowers in late summer to early fall. The leaves are similar to basil leaves, but tend to be narrower. Seeds form on the plant after flowering and dry on the plant.

Edible Uses:
In Laos, lemon basil is used extensively in Lao curries, stews, and stir-fried dishes as it is the most commonly used type of basil in Laos.[1] Many Lao stews require the use of lemon basil as no other basil varieties are acceptable as substitutes. The most popular Lao stew called or lam uses lemon basil as a key ingredient.

Lemon Basil is used in Indonesian and Asian curries and soups. Seeds soaked in water will swell up and can be used in sweet puddings or fresh leaves can be added as a garnish.

Lemon basil is the only basil used much in Indonesian cuisine, where it is called kemangi. It is often eaten raw with salad or lalap (raw vegetables) and accompanied by sambal. Lemon basil is often used to season certain Indonesian dishes, such as curries, soup, stew and steamed or grilled dishes. In Thailand, Lemon basil, called maenglak (Thai), is one of several types of basil used in Thai cuisine. The leaves are used in certain Thai curries and it is also indispensable for the noodle dish khanom chin nam ya. The seeds resemble frog’s eggs after they have been soaked in water and are used in sweet desserts.It is also used in North East part of India state Manipur. In Manipur, it is used in curry like pumpkin, used in singju (a form of salad), and in red or green chilli pickles type.

Medicinal Uses:
Lemon basil  is used  in preparing Ayurvedic medicines and is used in aroma  therapy.

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://flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Hoary%20Basil.html

https://flowerpower.com.au/information/fact-sheets/lemon-basil/

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

Alkanna tinctoria

Botanical Name: Alkanna tinctoria
Family:    Boraginaceae
Genus:    Alkanna
Species: A. tinctoria
Kingdom:Plantae

Synonyms: Anchusa tinctoria.

Common Names: Alkanet, Alkanna, Dyers’ Bugloss, Orchanet, Spanish bugloss or Languedoc bugloss.

Habitat :Alkanna tinctoria is native in the Mediterranean region.It grows on maritime sands, uncultivated ground, calcareous soils and pine forests.

Description:
Alkanna tinctoria is a perennial plant growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.3 m (1ft). It is in flower in June and the flowers are bright blue in colour.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) The plant has a dark red root of blackish appearance externally but blue-red inside, with a whitish core.

Cultivation:   
Prefers a well-drained sandy or loamy soil in sun or partial shade. Dislikes acid soils but thrives in alkaline soils. A very drought tolerant plant when established, succeeding in a hot dry position, it is a useful plant for dry sandy or alkaline soils. Plants are hardy to about -10°c. This species is occasionally cultivated as a dye plant. One report says that it is cultivated for its seed.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Fairly easy, they can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required. Basal cuttings of new growth in late spring. Harvest the young shoots when they are about 10 – 15cm long and pot them up into individual pots in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse. They should root well within a few weeks and can be planted out in the summer. Root cuttings in late winter.

Edible Uses :    
Edible Parts: Leaves are said to be used as a vegetable. A red dye obtained from the roots is used as a food colouring.Alkanna tinctoria is traditionally used in Indian food under the name “Ratan Jot”, and lends its red colour to some versions of the curry dish Rogan Josh. In Australia alkanet is approved for use as a food colouring, but in the European Union it is not.

Medicinal Uses:
The root is antibacterial, antipruritic, astringent and vulnerary.It is used externally in the treatment of varicose veins, indolent ulcers, bed sores and itching rashes. Used internally to treat cough and bronchial catarrh (see known hazards below). Used in the treatment of skin wounds and diarrhoea .The root is harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use. All plant parts are demulcent and expectorant.

Other Uses: The root produces a fine red colouring material which has been used as a dye in the Mediterranean region since antiquity. The root as a dyestuff is soluble in alcohol, ether, and the oils, but is insoluble in water. It is used to give colour to wines and alcoholic tinctures, to vegetable oils, and to varnishes.
Powdered and mixed with oil, the alkanna tinctoria root is used as a wood stain. When mixed into an oily environment it imparts a crimson color to the oil, which, when applied to a wood, moves the wood color towards dark-red-brown rosewood, and accentuates the grain of the wood. It has been used as colorant for lipstick and rouge (cosmetics).

In  alkanna tinctoria environments the alkanna tinctoria dye has a blue color, with the color changing again to crimson on addition of an acid. Hence, it can be used to do alkali-acid litmus tests (but the usual litmus test paper does not use alkanna tinctoria as the agent).

The colouring agent in alkanna tinctoria root has been chemically isolated and named alkannin.

Known Hazards:  Hepatotoxicity (liver toxicity) and carcinogenicity. Many members of this plant family contain a liver-damaging alkaloid and so internal usage is inadvisable.

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

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Alkanna+tinctoria

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

Typhonium trilobatum (Bengali Name:Ghet kachu)

Botanical Name :Typhonium trilobatum
Family:    Araceae (Arum family)
Subfamily:Aroideae
Tribe:    Areae
Genus:    Typhonium
KingdomPlantae
Order:    Alismatales

Synonyms: Arum trilobatum, Arum orixense

Common names: Bengal Arum, Lobed Leaf Typhonium • Tamil: karunai-k-kilanku, pitikarunai, karunai, karu karunai kilanku • Bengali: Ghat kanchu, Kharkon, Ghet kachu or Gher Kochu. • Assamese: Chema kachu

Tribal Names: Kharbas, Sarakao (Chakma); Kalman (Garo).

Habitat :Typhonium trilobatum is an aroid distributed throughout India,Burma & Bangladesh

Description:
Typhonium trilobatum is a  tuberous herb, with subglobose tuber up to 4 cm diam. Petiole 25-30 cm long; lamina hastate-subtrisect, segments all acuminate, front segment ovate, 8-18 cm long, lateral ones obliquely ovate, shorter, subbilobed at base. Peduncle thin, 5-7 cm long; tube of spathe oblong, 2.5 cm long, lamina oblong-ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, 15 or more cm long, 5-7 cm broad, inside rose-purple. Spadix nearly 15 cm long. Female inflorescence short-cylindric, about 7 mm long; male inflorescence 1.25-1.5 cm long, rose-pink, situated above the female. Flowering: August.
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The plant has very narrow 3 ft flower heads emerging before leaves in spring, then unfurl into only kind of narrow, with intricate maroon and cream patterning. When the leaves do appear, they’re large and compound, similar to Cobra Lily, on a stalk that is light green and black-patterned. It emits a distinctive odour for a few hours when it first blooms, like most arums.

Edible Uses: Tubers are eaten in some tribal societies and the plant also has various medicinal uses.

Chemical Constituents:
Tubers and roots contain a volatile acrid principle, ?-sitosterol, two unidentified sterols and an unidentified crystalline compound (Ghani, 2003).

Medicinal Uses:
The plant is hypnotic. Fresh corms are very acrid and a powerful stimulant; employed as a poultice in tumours. The corms are reported to relax the bowels and provide relief in haemorrhoids and piles. They are eaten with bananas to cure the stomach complaints. The Garo of Madhupur applies root paste locally on ulcer of 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.

Resources:

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

http://www.mpbd.info/plants/typhonium-trilobatum.php

http://flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Bengal%20Arum.html