Gentiana lutea

Botanical Name : Gentiana lutea
Family: Gentianaceae
Genus: Gentiana
Species: G. lutea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Name :Great yellow gentian

Other names:   Yellow gentian, bitter root, bitterwort, centiyane, genciana   and   the Devil’  taint

Habitat: The Yellow Gentian is a native of the Alpine and sub-alpine pastures of central and southern Europe, frequent in the mountains of Spain and Portugal, the Pyrenees, Sardinia and Corsica, the Apennines, the Mountains of Auvergne, the Jura, the lower slopes of the Vosges, the Black Forest and throughout the chain of the Alps as far as Bosnia and the Balkan States. It does not reach the northern countries of the Continent, nor the British Isles. At an elevation of from 3,000 to 4,500 feet, it is a characteristic species of many parts of France and Switzerland, where, even when not in flower, the numerous barren shoots form conspicuous objects: the leaves are at first sight very similar to Veratrum album, the White Hellebore, which is its frequent companion. Out of Europe, the plant occurs in the mountains of Lydia. In some parts it occupies large tracts of country, being untouched by any kind of cattle.

Description:
Gentiana lutea is a herbaceous perennial plant, growing to 1–2 m tall, with broad lanceolate to elliptic leaves 10–30 cm long and 4–12 cm broad. The flowers are yellow, with the corolla separated nearly to the base into 5-7 narrow petals. It grows in grassy alpine and sub-alpine pastures, usually on calcareous soils.

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The root is long and thick, generally about a foot long and an inch in diameter, but sometimes even a yard or more long and 2 inches in diameter, of a yellowish-brown colour and a very bitter taste. The stem grows 3 or 4 feet high or more, with a pair of leaves opposite to one another, at each joint. The lowest leaves have short foot-stalks, but the upper ones are stalkless, their bases almost embracing the stem. They are yellowish-green in colour, oblong in shape and pointed, rather stiff, with five prominent veins on the underside, and diminish gradually in size as they grow up the stem. The large flowers are in whorls in the axils of the uppermost few pairs of leaves, forming big orange-yellow clusters. The corollas are wheel-shaped, usually five-cleft, 2 inches across, sometimes marked with rows of small brown spots, giving a red tinge to the otherwise deep yellow. Seeds in abundance are produced by strong plants, and stock is easily raised from them.

Cultivation:
For the successful cultivation of G. lutea, a strong, loamy soil is most suitable, the deeper the better, as the stout roots descend a long way down into the soil. Plenty of moisture is also desirable and a position where there is shelter from cold winds and exposure to sunshine. Old plants have large crowns, which may be divided for the purpose of propagation, but growing it on a large scale, seeds would be the best method. They could be sown in a frame, or in a nursery bed in a sheltered part of the garden and the young seedlings transplanted. They take about three years to grow to flowering size. It is, however, likely that the roots are richest in medicinal properties before the plants have flowered. A big clump of G. lutea is worthy of a conspicuous position in any large flower garden, quite apart from its medicinal value.

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: The rhizome and roots collected in autumn and dried. When fresh, they are yellowish-white externally, but gradually become darker by slow drying. Slow drying is employed to prevent deterioration in colour and to improve the aroma. Occasionally the roots are longitudinally sliced and quickly dried, the drug being then pale in colour and unusually bitter in taste, but this variety is not official.

Constituents:  The dried Gentian root of commerce contains Gentiin and Gentiamarin, bitter glucosides, together with Gentianic acid (gentisin), the latter being physiologically inactive. Gentiopicrin, another bitter glucoside, a pale yellow crystalline substance, occurs in the fresh root, and may be isolated from it by treatment with boiling alcohol. The saccharine constituents of Gentian are dextrose, laevulose, sucrose and gentianose, a crystallizable, fermentable sugar. It is free from starch and yields from 3 to 4 per cent ash.

Gentian is one of the most useful of our bitter vegetable tonics. It is specially useful in states of exhaustion from chronic disease and in all cases of general debility, weakness of the digestive organs and want of appetite. It is one of the best strengtheners of the human system, and is an excellent tonic to combine with a purgative to prevent its debilitating effects. Many dyspeptic complaints are more effectually relieved by Gentian bitters than by Peruvian Bark. It is of extreme value in jaundice and is prescribed extensively.

Besides being unrivalled as a stomachic tonic, Gentian possesses febrifuge, emmenagogue, anthelmintic and antiseptic properties, and is also useful in hysteria, female weakness, etc. Gentian with equal parts of Tormentil or galls has been used with success for curing intermittent fever.

As a simple bitter, Gentian is considered more palatable combined with an aromatic, and for this purpose orange peel is frequently used. A tincture made with 2 OZ. of the root, 1 OZ. of dried orange peel, and 1/2 oz. bruised cardamom seeds in a quart of brandy is an excellent stomachic tonic, and is efficacious in restoring appetite and promoting digestion. A favourite form in which Gentian has been administered in country remedies is as an ingredient in the so-called Stockton bitters, in which Gentian and the root of Sweet Flag play the principal part.

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

Resources:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/gentia08.html

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

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Garcinia hanburyi

Botanical Name :Garcinia hanburyi
Family: Clusiaceae
Subfamily: Clusioideae
Tribe: Garcinieae
Genus: Garcinia
Species: G. hanburyi
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Synonyms: Gutta gamba. Gummigutta. Tom Rong. Gambodia. Garcinia Morella.

Common Names :Names :Gamboge, Rong (Burkill) Cambogia, Guttagemou

Other Name: Hanbury’s Garcinia, Gambojia, Gamboge, Indian Gamboge tree

Tamil Name: kodukkaippuli

English : Hanbury’s Garcinia, Gambojia, Gamboge, Indian Gamboge tree

Indian : Tam?la  or Tamal

German : Gummi-gutti

Habitat: Garcinia hanburyi is native to Siam, Southern Cochin-China, Cambodia, Ceylon.

Description:
Garcinia hanburyi is a low spreading tree, grows to a height of 50 feet, with a diameter of 12 inches, and the gum resin is extracted by incisions or by breaking off the leaves and shoots of the trees, the juice which is a milky yellow resinous gum, resides in the ducts of the bark and is gatheredin vessels, and left to thicken and become hardened. Pipe Gamboge is obtained by letting the juice run into hollowed bamboos, and when congealed the bamboo is broken away from it. The trees must be ten years old before they are tapped, and the gum is collected in the rainy season from June to October. The term ‘Gummi Gutta,’ by which Gamboge is generally known, is derived from the method of extracting it indrops. Gamboge was first introduced into England by the Dutch about the middle of the seventeenth century; it is highly esteemed as a pigment, owing to the brilliancy of its orange colour. It has no odour, and little taste, but if held in the mouth a short time it gives an acrid sensation. The medicinal properties of Gamboge are thought to be contained in the resin. It is official in the United States Pharmacopoeia.

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Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: Gum resin.

Constituents: Resin gum, vegetable waste, garonolic acids; the gum is analogous to gum acacia.

A very powerful drastic hydragogue, cathartic, very useful in dropsical conditions and to lower blood pressure, where there is cerebral congestion. A full dose is rarely given alone, as it causes vomiting, nausea and griping, and a dose of 1 drachm has been known to cause death. It is usually combined with other purgatives which it strengthens. A safe dose is from 2 to 6 grains, but in the treatment of tapeworm the dose is often as much as 10 grains. It provides copious watery evacuations with little pain, but must be used with caution. Dose, 2 to 5 grains in an emulsion or in an alkaline solution.

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

Resources:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/gambog05.html

http://cancerplantsdatabase.com/g-garciniahanburyi.php

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

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Ferula galbaniflua

Botanical Name : Ferula galbaniflua
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Ferula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Habitat:Ferula galbaniflua is native to the Mediterranean region east to central Asia, mostly growing in arid climates.

Description:
Ferula galbaniflua is a  herbaceous perennial flowering plant growing to 1–4 m tall, with stout, hollow, somewhat succulent stems. The leaves are tripinnate or even more finely divided, with a stout basal sheath clasping the stem.They are grayish-tomentose, the radical ones being triangular in outline, and decompound-pinnate, pinnatifid, the sections being linear-obtuse. The radical leaves are large and the stem leaves small. The flowers are yellow, produced in large umbels. The umbels of flowers are few, the seeds shiny. The fruit is thin and flat, winged near the face, has slender, prominent ribs, and in the grooves presents single oil-tubes. Sometimes two narrow tubes are present. The commissure has no tubes.

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The whole plant abounds with a milky juice, which oozes from the joints of old plants, and exudes and hardens from the base of the stem after it has been cut down, then is finally obtained by incisions made in the root. The juice from the root soon hardens and forms the tears of the Galbanum of Commerce. The best tears are palish externally and about the size of a hazel nut and when broken open are composed of clear white tears. The taste is unpleasant, bitterish, acrid, with a strong, peculiar, somewhat aromatic smell. The common kind is an agglutinated mass, showing reddish and white tears, this is of the consistency of firm wax, and can easily be torn to pieces and softened by heat; when cold it is brittle, and mixed with seeds and leaves, when imported in lumps it is often considered preferable to the tears as it contains more volatile oil. Distilled with water it yields a quantity of essential oil, about 6 drachms, to 1 lb. of gum. It was well known to the ancients and Pliny called it ‘bubonion.’ Galbanum under dry distillation yields a thick oil of a bluish colour, which after purification becomes the blue colour of the oil obtained from the flowers of Matricaria Chamomilla.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used-:Gum resin.
Constituents: Gum resin, mineral constituents, volatile oil, umbelliferine, galbaresino-tannol.

It is stimulant, expectorant in chronic bronchitis. Antispasmodic and considered an intermediate between ammoniac and asafoetida for relieving the air passages, in pill form it is specially good, in some forms of hysteria, and used externally as a plaster for inflammatory swellings.The leaf aqueous-ethanol extract of Feruia foetida has shown antioxidant and antihemolytic activities.

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

Resources:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/galban02.html

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

http://www.whitelotusblog.com/2011/06/monograph-galbanum-ferula-galbaniflua.html

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Alpinia officinarum

Botanical Name :Alpinia officinarum
Family:Zingiberaceae
Genus:    Alpinia
Species:A. officinarum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Zingiberales

Synonyms: Galanga. China Root. India Root. East India Catarrh Root. Lesser Galangal. Rhizoma Galangae. Gargaut. Colic Root. Kaempferia Galanga.

Common Name : lesser galangal

Habitat:Alpinia officinarum is native to  China (Hainan Island), Java.It grows mainly on the southeastern coast, and it grows in Hainan, Japan, and Thailand. It is also cultivated in India. Hong Kong is the commercial center for the sale and distribution of the lesser galangal.

Description:
Alpinia officinarum is a herbaceous plant can grow up to ten feet in height, though three to five feet is more common. The leaves are lanceolate (long and thin), and the flowers are white with streaks of red, growing from a spike at the top. The plant’s rhizomes, the part known as galangal, are thin and tough, and they are the principal reason the plant is cultivated. They have orange flesh with a brown coating, and have an aromatic odor and a pungent flavor. These are smaller than greater galangal.

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This plant is a plant of the ginger family, cultivated in Southeast Asia. It originated in China, where its name ultimately derives. It can grow several feet high, with long leaves and reddish-white flowers. The rhizomes, known as galangal, are valued for their spicy flavor and aromatic scent. These are used throughout Asia in curries and perfumes, and were previously used widely in Europe. They are also used as an herbal remedy.

Lesser galangal is often misled the name for Kaempferia galanga that is used in Indonesia, Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries.

Constituents: The root contains a volatile oil, resin, galangol, kaempferid, galangin and alpinin, starch, etc. The active principles are the volatile oil and acrid resin. Galangin is dioxyflavanol, and has been obtained synthetically. Alcohol freely extracts all the properties, and for the fluid extract there should be no admixture of water or glycerin.

Active Compound:-
Beta-sitoterol, 1,7-diphenyl-5-ol-3-heptone, 1-phenyl-7-(3′-methoxyl-4′-hydroxyl) phenyl-5-ol-3-heptone, glandin, kaempferol-4′-methylether and 3,4-dihydroxylbenzoic acid

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: Dried rhizome.

The galangal rhizomes were widely used in ancient and medieval Europe, where they were reputed to smell of roses and taste of spice. Its use in Europe has dramatically declined, however, and is now mainly used in Eastern Europe. It is used in Russia for flavoring vinegar and the liqueur Nastoika. It is still used as a spice and medicine in Lithuania and Estonia.

In Asia the rhizomes are ground to powder for use in curries, drinks, and jellies. In India an extract is used in perfumes, and Tatars prepare a tea with it.

Alpinia officinarum contains high concentrations of the flavonol galangin, which has been shown to slow the increase and growth of breast tumor cells. Historically, the rhizomes were reputed to have stimulant and digestive effects.

Herbal medicine – Medicinal properties digestive tonic stimulant carminative antiemetic antifungal Medicinal parts Rhizome Has medicinal uses yes Do not self-administer no Do no use if pregnant no Legally restricted no Toxicity precautions Medicinal notes Alpiniaofficinarum has herbal applications as a digestive tonic, as a stimulant, as a carminative and as an antiemetic. See the medicinal properties section for even more traditional herbal uses. Only the rhizome is used in herbal preparations.

Traditional uses - Parts used Traditional uses Contemporary uses Fragrance ginger-like roots used for liqueur Fragrance parts Roots Fragrance intensity Mild Fragrance category Spicy Dye parts Dye color.

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

Resources:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/galang01.html

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

http://cancerplantsdatabase.com/a-alpiniaofficinarum.php

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Forget-me-nots

Botanical Name :Myosotis symphytifolia
Family: Boraginaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Genus:     Myosotis

Common Name :Forget-me-nots

Habitat :Forget-me-nots have various species.They are widely distributed. Many Myosotis species are endemic to New Zealand, although it is likely that the genus originated in the Northern Hemisphere. One or two European species, especially the wood forget-me-not, Myosotis sylvatica have been introduced into most of the temperate regions of Europe, Asia and the Americas. Myosotis scorpioides is also known as scorpion grass due to the spiraling curve of its inflorescence. Myosotis alpestris is the state flower of Alaska.

Description:
Forget-me-nots may be annual or perennial flowering plants. Their root systems are generally diffuse. Their seeds are found in small, tulip-shaped pods along the stem to the flower. The pods attach to clothing when brushed against and eventually fall off, leaving the small seed within the pod to germinate elsewhere. Seeds can be collected by putting a piece of paper under the stems and shaking them. The seed pods and some seeds will fall out.
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There are approximately 200 species in the genus, with much variation. Most have small, (1 cm diameter or less) flat, 5-lobed blue, pink or white flowers with yellow centers, growing on scorpioid cymes. They bloom in spring. Leaves are alternate. Popular in gardens, forget-me-nots prefer moist habitats and where they are not native, they have escaped to wetlands and riverbanks. They can tolerate partial sun and shade.

Medicinal Uses:
This plant has a strong affinity for the respiratory organs, especially the left lower lung. On the Continent it is sometimes made into a syrup and given for pulmonary affections. There is a tradition that a decoction or juice of the plant hardens steel.

In Homeopathy it is used for  Chronic bronchitis and phthisis. Night-sweats. Respiratory.–Cough with profuse muco-purulent expectoration, gagging and vomiting during cough; worse while or after eating. Bronchorrhœa. Pain in left lung (lower); painful while coughing and sensitive to percussion.

Other Uses:
Forget-me-nots are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the setaceous Hebrew character.

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

Resources:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/forget29.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forget-me-not

http://hpathy.com/e-books/boerickes-materia-medica/myosotis-symphytifolia/

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Raspberry

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

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

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

Habitat : Raspberry is native to Europe and northern Asia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Raspberry fruit may protect the liver.

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

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

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

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

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

Resources:

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

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

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

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Pea

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

Synonyms: Pisum vulgare Jundz, Lathyrus oleraceus Lam.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Medicinal Uses:
Contraceptive;  Skin.

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

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

Resources:

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

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

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

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Cowpea beans (Barboti)

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

Common Names : Cowpea beans ,Barboti

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resources:

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

http://stuartxchange.com/Paayap.html

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

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Chionanthus virginica

Botanical Name :Chionanthus virginica
Family: Oleaceae
Genus:     Chionanthus
Species: C. virginicus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Lamiales

Synonyms:  Old Man’s Beard. Fringe Tree Bark. Chionathus. Snowdrop Tree. Poison Ash.

Common Name: Grancy Gray Beard and Old Man’ Bread

Habitat: Chionanthus virginica is a tree native to the eastern United States, from New Jersey south to Florida, and west to Oklahoma and Texas.

Description:
Chionanthus virginica is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to as much as 10 to 11 metres (33 to 36 ft) tall, though ordinarily less. The bark is scaly, brown tinged with red. The shoots are light green, downy at first, later becoming light brown or orange. The buds are light brown, ovate, acute, 3 millimetres (0.12 in) long. The leaves are opposite, simple, ovate or oblong, 7.5 to 20 centimetres (3.0 to 7.9 in) long and 2.5 to 10 centimetres (0.98 to 3.94 in) broad, with a petiole 2 centimetres (0.79 in) long, and an entire margin; they are hairless above, and finely downy below, particularly along the veins, and turn yellow in fall. The richly-scented[4] flowers have a pure white, deeply four-lobed corolla, the lobes thread-like, 1.5 to 2.5 centimetres (0.59 to 0.98 in) long and 3 millimetres (0.12 in) broad; they are produced in drooping axillary panicles 10 to 25 centimetres (3.9 to 9.8 in) long when the leaves are half grown, in mid- to late May in New York City, earlier in the south.
click to see the pictures

It is usually dioecious, though occasional plants bear flowers of both sexes. The fruit is an ovoid dark blue to purple drupe 1.5 to 2 centimetres (0.59 to 0.79 in) long, containing a single seed (rarely two or three), mature in late summer to mid fall.

Cultivation:
Although native in the southeastern United States, it is hardy in the north and is extensively planted in gardens, where specimens are often grown with multiple trunks. The white flowers are best seen from below. Fall color is a fine, clear yellow, a good contrast with viburnums and evergreens. It prefers a moist soil and a sheltered situation. It may be propagated by grafting on Ash (Fraxinus sp.).

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used:  The dried bark of the root.

Constituents: It is said that both saponin and a glucoside have been found, but neither appears to have been officially confirmed.

Aperient, diuretic. Some authorities regard it as tonic and slightly narcotic. It is used in typhoid, intermittent, or bilious fevers, and externally, as a poultice, for inflammations or wounds. Is useful in liver complaints.

Traditional uses:
The dried roots and bark were used by Native Americans to treat skin inflammations. The crushed bark was used in treatment of sores and wounds

Other Uses:
The wood is light brown, sapwood paler brown; heavy, hard, and close-grained.

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

Resources:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/fringe32.html

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

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Purging Flax

Botanical Name :Linum catharticum
Family: Linaceae
Genus:     Linum
Species: L. catharticum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Malpighiales

Synonyms: Purging Flax. Dwarf Flax. Fairy Flax. Mill Mountain.

Common Name:Mountain Flax

Habitat :Purging Flax is native to  Europe, including Britain, from Iceland south and east to Spain the Caucasus and Iran. It grows in grassland, dunes and moors, most commonly on calcareous grassland.

Description:
Purging Flax is an annual plant, with a small, thready root, which sends up several slender, smooth, straight stems, which rise to a height of 6 to 8 inches, and are sometimes branched towards the upper part. The leaves are small, linear-oblong and obtuse, the lower ones opposite, and the upper alternate. The flowers, 1/3 to 1/4 of an inch in diameter, are white. The plant at first glance much resembles chickweed, being glaucous and glabrous. It is in flower from Jun to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, self.The plant is self-fertile. click  & see
click to see the pictures
Cultivation:   
Prefers a light well-drained moderately fertile humus-rich soil in a sunny sheltered position[.

Propagation:   
Seed – sow early spring in situ.

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used:The whole herb is used mediinally, both fresh and dried, collected in July, when in flower, in the wild state.

Constituents:  A green, bitter resin and a neutral, colourless, crystalline principle of a persistently bitter taste, called Linin, to which the herb owes its activity.

Anthelmintic;  Diuretic;  Emetic;  Homeopathy;  Purgative.

Purging Flax was often used in the past as a gentle laxative, and also for the treatment of muscular rheumatism, liver complaints, jaundice and catarrhal problems, though it is seldom used in modern herbalism. The whole herb is anthelmintic, diuretic, emetic and purgative. It is harvested in the summer as it comes into flower and can be dried for later use. When used as a purgative it is generally taken with a carminative such as peppermint. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant. It is used in the treatment of bronchitis, piles and amenorrhoea.

Known Hazards :    Poisonous in large doses

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

Resources:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/flamou24.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Linum+catharticum

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

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