Allium przewalskianum

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

Synonyms:
*Allium jacquemontii Regel
*Allium jacquemontii var. parviflorum (Ledeb.) Aswal
*Allium junceum Jacquem. ex Baker
*Allium przewalskianum var. planifolium Regel
*Allium rubellum var. parviflorum Ledeb.
*Allium stenophyllum Wall.
*Allium stoliczkii Regel

Common Names: Jimbu

Habitat :  Allium przewalskianum  is widely distributed, reported from India, Nepal, Pakistan, Tibet, and parts of China(Gansu, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang, Yunnan)

Description:
Allium przewalskianum has narrow bulbs up to 10 mm across. Scape is up to 40 cm tall, round in cross-section. Leaves are tubular, about the same length as the scape. Umbel is densely crowded with many red or dark purple flowers.
 CLICK B& SEE THE PICTURES
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.

Cultivation:  
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. This species is only hardy in the milder areas of Britain, it probably tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation: 
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses:The herb  Allium przewalskianum  has a taste in between onion and chives, is most commonly used dried. In Mustang it is used to flavor vegetables, pickles, meat. In the rest of Nepal it is most commonly used to flavor urad dal or lentils. The dried leaves are fried in ghee to develop their flavor.

Bulb – raw or cooked. A very pleasant onion flavour[K], though rather on the small size and scarcely exceeding 10mm in diameter. Harvested in the autumn, they will store for at least 6 month. Leaves – raw or cooked. Tender and delicious. The leaves are rather on the small and thin side, but have an excellent onion favour[K]. They make a nice refreshing munch when working in the garden and also go very well in salads. They can be harvested from spring until the autumn. Flowers – raw. A pleasant onion flavour, they are used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses:

It is estimated that in Asiatic households use jimbu as medicine (mostly as a treatment believed to help flu).Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses: The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

Known Hazards:Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

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.

Resourcs:

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

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

http://www.amazon.com/Spice-Republic-Jimbu-Himalayan/dp/B006JUSA0M

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+przewalskianum

Syzygium polyanthum

Botanical Name: Syzygium polyanthum
Family:    Myrtaceae
Subfamily:Myrtoideae
Tribe:    Syzygieae
Genus:    Syzygium
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Myrtales

Synonyms: Eugenia balsamea, Eugenia nitida, Eugenia polyantha

Common Names:Indonesian bay leaf, daun salam

Habitat : Syzygium polyanthum is native to  Southeast Asia.:  Indochina, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia (GRIN).It grows in tropical climate.

Description:
Syzygium polyanthum is a medium-sized evergreen perennial tree,it grows up to 30 m tall with dense crown, bole up to 60 cm in diameter; bark surface fissured and scaly, grey. Leaves opposite, simple, glabrous; petiole up to 12 mm long; blade oblong-elliptical, narrowly elliptical or lanceolate, 5-16 cm x 2.5-7 cm, with 6-11 pairs of secondary veins distinct below and a distinct intramarginal vein, dotted with minute oil glands, petiole up to 12 mm long. Inflorescence a panicle, 2-8 cm long, usually arising below the leaves, sometimes axillary, but trees flower very profusely; flowers sessile, bisexual, regular, fragrant, white, in threes on ultimate branchlets of the panicle; calyx cup-shaped, about 4 mm long, with 4 broad persistent lobes; petals 4, free, 2.5-3.5 mm long, white; stamens numerous, arranged in 4 groups, about 3 mm long; disk quadrangular, orange-yellow. Fruit a 1-seeded berry, depressed globose to globose, up to 12 mm in diameter, dark red to purplish-black when ripe”
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Propagation: Through Seed

Edible Uses:
Syzygium polyanthum has been known as a seasoning in various culinary nations Indonesia.  In addition, there are also benefits in terms of bay leaves as a natural treatment.

Medicinal Uses:
Syzygium polyanthum is used in Gastrointestinal disorders  and other disorders.

Forv diarrhea
Wash 15 fresh bay leaves. Boil in two cups water to boil for 15minutes. Add a little salt. Once cool, strain and filter drinking water well

For diabetes
7-15 Wash fresh bay leaves, then boiled in 3 cups of water until remaining 1 glass. Once cool, strain and filter drinking water well before eating. Apply 2 times a day.

For Lowering high cholesterol levels:
Wash 10-15 fresh bay leaves, and then boiled in 3 cups of water until remaining 1 glass. Once cool, strain and filter drinking water well at night. Do it every day.

For lowering high blood pressure:
Wash 7-10 bay leaves then boiled in 3 cups of water until remaining 1 glass. Once cool, strain and filter drinking water 2 times a day, each half a glass.

For ulcers:
Rinse 15-20 fresh bay leaves. Boil with 1 / 2 litter of water to boil for 15 minutes. Add palm sugar to taste. After chilling, drinking water as a tea. Do it every day until the pain disappeared and a full stomach.

During Hangover
Wash 1 handful of ripe fruit greeting, then mash until smooth. Squeeze and strain, the water collected while drunk.

For Scabies, itch
for external treatment, simply grab a leaf, bark, stems, or roots regards as necessary. Rinse, then milled until smooth dough like mush. And apply to the itchy spot, then wrapped.

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/Syzygium

http://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/Syzygium_polyanthum.htm

http://herbpathy.com/Uses-and-Benefits-of-Syzygium-Polyanthum-Cid644

http://herbalmedicinalplant01.blogspot.in/2011/09/efficacy-syzygium-polyanthum.html

Sichuan pepper

Botanical Name ; Sichuan pepper
Family  :  Rutaceae
Subfamily: Rutoideae
Gender : Zanthoxylum
Species : Z. piperitum
Kingdom :Plantae
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta, Vascular plants
Superdivision :Spermatophyta, Seed plants
Division : Magnoliophyta,Flower plants
Class :Magnoliopsida, Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms:  Zanthoxylum piperitum

Common Names:
English: Sichuan pepper, Szechwan pepper or Szechuan pepper, Japanese pepper
Spanish: pimienta de Sichuán, pimienta de Sechuán, Fagara, pimienta anís, pimienta marrón, pimienta china, pimienta de Japón, Sansho, pimentero japonés (arbusto, bonsai).
Catalan: pebre japonès, pebre de Japó, pebre de Szechuan.
French: Poivrier du Japon, poivre chinois.
Italian: Pepe di Sichuan.
German: Japanischer Pfeffer, Anispfeffer, Chinesischer Pfeffer, Szechuanpfeffer.
Japanese: san-shô, shichimi.

Habitat:Sichuan pepper is native to Asia (mainly Caina)It grows in sun or partial shade. It prefers moist soils or heavy clay soils, well drained. Frost resistant up to -15 ° C.

Description:
Sichuan pepper is a deciduous shrub that grows 2 feet high by about 1 meter wide.Stem with rough colored bark, branched and covered with spines.
The leaves are pinnate, with an odd number of leaflets oval opposite (5 to 19), alternate and dark green. In fall, the leaves becom yellow stained.
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It flowers from April to June in the northern hemisphere. The Japanese pepper tree is a dioecious species, that’s to say, it has male plants and female plants. The variety to provide fruits must have both sexes.

The flowers are yellowish green, small and aromatic, fruity . They are formed on old wood, in the axils of the new branches.

The fruit is a capsule-sized sessile like peppercorns (3 to 5 mm in diameter), which grow in groups of 4 in the stem end, but only 1 or 2 fruits fail to develop.
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The capsules or fruit are reddish-brown.they have many bumps in the bark. They contain a liquid inside responsible for the characteristic pungent spiciness of this plant.

The interior has a black seed, shiny. It is customary that some fruits are empty inside.

Edible Uses:
The plant (fruit) is used as a spice . Its leaves are also edible.

Sichuan pepper’s unique aroma and flavour is not hot or pungent like black, white, or chili peppers. Instead, it has slight lemony overtones and creates a tingly numbness in the mouth (caused by its 3% of hydroxy alpha sanshool) that sets the stage for hot spices. According to Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking, they are not simply pungent; “they produce a strange, tingling, buzzing, numbing sensation that is something like the effect of carbonated drinks or of a mild electrical current (touching the terminals of a nine-volt battery to the tongue). Sanshools appear to act on several different kinds of nerve endings at once, induce sensitivity to touch and cold in nerves that are ordinarily nonsensitive, and so perhaps cause a kind of general neurological confusion.”

Recipes often suggest lightly toasting the tiny seed pods, then crushing them before adding them to food. Only the husks are used; the shiny black seeds are discarded or ignored as they have a very gritty sand-like texture. The spice is generally added at the last moment. Star anise and ginger are often used with it in spicy Sichuan cuisine. It has an alkaline pH and a numbing effect on the lips when eaten in larger doses. Ma la (Chinese: ??; pinyin: málà; literally “numbing and spicy”), common in Sichuan cooking, is a combination of Sichuan pepper and chili pepper, and it is a key ingredient in má là hot pot, the Sichuan version of the traditional Chinese dish. It is also a common flavouring in Sichuan baked goods such as sweetened cakes and biscuits.

Sichuan pepper is also available as an oil. In this form, it is best used in stir-fry noodle dishes without hot spices. The recipe may include ginger oil and brown sugar cooked with a base of noodles and vegetables, then rice vinegar and Sichuan pepper oil are added after cooking.

Hua jiao yan is a mixture of salt and Sichuan pepper, toasted and browned in a wok and served as a condiment to accompany chicken, duck, and pork dishes. The peppercorns can also be lightly fried to make a spicy oil with various uses.

In Indonesian Batak cuisine, andaliman (a relative of Sichuan pepper) is ground and mixed with chilies and seasonings into a green sambal tinombur or chili paste, to accompany grilled pork, carp, and other regional specialties. Arsik, a Batak dish from the Tapanuli region, uses andaliman as spice.

Sichuan pepper is one of the few spices important for Nepali (Gurkha), Tibetan and Bhutanese cookery of the Himalayas, because few spices can be grown there. One Himalayan specialty is the momo, a dumpling stuffed with vegetables, cottage cheese or minced yak meat, water buffalo meat, or pork and flavoured with Sichuan pepper, garlic, ginger, and onion, served with tomato and Sichuan pepper-based gravy. Nepalese-style noodles are steamed and served dry, together with a fiery Sichuan pepper sauce.

In Korean cuisine, two species are used: Z. piperitum and Z. schinifolium.

Medicinal uses:
Native North Americans use the ground bark of Szechuan plant as a remedy for toothache.
Like in anise, these peppercorns too found application in traditional medicines as stomachic, anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, digestive, expectorant, stimulant and tonic.

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/Sichuan_pepper

http://www.botanical-online.com/english/pepper_zanthoxylum_piperitum.htm

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/sichuan-peppercorns.html

Tasmannia stipitata

Botanical Name : Tasmannia stipitata
Family:    Winteraceae
Genus:    Tasmannia
Species:T. stipitata
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Canellales

Common Names: Tasmannia stipitata, Dorrigo Pepper or Northern Pepperbush

Habitat :Tasmannia stipitata is native to temperate forests of the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia.(North from Barrington Tops to North East of Tenterfield, common on Dorrigo Plateau in New South Wales and into Queensland.) It grows In tall moist eucalypt forest and rainforest, especially Nothofagus moorei forest, the coastal ranges, usually above 1000 m alt.

Description:
Tasmannia insipida  is a  dioecious shrub up to 2.5 to 3 metres high (sometimes taller) with reddish stems,branchlets ± glaucous, purplish when young.
The leaves are lance-shaped from 80 to 200 mm long with a peppery flavour when crushed. The small white flowers occur in umbels from the leaf axils in spring through to summer. Separate male and female flowers are borne on the one plant – male flowers are distinguished by a number of stamens extending from the base of the flower.Flowering during September to November. The flowers are followed by oval-shaped, red berries about 15-20 mm long which darken to deep purple when ripe in summer. In contrast with T.lanceolata and T.stipitata, the seeds of T.insipida are not used commercially for culinary purposes but retain the peppery flavour and are edible.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Edible Uses:
The culinary quality of Tasmannia stipitata was recognized in the mid-1980s by horticulturist Peter Hardwick, who gave it the name ‘Dorrigo pepper’, and Jean-Paul Bruneteau, then chef at Rowntrees Restaurant, Sydney. It is mainly wild harvested from the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales. Dorrigo pepper has a woody peppery note in the leaves and fruit/seed. The hot peppery flavor is derived from polygodial, an essential oil component, common to most species in the family.

Tasmannia stipitata, Dorrigo pepper, is also used as a spice and was the original pepperbush used in specialty native food restaurants in the 1980s. Dorrigo pepper is safrole free and has a strong peppery flavour.

Medicinal Uses:  Mountain Peppers are said to be  Antiscorbutic, stomachic.
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/Tasmannia_stipitata

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

http://floragreatlakes.info/html/rfspecies/stipitata.html

http://anpsa.org.au/t-ins.html

Wasabi (Japanese Horseradish)

Botanical Name : Wasabia japonica or Eutrema japonica
Family:    Brassicaceae
Genus:    Wasabia
Species:W. japonica
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Brassicales

Other Names: Japanese Horseradish
French: Raifort du Japon
German: Bergstockrose, Japanischer Kren
Korean: Kochu-naengi, Gochu-naengi, Gyeoja-naengi, Kyoja-naengi, Wasabi
Thai: Wasabi
Chinese (Canonese): Saan kwai
Chinese (Mandarin): Shan kui

As one of the most prized crops from Japan, this pale green root is grown in cold mountain streams under some of the most closely guarded growing practices in agriculture. Many outside Japan have gone to great lengths to duplicate its wonderfully hot flavour. In fact, most of the commercial wasabi products in the west are fake. Many of us believe wasabi is the eye-watering and sinus-scouring vivid green side dish paste served with sushi, however, most of the time it is a concoction of horseradish, mustard, and artificial colouring.

Plant Description and Cultivation
Wasabia japonica is a slow growing perennial with a rooted, thickened rhizome, long petioles and large leaves. The wasabi rhizome looks much like a brussel sprout stalk after the sprouts are removed. The long stems (petioles) of the Wasabia Japonica plant emerge from the rhizome to grow to a length of 12 to 18 inches and can reach a diameter of up to 1 ½ inches. They merge into single heart shaped leaves that can reach the size of a small dinner plate.

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Wasabia Japonoica plants can take as much as three years to reach maturity. Initially, given the right conditions, the wasabi plant produces robust top and root growth, growing to about 2 feet with an overall width about the same. After this initial establishment phase the rhizome begins to build and store reproductive nutrients, reaching a size of 6 to 8 inches in approximately two years.
Wasabi can grow in the ground, but commonly it’s cultivated in water. It’s said that it’s very difficult to grow wasabi. For wasabi cultivation, clean water is essential, and the temperature must be mild (heat must be avoided). When the wasabi plant grows to nearly 20 inches tall, with green leaves on the head, the rhizome grows above the root and the plant is ready for harvesting.

Since the flavor is wonderful, you might want to use fresh wasabi in your cooking. If you want to buy fresh wasabi, there is a place online that sell it.
Click to buy Wasabi
Under optimum conditions, Wasabia Japonica will reproduce itself by seed, though on commercial wasabi farms, plant stock is typically extended by replanting small offshoots which characteristically occur as the plant matures.

Wasabi prefers the cool, damp conditions found in misty mountain stream beds. It generally requires a climate with an air temperature between 8°C (46°F) and 20 °C (70°F), and prefers high humidity in summer. It is quite intolerant of direct sunlight so it is grown beneath a natural forest canopy or man-made shade.

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Wasabia Japonica grows in northern Japan, parts of China, Taiwan, Korea and New Zealand. In North America, the rain forests found in British Columbia, the Oregon Coast and in parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina and Tenessee provide the right balance of climate, sunlight and water quality to grow natural wasabi. Limited success has been achieved by firms using greenhouse and/or hydroponic techniques, but the resulting costs are typically quite high. There are two main strategies that are used in growing Wasabi. The higher quality Wasabi, both in appearance and taste, grows in cool mountain streams and is known as semi-aquatic or “sawa” Wasabi. Wasabi known as field or “oka” Wasabi is grown in fields under varying conditions and generally results in a lower quality plant, both in appearance and taste.
Few places are suitable for large-scale wasabi cultivation, and cultivation is difficult even in ideal conditions. In Japan, wasabi is cultivated mainly in these regions:

Wasabia Japonica grows in northern Japan, parts of China, Taiwan, Korea and New Zealand. In North America, the rain forests found in British Columbia, the Oregon Coast and in parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina and Tenessee provide the right balance of climate, sunlight and water quality to grow natural wasabi. Limited success has been achieved by firms using greenhouse and/or hydroponic techniques, but the resulting costs are typically quite high. There are two main strategies that are used in growing Wasabi. The higher quality Wasabi, both in appearance and taste, grows in cool mountain streams and is known as semi-aquatic or “sawa” Wasabi. Wasabi known as field or “oka” Wasabi is grown in fields under varying conditions and generally results in a lower quality plant, both in appearance and taste.
Few places are suitable for large-scale wasabi cultivation, and cultivation is difficult even in ideal conditions. In Japan, wasabi is cultivated mainly in these regions:

Izu peninsula, located in Shizuoka prefecture
Nagano prefecture
Shimane prefecture
Yamanashi prefecture
Iwate prefecture
There are also numerous artificially cultivated facilities as far north as Hokkaidō and as far south as Kyūshū. The demand for real wasabi is very high. Japan has to import a large amount of it from:Mainland China and Ali Mountain of Taiwan, New Zealand.
In North America, a handful of companies and small farmers are successfully pursuing the trend by cultivating Wasabia japonica. While only the Pacific Northwest and parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains provide the right balance of climate and water for natural cultivation of sawa (water grown) wasabi, the use of hydroponics and greenhouses has extended the range. British Columbia in Canada, Oregon in United States and North Carolina in United States.
While the finest sawa wasabi is grown in pure, constantly flowing water, without pesticides or fertilizers, some growers push growth with fertilizer such as chicken manure, which can be a source of downstream.

Spice Description
Wasabi a member of the cruciferae family originating in Japan and is related to cabbages. It is a perennial which grows about knee high, is semi aquatic and produces a thickened stem in a similar fashion to a small brussel sprout. As the stem grows the lower leaves fall off. This stem has a very pungent smell and flavour when made into a paste.

The fresh is certainly preferable, but in the West, it’s more commonly found as a dry powder. Premixed pastes are available but none capture the intensity well. Make your own paste from the powder or fresh root.

Preparation and Storage
Treat the fresh root like horseradish, shredding only as much as needed. Traditionally, a sharkskin grater or “oroshi” is used. Using sharkskin as a tool for grating wasabi has been a practice in Japan since the earliest times, and is still regarded as the preferred method of obtaining the best flavour, texture and consistency in freshly ground wasabi. If a sharkskin grater is not available, ceramic or stainless steel surfaces can be used. Ceramic graters with fine nubs are preferable to stainless steel, but in either case, the smaller and finer the ‘teeth’, the better.

Pulsing in a food mill pure will yield a fiery paste, or it can be tempered with other ingredients to make vinaigrettes, mayonnaise or other hot condiments.

Grating wasabi releases volatile compounds, which gradually dissipate with exposure to the air. Using a traditional sharkskin grater and keeping the rhizome at a 90-degree angle to the grating surface generally minimizes exposure to the air. In this way, the volatile compounds are allowed to develop with minimal dissipation. Once you have grated enough for the first ‘session’, pile the grated wasabi into a ball and let stand at room temperature for a few minutes to allow the flavor and heat to develop. The flavor will dissipate within a short period, so grate only what will be used within 15 or 20 minutes.

How To Grate Wasabi.
*Rinse the rhizome under cold running water.
*Scrape off any bumps or rough areas along the sides.
*Scrub the rhizome with a stiff brush.
*Cut the rhizome just below the leaf base and inspect the exposed flesh to ensure that it is a uniform green colour.
*Grate the cut end against the grater surface, using a circular motion.
*After use, rinse the rhizome under cold running water. If you are using a sharkskin grater, rinse it under cold running water as well and let it air dry.

If you have powdered wasabi, make sure to allow some time once it is rehydrated so that the flavour compounds come back to the surface.
Wasabi powder is very convenient for use and storage, when sealed in an air-tight container or bag, and stored in low temperature, the self-life is almost 2 years.

Uses
Wasabi is generally sold either in the form of a root, which must be very finely grated before use, or as a ready-to-use paste, usually in tubes approximately the size and shape of travel toothpaste tubes. Once the paste is prepared it should remain covered until served to protect the flavor from evaporation. For this reason, sushi chefs usually put the wasabi between the fish and the rice.

Fresh leaves of wasabi can also be eaten and have some of the hot flavor of wasabi roots. They can be eaten as wasabi salad by pickling overnight with a salt and vinegar based dressing, or by quickly boiling them with a little soy sauce. Additionally, the leaves can be battered and deep-fried into chips.

For those who mistakenly consume too much of this condiment, the burning sensations it can induce are short-lived compared to the effects of chili peppers, especially when water is used to dissipate the flavor.

Wasabi is often served with sushi or sashimi, usually accompanied with soy sauce. The two are sometimes mixed to form a single dipping sauce known as Wasabi-joyu. Legumes may be roasted or fried, then coated with a wasabi-like mixture (usually an imitation); these are then eaten as an eye-watering “in the hand” snack.

Wasabi Ice Cream is a recent but increasingly popular innovation.

Culinary Uses
The pungent flavour of Wasabi lends itself to a great range of culinary uses. For most people the first introduction to its splendid taste is as a condiment for use with Japanese dishes such as Sushi, Sushimi and Soba dishes, and also with raw fish. For these uses it is ground up into a paste for seasoning.

Wasabi (Japanese horseradish) is an essential condiment in Japanese cuisine. It’s the light green paste that accompanies sushi, seafood, noodle dishes, and more. Typically, people dip sashimi (raw fish) slices in a mixture of wasabi and soy sauce. Wasabi is said to be effective as an antidote to prevent food poisoning. That is one reason that wasabi is served with sushi and raw fish slices.

Ideally, to use fresh wasabi, the rhizome is grated by a metal grater. But the availability of fresh wasabi rhizomes is usually low, and 100 % real, fresh wasabi is rarely used. Wasabi powder, which is used by mixing with water, or tubed wasabi, is substituted for fresh wasabi.
These prepared products are commonly used in Japanese homecooking.
The powdered wasabi is made mainly from seiyo-wasabi (western horseradish) powder, mustard powder, and food colorings. Also, the Japanese brands of tubed wasabi (such as S&B) include both real wasabi and western horseradish. It’s more convenient and cheaper to use the wasabi substitutes than using fresh wasabi. But, the taste and smell of real wasabi can never be matched. If you are using the powdered wasabi, mix with it water right before you intend to use it. You can ensure the best flavor that way.

Increasingly, we are finding that the use of wasabi extends beyond the scope of these traditional dishes. It is a flavour in its own right and can be used to enhance dips, meats and other foods.

Chemistry
The chemicals in wasabi that provide its unique flavor are the isothiocyanates, including:

6-methylthiohexyl isothiocyanate,
7-methylthioheptyl isothiocyanate and
8-methylthiooctyl isothiocyanate.
Research has shown that isothiocyanates have beneficial effects such as inhibiting microbe growth. This may partially explain why wasabi is traditionally served with seafood, which spoils quickly. However, if the quality of seafood is questionable, it should not be eaten raw, with or without wasabi. It is not a treatment for food poisoning.

Attributed Medicinal Properties
Besides its unique role as a food condiment, Wasabi also possesses many potential health benefits. A number of studies have shown that the active ingredients in Wasabia japonica are able to kill a number of different types of cancer cells, reduce the possibility of getting blood clots, encourages the bodies own defences to discard cells that have started to mutate, and acts as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent against food poisons.

Wasabia Japonica owes its flavor and health benefits in part to a suite of isothicyanates (ITC’s) with unique characteristics including powerful anti-bacterial properties, which help mitigate microbial elements or pathogens potentially present. This helps reduce the effects food poisoning, supports detoxification and helps prevent conditions that lead to tooth decay. Rich in beta-carotenes and glucosinolates, Wasabi also kills some forms of E-Coli and Staphylococcus. Studies also indicate it helps reduce mucous, which has made it the focus of experiments relating to its use in combating asthma and congestive disorders.

The unique ITC group found in Wasabi includes long-chain methyl isothicyanates which are uncommon in most American’s diets. Long-chain methyl ITC’s have proven efficacy and potency in supporting natural liver and digestive detoxification functions than other more common types of isothicyanates.

The powerful antioxidant characterisics of Wasabi are also attracting additional scientific study. Evidence suggests that glucosinolates and their hydrolysis products are efficacious in reducing cancer risk by encouraging the immune system to discard mutagenic cells.

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/Image:Wasabi%2C_Iwasaki_Kanen_1828.jpg

http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/wasabi.html

http://japanesefood.about.com/od/wasabi/a/wasabi.htm

Acmella oleracea

Botanical Name :Acmella oleracea
Family:    Asteraceae
Genus:    Acmella
Species:A. oleracea
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Asterales

Synonyms: Spilanthes oleracea, S. acmella

Common Names:Toothache plant and paracress. In Brazil it is called jambu.

Habitat : Acmella oleracea may be natibe to Brazilian Acmella species.

Description:
Acmella oleracea is a  sprawling and ornamental annual plant,  growing to a height of 12-18 in. (30-45 cm)It has copper tinted foliage and unique golden “eyeball shaped” flowers (it’s really just a composite without the petals).It is a small, erect plant, it grows quickly and bears gold and red inflorescences. It is frost-sensitive and perennial in warmer climates.It blooms repetedly during late summer and early fall.The bloom colour is red and bright yellow……. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation & propagation:
This plant prefers well-drained, black (high organic content) soil. If starting outdoors, the seeds should not be exposed to cold weather, so startING after last frost is better. Seeds need direct sunlight to germinate, so don’t bury them.

Edible Uses:
A small amount of shredded fresh leaves is said to add a unique flavour to salads. Cooked leaves lose their strong flavour and may be used as leafy greens. Both fresh and cooked leaves are used in dishes such as stews in northern Brazil, especially in the state of Pará. They are combined with chilis and garlic to add flavor and vitamins to other foods.

The flower bud has a grassy taste followed by a strong tingling or numbing sensation and often excessive salivation, with a cooling sensation in the throat. The buds are known as “buzz buttons”, “Szechuan buttons“, “sansho buttons”, and “electric buttons”. In India, they are used as flavoring in chewing tobacco.

A concentrated extract of the Spilanthes plant identified as Jambu is used as a flavoring agent in many countries worldwide. EFSA and JECFA reviewed a feeding study in rats conducted by Moore et al and both authorities recognized that the no adverse effect level for spilanthol was 572 mg/kg b.w./day, yielding a safe dose of spilanthol of 1.9 mg/kg b.w./day, or 133.5 mg/70-kg male/day, 111 mg/58-kg female/day, or 38 mg/20-kg child/day.

The use of jambu extract as a food flavor is described as having an odor of citrus, herbal, tropical or musty odor, and its taste can be pungent, cooling, tingling, numbing, or effervescent. Thus, as described, the flavor use of jambu extract includes the ability induce a mouth-watering sensation in the oral cavity and the ability to promote the production of saliva. Spilanthol, the major constituent of jambu extract, is responsible for the perception of a mouth-watering flavor sensation, as well as the ability to promote salivation as a sialogogue, perhaps through its astringent action or its pungent taste in the oral cavity.

Constituents:
The most important taste-active molecules present are fatty acid amides such as spilanthol, which is responsible for the trigeminal and saliva-inducing effects of products such as jambú oleoresin, a concentrated extract of the plant. It also contains stigmasteryl-3-O-b-D-glucopyranoside and a number of triterpenes. The isolation and total synthesis of the active ingredients have been reported.

Medicinal Uses:
Acmella oleracea  is used as a medicinal remedy in various parts of the world. A decoction or infusion of the leaves and flowers is a traditional remedy for stammering, toothache, and stomatitis.

An extract of the plant has been tested against various yeasts and bacteria and was essentially inactive. It has been shown to have a strong diuretic action in rats.

As a bush plant used for treating toothache, the analgesic effect of the Spilanthes plant has been attributed to the presence of constituents containing an N-isobutylamide moiety, such as spilanthol, a substance that has been found to be an effective sialogogue, an agent that promotes salivation. Spilanthol is absorbed trans-dermally and through the buccal mucosa. Spilanthol may activate TRPA1, a specific transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel in the oral cavity. In addition to capsaicin, allyl isothiocyanate, and cinnamaldehyde, spilanthol is also reported to affect the catecholamine nerve pathways present in the oral cavity that promote the production of saliva, which is responsible for its ability to induce a mouth-watering sensation when used as a flavor (and associated with the tingling or pungent flavoring sensation in some individuals).

Since 2000, there are several medicinal activities reported on Acmella oleracea that are highlighted in several journals.

Other Uses:
Biological pest control:-
Extracts were bioassayed against yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and corn earworm moth (Helicoverpa zea) larvae. The spilanthol proved effective at killing mosquitoes, with a 24-hour LD100 of 12.5 µg/mL, and 50% mortality at 6.25 µg/mL. The mixture of spilanthol isomers produced a 66% weight reduction of corn earworm larvae at 250 µg/mL after 6 days

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/Acmella_oleracea

http://plantlust.com/plants/acmella-oleracea/

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/997/

Prunus mahaleb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is

always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

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

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

Tilia Europoea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Resources:

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

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

Pandanus

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

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

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

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

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

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

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

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

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

Pandanus trees can be grown from large cuttings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Uses:
Pandan is used for handicrafts. Craftsmen collect the pandan leaves from plants in the wild. Only the young leaves are cut so the plant will naturally regenerate. The young leaves are sliced in fine strips and sorted for further processing. Weavers produce basic pandan mats of standard size or roll the leaves into pandan ropes for other designs. This is followed by a coloring process, in which pandan mats are placed in drums with water-based colors. After drying, the colored mats are shaped into final products, such as place mats or jewelry boxes. Final color touch-ups may be applied.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

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

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

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

Aframomum corrorima

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

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

Common Names:  Korarima, Ethiopian cardamom, or False cardamom

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

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

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

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES :

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

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

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

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

Resources:

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

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

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