Tag Archives: Africa

Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Skin


Coconut oil is famous throughout the world not only as an edible oil and hair tonic but also as an excellent massage oil and a smoothener for the skin. In the tropical parts of the world where coconuts are readily available and used in many ways, natives use coconut oil for skin, as they believe that it protects from the sun’s harmful rays. So this natural oil, without any chemical or additives, can protect the skin in the hottest and sunniest places on earth better than the processed and artificial sun creams.

The best aspect of coconut oil that makes it so beneficial for skin is that it does not become rancid. When it is applied on the skin, it can work for a longer time, unlike many other oils, without getting rancid. Due to these various beneficial properties of coconut oil, it is used as an important ingredient in several skin care creams.

Coconut oil can be used for skin care in the following ways:

Lip Gel:
————
Cracks in our lips can be a source of worry, discomfort, and embarrassment. Applying chemical gel on the lips can make you consume some of the gel even though it is toxic. Some types of gels are edible, but you still don’t want to eat those chemicals. Coconut oil comes as an ideal alternative in such cases. It acts quickly and even if it goes in your stomach, it will only give you additional benefits!

Skin Softener:
——————–
Coconut oil is a great skin softener and helps to do away with dry and hard skin conditions. Taking some coconut oil on palms,rubbing against each other and then on face,and all over the skin to be moisterised, gives very good result.

Coconut oil is also good for hardened and cracked feet, which may happen due to excessive cold or strenuous work that requires standing. The cracks in the feet will not vanish, but the feet will become softer within days if coconut oil is applied to the affected area daily.

As an exfoliant, including coconut oil as an agent with other exfoliating or grainy materials like salt and sugar, can vastly improve the effects. You will successfully be able to scrape off excess dead skin and clean out the substances that have blocked the pores without leaving the skin feeling irritated. The natural soothing nature of the oil combines with the grainy, exfoliating material perfectly, and leaves your skin with an even color, closed pores, and a soft texture.

Makeup Remover:
—————————
Coconut oil can also be used as a makeup remover. This is not common, but women around the world have begun using it for removing their makeup, without worrying about the harsh chemicals of other removers getting into delicate or sensitive areas.

Skin Disorders:
———————-
It is claimed that coconut oil is good for several skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Several readers have reported this benefit. However, scientific research is ongoing in order to prove or deny these claims. Much of the research speaks of its protein content since the replacement of sick or dying cells that can occur with various skin disorders are quickly replaced by new, healthy cells. In this way, coconut oil not only treats the infection by battling the microbial bodies, they also heal the damage or the visible marks of that skin disorder; it is a two-in-one solution!

Anti-aging Cream:
————————–
Traditionally, coconut oil has been praised and popularized for its anti-aging properties.

Stretch Marks remover:
———————————
Coconut oil is known remove or reduce the appearance of stretch marks for those who regularly apply the oil, particularly during and after pregnancy, which is when stretch marks most commonly appear.

For those who don’t know, stretch marks are long, narrow streaks or stripes that are a different shade or hue from the skin surrounding them. These streaks usually occur following rapid weight gain or loss, or after a period of rapid growth, such as what happens during puberty. A mentioned, these stretch marks are most commonly experienced by pregnant women after they have their child and their stomach returns to a normal size. However, many people find these lines or stripes to be unsightly, which is why people are so eager to prevent or remove them.

If you are pregnant, it’s a good idea to apply coconut oil to your stomach and torso during the pregnancy to clarify your skin, as well as in the post-partum period when your body is returning to a neutral state. If you have stretch marks for any other reason, simply apply extra virgin coconut oil to the affected areas, thoroughly rubbing it into the skin, and then washing the same area with warm water in the morning.

Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Stretch Marks:
—————————————————————–
Coconut oil is known remove or reduce the appearance of stretch marks for those who regularly apply the oil, particularly during and after pregnancy, which is when stretch marks most commonly appear.

For those who don’t know, stretch marks are long, narrow streaks or stripes that are a different shade or hue from the skin surrounding them. These streaks usually occur following rapid weight gain or loss, or after a period of rapid growth, such as what happens during puberty. A mentioned, these stretch marks are most commonly experienced by pregnant women after they have their child and their stomach returns to a normal size. However, many people find these lines or stripes to be unsightly, which is why people are so eager to prevent or remove them.

Removal of Yeast Infection on skin:
——————————————————
Coconut oil is a highly reliable natural option to treat and eliminate yeast infections, primarily through its antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. Coconut oil can prevent the yeast infection from proliferating, deny it access to necessary sugars, speed the healing process, and strengthen the immune system.

Yeast infections are caused by the overgrowth of Candida albicans, a fungus that is present in everyone’s body. In regulated amounts, it is actually important for our overall health, but certain triggers will cause it to spread and proliferate. Some of the most common areas for yeast infections are the vagina, mouth, skin and intestine. When something like hormonal changes, allergies, certain antibiotics, chronic stress, pH destabilization or nutrient deficiency affect the body, it can often cause a yeast infection.

Coconut oil is commonly used to combat this fungal infection, due to the presence of powerful medium-chain fatty acids, namely lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid. Lauric acid gives an important boost to the immune system that can defend against the overgrowth of fungal cells, while caprylic acid can break down the membrane of the yeast infection, preventing it from spreading any further. The other vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants present in the oil further stimulate healing and prevent future infections.

Coconut oil can be used as suppository:
—————————————————————

Some people choose to use a pure coconut oil suppository, which consists of pouring two tablespoons of coconut oil into a silicon mold and then refrigerating them for approximately 20 minutes. This suppository can then be inserted into the vagina and allowed to dissolve, and be absorbed by the affected membranes.

Baths using this oil are also effective methods of treating the vaginal variety of yeast infections. One only need to drop in a teaspoon or two of oil into the bath, and then soak for 10-15 minutes. Doing this once a day should clear up the infection within a week.

How to use coconut oil:
————————————
Many people make the mistake of using too much coconut oil, and since the skin can only absorb a certain amount, the protective layer that the absorbed oil creates doesn’t let any more oil in! This means that if too much is used, too often, the skin will end up as an oily mess, and will look shiny or greasy, not to mention what it might do to clothes!

Now the question is, what makes coconut oil so beneficial for the skin? Before we can understand how coconut oil achieves all of its impressive benefits that people around the world claim, let’s look into the constituents of coconut oil and their respective properties that might make them useful for maintaining skin health.

Constituents of coconut oil:
—————————-
Saturated Fats: Predominantly, these saturated fats are medium chain fatty acids or triglycerides. When applied on the skin, they keep it smooth to the touch. Due to the presence of these fats, coconut oil also retains the moisture content of the skin, as the fats eliminate moisture loss through the pores on the skin. When ingested regularly, these fats deposit under the skin, thus keeping it healthy and smooth, giving it an even tone and reducing the appearance of the pores.

Capric /Caprylic/Lauric acid: These are not very different from the medium chain fatty acids, but it is still important to mention them separately here since they have their own contributions. These three fatty acids have strong disinfectant and antimicrobial properties. As a result, when applied to the skin, coconut oil protects from microbial infections that can get into open wounds or even enter the body through the pores. This microbial action can be experienced even if coconut oil is taken internally, as the fatty acids boost the immunity when converted to monocaprin and monolaurin.

Vitamin E: The contributions of vitamin E towards skin care are well known. It is essential for healthy skin, keeping the skin smooth, and protecting it against cracking. Above all, it prevents premature aging and wrinkling of the skin, since it has good antioxidant properties. 100 grams of coconut oil has about 0.1 mg of vitamin E, thus enhancing its skin-nourishing properties.

Proteins: Like coconuts themselves, coconut oil is rich in many proteins. These proteins keep skin healthy and rejuvenated, both internally and externally. Proteins also contribute to the cellular health and tissue repair, along with a wide range of other essential activities within the body. For any damaged cells on or near the skin, a healthy flow of proteins guarantees their replacement at a normal rate, whereas people with protein-deficient diets heal slower and often develop more scars due to the extended healing time.

Resources:
https://www.organicfacts.net/

Coconut Oil for Stretch Marks

Coconut Oil for Yeast Infection – Does it Work?

Advertisements

Vitamine B-12

Vitamine B-12 is essencial to keep fatigue and forgetfulness away.

If we feel tired even after eight solid hours of sleep, It’s not just because of the long hours we are putting in at work, it could be the sign of a deficiency too. If we also feel depressed without a reason, have a tingling sensation in our hands or feet and have noticed a recent tendency to forget things, it may be that we are lacking in Vitamin B12.

Also known as cobalamin, Vitamin B12 is one of the eight B vitamins and its role in cellular metabolism is closely intertwined with that of folate, another B vitamin.

“Over 50 per cent of Indians have B12 deficiency,” says Sadanand S. Naik, head of the department of clinical biochemistry at Pune’s KEM Hospital.

It can affect anyone and at any age. “The figure is higher among vegetarians, pregnant women (as its requirement goes up during pregnancy) and the elderly (as they do not take adequate nutrition),” says Seema Gulati, head of the nutrition research group at the National Diabetes Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation (NDOC), a Delhi-based NGO.

In all age groups, Vitamin B12 should be in the range of 200 pg/ml to 900 pg/ml of blood, where one pg or picogram is one trillionth of a gram. The early signals of a deficiency are anaemia, lethargy, joint pain, loss of memory and laziness. So if we are being plagued by more than one of these symptoms, we should see doctor and get ourselves tested.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is becoming a growing health concern across the world. An article published this year in the journal Nature Reviews – co-authored by Dr Ralph Green of the US, and a group of 14 international experts – states, “Deficiency of B12 is emerging as a public health concern in many low-income countries. A World Health Organization consultation identified infants, preschool children and pregnant and lactating women as the most vulnerable groups.”

The lack of Vitamin B12 for a sufficiently long period of time can lead to sensory and motor disturbances, ataxia leading to lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movements, and cognitive decline leading to dementia and psychiatric disorders. “Advanced Vitamin B12 deficiency could also lead to delirium and paranoia,” says Bangalore-based biological scientist Sujata Kelkar Shetty.

Low B12 levels could even spark off coronary artery disease, suggests a 2009 report of the US-based National Center for Biotechnology Information. It states that the incidence of coronary artery disease is increasing at an alarming rate, especially in developing countries such as India. “This may be due to deficiency of vitamin B12, a micronutrient, sourced only from animal products,” it adds.

There also seems to be a connection between lack of Vitamin B12 and the health of the thyroid gland. “Vitamin B12 deficiency and hypothyroidism are inter-related among young females,” says KEM’s Naik. “This is partly due to vegetarianism, a sedentary lifestyle and not enough exposure to sunlight.”

Incidentally, sunlight helps us make Vitamin D. So there is always a possibility that we may be deficient in both vitamins B12 and D3. “Prolonged D and B12 deficiency leads to impaired bone mineralisation, anaemia and neuro-cognitive disorders. Notable D and B12 deficiency prevails in epidemic proportions all over the Indian subcontinent,” reveals Naik.

Unlike Vitamin D, our body cannot make Vitamin B12. “So we have to get it from animal-based foods (dairy or meat) or from supplements [for vegetarians]. And we should do that on a regular basis, because our body cannot store vitamin B12 for a long time,” Gulati says. Since this vitamin is water soluble, any excess amount flows out of the body.

Ensuring we take in enough Vitamin B12 is sometimes not enough, especially if our stomach lining has been compromised as that impairs its absorption of the vitamin. This can happen in certain gastric ailments as well as in certain autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s. Consuming too much alcohol can also increase your risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency as it may lead to severe depletion of bodily stores of the vitamin. Chronic alcoholism also damages the lining of the stomach and intestines, which impairs absorption.

If we are found to have very low levels of B12 then the immediate relief is injectables. After taking a shot every day for five days, we will then be prescribed pills. There are, however, exceptions. “In pernicious anaemia, Vitamin B12 deficiency is persistent, and long-term injectable B12 is warranted,” says Gulati.

So,it is advicible not to wait for a shot when there are mouthful of delicious food that can give the same results.

Sources of Vitamin B12
————————————

For Vegetarians:-

*Milk and milk products (yogurt,buttermilk, cheese)
*Fortified cereals
*Nutritional yeast
*Shitake mushrooms

For Non-vegetarian:

*Eggs, Meat and Fish
*Shellfish

Source : The Telegraph, Kolkata(India)

Allium hookeri

Botanical Name : Allium hookeri
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. hookeri
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms: Allium tsoongii

Common Names: Hooker chives, Phulun Zung (in India), Kuan ye jiu (in China)

Habitat : Allium hookeri is native to E. Asia – Southern China, India, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. The plant is widely cultivated outside its native range, and valued as a food item in much of South and Southeast Asia. It grows in forests, forest margins, moist places and meadows at elevations from 1400 – 4200 metres.

Description:

Allium hookeri is a bulb growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in). It produces thick, fleshy roots and a cluster of thin bulbs. Scapes are up top 60 cm tall. Leaves are flat and narrow, about the same length as the scapes but only 1 cm across. Umbels are crowded with many white or greenish-yellow flowers. It is in flower from Jul to October, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors at least in the milder parts of the country. The plant is cultivated as a food crop in southern China. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. 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. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:
Bulb – raw or cooked. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses:
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:
Repellent.

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.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_hookeri
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+hookeri

Abies concolor

Botanical Name: Abies concolor
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Abies
Species: A. concolor
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Synonyms : Picea concolor.

Common Names: Colorado Fir, White fir

Habitat :Abies concolor is a fir native to the mountains of western North America(Oregon to California, to Arizona and New Mexico.), occurring at elevations of 900–3,400 m (3,000–11,200 ft).It is found on a wide range of soils, but preferring moist soils with a humid climate and a long winter from 700 metres to 3,400 metres.
Description:
Abies concolor is a medium to large evergreen coniferous tree growing to 25–60 m (82–197 ft) tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 2 m (6.6 ft).
The leaves are needle-like, flattened, 2.5–6 cm long and 2 mm wide by 0.5–1 mm thick, green to glaucous blue-green above, and with two glaucous blue-white bands of stomatal bloom below, and slightly notched to bluntly pointed at the tip. The leaf arrangement is spiral on the shoot, but with each leaf variably twisted at the base so they all lie in either two more-or-less flat ranks on either side of the shoot, or upswept across the top of the shoot but not below the shoot.

The cones are 6–12 cm long and 4–4.5 cm broad, green or purple ripening pale brown, with about 100–150 scales; the scale bracts are short, and hidden in the closed cone. The winged seeds are released when the cones disintegrate at maturity about 6 months after pollination

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind. It is popular as an ornamental landscaping tree and as a Christmas tree. It is sometimes known as concolor fir.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:

Prefers a good moist but not water-logged soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are very shade tolerant but growth is slower in dense shade. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution. Prefers slightly acid conditions down to a pH of about 5. Prefers growing on a north-facing slope. Trees succeed on poor dry sites in the wild. Trees are shallow rooted and therefore liable to be wind-blown in exposed sites. Trees grow almost as well in S. Britain as they do in cooler areas of the country. They are at their best in the Perthshire valleys of Scotland and in N.E. England, trees in the south and east of the country tend to be thin in the crown and soon lose their shape. Trees in the west grow better but also lose their shape after a while. New growth is from mid-May to July and trees are virtually never damaged by late frosts or aphis. Most trees of this species that are grown in Britain are in fact the sub-species A. concolor lowiana. (Gordon.)Lemmon. This form tends to grow better in Britain than the type. There are 2 basic forms of this sub-species, those from the north of the range are vigorous in height growth whilst the southern form is vigorous in girth growth. They both have a potential for forestry use in Britain. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm in height. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus. A very ornamental tree. The crushed leaves have a strong lemony scent. Special Features:Attractive foliage, North American native, Fragrant foliage, There are no flowers or blooms.

Propagation :
Seed – sow early February in a greenhouse or outdoors in March. Germination is often poor, usually taking about 6 – 8 weeks. Stratification is said to produce a more even germination so it is probably best to sow the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. The seed remains viable for up to 5 years if it is well stored. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter in pots. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Alternatively, if you have sufficient seed, it is possible to sow in an outdoor seedbed. One report says that it is best to grow the seedlings on in the shade at a density of about 550 plants per square metre whilst another report says that they are best grown on in a sunny position.
Medicinal Uses:
The pitch from the trunk has been used as an antiseptic poultice for cuts, wounds etc. An infusion of the pitch, or the bark, has been used in the treatment of TB. An infusion of the foliage has been used in a bath for relieving rheumatism. An infusion of the pitch and leaves has been used in the treatment of pulmonary complaints.

Other Uses: .

Landscape Uses:Christmas tree, Firewood, Pest tolerant, Screen, Specimen.
A tan coloured dye can be obtained from the bark. Wood – very light, not strong, coarse grained, soft, not durable. Used mainly for pulp, cases etc. It is sometimes used in framing small houses but is not strong enough to be used in larger buildings. The wood lacks a distinctive odour and so does not impart a flavour to items stored in it. Thus it can be used for making tubs for storing food.

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 provid.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abies_concolor
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Abies+concolor

Picea abies

Botanical Name: Picea abies
Family: Pinaceae
Genus: Picea
Species: P. abies
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales

Synonyms: P. excelsa, Abies picea, Pinus abies

Common Names: Norway spruce

Habitat :Picea abies is native to Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. It is suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
Description:
Picea abies is a large, fast-growing evergreen coniferous tree growing 35–55 m (115–180 ft) tall and with a trunk diameter of 1 to 1.5 m. It can grow fast when young, up to 1 m (3 ft) per year for the first 25 years under good conditions, but becomes slower once over 20 m (66 ft) tall.[4] The shoots are orange-brown and glabrous (hairless). The leaves are needle-like, 12–24 mm long, quadrangular in cross-section (not flattened), and dark green on all four sides with inconspicuous stomatal lines. The cones are 9–17 cm long (the longest of any spruce), and have bluntly to sharply triangular-pointed scale tips. They are green or reddish, maturing brown 5–7 months after pollination. The seeds are black, 4–5 mm long, with a pale brown 15 mm wing.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

The tallest measured Norway spruce, 62,26 m (204 ft) tall, grows near Ribnica na Pohorju, Slovenia
It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. Bloom Color is Pink and the form is like pyramid. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind.It is noted for attracting wildlife. It cannot tolerate atmospheric pollution.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Firewood, Screen, Specimen. Likes abundant moisture at the roots, if grown in drier areas it must be given a deep moist soil.Succeeds in most soils including those that are wet cold and shallow, but it is not very wind-firm in shallow soils. Intolerant of chalky or poor acid soils. Tolerates poor peaty soils. Prefers a pH between 4 to 6. Dislikes shade[200] according to one report whilst another says that it is moderately shade tolerant. Intolerant of atmospheric pollution. Resists wind exposure to some degree and is tolerant of saline winds. A very cold-hardy tree when fully dormant, though the young shoots are subject to injury by late frosts, though less so than P. sitchensis. A fast growing tree, it is widely planted in cool temperate zones for its wood. Young trees often grow 1 metre or more a year and can sustain an average of 60cm for at least the first 60 years though growth tails off as they grow older. Probably not that long-lived in Britain, about 200 years seems the absolute maximum. In some upland areas, especially over granitic or other base-poor soils, growth rate and health have been seriously affected by aluminium poisoning induced by ‘acid rain’ pollution. There are many named varieties, almost all of them dwarf forms. A food plant for many caterpillars. A very aggressive tree, it is hostile to other trees. Susceptible to attacks by bark beetles so it should be kept away from more valuable trees. A biological control is being introduced (1983). This species is susceptible to honey fungus. Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm. Larger trees will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance. Plants are strongly outbreeding, self-fertilized seed usually grows poorly. They hybridize freely with other members of this genus. The seed is shed in spring, the cones release their seed whilst they are still on the tree. The bruised leaves emit a delicious musky smell. Special Features: Not North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – stratification will probably improve germination so sow fresh seed in the autumn in a cold frame if possible. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. A position in light shade is probably best. Seed should not be allowed to dry out and should be stored in a cool place. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. They can be planted out into their permanent positions in early summer of the following year, or be placed in an outdoor nursery bed for a year or so to increase in size. They might need protection from spring frosts. Cuttings of semi-ripe terminal shoots, 5 – 8cm long, August in a frame. Protect from frost. Forms roots in the spring. Cuttings of mature terminal shoots, 5 – 10cm long, September/October in a cold frame. Takes 12 months. Cuttings of soft to semi-ripe wood, early summer in a frame. Slow but sure.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Inner bark; Seed.

Young male catkins – raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring. Immature female cones – cooked. The central portion, when roasted, is sweet and syrupy. Inner bark – dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickener in soups etc or added to cereals when making bread. An emergency food, used when all else fails. Seed – raw. Rich in oil and with a pleasant slightly resinous flavour, but too small and fiddly to be worthwhile unless you are desperate. A refreshing tea, rich in vitamin C, can be made from the young shoot tips. These tips are also used in making spruce beer
Medicinal Uses:
The buds, leaves and resin are antibiotic, antiseptic, balsamic, expectorant, sedative. A pitch, or resin, obtained from the trunk is rubefacient and stimulant. It is used externally in plasters etc for its healing and antiseptic properties. A poultice of the sap or gum has been used in the treatment of boil and abscess pain.

Other Uses:
The tree is a source of pitch (Burgundy pitch) and turpentine (Jura turpentine). Burgundy pitch is used as a varnish and in medicinal plasters. It is a strong adhesive. The turpentine is a waterproofer and wood preservative. They are obtained by incisions in the trunk, the resin is scraped out some months later. An essential oil from the leaves is used in perfumery. The seed contains 30% of a fatty oil, this is used in the production of a varnish. The bark contains some tannin. Both the bark and bark extract have been widely used in Europe as a source of tannin, the bark containing up to 13% tannin. Yields of tannin have been doubled by heating or steaming the bark as soon as possible after the tree has been felled. A fairly wind resistant tree and fast growing, it can be planted in shelterbelts to provide protection from the wind. The dwarf cultivar ‘Inversa’ can be grown as a ground cover plant in a sunny position. The cultivars ‘Reflexa’ and ‘Procumbens’ can also be used. They are best spaced about 1 metre apart each way. Wood – medium hard, fairly elastic, durable under water, light in weight and colour. Used for general carpentry, joinery, musical instruments etc. Valued for its use in the pulp industry to make paper.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picea_abies
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Picea+abies