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Rhus coriaria

Botanical Name : Rhus coriaria
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Rhus
Species:R. coriaria
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Names: Sicilian sumac, Tanner’s sumach, or Elm-leaved sumach

Habitat :Rhus coriaria is native to southern Europe. It grows on rocky places and waysides, mainly on limestone.

Description:
Rhus coriaria is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in).
It is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil……...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun. This species is not very hardy in Britain and is unlikely to succeed outdoors in any but the mildest parts of the countr. Another report says that the plant is quite hardy and is often grown in British gardens. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Unlike most members of this genus, this species is hermaphrodite. The form ‘Humilior’ from Italy is smaller growing. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds. Plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Many of the species in this genus, including this one, are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in hot water (starting at a temperature of 80 – 90c and allowing it to cool) prior to sowing in order to leach out any germination inhibitors. The stored seed also needs hot water treatment and can be sown in early spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings 4cm long taken in December and potted up vertically in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers in late autumn to winter

Edible Uses:
The immature fruits are used as caper substitutes. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. The crushed fruit, mixed with Origanum syriacum, is a principal ingredient of ‘Zatar‘, a popular spice mixture used in the Middle East. The seed is used as an appetizer in a similar manner to mustard.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves and the seeds are astringent, diuretic, styptic and tonic. They are used in the treatment of dysentery, haemoptysis and conjunctivitis. The seeds are eaten before a meal in order to provoke an appetite. Some caution is advised in the use of the leaves and stems of this plant, see the notes below on toxicity.

Other Uses:
The leaves and bark are rich in tannin. The leaves can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant. The fruit and bark are also used. The leaves contain 20 – 35% tannin and yield a yellow dye. The finely ground leaves and stems provide the dyeing and tanning agent ‘sumac’. The shoots are cut down annually, near to the root, for this purpose. A fawn colour, bordering on green, is obtained and this can be improved with the judicious use of mordants. The cultivar ‘Mesculino’ is very rich in tannin, containing up to 35%. An oil is extracted from the seeds. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke. A black dye is obtained from the fruit. A yellow and a red dye are obtained from the bark.

Known Hazards : The plant contains toxic substances which can cause severe irritation to some people. Both the sap and the fruit are poisonous

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhus_coriaria
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhus+coriaria

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Safflower

Botanical Name:Carthamus tinctorius L.
Family:    Asteraceae
Tribe:    Cynareae
Genus:    Carthamus
Species:C. tinctorius
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Asterales

Common Names:   Beni, Chimichanga, or Carthamus tinctorius and in Pashto it is called Kareza
Habitat   :Safflower is native to the Mediterranean countries and cultivated in Europe and the United States. Now it grows in countries worldwide. India, United States, and Mexico are the leading s, with  growers, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, China,and the Arab World.
It is found

Description:
Safflower is  is a highly branched, herbaceous, thistle-like annual plant.
It is commercially cultivated for vegetable oil extracted from the seeds. Plants are 30 to 150 cm (12 to 59 in) tall with globular flower heads having yellow, orange, or red flowers.
Each branch will usually have from one to five flower heads containing 15 to 20 seeds per head. Safflower is native to arid environments having seasonal rain.
It grows a deep taproot which enables it to thrive in such environments…….CLICK & SEE

Parts Used : Flower

Biochemical Information:Carthamin, palmitic acid, stearic acid, arachic acid, oleic acid, linoleic and linolenic acids, safflower yellow

Medicinal Uses: It is Diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, analgesic, carminative
Taken hot, safflower tea produces strong perspiration and has thus been used for fevers, colds, and related ailments.
It has also been used at times for its soothing effect in cases of hysteria, such as that associated with chlorosis.
Used for delayed menses, poor blood circulation, bruises, injuries (used in liniments), and measles.

The defunct pharmaceutical company SemBioSys Genetics tried to use transgenic safflower plants to produce human insulin as the global demand for the hormone grows.
Safflower-derived human insulin was in the PI/II trials on human test subjects

Other Uses:
The flowers can be dried and powdered to make a saffron substitute; mixed with finely powdered talc, they make a rouge. Fresh flower petals yield dye colors ranging from yellows to reds.
Flowers are used as a scent in potpourris and look nice dried in flower arrangements.

Seeds are used mainly in cosmetics and as a cooking oil, in salad dressing, and for the production of margarine. It may also be taken as a nutritional supplement. INCI nomenclature is Carthamus tinctorius.

Safflower seed is also used quite commonly as an alternative to sunflower seed in birdfeeders, as squirrels do not like the taste of it.
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://medicinalherbinfo.org/herbs/Safflower.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safflower

Ceratonia siliqua

Botanical Name :Ceratonia siliqua
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Ceratonia
Species: C. siliqua
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names:  carob tree, St John’s-bread, Locust Bean

Habitat  :Ceratonia siliqua is native to the Mediterranean region including Southern Europe, Northern Africa, the larger Mediterranean islands; to the Levant and Middle-East of Western Asia into Iran; and to the Canary Islands and Macaronesia. It grows in the  rocky places near the sea shore.

Description:
The Ceratonia siliqua tree grows up to 15 metres (49 ft) tall. The crown is broad and semi-spherical, supported by a thick trunk with brown rough bark and sturdy branches. Leaves are 10 to 20 centimetres (3.9 to 7.9 in) long, alternate, pinnate, and may or may not have a terminal leaflet. It is frost-tolerant.

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Most carob trees are dioecious. The trees blossom in autumn. The flowers are small and numerous, spirally arranged along the inflorescence axis in catkin-like racemes borne on spurs from old wood and even on the trunk (cauliflory); they are pollinated by both wind and insects. Male flowers produce a characteristic odour, resembling semen.

The fruit is a pod that can be elongated, compressed, straight or curved, and thickened at the sutures. The pods take a full year to develop and ripen. The ripe pods eventually fall to the ground and are eaten by various mammals, thereby dispersing the seed.

The seeds of Ceratonia siliqua contains leucodelphinidin, a colourless chemical compound

Cultivation:
Ceratonia siliqua is widely cultivated in the horticultural nursery industry as an ornamental plant for planting in Mediterranean climate and other temperate regions around the world, as its popularity in California and Hawaii shows. The plant develops a sculpted trunk and ornamental tree form when ‘limbed up’ as it matures, otherwise it is used as a dense and large screening hedge. When not grown for legume harvests the plant is very drought tolerant and part of ‘xeriscape’ landscape design for gardens, parks, and public municipal and commercial landscapes.

Propagation:
Seed – pre-soak for 24 hours in warm water prior to sowing. If the seed has not swollen then give it another soaking in warm water until it does swell up. Sow in a greenhouse in April[200]. Germination should take place within 2 months. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual deep pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Give them some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors.

Edible Uses:
Carob consumed by humans is the dried (and sometimes roasted) pod, and not the ‘nuts’ or seeds. Carob is mildly sweet and is used in powdered, chip, or syrup form as an ingredient in cakes and cookies, and as a substitute for chocolate.

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is poisonous to some mammals, but carob does not, and is used to make chocolate-flavored treats for dogs.

The seeds, also known as locust beans, are used as animal feed, and are the source of locust bean gum — a food thickening agent. Crushed pods may be used to make a beverage; compote, liqueur, and syrup are made from carob in Turkey, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Sicily. Several studies suggest that carob may aid in treating diarrhea in infants.[13] In Libya, carob syrup (there called rub) is used as a complement to Asida. The so-called carob syrup made in Peru is actually from the fruit of the Prosopis nigra tree.

Carob is rich in sugars – Sucrose = 531g ± 93 g/kg dry weight for cultivated varieties and 437 ± 77 g/kg in wild type varieties. Fructose and glucose levels do not differ between cultivated and wild type carob

Carob is a healthy substitute for  chocolate that is lower in calories. Roasted carob is naturally sweeter, (or not as bitter), as unsweetened chocolate, so it can be made palatable with less added sugar in recipes. Carob has a number of advantages over chocolate: it is hypoallergenic, and hypoglycemic. 55 The true trick to enjoying carob is to not expect it to taste exactly like chocolate,(and be forever disappointed), but to learn to appreciate carob for its own unique taste.

Traditional uses:
Carob was eaten in Ancient Egypt. Carob juice drinks are traditionally drunk during the Islamic month of Ramadan. It was also a common sweetener and was used in the hieroglyph for “sweet” (nedjem). Dried carob fruit is traditionally eaten on the Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat. Also it is believed to be an aphrodisiac.

In Cyprus, carob syrup is known as Cyprus’s black gold, and is widely exported.

In Malta, a syrup (?ulepp tal-?arrub) is made out of carob pods. This is a traditional medicine for coughs and sore throat. A traditional sweet, eaten during Lent and Good Friday, is also made from carob pods in Malta. However, carob pods were mainly used as animal fodder in the Maltese Islands, apart from times of famine or war when they formed part of the diet of many Maltese.

In the Iberian Peninsula, carob pods were used mainly as animal fodder, especially to feed donkeys.

Carob pods were an important source of sugar before sugarcane and sugar beets became widely available.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Aggressive surface roots possible. Requires a very sunny position in any well-drained moderately fertile soil[200]. Does well in calcareous, gravelly or rocky soils. Tolerates salt laden air. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.2 to 8.6. The tree is very drought resistant, thriving even under arid conditions, the roots penetrating deep into the soil to find moisture. This species is not very hardy in Britain but it succeeds outdoors in favoured areas of S. Cornwall[1], tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c when in a suitable position. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. The carob is frequently cultivated in warm temperate zones for its edible seed and seed pods. Mature trees in a suitable environment can yield up to 400 kilos of seedpods annually. There are named varieties with thicker pods. Seeds are unlikely to be produced in Britain since the tree is so near (if not beyond) the limits of its cultivation. The seed is very uniform in size and weight, it was the original ‘carat’ weight of jewellers. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. Special Features:Edible, Not North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – pre-soak for 24 hours in warm water prior to sowing. If the seed has not swollen then give it another soaking in warm water until it does swell up. Sow in a greenhouse in April[200]. Germination should take place within 2 months. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual deep pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Give them some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors.

Medicinal  Uses::
Parts Used: Seed Pod
Constituents:  arginine, benzoic-acid , gallic-acid , glucose , pectin ,starch, sucrose ,tannin,tocopherol,tyrosine

Antidiarrhoeal;  Antiemetic;  Astringent;  Demulcent;  Emollient;  Purgative.

The pulp in the seedpods of carob is very nutritious and, due to its high sugar content, sweet-tasting and mildly laxative. However, the pulp in the pods is also astringent and, used in a decoction, will treat diarrhoea and gently help to cleanse and also relieve irritation within the gut. Whilst these appear to be contradictory effects, carob is an example of how the body responds to herbal medicines in different ways, according to how the herb is prepared and according to the specific medical problem. The seedpods are also used in the treatment of coughs. A flour made from the ripe seedpods is demulcent and emollient. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea.   The seed husks are astringent and purgative. The bark is strongly astringent. A decoction is used in the treatment of diarrhoea.

Other Uses:  A flour made from the seedpods is used in the cosmetic industry to make face-packs. Tannin is obtained from the bark. Wood – hard, lustrous. Highly valued by turners, it is also used for marquetry and walking stick.

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/Ceratonia_siliqua
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ceratonia+siliqua
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail462.php

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SUMAC

Botanical Name: Rhus coriaria
Family:    Anacardiaceae
Subfamily:Anacardioideae
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Sapindales

Common Names: Sumac.

Arabic:Summaaq, Summaq
English:    Shumac, Sicilian sumac
Farsi:Somagh
French:    Sumac
German:    Sumach, Gewürzsumach, Färberbaum, Gerbersumach, Essigbaum
Nepali:Bhakmilo, Amilo (Rh. chinensis)
Turkish:Sumak, Somak

Habitat : Sumac is native to Middle East and Mediterian countries.It grows several places in the Euperian Continent.

Description:
Sumacs are shrubs and small trees that can reach a height of 1–10 m (3.3–32.8 ft). The leaves are spirally arranged; they are usually pinnately compound, though some species have trifoliate or simple leaves. The flowers are in dense panicles or spikes 5–30 cm (2.0–11.8 in) long, each flower very small, greenish, creamy white or red, with five petals. The fruits form dense clusters of reddish drupes called sumac bobs. The dried drupes of some species are ground to produce a tangy crimson spice.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Propagation: Sumacs propagate both by seed (spread by birds and other animals through their droppings), and by new shoots from rhizomes, forming large clonal colonies.

Edible Uses:
The fruits (drupes) of the genus Rhus are ground into a reddish-purple powder used as a spice in Middle Eastern cuisine to add a lemony taste to salads or meat. In Arab cuisine, it is used as a garnish on meze dishes such as hummus and is added to salads in the Levant. In Iranian (Persian and Kurdish) cuisines, sumac is added to rice or kebab. In Jordanian and Turkish cuisines, it is added to salad-servings of kebab and lahmacun. Rhus coriaria is used in the spice mixture za’atar.

In North America, the smooth sumac (R. glabra) and the staghorn sumac (R. typhina) are sometimes used to make a beverage termed “sumac-ade”, “Indian lemonade”, or “rhus juice”. This drink is made by soaking the drupes in cool water, rubbing them to extract the essence, straining the liquid through a cotton cloth, and sweetening it. Native Americans also use the leaves and drupes of the smooth and staghorn sumacs combined with tobacco in traditional smoking mixtures.

Sumac is a very popular condi­ment in Turkey and Iran, where the ground fruits are liberally sprinkled over rice. Mixed with freshly cut onions, it is fre­quently eaten as an appetizer. The well-known Turkish fast food specialty döner kebap is sometimes flavoured with sumac powder.

In Jordan, a spice mixture called zahtar  is extremely popular; it took its name from a local species of marjoram which is one of its main ingredients. Since this West Asian marjoram is hardly available outside of the region, it must be substituted by a mixture of marjoram with some thyme or oregano. Zahtar is, then, made by combining the dried marjoram herb with nutty sesame seeds, acidic sumac, salt and optionally some pepper. Similar mixtures are reported from Syria and Israel. Zahtar is mostly used to spice up fried and barbecued meat up to taste; combined with olive oil, it can also be used as a bread dip like the closely related Egypt spice mixture dukka.

Another use of sumac is recorded from Lebanon, Syria and Egypt: The fruits are cooked with water to a thick, very sour essence, which is, then, added to meat and vegetable dishes; this method was also common as early as in Roman times (see silphion for details of Roman cookery) and finds a close parallel in the usage of tamarind in contemporary Indian and Indonesian cuisines.

Outside of the Middle East, the true sumac spice is not known; yet, there are sumac species with culinary merit also further in the East. For example, Rh. chinensis (Chinese Sumac) grows in the Himalayas, in China and South East Asia. In Nepal, it is used to prepare a delicious sour and fruity pickle (amilo achar by some Himalayan ethnicities like the Thakali. In the North East Indian states Nagaland and Mizoram, sumac fruits are dried, coarsely ground and used as table condiment, or (often mixed with salt and chile powder) just enjoyed between meals.

Medicinal Uses:
It is said to have diuretic and antipyretic properties.Sumac was used as a treatment for half a dozen different ailments in medieval medicine, primarily in Middle-Eastern countries (where sumac was more readily available than in Europe). An 11th-century shipwreck off the coast of Rhodes, excavated by archeologists in the 1970s, contained commercial quantities of sumac drupes. These could have been intended for use as medicine, as a culinary spice, or as a dye. Staghorn sumac is a powerful antioxidant.Medical uses have included digestion and bowel problems.

You may click to see:  The Benefits Of Sumac  :

Other Uses:
Dye and tanning agent:
The leaves of certain sumacs yield tannin (mostly pyrogallol-type), a substance used in vegetable tanning. Notable sources include the leaves of R. coriaria, Chinese gall on R. chinensis, and wood and roots of R. pentaphylla. Leather tanned with sumac is flexible, light in weight, and light in color. One type of leather made with sumac tannins is morocco leather.

Some beekeepers use dried sumac bobs as a source of fuel for their smokers.

Sumac stems also have a soft pith in the center that is useful in traditional native American pipemaking. They were commonly used as pipe stems in the northern United States.

Dried sumac wood fluoresces under long-wave ultraviolet radiation

Known Hazards: Some species formerly recognized in Rhus, such as poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans, syn.Rhus toxicodendron), poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum, syn. Rhus diversiloba) and poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix, syn. Rhus vernix), have the allergen urushiol and can cause severe allergic reactions. Poison sumac may be identified by its white drupes, which are quite different from the red drupes of true Rhus species.

Mowing of sumac is not a good control measure, since the wood is springy, resulting in jagged, sharp-pointed stumps when mowed. The plant will quickly recover with new growth after mowing. Goats have long been considered an efficient and quick removal method, as they eat the bark, which helps prevent new shoots.
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/Sumac
http://gernot-katzers-spice-pages.com/engl/Rhus_cor.html