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Asarum forbesii

Botanical Name: Asarum forbesii
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Genus: Asarum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Common Name: Du Heng

Habitat :Asarum forbesii is native to E. Asia – C. China.It hails from moist woodland valleys below 2,500′ in the Chinese provinces of Anhui, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, and Zhejiang. It grows on moist shady places in forests in valleys at elevations under under 800 metres.
Description:
Asarum forbesii is a perennial herb growing to 0.2 m (0ft 6in).
In the garden, Asarum forbesii ‘Mercury’ resembles a smaller Asarum arifolium, making a slowly expanding clump composed of 3″ wide, heart-shaped leaves of green, highlighted by attractive silver blotches. From April through June (NC), the foliage covers the basal clusters of small liver-colored flowers.

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Rhizomes vertical, 1-2 mm in diam., internodes 0.5-1 cm. Leaves solitary; petiole 3-15 cm, glabrous; leaf blade adaxially dark green with white blotches along midvein, broadly cordate to reniform-cordate, 3-8 × 3-8 cm, abaxial surface glabrous, adaxial surface with short hairs along midvein, base cordate, lateral lobes 1-3 × 1.5-3.5 cm, apex obtuse to rounded; cataphylls reniform-cordate or obovate, ca. 1 × 1 cm. Peduncle ascending, 1-2 cm. Calyx dark purple, cylindric to campanulate, 1.5-2.5 × ca. 1 cm; sepals connate beyond attachment to ovary, abaxially glabrous; tube subcylindric, 1-1.5 × 0.8-1 cm, not constricted at throat, adaxially tessellate, orifice ring less than 1 mm wide; lobes broadly ovate, 0.5-0.7 × 0.5-0.7 cm, base smooth. Stamens 12; filaments much shorter than anthers; connectives slightly extended beyond anthers, rounded. Ovary half-inferior. Styles free, apex 2-lobed; stigmas lateral. Fl. Apr-May.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland).

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 should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a rich moist neutral to acid soil in woodland or a shady position in the rock garden. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. The flowers are malodorous and are pollinated by flies.   Plants often self-sow when growing in a suitable position.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe in the summer. Stored seed will require 3 weeks cold stratification and should be sown in late winter. The seed usually germinates in the spring in 1 – 4 or more weeks at 18°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out when large enough in late spring. Division in spring or autumn. Plants are slow to increase. It is best to pot the divisions up and keep them in light shade in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly.
Medicinal Uses: The root is used in the treatment of goitre, cough, fever and worms. Continued use of this plant gives the body a fragrant odour

Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity have been found for this plant, at least 3 other members of this genus have reports that the leaves are toxic. Some caution is therefore advised in the use of this plant.

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/Asarum
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200006649
Asarum forbesii Mercury
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Asarum+forbesii

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Mung

Botanical Name: Vigna radiata
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Vigna
Species: V. radiata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms:
*Azukia radiata (L.) Ohwi
*Phaseolus abyssinicus Savi
*Phaseolus aureus Roxb.
*Phaseolus aureus Wall.
*Phaseolus aureus Zuccagni
*Phaseolus chanetii (H.Lev.) H.Lev.
*Phaseolus hirtus Retz.
*Phaseolus novo-guineense Baker f.
*Phaseolus radiatus L.
*Phaseolus setulosus Dalzell
*Phaseolus sublobatus Roxb.
*Phaseolus trinervius Wight & Arn.
*Pueraria chanetii H.Lev.
*Rudua aurea (Roxb.) F.Maek.
*Rudua aurea (Roxb.) Maekawa
*Vigna brachycarpa Kurz
*Vigna opistricha A.Rich.
*Vigna perrieriana R.Vig.
*Vigna sublobata (Roxb.) Babu & S.K.Sharma
*Vigna sublobata (Roxb.) Bairig. & al.

Common Names: Mung ,Mung bean, Moong bean, Green gram

Habitat : Mung is native to the Indian subcontinent, the mung bean is mainly cultivated today in India, China, and Southeast Asia. It is also cultivated in hot, dry regions in Southern Europe and the Southern United States. It is used as an ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes.

Description:
Mung is an upright annual legume ranging in height from 15 cm to 1 m; average height of mature plant, 0.9 m. Branches freely, but not heavily foliaged. Leaves, stems and pods are slightly hairy. Junctions of branches and stems are stipuled. The first flowers appear seven to eight weeks after planting and the crop reaches maturity in 12 to 14 weeks. Pods borne at top of plant. Seeds, green and almost globular (Doherty, 1963a). Pods clothed in long, spreading, deciduous silky hairs.

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Mung bean or green gram has long been a food crop in Asia. It is less known as a useful green manure crop. Recently it has become of interest in Queensland as a fodder crop. In its short growing season, Vigna radiata will outyield cowpea and velvet bean of the same age, although maximum yields of the other two are greater. It is, therefore, a useful legume for early forage. It is adapted to a wide range of well drained soils, but is best on fertile sandy loams. On sandy soils of low fertility, 185 to 250 kg./ha molybdenized superphosphate will usually give adequate growth.

A good seed bed (as for maize or sorghum) should be prepared. The seed is broadcast or drilled in rows 16 to 35 cm apart, the usual seeding rate being 6 kg./ha drilled and up to 10 kg./ha broadcast. It can also be sod-seeded into existing pastures. Seed is preferably inoculated with the cowpea strain of Rhizobium before sowing. The first grazing can be given about six weeks after planting, before the flowers appear; two grazings are usually obtained. Green manure should be ploughed in when the plant is in full flower. Mung bean should be cut for hay as it begins to flower. The cut material should be conditioned to hasten drying. Doherty (1963a) obtained a yield of 1 872 kg./ha of green matter from mung bean sod-seeded into a Rhodes grass/green panic pasture at the rate of 11 kg./ha in 53-cm rows, fertilized with 264 kg./ha molybdenized superphosphate. Unfertilized pasture yielded only 623 kg./ha of green matter.

Edible Uses:
Mung beans are commonly used in various cuisines across Asia.

Whole beans and mung bean paste:
Whole cooked mung beans are generally prepared from dried beans by boiling until they are soft. Mung beans are light yellow in colour when their skins are removed. Mung bean paste can be made by dehulling, cooking, and pulverizing the beans to a dry paste.

Although whole mung beans are also occasionally used in Indian cuisine, beans without skins are more commonly used; but in Kerala, whole mung beans are commonly boiled to make a dry preparation often served with rice gruel (kanji). Dehulled mung beans can also be used in a similar fashion as whole beans for the purpose of making sweet soups. Mung beans in some regional cuisines of India are stripped of their outer coats to make mung dal. In Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, steamed whole beans are seasoned with spices and fresh grated coconut in a preparation called sundal. In south and north Indian states, mung beans are also eaten as pancakes. They are soaked in water for six to 12 hours (the higher the temperature, the lesser soaking time). Then they are ground into fine paste along with ginger and salt. Then pancakes are made on a very hot griddle. These are usually eaten for breakfast. This provides high quality protein that is rare in most Indian regional cuisines. Pongal or kichdi is another recipe that is made with rice and mung beans without skin. In Kerala, it is commonly used to make the parippu preparation in the Travancore region (unlike Cochin and Malabar, where toor dal, tuvara parippu, is used). It is also used, with coconut milk and jaggery, to make a type of payasam.

In Chinese cuisine, whole mung beans are used to make a Tong sui, or dessert, otherwise literally translated, “sugar water”, called ludou Tong sui, which is served either warm or chilled. In Indonesia, they are made into a popular dessert snack called es kacang hijau, which has the consistency of a porridge. The beans are cooked with sugar, coconut milk, and a little ginger.

In Hong Kong, dehulled mung beans and mung bean paste are made into ice cream or frozen ice pops. Mung bean paste is used as a common filling for Chinese mooncakes in East China and Taiwan. Also in China, the boiled and shelled beans are used as filling in glutinous rice dumplings eaten during the dragon boat festival. The beans may also be cooked until soft, blended into a liquid, sweetened, and served as a beverage, popular in many parts of China.

In the Philippines, ginisáng monggó (sautéed mung bean stew), also known as monggó guisado or balatong, is a savoury stew of whole mung beans with prawns or fish. It is traditionally served on Fridays of Lent, when the majority Roman Catholic Filipinos traditionally abstain from meat. Variants of ginisáng monggó may also be made with chicken or pork.

Mung bean paste is also a common filling of pastries known as hopia (or bakpia) popular in Indonesia, the Philippines and further afield in Guyana (where it is known as black eye cake) and originating from southern China.

Neutrients:
The seeds and sprouts of mung bean (Vigna radiata), a common food, contain abundant nutrients with biological activities. This review provides insight into the nutritional value of mung beans and its sprouts, discussing chemical constituents that have been isolated in the past few decades, such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, organic acids, amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids. Moreover, we also summarize dynamic changes in metabolites during the sprouting process and related biological activities, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, lipid metabolism accommodation, antihypertensive, and antitumor effects, etc., with the goal of providing scientific evidence for better application of this commonly used food as a medicine.

Known Hazards: They are one of many species recently moved from the genus Phaseolus to Vigna, and is still often seen incorrectly cited as Phaseolus aureus or Phaseolus radiatus.

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/Mung_bean
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/GBASE/DATA/PF000088.HTM
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24438453

Nicotiana benthamiana

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Botanical Name: Nicotiana benthamiana
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Nicotiana
Species:N. benthamiana
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Solanales

Synonyms: Nicotiana suaveolens var. cordifolia

Common indigenous names: Tjuntiwari and Muntju. Tangungnu, Ngkwerlp-pweter, Pinapitilypa, Tjiknga, Munju, Pirnki-warnu, Turlkamula

Habitat :Nicotiana benthamiana is native to Australia.It is found amongst rocks on hills and cliffs throughout the northern regions of Australia.

Description:
Nicotiana benthamiana is an erect, sometimes sprawling, annual herbaceous plant. This short-lived herb will reach from 0.65-5 feet (0.2-1.5 m) tall. Grown in containers, the plants rarely reach over 18 inches (0.45 m) tall by about half as wide. The dark green, broadly ovate leaves will reach up to 4 inches (10 cm) wide by 5 inches (12.7 cm) long. We selected this plant to use for TMV research because it is very susceptible to all kinds of viruses. Plants are easy to grow and we always keep several different ages of plants available at all times.

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Blooming: In the greenhouse, plants flower all year round, but in nature, they normally bloom from May-September. The small, white flowers are 3/8 inch (1 cm) across by 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long.

A vigorous plant with numerous erect leafy stems. Its alternate leaves are broadly egg-shaped, dull green and soft. Except at the top of the stems, where they are stalkless, its leaves have slender stalks. Flowers are whitish, with a long, slender tube and five blunt lobes; fruits are capsules containing many pitted seeds.

This plant is a close relative of tobacco and species of Nicotiana indigenous to Australia.The plant was used by peoples of Australia as a stimulant – it contains nicotine and other alkaloids – before the introduction of commercial tobacco (N.tabacum and N.rustica). It was first collected on the north coast of Australia by Benjamin Bynoe on a voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle in 1837.

Cultivation:
Nicotiana benthamiana need full sun to partial shade using a well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 1 part coarse sand or perlite. Since we grow these plants for research, they are given water on a daily basis to keep them stress free. They are fertilized weekly with a balanced fertilizer diluted to 1/2 the strength recommended on the label. Since we have to have these plants for research, once they set seed, plants are discarded. During the winter months, we use supplemental lighting to keep the plants growing strong.

Propagation: Nicotiana benthamiana is best propagated from seed.
Medicinal Uses:
The scientists have shown that transgenic versions of a plant Nicotiana benthamiana, also known as ‘Tjuntiwari’ in the native language, may be able to produce large quantities of a protein griffithsin which can be used as an anti-HIV microbicide gel.The protein has shown capabilities of neutralizing HIV as it binds to the virus molecule in such a way that the virus could not disguise itself from the immune system of humans.

Anti-HIV microbicide gel directly targets entry of the virus and averts infection at the surfaces but at present they are being produced using biologicals like bacteria E.coli, an expensive process which is not cost-effective.

The researchers from USA and UK altered the genetic nature of the plant using a tobacco mosaic virus which produced the protein griffithsin.(Published in The Times Of India)

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/Nicotiana_benthamiana
http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week425.shtml
http://biolinfo.org/cmkb/view.php?comname=cmkb_public&scid=412

Tabebuia impetiginosa

Botanical Name :Tabebuia impetiginosa
Family: Bignoniaceae
Tribe: Tecomeae
Genus: Tabebuia
Species: T. impetiginosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names: Pink Ipê or Pink Lapacho,Pau d’arco , lapacho, taheebo

Habitat : Tabebuia impetiginosa  is a native Bignoniaceae tree of America, distributed from northern Mexico south to northern Argentina. It is a common tree in Argentina’s northeastern region, as well as in southeastern Bolivia. It is said to be indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago.

Description:
Tabebuia impetiginosa is a  large deciduous tree, with trunks sometimes reaching 8 dm width and 30 m height. Usually a third of that height is trunk, and two thirds are its longer branches. It has a large, globous, but often sparse canopy. The tree has a slow growth rate. Leaves are opposite and petiolate, 2 to 3 inches long, elliptic and lanceolate, with lightly serrated margins and pinnate venation. The leaves are palmately compound with usually 5 leaflets.

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Its bark is brownish grey, tough and hard to peel. The wood is of a pleasant yellowish colour, barely knotted and very tough and heavy (0,935 kg/dm³). It’s rich in tannins and therefore very resistant to weather and sun. It is not very useful for furniture since it is so hard to work by hand. It can be found as beams or fulfilling other structural uses where needed outdoors.

Pink Lapacho flowers between July and September, before the new leaves appear. In India, the flowering season is December to January, after the leaves are shed. The flower is large, tubular shaped, its corolla is often pink or magenta, though exceptionally seen white, about 2 inches long. There are 4 stamens and a staminode. The fruit consists of a narrow dehiscent capsule containing several winged seeds.

The flowers are easily accessible to pollinators. Some hummingbirds – e.g. Black Jacobin (Florisuga fusca) and Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – seem to prefer them over the flowers of other Tabebuia species, while for others like the Stripe-breasted Starthroat (Heliomaster squamosus) it may even be a mainstay food source

Medicinal Uses:
Medicinal Uses: * Candida/yeast * Liver
Properties: * Antifungal * AntiViral * Hepatic * Tonic
Parts Used: Inner bark
Constituents:  lapachol, lapachone, and isolapachone, tannins

The Mayans and Incas of South America regarded Tabebuia impetiginosa as an important healing herb, but the scientific study is still very preliminary; the bottom line is that pau d’arco seems to be more promising for fungal infections than malignant cancers.1 There is a great deal of practical evidence, however, that Tabebuia impetiginosa can be used with success to treat colds, flu, sore throat, and yeast infections. Laboratory evidence suggests that the herb contains compounds that protect against tropical diseases, specifically malaria, schistosomiasis, and tropical fevers. The herb is added to ointments to treat psoriasis, and taken orally to relieve  ulcers.
The inner bark of Tabebuia impetiginosa is used in traditional medicine. It is dried, shredded, and then boiled, making a bitter brownish-colored tea known as Lapacho or Taheebo. The unpleasant taste of the extract is lessened when taken in pill form, or as tinctures. Lapacho bark is typically used during flu and cold season and for easing smoker’s cough. It apparently works by promoting the lungs to expectorate and free deeply embedded mucus and contaminates during the first three to ten days of treatment.

In the past decades it has been used by herbalists as a general tonic, immunostimulant, and adaptogen. It is used in herbal medicine for intestinal candidiasis.

However, the main active compound lapachol has since turned out to be toxic enough to kill fetuses in pregnant rats and reduce the weight of the seminal vesicle in male rats in doses of 100 mg/kg of body weight. Still, lapachol has strong antibiotic and disinfectant properties, and may be better suited for topical applications. Lapachol induces genetic damage, specifically clastogenic effects, in rats. Beta-lapachone has a direct cytotoxic effect and the loss of telomerase activity in leukemia cells in vitro.

One study has shown that recurrence of anal condylomata after surgical treatment is reduced by an admixture of the plants Echinacea, Uncaria, Tabebuja (sic), papaya, grapefruit and Andrographis.

The ethnomedical use of Lapacho and other Tabebuia teas is usually short-term, to get rid of acute ailments, and not as a general tonic. Usefulness as a short-term antimicrobial and disinfecting expectorant, e.g. against PCP in AIDS patients, is yet to be scientifically studied. Tabebuia impetiginosa inner bark seems to have anti-Helicobacter pylori activity. and has some effects on other human intestinal bacteria

Other Uses:
It is also used as a honey plant, and widely planted as ornamental tree in landscaping gardens, public squares and boulevards due to its impressive and colorful appearance as it flowers. Well-known and popular, it is the national tree of Paraguay. It is also planted as a street tree in cities of India, like in Bangalore.

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

 

Resources:
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail289.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_Ip%C3%AA

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Yoga Reduces The Labor Pain Of Pregnant Woman

Modern mothers-to-be are turning to the 4,000-year-old practice of yoga to put mind over pregnancy matters as they strengthen their bodies for the road ahead. “There’s a level of comfort and presence women cultivate when they’re practicing regularly through their pregnancies, so the changes that come are not going to shake them,” Elena Brower, a New York City-based yoga instructor said in an interview.
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The founder of the Virayoga studio in Manhattan, Brower has worked with celebrities Gwyneth Paltrow and Christie Turlington Burns during their pregnancies. She also has developed the DVD “Element: Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga.” “It’s about teaching women how to safely strengthen their abdominals,” said Brower, herself the mother of a toddler. “And strengthening is complemented by learning how to stretch, so that you can be as limber as possible when that baby comes.”

Yoga can also help women to get to know themselves a little better. “You have a level of presence that allows you to ride the wave of the contraction/pain into another place. You don’t think intellectually about it. You breathe.” A study of 335 pregnant women in Bangalore, India, found that those who practiced yoga experienced shorter labor, less pregnancy-induced hypertension, and higher birth-weight babies than the control group. More than 11 million Americans are estimated to do some form of yoga. The name derives from the Sanskrit meaning yoke or union, and the practice strives to unite movement and breath

You may click to see:->Prenatal yoga: pregnant poses, great expectations

Source: Yoga.am. Dec. 8 ’09

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