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Myrica nagi

Botanical Name: Myrica nagi
Family: Myricaceae
Genus: Myrica
Species: M. esculenta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales
Synonyms:
*Myrica integrifolia
*Myrica sapida
Common Name : Box Myrtle

Habitat : Myrica nagi is native to E. Asia – Himalayas. It grows on drier aspects to 1800 metres. Open, mixed forests on mountain slopes at elevations of 300 – 2500 metres.

Description:
Myrica nagi is an evergreen Tree growing to 12 m (39ft 4in). It is in leaf 12-Jan. The leaves are long and either pale or rust- colored. The tree has many hairy branches. The flowers that bloom on them are few and far apart and quite small in size as well. The seeds of the plant own a wrinkled appearance.

The bark that grows on the tree Myrica Nagi is aromatic in nature and owing to it; the tree has been in use for its aromatic properties for ages.
The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Wind.The plant is not self-fertile.
It can fix Nitrogen.

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist soil. Grows well in an open position in a well-drained soil in sun or light shade. Thrives in any ordinary garden soil. Prefers a lime-free loamy or peaty soil. We are not sure how hardy this plant will be in Britain, it is unlikely to succeed outside the very mildest areas of the country. There is also some confusion between this species and M. rubra, it is possible that they are the same. The fruit is sold in local markets in the Himalayas. It ripens over a fairly long period, so is not suitable for commercial cultivation. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Many species in this genus have a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants 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.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Barely cover the seed and keep it moist. Stored seed germinates more freely if given a 3 month cold stratification and then sown in a cold frame. Germination is usually good[78]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in the cold frame for the first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Pot up and overwinter in a cold frame. Fair to good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood in November/December in a frame. Layering in spring. Division of suckers in the dormant season. Plant them out direct into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:

Fruit – raw or cooked. Sweet with a pleasant blend of acid, they are very pleasant eating. About 13mm in diameter. The fruit contains about 12.6% sugar, 1% protein, 0.4% ash. Low in vitamin C, about 4.1mg per 100ml. The fruit does not keep well, only lasting in good condition for 2 – 3 days after picking. Yields from mature trees can be as high as 25kg per year, but are more often around 15.5kg.
Medicinal Uses:

Anthelmintic; Antirheumatic; Antiseptic; Aromatic; Astringent; Carminative; Febrifuge; Ophthalmic;
Rubefacient; Stimulant.

The bark is antirheumatic, antiseptic, aromatic, astringent, carminative, ophthalmic and stimulant. It has proved useful in the treatment of fevers, asthma and coughs. The juice is applied to treat rheumatism. Mixed with ginger, it is used as a rubefacient in the treatment of choler. The juice of the bark is taken internally in the treatment of catarrh and headaches, and is applied externally to cuts and wounds. A decoction of the bark is used in the treatment of fevers, asthma and diarrhoea. This decoction is boiled to form a gelatinous mass that is applied as a poultice on sprains. Combined with the bark of Quercus lanata, it is used as a decoction in the treatmnt of dysentery. The juice of the unripe fruit is used as an anthelmintic.
Other Uses:
Dye; Tannin; Wax; Wood.

A wax covering on the fruit is extracted by scalding the fruit with boiling water and immersing them for a few minutes, the wax floats to the surface and is then skimmed off. The fruit is then boiled in water to extract the wax from the pulp and once more the wax is skimmed off. It is then strained through a muslin cloth and can be used to make aromatic candles. Candles made from this wax are quite brittle but are less greasy in warm weather. They are slightly aromatic and do not smoke when put out, making them much more pleasant to use that wax or tallow candles. The wax is also used in making soaps. A yellow dye is obtained from the bark. The plant is a source of tannin. (Probably the bark or the leaves.) The bark is said to contain 60 – 80% tannin. Wood – hard, close-grained. a good fuel. Used mainly for fuel, though it is sometimes used for making poles for construction.

Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, there is a report for some members of this genus that some of the constituents of the wax might be carcinogenic.

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/Myrica_esculenta

Myrica Nagi


http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Myrica+nagi

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Solanum scabrum

 

Botanical Name: Solanum scabrum
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. scabrum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Synonyms: S. intrusum. S. melanocerasum. All. S. scabrum.

Common Name: Garden Huckleberry

Habitat: The origin of the species is uncertain, although Linnaeus attributed it to Africa, but it also occurs in North America, and is naturalized in many countries. In Africa it is cultivated as a leaf vegetable and for dye from the berries. It grows in cultivated bed.

Description:
Solanum scabrum is an annual or short-lived perennial herb to 1 m tall, hairless or sparsely hairy. The leaves are usually ovate, 7–12 cm long and 5–8 cm wide, with petioles 1.5–7 cm long. The inflorescence is simple or sometimes branched with 9–12 flowers. The white corolla is stellate, 15–20 mm diam., and sometimes tinged purple and with yellow/green basal star. The berries are globular, 10–17 mm diam., purple-black. The seeds are 1.8–2.2 mm long, pale or stained purple.

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It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.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 moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils. Dislikes shade. Caterpillars and slugs are particularly fond of this plant and can totally destroy it. This is a cultivated form of S. nigrum, grown for its edible fruit. There is at least one named form. See notes about possible toxicity at the top of this page. There is some disagreement among taxonomists as to the correct name of this plant. It is also listed as S. melanocerasum. Grows well with clover. Does not grow well with wormwood or white mustard and, when these plants are growing Closely related to S. nigra, they increase its content of toxic alkaloids.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ. The seed can also be sown in a greenhouse during the spring if required since this will normally produce larger crops of fruit. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant out in late spring.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves.

Solanum scabrum is grown as an edible leaf crop in Africa. It is the most intensively cultivated species for leaf cropping within the Solanum nigrum complex, and as such has undergone genetic selection by farmers for leaf size and other characteristics.

Fruit – cooked.. Used in preserves, jams and pies. A pleasant musky taste. Only the fully ripe fruits should be used, the unripe fruits contain the toxin solanine. Often cooked with some baking soda first in order to remove any bitterness. The fruit contains about 2.5% protein, 0.6% fat, 5.6% carbohydrate, 1.2% ash. The fruit is up to 12mm in diameter. Young leaves and new shoots – raw or cooked as a potherb or added to soups.

Medicinal Uses:

Antiperiodic; Antiphlogistic; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Narcotic; Purgative.

The whole plant is antiperiodic, antiphlogistic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, narcotic, purgative and sedative. It is harvested in the autumn when both flowers and fruit are upon the plant, and is dried for later use. Use with caution, see notes above on toxicity. The leaves, stems and roots are used in the treatment of cancerous sores, leucoderma and wounds. Extracts of the plant are analgesic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and vasodilator. The plant has been used in the manufacture of locally analgesic ointments and the juice of the fruit has been used as an analgesic for toothaches.

Other Uses:
Dye:
In Africa a stocky form of Solanum scabrum is cultivated as a dye crop using the ripe berries.

Known Hazards: There is a lot of disagreement over whether or not the leaves or fruit of this plant are poisonous. Views vary from relatively poisonous to perfectly safe to eat. The plant is cultivated as a food crop, both for its fruit and its leaves, in some parts of the world and it is probably true to say that toxicity can vary considerably according to where the plant is grown and the cultivar that is being grown. The unripe fruit contains the highest concentration of toxins
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanum_scabrum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Solanum+scabrum

Epilobium glabellum

Botanical Name : Epilobium glabellum
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Epilobium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms:
*Boisduvalia
*Chamaenerion
*Pyrogennema
*Zauschneria

Common Names: Willowherbs;

Habitat : Epilobium glabellum is native to Australia, New Zealand.It grows on the loamy soils, flats and hillsides in eastern Australia.

Description:
Epilobium glabellum is an evergreen Perennial flowering plant, growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in). It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained but moisture retentive soil in a sunny position or in partial shade. Succeeds in most soils. Possibly hardy to about -15°c. Plants are semi-evergreen.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in situ or as soon as the seed is ripe. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Edible Uses: Young leaves and shoots – cooked and eaten.

Medicinal Uses: The herb is used is as a herbal supplement in the treatment of prostate, bladder (incontinence) and hormone disorders.

Other Uses: A useful ground cover 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/Epilobium
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Epilobium+glabellum

Cooking with vegetable oil is not good for health

Cooking with vegetable oils releases toxic cancer-causing chemicals, say experts

Scientists warn against the dangers of frying food in sunflower oil and corn oil over claims they release toxic chemicals linked to cancer

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Cooking with vegetable oils releases toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases, according to leading scientists, who are now recommending food be fried in olive oil, coconut oil, butter or even lard.
The results of a series of experiments threaten to turn on its head official advice that oils rich in polyunsaturated fats – such as corn oil and sunflower oil – are better for the health than the saturated fats in animal products.
Scientists found that heating up vegetable oils led to the release of high concentrations of chemicals called aldehydes, which have been linked to illnesses including cancer, heart disease and dementia.

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Thymus vulgaris

Botanical Name ; Thymus vulgaris
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Thymus
Species: T. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms : Origanum thymus Kuntze. Thymus collinus Salisb. [Illegitimate] .

Common Names: Common thyme, German thyme, Wild Thyme , Garden thyme or Just thyme

Habitat: Thymus vulgaris is native to southern Europe from the western Mediterranean to southern Italy. It grows in dry slopes, rocks and maquis. Always found on clay or limestone soils

Description:
Thymus vulgaris is an evergreen Shrub growing to 15–30 cm (6–12 in) tall by 40 cm (16 in) wide, it is a bushy, woody-based with small, highly aromatic, grey-green leaves and clusters of purple or pink flowers.

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It is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jun to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, lepidoptera.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Rock garden. Prefers a light, dry calcareous soil and a sunny position. Succeeds in dry soils, poor soils and tolerates drought once it is established. Plants can be grown on old walls. Thymes dislike wet conditions, especially in the winter. A layer of gravel on the soil around them will help protect the foliage from wet soils. Thyme is hardy to about -15°c, though it is even hardier when grown on old walls are in well-drained poor light soils[4]. Thyme is commonly grown in the herb garden, there are many named varieties. It is also harvested commercially for its essential oil. The leaves are very aromatic. It is sometimes grown as an annual from seed when used for culinary purposes. The flowers are rich in nectar and are very attractive to honey bees. Thyme is a good companion for most plants, it is said to repel cabbage root flies when grown near brassicas. This is a very difficult genus taxonomically, the species hybridize freely with each other and often intergrade into each other. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Edible, Fragrant foliage, Not North American native.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Seed can also be sown in autumn in a greenhouse. Surface sow or barely cover the seed. Germination can be erratic. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the 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. The seed can keep for three years in normal storage[4]. Division in spring or autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring. Cuttings of young shoots, 5 – 8cm with a heel, May/June in a frame. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Layering.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

Leaves and flowering tops – raw in salads, used as a garnish or added as a flavouring to cooked foods, going especially well with mushrooms and courgettes.   It is an essential ingredient of the herb mix ‘bouquet garni’. It retains its flavour well in long slow cooking. The leaves can be used either fresh or dried. If the leaves are to be dried, the plants should be harvested in early and late summer just before the flowers open and the leaves should be dried quickly. A nutritional analysis is available. An aromatic tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves. Pungent and spicy.

Constituents:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)

•276 Calories per 100g
•Water : 7.8%
•Protein: 9.1g; Fat: 7.4g; Carbohydrate: 63.9g; Fibre: 18.6g; Ash: 11.7g;
•Minerals – Calcium: 1890mg; Phosphorus: 201mg; Iron: 123.6mg; Magnesium: 220mg; Sodium: 55mg; Potassium: 814mg; Zinc: 6.2mg;
•Vitamins – A: 3800mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.51mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.4mg; Niacin: 4.94mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses :

Common thyme has a very long history of folk use for a wide range of ailments. It is very rich in essential oils and these are the active ingredients responsible for most of the medicinal properties. In particular, thyme is valued for its antiseptic and antioxidant properties, it is an excellent tonic and is used in treating respiratory diseases and a variety of other ailments. The flowering tops are anthelmintic, strongly antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, deodorant, diaphoretic, disinfectant, expectorant, sedative and tonic. The plant is used internally in the treatment of dry coughs, whooping cough, bronchitis, bronchial catarrh, asthma, laryngitis, indigestion, gastritis and diarrhoea and enuresis in children. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women. Externally, it is used in the treatment of tonsillitis, gum diseases, rheumatism, arthritis and fungal infections. The plant can be used fresh at any time of the year, or it can be harvested as it comes into flower and either be distilled for the oil or dried for later use. Thyme has an antioxidant effect, thus regular use of this herb improves the health and longevity of individual body cells and therefore prolongs the life of the body. The essential oil is strongly antiseptic. The whole herb is used in the treatment of digestive disorders, sore throats, fevers etc. The essential oil is one of the most important oils used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is ‘Bacterial’. It is used especially in cases of exhaustion, depression, upper respiratory tract infections, skin and scalp complaints etc. The oil can cause allergic reactions and irritation to the skin and mucous membranes.

Other Uses:
Deodorant; Disinfectant; Essential; Fungicide; Pot-pourri; Repellent.

An essential oil from the leaves is frequently used in perfumery, soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, medicinally etc. It has fungicidal properties and is also used to prevent mildew. The leaves are dried and used in pot-pourri. The plant makes an attractive ground cover for a sunny position. Plants are best spaced about 30cm apart each way. The dried flowers are used to repel moths from clothing whilst the growing plant is said to repel cabbage root fly

Known Hazards: A comment has been made in one report on medicinal uses that the plant should be used with caution. No explanation was given. It quite possibly refers to overuse of the essential oil. All essential oils, since they are so concentrated, can be harmful in large doses. Avoid if inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract. Internal use contraindicated especially in pregnancy. Caution if sensitive to grasses . Dilute oil in carrier oil before topical use.

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/Thymus_vulgaris
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Thymus+vulgaris