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Alpinia officinarum

Botanical Name :Alpinia officinarum
Family:Zingiberaceae
Genus:    Alpinia
Species:A. officinarum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Zingiberales

Synonyms: Galanga. China Root. India Root. East India Catarrh Root. Lesser Galangal. Rhizoma Galangae. Gargaut. Colic Root. Kaempferia Galanga.

Common Name : lesser galangal

Habitat:Alpinia officinarum is native to  China (Hainan Island), Java.It grows mainly on the southeastern coast, and it grows in Hainan, Japan, and Thailand. It is also cultivated in India. Hong Kong is the commercial center for the sale and distribution of the lesser galangal.

Description:
Alpinia officinarum is a herbaceous plant can grow up to ten feet in height, though three to five feet is more common. The leaves are lanceolate (long and thin), and the flowers are white with streaks of red, growing from a spike at the top. The plant’s rhizomes, the part known as galangal, are thin and tough, and they are the principal reason the plant is cultivated. They have orange flesh with a brown coating, and have an aromatic odor and a pungent flavor. These are smaller than greater galangal.

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This plant is a plant of the ginger family, cultivated in Southeast Asia. It originated in China, where its name ultimately derives. It can grow several feet high, with long leaves and reddish-white flowers. The rhizomes, known as galangal, are valued for their spicy flavor and aromatic scent. These are used throughout Asia in curries and perfumes, and were previously used widely in Europe. They are also used as an herbal remedy.

Lesser galangal is often misled the name for Kaempferia galanga that is used in Indonesia, Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries.

Constituents: The root contains a volatile oil, resin, galangol, kaempferid, galangin and alpinin, starch, etc. The active principles are the volatile oil and acrid resin. Galangin is dioxyflavanol, and has been obtained synthetically. Alcohol freely extracts all the properties, and for the fluid extract there should be no admixture of water or glycerin.

Active Compound:-
Beta-sitoterol, 1,7-diphenyl-5-ol-3-heptone, 1-phenyl-7-(3′-methoxyl-4′-hydroxyl) phenyl-5-ol-3-heptone, glandin, kaempferol-4′-methylether and 3,4-dihydroxylbenzoic acid

Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: Dried rhizome.

The galangal rhizomes were widely used in ancient and medieval Europe, where they were reputed to smell of roses and taste of spice. Its use in Europe has dramatically declined, however, and is now mainly used in Eastern Europe. It is used in Russia for flavoring vinegar and the liqueur Nastoika. It is still used as a spice and medicine in Lithuania and Estonia.

In Asia the rhizomes are ground to powder for use in curries, drinks, and jellies. In India an extract is used in perfumes, and Tatars prepare a tea with it.

Alpinia officinarum contains high concentrations of the flavonol galangin, which has been shown to slow the increase and growth of breast tumor cells. Historically, the rhizomes were reputed to have stimulant and digestive effects.

Herbal medicine – Medicinal properties digestive tonic stimulant carminative antiemetic antifungal Medicinal parts Rhizome Has medicinal uses yes Do not self-administer no Do no use if pregnant no Legally restricted no Toxicity precautions Medicinal notes Alpiniaofficinarum has herbal applications as a digestive tonic, as a stimulant, as a carminative and as an antiemetic. See the medicinal properties section for even more traditional herbal uses. Only the rhizome is used in herbal preparations.

Traditional uses - Parts used Traditional uses Contemporary uses Fragrance ginger-like roots used for liqueur Fragrance parts Roots Fragrance intensity Mild Fragrance category Spicy Dye parts Dye color.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/galang01.html

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

http://cancerplantsdatabase.com/a-alpiniaofficinarum.php

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Pea

Botanical Name :Pisum sativum
Family:Fabaceae
Subfamily:Faboideae
Genus: Pisum
Species:P. sativum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms: Pisum vulgare Jundz, Lathyrus oleraceus Lam.

Common Names:     Pea, field; garden pea, In India motor,In bengal Karai sunti
click & see other names :

Habitat :Pea is native to the eastern Mediterranean areas. Growing from the regions of Turkey east to Syria, Iraq, and Iran where they initially grew in rocky areas. Nowadays, the pea has been cultivated and is typically grown in gardens for commercial sale or personal use.Pea plants live in the temperate regions. They grow and produce best in regions were the summer’s temperatures are not too hot; they prefer temperatures of 55-64oF. Developing best in the spring, cool summers, or the beginning of fall, peas grow best in sandy-loam soils.

History:
The wild pea is restricted to the Mediterranean basin and the Near East. The earliest archaeological finds of peas date from the late neolithic era of current Greece, Syria, Turkey and Jordan. In Egypt, early finds date from ca. 4800–4400 BC in the Nile delta area, and from ca. 3800–3600 BC in Upper Egypt. The pea was also present in Georgia in the 5th millennium BC. Farther east, the finds are younger. Peas were present in Afghanistan ca. 2000 BC, in Harappa, Pakistan, and in northwest India in 2250–1750 BC. In the second half of the 2nd millennium BC, this pulse crop appears in the Gangetic basin and southern India.

Description:
Pea is an annual plant, with a life cycle of one year. It is a cool season crop grown in many parts of the world; planting can take place from winter to early summer depending on location.Pea plant has both low-growing and vining cultivars. The vining cultivars grow thin tendrils from leaves that coil around any available support and can climb to be 1–2 m high. A traditional approach to supporting climbing peas is to thrust branches pruned from trees or other woody plants upright into the soil, providing a lattice for the peas to climb. Branches used in this fashion are sometimes called pea brush. Metal fences, twine, or netting supported by a frame are used for the same purpose. In dense plantings, peas give each other some measure of mutual support. Pea plants can self-pollinate…..click & see
click to see the pictures
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to September, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Self. Occasionally bees.The plant is self-fertile. It can fix Nitrogen.

Varieties:
There are many varieties (cultivars) of garden peas. Some of the most common varieties are listed here. PMR indicates some degree of powdery mildew resistance; afila types, also called semi-leafless, have clusters of tendrils instead of leaves.Unless otherwise noted these are so called dwarf varieties which grow to an average height of about 1m. Extra dwarf are suitable for container growing, reaching only about 25 cm. Semi-tall reaches about 1.5m and tall grows to about 2m.

Cultivation:      
Requires a well-drained moisture retentive soil. Prefers a calcareous soil. Prefers a pH in the range 6 to 7.5. Prefers a rich loamy soil. A light soil and a sheltered position is best for early sowings. Peas have long been cultivated as a food crop and a number of distinct forms have emerged which have been classified as follows. A separate record has been made for each form:- P. sativum. The garden pea, including petit pois. Widely cultivated for its sweet-tasting edible immature seeds, as well as the immature seedpods and mature seeds, there are many named varieties[183] and these can provide a crop from May to October. P. sativum arvense. The field pea. Hardier than the garden pea, but not of such good culinary value, it is more often grown as a green manure or for the dried seeds. P. sativum elatius. This is the original form of the species and is still found growing wild in Turkey. P. sativum elatius pumilio. A short, small-flowered form of the above. P. sativum macrocarpon. The edible-pod pea has a swollen, fibre-free and very sweet seedpod which is eaten when immature. The garden pea is widely cultivated and there are many named varieties. There are two basic types of varieties, those with round seeds and those with wrinkled seeds. Round seeded varieties are hardier and can be sown in the autumn to provide an early crop in May or June, wrinkled varieties are sweeter and tastier but are not so hardy and are sown in spring to early summer. Within these two categories, there are dwarf cultivars and climbing cultivars, the taller types tend to yield more heavily and for a longer period but smaller forms are easier to grow, often do not need supports and can give heavier crops from the area of land used (though less from each plant). Cultivars developed for their edible young seeds tend to have pods containing a lot of fibre but some cultivars have now been selected for their larger and fibre-free pods – these cultivars are harder to grow for their seed, especially in damp climates, because the seed has a greater tendency to rot in wet weather. Peas are good growing companions for radishes, carrots, cucumbers, sweet corn, beans and turnips. They are inhibited by alliums, gladiolus, fennel and strawberries growing nearby. There is some evidence that if Chinese mustard (Brassica juncea) is grown as a green manure before sowing peas this will reduce the incidence of soil-borne root rots. 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. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.

Propagation:
Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in situ in succession from late winter until early summer. A minimum temperature of 10°c is required for germination, which should take place in about 7 – 10 days. The earlier sowings should be of suitably hardy varieties, the ’round seeded’, whilst later sowings can be of the tastier varieties, the ‘wrinkle seeded’. By making fresh sowings every 3 weeks you will have a continuous supply of fresh young seeds from early summer until early autumn. If you want to grow the peas to maturity then the seed needs to be sown by the middle of spring. You may need to protect the seed from the ravages of mice. Another sowing can be made in middle to late autumn. This has to be timed according to the area where the plants are being grown. The idea is that the plants will make some growth in the autumn and be perhaps 15 – 20cm tall by the time the colder part of winter sets in. As long as the winter is not too severe, the plants should stand well and will grow away rapidly in the spring to produce an earlier crop. Make sure you choose a suitably hardy variety for this sowing.

Edible Uses:  
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Immature seedpods – raw or cooked. The young seedpods have a sweet flavour, but there is only a thin layer of flesh with a fibrous layer beneath it. Immature seeds – raw or cooked. Sweet and delicious, they can be added to salads, or lightly cooked. A nutritional analysis is available. The mature seeds are rich in protein and can be cooked as a vegetable or added to soups etc. They can also be sprouted and added to salads, soups etc. The mature seed can also be dried and ground into a powder, then used to enrich the protein content of flour when making bread etc. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. Leaves and young shoots – cooked and used as a potherb. The young shoots taste like fresh peas, they are exceptionally tender and can be used in salads.

Constituents:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Green seed (Fresh weight)

*44 Calories per 100g
*Water : 76.5%
*Protein: 6.2g; Fat: 0.4g; Carbohydrate: 16.9g; Fibre: 2.4g; Ash: 0.9g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 32mg; Phosphorus: 102mg; Iron: 1.2mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 6mg; Potassium: 350mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 405mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.28mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.11mg; Niacin: 2.8mg; B6: 0mg; C: 27mg;

Nutritional value:
Peas are starchy, but high in fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and lutein. Dry weight is about one-quarter protein and one-quarter sugar.Pea seed peptide fractions have less ability to scavenge free radicals than glutathione, but greater ability to chelate metals and inhibit linoleic acid oxidation

Medicinal Uses:
Contraceptive;  Skin.

The seed is contraceptive, fungistatic and spermacidal. The dried and powdered seed has been used as a poultice on the skin where it has an appreciable affect on many types of skin complaint including acne. The oil from the seed, given once a month to women, has shown promise of preventing pregnancy by interfering with the working of progesterone. The oil inhibits endometrial development. In trials, the oil reduced pregnancy rate in women by 60% in a 2 year period and 50% reduction in male sperm count was achieved.

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

Resources:

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

http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Pisum+sativum

http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2009/tarmann_sama/habitat.htm

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Cowpea beans (Barboti)

Botanical Name :Vigna unguiculata
Family: Fabaceae
Genus:    Vigna
Species:V. unguiculata
kingdom:K Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names : Cowpea beans ,Barboti

Southern United States, where they are often called black-eyed peas or field peas. In India, in Tamil it is called K?r?mani, or Thatta Payir, the beans are called thatta kaai. In Oriya, it is called jhudunga, in Bengali, it is called barboti kolai or barboti, in Kannada, it is called Alasande, in Telugu, it is called Alasandalu , Bobbarlu. In Hindi, it is called lobhia or bura (when used as a string bean). In Gujarati, these are called chola or chowla. In Marathi, these are called chawali or chavali. It is an integral part of the cuisine in the southern region of India.

Habitat :Cowpeas are one of the most important food legume crops in the semiarid tropics covering Asia, Africa, southern Europe and Central and South America.

Description:
Cowpea beans is an annual an  herb, erect or suberect, spreading, to 80 cm or more tall, glabrous, taproot stout with laterals near soil surface, roots with large nodules, stems usually procumbent, often tinged with purple, first leaves above cotyledons are simple and opposite, subsequent trifoliolate leaves are alternate, the terminal leaflet often bigger and longer than the two asymmetrical laterals, petiole, stout, grooved, 5–15 cm long; leaflets ovoid-rhombic, entire or slightly lobed, apex acute, 6.5–16 cm long, 4–11 cm wide, lateral leaflets oblique; inflorescence axillary, 2–4-flowered, crowded, near tips on short curved peduncles 2.5–15 cm long; calyx campanulate with triangular teeth, the upper 2 teeth connate and longer than rest; corona dull white, yellow, or violet with standard 2–3 cm in diameter, keel truncate; stamens diadelphous, the anthers uniform; pods curved, straight or coiled; seeds 2–12 mm long, globular to reniform, smooth or wrinkled, red, black, brown, green buff or white, as dominant color; full colored, spotted, marbled, speckled, eyed, or blotched; (5–30 g/100 seeds, depending on the cv). Germination phanerocotylar. Fl. early summer. Fr. mid- and late summer, depending on the cv sensitivity tp ;pca;photoperiod and tmperature conditions.
click to see the pictures

Cultivation:
Seeds remain viable for several years. Germination is epigeal. Should be planted after danger from frost is past. If seeded for hay or seed, crop should be sown early, but for green manure and pasture purposes, may be seeded late with good results. Rate of seeding varies with method: when planted in rows 10–40 kg/ha, for broadcasting, 90 kg/ha. Cowpeas may be planted in rows, broadcast, or mixed with such other plants as cassava, corn, sorghum, sudangrass, johnsongrass, millets, peanuts, or soybeans. When grown for seed, it is painted in rows, for forage or green manture, broadcast. For hog feed or silage, cowpeas are planted with corn, either at the sime time as or at the last cultivation of corn. In rows, cowpeas are spaced of 5–7.5 cm apart, in rows 75–90 cm apart two or more cultivations are necessary to control weeds. Ordinary corn cultivator equipment is satisfactory, and cultivation should stop when flowering begins. In United States, 600–1,000 kg/ha of a 4-8-8 NPK fertilizer may be applied in bands 5 cm below seeds when planting. Cowpeas are usually grown rainfed, rarely irrigated. For weed control, amines of 2-4-D and MCPA are said to be effective as preemergence sprays. Trifluralin at 0.56–1.12 kg/ha just before sowing is said to give good control. Cowpeas respond slightly to K application up to 45 kg/ha. Calcium ions in the soil aid inoculation. In the United States, application of ca. 1 MT of lime is recommended and favors seed increase more than hay increase. Superphosphate recommendations are 112–224 kg/ha in the United States. Sulfur can limit seed production and/or protein synthesis. Molybdenum recommendations are 20–50 g/ha, and Mn, Cu, Zn, and B are essential, in very small quantities, for effective nodulation and seed yield increases. The cowpea symbiosis has genetic potential for large seed yields: cowpea Rhizobium associations should require only nominal amounts of fertilizer N, if any.

Harvesting:
Early maturing cvs produce pods in 50 days, seed in 90 days, late cvs mature seed in 240 days. Crop ripens unevenly and proper Stage for harvesting is difficult to determine. Usually flowers and green and ripe pods occur on vines at same time. Crop is cut for seed when one-half to two-thirds of pods are ripe. May be harvested by hand, with a special harvester or by self-rake reapers. For hay, crop cut when most pods are fully developed, and first ones have ripened. If cut too early, hay is difficult to cure; if cut too late, stems are long and woody and seed and leaves shatter badly. Ordinary mowing machine is used for harvesting cowpeas.

Edible Uses:
Cultivated for the seeds (shelled green or dried), the pods and/or leaves that are consumed as green vegetables or for pasturage, hay, ensilage, and green manure. The tendency of indeterminate cvs to ripen fruits over a long time makes them more amenable to subsistence than to commercial farming. However, erect and determinate cvs, more suited to monocultural production systems, are now available. If ctut back, many cvs continue to produce new leaves, that are eaten as a potherb. Leaves may be boiled, drained, sun-dried and then stored for later use. In the United States, green seeds are sometimes roasted like peanuts. The roots are eaten in Sudan and Ethiopia. Scorched seeds are occasionally used as a coffee substitute. Peduncles are retted for fiber in northern Nigeria. Crop used to some extent as pasturage, especially for hogs, and may be used for silage, for which it is usually mixed with corn or sorghum. Crop is very useful as a green manure, and leafy prostrate cvs reduce soil erosion.

In Tamilnadu, India, between the Tamil months of Maasi (February) and Panguni (March), a cake-like dish called kozhukattai (steamed sweet dumplings – also called adai in Kerala) is prepared with cooked and mashed cowpeas mixed with jaggery, ghee, and other ingredients. Thatta payir in sambar and pulikkuzhambu (spicy semisolid gravy in tamarind paste) is a popular dish in Tamil Nadu.

In Sri Lanka, cowpeas are cooked in many different ways, one of which is with coconut milk.

In Turkey, cowpeas can be lightly boiled, covered with olive oil, salt, thyme, and garlic sauce, and eaten as an appetizer. Also, they are cooked with garlic and tomatoes. And they can be eaten in bean salad.

In bengal Cowpea beans or barboti is used as a palatable vrgitable with different vegitable curry.

According to the USDA food database, the leaves of the cowpea plant have the hig
hest percentage of calories from protein among vegetarian foods.

• Gabi-Paayap Instant Baby Food: A nutritious baby food from a blend of gabi powder, roasted paayap grits processed by extrusion cooking, with a 100-gram pack providing 394 kcal and 19.4 g protein.

Kamote-Paayap Weaning / Baby Food: A rootcrop-legume combo of dried kamote cubes and paayap girts containing 376 kcal and 12.5 g of protein per 100 g.

• Rice-Paayap Sesame Powder: A blend of 3/4 cup of roasted rice flour and two tablespoons each of roasted paayap flour and roasted sesame flour, provides 424 Kcal and 14 grams protein per 100 grams.

Medicinal Uses:
Constituents:
Study shows of dried edible seeds : moisture, 6.20-8.92%; protein, 20.5-31.7%; fat 1.14-3.03%; fiver 1.70-4.5%; carbohydrate 56-65.7%, with varying amounts of cyanide, tannin, total oxalate and phytate.

In other folkloric medicinal systems, various parts of the cowpea plants (roots, leaves, and seeds) are used for a variety of medical ailments including dysmenorrhea, epilepsy, headaches, constipation,  chest pains and bilharzia.

Different Studies:
*Report on Flatulence and Abdominal Discomfort on Ingestion: 1989 report on abdominal discomfort associated with ingestion of cowpea and the decreased incidence of side effects with pressure cooking and dehulling.

*Antifungal / Antiviral: Study presents evidence of multiple proteins with antifungal and antiviral potency in cowpea seeds. The two proteins, designated alpha-antifungal and beta-antifunga, were capable of inhibiting HIV reverse transcriptase and one glycohydrolases associated with HIV infection. The proteins also retarted the mycelial growth of a variety of fungi, with the alpha-protein more potent in most cases.

*Protein Source/ Anti-Nutrient Factors : Study suggests cowpea as a valuable protein source with the predicted protein deficit in Southern Africa. Unlike other legumes, VU contain antinutritional factors (ANF) as trypsin inhibitors, tannins and phytates.

*Anti-Inflammatory: Study on the anti – inflammatory activity of Vigna unguiculata seed extract..

* Anti-Bleeding: Rats on boild white rice dite developed symptoms of severe vitamin K deficiency and the addition of autoclaved beans of V. unguiculata in the diet prevented the bleeding syndrome.

* Antifungal / Antibacterial: Results have indicated antifungal and some antibacterial activity by cowpea leaf extracts.

* Lipids / Constituents: Dried edible seeds of V unguiculata and P vulgaris grown in Northern Nigeria were studied for its chemical constituents. Iodine values were higher in vigna. Overall, potassium was the most abundant element in the seeds.16 amino acides were identified. Study highlights the safety and high nutritive values of the studied varieties.

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

Resources:

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

http://stuartxchange.com/Paayap.html

https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Vigna_unguiculata.html

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Fennel

Botanical Name :Foeniculum vulgare
Family: Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
Genus: Foeniculum
Species: F. vulgare
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Fenkel. Sweet Fennel. Wild Fennel.

Common Name :Fennel

Vernacular names:Fennel is known as(Saunf) in Hindi and  (Mouree) in Bengali. It is called (perunjeeragam) in Tamil and (perumjeeragam) in Malayalam. In Kannada (Dodda jeerige) or (Bade saunf) or(Badaa saunf).

Habitat :Fennel  grows wild in most parts of temperate Europe, but is generally considered indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean, whence it spreads eastwards to India. It has followed civilization, especially where Italians have colonized, and may be found growing wild in many parts of the world upon dry soils near the sea-coast and upon river-banks. It flourishes particularly on limestone soils and is now naturalized in some parts of this country, being found from North Wales southward and eastward to Kent, being most frequent in Devon and Cornwall and on chalk cliffs near the sea. It is often found in chalky districts inland in a semi-wild state.

Description:
Fennel is a hardy, perennial, umbelliferous herb, with yellow flowers and feathery leaves.It is erect, glaucous green, and grows to heights of up to 2.5 m, with hollow stems. The leaves grow up to 40 cm long; they are finely dissected, with the ultimate segments filiform (threadlike), about 0.5 mm wide. (Its leaves are similar to those of dill, but thinner.) The flowers are produced in terminal compound umbels 5–15 cm wide, each umbel section having 20–50 tiny yellow flowers on short pedicels. The fruit is a dry seed from 4–10 mm long, half as wide or less, and grooved.

click to see the pictures
Edible Uses:
The bulb, foliage, and seeds of the fennel plant are widely used in many of the culinary traditions of the world. The small flowers of wild fennel (mistakenly known in America as fennel “pollen”  are the most potent form of fennel, but also the most expensive. Dried fennel seed is an aromatic, anise-flavoured spice, brown or green in colour when fresh, slowly turning a dull grey as the seed ages. For cooking, green seeds are optimal. The leaves are delicately flavoured and similar in shape to those of dill. The bulb is a crisp vegetable that can be sautéed, stewed, braised, grilled, or eaten raw. They are used for garnishes and to add flavor to salads. They are also added to sauces and served with pudding. The leaves used in soups and fish sauce and sometimes eaten raw as salad.

Fennel seeds are sometimes confused with those of anise, which are similar in taste and appearance, though smaller. Fennel is also used as a flavouring in some natural toothpastes. The seeds are used in cookery and sweet desserts.[14]

Many cultures in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and the Middle East use fennel seed in their cookery. It is one of the most important spices in Kashmiri Pandit and Gujarati cooking. It is an essential ingredient of the Assamese/Bengali/Oriya spice mixture panch phoron[16] and in Chinese five-spice powders. In many parts of India and Pakistan, roasted fennel seeds are consumed as mukhwas, an after-meal digestive and breath freshener. Fennel leaves are used as leafy green vegetables either by themselves or mixed with other vegetables, cooked to be served and consumed as part of a meal, in some parts of India. In Syria and Lebanon, it is used to make a special kind of egg omelette (along with onions, and flour) called ijjeh.

Many egg, fish, and other dishes employ fresh or dried fennel leaves. Florence fennel is a key ingredient in some Italian and German salads, often tossed with chicory and avocado, or it can be braised and served as a warm side dish. It may be blanched or marinated, or cooked in risotto.

Fennel seeds are the primary flavor component in Italian sausage.

In Spain the stems of the fennel plant are used in the preparation of pickled eggplants, “berenjenas de Almagro”.

Cultivation: Fennel will thrive anywhere, and a plantation will last for years. It is easily propagated by seeds, sown early in April in ordinary soil. It likes plenty of sun and is adapted to dry and sunny situations, not needing heavily manured ground, though it will yield more on rich stiff soil. From 4 1/2 to 5 lb. of seed are sown per acre, either in drills, 15 inches apart, lightly, just covered with soil and the plants afterwards thinned to a similar distance, or sewn thinly in a bed and transplanted when large enough. The fruit is heavy and a crop of 15 cwt. per acre is an average yield.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used:  Seeds, leaves, roots.
Constituents:Fennel contains anethole, which can explain some of its medical effects: It, or its polymers, act as phytoestrogens.

The essence of fennel can be used as a safe and effective herbal drug for primary dysmenorrhea, but could have lower potency than mefenamic acid at the current study level.

Intestinal tract:  Fennel is widely employed as a carminative, both in humans and in veterinary medicine (e.g., dogs), to treat flatulence by encouraging the expulsion of intestinal gas. Anethole is responsible for the carminative action.

Mrs. Grieve‘s Herbal (1931) states:

On account of its aromatic and carminative properties, fennel fruit is chiefly used medicinally with purgatives to allay their tendency to griping and for this purpose forms one of the ingredients of the well-known compound Liquorice Powder. Fennel water has properties similar to those of anise and dill water: mixed with sodium bicarbonate and syrup, these waters constitute the domestic ‘gripe water’, used to correct the flatulence of infants. Volatile oil of Fennel has these properties in concentration. Fennel tea, formerly also employed as a carminative, is made by pouring half a pint of boiling water on a teaspoonful of bruised fennel seeds.

Fennel can be made into a syrup to treat babies with colic (formerly thought to be due to digestive upset), but long-term ingestion of fennel preparations by babies is a known cause of thelarche.

Eyes:  In the Indian subcontinent, fennel seeds are also eaten raw, sometimes with some sweetener, as they are said to improve eyesight. Ancient Romans regarded fennel as the herb of sight. Root extracts were often used in tonics to clear cloudy eyes. Extracts of fennel seed have been shown in animal studies to have a potential use in the treatment of glaucoma.

Blood and urine Fennel may be an effective diuretic and a potential drug for treatment of hypertension.

Breastmilk:  There are historical anecdotes that fennel is a galactagogue,[25] improving the milk supply of a breastfeeding mother. This use, although not supported by direct evidence, is sometimes justified by the fact that fennel is a source of phytoestrogens, which promote growth of breast tissue.[26] However, normal lactation does not involve growth of breast tissue. Two case reports resulted in illness for the newborn child: “Both mothers had both been drinking more than 2 liters daily of an herbal tea mixture reportedly containing licorice, fennel, anise, and goat’s rue ” “The authors attributed the maternal and infant symptoms to anethole, which is found in both fennel and anise; however, the anethole levels were not measured in breastmilk, nor were the teas tested for their content.”

Other uses:
Syrup prepared from fennel juice was formerly given for chronic coughs. It is one of the plants which is said to be disliked by fleas, and powdered fennel has the effect of driving away fleas from kennels and stables.

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.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/fennel01.html

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

http://health-from-nature.net/Fennel.html

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Embelia

Botanical Name: Embelia Ribes and robusta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:    Ericales
Family: Myrsinaceae
Genus:     Embelia
Species: E. ribes

Synonyms: Viranga. Birang-i-kabuli.

Common Names: False Black Pepper, White-flowered Embelia

Habitat: Embelia is mostly available in India, Indian Archipelago, Tropical Asia, Southern China, East Africa.

Description:
A straggling shrub, almost a climber. The plant possesses petiolate leaves and has small, whity-pink flowers in racemes at ends of the branches. The berries (the drug) are minute, round, spherical fruits (not unlike peppercorns) and vary in colour from red to black – those of E. Ribes have ovate, lanceolate smooth leaves and warty fruits, and are often sold to traders to adulterate pepper, which they so much resemble as to render it almost impossible to distinguish them by sight, or by any other means, as they possess a considerable degree of the spice flavour. The fruits of E. robusta, however, are longitudinally finely striated. Both fruit have often a short stalk and calyx fivepartite, removing this, a small hole is found in the fruit. The reddish seed, enclosed in a brittle pericarp, is covered by a thin membrane; when this is taken off, the seed is seen covered with light spots which disappear after immersion in water. The seed is horny, depressed at the base and has a ruminated endosperm. Taste, aromatic and astringent, with a slight pungency, owing to a resinous substance present in them.

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Medicinal Uses:

Part Used: Dried fruits.

Constituents:  Embelic acid, found in golden-yellow lamellar crystals (this acid is soluble in chloroform, alcohol and benzene, but not in water) and a quinone, Embelia.

Embelia is widely used In Ayurveda, it is considered widely beneficial in variety of diseases and is also used in homeopathy. In India, it is one of the widely and commonly used Ayurvedic herbs.

Anthelmintic, specially used to expel tapeworm, which are passed dead. In India and the Eastern Colonies the drug is given in the early morning, fasting, mixed with milk, and followed by a purgative. The dose is 1 to 4 drachms. The seeds are also made into an infusion, or ground to powder and taken in water or syrup, and being almost tasteless are not an unpleasant remedy.

Ammonium embelate is an effective taenicide for children: dose, 3 grains; adult dose, 6 or more grains.

The berries of E. robusta are considered cathartic.

Resources:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/e/embili10.html

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

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Cubeb

Botanical Name :Piper cubeba
Family: Piperaceae
Genus: Piper
Species: P. cubeba
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Synonym: Tailed Pepper.

Common Names :Cubeb (Piper cubeba), or tailed pepper, or shital chini / kabab chini in Hindi sometimes it is called Java pepper

Part Used: The dried, full-grown, unripe fruit.

Habitat:  Java, Penang, and other parts of East Indies.

Description:
Cubeb  is a climbing perennial plant, with dioecious flowers in spikes. The fruit is a globose, pedicelled drupe. It is extensively grown in the coffee plantations, well shaded and supported by the coffee trees. Odour aromatic and characteristic- taste strongly aromatic and pungent and somewhat bitter. Commercial Cubebs are often adulterated with other fruits containing a volatile oil, but with very different properties. There is no evidence that the plant was known to the ancients, though it was probably brought into Europe by the Arabians, who doubtless employed the fruit as pepper.

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The fruits are gathered before they are ripe, and carefully dried. Commercial cubebs consist of the dried berries, similar in appearance to black pepper, but with stalks attached – the “tails” in “tailed pepper”. The dried pericarp is wrinkled, and its color ranges from grayish-brown to black. The seed is hard, white and oily. The odor of cubebs is described as agreeable and aromatic and the taste as pungent, acrid, slightly bitter and persistent. It has been described as tasting like allspice, or like a cross between allspice and black pepper.

Edible Uses:
In Europe, cubeb was one of the valuable spices during the Middle Ages. It was ground as a seasoning for meat or used in sauces. A medieval recipe includes cubeb in making sauce sarcenes, which consists of almond milk and several spices. As an aromatic confectionery, cubeb was often candied and eaten whole.[18] Ocet Kubebowy, a vinegar infused with cubeb, cumin and garlic, was used for meat marinades in Poland during the 14th century. Cubeb can still be used to enhance the flavor of savory soups.

Cubeb reached Africa by way of the Arabs. In Moroccan cuisine, cubeb is used in savory dishes and in pastries like markouts, little diamonds of semolina with honey and dates. It also appears occasionally in the list of ingredients for the famed spice mixture Ras el hanout. In Indonesian cuisine, especially in Indonesian gulés (curries), cubeb is frequently used.

Chemical Constituents:
The dried cubeb berries contain essential oil consisting monoterpenes (sabinene 50%, ?-thujene, and carene) and sesquiterpenes (caryophyllene, copaene, ?- and ?-cubebene, ?-cadinene, germacrene), the oxides 1,4- and 1,8-cineole and the alcohol cubebol.

About 15% of a volatile oil is obtained by distilling cubebs with water. Cubebene, the liquid portion, has the formula C15H24. It is a pale green or blue-yellow viscous liquid with a warm woody, slightly camphoraceous odor. After rectification with water, or on keeping, this deposits rhombic crystals of camphor of cubebs.

Cubebin (C10H10O3) is a crystalline substance existing in cubebs, discovered by Eugène Soubeiran and Capitaine in 1839. It may be prepared from cubebene, or from the pulp left after the distillation of the oil. The drug, along with gum, fatty oils, and malates of magnesium and calcium, contains also about 1% of cubebic acid, and about 6% of a resin. The dose of the fruit is 30 to 60 grains, and the British Pharmacopoeia contains a tincture with a dose of 4 to 1 dram.

Medicinal Uses:
Stimulant, carminative, much used as a remedy for gonorrhoea, after the first active inflammatory symptoms have subsided; also used in leucorrhoea, cystitis, urethritis, abscesses of the prostate gland, piles and chronic bronchitis.

In India, Sanskrit texts included cubeb in various remedies. Charaka and Sushruta prescribed a cubeb paste as a mouthwash, and the use of dried cubebs internally for oral and dental diseases, loss of voice, halitosis, fevers, and cough. Unani physicians use a paste of the cubeb berries externally on male and female genitals to intensify sexual pleasure during coitus. Due to this attributed property, cubeb was called “Habb-ul-Uruus”.

In traditional Chinese medicine cubeb is used for its alleged warming property. In Tibetan medicine, cubeb (ka ko la in Tibetan) is one of bzang po drug, six fine herbs beneficial to specific organs in the body, with cubeb assigned to the spleen.

Arab physicians of the Middle Ages were usually versed in alchemy, and cubeb was used, under the name kababa, when preparing the water of al butm. The Book of One Thousand and One Nights mentions cubeb as a main ingredient in making an aphrodisiac remedy for infertility:

“ He took two ounces of Chinese cubebs, one ounce of fat extract of Ionian hemp, one ounce of fresh cloves, one ounce of red cinnamon from Sarandib, ten drachms of white Malabar cardamoms, five of Indian ginger, five of white pepper, five of pimento from the isles, one ounce of the berries of Indian star-anise, and half an ounce of mountain thyme. Then he mixed cunningly, after having pounded and sieved them; he added pure honey until the whole became a thick paste; then he mingled five grains of musk and an ounce of pounded fish roe with the rest. Finally he added a little concentrated rose-water and put all in the bowl. ”

The mixture, called “seed-thickener”, is given to Shams-al-Din, a wealthy merchant who had no child, with the instruction that he must eat the paste two hours before having intercourse with his wife. According to the story, the merchant did get the child he desired after following these instructions. Other Arab authors wrote that cubeb rendered the breath fragrant, cured affections of the bladder, and that eating it “enhances the delight of coitus”.

In 1654, Nicholas Culpeper wrote in the London Dispensatorie that cubebs were “hot and dry in the third degree… (snip) they cleanse the head of flegm and strengthen the brain, they heat the stomach and provoke lust”. A later edition in 1826 informed the reader that “the Arabs call them Quabebe, and Quabebe Chine: they grow plentifully in Java, they stir up venery. (snip) …and are very profitable for cold griefs of the womb”.

The modern use of cubeb in England as a drug dates from 1815. There were various preparations, including oleum cubebae (oil of cubeb), tinctures, fluid extracts, oleo-resin compounds, and vapors, which were used for throat complaints. A small percentage of cubeb was commonly included in lozenges designed to alleviate bronchitis, in which the antiseptic and expectoral properties of the drug are useful. The most important therapeutic application of this drug, however, was in treating gonorrhea, where its antiseptic action was of much value. William Wyatt Squire wrote in 1908 that cubebs “act specifically on the genito-urinary mucous membrane. (They are) given in all stages of gonorrhea”. As compared with copaiba in this connection cubeb has the advantages of being less disagreeable to take and somewhat less likely to disturb the digestive apparatus in prolonged administration.

The volatile oil, oleum cubebae, was the form in which cubeb is most commonly used as a drug, the dose being 5 to 20 minims, which may be suspended in mucilage or given after meals in a wafer. The drug exhibited the typical actions of a volatile oil, but exerted some of these to an exceptional degree. As such, it was liable to cause a cutaneous erythema in the course of its excretion by the skin, had a marked diuretic action, and was a fairly efficient disinfectant of the urinary passages. Its administration caused the appearance in the urine of a salt of cubebic acid which was precipitated by heat or nitric acid, and was therefore liable to be mistaken for albumin, when these two most common tests for the occurrence of albuminuria were applied.

The National Botanic Pharmacopoeia printed in 1921 tells that cubeb was an excellent remedy for flour albus or whites.

Other Uses:
Cubeb was frequently used in the form of cigarettes for asthma, chronic pharyngitis and hay fever. Edgar Rice Burroughs, being fond of smoking cubeb cigarettes, humorously stated that if he had not smoked so many cubebs, there might never have been Tarzan. “Marshall’s Prepared Cubeb Cigarettes” was a popular brand, with enough sales to still be made during World War II. Occasionally, marijuana users claimed that smoking marijuana is no more harmful than smoking cubeb.[21] In the musical The Music Man, set in rural Iowa in 1912, the character Harold Hill alarms parents by telling this that their sons are trying out cubeb cigarettes at the notorious pool hall in the song “Trouble”.

Cubeb oil was included in the list of ingredients found in cigarettes, published by the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services.

Bombay Sapphire gin is flavored with botanicals including cubeb and grains of paradise. The brand was launched in 1987, but its maker claims that it is based on a secret recipe dating to 1761. Pertsovka, a dark brown Russian pepper vodka with a burning taste, is prepared from infusion of cubeb and capsicum peppers

Cubeb is sometimes used to adulterate the essential oil of Patchouli, which requires caution for Patchouli users. In turn, cubeb is adulterated by Piper baccatum (also known as the “climbing pepper of Java”) and Piper caninum.

Cubeb berries are used in love-drawing magic spells by practitioners of hoodoo, an African-American form of folk magic.

In 2000, Shiseido, a well-known Japanese cosmetics company, patented a line of anti-aging products containing formulas made from several herbs, including cubeb.

In 2001, the Swiss company Firmenich patented cubebol, a compound found in cubeb oil, as a cooling and refreshing agent.  The patent describes application of cubebol as a refreshing agent in various products, ranging from chewing gum to sorbets, drinks, toothpaste, and gelatin-based confectioneries.

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

Resources:

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

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/cubeb121.html

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Cinnamonum camphora

Botanical Name : Cinnamonum camphora
Family:     Lauraceae
Genus:     Cinnamomum
Species:     Cinnamomum camphora
Kingdom:     Plantae
Order:     Laurales

Synonyms:  Laurel Camphor. Gum Camphor.

Common Names :Camphor, Camphor tree, Camphorwood or camphor laurel

Habitat : Cinnamomum camphora is native to China south of the Yangtze River, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, and has been introduced to many other countries.

Description:
Cinnamomum camphora is a large evergreen tree that grows up to 20–30 metres tall. The leaves have a glossy, waxy appearance and smell of camphor when crushed. In spring it produces bright green foliage with masses of small white flowers. It produces clusters of black berry-like fruit around one centimetre in diameter. It has a pale bark that is very rough and fissured vertically.

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Chemical Constituents:
Camphor laurel contains volatile chemical compounds in all plant parts, and the wood and leaves are steam distilled for the essential oils. Camphor laurel has six different chemical variants called chemotypes, which are camphor, linalool, 1,8-cineole, nerolidol, safrole, or borneol. In China field workers avoid mixing chemotypes when harvesting by their odour. The cineole fraction of camphor laurel is used in China to manufacture fake “Eucalyptus oil“.

The chemical variants (or chemotypes) seem dependent upon the country of origin of the tree. The tree is native to China, Japan, and Taiwan. It has been introduced to the other countries where it has been found, and the chemical variants are identifiable by country. e.g., Cinnamomum camphora grown in Taiwan and Japan is normally very high in Linalool, often between 80 and 85%. In India and Sri Lanka the high camphor variety/chemotype remains dominant. Cinnamomum camphora grown in Madagascar, on the other hand, is high in 1,8 Cineole (averaging between 40 and 50%. The essential oil from the Madagascar trees is commercially known as Ravintsara

Camphor is a white crystalline substance, obtained from the tree Cinnamonum camphora, but the name has been given to various concrete odorous volatile products, found in different aromatic plants. The commercial Camphor comes only from C. camphora and Dryobalanops camphora (fam. Dipterocarpacaea). The first gives our official Camphor, the latter the Borneo Camphor, which is much valued in the East, but unknown in Europe and America. C. camphora is an evergreen tree looking not unlike our linden; it grows to a great size, is manybranched, flowers white, small and clustered, fruit a red berry much like cinnamon. While the tree grows in China, etc., it can be cultivated successfully in sub-tropical countries, such as India and Ceylon, and it will thrive in Egypt, Formosa, Madagascar, Canary Islands and southern parts of Europe, California, Florida, and also in Argentina. It grows so slowly that the return financially is a long investment. Some growers think that Camphor cannot be taken from the trees till they are fifty years old. In Japan and Formosa the drug comes from the root, trunk and branches of the tree by sublimation, but there is less injury done to the tree in the American plantations, as it is taken there from the leaves and twigs of the oldest trees. A Camphor oil exudes in the process of extracting Camphor, which is valued by the Chinese, used for medicinal purposes. Two substances are found in commerce under the name of oil of Camphor: one is the produce of C. cinnamonum, and is known as Formosa or Japanese oil of Camphor; the other as East Indian oil of Camphor, from the D. aromatica but this oil is not found in European or American trade. It is less volatile than the other, and has a distinctive odour; it is highly prized by the Chinese, who use it for embalming purposes and to scent soap. The Chinese attribute many virtues to it. It is mentioned by Marco Polo in the thirteenth century and Camoens in 1571, who called it the ‘balsam of disease.’ During the last few years large quantities have come into the American and European markets as Japanese oil; it varies in quality and colour from a thin watery oil to a thick black one. It is imported in tin cans and varies greatly in the amount of Camphor it contains, some cans having had all the solid principle extracted before importation. The odour is peculiar, like sassafras and distinctly camphoraceous; this oil is said to be used in Japan for burning, making varnish and for Chinese inks, as a diluent for artists’ colours; it has a capacity for dissolving resins that oil of Turps has not. The properties in the oil are much the same as in Camphor, but it is more stimulant and very useful in complaints of stomach and bowels, in spasmodic cholera and flatulent colic. It is also used as a rubefacient and sedative liniment, and if diluted with Olive oil or soap is excellent for local rheumatism, sprains, bruises, and neuralgia dose, 2 or 3 minims. There is an erroneous idea that Camphor acts as a preventive to infectious diseases. It is very acrid and in large doses very poisonous, and should be used cautiously in certain heart cases. It is a well-known preventive of moths and other insects, such as worms in wood; natural history cabinets are often made of it, the wood of the tree being occasionally imported to make cabinets for entomologists. The Dryobalanops oil of Camphor is said to be found in trees too young to produce Camphor, and is said to be the first stage of the development of Camphor, as it is found in the cavities of the trunk, which later on become filled with Camphor. Its chief constituent is an oil called Borneene. The D. aromatica tree, found in Sumatra and Borneo, grows to an enormous height, often over 100 feet, and trunk 6 or 7 feet in diameter. The Camphor of the older trees exists in concrete masses, in longitudinal cavities, in the heart of the tree, 1 1/2 feet long at certain distances apart. The only way of finding out if Camphor has formed in the tree is by incision. This Camphor is chiefly used for funeral rites, and any that is exported is bought by the Chinese at a high price, as they use it for embalming, it being less volatile than ordinary Camphor. Another Camphor called N’gai, obtained from the Blumea Balcamferi (Compositae), differs chemically from the Borneo species, being levogyrate, and is converted by boiling nitric acid, to a substance considered identical with stearoptene of Chrysanthemum parthenium.

Medicinal Action and Uses:
Camphor has a strong, penetrating, fragrant odour, a bitter, pungent taste, and is slightly cold to the touch like menthol leaves; locally it is an irritant, numbs the peripheral sensory nerves, and is slightly antiseptic; it is not readily absorbed by the mucous membrane, but is easily absorbed by the subcutaneous tissue- it combines in the body with glucuronic acid, and in this condition is voided by the urine. Experiments on frogs show a depressant action to the spinal column, no motor disturbance, but a slow increasing paralysis; in mankind it causes convulsions, from the effect it has on the motor tract of the brain; it stimulates the intellectual centres and prevents narcotic drugs taking effect, but in cases of nervous excitement it has a soothing and quieting result. Authorities vary as to its effect on blood pressure; some think it raises it, others take an opposite view; but it has been proved valuable as an excitant in cases of heart failure, whether due to diseases or as a result of infectious fevers, such as typhoid and pneumonia, not only in the latter case as a stimulant to circulation, but as preventing the growth of pneumococci. Camphor is used in medicine internally for its calming influence in hysteria, nervousness and neuralgia, and for serious diarrhoea, and externally as a counter-irritant in rheumatisms, sprains bronchitis, and in inflammatory conditions, and sometimes in conjunction with menthol and phenol for heart failure; it is often given hypodermically, 3 to 5 grains dissolved in 20 to 30 minims of sterile Olive oil – the effect will last about two hours. In nervous diseases it may be given in substance or in capsules or in spirit; dose 2 to 5 grains. Its great value is in colds, chills, and in all inflammatory complaints; it relieves irritation of the sexual organs.

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

Resources:

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

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/campho13.html

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Dumur (Ficus racemosa)

Botanical Name :Ficus racemosa
Family: Moraceae
Genus: Ficus
Species: F. racemosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

syn.: Ficus glomerata

Common Names:Cluster Fig Tree, Indian Fig Tree or Goolar (Gular) Fig]

Names in regional languages:-
Attikka in Sinhala
Atti in Kannada
Medi Pandu in Telugu
Malaiyin munivan in Tamil
Aththi in Tamil
Aththi in Malayalam.
Umbar)  or Oudumbar in Marathi.
Dumur in Bengali
Dumri in Nepal

Habitat :Ficus racemosa grows Moist areas, beside rivers and streams, occasionally in streams; 100-1700 m. S Guangxi, Guizhou, Yunnan  This tree is found in India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; Australia.

Description:
Ficus racemosa Trees are  25-30 m tall, d.b.h. 60-90 cm; monoecious. Bark grayish brown, smooth. Branchlets, young leaf blades, and figs with bent hairs or densely covered with white soft pubescence. Branchlets brown. Stipules ovate-lanceolate, 1.5-2 cm, membranous, pubescent. Leaves alternate; petiole 2-3 cm; leaf blade elliptic-obovate, elliptic, or narrowly elliptic, 10-14 × 3-4.5(-7) cm, ± leathery, abaxially pale green, pubescent when young, glabrescent, and ± scabrous, adaxially dark green and glabrous, base cuneate to obtuse, margin entire, apex acuminate to obtuse; basal lateral veins 2, secondary veins 4-8 on each side of midvein. Figs in a tumorlike aggregate on short branchlets of old stem, occasionally axillary on leafy shoot or on older leafless branchlets, paired, reddish orange when mature, pear-shaped, 2-2.5 cm in diam., basally attenuated into a stalk, apical pore navel-like, flat; peduncle ca. 1 cm; involucral bracts triangular-ovate. Male, gall, and female flowers within same fig. Male flowers: near apical pore, sessile; calyx lobes 3 or 4; stamens 2. Gall and female flowers: pedicellate; calyx lobes linear, apex 3- or 4-toothed; style lateral; stigma clavate. Fl. May-Jul.

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Edible Uses:
In India particularly in Bengal the fruits are eaten as vegitable.

Medicinal Uses:
Ficus racemosa Linn. (Moraceae) is a popular medicinal plant in India, which has long been used in Ayurveda, the ancient system of Indian medicine, for various diseases/disorders including diabetes, liver disorders, diarrhea, inflammatory conditions, hemorrhoids, respiratory, and urinary diseases. F. racemosa is pharmacologically studied for various activities including antidiabetic, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, hepatoprotective, and antimicrobial activities. A wide range of phytochemical constituents have been identified and isolated from various parts of F. racemosa. In this review, a comprehensive account of its traditional uses, phytochemical constituents, and pharmacological effects is presented in view of the many recent findings of importance on this plant.

The bark of Audumbar/Oudumbar tree is said to have healing power. In countries like India, the bark is rubbed on a stone with water to make a paste and the paste is applied over the skin which is afflicted by boils or mosquito bites. Allow the paste to dry on the skin and reapply after a few hours. For people whose skin is especially sensitive to insect bites; this is a very simple.

Other Uses:
In ancient times both Hindu and Buddhist ascetics on their way to Taxila, (Original name is Taksha Sila) travelling through vast areas of Indian forests used to consume the fruit during their travels. One challenge to vegetarians were the many fig wasps that one finds when opening a gular fig. One way to get rid of them was to break the figs into halves or quarters, discard most of the seeds and then place the figs into the midday sun for an hour. Gular fruit are almost never sold commercially because of this problem.Fruits are very good food to birds.

The Ovambo people call the fruit of the Cluster Fig eenghwiyu and use it to distill Ombike, their traditional liquor.

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

Resources:

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

http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=242322427

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20645741

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Capparis Zeylanica

Botanical Name :Capparis Zeylanica
Family: Capparaceae
Genus: Capparis
Species: C. zeylanica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Common Names:Kantoklata in Bengali

Habitat : Native to India and China

Description:
Capparis zeylanica is a climbing shrub common in the forests of the Indian subcontinent and China. Methanolic extracts of the leaves have been shown to reduce diarrhea in mice. Many butterfly larva feed on its leaves.
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Medicinal Uses:
click to see..>1) :Antidiarrheal activity of Capparis zeylanica leaf extracts  :

2)    Research work

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

Resources:

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

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Fenugreek

B0tanical Name :Trigonella foenum-graecum
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Trigonella
Species: T. foenum-graecum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names: It is known as methi in Marathi  Punjabi, Hindi, Urudu, Bengali and Nepali  as menthiyam, and venthayam  in Tamil, “uluhaal”  in Sinhala, Helba  in Arabic, menthya  in Kannada, uluwa in Malayalam, moshoseitaro  in Greek and menthulu  in Telugu.

Alholva, Bird’s Foot, Boyotu, Chinagreye, Foenum Graecum, Greek Hay-seed, Halva, Helba, Hu Lu Pa, K’U Tou, Kelabat, Koroha, Methi, Shimli, Sickle-fruit Fenugreek, Sicklefruit Fenugreek, Trigonella foenum-graecum

(The name comes from Foenum-graecum, meaning Greek Hay, the plant being used to scent inferior hay.)

Habitat ;Fenugreek is natve to India and northern Europe.Now It grows  in Austria; Belgium; Chile; China; Egypt; S. France; Hungary; India; Iraq; Java; Malaya; Mediterranean; Spain; Sudan; Turkey.

It can grow in Field verges, uncultivated ground, dry grasslands and hillsides

Description:
Fenugreek is an annual, leguminous plant. It has tri-foliate, obovate and toothed, light green leaves. Its stems are erect, long and tender. Blooming period occurs during summer. Flowers are yellow-white, occurring singly or in pairs at the leaf axils. Fruit is a curved seed-pod, with ten to twenty flat and hard, yellowish-brown seeds. They are angular- rhomboid, oblong or even cubic, and have a deep furrow dividing them into two unequal lobes.It is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop.

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Edible Uses:
Funugreek is a common ingredient in dishes from the Indian Subcontinent.An essential oil is obtained from the seed – used as a food flavoring.The dried plant has a strong aroma of hay.

Fenugreek is also used as a vegetable. Fresh fenugreek leaves are an ingredient in some Indian curries. The sprouted seeds and microgreens are used in salads. When harvested as microgreens, fenugreek is known as Samudra Methi in Maharashtra, especially in and around Mumbai, where it is often grown near the sea in the sandy tracts, hence the name (Samudra, which means “ocean” in Sanskrit). Samudra Methi is also grown in dry river beds in the Gangetic plains. When sold as a vegetable in India, the young plants are harvested with their roots still attached. Any remaining soil is washed off to extend their shelf life. They are then sold in small bundles in the markets and bazaars.
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Medicinal use:
Fenugreek is one of the oldest medicinal plants. It has been used for centuries for different female conditions, brain and nervous system ailments, skin, liver and metabolic disorders. It is also considered highly beneficial for respiratory and gastrointestinal problems.  It is a highly potent female herb, since it helps relaxing the uterus and relieving menstrual pains, and is an excellent stimulator of milk production in nursing mothers. As for the gastrointestinal tract, Fenugreek is usually suggested in treatments of poor digestion, gastric inflammations, enteritis, especially for convalescents. It can also be used in cases of weight loss, poor appetite and even in treatment of anorexia nervosa. Different blood conditions, such as anemia, and nervous system disorders (neurasthenia) can also be successfully treated with Fenugreek. As for the respiratory conditions, Fenugreek is excellent in treatment of bronchitis, mucous congestions, different infections, tuberculosis. Used externally, it can help curing abscesses, boils, carbuncles, fistulas, sciatica, various skin irritations,sores & wounds.

Lactation: Fenugreek seeds are thought to be a galactagogue that is often used to increase milk supply in lactating women.

Known Hazards: The seed contains 1% saponins. Although poisonous, saponins are poorly absorbed by the human body and so most pass through without harm. Saponins are quite bitter and can be found in many common foods such as some beans. They can be removed by carefully leaching the seed or flour in running water. Thorough cooking, and perhaps changing the cooking water once, will also remove most of them. However, it is not advisible to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish.

News: In February 2009, the International Frutarom Corporation factory in North Bergen, New Jersey, was found to be the source of a mysterious maple syrup aroma which had been reported as occasionally drifting over New York City since 2005. The odor was found to be from sotolon, an ester in fenugreek seeds. No health risks have been found.

Fenugreek seeds imported from Egypt in 2009 and 2010 have been linked to outbreaks of Escherichia coli O104:H4 in Germany and France, causing 50 deaths in 2011

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

Resources:

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

http://www.diet-and-health.net/Naturopathy/Fenugreek.html

http://health-from-nature.net/Fenugreek.html

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