Tag Archives: India

Brassica juncea (Brown Mustard)

Botanical Name: Brassica juncea
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus:     Brassica
Species: B. juncea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Brassicales

Common Names: Brown Mustard,  Mustard greens, Indian mustard, Chinese mustard, or Leaf mustard, Green mustard cabbage

Habitat : Primary center of origin thought to be central Asia (northwest India), with secondary centers in central and western China, eastern India, Burma, and through Iran to Near East. Has been cultivated for centuries in many parts of Eurasia. The principle growing countries are Bangladesh, Central Africa, China, India, Japan, Nepal, and Pakistan, as well as southern Russia north of the Caspian Sea. Considered a principle weed in Canada, a common weed in Argentina and Australia, and a weed in Fiji, Mexico, and the United States, Indian Mustard is widely distributed as a cultivar and escape in subtropical and temperate climates.

Description:
Brassica juncea is a Perennial herb, usually grown as an annual or biennial, up to 1 m or more tall; branches long, erect or patent; lower leaves petioled, green, sometimes with a whitish bloom, ovate to obovate, variously lobed with toothed, scalloped or frilled edges, lyrate-pinnatisect, with 1–2 lobes or leaflets on each side and a larger sparsely setose, terminal lobe; upper leaves subentire, short petioled, 30–60 mm long, 2–3.5 mm wide, constricted at intervals, sessile, attenuate into a tapering, seedless, short beak 5–10 mm long. Rooting depth 90–120 cm. Seeds about 5,660–6,000 per 0.01 kg (1/3 oz).
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Edible Uses:
The leaves, the seeds (Raai in Gujarati), and the stem of this mustard variety are edible. The plant appears in some form in African, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and soul food cuisine. Cultivars of B. juncea are grown as greens, and for the production of oilseed. In Russia, this is the main variety grown for production of mustard oil, which after refining is considered[according to whom?] one of the best vegetable oils. It is widely used in canning, baking and margarine production in Russia, and the majority of table mustard there is also made from this species of mustard plant.

The leaves are used in African cooking, and leaves, seeds, and stems are used in Indian cuisine, particularly in mountain regions of Nepal, as well as in the Punjab cuisine of India and Pakistan, where a famous dish called sarson da saag (mustard greens) is prepared. B. juncea subsp. tatsai, which has a particularly thick stem, is used to make the Indian pickle called achar, and the Chinese pickle zha cai. The mustard made from the seeds of the B. juncea is called brown mustard. The leaves & seeds (Raai in Gujarati)are used in many Indian dishes.

The Gorkhas of Darjeeling and Sikkim prepare pork with mustard greens (also called rayo in Nepali). It is usually eaten with relish with steamed rice, but could also be eaten with chapati (griddle breads).

Brassica juncea is more pungent than the closely related Brassica oleracea greens (kale, cabbage, collard greens, et cetera), and is frequently mixed with these milder greens in a dish of “mixed greens”, which may include wild greens such as dandelion. As with other greens in soul food cooking, mustard greens are generally flavored by being cooked for a long period with ham hocks or other smoked pork products. Mustard greens are high in vitamin A and vitamin K.

Chinese and Japanese cuisines also make use of mustard greens. In Japanese cuisine it is known as Takana and is often pickled and used as filling in onigiri or as a condiment. A large variety of B. juncea cultivars are used, including zha cai, mizuna, takana (var. integlofolia), juk gai choy, and xuelihong. Asian mustard greens are most often stir-fried or pickled. A Southeast Asian dish called asam gai choy or kiam chai boey is often made with leftovers from a large meal. It involves stewing mustard greens with tamarind, dried chillies and leftover meat on the bone.

Medicinal Uses:
Reported to be anodyne, apertif, diuretic, emetic, rubefacient, and stimulant, Indian Mustard is a folk remedy for arthritis, footache, lumbago, and rheumatism. Seed used for tumors in China. Root used as a galactagogue in Africa. Sun-dried leaf and flower are smoked in Tanganyika to “get in touch with the spirits.” Ingestion may impart a body odor repellent to mosquitoes (Burkill, 1966). Believed to be aperient and tonic, the volatile oil is used as a counterirritant and stimulant. In Java the plant is used as an antisyphilitic emmenagogue. Leaves applied to the forehead are said to relieve headache (Burkill, 1966). In Korea, the seeds are used for abscesses, colds, lumbago, rheumatism, and stomach disorders. Chinese eat the leaves in soups for bladder, inflammation or hemorrhage. Mustard oil is used for skin eruptions and ulcers.

Other Uses:
Phytoremediation:
This plant is used in phytoremediation to remove heavy metals, such as lead, from the soil in hazardous waste sites because it has a higher tolerance for these substances and stores the heavy metals in its cells. The plant is then harvested and disposed of properly. This method is easier and less expensive than traditional methods for the removal of heavy metals. It also prevents erosion of soil from these sites preventing further contamination

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/Brassica_juncea

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Brassica_juncea.html

Cardamom

Botanical Name : Amomum subulatum,/ Amomum costatum
Family:    Zingiberaceae
Genus:Amomum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Zingiberales

Common Names: Black cardamom, Hill cardamom, Bengal cardamom,Greater cardamom, Indian cardamom, Nepal cardamom, winged cardamom, or Brown cardamom
Other Names:
French: cardamome
German: Kardamom
Italian: cardamomo, cardamone
Spanish: cardamomo
Burmese: phalazee
Chinese: ts’ao-k’ou
Indian: chhoti elachi, e(e)lachie, ela(i)chi, illaichi
Indonesian: kapulaga
Sinhalese: enasal
Thai: grawahn, kravan

In Bengali It is called baro illach for Black Cardamom and choto illach for green Cardamom.

Habitat: Black cardamom is  native to India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bhutan.

Description:
Black Cardamom is a herbaceous plant.It is a perennial bush of the ginger family, with sheathed stems reaching 10-12 feet in height.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It has a large tuberous rhizome and long, dark green leaves 30-60 cm (1-2 ft) long, 5-15 cm (2-6”) wide.

Trailing leafy stalks grow from the plant base at ground level, these bear the seed pods.

The flowers are white with blue stripes and yellow borders.

The fruit is a small pod or capsule with 8 to 16 brown seeds; the seeds are used as a spice.

CLICK & SEE

The pods are used as a spice, in a similar manner to the green Indian cardamom pods, but with a different flavor. Unlike green cardamom, this spice is rarely used in sweet dishes. Its smoky flavor and aroma derive from traditional methods of drying over open flames.

At least two distinct species of black cardamom occur: Amomum subulatum (also known as Nepal cardamom) and A. costatum. The pods of A. subulatum, used primarily in the cuisines of India and certain regional cuisines of Pakistan, are the smaller of the two, while the larger pods of A. costatum  are used in Chinese cuisine, particularly that of Sichuan; and Vietnamese cuisine.

Edible Uses:
Black cardamom is often erroneously described as an inferior substitute for green cardamom by those unfamiliar with the spice; actually, it is just not as well suited for the sweet/hot dishes which typically include cardamom, and that are more commonly prepared outside the plant’s native range. Black cardamom, by contrast, is better for hearty meat stews and similar dishes. Although the flavor differs from the smaller green cardamom, black cardamom is sometimes used by large-scale commercial bakers because of its low cost.

In China, the pods are used for jin-jin braised meat dishes, particularly in the cuisine of the central-western province of Sichuan. The pods are also often used in Vietnam, where they are called thao quo and used as an ingredient in the broth for the noodle soup called pho.

Chemical constituents:
The content of essential oil in the seeds is strongly dependent on storage conditions, but may be as high as 8%. In the oil were found ?-terpineol 45%, myrcene 27%, limonene 8%, menthone 6%, ?-phellandrene 3%, 1,8-cineol 2%, sabinene 2% and heptane 2%.[15] Other sources report 1,8-cineol (20 to 50%), ?-terpenylacetate (30%), sabinene, limonene (2 to 14%), and borneol.

In the seeds of round cardamom from Jawa (A. kepulaga), the content of essential oil is lower (2 to 4%), and the oil contains mainly 1,8 cineol (up to 70%) plus ?-pinene (16%); further­more, ?-pinene, ?-terpineol and humulene were found.

Medicinal Uses:
The largest producer of the black cardamom is Nepal, followed by India and Bhutan. In traditional Chinese medicine, black cardamom is used for stomach disorders and malaria.

Green cardamom is broadly used in South Asia to treat infections in teeth and gums, to prevent and treat throat troubles, congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of eyelids, and digestive disorders. It also is used to break up kidney and gall stones, and was reportedly used as an antidote for both snake and scorpion venoms. Amomum is used as a spice and as an ingredient in traditional medicine in systems of the traditional Chinese medicine in China, in Ayurveda in India, Pakistan, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Among other species, varieties, and cultivars, Amomum villosum cultivated in China, Laos, and Vietnam is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat stomach problems, constipation, dysentery, and other digestion problems. Tsaoko cardamom, Amomum tsao-ko, is cultivated in Yunnan and northwest Vietnam, both for medicinal purposes and as a spice.

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/Cardamom

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

http://www.spicesmedicinalherbs.com/black-cardamom-spice.html

http://www.discoverplants.com/plant-types/herbs/black-cardamom/

Lemon basil

Botanical Name:Ocimum americanum
Family:    Lamiaceae
Genus:    Ocimum
Species:O. × citriodorum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Lamiales

Synonyms: Ocimum canum

Common name: Hoary Basil, Wild basil, Lemon basil • Hindi: Kali tulasi • Manipuri: Mayangton • Marathi: Ran-tulshi • Tamil: Nai Thulasi • Malayalam: Kattu-tulasi • Telugu: Kukka Thulasi • Kannada: Nayi tulasi • Bengali: Kalo-tulashi • Sanskrit: Kshudraparna, Gambhira

Habitat :The herb is grown primarily in northeastern Africa and southern Asia for its strong fragrant lemon scent, and is used in cooking.

Description:
Lemon basil is an annual herb that should be replanted each year after the frost, Lemon Basil has narrow pointed green leaves that are very fragrantly scented. Small growing Lemon Basil will only reach a height of  about 45cm and needs regular harvesting to keep it bushy and extend the growing period before the white flowers appears.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
It is  hybrid between basil (Ocimum basilicum) and African basil (Ocimum americanum). It is recognizes its herbaceous culinary composition by displaying heady aromas and notes of citrus, specifically lemon and lime. The stems can grow to 20–40 cm tall. It has white flowers in late summer to early fall. The leaves are similar to basil leaves, but tend to be narrower. Seeds form on the plant after flowering and dry on the plant.

Edible Uses:
In Laos, lemon basil is used extensively in Lao curries, stews, and stir-fried dishes as it is the most commonly used type of basil in Laos.[1] Many Lao stews require the use of lemon basil as no other basil varieties are acceptable as substitutes. The most popular Lao stew called or lam uses lemon basil as a key ingredient.

Lemon Basil is used in Indonesian and Asian curries and soups. Seeds soaked in water will swell up and can be used in sweet puddings or fresh leaves can be added as a garnish.

Lemon basil is the only basil used much in Indonesian cuisine, where it is called kemangi. It is often eaten raw with salad or lalap (raw vegetables) and accompanied by sambal. Lemon basil is often used to season certain Indonesian dishes, such as curries, soup, stew and steamed or grilled dishes. In Thailand, Lemon basil, called maenglak (Thai), is one of several types of basil used in Thai cuisine. The leaves are used in certain Thai curries and it is also indispensable for the noodle dish khanom chin nam ya. The seeds resemble frog’s eggs after they have been soaked in water and are used in sweet desserts.It is also used in North East part of India state Manipur. In Manipur, it is used in curry like pumpkin, used in singju (a form of salad), and in red or green chilli pickles type.

Medicinal Uses:
Lemon basil  is used  in preparing Ayurvedic medicines and is used in aroma  therapy.

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://flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Hoary%20Basil.html

https://flowerpower.com.au/information/fact-sheets/lemon-basil/

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

Coccinia cordifolia(Bengali :Kundri)

Botanical Name: Coccinia cordifolia
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Coccinia
Species: C. grandis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales

Synonyms: Coccinia grandis, Cephalandra indica and Coccinia indica

Common Names:Ivy gourd,Baby watermelon,Little gourd, Gentleman’s toes, Tindora, Ivy gourd,Gentleman’s toes  and Gherkin,
Bengali Name :Kundri or Tela kochu
Sanskrit Name: Bimbi, Uthundika, Bimbitika, Rakthaphala, Ostopamphala, Pilulparni.
English Name:Ivy gourd
Kannada Name:Tonde
Hindi Name: Kanduri, Kulari, Kundru

Habitat : Coccinia cordifolia is native to Tropical Asia To Africa.It grows on 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.

Description:
Coccinia cordifolia is a large, glabrous, deciduous climbing shrub. The stems are rather succulent with long filiform fleshy aerial roots from the branches. The bark is grey-brown and warty; the leaves are membranous and cordate; the flowers, small, yellow or greenish yellow, in axillary and terminal racemes or racemose panicles; the male flowers clustered and females usually solitary; the drupes are ovoid, glossy, succulent, red and pea-sized; the seeds curved. ...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Edible Uses:
In India it is eaten as a curry, by deep-frying it along with spices; stuffing it with masala and sauteing it, or boiling it first in a pressure cooker and then frying it. It is also used in sambar, a vegetable and lentil-based soup.

There are a variety of recipes from all over the world that list ivy gourd as the main ingredient. It is often compared to bitter melon. The fruit is commonly eaten in Indian cuisine. People of Indonesia and other southeast Asian countries also consume the fruit and leaves. In Thai cuisine it is one of the ingredients of the Kaeng khae curry. Cultivation of ivy gourd in home gardens has been encouraged in Thailand due to it being a good source of several micronutrients, including vitamins A and C.

Constituents:
Tinsporine, tinosporide, tinosporaside, cordifolide, cordifol, heptacosanol, clerodane furano diterpene, diterpenoid furanolactone tinosporidine, columbin, and ß-sitosterol.

Medicinal Uses:
In traditional medicine, fruits have been used to treat leprosy, fever, asthma, bronchitis and jaundice. The fruit possesses mast cell stabilizing, anti-anaphylactic and antihistaminic potential.[5] In Bangladesh, the roots are used to treat osteoarthritis and joint pain. A paste made of leaves is applied to the skin to treat scabies.[6]

Ivy gourd extracts and other forms of the plant can be purchased online and in health food stores. It is claimed that these products help regulate blood sugar levels. There is some research to support that compounds in the plant inhibit the enzyme glucose-6-phosphatase. Glucose-6-phosphatase is one of the key liver enzymes involved in regulating sugar metabolism. Therefore, ivy gourd is sometimes recommended for diabetic patients. Although these claims have not been supported, there currently is a fair amount of research focused on the medicinal properties of this plant focusing on its use as an antioxidant, anti-hypoglycemic agent, immune system modulator, etc. Some countries in Asia like Thailand prepare traditional tonic like drinks for medicinal purposes.

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/Coccinia_grandis

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Coccinia+grandis

http://parisaramahiti.kar.nic.in/Medicinal_plants_new/med%20plants/p62.html

Chenepodium album (Bengali Bethua sak)

Botanical Name: Chenepodium album
Family: Chenopodiaceae
Genus: Chenopodium
Species: C. album
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names: white goosefoot,Pigweed,

In Marathi it is called Bathua or Bathuwa.It is called Pappukura in Telugu, Paruppukkirai in Tamil, Kaduoma in Kannada, Vastuccira in Malayalam, and Chakvit in Konkani.

In English texts it may be called by its Hindi name bathua or bathuwa.

In Bengal it is called Bethua sak

Habitat:Chenepodium album is native in eastern Asia are included under C. album, but often differ from European specimens. It is widely introduced elsewhere, e.g. Africa, Australasia, North America, and Oceania, and now occurs almost everywhere in soils rich in nitrogen, especially on wasteland

Description:
Chenopodium album is a fast-growing weedy annual plant.It tends to grow upright at first, reaching heights of 10–150 cm (rarely to 3 m), but typically becomes recumbent after flowering (due to the weight of the foliage and seeds) unless supported by other plants. The leaves are alternate and can be varied in appearance. The first leaves, near the base of the plant, are toothed and roughly diamond-shaped, 3–7 cm long and 3–6 cm broad. The leaves on the upper part of the flowering stems are entire and lanceolate-rhomboid, 1–5 cm long and 0.4–2 cm broad; they are waxy-coated, unwettable and mealy in appearance, with a whitish coat on the underside. The small flowers are radially symmetrical and grow in small cymes on a dense branched inflorescence 10–40 cm long….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Edible Uses:
The leaves and young shoots may be eaten as a leaf vegetable, either steamed in its entirety, or cooked like spinach, but should be eaten in moderation due to high levels of oxalic acid. Each plant produces tens of thousands of black seeds. These are high in protein, vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Quinoa, a closely related species, is grown specifically for its seeds. The Zuni people cook the young plants’ greens.

Archaeologists analysing carbonized plant remains found in storage pits and ovens at Iron Age, Viking Age, and Roman sites in Europe have found its seeds mixed with conventional grains and even inside the stomachs of Danish bog bodies.

In India, the plant is popularly called bathua and found abundantly in the winter season. The leaves and young shoots of this plant are used in dishes such as soups, curries, and paratha-stuffed breads, especially popular in Punjab. The seeds or grains are used in phambra or laafi, gruel-type dishes in Himachal Pradesh, and in mildly alcoholic fermented beverages such as soora and ghanti.

Medicinal Uses:
Chenopodium is an herb. Oil made from this herb is used as medicine. Authorities disagree on whether chenopodium oil is the oil of fresh, flowering, and fruiting parts of the plant or seed oil.

Despite serious safety concerns, people take chenopodium oil to kill roundworms and hookworms in the intestine.

Chenopodium album is effective for the following :It is Anthelmintic,Antiscorbutic,Blood Purifier, Digestive, Sedative, Antidiarrheal, Aphrodisiac, Carminative, Duretic, Stomachic, Antirheumatic, Appetizer, Cooling, Laxative, and Tonic.

It is used to elminate digestive problems.:

1.For any kind of stomach ache the herb should be kooked and eaten  with the daily meal.

2. For diarrhea: tea can be made from the fresh leaves and drink twice daily.

3.For burns: the leave paste to be applied on the burns.

4.For Joint Pain: Drink daily 2-3 tablespoon of fresh Chenopodium Album leaf juice in empty stomach before breakfast.

Other Uses:
Animal feed: As some of the common names suggest, it is also used as feed (both the leaves and the seeds) for chickens and other poultry.

Known Hazards: Click & see: Evaluation of safety margins of Chenopodium album seed decoction: 14-day subacute toxicity and microbicidal activity studies.

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/Chenopodium_album

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-898-chenopodium%20oil.aspx?activeingredientid=898&activeingredientname=chenopodium%20oil

http://herbpathy.com/Uses-and-Benefits-of-Chenopodium-Album-Cid4505

Bombax ceiba (Shimul in Bengali)

Botanical Name : Bombax ceiba
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Bombax
Species: B. ceiba
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Synonyms: Salmalia malabarica

Common Nams:  cotton tree, Red Silk-Cotton, Red Cotton Tree  or ambiguously as silk-cotton or kapok, both of which may also refer to Ceiba pentandra.

This tree is commonly known as semal (Hindi) or shimul (Bengali) in India.  The local Urdu and Punjabi name for the tree is sumbal.

Habitat:  Bombax ceiba is native to India, tropical southern Asia, northern Australia and tropical Africa.

Description:
Bombax ceiba grows to an average of 20 meters, with old trees up to 60 meters in wet tropical weather. The trunk and limb bear numerous conical spines particularly when young, but get eroded when older. The leaves are palmate with about 6 leaflets radiating from a central point, an average of 7~10 centimeters wide, 13~15 centimeters in length. The leaf’s long flexible petiole is up to 20 cm long.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cup-shaped flowers solitary or clustered, axillary or sub-terminal, fascicles at or near the ends of the branches, when the tree is bare of leaves, an average of 7~11 centimeters wide, 14 centimeters in width, petels up to 12 centimeters in length, calyx is cup-shaped usually 3 lobed, an average of 3~5 centimeters in diameter. Staminal tube is short, more than 60 in 5 bundles. stigma is light red, up to nine centimeters in length, ovary is pink, 1.5~2 centimeters in length, with the skin of the ovary covered in white silky hair at 1mm long. Seeds are numerous, long, ovoid, black or gray in colour and packed in white cotton. Fruiting can start as early as March. The fruit, which reaches an average of 13 centimeters in length, is light-green in color  immature fruits, brown in mature fruits.

Cultivation:
The cotton fibers of this tree can be seen floating in the wind around the time of early May. This tree shows two marked growth sprints in India: in spring and during the monsoon months.

Edible Uses: The dry cores of the Bombax ceiba flower are an essential ingredient of the nam ngiao spicy noodle soup of the cuisine of Shan State and Northern Thailand, as well as the kaeng khae curry. At the peak of its flowering season in Hong Kong, elderly people could often be found picking flowers off the ground to dry, which is used to make a type of tea.

Chemical constituents :
All parts of the plant gave betasitosterol and its glucosides; seeds, bark and root bark, lupeol; flowers, hentriacontane, hentriacontanol; root bark, in addition, gave -hydroxycadalene. The seed oil yields arachidic, linoleic, myristic, oleic and palmitic acids; seeds contain carotenes, n-hexacosanol, ethylgallate and tocopherols; the gum contains gallic and tannic acids, yields L-arbinose, D-galactose, D-galacturonic acid and D-galactopyranose. Younger roots contain more sugars (arabinose and galactose  and peptic substances than the older ones. They contain mucilage, starch, mineralmatter, tannins  and non-tannins, along with other constituents. [Indian Medicinal Plants An Illustrated Dictionary

Medicinal Uses:
Bombax ceiba or shimul  has various uses in medicine.(Astringent, demulcent, diuretic,aphrodisiac, emetic):-
Ayurvedic uses: Raktapitta, Vrana, Daha.

Unani uses: Jaryan, Auram

To increase the potency of a man – seedling roots of Bombax ceiba L. (salamali) to chew. To treat the nocturnal pollution [The nocturnal pollutions are, in fact, involuntary loss of  semen during sleep. Most often, pollutions occur during the so-called “wet dreams” or erotic dreams] consume the flowers of Bombax ceiba L. (salmali). Rural folk of Assam use leaf to treat infertility; Santals find seedling spermatorrhoea.

Garhwalis and tribes of Dahanu forest use root to treat impotency. The roots are used in dysentery. The gum is useful in dysentery, haemoptysis of pulmonary tuberculosis, burning sensation. The bark is used for healing wounds. Leaves are good for skin eruption. Flowers are good for skin troubles. [Herbal Cures: Traditional Approach]

Young root tips are dried in shade and cooked as a vegetable for patients suffering from impotency. This vegetable is considered to be as good as the leaves of Adansonia digitata to increase the amount of sperm in semen. A half-cup extract of bark and flowers is taken for 3 d to treat sexual diseases such as hydrocele, leucorrhoea and gonorrhoea and to treat an irregular menstrual cycle. [Herbal Drugs: Ethnomedicine to Modern Medicine

Young roots (Semulmusali)— astringent, (used for dysentery) stimulant, demulcent. Fruits—stimulant, diuretic, expectorant. Used for chronic inflammation of bladder, kidney also for calculus affections. Flowers— astringent and cooling, applied to cutaneous affections. Leaves— anti-inflammatory. Stem bark— demulcent, styptic. Aqueous extract with curd is given for blooddysentery. Bark—paste is applied to skin eruptions, boils, acne, pimples. Seeds used for chickenpox, smallpox, catarrhal affections, chronic cystitis and genitourinary diseases. Gum—astringent, demulcent, styptic. Used for diarrhoea, dysentery, haemoptysis, bleeding piles, menorrhagia, spermatorrhoea. Root and pod—used for the treatment of low vitality and debility.

Various parts of the plant are used in fever, smallpox, rheumatism and leprosy. Bark is demulcent and tonic and is used in menorrhagia, leucorrhoea, diarrhoea, dysentery, boils, acne, pimples and coughs. Roots have stimulant, tonic and aphrodisiac properties and are given in impotency. Roots and barks are emetics. Young fruits are stimulant, expectorant and diuretic and beneficial in calculous affections, chronic inflammation and ulceration of bladder and kidneys. Seed extract is used as oxytocic and gonorrhea. burned infections, dysentery and urinary problems.

Other Uses:
This tree is planted on road side for beautification. The phenomenon paints the whole landscape in an enchanting red hue.

The fruit, the size of a ping-pong ball. These are full of cotton-like fibrous stuff. It is for the fiber that villagers gather the semul fruit and extract the cotton substance called “kopak”. This substance is used for filling economically priced pillows, quilts, sofas etc. The fruit is cooked and eaten and also pickled. Semul is quite a fast growing tree and can attain a girth of 2 to 3 m, and height about 30 m, in nearly 50 years or so. Its wood, when sawn fresh, is white in color. However, with exposure and passage of time it grows darkish gray. It is as light as 10 to 12 kg, per cubic foot. It is easy to work but not durable anywhere other than under water. So it is popular for construction work, but is very good and prized for manufacture of plywood, match boxes and sticks, scabbards, patterns, moulds, etc. Also for making canoes and light duty boats and or other structures required under water. Bombax species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the leaf-miner Bucculatrix crateracma which feeds exclusively on Bombax ceiba.

The flowers are very attractive to local wildlife, with many birds like the Japanese White-eye, a type of fruit eating bird, which often draws a hole in an unopened Bombax ceiba flower bud. Honey bees, and bumble bees also attracted to the flowers to collect pollen and nectar. Because the flowers attract many insects, Crab Spiders can be occasionally found on a fully opened flower, hunting bees.

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/Bombax_ceiba

http://flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Silk%20Cotton%20Tree.html

http://medplants.blogspot.in/search/label/Bombax%20ceiba

Meyna spinosa Roxb.

Botanical Name: Meyna spinosa Roxb.
Family:    Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Ixoroideae
Tribe:    Vanguerieae
Genus:    Meyna
KingdomPlantae
Clade:    Angiosperms
Clade:    Eudicots
Clade:    Asterids
Order:    Gentianales

Synonyms : Vangueria spinosa  (Roxb. ex Link) Roxb.; Vangueria spinosa var. mollis Hook. f.; Pyrostria spinosa (Roxb. ex Link) Miq.; Vangueria miqueliana Kurz ; Vangueria mollis Wall.; Vangueria stellata Blanco.

Common names: Mainakanta, Madan, Maniphal

Vernacular names in other Languages :

Bengali : Mainakanta, Maniphal, Madan | Sanskrit : Pinditaka | Hindi : Maniphal, Pundrika | Tribal : Serali | English : Voavanga | Other Languages : Manakkarai (Tam.) ; Cegagadda (Tel.) ; Moltakanta (Ori.)

Habitat :Mainakanta is native to tropical Asia & Africa.It grows in hot and humid climate with a slightly acidic to neutral (pH 6.3-7.3) soil condition.

Description:
Meyna spinosa Roxb  is a thorny bushy shrub. The plant has straight, sharp spines and whorled green leaves arranged in opposite manner. Flowering season starts in late spring and lasts until early summer. It is distributed in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and also found in the plain lands of Java and Myanmar. In Bangladesh it is known as ‘Moyna’. Fruits of M. spinosa are reported to contain sugar, gum and tannic acid whereas the seeds contain esters of palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids.

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Medicinal Uses:

Chemical constituents: The present study was undertaken to investigate the antibacterial and cytotoxic activity of the ethanol extract of Meyna spinosa stem. Antibacterial activity was investigated against Staphylococcus aureus. Streptococcus pyogenes, Escherichia coli and Shigella dysenieriae by disc diffusion and broth macrodilution assay. In disk diffusion assay, the extract inhibited all the microorganisms except E. coli. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the extract was 1000 μg/ml for S. aureus, S. pyogenes and E. coli, whereas 500 μg/mLfor S. dysenieriae. For cytotoxicity test, the extract was subjected to brine shrimp lethality bioassay. The LD50 of M. spinosa stem extract was found to be 40 μg/mL. Findings of the study justify the use of the plant in traditional medicine and suggests for further investigation.

Meyna spinosa Roxb., a medicinal plant enjoys it use in the traditional medicine in Bangladesh for the treatment of a number of ailments. Fruits are used in the treatment of fever, inflammation, biliary complaints and hepatic congestion. Leaves are used in bone fracture and in the treatment of diphtheria. The plant is also reported to be used traditionally in the treatment of skin irritation abortion and renal diseases .

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://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/83173978/antibacterial-cytotoxic-activity-meyna-spinosa-roxb-stem

http://thai-shopping-mall.com/muyna-meyna-spinosa-5-seeds-p-1375.html

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

http://thinkinglaymen.org.in/plant_details.php?id=568a

Rumex acetosa

Botanical Name :  Rumex acetosa
Family:    Polygonaceae
Genus:    Rumex
Species:R. acetosa
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Caryophyllales

Common Names: Common sorrel or garden sorrel, often simply called sorrel
Other Names: Spinach dock and Narrow-leaved dock.

Habitat : Rumex acetosa occurs in grassland habitats throughout Europe from the northern Mediterranean coast to the north of Scandinavia and in parts of Central Asia. It occurs as an introduced species in parts of North America.

Description : Rumex acetosa is a perennial herb. It is a plant like the Common Dock, but handsomer, and distinguished by its sharp-pointed leaves being narrower and longer. It grows about 3 feet high, having erect, round, striated stems and small greenish flowers, turning brown when ripe……..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Edible Uses: The leaves may be pureed in soups and sauces or added to salads; they have a flavour that is similar to kiwifruit or sour wild strawberries. The plant’s sharp taste is due to oxalic acid.

In northern Nigeria, sorrel is known as yakuwa or sure (pronounced suuray) in Hausa or karassu in Kanuri. It is also used in stews usually in addition to spinach. In some Hausa communities, it is steamed and made into salad using kuli-kuli (traditional roasted peanut cakes with oil extracted), salt, pepper, onion and tomatoes. The recipe varies according to different levels of household income. A drink called solo is made from a decoction of the plant calyx.

In Romania, wild or garden sorrel, known as m?cri? or ?tevie, is used to make sour soups, stewed with spinach, added fresh to lettuce and spinach in salads or over open sandwiches.

In Russia and Ukraine it is called shchavel’   and is used to make soup called green borscht. It is used as a soup ingredient in other countries, too .

In Croatia and Bulgaria is used for soups or with mashed potatoes, or as part of a traditional dish containing eel and other green herbs.

In rural Greece it is used with spinach, leeks, and chard in spanakopita.

In the Flemish speaking part of Belgium it is called “zurkel” and preserved pureed sorrel is mixed with mashed potatoes and eaten with sausages, meatballs or fried bacon, as a traditional winter dish.

In Vietnam it is called Rau Chua and is used to added fresh to lettuce and in salads for Bánh X?o.

In Portugal, it’s called “azeda” (sour), and is usually chewed raw.

In India, the leaves are called chukkakura in Telugu and are used in making delicious recipes. Chukkakura pappu soup made with yellow lentils which is also called toor dal in India.

In Albania it is called lëpjeta, the leaves are simmered and served cold marinated in olive oil, it is used in soups, and even as an ingredient for filling byrek pies ( byrek me lakra ).

This name can be confused with the hibiscus calyces or Hibiscus Tea.

Medicinal Uses:
The root has been used in drinks and decoctions for scurvy and as a general blood cleanser, and employed for outward application to cutaneous eruptions, in the form of an ointment, made by beating it up with lard.

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://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/d/docks-15.html

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

Operculina turpethum

Botanical Name :Operculina turpethum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Solanales
Family:    Convolvulaceae
Genus:    Operculina
Species :Operculina turpethum

Synonyms:Ipomoea turpethum,  Turpeth Root. Indian Jalap. Trivrit. Nisoth. Operculina Turpethum.

Common Names: turpeth, fue vao, and St. Thomas lidpod.

Vernacular Names: Indian Jalap, St. Thomas lidpod, transparent wood rose, turpeth root, white day glory • Hindi: nisoth, panila, pitohri • Kannada: aluthi gida, bangada balli, bilitigade, devadanti, nagadanti • Malayalam: tigade • Marathi: or  nisottar • Sanskrit: nishotra,triputa,trivrutt, trivrutha • Tamil: adimbu, caralam, civatai, kumpncan, paganrai • Telugu: tegada, trivrut tellatega • Bengali: tevudi • Arabic: turbuth.

Parts Used: Dried root, stem.

Habitat:  India. Ceylon, Pacific Islands, China, Australia

Description:
:Operculina turpethum is perennial herbaceous, hairy vines growing 4 to 5 meter in length, endemic to India. It is commonly found in North Circars and Deccan region up to 3000 ft. The leaves are alternate, very variable in shape, ovate, oblong and truncate or cordate at the base. The flowers are large, axillary and solitary. Fruit is a capsule with conspicuous enlarged sepals and thickened pedicles….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Constituents:
Resin, a fatty substance, volatile oil, albumen, starch, a yellow colouring matter, lignin, salts, and ferric oxide. The root contains 10 per cent of resin, which is a glucoside, Turpethin, insoluble in ether, but soluble in alcohol, to which it gives a brown colour not removable by animal charcoal. To obtain pure, the alcoholic solution is concentrated; the resin is precipitated by, and afterwards boiled with, water, then dried, reduced to powder, digested with ether, and finally redissolved by absolute alcohol and deposited by ether. After being treated several times in this way, it is obtained in the state of a brownish resin, yielding on pulverization a grey powder, which irritates the mucous membrane of the nostrils and mouth. It is inflammable, burning with a smoky flame and emitting irritant vapours. With strong bases it acts like jalapin, takes up water, and is transferred into a soluble acid, while with dilute acids it is decomposed into turpetholic acid, and glucose.

Medicinal  Uses: Cathartic and purgative. It is rather slow in its action, less powerful and less unpleasant than jalap.

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/Operculina_turpethum

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/t/turpet31.html

Ophiocordyceps sinensis

Botanical Name : Ophiocordyceps sinensis
Family: Ophiocordycipitaceae
Genus: Ophiocordyceps
Species: O. sinensis
Kngdom: Fungi
Division: Ascomycota
Class: Sordariomycetes
Order: Hypocreales

Synonyms: Cordyceps sinensis
Common Names: Yarsagomba,caterpillar fungus, Yartsa Gunbu, yarshagumba,  The transliteration in Bhutan is Yartsa Guenboob. It is known as keera jhar, keeda jadi, keeda ghas or ‘ghaas fafoond in Nepali. Its name in Chinese D?ng chóng xià cao means “winter worm, summer grass”

Habitat : Yarsagumba or Yarchagumbu is an exceptional and incredible herb that grows in the pastures above 3,300 meters upto 4000 meters in the Himalayan regions of Nepal, Bhutan, India and Tibet.

Description:
Similar to other Cordyceps species,  Ophiocordyceps sinensis consists of two parts, a fungal endosclerotium (caterpillar) and stroma. The stroma is the upper fungal part and is dark brown or black, but can be a yellow color when fresh and, longer than the caterpillar itself, usually 4–10 cm. It grows singly from the larval head, and is clavate, sublanceolate or fusiform and distinct from the stipe. The stipe is slender, glabrous, and longitudinally furrowed or ridged. The fertile part of the stroma is the head. The head is granular due to the ostioles of the embedded perithecia. The perithecia are ordinally arranged and ovoid  The asci are cylindrical or slightly tapering at both ends, and may be straight or curved, with a capitate and hemispheroid apex and may be two to four spored. Similarly, ascospores are hyaline, filiform, multiseptate at a length of 5-12 um and subattenuated on both sides.[8] Perithecial, ascus and ascospore characters in the fruiting bodies are the key identification characteristics of O. sinensis. Ophiocordyceps (Petch) Kobayasi species produce whole ascospores and do not separate into part spores which is different from other Cordyceps species, which produce either immersed or superficial perithecia perpendicular to stromal surface and the ascospores at maturity are disarticulated into part spores. Generally Cordyceps species possess brightly colored and fleshy stromata, but O. sinensis had dark pigments and tough to pliant stromata, a typical characteristic feature of most of the Ophiocordyceps species.

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Chemical constituents:
The chemical constituents of natural Cordyceps include cordycepic acid, glutamic acid, amino acids, polyamines, cyclic dipeptides, saccharides and sugar derivatives, sterols, nucleotides and nucleosides, 28 saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, fatty acid derivatives and other organic acids, vitamins, and inorganic elements. Palmitic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid, stearic acid, and ergosterol are the main components of natural and cultured Cordyceps, these fatty acids, as well as 14 investigated compounds, can be used to discriminate the hierarchical cluster, as the palmitic acid and oleic acid contents in natural Cordyceps are significantly higher than those in the cultured Cordyceps.

Medicinal Uses:
Yarsagumba  is used as a reputed curative to many diseases, anti- aging, hypoglycemic, aphrodisiac and also treatment against cancer. Ophiocordyceps sinensis serves against kidney and lung problems and stimulates the immune system; it is used for treatment of fatigue, night sweating, respiratory disease, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, asthenia after severe illness, arrhythmias and other heart diseases and liver disease.

Yarsagumba is also known as the “Himalayan Viagra” or “Himalayan Gold” for its high medicinal   value. It is mainly used as a treatment for impotency in many countries. Numerous scientific studies and research reveals that it has properties of antibiotic in it. Cordycep sinensis is used for lung and respiratory infection, pain, sciatica and backache. It also provides vitality and increases physical stamina of the body. Yarsa gumba is used by the Chinese to cure chronic hepatitis B and immune function such as dysfunctioning of liver.
More research is being carried out worldwide to ascertain its various medical effects.

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/Yarsagumba

http://www.jtcm.org/article.asp?issn=2225-4110;year=2013;volume=3;issue=1;spage=16;epage=32;aulast=Lo

http://funmania.wordpress.com/2008/01/18/yarsagumba-the-himalayan-viagra/