Tag Archives: India

Luffa Acutangua (Bengali Jingha)

Botanical Name : Luffa Acutangua
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Luffa
Species: L. acutangula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales

Common Names: Angled luffa, Chinese okra, Dish cloth gourd, Ridged gourd, Sponge gourd, Vegetable gourd, Strainer vine, Ribbed loofah, Silky gourd, Ridged gourd, Silk gourd, and Sinkwa towelsponge

Names in other languages:

Assamese: Jeeka
Bengali : Jhingge , Jhinga and Sataputi
Burmese: Bjuda; also Boun Loun
Hindi: Torai, Turai
Gujarati: Turiya
Kannada: Heere kayi
Tagalog: Patola
Lao: Mark noy
Vietnamese: Muop Khia
Tamil: Peerkangai
Telugu: Beera kaaya
Thai: Buap liyam
Marathi: Dodaki
Konkani: Gossale
Indonesian: Gambas, Oyong
Javanese: Oyong
Mandarin Chinese: Pinyin: Guangdongsigua
Cantonese Chinese: Sin qua or sing kwa(Australian spelling), Ling Jiao Si Gua, You Lin Si Gua, Sze Gwa, Sigwa
Hokkian: Kak kuey
Malayalam: Peechinga
Malay: Petola segi
Sinhalese: Watakolu
Japanese: Ito uri, Tokado hechima

Habitat : Luffa Acutangua is native to India and naturalized throughout tropics and subtropics of the world.

Luffa Acutangua is a large climber, with usually 3-fid tendrills. Leaves orbicular in outline, 15-20 cm long, palmately 5-7 angled or sublobate, scabrid. Flowers yellow, large; male flowers in axillary 12-20 flowered racemes; female flowers solitary. Fruit 15-30 cm long, clavate-oblong, tapering towards the base, longitudinally ribbed.

Chemical Constituents:
The plant contains a bitter substance luffin. Seeds contain 20% of a saponin glycoside, enzyme and a fixed oil (Chopra et al., 1992). Flowers and fruits contain free amino acids, arginine, glycine, threonine, lysine, alanine, asparagines, aspartic and glutamic acids and leucines. Ripe seeds contain bitter glycosidic principles, cucurbitacins B, D, G and H (luffins) and oleanolic acid; roots contain cucurbitacin B and traces of C (Ghani, 2003).
Edible Uses: 
The young fruit of some cultivars are used as cooked vegetables or pickled or eaten raw, and the shoots and flowers are sometimes also used……..CLICK  & SEE

Young fruit can be eaten raw like cucumber or cooked like squash, while the young leaves, shoots, flower buds, as well as the flowers can be eaten after being lightly steamed. The seeds can be roasted as a snack, or pressed to produce oil.

Medicinal Uses:
Luffa Acutangua plant is bitter tonic, emetic, diuretic and purgative and useful in asthma, skin diseases and splenic enlargement. It is used internally for rheumatism, backache, internal hemorrhage, chest pains as well as hemorrhoids. Externally, it is used for shingles and boils. The dried fruit fibers are used as abrasive sponges in skin care, to remove dead skin and to stimulate the circulation. The fruits are anthelmentic, carminative, laxative, depurative, emollient, expectorant, tonic and galactagogue and are useful in fever, syphilis, tumours, bronchitis, splenopathy and leprosy. The vine is most commonly grown for the fibrous interior of the fruits. Kernel of seed is expectorant, demulcent and used in dysentery. Seed oil is used in leprosy and skin diseases. Fruit is intensely bitter and fibrous. It has purgative property and is used for dropsy, nephritis, chronic bronchitis and lung complaints. It is also applied to the body in putrid fevers and jaundice.

Other Uses: Like Luffa aegyptica, the mature fruits are harvested when dry and processed to remove all but the fruit fibre, which can then be used as a sponge or as fibre for making hats
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.


Apple Gourd (Tinda)

Botanical Name: Apple Gourd
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Tribe: Benincaseae
Subtribe: Benincasinae
Genus: Praecitrullus  Pangalo
Species: P. fistulosus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales
Common Names: Tinda, Indian round gourd , Indian baby pumpkin, Meha (in  Sindhi language),  Dhemase (in Marathi)
Habitat : Apple Gourd is native to South Asia. Specially grown in India & Pakinthan
The plant is, as with all cucurbits, a prolific vine, and is grown as an annual. The fruit is approximately spherical, and 5–8 cm in diameter. The seeds may also be roasted and eaten. Tinda is a famous nickname among Punjabi families in India. This unique squash-like gourd is native to India, very popular in Indian and Pakistani cooking with curry and many gourmet dishes. Green colored, apple sized fruits are flattish round in shape and 50-60 grams in weight. Plants are vigorous, productive and begin to bear fruits in 70 days after planting.
Cultivation:  Sandy loam soils rich in organic matter with good drainage and pH ranging from 6.5-7.5 is best suited for Tinda cultivation. This crop requires a moderate warm temperature.
Propagation: Sow the seeds on one side of the channel. hin the seedlings after 15 days to maintain two/pit at 0.9 m spacing.
Tinda is famous vegetable in India and Pakistan and regarded as super food due to its numerous health benefits. It contains antioxidants like carotenoids and many anti-inflammatory agents, which are effective for controlling blood pressure, heart diseases, and strokes and prevent cancer formation.
It is very mild and soothing vegetable for intestinal tract. A lot of fiber helps in digestion, helps in diarrhea by increased water absorption, relieves stomach acidity, and prevents constipation. Some researches indicate that they are good food for healthy skin and hairs, its consumption result in very long and healthy hairs. It increases the urinary flow and excretes toxins from the kidney.
It is very effective in prevention of prostitutes and prostate cancer. Prostate is male gland present near bladder and its inflammation and cancers are becoming common now a days, it is also very effective in urinary tract infections.
Carotenes present in pumpkins slow the aging process and prevent age related changes in body like cataract formation, grey hairs, thickening of blood vessels bone degeneration, and age related brain cell degeneration. Over all this vegetable, have magical effects on body if used regularly.
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.

Anacyclus pyrethrum

Botanical Name: Anacyclus pyrethrum
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Anthemideae
Genus: Anacyclus
Species: A. pyrethrum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Anthemis Pyrethrum. Pyrethrum officinarum. Pyrethrum. Pyrethri Radix. Roman Pellitory. Pellitory of Spain. Spanish Chamomile. Pyrethre. Matricaria Pyrethrum.

Common Names: Pellitory, Akarkara, Spanish chamomile, or Mount Atlas daisy

Habitat: Anacyclus pyrethrum is found in North Africa, elsewhere in the Mediterranean region, in the Himalayas, in North India, and in Arabian countries.

Anacyclus pyrethrum is a perennial plant, in habit and appearance like the chamomile, has stems that lie on the ground for part of their length, before rising erect. Each bears one large flower, the disk being yellow and the rays white, tinged with purple beneath. The leaves are smooth, alternate, and pinnate, with deeply-cut segments….CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

The root is almost cylindrical, very slightly twisted and tapering and often crowned with a tuft of grey hairs. Externally it is brown and wrinkled, with bright black spots. The fracture is short, and the transverse section, magnified, presents a beautiful radiate structure and many oleoresin glands. The taste is pungent and odour slight.
Cultivation-: Planting may be done in autumn, but the best time is about the end of April. Any ordinary good soil is suitable, but better results are obtained when it is well-drained, and of a stiff loamy character, enriched with good manure. Propagation is done in three ways, by seed, by division of roots and by cuttings. If grown by seed, sow in February or March, thin out to 2 to 3 inches between the plants, and plant out early in June to permanent quarters, allowing a foot or more between the plants and 2 feet between the rows, selecting, if possible, a showery day for the operation. The seedlings will quickly establish themselves. Weeding should be done by hand, the plants when first put out being small, might be injured by hoeing. To propagate by division, lift the plants in March, or whenever the roots are in an active condition, and with a sharp spade, divide them into three or five fairly large pieces. Cuttings should be made from the young shoots that start from the base of the plant, and should be taken with a heel of the old plant attached, which will greatly assist their rooting. They may be inserted at any time from October to May. The foliage should be shortened to about 3 inches, when the cuttings will be ready for insertion in a bed of light, sandy soil. Plant very firmly, surface the bed with sand, and water in well. Shade is necessary while the cuttings are rooting.

Part Used in medicine : The Root.
Constituents: Analysis has shown a brown, resinous, acrid substance, insoluble in potassium hydroxide and probably containing pelletonin, two oils soluble in potassium hydroxide – one dark brown and acrid, the other yellow – tannin, gum, potassium sulphate and carbonate, potassium chloride, calcium phosphate and carbonate, silica, alumina, lignin, etc.

An alkaloid, Pyrethrine, yielding pyrethric acid, is stated to be the active principle.

Medicinal Uses:
Anacyclus pyrethrum root is widely used because of its pungent efficacy in relieving toothache and in promoting a free flow of saliva. The British Pharmacopoeia directs that it be used as a masticatory, and in the form of lozenges for its reflex action on the salivary glands in dryness of the mouth and throat. The tincture made from the dried root may be applied to relieve the aching of a decayed tooth, applied on cotton wool, or rubbed on the gums, and for this purpose may with advantage be mixed with camphorated chloroform. It forms an addition to many dentifrices.

A gargle of Anacyclus pyrethrum infusion is prescribed for relaxed uvula and for partial paralysis of the tongue and lips. To make a gargle, two or three teaspoonsful of Anacyclus pyrethrum should be mixed with a pint of cold water and sweetened with honey if desired. Patients seeking relief from rheumatic or neuralgic affections of the head and face, or for palsy of the tongue, have been advised to chew the Anacyclus pyrethrum root daily for several months.

Being a rubefacient and local irritant, when sliced and applied to the skin, it induces heat, tingling and redness.

The powdered Anacyclus pyrethrum root forms a good snuff to cure chronic catarrh of the head and nostrils and to clear the brain, by exciting a free flow of nasal mucous and tears.

Culpepper tells us that Anacyclus pyrethrum ‘is one of the best purges of the brain that grows’ and is not only ‘good for ague and the falling sickness’ (epilepsy) but is ‘an excellent approved remedy in lethargy.’ After stating that ‘the powder of the herb or root snuffed up the nostrils procureth sneezing and easeth the headache,’ he goes on to say that ‘being made into an ointment with hog’s lard it taketh away black and blue spots occasioned by blows or falls, and helpeth both the gout and sciatica,’ uses which are now obsolete.

In the thirteenth century we read in old records that Pellitory of Spain was ‘a proved remedy for the toothache’ with the Welsh physicians. It was familiar to the Arabian writers on medicine and is still a favourite remedy in the East, having long been an article of export from Algeria and Spain by way of Egypt to India.

In the East Indies the infusion is used as a cordial.

More recently Anacyclus pyrethrum has been noted for its anabolic activity in mice and suggests to give a testosterone-like effect, and also significantly increasing testosterone in the animal model.

The variety depressus (sometimes considered a separate species, Anacyclus depressus), called mat daisy or Mount Atlas daisy, is grown as a spring-blooming, low-water ornamental.

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.

Anamirta paniculata

Botanical Name : Anamirta paniculata
Family: Menispermaceae
Tribe: Fibraureae
Genus: Anamirta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Synonyms:  Anamirta cocculus, Anamirta paniculata Colebr ,Cocculus indicus Royle

Common Names: Levant Nut. Fish Berry, Arai ,Bañasin, Bayati, Bayating, Labtang , Lakdang

Other vernacular names
Hindi: Kakamari.
Malayalam : Polla, Pollakkaya, Kollakkaya, Pettumarunnu.
Sanskrit: Garalaphala, Kakamari.

Habitat:Anamirta paniculata   grows in  India, Ceylon, Malabar.
Anamirta paniculata is a large woody vine with a ash-coloured corky  bark and white wood. Stems are sometimes 10 centimeters thick, longitudinally wadded, porous, with stout, smooth branches. Leaves are ovate or ovately-cordate, 10 to 20 centimeters long, with pointed or tapering apex and rounded or nearly heart-shaped base, smooth above, hairy on the nerve axils beneath, and 3-nerved from the base. Petioles are 5 to 15 centimeters long. Flowers are yellowish, sweet-scented, 6 to 7 millimeters across, crowded on 3- to 4.5 centimeters long, they  are pendulous panicles, male and female blooms on different plants. Fruit is a drupe, nearly spherical, about 1 centimeter in diameter when dry, smooth and hard.It is round and kidney shaped, outer coat thin, dry, browny, black and wrinkled, inside a hard white shell divided into two containing a whitish seed, crescent shaped and very oily….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Part Used in medicines :  Dried fruit.

Constituents:  The chief constituent is the bitter, crystalline, poisonous substance, picrotoxin; the seed also contains about 50 per cent. of fat.

Medicinal  Uses:
The powdered berries are sometimes used as an ointment for destroying lice; the entire fruits are used to stupefy fish, being thrown on the water for that purpose. Picrotoxin is a powerful convulsive poison used principally to check night sweats in phthisis by its action in accelerating respiration, but it is not always successful. It was at one time used to adulterate beers, increasing their reputation as intoxicants; it is an antidote in Morphine poisoning.

This has use in Homeopathy remedy: A constituent in a homeopathic remedy for vertigo, Vertigoheel: A grisea, A cocculus, C maculatum and P rectificatum.

Known Hazads: The pleant is poisonous. It is  well known as a fish poison. Fruit is first heated and roasted, then crushed and powdered.
The toxic properties are not altered by roasting. In India, dried berries are used to stupefy fish.  In South American, used as blowgun dart poison.

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


Sophora Flavescens

Botanical Name : Sophora Flavescens
Family: Fabaceae
Tribe: Sophoreae
Genus: Sophora
Species:S. flavescens
Order: Fabales

Common Names:Ku Shen, Shrubby sophora

Habitat:Sophora Flavescens is native to Eastern Asia -(From Russia to China.) It grows on Scrub on mountain slopes, river valleys, especially on sandy soils. Grassy places in lowland and waste ground, Central and South Japan

An evergreen Shrub growing to 1.5m by 1m at a slow rate. It is hardy to zone 6. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. It can fix Nitrogen. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Sophora flavescens is a species of plant in the genus Sophora a genus of the Fabaceae family, that contains about 52 species, nineteen varieties, and seven forms that are widely distributed in Asia, Oceanica, and the Pacific islands.About fifteen species in this genus have a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicines. The root is known as Ku shen. is a typical traditional Chinese medicine
Succeeds in a well-drained moderately fertile soil in full sun. Requires the protection of a sunny wall if it is to flower, and succeeds only in the mildest areas of the country. It grows best in the warmer areas of the country where the wood will be more readily ripened and better able to withstand winter cold. Although hardy to at least -15°c, this species does not do very well in the relatively cool summers of Britain, the plant gradually weakens and eventually succumbs. It can be grown in the milder areas of the country and be treated like a herbaceous perennial, growing afresh from the base each spring. An important medicinal herb in China. Plants should be container-grown and planted out whilst young, older plants do not transplant well. A polymorphic species. The flowers are produced on the current years growth. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. 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.

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Pre-soak stored seed for 12 hours in hot (not boiling) water and sow in late winter in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle into individual pots in the greenhouse, and grow them on for 2 years under protected conditions. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer of their third year. Cuttings of young shoots with a heel, July/August in a frame. Air-layering
Medicinal Uses:
The Sophora Flavescen’s   root (click & see) is anthelmintic, antibacterial, antifungal, antipruritic, astringent, bitter, carminative, diuretic, febrifuge, parasiticide, pectoral, stomachic and tonic. It is used internally in the treatment of jaundice, dysentery, diarrhea and urinary infections. Sophora root is used both internally and externally in the treatment of vaginitis, eczema, pruritis, ringworm, leprosy, syphilis, scabies and itching allergic reactions. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use. The plant is anthelmintic and diuretic. It also has antibacterial activity, inhibiting the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Trichomonas vaginitis.
Known Hazards: The plant contains cytosine, which resembles nicotine and is similarly toxic. The plant is poisonous when used in quantity[



Botanical Name:Corchorus capsularis
Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Grewioideae
Genus:     Corchorus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Malvales

Common Name : Jute
Habitat :Jute is native to tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world.A tropical plant in essence, Jute thrives in hot, humid conditions and in soils that have high levels of sand and clay. It is little wonder then, that the Ganges River Delta is at the centre of global Jute production. This area also encounters heavy rainfall during the monsoon season that further benefits Jute growth and the reliability of a good crop.

Jute plants are tall, usually annual herbs, reaching a height of 2–4 m, unbranched or with only a few side branches. The leaves are alternate, simple, lanceolate, 5–15 cm long, with an acuminate tip and a finely serrated or lobed margin. The flowers are small (2–3 cm diameter) and yellow, with five petals; the fruit is a many-seeded capsule. It thrives almost anywhere, and can be grown year-round.


Jute plant has about 40–100 species, including:
Corchorus aestuans
Corchorus capsularis
Corchorus carnarvonensis
Corchorus cunninghamii
Corchorus erodiodes
Corchorus junodi
Corchorus olitorius
Corchorus sidoides
Corchorus tridens
Corchorus walcottii

Jute needs a plain alluvial soil and standing water. The suitable climate for growing jute (warm and wet) is offered by the monsoon climate, during the monsoon season. Temperatures from 20 degree cent. to 40degree cent. and relative humidity of 70%–80% are favourable for successful cultivation. Jute requires 5–8 cm of rainfall weekly, and more during the sowing time.

Edible Uses:
In Nigeria, leaves of Corchorus olitorius are prepared in sticky soup called ewedu together with ingredients such as sweet potato, dried small fish or shrimp. The leaves are rubbed until foamy or sticky before adding to the soup. The leaves of the Jute plant are widely used in Nigeria to prepare a sticky soup. Amongst the Yoruba of Nigeria, the leaves are called Ewedu, and in the Hausa-speaking northern Nigeria, the leaves are called turgunuwa or lallo. The jute leaves are cut into shreds and added to the soup which would normally contain other ingredients such as meat and/or fish, pepper, onions, and other spices. Likewise, the Lugbara of Northwestern Uganda eat the leaves as soup, locally called pala bi. Jute is also a totem for Ayivu, one of the Lugbara clans.

In the Philippines, especially in Ilocano-dominated areas, this vegetable, locally known as saluyot, can be mixed with either bitter gourd, bamboo shoots, loofah, or sometimes all of them. These have a slimy and slippery texture.

In Bengal the leaf is used and cooked as  jute vegetable called as pat shak.

Chemical Constituents:
Per 100 g, the leaves are reported to contain 43-58 calories, 80.4-84.1 g H2O, 4.5-5.6 g protein, 0.3 g fat, 7.6-12.4 g total carbohydrate, 1.7-2.0 g fiber, 2.4 g ash, 266-366 mg Ca, 97-122 mg P, 7.2-7.7 mg Fe, 12 mg Na, 444 mg K, 6,410-7,850 ug beta-carotene equivalent, 0.13-0.15 mg thiamine, 0.26- 0.53 mg riboflavin, 1.1-1.2 mg niacin, and 53-80 mg ascorbic acid. Leaves contain oxydase and chlorogenic acid. The folic acid content is substantially higher than that of other folacin-rich vegetables, ca 800 micrograins per 100 g (ca 75% moisture) or ca 3200 micrograms on a zero moisture basis (Chen and Saad, 1981).
The seeds contain 11.3-14.8% oil (Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk, 1962), reportedly estrogenic (Sharaf et al, 1979), which contains 16.9% palmitic-, 3.7% stearic-, 1.8% behenic-, 1.1% lignoceiic-, 9.1% oleic-, 62.5% linoleic-, and 0.9% linolenic- acids as well as large portions of B, Mn, Mo, and Zn.

Medicinal Uses:
While perhaps better known as a fiber crop, jute is also a medicinal “vegetable”, eaten from Tanganyika to Egypt. Dried leaves were given me by an Egyptian friend who had brought them with him to this country. They are used in soups under the Arabic name  “Molukhyia.” In India the leaves and tender shoots are eaten. The dried material is there  known as “nalita.” Injections of olitoriside markedly improve cardiac insufficiencies and  have no cumulative attributes; hence, it can serve as a substitute for strophanthin.

Reported to be demulcent, deobstruent, diuretic, lactagogue, purgative, and tonic, tussah  jute is a folk remedy for aches and pains, dysentery, enteritis, fever, dysentery, pectoral  pains, and tumors (Duke and Wain, 1981; List and Horhammer, 1969-1979). Ayurvedics.

The leaves are used for ascites, pain, piles, and tumors. Elsewhere the leaves are used for  cystitis, dysuria, fever, and gonorrhea. The cold infusion is said to restore the appetite and  strength (Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops.http://www.worldjute.com/jute_news/medijut.html).

Other Uses:
Jute is a long, soft, shiny vegetable fiber that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. It is produced from plants in the genus Corchorus, which was once classified with the family Tiliaceae, more recently with Malvaceae, and has now been reclassified as belonging to the family Sparrmanniaceae. “Jute” is the name of the plant or fiber that is used to make burlap, Hessian or gunny cloth…..click & see

Jute is one of the most affordable natural fibers and is second only to cotton in amount produced and variety of uses of vegetable fibers. Jute fibers are composed primarily of the plant materials cellulose and lignin. It falls into the bast fiber category (fiber collected from bast or skin of the plant) along with kenaf, industrial hemp, flax (linen), ramie, etc. The industrial term for jute fiber is raw jute. The fibers are off-white to brown, and 1–4 metres (3–13 feet) long. Jute is also called “the golden fiber” for its color and high cash value.

click & see

Jute is used in the manufacture of a number of fabrics such as Hessian cloth, sacking, scrim, carpet backing cloth (CBC), and canvas. Hessian, lighter than sacking, is used for bags, wrappers, wall-coverings, upholstery, and home furnishings. Sacking, a fabric made of heavy jute fibers, has its use in the name. CBC made of jute comes in two types. Primary CBC provides a tufting surface, while secondary CBC is bonded onto the primary backing for an overlay. Jute packaging is used as an eco-friendly substitute.

Jute floor coverings consist of woven and tufted and piled carpets. Jute Mats and mattings with 5 / 6 mts width and of continuous length are easily being woven in Southern parts of India, in solid and fancy shades, and in different weaves like, Boucle, Panama, Herringbone, etc. Jute Mats & Rugs are made both through Powerloom & Handloom, in large volume from Kerala, India. The traditional Satranji mat is becoming very popular in home décor. Jute non-wovens and composites can be used for underlay, linoleum substrate, and more.

click & see

Jute has many advantages as a home textile, either replacing cotton or blending with it. It is a strong, durable, color and light-fast fiber. Its UV protection, sound and heat insulation, low thermal conduction and anti-static properties make it a wise choice in home décor. Also, fabrics made of jute fibers are carbon-dioxide neutral and naturally decomposable. These properties are also why jute can be used in high performance technical textiles.

The dry  jute stem is used as fire wood.

As a diversified byproducts from jute can be used in cosmetics,  paints, and other products.

Contains HCN and several cardiac glycosides. Negm et al (1980) report the LD50 of tissue extracts to mice. The “lethal dose” of Corchoroside A to cats is 0.053-0.0768 mg/kg and Corchoroside B 0.059-0.1413, but some authors say that Corchoroside A is twice as active as Corchoroside B.

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.


Acmella oleracea

Botanical Name :Acmella oleracea
Family:    Asteraceae
Genus:    Acmella
Species:A. oleracea
Order:    Asterales

Synonyms: Spilanthes oleracea, S. acmella

Common Names:Toothache plant and paracress. In Brazil it is called jambu.

Habitat : Acmella oleracea may be natibe to Brazilian Acmella species.

Acmella oleracea is a  sprawling and ornamental annual plant,  growing to a height of 12-18 in. (30-45 cm)It has copper tinted foliage and unique golden “eyeball shaped” flowers (it’s really just a composite without the petals).It is a small, erect plant, it grows quickly and bears gold and red inflorescences. It is frost-sensitive and perennial in warmer climates.It blooms repetedly during late summer and early fall.The bloom colour is red and bright yellow……. CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation & propagation:
This plant prefers well-drained, black (high organic content) soil. If starting outdoors, the seeds should not be exposed to cold weather, so startING after last frost is better. Seeds need direct sunlight to germinate, so don’t bury them.

Edible Uses:
A small amount of shredded fresh leaves is said to add a unique flavour to salads. Cooked leaves lose their strong flavour and may be used as leafy greens. Both fresh and cooked leaves are used in dishes such as stews in northern Brazil, especially in the state of Pará. They are combined with chilis and garlic to add flavor and vitamins to other foods.

The flower bud has a grassy taste followed by a strong tingling or numbing sensation and often excessive salivation, with a cooling sensation in the throat. The buds are known as “buzz buttons”, “Szechuan buttons“, “sansho buttons”, and “electric buttons”. In India, they are used as flavoring in chewing tobacco.

A concentrated extract of the Spilanthes plant identified as Jambu is used as a flavoring agent in many countries worldwide. EFSA and JECFA reviewed a feeding study in rats conducted by Moore et al and both authorities recognized that the no adverse effect level for spilanthol was 572 mg/kg b.w./day, yielding a safe dose of spilanthol of 1.9 mg/kg b.w./day, or 133.5 mg/70-kg male/day, 111 mg/58-kg female/day, or 38 mg/20-kg child/day.

The use of jambu extract as a food flavor is described as having an odor of citrus, herbal, tropical or musty odor, and its taste can be pungent, cooling, tingling, numbing, or effervescent. Thus, as described, the flavor use of jambu extract includes the ability induce a mouth-watering sensation in the oral cavity and the ability to promote the production of saliva. Spilanthol, the major constituent of jambu extract, is responsible for the perception of a mouth-watering flavor sensation, as well as the ability to promote salivation as a sialogogue, perhaps through its astringent action or its pungent taste in the oral cavity.

The most important taste-active molecules present are fatty acid amides such as spilanthol, which is responsible for the trigeminal and saliva-inducing effects of products such as jambú oleoresin, a concentrated extract of the plant. It also contains stigmasteryl-3-O-b-D-glucopyranoside and a number of triterpenes. The isolation and total synthesis of the active ingredients have been reported.

Medicinal Uses:
Acmella oleracea  is used as a medicinal remedy in various parts of the world. A decoction or infusion of the leaves and flowers is a traditional remedy for stammering, toothache, and stomatitis.

An extract of the plant has been tested against various yeasts and bacteria and was essentially inactive. It has been shown to have a strong diuretic action in rats.

As a bush plant used for treating toothache, the analgesic effect of the Spilanthes plant has been attributed to the presence of constituents containing an N-isobutylamide moiety, such as spilanthol, a substance that has been found to be an effective sialogogue, an agent that promotes salivation. Spilanthol is absorbed trans-dermally and through the buccal mucosa. Spilanthol may activate TRPA1, a specific transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channel in the oral cavity. In addition to capsaicin, allyl isothiocyanate, and cinnamaldehyde, spilanthol is also reported to affect the catecholamine nerve pathways present in the oral cavity that promote the production of saliva, which is responsible for its ability to induce a mouth-watering sensation when used as a flavor (and associated with the tingling or pungent flavoring sensation in some individuals).

Since 2000, there are several medicinal activities reported on Acmella oleracea that are highlighted in several journals.

Other Uses:
Biological pest control:-
Extracts were bioassayed against yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and corn earworm moth (Helicoverpa zea) larvae. The spilanthol proved effective at killing mosquitoes, with a 24-hour LD100 of 12.5 µg/mL, and 50% mortality at 6.25 µg/mL. The mixture of spilanthol isomers produced a 66% weight reduction of corn earworm larvae at 250 µg/mL after 6 days

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.



Botanical Name :Pandanus tectorius
Family:    Pandanaceae
Genus:    Pandanus
Order:    Pandanales

Synonyms: Pandanus chamissonis,,Pandanus douglasii,Pandanus menziesii,Pandanus odoratissimus

Common Names: Pandanus, screw pine, or Pandan,Hala,Pu hala

Habitat: Pandanus trees are native to the Old World tropics and subtropics. They are classified in the order Pandanales.

Pandanus trees are palm-like, dioecious trees and shrubs growing 20 to 30 feet in height and from 15 to 35 feet in diameter. The trunk is stout and the branches grow at wide angles to it. It has distinctive long blade-like leaves (lau hala) about 2 inches wide and over 2 feet long. Most varieties have spines along the edges and on the midribs of the leaves. Spineless and variegated forms are available. The leaves are spirally arranged towards the ends of the branches and leave a spiral pattern on the trunk when they fall.  Pandanus trees develop support or prop roots (ule hala) at the base of the trunk and sometimes along the branches.


Pandanus trees are either male or female. Female trees produce a large, segmented fruit somewhat resembling a pineapple. Male trees produce large clusters of tiny, fragrant flowers surrounded by white to cream colored bracts. These clusters are about 1 foot long and are called hinano in Hawaiian.

Female Pandanus tectorius trees flower 1 to 3 times a year, while male trees flower every 2 months. Pandanus tectorius is thought to reproduce sexually in Hawai’i, but there is some evidence that asexual seed development (apomixis) also occurs. Wind and small insects are assumed to be the pollinators.
The fruit of Pandanus tectorius is a round or oval head about 8 inches long and consisting of numerous segments called carpels, phalanges, or keys. There are 40 to 80 keys in each fruit. The color of the fruit ranges from yellow to orange to reddish when ripe. It takes several months for the fruits to ripen. Ripe fruits are very fragrant.

Pandanus keys are wedge shaped and 1 to 2 inches long. The inner end of the key is fleshy and the outer end is woody, generally containing a single seed. Lee found that larger fruit often contain seedless keys. Sometimes keys contain 2 seeds; infrequently, they contain more than 2 seeds.

Pandanus trees can be grown from large cuttings.

Edible Uses:
Pandan (P. amaryllifolius) leaves are used in Southeast Asian cooking to add a distinct aroma to rice and curry dishes such as nasi lemak, kaya (‘jam’) preserves, and desserts such as pandan cake. In Indian cooking, the leaf is added whole to biryani, a kind of rice pilaf, made with ordinary rice (as opposed to that made with the premium-grade Basmati rice). The basis for this use is that both Basmati and Pandan leaf contain the same aromatic flavoring ingredient, 2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline. Pandan leaf can be used as a complement to chocolate in many dishes, such as ice cream. They are known as daun pandan in Indonesian and Malay;(b?n lán) in Mandarin; (su mwei ywe) in Myanmar, and as  (bai toei; pronounced ) in Thailand. Fresh leaves are typically torn into strips, tied in a knot to facilitate removal, placed in the cooking liquid, then removed at the end of cooking. Dried leaves and bottled extract may be bought in some places.

Kewra is an extract distilled from the pandanus flower, used to flavor drinks and desserts in Indian cuisine. Also, kewra or kewadaa is used in religious worship, and the leaves are used to make hair ornaments worn for their fragrance as well as decorative purpose in western India.

Species with large and medium fruit are edible, notably the many cultivated forms of P. tectorius (P. pulposus). The fruit is eaten raw or cooked. Small-fruited pandanus may be bitter and astringent.

Throughout Oceania, almost every part of the plant is used, with various species different from those used in Southeast Asian cooking. Pandanus trees provide materials for housing; clothing and textiles including the manufacture of dilly bags (carrying bags), fine mats or ‘ie toga; food, medication,[citation needed] decorations, fishing, and religious uses.

Medicinal Uses:
Pandanus leaves and roots are found to have medicinal benefits. Such parts of the plant have been found to have essential oils, tannin, alkaloids and glycosides, which are the reasons for the effective treatment of various health concerns.

Pandanus Health Benefits:
•.Treats leprosy, smallpox and wounds.
• Helps reduce fever
• Solves several skin problems
• Relives headache and arthritis
• Treatment for ear pains
• Functions as a laxative for children
• Eases chest pains
• Helps in speeding up the recuperation of women who have just given birth and are still weak
• Pandan reduces stomach spasms.

Pandan flowers have also been traced with characteristics that function as aphrodisiac.
Pandan also manifests anti-cancer activities,
It can also be used as antiseptic and anti-bacterial, which makes it ideal for healing wounds.

Preparation & Use of Pandan:
Decoction of the bark may be taken as tea, or mixed with water that is to be used in bathing, in order to remedy skin problems, cough, and urine-related concerns.
• Apply pulverized roots of pandan to affected wound areas to facilitate healing.
• The anthers of the male flowers are used for earaches, headaches and stomach spasms.
• Chew the roots to strengthen the gum.
• Extract oils and juices from the roots and flowers are used in preparing the decoction to relieve pains brought about by headache and arthritis.

Other Uses:
Pandan is used for handicrafts. Craftsmen collect the pandan leaves from plants in the wild. Only the young leaves are cut so the plant will naturally regenerate. The young leaves are sliced in fine strips and sorted for further processing. Weavers produce basic pandan mats of standard size or roll the leaves into pandan ropes for other designs. This is followed by a coloring process, in which pandan mats are placed in drums with water-based colors. After drying, the colored mats are shaped into final products, such as place mats or jewelry boxes. Final color touch-ups may be applied.
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.


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.

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).

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:
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.


Lemon basil

Botanical Name:Ocimum americanum
Family:    Lamiaceae
Genus:    Ocimum
Species:O. × citriodorum
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.

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.
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.