Tag Archives: Phoenix

Solanum fendleri

Botanical Name: Solanum fendleri
Family :Solanaceae
Subfamilia : Solanoideae
Genus : Solanum
Tribes : Solaneae
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Solanales
Species: Solanum fendleri A. Gray ex Torr. – Fendler’s horsenettle

Synonym: Solanum stoloniferum

Common Names: Wild Potato, Fendler’s horsenettle, Texan horsenettle

Habitat :Solanum fendleri is native to South-western N. America. It grows on rich soils in open pine woods, 1800 – 2700 metres in Arizona.

Description:
Solanum fendleri is a perennial herb, growing to 20 inches (50 cm) tall. The flowers are flat, round, 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, and have 5 pointed lobes and a yellow beak of stamens. It blooms in summer & early fall. The flowers are followed by small, green to white fruits. The leaves are green to tinged purple below, hairy, alternate, and pinnately compound with usually 5 or 7 elliptic to egg-shaped leaflets. The terminal (end) leaflet is larger than the other leaflets. The plants have both stolons and small, rounded, white or purple tubers (potatoes)

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will succeed in Britain. This plant is a N. American species of potatoes and it can probably be grown in much the same way as potatoes are grown. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in most soils. Dislikes wet or heavy clay soils. Prefers a slightly acid soil, the tubers are subject to scab on limy soils or those deficient in humus. Yields best on a fertile soil rich in organic matter.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a warm greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into a fairly rich compost as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on fast. Plant them out after the last expected frosts. Division. Harvest the tubers in autumn after the top-growth has been cut back by frost. Store the tubers in a cool frost-free place overwinter and replant in April.

Edible Uses:

Edible Parts: Root.

Tubers – raw or cooked. Rich in starch, the tubers can be dried and ground into a powder then used in making bread. A type of potato, it is said to be pleasant eating, tasting somewhat like a sweet chestnut. When eaten raw the potatoes are mixed with clay. One report says that, after every mouthful of raw potato, a person would take a bite f white clay to counteract the unpleasant astringent effect of the potato in the mouth. The roots are fairly small, averaging about 15mm in diameter.

Medicinal Uses:

Stomachic.

The raw tubers have been used in the treatment of gastric distress due to hyperacidity.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where many if not all the members have poisonous leaves and sometimes also the unripe fruits.

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

Resources:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Solanum_fendleri

Solanum fendleri – Fendler's Horsenettle


http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Solanum+fendleri

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Phoenix dactylifera (Date)

Botanical Name : Phoenix dactylifera
Family: Arecaceae
Genus: Phoenix
Species: P. dactylifera
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Arecales

Common Names ;Date

Habitat :Phoenix dactylifera is native to the Persian Gulf.It is cultivated for it’s sweet fruit all along the middle east dry areas.

Dates are an important traditional crop in Turkey, Iraq, Arabia, and north Africa west to Morocco and are mentioned more than 50 times in the Bible. Dates (especially Medjool and Deglet Noor) are also cultivated in southern California, Arizona and southern Florida in the United States.

Description:
The date palm is dioecious, having separate male and female plants.It is a medium-sized plant, 15–25 m tall, growing singly or forming a clump with several stems from a single root system. The leaves are 3–5 m long, with spines on the petiole, and pinnate, with about 150 leaflets; the leaflets are 30 cm long and 2 cm wide. The full span of the crown ranges from 6 to 10 m.

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The fruit is known as a date. The fruit’s English name (through Old French), as well as the Latin species name dactylifera, both come from the Greek word for “finger,” dáktulos, because of the fruit’s elongated shape. Dates are oval-cylindrical, 3–7 cm long, and 2–3 cm diameter, and when unripe, range from bright red to bright yellow in colour, depending on variety. Dates contain a single seed about 2–2.5 cm long and 6–8 mm thick. Three main cultivar groups of date exist: soft (e.g. ‘Barhee’, ‘Halawy‘, ‘Khadrawy’, ‘Medjool’), semi-dry (e.g. ‘Dayri’, ‘Deglet Noor’, ‘Zahdi’), and dry (e.g. ‘Thoory’). The type of fruit depends on the glucose, fructose and sucrose content.

Cultivation & Propagation:
Dates are naturally wind pollinated but in both traditional oasis horticulture and in the modern commercial orchards they are entirely pollinated manually. Natural pollination occurs with about an equal number of male and female plants. However, with assistance, one male can pollinate up to 100 females. Since the males are of value only as pollinators, this allows the growers to use their resources for many more fruit producing female plants. Some growers do not even maintain any male plants as male flowers become available at local markets at pollination time. Manual pollination is done by skilled labourers on ladders. In some areas such as Iraq the pollinator climbs the tree using a special climbing tool that wraps around the tree trunk and the climber’s back to keep him attached to the trunk while climbing. Less often the pollen may be blown onto the female flowers by a wind machine.

They can be easily grown from seed, but only 50% of seedlings will be female and hence fruit bearing, and dates from seedling plants are often smaller and of poorer quality. Most commercial plantations thus use cuttings of heavily cropping cultivars. Plants grown from cuttings will fruit 2–3 years earlier than seedling plants.

A date palm cultivar, known as Judean date palm is renowned for its long-lived orthodox seed, which successfully sprouted after accidental storage for 2000 years. This particular seed was presently reputed to be the oldest viable seed until the sprouting of over 30,000 year old silene stenophylla seeds, but the upper survival time limit of properly stored seeds remains unknown.

Date palms can take 4 to 8 years after planting before they will bear fruit, and produce viable yields for commercial harvest between 7 to 10 years. Mature date palms can produce 80–120 kilograms (176–264 lb) of dates per harvest season, although they do not all ripen at the same time so several harvests are required. In order to get fruit of marketable quality, the bunches of dates must be thinned and bagged or covered before ripening so that the remaining fruits grow larger and are protected from weather and pests such as birds.

Edible Uses:
Dates fruit  have been a staple food of the Middle East for thousands of years. They are believed to have originated around the Persian Gulf, and have been cultivated since ancient times from Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt, possibly as early as 4000 BCE. The Ancient Egyptians used the fruits to be made into date wine, and ate them at harvest. There is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in eastern Arabia in 6000 BCE. (Alvarez-Mon 2006).
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In later times, traders spread dates around South and South West Asia, northern Africa, and Spain and Italy. Dates were introduced into Mexico and California by the Spaniards by 1765, around Mission San Ignacio.

Dates ripen in four stages, which are known throughout the world by their Arabic names kimri (unripe), khlal (full-size, crunchy), rutab (ripe, soft), tamr (ripe, sun-dried). A 100 gram portion of fresh dates is a source of vitamin C and supplies 230 kcal (960 kJ) of energy. Since dates contain relatively little water, they do not become much more concentrated upon drying, although the vitamin C is lost in the process.

In Islamic countries, dates and yogurt or milk are a traditional first meal when the sun sets during Ramadan.

Dry or soft dates are eaten out-of-hand, or may be pitted and stuffed with fillings such as almonds, walnuts, candied orange and lemon peel, tahini, marzipan or cream cheese. Pitted dates are also referred to as stoned dates. Partially dried pitted dates may be glazed with glucose syrup for use as a snack food. Dates can also be chopped and used in a range of sweet and savory dishes, from tajines (tagines) in Morocco to puddings, ka’ak (types of Arab cookies) and other dessert items. Date nut bread, a type of cake, is very popular in the United States, especially around holidays. Dates are also processed into cubes, paste called “‘ajwa”, spread, date syrup or “honey” called “dibs” or “rub” in Libya, powder (date sugar), vinegar or alcohol. Recent innovations include chocolate-covered dates and products such as sparkling date juice, used in some Islamic countries as a non-alcoholic version of champagne, for special occasions and religious times such as Ramadan.

Dates can also be dehydrated, ground and mixed with grain to form a nutritious stockfeed. Dried dates are fed to camels, horses and dogs in the Sahara. In northern Nigeria, dates and peppers added to the native beer are believed to make it less intoxicating.

Sweet sap tapped from date palm in West Bengal, IndiaYoung date leaves are cooked and eaten as a vegetable, as is the terminal bud or heart, though its removal kills the palm. The finely ground seeds are mixed with flour to make bread in times of scarcity. The flowers of the date palm are also edible. Traditionally the female flowers are the most available for sale and weigh 300–400 grams. The flower buds are used in salad or ground with dried fish to make a condiment for bread.

Dates provide a wide range of essential nutrients, and are a very good source of dietary potassium. The sugar content of ripe dates is about 80%; the remainder consists of protein, fiber, and trace elements including boron, cobalt, copper, fluorine, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc. The glycemic index for three different varieties of dates are 35.5 (khalas), 49.7 (barhi) and 30.5 (bo ma’an).

In India and Pakistan, North Africa, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire, date palms are tapped for the sweet sap, which is converted into palm sugar (known as jaggery or gur), molasses or alcoholic beverages. In North Africa the sap obtained from tapping palm trees is known as l?gb?. If left for a sufficient period of time (typically hours, depending on the temperature) l?gb? easily becomes an alcoholic drink. Special skill is required when tapping the palm tree so that it does not die.

In Southeast Spain (where a large date plantation exists including UNESCO protected Palmeral of Elche) dates (usually pitted with fried almond) are served wrapped in bacon and shallow fried.  It is also used to make Jallab.
Medicinal Uses:
The fruit, because of its tannin content, is used medicinally as a detersive and astringent in intestinal troubles. In the form of an infusion, decoction, syrup or paste, is administered as a treatment for sore throat, colds, bronchial catarrh. It is taken to relieve fever, cystitis, gonorrhea, edema, liver and abdominal troubles. And it is said to counteract alcohol intoxication.  The seed powder is an ingredient in a paste given to relieve ague. A gum that exudes from the wounded trunk is employed in India for treating diarrhea and genito-urinary ailments. It is diuretic and demulcent. The roots are used against toothache. The pollen yields an estrogenic principle, estrone, and has a gonadotropic effect on young rats.  One traditional belief is that it can counteract alcohol intoxication. The seed powder is also used in some traditional medicines. Because of their laxative quality, dates are considered to be good at preventing constipation..

Other Uses Of the Plant :
Date seeds are soaked and ground up for animal feed. Their oil is suitable for use in soap and cosmetics. They can also be processed chemically as a source of oxalic acid. The seeds are also burned to make charcoal for silversmiths, and can be strung in necklaces. Date seeds are also ground and used in the manner of coffee beans, or as an additive to coffee.

Stripped fruit clusters are used as brooms. In Pakistan, a viscous, thick syrup made from the ripe fruits is used as a coating for leather bags and pipes to prevent leaking.

Date palm sap is used to make palm syrup and numerous edible products derived from the syrup.

Date palm leaves are used for Palm Sunday in the Christian religion. In North Africa, they are commonly used for making huts. Mature leaves are also made into mats, screens, baskets and fans. Processed leaves can be used for insulating board. Dried leaf petioles are a source of cellulose pulp, used for walking sticks, brooms, fishing floats and fuel. Leaf sheaths are prized for their scent, and fibre from them is also used for rope, coarse cloth, and large hats. The leaves are also used as a lulav in the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

Date palm wood is used for posts and rafters for huts; it is lighter than coconut and not very durable. It is also used for construction such as bridges and aqueducts, and parts of dhows. Leftover wood is burnt for fuel.

Where craft traditions still thrive, such as in Oman, the palm tree is the most versatile of all indigenous plants, and virtually every part of the tree is utilized to make functional items ranging from rope and baskets to beehives, fishing boats, and traditional dwellings.

When Muslims break fast in the evening meal of Ramadan, it is traditional to eat a date first.

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/Phoenix_dactylifera
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_DE.htm
http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week432.shtml

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Acupunture

Acupunture is a traditional Chinese medicine. This treatment is sometimes very much fruitful for treating certain diseas, but in many cases it does not work.Once during 1975 I took this treatment for 2 months from an Acupuncturist Doctor (well known Doctor in this field in Kolkata at that time) for the recovery of my right hand wrist- drop due to radial nerve depression. The then it was a painful treatment. They used to prick several very thin long niddles on different places on my hand and let me lie for few minutes on the bed and then take out them.I did not get any improvement in this.

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According to me this treatment is suitable for temporary healing of pains of different places mainly due to Arthrities kind of diseas.
.But this treatment may help some diseas