Tag Archives: Seed

Ensete ventricosum

Botanical Name : Ensete ventricosum
Family: Musaceae
Genus: Ensete
Species: E. ventricosum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Zingiberales

Synonyms: Ensete edule – Bruce. ex Horan.Musa arnoldiana De Wild., Musa ventricosa Welw. and Musa ensete J. F. Gmel

Common Names: False Banana, Ethiopian Banana, Abyssinian Banana

Habitat : Ensete ventricosum occurs along the Eastern Edge of the Great African Plateau, extending northwards from Transvaal in South Africa through Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to Ethiopia, and west to the Democratic Republic of Congo, being found in high rainfall forests on mountains, and along forested ravines and streams.

Description:
Ensete ventricosum in an evergreen Perennial large non-woody tree (technically a gigantic herb) up to 6m tall, it has a stout trunk of tightly overlapping leaf bases, and large banana-like leaf blades of up to 5m x 1m with a salmon-pink midrib. The flowers, which only occur once from the centre of the tree at the end of the tree’s life, are in massive pendant thyrses covered by equally large pink bracts. The fruits are similar to those of the domestic banana, are edible but insipid, with hard, black, rounded seeds. The plant is quick-growing and some colourful varieties are widely cultivated as an ornamental. After flowering the plant dies back. The young and tender tissues in the centre or heart of the tree (the growing point) may be cooked and eaten, being tasty and nutritious and very like the core of palms and cycads

You may click to see the pictures

 

Ensete ventricosum

Ensete ventricosum (Photo credit: pris.sears)

It is hardy to zone 10 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Requires a very sheltered sunny position in a fertile moisture-retentive soil. This species is not very hardy in Britain but it succeeds outdoors on the Scilly Islands and is sometimes used in sub-tropical bedding. Plants can survive light frosts but they require ample shelter from the wind. It should be possible to grow plants in tubs, keeping them outdoors in the summer and bringing them into a greenhouse or conservatory in the winter. The leaves can be up to 6 metres long.

Propagation:
Sow the large seed in individual pots in a heated greenhouse at any time of the year. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water beforehand. Germination should take place within 3 months. Grow on the plants for at least a couple of winters in the greenhouse before attempting to grow them outdoors. Division of suckers in spring. Try to get as much of the sucker’s roots out as possible without disturbing the main plant too much. Pot the suckers up and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse until they are established.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Root; Seed; Stem.

The chopped and grated pulp of the corms and leaf sheaths is fermented and used as a flour in making kocho bread. 100% kocho flour or a mixture of kocho and other cereal flours may be used. It is said to taste like a good quality bread. The endosperm of the seed is consumed as a food. The base of the flower stalk is edible cooked.

The species has been cultivated in Ethiopia for thousands of years where it is still considered to be one of the most important and widely cultivated root crops. The pseudostems, corms and stems of flowering branches are used to make a starchy product which is fermented in a pit and then made into a kind of pancake, bread, and porridge.

“Enset provides more amount of foodstuff per unit area than most cereals. It is estimated that 40 to 60 enset plants occupying 250-375 sq. meters can provide enough food for a family of 5 to 6 people.” – Country Information Brief.

(In Ethiopia, more than 150 000 ha are cultivated for the starchy staple food prepared from the pulverised trunk and inflorescence stalk. Fermenting these pulverised parts results in a food called ‘kocho’. ‘Bulla’ is made from the liquid squeezed out of the mixture and sometimes eaten as a porridge, while the remaining solids are suitable for consumption after a settling period of some days. Mixed kocho and bulla can be kneaded into dough, then flattened and baked over a fire. Kocho is in places regarded as a delicacy, suitable for serving at feasts and ceremonies such as weddings, when wheat flour is added. The fresh corm is cooked like potatoes before eating. Dry kocho and bulla are energy-rich and produce from 1400 to 2000kJ per 100g.)

Medicinal Uses:
The ensete pseudostem has medicinal uses.People of south Africa make herbal medicines to get relieve from different ailments.

 

Other Uses:

The fibre obtained from the plant is very good quality fibre, suitable for ropes, twine, baskets, and general weaving, is obtained from the leaves. Dried leaf-sheaths are used as packing material, serving the same function as Western foam plastic and polystyrene. The fibre obtained from the plant is very good quality fibre, suitable for ropes, twine, baskets, and general weaving, is obtained from the leaves. Dried leaf-sheaths are used as packing material, serving the same function as Western foam plastic and polystyrene.  Also used for animal fodder, shade, adornment, roof thatch, and dye. The seeds are used as beads for ornamentation.

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/Ensete_ventricosum
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Ensete+ventricosum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ensete+ventricosum

http://anthropogen.com/2009/10/02/ensete-ventricosum-wild-banana-ihindu-kiduyu-ikulutui-kamba-getembe-maasai/

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Plantago maritima

Botanical Name : Plantago maritima
Family:Plantaginaceae
Genus: Plantago
Species: P. maritima
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names :Sea Plantain, Seaside Plantain, Goose Tongue

Habitat :Plantago maritima is  native to most of Europe, northwest Africa, northern and central Asia, northern North America, and southern South America. Like samphires, the plant is commonly harvested in the Maritimes and eaten.It grows in short turf in salt marshes near the sea and by streams in mountains, usually in saline or wet soils

Description:
Plantago maritima is a herbaceous perennial plant with a dense rosette of stemless leaves. Each leaf is linear, 2-22 cm long and under 1 cm broad, thick and fleshy-textured, with an acute apex and a smooth or distantly toothed margin; there are three to five veins. The flowers are small, greenish-brown with brown stamens, produced in a dense spike 0.5-10 cm long on top of a stem 3-20 cm tall.

You may click to see the picture
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It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind. The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.It is hardy to zone 6 and is not frost tender

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 and can grow in saline soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

There are four subspecies:
*Plantago maritima subsp. maritima. Europe, Asia, northwest Africa.

*Plantago maritima subsp. borealis (Lange) A. Blytt and O. Dahl. Arctic regions. All parts of the plant small, compared to temperate plants.

*Plantago maritima subsp. juncoides (Lam.) Hultén. South America, North America (this name to North American plants has been questioned).

*Plantago maritima subsp. serpentina (All.) Arcang. Central Europe, on serpentine soils in mountains.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in a sunny position. An important food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterflies.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer. A sowing can be made outdoors in situ in mid to late spring if you have enough seeds

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed.

Young leaves – raw or cooked. A delicious flavour. This is one of the nicer-tasting members of the genus, the leaves are fairly low in fibres and make an acceptable addition to a mixed salad. The leaves are canned for winter use in Alaska. Seed – raw or cooked. The seed can be ground into a powder and used as a flour extender. The seed is very small and tedious to harvest.

Medicinal Uses:
Laxative.

Plantain seeds contain up to 30% mucilage which swells up in the gut, acting as a bulk laxative and soothing irritated membranes . Sometimes the seed husks are used without the seeds.

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/Plantago_maritima
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Plantago+maritima
http://www.korseby.net/outer/flora/rosopsida/plantaginaceae/plantago_maritima_aehre.jpeg

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Plantago major

English: Plantago major, Plantaginaceae, Great...

English: Plantago major, Plantaginaceae, Greater Plantain, Common Plantain, habitus. Deutsch: Plantago major, Plantaginaceae, Breitwegerich, Habitus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Botanical Name :Plantago major
Family:Plantaginaceae
Genus:Plantago
Species:P. major
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Lamiales

Common Name :Broadleaf plantain” or “Greater plantain“,Common Plaintain

Habitat :Plantago major is native to most of Europe, including Britain, to northern and central Asia  but has widely naturalised elsewhere in the world.  It grows as a  common garden weed, particularly in lawns. Rarely in grassy places

Description:
Plantago major is an herbaceous perennial plant with a rosette of leaves 15–30 cm in diameter.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Each leaf is oval-shaped, 5–20 cm long and 4–9 cm broad, rarely up to 30 cm long and 17 cm broad, with an acute apex and a smooth margin; there are five to nine conspicuous veins.It is in flower from May to September, and the seeds ripen from July to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind. The flowers are small, greenish-brown with purple stamens, produced in a dense spike 5–15 cm long on top of a stem 13–15 cm tall (rarely to 70 cm tall).

Plaintain is wind-pollinated, and propagates primarily by seeds, which are held on the long, narrow spikes which rise well above the foliage.[8][9] Each plant can produce up to 20,000 seeds, which are very small and oval-shaped, with a bitter taste.

The plant is hardy to zone 5 is not frost tender. It is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

There are three subspecies
*Plantago major subsp. major.
*Plantago major subsp. intermedia (DC.) Arcang.
*Plantago major subsp. winteri (Wirtg.) W.Ludw.

Cultivation :
Succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in a sunny position[200]. Although this species is a common garden weed, some named forms have been selected for their ornamental value. An important food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterflies.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer. A sowing can be made outdoors in situ in mid to late spring if you have enough seeds.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root; Seed.

Edible Uses: Tea.

Young leaves – raw or cooked. They are rather bitter and tedious to prepare because the fibrous strands need to be removed before use[9]. It is best not to use the leaf-stalk since this is even more fibrous than the leaf. Many people blanch the leaves in boiling water before using them in salads in order to make them more tender. A Chinese form has more palatable leaves – it contains about 2.7% protein, 0.4% fat, 2.2% ash. Seed – raw or cooked. Very tedious to harvest. The seed can be ground into a meal and mixed with flour. It is very rich in vitamin B1. The whole seeds can be boiled and used like sago. The dried leaves make an acceptable tea. Root. No further details.

Medicinal Uses
Antidote; Astringent; Demulcent; Deobstruent; Depurative; Diuretic; Expectorant; Haemostatic; Laxative; Ophthalmic; Poultice; Refrigerant; Vermifuge.

Plantago major quickly staunches blood flow and encourages the repair of damaged tissue.  It may be used instead of comfrey in treating bruises and broken bones.  An ointment or lotion may be used to treat hemorrhoids, fistulae and ulcers.  Taken internally, common plantain is diuretic, expectorant, and decongestant. It is commonly prescribed for gastritis, peptic ulcers, diarrhea, dysentery, irritable bowel syndrome, respiratory congestion, loss of voice and urinary tract bleeding.   The seeds are closely related to psyllium seeds and can be used similarly, a tablespoon or two soaked in hot sweetened water or fruit juice until a mucilage is formed and the whole gruel drunk as a lubricating laxative.  The fresh juice can be made into a douche for vaginitis by combining two tablespoons and a pint of warm water with a pinch of table salt.  Proteolytic enzymes found in the fresh leaf and the fresh or dried root make plantain useful as a gentle internal vasoconstrictor for milk intestinal inflammation.  The fresh juice or dried leaves in tea can help bladder inflammations.  The fresh juice can be preserved with 25% vodka or 10% grain alcohol.  Take one teaspoon in warm water one hour before every meal for mild stomach ulcers.  For bed-wetting plantain leaf can be given as a beverage-strength tea throughout the day (but not right before bedtime).

Plantain roots are an old-time cure for toothaches.  Fresh, the roots used to be chewed, dried and powdered and placed in a hollow tooth as a painkiller.  The Chippewa used plantain leaves to draw out splinters from inflamed skin, and as vulnerary poultices.  They favored the fresh leaves, spreading the surface of these with bear grease before applying them and renewing the poultices when the leaves became dry or too heated.  Sometimes they replaced the bear grease with finely chopped fresh roots, or else applied the chopped roots directly to the wound.  For winter use, they greased fresh leaves and tightly wrapped stacks of them I leather.  The Iroquois used the fresh leaves to treat wounds, as well as coughs, colds, and bronchitis.  The Shoshone applied poultices made from the entire plant to battle bruises, while the Meskawaki treated fevers with a tea made from the root.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses plantain to treat urinary problems, dysentery, hepatitis and lung problems, especially asthma and bronchitis.  The seeds are used for bowel ailments.  Plantain is also found in African and southeast Asian folk medicine.  Research in India has shown its beneficial effects in treating coughs and colds.

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://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Plantago+major
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantago_major
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

http://www.rolv.no/urtemedisin/medisinplanter/plan_maj.htm

Oenanthe javanica

Botanical Name : Oenanthe javanica
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Oenanthe
Species: O. javanica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms :Oenanthe stolonifera – Wallich ex DC.,Sium javanicum – Blume.

Common Name : Rau Can,Japanese parsley or Chinese celery

Habitat ;Oenanthe javanica is native to E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea to Australia. It  grows in ditches, ponds and wet places in lowland areas all over Japan. Marshlands, lakeshores, muddy stream banks and shallow water at elevations of 600 – 3000 metres in most parts of China.

Description:
Oenanthe javanica is a perennial herb, growing to 1m.It is erect to decumbent, c. 1 m tall, glabrous. Stem stoloniferous, rooting at the nodes; roots fibrous. Upper leaves ternate; lower pinnate; leaflets oval to ovate; margin serrate. Umbels leaf opposed. Rays 10-20, stout. Calyx teeth dis¬tinct, linear, persistent. Pedicels 2-4 times longer than the flowers. Stylopodium conical, surrounded by the calyx teeth; styles 2 mm long. Fruit oblong, c. 2 mm long, 1 mm broad; dorsal and intermediate ridges obtuse, not prominent, lateral corky.

You may click to see pictures  of Oenanthe javanica

It is hardy to zone 10. It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires wet soil and can grow in water.

Cultivation:
Requires a wet fertile soil or shallow water and a sunny position. This plant is quite possibly not hardy in Britain, gives a hardiness zone of 10, which means that it is not frost tolerant. However  say that it grows in all areas of China and lowland Japan and this should include areas that do experience frosts and snow. Another report says that many forms of this species are not frost-hardy, though some forms have hardy roots. The sub-species O. javanica rosthornii is found at elevations up to 4000 metres in China and is sometimes also found in drier habitats such as grassland at forest margins – this form should be hardier than the species. There is also a lot of confusion over the correct name for this species. Some reports give O. stolonifera. DC. or O. stolonifera. Wall as the correct name whilst other reports say that these names are synonyms of O. javanica.  says that O. stolonifera japonica. (Miq.)Maxim. is a synonym of O. javanica. The Flora of China treats this as a highly variable single species under the name O. javanica and recognizes at least one sub-species. This species is occasionally cultivated for its edible root or for its edible leaves according to another report, there are some named varieties. There are two main forms of this species, a red form has edible shoots whilst a white form is grown for its medicinal root. In Japan this plant and six other herbs are customarily boiled in rice gruel on January 7th. The cultivar ‘Su Zhou’ is medium early and has few fibres plus an excellent taste.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is erratic. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Large divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer. Layering[200]. Stem tip cuttings. Any part of the stem roots easily

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

Young leaves and stems – raw or cooked. The leaves are also used as a seasoning in soups etc. The flavour is reminiscent of carrots or parsley. The young shoots that sprout from the root in winter are best. A major vegetable in many parts of the Orient, the leaves are a rich source of vitamins and minerals (Analysis available). Root – cooked. Highly esteemed in Japan, the roots can grow up to 30cm long in water. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Seed is said to be edible.

Chemical Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.

Leaves (Dry weight)
298 Calories per 100g
*Water: 0%

*Protein: 19.9g; Fat: 3.2g; Carbohydrate: 62.8g; Fibre: 12.8g; Ash: 14.9g;

*Minerals – Calcium: 1202mg; Phosphorus: 585mg; Iron: 32mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 192mg; Potassium: 4713mg; Zinc: 0mg;

*Vitamins – A: 24mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.64mg; Riboflavin (B2): 2.34mg; Niacin: 10.6mg; B6: 0mg; C: 149mg;

Medicinal Uses:
Depurative; Febrifuge; Styptic.

The whole plant is depurative, febrifuge and styptic. A decoction is used in the treatment of epidemic influenza, fever and discomfort, jaundice, haematuria and metrorrhagia. The seed contains 3.5% essential oil. This is effective at large dilutions against pathogenic fungi.

A decoction of the whole plant is used in the treatment of epidemic influenza, fever and discomfort, jaundice, haematuria and metrorrhagia.   The seed contains 3.5% essential oil. This is effective at large dilutions against pathogenic fungi.

Other Uses:
Essential; Ground cover.

Spreading rapidly by means of suckers, it makes a good ground cover plant for wet situations. The variegated cultivar ‘Flamingo’ has been especially recommended.

Scented Plants

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://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Oenanthe+javanica
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oenanthe_javanica
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=200015685
http://web.telecom.cz/atzhoranek/kat1/oenanthe_javanica_flamingo.htm
http://www.victoria-adventure.org/aquatic_plants/craig2/oenanthe_javanica.html

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Papaver somniferum

Botanical Name : Papaver somniferum
Family: Papaveraceae
Genus: Papaver
Species: P. somniferum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales

Common Name:Poppy

Habitat :Papaver somniferum is native to Europe to Asia, though the original habitat is obscure. A rare casual in Britain.
It grows  in a truly wild situation.

Description:
Papaver somniferum is an annual plant  growing to 0.6m by 0.2m. It has many sub-species or varieties and cultivars. Colors of the flower vary widely, as do other physical characteristics such as number and shape of petals, number of flowers and fruits, number of seeds, color of seeds, production of opium, etc.

click to see the pictures..>..(01).....(1).……..(2).……...(3).…..(4)...…(5).…….

Papaver somniferum Paeoniflorum Group (sometimes called Papaver paeoniflorum) is a sub-type of opium poppy whose flowers are highly double, and are grown in many colors. Papaver somniferum Laciniatum Group (sometimes called Papaver laciniatum) is a sub-type of opium poppy whose flowers are highly double and deeply lobed, to the point of looking like a ruffly pompon.

A few of the varieties, notably the Norman and Przemko varieties, have low morphine content (less than one percent), much higher concentrations of other alkaloids. Most varieties, however, including those most popular for ornamental use or seed production, have a higher morphine content, with the average content being 10%

The opium poppy is the principal source of most naturally occurring ?-opioid receptor agonist opioids. The opium poppy is, by definition, the root source of all opioids considered opiates. Opiates are extracted from opium and poppy straw. Opium (also called “raw opium”) is the latex harvested by making incisions on the green capsules (seed pods). Poppy straw is the dried mature plant except the seeds, harvested by mowing.

From opium and poppy straw, alkaloids are extracted such as morphine, thebaine, codeine and oripavine. Morphine is the predominant alkaloid found in the varieties of opium poppy plant cultivated in most producing countries

It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.

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.

Cultivation:
Prefers a rich well-drained sandy loam in a sunny position. Requires a moist soil but does not do well on wet clays. Prefers a sandy loam or a chalky soil. Plants often self-sow in British gardens. The opium poppy is a very ornamental plant that is often cultivated in the flower garden. There are many named varieties, some of which have been developed for their edible uses. The plant is widely grown, often illegally, in warm temperate and tropical climates for the substances contained in its sap. These are often used medicinally as pain killers, especially in the treatment of terminally ill patients suffering extreme pain, they are also used for their narcotic effects by some people. These substances are highly addictive and lead to a shortening of the life span if used with any frequency. In cool temperate zones the plant does not produce sufficient of the narcotic principles to make their extraction feasible and cultivation of the plant is perfectly legal in Britain. Plants have ripened their seeds as far north as latitude 69°n in Norway. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or autumn in situ

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed.

Edible Uses: Oil.

Seed – raw or cooked. Much used as a flavouring in cakes, bread, fruit salads etc, it imparts a very nice nutty flavour. The crushed and sweetened seeds are used as a filling in crepes, strudels, pastries etc. Highly nutritious, the seed contains about 22.7% protein, 48% fat, 9.8% carbohydrate, 7.1% ash. It is also a good source of lecithin. The seeds are rather small, but there are large numbers of them contained in capsules 3cm or more in diameter and so they are easy to harvest and utilize. The seeds are perfectly safe to eat, containing very little if any of the narcotic principles. However, although the seeds contain no narcotic alkaloids, analysis of the urine following their ingestion may produce similar results to the analysis of the urine of morphine or heroin addicts. Edible young leaves – raw or cooked. They must be used before the flower buds have formed. In some countries they are eaten at the seedling stage. One report says that the leaves do not contain any narcotic principles. Some caution is advised, see notes at top of the page. A high quality edible drying oil is obtained from the seed. It has an almond flavour and makes a good substitute for olive oil.

Chemical composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.

Seed (Fresh weight)
*533 Calories per 100g

*Water: 6.8%

*Protein: 18g; Fat: 44.7g; Carbohydrate: 23.7g; Fibre: 6.3g; Ash: 6.8g;

*Minerals – Calcium: 1448mg; Phosphorus: 848mg; Iron: 9.4mg; Magnesium: 2.3mg; Sodium: 21mg; Potassium: 700mg; Zinc: 0mg;

*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.95mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.17mg; Niacin: 0.98mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses:
Anodyne; Antispasmodic; Antitussive; Astringent; Diaphoretic; Emmenagogue; Expectorant; Homeopathy; Hypnotic; Narcotic; Sedative.

The opium poppy contains a wide range of alkaloids and has been a very valuable medicine, especially useful in bringing relief from pain. Its use (especially of the extracted alkaloids opium and morphine which it contains) can become addictive, however, and so it should be treated with extreme caution and only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The dried juice (latex) from the unripe green seed vessels is a rich source of the active alkaloids, including morphine, . It is extracted by making shallow incisions in the capsules as soon as the petals have fallen. Care must be taken that the incisions do not penetrate to the interior of the seed capsules. The latex exudes from the capsules and dries in contact with the air – it is then scraped off. This latex is anodyne, antitussive, astringent, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative. As well as its pain-relieving properties, the latex has also been used as an antispasmodic and expectorant in treating certain kinds of coughs, whilst its astringent properties make it useful in the treatment of dysentery etc. A homeopathic remedy is made from the dried latex. This is used in the treatment of a variety of complaints, including constipation, fevers and insomnia.

In folk medicine poppy heads were used in poultices to cure earache and toothache and a remedy for facial neuralgia was to lay the warmed leaves on the skin.  Medieval doctors pounded the seeds with those of sea holly and mixed them with wine to make a lotion for washing the ears, eyes and nostrils of those suffering from insomnia.  Another cure was to mingle the juice with milk and other agents and make them into sleeping pills.  An infusion made from the powdered capsules of poppy was once applied externally to sprains and bruises and a poppy flower poultice applied to excessive redness of the skin.  A flower compress reduced inflammation and helped watering eyes and also helped to banish dark circles around the eyes.  Morphine, heroin, codeine and papaverine are all derived from the milk juice of the opium poppy.  One poppy product, laudanum, an addictive tincture of opium, was a universal cure-all, widely prescribed by doctors in the 19th century-its abuse celebrated by De Quincey, Coleridge and Baudelaire, among others. It was frequently administered to relieve pain and calm excitement, and was also used in bad cases of diarrhea and dysentery.  It has both hypnotic and sedative effects.  Opium tincture and extract may be used internally to treat depression.
TCM:  Contains the leakage of Lung qi: for chronic coughs; binds up the intestines: for chronic diarrhea and dysenteric disorders; Stabilizes the lower burner: for polyuria, spermatorrhea or vaginal discharge; Alleviates pain: for any kind of pain, especially that of the sinews, bones or epigastrium.

Pharmacological Effects: Morphine is a very strong analgesic; in fact, it is the standard by which all other analgesics are judged.  It raises the pain threshold and also reduces the pain reflex.  That is, even though the pain sensation is still perceived, it is no longer regarded as particularly uncomfortable.  Codeine has approximately 1/4 the analgesic effect of morphine.  Morphine and codeine are both hypnotics, but they induce only a light and restless sleep.  Morphine is a strong and highly selective respiratory depressant.  The dosage that acts in this manner is lower than an analgesic dosage.  Codeine’s effect on respiration is much weaker than that of morphine.  Also a strong cough suppressant.  Morphine causes peripheral vasodilation and histamine release, which can lead to orthostatic hypotension.  Morphine in very low doses causes constipation by increasing the resting tone and markedly decreasing propulsive contractions in the wall of the gut, while decreasing the secretion of digestive juices.  The constipating effect of opium is only really noticeable at the start of the treatment.  It soon diminishes and can if necessary be corrected with small doses of rhubarb or the like

Other Uses:
The seed yields 44 – 50% of an edible drying oil. Very good for lighting, it burns for longer than most oils. The oil is also used in paints, soap making etc.

Ornamental cultivation :
A red opium poppy flower used for ornamental purposes .Once known as the “common garden poppy”, live plants and seeds of the opium poppy are widely sold by seed companies and nurseries in most of the western world, including the United States. Poppies are sought after by gardeners for the vivid coloration of the blooms, the hardiness and reliability of the poppy plants, the exotic chocolate-vegetal fragrance note of some cultivars, and the ease of growing the plants from purchased flats of seedlings or by direct sowing of the seed. Poppy seed pods are also sold for dried flower arrangements.

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It has been suggested that, since “opium poppy and poppy straw” are listed in Schedule II of the United States’ Controlled Substances Act, a DEA license may be required to grow poppies in ornamental or display gardens. In fact the legal status of strictly ornamental poppy gardens is more nuanced, and destruction of ornamental poppy installations or prosecution of gardeners (except those caught extracting opium via capsule scarification or tea extraction) are virtually unheard of. During the early spring, opium poppies can be seen flowering in gardens throughout North America and Europe, and beautiful displays are found in many private planters, as well as in public botanical and museum gardens (e.g. United States Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden, North Carolina Botanical Garden, residential garden, Seattle, WA, and residential garden, Hartford, CT).

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Many countries grow the plants, and some rely heavily on the commercial production of the drug as a major source of income. As an additional source of profit, the seeds of the same plants are sold for use in foods, so that cultivation of the plant is a significant source of income. This international trade in seeds of Papaver somniferum was addressed by a UN resolution “to fight the international trade in illicit opium poppy seeds” on 28 July

Known Hazards: This plant contains a number of very toxic compounds, many of which are extracted and used as pain killers etc in medicine. They are also used to make various highly addictive narcotic drugs. However, in the cooler climate of Britain these compounds are not formed in sufficient quantity to make their extraction worthwhile. There are no toxins in the seeds.

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://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Papaver+somniferum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papaver_somniferum
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

http://www.chiangmai1.com/chiang_mai/sub/papaver.shtml

http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/germ/Papa_som.html