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Zanthoxylum bungeanum

Botanical Name : Zanthoxylum bungeanum
Family: Rutaceae
Subfamily: Rutoideae
Genus: Zanthoxylum
Species: Zanthoxylum bungeanum

Common Names: Szechuan Peppercorn

Habitat:Zanthoxylum bungeanum is native to E. Asia – China. It grows on waysides and thickets to 2000 metres in W. China.

Description:
Zanthoxylum bungeanum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 6 m (19ft 8in). The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

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It is not a true peppercorn, but rather the dried berry/seed of a deciduous prickly ash tree. The 3-4 mm berry has a rough reddish brown shell that is split open and a black seed inside. The black seed is bitter and can be discarded. The red shell can be added whole to stewed dishes or ground to a powder and used a seasoning. The spice has a unique aroma and flavor that is not as pungent as black pepper and has slight lemony overtones.
Szechuan peppercorns are one of the five spices in Chinese five-spice powder. Called sansho in Japan, they are used in the spice mixture shichimi togarashi, or Japanese seven-spice seasoning.
Cultivation:
It is said to be often cultivated for its edible fruit, especially in hot dry river valleys in China. There is some doubt over the correct name for this species, it might be no more than a synonym of Z. simulans. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a good deep well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun or semi-shade. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Flowers are formed on the old wood.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Stored seed may requires up to 3 months cold stratification, though scarification may also help. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Germination should take place in late spring, though it might take another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings, 3cm long, planted horizontally in pots in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers, removed in late winter and planted into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses:
Seed – used as a condiment, a pepper substitute. Highly prized. The fruit is rather small but is produced in clusters which makes harvesting easy. Each fruit contains a single seed.
Medicinal Uses:

Anaesthetic; Anthelmintic; Aromatic; Astringent; Carminative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Stimulant; Vasodilator; Vermifuge.

The fruit is anaesthetic, anthelmintic, aromatic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, stimulant, sudorific, vasodilator and vermifuge. It is pulverised then mixed with water for internal application in the treatment of chills and pains in the abdomen, vomiting, cold-damp diarrhoea and dysentery, ascariasis-caused abdominal pain and moist sores on the skin. The pericarp is anaesthetic, anthelmintic, antibacterial and antifungal. It is effective against the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium, and is also used in the treatment of gastralgia, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, ascariasis and dermal diseases. The pericarp contains geraniol. This lowers the blood pressure, is mildly diuretic in small doses but in large doses inhibits the excretion of urine, and also increases peristalsis of the abdomen at low doses though inhibits it at large doses

Known Hazards : The plant is toxic. No more details.

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://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Zanthoxylum_bungeanum
http://florawww.eeb.uconn.edu/198501352.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Zanthoxylum+bungeanum

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Garlic can be a remedy for cough & cold,flue etc.

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After breakfast, swallow a small clove of garlic. Don’t chew, just swallow. This improves your immunity and keeps you ready for seasonal upheavals.

– Chop some cloves, fry it in ghee, add to your food. Not only does this make food tastier, it also boosts digestion.

– Heat sesame oil to smoking point and put a few cloves of garlic in it. Bottle this, rub a few drops oil on your chest and on the soles when you have cough or cold. It relieves congestion and cures cold.

– Roast a clove of garlic and have it with a spoon of honey before going to bed. This provides you relief against cough.

Click to see : A garlic a day for good health

Click to see different benefits of garlic

Source: The Times Of India

Antioxidant CoQ10 for Optimum Organ, Tissue and Cell Health!

If you’re one  taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, then you probably have a deficiency in the spark needed to ignite your fuel and turn it into energy—the powerful antioxidant known as coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).
…………………..
This amazing antioxidant, discovered in 1957, provides 95 percent of your body’s energy! And hundreds of scientists have proven that the more CoQ10 you have the more energetic your body will be.

When you’re young, your liver produces CoQ10 in the amounts necessary to give strength to the muscles and cells of your body. CoQ10 can help:

#Protect your skin and hair by replacing cell tissue.
#Keep your vision sharp.
#Flush your arteries of the gunk that can cause life-threatening heart disasters.
#Protect your essential organs like the liver and kidneys.
#And MORE.

But as you get older, especially when you hit your 40s, your levels of CoQ10 decrease to the point of being inadequate to sustain the energy levels you need.

Another cause in the decrease of needed CoQ10 levels in your body is the use of statin drugs such as Lipitor® and Zocor®, used to lower cholesterol.

Even though CoQ10 is important for the overall health of your body, it has been proven to be of the utmost importance to the health of your heart. Major studies directed by leading scientists and reported in highly respected medical journals continue to prove that CoQ10 is essential in maintaining healthy blood pressure and regulating the rhythm of the heart.

So, what do you do if your fatigue levels are high… your natural CoQ10 levels are low… and your health is being compromised? Try increasing the foods in your diet that contain higher levels of CoQ10 such as soybeans, sesame oil, sardines, mackerel, peanuts and sesame seeds, just to name a few.

You may click to see:

CoQ10: The Antioxidant Powerhouse for Cellular Energy

CoQ10: What You Need to Know About

What is CoQ10?

Significance Of Apoptosis And Its Relationship To Antioxidants After Ochratoxin A Administration In Mice

Source : Better Health Research; Feb.15th. 2010

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Semecarpus anacardium

Botanical Name: Semecarpus anacardium
Family:
Anacardiaceae
Genus
: Semecarpus
Species:
S. anacardium
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Sapindales

vernacular Name: Sans- Bhallataka, Hind- Bhela. It was called “marking nuts” by Europeans because it was used by washermen to mark the cloths before washing, as it imparted water insoluble mark to the cloth. It’s also known as “Ker” in Kannada.

It is known as Bhallaatak  in India and was called “marking nut” by Europeans, because it was used by washermen to mark cloth and clothing before washing, as it imparted a water insoluble mark to the cloth. It is also known as ker beeja in Kannada and bibba in Marathi and Jeedi Ginja in Telugu.

Habitat :Semecarpus Anacardium (the Oriental Anacardium) is a native of India and is closely related to the cashew.Available throughout india, in semi-green and moist deciduous forests.

Description:It is a deciduous tree, found in the outer Himalayas. The nut is about 2.5 cm long, ovoid and smooth lustrous black. In Ayurveda, the fruit is considered a rasayana for longevity and rejuvenation,and is processed before use, as it is toxic in nature.

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Properties:
Bhallataka is sweet and astringent in taste, sweet in the post digestive effect and has hot potency. It alleviates kapha and vata dosas and possesses light, unctuous sharp (tiksna) and hot (usna) attributes. It is extremely heat generating, appetizer, digestant, rejuvenative, aphrodisiac herb and alleviates the skin and rheumatic disorders. (Bhavaprakasa Nighantu)

Classical Ayurvedic Preparations:

*Bhallatakasava
*Bhallataka taila
*Bhallataka ksirapaka and ksara
*Tiladi modaka
*Bhallataka modaka
*Amrtabhallatakavaleha
*Sanjivani guti etc.

Bhallataka is used both, internally as well as externally. The fruits, their oil and the seeds have great medicinal value, and are used to treat the wide range of diseases. Externally, the oil, mixed with coconut or sesame oil, is applied on wounds and sores to prevent the pus formation. It soothens and heals the cracked feet, when mixed with fala (Shorea robusta). For better healing of wounds, it works well, when medicated with garlic, onion and ajavayana in sesame oil. The topical application of its oil and swollen joints and traumatic wounds effectively controls the pain. In glandular swellings and filariasis, the application of its oil facilitates to drain out the discharges of pus and fluids and eases the conditions.

Since bhallataka is extremely hot and sharp in its attributes, it should be used with caution. Individuals showing allergic reactions to it, should stop and avoid the usage of bhallataka. It should not be used in small children, very old persons, pregnant women and individuals of predominant pitta constitution. The use of the same should be restricted in summer season. For its allergic reactions like rash, itching and swelling, the antidotes used externally are coconut oil, rala ointment, ghee, coriander leaves pulp or butter mixed with musta (Cyperus rotundus).

Internally, bhallataka is widely used in a vast range of diseases because of its multifarious properties. As it augments the agni, it is extremely beneficial in the diseases like piles, colitis, diarrhea, dyspepsia, ascites, tumours and worms which are caused mainly due to weakened agni. For this, one fruit of bhallataka is hold with tong over a flame and heated slightly. On gentle pressing, the oil starts dripping gradually. This oil is collected on the beatle leaf with small amount of sugar on its surface or in a cup of milk. Approximately 10 drops in children and 15-20 drops in adults are sufficient. It augements the appetite, cleanses the bowels, dispels the trapped gases and eliminates the worms. This is how the bhallataka is used as a household remedy.

Bhallataka is highly praised to treat the piles (haemorrhoids) of vata and kapha types, meaning in non – bleeding conditions. It is an effective adjuvant in the treatment of ascites and tumours. In bronchial asthma and cough, it is one of the best medicament for which, its preparation bhallatakasava is commonly used. It reduces the bronchospasms and their frequency too. Cardiac debility, associated with odema can be treated with great benefit. The milk medicated with bhallataka or bhallataka modaka mitigates the skin diseases like scabies, eczema, ringworm infestations. As a nervine tonic, it is beneficial in the diseases due to vata, like sciatica, paralysis, facial palsy, epilepsy, rheumatic conditions and also asa brain tonic. The combination, bhallataka, haritaki, tila (sesame seeds) powders with jaggery, awards excellent results in chronic rheumatic disorders. Bhallataka is said to augment the memory, as it boosts the sadhaka pitta and nourishes the nervine tissue. It also works well as aphrodisiac by its stimulant action and enhances the seminal fluids. In dysmenorrheal (painful menstruation) and oligomenorrhea (scanty menstruation), the medicated milk or its oil is salubrious. It reduces the urinary output, hence beneficial in diabetes of kapha type,

Bhallataka is the best rejuvenative (rasayana) for skin ailments, vata disorders and as a preventive measure to increase the body resistance. It augments the appetile, improves digestion, eliminates ama and clears up srotasas – the micro channels of all the systems, hence facilitates the nourishment of all the tissues (dhatus). It does not work as an anabokic rejuvenative like bala (Sida cordifolia), satavari (Asparagus racemosus), milk or ghee. Winter is the best season for its usage. One should adopt a bland and cooling diet consisting of rice, milk, butter, ghee. The salt and spices should be strictly restricted and during bhallataka treatment, it is recommended to avoid exposure to sun, heat and excessive sex. The toxic symptoms of its internal use are skin rashes, burning, itching, and excessive thirst and sweating, reductin in urine output with sloky coloured urine, sometimes blood in the urine (heamaturia) may appear. The fresh juice of the leaves of amlika (Tamarindus indica) internally, is one of the antidotes for such symptoms.

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

According to Ayurveda :-
It is katu ,tikta, kashaya, ushna, anthelmintic, helpful in deranged kapha, vata, intestinal infections, epistasis, polyuria and piles

Parts Used: Fruits and bark.

Therapeutic Uses:

Fruits: in asthma, ascites, epilepsy, neuralgia, psoriasis and rheumatism; as abortifacient and vermifuge; decoction mixed with milk and butter-fat efficacious in asthma, gout, hemiplegia, neuritis, piles, rheumatism, sciatica, and syphilitic complaintskernel is anthelmintic, cardiotonic, carminative and digestive;
The fruits are acrid, bitter, astringent, digestive, carminative, purgative, liver tonic, expectorant, stomachic, laxative, tonic and oleaginous. The fruit is useful in leucoderma, scaly skin, allergic, dermatitis, poisonous bites, leprosy, cough, asthma, and dyspepsia.
Also act as insecticides, antiseptic, termite repellents and herbicide. It is extremely beneficial in the diseases like piles, colitis, diarrhea, dyspepsia, ascites, tumours and worms. The topical application of its oil on swollen joints and traumatic wounds effectively controls the pain.

The fruit is acrid, hot, sweetish; digestible, aphrodisiac, anthelmintic; stays. looseness of bowels; removes” vata “,” kapha “, ascites, skin diseases, piles, dysentery, tumours, fevers, loss of appetite, urinary discharges; heals ulcers; strengthens the teeth; useful in insanity, asthma.

The rind of the fruit is sweet, oleagenous, digestible, acrid, sharp; stomachic, anthelmintic, laxative; cures ” vata “, bronchitis, leprosy, ulcers, ascites, piles, dysentery, tumours, inflammations, fevers; causes ulceration

The sweet fruit is carminative, tonic, aphrodisiac; lessens inflammation, stomatitis, piles, fever, weakness and paralysis; expels bad humours from the body.

The pulp is tonic; good for piles.

The smoke from the burning pericarp is good for tumours.

The oil is hot and dry, anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, tonic; makes hair black; good for leucoderma, coryza, epilepsy and other nervous diseases; lessens inflammation; useful in paralysis and superficial pain;

oil used externally in gout, leprosy and leucoderma; bark: brownish gum exudate found useful in nervous disorders.

A brown gum exudes from the bark which regard as a valuable medicine in scrofulous, venereal and leprous affections .

The nut is used internally in asthm, after having been steeped in butter-milk, and is also given as vermifuge., debility and in leprous, scrofulous and venereal affections.

Medicinal uses:
Recent studies have shown the fruit to be a good anti-inflammatory agent and effective in various types of cancers.

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/Semecarpus_anacardium
http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#bhallataka
http://www.herbalcureindia.com/herbs/bhallataka.htm
http://www.motherherbs.com/semecarpus-anacardium.html

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Abelmoschus Moschatus (Hibiscus Abelmoschus)

Botanical Name : Abelmoschus Moschatus
Family Name : Malvaceae
Order: Malvales
Genus: Abelmoschus
Species: A. moschatus
Kingdom: Plantae
Part Used : Seeds, Seeds Oil

Common Name : Ambrette Seeds, Hibiscus Abelmoschus, Musk Mallow, Musk Okra, Ornamental Okra, Annual Hibiscus, Yorka Okra, Galu Gasturi, Bamia Moschata,Tropical jewel hibiscus,Rose mallow seeds,Musk seeds,Muskdana,
synonyms. : Hibiscus abelmoschus L.
Habitat : Native in india,Now cultivated in many places.  It grows  on the open places in Nepal at elevations of 600 – 1100 metres. Flat areas, valleys, stream sides and scrub slopes in western and southern China

Description:Abelmoschus Moschatus is an aromatic and medicinal plant. The seeds have a sweet, flowery, heavy fragrance similar to that of musk. Despite its tropical origin the plant is frost hardy.

You may click to see the picture of  Abelmoschus Moschatus  

Abelmoschus Moschatus is a soft, herbaceous trailing plant to 2 metres in diameter with soft hairy stems. It has an underground tuber and dies back to this tuber in the dry season, emerging again with the first substantial rains of the wet season. It is a relative of the edible okra and tubers and foliage formed a source of food for aborigines.

Cultivation:
Easily grown in a rich well-drained soil in a sunny position. Tolerates a pH in the range 6 to 7.8. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to about -5°c and can be grown outdoors in the milder areas of the country. The plant grows as a shrub in frost-free climates but is usually cut back to the ground in British winters. So long as these winters are not too cold, however, it can usually be grown as a herbaceous perennial with new shoots being produced freely from the root-stock. These flower in the summer. It is probably wise to apply a good mulch to the roots in the autumn. It is best to cut back the stems to about 15cm long in the spring even if they have not been killed back by the frost. This will ensure an abundance of new growth and plenty of flowers in the summer. The musk mallow is widely cultivated in tropical climates for its many uses. There is at least one named form, selected for its ornamental value. ‘Mischief’ is somewhat smaller than the species, reaching a height of 50cm.

Propagation:
Seed – sow April in a greenhouse. The seed germinates best at a temperature around 24 – 24°c. When large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots of rich soil and plant them out after the last expected frosts. The seed can also be sown in situ in late April in areas with warm summers. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July in a frame.

Edible Uses:
Young leaves and shoots – cooked in soups. Used as a vegetable. The leaves are also used to clarify sugar. Unripe seedpods – cooked as a vegetable in much the same way as okra (A. esculentus). Seed – cooked. It is fried or roasted and has a flavour similar to sesame seeds. The seed is also used as a flavouring for liqueurs or to scent coffee. An essential oil is obtained from the plant and is used to flavour baked goods, ice cream, sweets and soft drinks. Root. No more details are given, though the root is likely to have a bland flavour and a fibrous texture.

Uses (General & Midicinal) : Ambrette seeds come from a tropical hibiscus. The seeds contain an oil with a fatty-musky, slightly ambery odour. Its most important odoriferous components are the macrocyclic musks 5(Z)-tetradecen-14-olide and 7(Z)-hexadecen-16-olide, also called ambrettolide . The oil was formerly highly appreciated in perfumery, but has now been largely replaced by synthetic musks. The seeds have a strong aroma of musk, and have been known as grani moschi. Relaxing and stimulating powers are attributed to them; and some cases, apparently authentic, have been recorded, in which they seemed to have a decided influence in casting out the poison of snakes. Possibly a further and more careful investigation of their properties, would show them to be an agreeable and useful article in cases where mild nervous prostration required a diffusible stimulant and relaxant. At present, they seem to be used for nothing beyond giving flavor to the coffee of the Arabs.Seeds are used as an inhalation in hoarseness and dryness of throat.Leaves and roots are used in gonorrhoea and venereal diseases.

Abelmoschus moschatus  seeds…..Internally as a digestive and breath-freshener .  Externally for cramps, poor circulation, and aching joints, and in aromatherapy for anxiety and depression (oil)

Musk mallow oil was once used as a substitute for animal musk; however this use is now mostly discontinued as it can cause photosensitivity.

Different parts of the plant have uses in traditional and complementary medicine, not all of which have been scientifically proven. It is used externally to relieve spasms of the digestive tract, cramp, poor circulation and aching joints. It is also considered an insecticide and an aphrodisiac.

In industry the root mucilage provides sizing for paper; tobacco is sometimes flavoured with the flowers.
An emulsion made from the seed is antispasmodic and is especially effective in the digestive system. The seeds are also chewed as a nervine, stomachic and to sweeten the breath. They are also said to be aphrodisiac. The seeds are valued medicinally for their diuretic, demulcent and stomachic properties. They are also said to be stimulant, antiseptic, cooling, tonic, carminative and aphrodisiac. A paste of the bark is applied to cuts, wounds and sprains. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy for the treatment of depression and anxiety. It is also applied externally to treat cramp, poor circulation and aching joints.

Other Uses:
Essential; Fibre; Insecticide; Oil; Size.

An essential oil is obtained from the plant. It is used as a food flavouring and in perfumery as a musk substitute. However, it has been known to cause photosensitivity so this use has been largely discontinued. An oil obtained from the seed contains 18.9% linoleic acid. The oil is f high econmic value. Total yields of oil are not given. The seeds are used as an insecticide. Another report says that extracts of the fruits and upper parts of the plant show insecticidal activity. A fibre is obtained from the stem bark. It is used to make ropes. A mucilage obtained from the roots is used as a size for paper.

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

Resources:
http://www.motherherbs.com/abelmoschus-moschatus.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abelmoschus_moschatus
http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-herbs/abelmoschus-oschatus.html
http://toptropicals.com/pics/garden/m1/Podarki3/Abelmoschus_L1MKh.jpg

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Abelmoschus+moschatus

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