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Mamoncillo.


Botanical Name: Melicoccus bijugatus
Family: Sapindaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Melicoccus
Species: M. bijugatus

Synonyms: Melicoccus bijuga L. Melicoccus carpopodea Juss. Paullinia sphaerocarpa Rich. ex Juss.

Common Names: Spanish lime, genip, guinep, genipe, ginepa, kenèp, quenepa, quenepe, quenette, chenet, talpa jocote, mamón, limoncillo, skinip, kinnip, huaya, or mamoncillo.

Local names:
It is known by many names around the growth region: mamoncillo or mamón (in Cuba, some parts of El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela), chenette (in Trinidad and Tobago), quenette (in the French speaking islands of the Caribbean including; Guadeloupe, Marie-Galante and Martinique), gnep or ginep (in the United States Virgin Islands, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Antigua and Barbuda), guaya, quenepa (in Mexico and Puerto Rico), skinnip (in St. Kitts), skinup in (Grenada), kenip (in Dominica), canepa, genip, guinep, ginepa, ginnip, kinnip, kenèp (in Guyana, Haiti, Belize, Bahamas, Anguilla, Jamaica, Sint Maarten / Saint Martin, Sint Eustatius, Saba) and in some parts of Central America talpa jocote (in some parts of Guatemala and El Salvador), genepa, xenepa, kenepa (in Curaçao and Aruba), knippa (in Suriname) and Spanish lime (in the United States), and limoncillo (in the Dominican Republic). Also, it is often referred to as anoncillo in central Cuba and southern Florida. It is called “ackee” in the countries of Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, however, in the rest of the Caribbean, the latter name is used to refer to the related Blighia sapida. ((Batanes, Philippines)), Chayi and referred as kosam in chhattisgarh state of India.

Habitat: Melicoccus bijugatus is native to northern South America and naturalised in coastal and dry forest in Central America, the Caribbean and parts of the Old World tropics. It is believed to have been introduced into the Caribbean in pre-Columbian times and is also found in India. This fruit, known as quenepa in Puerto Rico, grows particularly abundantly in the municipality of Ponce, and there is a yearly celebration in that municipality known as Festival Nacional de la Quenepa (National Genip Fruit Festival). The fruit ripens during the warm summer months.

Description:
Trees can reach heights of up to 25 m (82 ft) and come with alternate, compound leaves. The leaves have four elliptic leaflets which are 5–12.5 cm (2.0–4.9 in) long and 2.5–5 cm (0.98–1.97 in) wide. They are typically dioecious plants, however polygamous trees occur from time to time. Flowers have four petals and eight stamens and produce void, green drupes which are 2.5–4 cm (0.98–1.57 in) long and 2 cm (0.79 in) wide. Their pulp is orange, salmon or yellowish in color with a somewhat juicy and pasty texture.

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Cultivation:
The species is also commonly planted along roadsides as an ornamental tree.

Health Benefits:

  • Mamoncillo is full of fiber that helps in lowering the cholesterol levels in the body and prevents constipation.
  • It also contains Vitamin A that improves the immune system and prevents from stones getting formed in the urinary system.
  • Vitamin C in quenepa acts like an antioxidant, and calcium helps in keeping the bones and teeth strong. The calcium in mamoncillo also helps prevent cancer.
  • Phosphorous in this fruit is good for digestion and in regulating hormones.
  • Quenepa also contains tryptophan, which is said to be good for your sleep, and lysine that helps in proper growth and also helps prevent herpes.
  • It helps lower the blood pressure, and is quite beneficial for people with asthma.
  • Since it contains antioxidants, they help in preventing cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and boosts the immune system.
  • Being low in fat and cholesterol, it is helpful for those who are trying to lose weight.
  • The leaves of mamoncillo tree can be boiled and made into tea that is extremely good for intestinal problems.
  • Quenepa seeds when roasted, crushed, and mixed with honey helps in controlling diarrhea.
  • The leaves of the tree can be scattered in the house to keep away the fleas.

Cautions:
Make sure that the Mamoncillo fruits you have is ripe, as the raw ones may contain some toxins. There’s a potential hazard of choking in small children because of the large seeds. The large seeds can be cooked and eaten. The roasted seeds are also used as a substitute for cassava flour in baking in South America. So, these were some benefits of the sweet and delicious Mamoncillo fruit.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melicoccus_bijugatus
https://pfaf.org/user/DatabaseSearhResult.aspx
https://nutrineat.com/benefits-nutritional-facts-of-mamoncillo-fruit

Rambutan


Botanical Name: Nephelium lappaceum
Family: Sapindaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Nephelium
Species: N. lappaceum

Synonyms: Nephelium glabrum Cambess. Nephelium obovatum Ridely. Nephelium sufferugineum Radlk.

Common Names: Rambutan. Hairy Lychee
(The name “rambutan” is derived from the Malay word rambut meaning “hair”, a reference to the numerous hairy protuberances of the fruit, together with the noun-building suffix -an. Similarly, in Vietnam, it is called chôm chôm (meaning “messy hair”)

Habitat : The rambutan is native to the Indonesian region, and other regions of tropical Southeast Asia. It is closely related to several other edible tropical fruits including the lychee, longan, and mamoncillo.

Description:
Rambutan tree is an evergreen tree growing to a height of 12–20 m. The leaves are alternate, 10–30 cm long, pinnate, with three to 11 leaflets, each leaflet 5–15 cm wide and 3–10 cm broad, with an entire margin. The flowers are small, 2.5–5 mm, apetalous, discoidal, and borne in erect terminal panicles 15–30 cm wide.

Rambutan trees can be male (producing only staminate flowers and, hence, produce no fruit), female (producing flowers that are only functionally female), or hermaphroditic (producing flowers that are female with a small percentage of male flowers).

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The fruit is a round to oval single-seeded berry, 3–6 cm (rarely to 8 cm) long and 3–4 cm broad, borne in a loose pendant cluster of 10–20 together. The leathery skin is reddish (rarely orange or yellow), and covered with fleshy pliable spines, hence the name, which means ‘hairs’. Furthermore, the spines (also known as spinterns) contribute to the transpiration of the fruit and can lead to affecting fruit quality.

The fruit flesh, which is actually the aril, is translucent, whitish or very pale pink, with a sweet, mildly acidic flavor very reminiscent of grapes.

The single seed is glossy brown, 1–1.3 cm, with a white basal scar. Soft and containing equal portions of saturated and unsaturated fats,[8] the seeds may be cooked and eaten. The peeled fruits can be eaten raw, or cooked and eaten: first, the grape-like fleshy aril, then the nutty seed, with no waste.

Health Benefits:
Neutricianal Value: Rambutan fruit contains diverse nutrients but in modest amounts, with only manganese having moderate content at 16 percent of the Daily Value per 100 g consumed (right table; note data are for canned fruit in syrup, not as raw which may have different nutrient contents)

As an unpigmented fruit flesh, rambutan does not contain significant polyphenol content, but its colorful rind displays diverse phenolic acids, such as syringic, coumaric, gallic, caffeic, and ellagic acids having antioxidant activity in vitro.[19][20] Rambutan seeds contain equal proportions of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, where arachidic (34%) and oleic (42%) acids, respectively, are highest in fat content.

The pleasant fragrance of rambutan fruit derives from numerous volatile organic compounds, including beta-damascenone, vanillin, phenylacetic acid, and cinnamic acid

Rambutan has a very high B3, amounting to 1352 mg. At 1950s, vitamin B3 is used to heart attack prevention therapy and lower cholesterol levels. Men should consume 15-19 mg per day, Women about of 15-18 mg per day, while for children 9-13mg daily.

As the fruit has good amount of Vitamin B3 & vitamin C it has thousands of health benefits that we get by eating this.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rambutan
https://pfaf.org/user/DatabaseSearhResult.aspx
https://drhealthbenefits.com/food-bevarages/fruits/health-benefits-of-rambutan

Dragonfruit

Botanical Name: Hylocereus undatus
Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales
Genus: Hylocereus
Species: H. undatus

Common names:
English: pitahaya, dragon fruit, night blooming cereus, strawberry pear, Belle of the Night, Cinderella plant, Jesus in the cradle
Estonian: maasik-metskaktus
Finnish: pitaija, lohikäärmehedelmä
French: pitaya, fruit du dragon, cierge-lézard, poire de chardon
German: Drachenfrucht, Distelbirne
Greek: ?????? ??? ?????? (fruto tu draku)
Hawaiian: panini-o-ka-puna-hou (“Punahou cactus”) – a famous specimen still grows at Punahou School
Japanese: pitaya (???), dragon fruit (????????),
Portuguese: pitaia, cato-barse, cardo-ananaz, rainha da noite
Spanish: pitahaya roja (Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela); flor de caliz, pitajava (Puerto Rico); junco, junco tapatio, pitahaya orejona, reina de la noche, tasajo (Mexico)
Swedish: skogskaktus, röd pitahaya
Vietnamese: thanh long
Thai:kaeo mangkon
Malay: buah naga. pronounce:boo-ah naa-gaa
Chinese: pinyin: hu?lónggu?
Italian: Pitahaya, Frutto del Drago
Bengali: Dragon fal.
Lithuanian: kertuotis

Habitat :
The native origin of Dragonfruit has never been resolved.It is lithophytic or hemiepiphytic. It is widely distributed through the tropics in cultivation. Like all true cacti, the genus originates in the Americas, the precise origin of the dragogfruit may be a hybrid.

Description:
Dragonfruit is a sprawling or vining, terrestrial or epiphytic cactus. They climb by use of aerial roots and can reach a height 10 meters or more growing on rocks and trees. The genus is very variable and closely related to Selenicereus.
The stems are scandent (climbing habit), creeping, sprawling or clambering, and branch profusely. There can be 4-7 of them, between 5 and 10 m or longer, with joints from 30–120 cm or longer, and 10–12 cm thick; with generally three ribs; margins are corneous (horn-like) with age, and undulate.

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Areoles, that is, the small area bearing spines or hairs on a cactus, are 2 mm across with internodes 1–4 cm. Spines on the adult branches are 1-3, 2–4 mm long, being acicular (needle-like) to almost conical, and grayish brown to black in colour and spreading, with a deep green epidermis.

The scented, nocturnal flowers are 25–30 cm long, 15–17 cm wide with the pericarpel 2.5–5 cm long, about 2.5 cm thick, bracteoles ovate, acute, to 2.5 to less than 4 cm long; receptacle about 3 cm thick, bracteoles are linear-lanceolate, 3–8 cm long; outer tepals lanceolate-linear to linear, acuminate (tapering to a point), being 10–15 cm long, 10–15 mm wide and mucronate (ending in a short sharp point). Their colour is greenish-yellow or whitish, rarely rose-tinged; inner tepals are lanceolate (tapering to a point at the tip) to oblanceolate (i.e. more pointed at the base), up to 10–15 cm long about 40 mm wide at widest point, and mucronate, unbroken, sharp to acuminate (pointed), and white. Stamens 5–10 cm long, are declinate, inserted in one continuous zone from throat to 35 mm above the pericarpel and cream. The style (bearing the stigma) to 17, they are 5-24.5 cm long, stout, 6–8 mm thick, cream, and up to 26 stigma lobes, they can be whole or sometimes split at the top, cream, about 25 mm long. Nectar chambers are 30 mm long.

The fruit is oblong to oval, 6–12 cm long, 4–9 cm thick, red with large bracteoles, with white pulp and edible black seeds….CLICK & SEE

Health Benefits :
Some studies have already been conducted to determine if dragon fruit plays a role in improving overall health and well-being. One example is a 2011 study from the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, where researchers assessed the relationship between a healthy diet containing fruits and vegetables, lifetime physical activity and oxidative DNA damage linked to prostate cancer .

Dragon fruit contains a surprising number of phytonutrients.6 It is also loaded with antioxidants,7 and is home to carotene, protein, vitamin C (said to be near 10 percent of the daily recommended value), polyunsaturated (good) fatty acids and B vitamins that may be needed for carbohydrate metabolism .8,9 In addition, this tropical fruit doesn’t contain complex carbohydrates, which may allow vitamin B1 (thiamin) along with other B vitamins in the body to break down food more easily in the body.10

The dragon fruit is also a source of other nutrients like calcium that may help develop strong bones and teeth, iron that may assist in forming healthy red blood cells, and phosphorus to aid in promoting tissue and cell growth, maintenance and repair.11,12

A phytochemical called captin is present in dragon fruit too. It is typically used in medicines that may help alleviate heart problems. Other known benefits of dragon fruit include boosting the immune system, promoting quicker recovery from wounds and bruises, and reducing the risk for respiratory problems.13

Eating dragon fruit may also help the body maintain its normal function by helping eliminate toxic heavy metals14 and improving eyesight.15 Lycopene, responsible for the fruit’s red color ,16 has been linked with a lower prostate cancer risk.17 Meanwhile,

seed extracts from dragon fruit are high in polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids)18 that may help reduce triglyceride levels19 and lower the risk of cardiovascular disorders.20 In some cases, oil derived from the seeds may serve as a mild laxative too.21

Caution:
Make sure to consume dragon fruit in moderation because it contains fructose, a type of sugar that may be harmful to your health if consumed in excessive amounts.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hylocereus_undatus
https://foodfacts.mercola.com/dragon-fruit.html

Mad Cow Disease

Other Names: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) or Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)

Description:
Mad cow disease is a degenerative brain disorder that leads to dementia and, ultimately, death. Symptoms of the disease is dementia-like brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s. But mad cow disease usually progresses much more rapidly.

It captured public attention in the 1990s when some people in the United Kingdom developed a form of the disease after eating meat from diseased cattle.
Mad cow disease is thought to be due to an infection by a misfolded protein, known as a prion. Cattle are believed to have been infected by being fed meat-and-bone meal (MBM) that contained the remains of other cattle who spontaneously developed the disease or scrapie-infected sheep products. The outbreak increased throughout the United Kingdom due to the practice of feeding meat-and-bone meal to young calves of dairy cows. Cases are suspected based on symptoms and confirmed by examination of the brain. Cases are classified as classic or atypical, with the latter divided into H- and L types. It is a type of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE).

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The time between infection and onset of symptoms is generally four to five years. Time from onset of symptoms to death is generally weeks to months. Spread to humans is believed to result in variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (vCJD)

Although serious, CJD is rare, and vCJD is the least common form. Worldwide, there is an estimated one case of CJD diagnosed per million people each year, most often in older adults.

Symptoms:
Mad cow disease is marked by rapid mental deterioration, usually within a few months. Initial signs and symptoms typically include:

  • Personality changes
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Impaired thinking
  • Blurred vision or blindness
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sudden, jerky movements

As the disease progresses, mental symptoms worsen. Most people eventually lapse into a coma. Heart failure, respiratory failure, pneumonia or other infections are generally the cause of death. Death usually occurs within a year.

In people with the rarer vCJD, psychiatric symptoms may be more prominent in the beginning, with dementia — the loss of the ability to think, reason and remember — developing later in the illness. In addition, this variant affects people at a younger age than classic CJD does and appears to have a slightly longer duration — 12 to 14 months.

Causes:
Mad cow disease is an infectious disease believed to be due to a misfolded protein, known as a prion. Cattle are believed to have been infected from being fed meat and bone meal (MBM) that contained the remains of other cattle who spontaneously developed the disease or scrapie-infected sheep products. The outbreak increased throughout the United Kingdom due to the practice of feeding meat-and-bone meal to young calves of dairy cows.

Prions replicate by causing other normally folded proteins of the same type to take on their misfolded shape, which then go on to do the same, leading to an exponential chain reaction. Eventually, the prions aggregate into an alpha helical, beta pleated sheet, which is thought to be toxic to brain cells.

The agent is not destroyed even if the beef or material containing it is cooked or heat-treated. Transmission can occur when healthy animals come in contact with tainted tissues from others with the disease. In the brain, the agent causes native cellular prion protein to deform into the misfolded state, which then goes on to deform further prion protein in an exponential cascade. This results in protein aggregates, which then form dense plaque fibers. Brain cells begin to die off in massive numbers, eventually leading to the microscopic appearance of “holes” in the brain, degeneration of physical and mental abilities, and ultimately death.

The agent can be transmitted to humans by eating food contaminated with it. The highest risk to humans is believed to be from eating food contaminated with the brain, spinal cord, or digestive tract though any tissue may be involved.

However, “classic”mad cow disease hasn’t been linked to contaminated beef.

Diagnosis:
Diagnosis of mad cow disease continues to be a practical problem. It has an incubation period of months to years, during which no signs are noticed, though the pathway of converting the normal brain prion protein (PrP) into the toxic, disease-related PrPSc form has started. At present, virtually no way is known to detect PrPSc reliably except by examining post mortem brain tissue using neuropathological and immunohistochemical methods. Accumulation of the abnormally folded PrPSc form of PrP is a characteristic of the disease, but it is present at very low levels in easily accessible body fluids such as blood or urine. Researchers have tried to develop methods to measure PrPSc, but no methods for use in materials such as blood have been accepted fully.[by whom?]

The traditional method of diagnosis relies on histopathological examination of the medulla oblongata of the brain, and other tissues, post mortem. Immunohistochemistry can be used to demonstrate prion protein accumulation.

In 2010, a team from New York described detection of PrPSc even when initially present at only one part in a hundred billion (10?11) in brain tissue. The method combines amplification with a novel technology called surround optical fiber immunoassay and some specific antibodies against PrPSc. After amplifying and then concentrating any PrPSc, the samples are labelled with a fluorescent dye using an antibody for specificity and then finally loaded into a microcapillary tube. This tube is placed in a specially constructed apparatus so it is totally surrounded by optical fibres to capture all light emitted once the dye is excited using a laser. The technique allowed detection of PrPSc after many fewer cycles of conversion than others have achieved, substantially reducing the possibility of artifacts, as well as speeding up the assay. The researchers also tested their method on blood samples from apparently healthy sheep that went on to develop scrapie. The animals’ brains were analysed once any signs became apparent. The researchers could, therefore, compare results from brain tissue and blood taken once the animals exhibited signs of the diseases, with blood obtained earlier in the animals’ lives, and from uninfected animals. The results showed very clearly that PrPSc could be detected in the blood of animals long before the signs appeared. After further development and testing, this method could be of great value in surveillance as a blood- or urine-based screening test for BSE or mad cow disease.

Treatmen:
No effective treatment exists for mad cow disease or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or any of its variants. A number of drugs have been tested and have not shown benefits. For that reason, doctors focus on alleviating pain and other symptoms and on making people with these diseases as comfortable as possible.

Prevention:
A ban on feeding meat and bone meal to cattle has resulted in a strong reduction in cases in countries where the disease has been present. In disease-free countries, control relies on import control, feeding regulations, and surveillance measures.

In UK and US slaughterhouses, the brain, spinal cord, trigeminal ganglia, intestines, eyes, and tonsils from cattle are classified as specified risk materials, and must be disposed of appropriately.

An enhanced BSE-related feed ban is in effect in both the United States and Canada to help improve prevention and elimination of BSE.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bovine_spongiform_encephalopathy
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/creutzfeldt-jakob-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20371226

Tacoma Flower

Botanical Name: Tecoma stans
Family: Bignoniaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Tecoma
Species:T. stans

Common Names: Yellow trumpetbush, Yellow bells, Yellow elder, Ginger-thomas.

Hindi Names: Pillya, Sonapati

Habitat: Tacoma plant is native to S. America – Argentina north to the Caribbean and through Central America to southern N. America. Tecoma stans is the official flower of the United States Virgin Islands and the floral emblem of The Bahamas. It prefers to grows on dry and disturbed areas such as roadsides but it can also be found in relatively undisturbed forests.

Description:
Tacoma is a fast-growing shrub or small tree that can reach a height of 5 – 8 metres.It is often grown as an ornamental plant by virtue of its many yellow trumpet-shaped, scented flowers. It has sharply toothed, pinnate green leaves and bears large, showy, bright golden yellow trumpet-shaped flowers. It is drought-tolerant and grows well in warm climates. The flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The plant produces pods containing yellow seeds with papery wings. The plant is desirable fodder when it grows in fields grazed by livestock. Yellow trumpetbush is a ruderal species, readily colonizing disturbed, rocky, sandy, and cleared land and occasionally becoming an invasive weed.

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it is also sometimes cultivated for its medicinal virtues, as a hedge and to provide shade.

Propagation:
Seed – does not require pre-treatment. The seed, which germinates easily, can be sown in nursery beds or in containers. Seedlings require 3 – 4 months in the nursery, after which they can be directly planted out.
Seed storage behaviour is orthodox, and seeds can be stored for long periods under ideal conditions.
Regeneration by cuttings is also possible.

Medicinal Uses:

Parts Used for herbal uses: leaves,flowers,root and seeds.
Herbs made from tacoma stans for cancer, respetory problems,stomach ache,snake bites and scorpion sting.
The flowers are diuretic.
A leaf infusion can be taken orally for treating diabetes and stomach pains.
A strong leaf and root decoction is taken orally as a diuretic, to treat syphilis or for intestinal worms.

Other Uses:
The light brown wood is hard and very durable. It is used in cabinet making, turnery, to make tools, and in the construction of buildings[303
Trees provide firewood and charcoal.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tecoma_stans
https://herbpathy.com/Uses-and-Benefits-of-Tecoma-Stans-Cid4451
http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Tecoma+stans