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Dry Fruit Herbs & Plants

Behada or India Behara

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Botanical Name : Terminalia belerica
Family: Combretaceae
Genus: Terminalia
Species: T. bellirica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms: Beleric Myrobalan

Common Names ;Bahera” or Beleric or bastard myrobalan, (Sanskrit: Vibhitaka, Aksha )
Indian Name:Behada.

Other Names: Amandier Indien, Amandier Tropical, Arjan des Indes, Arjuna, Axjun Argun, Badamier, Badamier Géant, Baheda, Bahera, Bala Harade, Balera, Behada, Beleric Myrobalan, Belleric Myrobalan, Belliric Myrobalan, Bhibitaki, Bibhitak, Bibitaki, Carambole

Habitat: Terminalia belerica is native to the tropical regions of the world.

Description:
Terminalia belerica is a large deciduous tree.The leaves are about 15 cm long and crowded toward the ends of the branches,  comprising around 100 species distributed in tropical regions of the world….CLICK & SEE  THE  PICTURES

Leaves are alternate, broadly elliptic or elliptic-obovate, puberulous when young but glabrous on maturity and the nerves are prominent on both surfaces. Flowers are in axillary, spender spikes longer than the petioles but shorter than the leaves. Calyx lobes are pubescent outside. The fruits are green and inflated when young and yellowish and shrink (nearly seen as ribbed) when mature. The nut is stony…...CLICK &  SEE

A tall tree, with characteristic bark. The stems are straight, frequently buttressed when large; the leaves, broadly elliptic, clustered towards the ends of branches; the flowers are solitary, simple, axillary spikes; the fruits, are globular and obscurely 5-angled.
Medicinal Uses:
The fruit possesses antibacterial properties. It is employed in dropsy, piles and diarrhea. While using herbal eye drops containing T.bellirica, encouraging results have been obtained in cases of myopia, corneal opacity, pterigium, immature cataract, chronic and acute infective conditions. The fruit possesses myocardial depressive activity.

Uses & Benefits of Baheda:

*Beleric is a rejuvenative and laxative. It proves beneficial for hair, throat and eyes.
*Beleric seed oil or fruit paste is applied on swollen and painful parts.
*The seed oil gives excellent results in skin diseases and premature graying of hair.
*Fruit pieces are baked and chewed for cough, cold, hoarseness of voice and asthma.
*Beleric fruit is powdered and used to dress wounds to arrest the bleeding.
*Beleric fruits and kernels are used in making medicated hair oil, used to alleviate pain and burning sensation, boost hair growth and impart black color to the hair.
*The paste of the fruit is applied on eyelids, in case of conjunctivitis.
*The herb is used in various eye ailments, such as myopia, corneal opacity, pterigium, immature cataract, chronic and acute infective conditions.
*Beleric helps in loss of appetite, flatulence, thirst, piles and worms.
*The ripened fruit acts as an astringent and anti-diarrheal.
*The decoction of the kernels is used in case of excessive thirst and vomiting.
*Beleric plant alleviates cough, relieves blocked phlegm, controls bleeding in the sputum and eases bronchospasms.
*It prevents ageing, imparts longevity, boosts immunity, improves mental faculties and enhances the body resistance against diseases.
*It helps in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.

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/Terminalia_bellirica
http://terminaliabelerica.blogspot.in/
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-811-TERMINALIA.aspx?activeIngredientId=811&activeIngredientName=TERMINALIA

 

 

 

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Dry Fruit Herbs & Plants

Haritaki(Chebulic myroblan)

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Botanical Name: Terminalia Chabula
Family: Combretaceae
Genus: Terminalia
Species: T. chebula
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Common Names: Hadrida,Harar,Chebulic myroblan,Black myroblan,Harada, Yellow- or chebulic myrobalan

Habitat : Terminalia Chabula is native to South Asia from India and Nepal east to Southwest China (Yunnan), and south to Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Vietnam. There appears to be no common name in English but harad which seems to be a variant of the Hindi name haritaki has been used in publications. It is found in the deciduous forests of Indian subcontinent, dry slopes up to 900 m (3000 ft) in elevation

Description:
Terminalia chebula is a medium to large deciduous tree growing to 30-metre (98 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 1-metre (3 ft 3 in) in diameter. The leaves are alternate to subopposite in arrangement, oval, 7–8-centimetre (2.8–3.1 in) long and 4.5–10-centimetre (1.8–3.9 in) broad with a 1–3-centimetre (0.39–1.18 in) petiole. They have an acute tip, cordate at the base, margins entire, glabrous above with a yellowish pubescence below.[citation needed. The fruit is drupe-like, 2–4.5-centimetre (0.79–1.77 in) long and 1.2–2.5-centimetre (0.47–0.98 in) broad, blackish, with five longitudinal ridges. The dull white to yellow flowers are monoecious, and have strong unpleasant odour. They are borne in terminal spikes or short panicles. The fruits are smooth ellipsoid to ovoid drupes, yellow to orange brown in colour, single angled stone.

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Terminalia Chebula is a tree with a rounded crown and spreading branches. Its principal constituents are chebulagic, chebulinic acid and corilagin. Its fruits have laxative, stomachic, tonic and alterative properties.

Terminalia chebula is called the “king of medicines” and always listed first in Ayurveda because of its extraordinary healing power. In Ayurveda it is known to prevent and cure of many diseases and eliminate all waste from the body.At the same time it is known to promote tissue growth and health.

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Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) is a common herbaceous plant, which is very extensively used in the preparation of many ayurvedic medicines.Terminalia chebula is a tree with a rounded crown and spreading branches. Its principal constituents are chebulagic, chebulinic acid and corilagin. Its fruits have laxative, stomachic, tonic and alternative properties and helps in removing toxins and fats from the body, resulting in their reduced absorption.It is also known as an adaptogen, and hepatoprotective drug.
Historical Ayurvedic uses suggest to be used in cough conditions, asthma, abdominal distention, tumors, heart disease, skin disease, and itchin.

Cultivation & Uses:
This tree yields smallish, ribbed and nut-like fruits which are picked when still green and then pickled, boiled with a little added sugar in their own syrup or used in preserves. The seed of the fruit, which has an elliptical shape, is an abrasive seed enveloped by a fleshy and firm pulp. It is regarded as a universal panacea in Ayurveda and in the Traditional Tibetan medicine.

Fruit; seven types are recognized (i.e. vijaya, rohini, putana, amrita, abhaya, jivanti and chetaki), based on the region the fruit is harvested, as well as the colour and shape of the fruit. Generally speaking, the vijaya variety is preferred, which is traditionally grown in the Vindhya Range of west-central India, and has a roundish as opposed to a more angular shape.

Chemical composition:

Researchers have isolated a number of glycosides from Haritaki, including the triterpenes arjunglucoside I, arjungenin, and the chebulosides I and II. Other constituents include a coumarin conjugated with gallic acids called chebulin, as well as other phenolic compounds including ellagic acid, 2,4-chebulyl-?-D-glucopyranose, chebulinic acid, gallic acid, ethyl gallate,punicalagin, terflavin A, terchebin, luteolin, and tannic acid.[6][5] Chebulic acid is a phenolic acid compound isolated from the ripe fruits.   Luteic acid can be isolated from the bark.

T. chebula also contains terflavin B, a type of tannin while chebulinic acid is found in the fruits

Medical Uses:

It is useful in asthma, sore throat, vomiting, eye diseases, heart diseases, hiccup etc. It is also useful in healing of wounds and scalds. It is used as gargle against inflammation of mucous membrane of mouth. It is also used in tanning of leather and purification of petroleum.

Many ayurvedic medicinal formulations are prepared from the fruits of the Haritaki plant. The extract obtained from Haritaki fruit contains a substance which has antibacterial and anti fungal properties. This substance inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi such as E. coli. Escherichia coli is the most common organism, which is responsible for many types of infections such as infections of the urinary tract. Haritaki extract is very useful in the treatment of infections caused by E.coli. Haritaki is also believed to have powerful effect on parasites such as Amoeba giardia and many others.

The extract for the Haritaki plant is used widely in many ayurvedic formulations. It is used in the preparation of medicines for the treatment of infectious diseases like leucorrhoea, chronic ulcers, pyorrhea and other types of fungal infections of the skin. Many research studies indicated that the oil obtained from the kernel of the Haritaki plant had certain substances, which increased the motility of the gastro intestinal tract. This type of action was similar to that of castor oil. Haritaki is used as a natural cleanser of the digestive system. It improves the functioning of the liver spleen and the colon and hence it is widely used as a digestive tonic.

Many clinical trials were undertaken on patients with chronic constipation problem. From these studies it was evident that the extract obtained from Haritaki has the property of evacuating the bowel and increasing the frequency of stools. Haritaki is also used in combination with other herbs to prepare a formulation called Triphala. This medicine is widely used as Anti aging formula. It is also used for increasing the immunity of the body.

Haritaki is also used as a purgative in ayurvedic treatments. It is also used as a tonic and expectorant. Haritaki is also known to pocess strong anti-mutagenic properties. Haritaki is used in the treatment of mouth ulcers, stomatitis, asthma, cough, candidiasis, gastroenteritis, skin diseases, leprosy ect. It is also used for treatment of intermittent fever, rheumatic pain and fever, wounds and arthritis. Haritaki is one of the best herbs for treatment of Vatadosha. It is used as a natural remedy for Vata disturbances like flatulence, indigestion ect. Haritaki is contradicted in person with weak digestion and also in pregnancy. Haritaki is also believed to improve intelligence and alertness in a person.

Like Chinese rhubarb, chebulic myrobalan may be used as a treatment for diarrhea and dysentery. The fruit’s tannins protect the gut wall from irritation and infection, and tend to reduce intestinal secretions.  Likewise, the fruit helps to counter acidic indigestion and heartburn.  A decoction of chebulic myrobalan may be used as a gargle and mouthwash, as a lotion for sore and inflamed eyes, and as a douche for vaginitis and excessive vaginal discharge.  The dried fruits and seeds are prescribed in Ayurvedic medicine for such illnesses as dermatosis, edema, and urinary infections.  It is also considered an excellent blood purifier.  Finely powdered, it is used as a dentifrice, and for bleeding or ulcerated gums. Coarsely powdered and smoked in a pipe, it is used to relieve asthma.  TCM: Indications: Chronic diarrhea and dysentery; prolapse of rectum; asthma and coughs due to empty lungs; leukorrhea; menorrhagia

Variour uses in Ayurveda:
Terminalia Chebula & The Three Humors:
Haritaki is useful in vitiation of all the three humors. It is better esp. in Vata disorders.

Topical Use Of Terminalia Chebula:
Its paste with water is found to be anti-inflammatory, analgesic and having purifiying and healing capacity for wounds. Its decoction as a lotion is surgical dressing for healing the wound earlier.

Equal parts of three myrobalans and catechu are made in a paste with clarified butter or some bland oil work as an ointment in chronic ulcerations, ulcerated wounds and other skin diseases with discharge. These ointments could be a substitute for Gall ointments used in Britain.

These are used for astringent purpose in hemorrhoids as well. Its decoction is used as gargle in oral ulcers, sore throat. Its powder is a good astringent dentrifice in loose gums, bleeding and ulceration in gums.

Terminalia Chebula & Abdominal Disorders:
It is good to increase the appetite, as digestive aid, Liver stimulant, as stomachic, as gastrointestinal prokinetic agent, and mild laxative.

Haritaki has proven gastrokinetic effect i.e. it helps in moving the contents of stomach earlier. So it can be used after surgeries and as adjuvant with other drugs that interfere with gastric motility as antihistaminics, atropine like drugs.

Base on its comprehensive properties, it promotes appetite and helps in digestion.

It stimulates the liver and protects it further by expelling the waste excretory products from the intestines.

The powder of Haritaki has been used in chronic diarrhea, sprue with good results. It should be used as hot infusion in these disorders. It is indicated in Protracted diarrhea with hematochezia and prolapse of rectum.

For persons with excessive gas in intestine, flatulence, it is a good herb that can be taken daily. it will relieve these conditions smoothly.

One compound Chebulagic acid from Haritaki has shown antispasmodic action like that of Papaverine.

Being a mild laxative, it is a mild herbal colon cleanse. With its other properties, it provides some help in conditions with Liver and Spleen enlargement and in Ascites. It is not a strong purgative like other herbs as Senna. It does the cleansing action very smoothly. Further it can be taken for a long time without any ill effects.

In Ayurveda haritaki is the best for ‘Srotoshodhana’ or purifying the channels of body.

Terminalia Chebula & Central Nervous System:
It is a good nervine. It is used in nervous weakness, nervous irritability. It promotes the receiving power of the five senses.

Terminalia Chebula For Heart & Blood Vessels:
It is adjuvant in hemorrhages due to its astringent nature. It helps in edema and various inflammations.

Terminalia Chebula For Lungs & Airways:

It is good for Chronic cough, coryza, sorethroat and asthma. It is used with other herbs in many holistic herbal formulations in Ayurveda.

Haritaki For Reproductive Or Sexual Health:
Being anti-inflammatory, and astringent, it is useful in urethral discharges like spermatorrhea, vaginal discharges like leucorrhea. It can be given as adjuvant in atonic conditions of Uterus.

Haritaki For Kidney & Urinary Bladder:

It is helpful in Renal calculi, dysurea, and retention of urine.

Haritaki For Skin Disorders:
It is useful in skin disorders with discharges like allergies, urticaria and other erythematous disorders.

General Uses Of Terminalia Chebula:

It is given as adjuvant herb in Chronic fever. On long term use it is helpful in gaining weight in the emaciated persons and in losing weight in obese persons.

When taken with meals it sharpens the intellect, increases strength, stimulates the senses, expels the urine, stool and other waste materials from the body. It saves the person from the vitiating effects of bodily humors. Thus it is considered as an alterative and adaptogen.

Haritaki reduces the ill effects of fat rich, creamy and oily food. T. chebula is the definite aid for persons who habitually overeat. Further it can supplement the Cholesterol normalizing drugs.

Haritaki is reputed for its alterative, adaptogenic and tonic effect when used throughout the year with different substances in different six seasons of the year. Want to follow more about Seasonal use of Haritaki – Ritu Haritaki.

You will find the graphics for personal use to get help and motivation for such use of haritaki.

Terminalia Chebula With Other Herbs:
If we review all the herbal formulations in Ayurveda’s all classical texts, we will find haritaki to be one of the most frequently used ayurvedic herbs. In most of the compounds it is used as minor adjunct. In many others it is used as the foundation base of the entire formula – like in most of the electuaries or jams. It is the one of the prominent herb in formulations for asthma, cough, tonics, skin diseases, abdominal disorders.

Ayurvedic Holistic Approach With Terminalia Chebula:

The author Bhava Prakash in his Materia Medica relates haritaki to be used with sugar in Pitta disorders, with salt in Vata disorders, with dried ginger in Kapha disorders.

Modern Clinical Research & Terminalia Chebula:

Haritaki can serve to act as an effective alternative to modern prokinetic drugs like metaclopramide.

anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties

Some preliminary evidence of its capability to be useful in HSV Herpes simplex virus.

Some anti-tumor activity and effect in inhibiting the HIV virus.

Anthraquinone and Sennoside like purgative activity. Ability to evacuate the bowel.

Wide antibacterial and antifungal activity, esp. against E. coli.

We may learn some home remedies for digestive disorder from haritaki from this site.

Click to buy Haritaki

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:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminalia_chebula

http://www.ayurvedic-medicines.com/herbs/haritaki.html,

http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-herbs/terminalia-chebula.html

http://www.holistic-herbalist.com/terminalia-chebula.html

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

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

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Dry Fruit

Peanut

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Highlights of the Round-table Discussion

A group of the country’s leading scientists in the areas of nutrition, epidemiology, anthropology, public health, and food science met in a rare round-table conference to share their knowledge and to discuss what we know and what we need to know about the role of nuts in the diet. There is an emerging body of research that appears to show that nuts may play an important role in decreasing the risk factors for heart disease and possibly other chronic diseases. Future research needs were also discussed. The conference was unprecedented in the prominence of the scientists and organizations involved and in that many of the participating scholars discussed work from recently published and current research. The conference was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, American Dietetic Association, American Heart Association and the University of California at Davis. Additional support was provided by the International Nut Council and the National Peanut Council. It was held Sept. 28 and 29, 1995 at the U.S.D.A.-A.R.S. Western Human Nutrition Center, Presidio of San Francisco. A general overview of the information shared is presented here.


Introduction: Nutritional Components of Nuts

Nuts Are Rich in Fiber, Vitamins, Minerals and Other Nutrients
Nuts are a complex plant food. They are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, biotin, riboflavin, niacin, and iron. Many nuts are also an great source of folic acid, which has been shown to reduce the instance of birth defects when taken by pregnant mothers.
Nuts may also be a source of helpful biologically active components found in plant foods, such as phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are compounds that are potentially beneficial to people, but not currently classified as vitamins or minerals. They are important “health protectants.” Phytochemicals in nuts include ellagic acid, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, luteolin (a major antioxidant), isoflavones and tocotrienols. Some nuts contain up to eight different forms of sterols, which are thought to help moderate cholesterol levels. Nuts appear to contain a number of these phytochemicals, although further analysis needs to be conducted as new technology is developed to measure exact amounts.

Not All Fat Is the Same
Despite being thought of as “bad for you,” fat is essential for our bodies to function properly. While many Americans eat too much of it, we need to consume some fat in our diets.
An ounce of nuts has between 165 and 200 calories and between 14 and 21 grams of fat. About 80% of the calories in nuts comes from fat, however, most of that fat (more than 90% on average) is monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Unsaturated fats are generally thought of as the “good” fats, as opposed to artery-clogging saturated fats, mostly found in animal products, like butter and meat. Because the fat in nuts is unsaturated, nuts can actually work to lower total (or serum) cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Diets high in saturated fat contribute to high levels of total (or serum) cholesterol and to high levels of low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol. Too much saturated fat in the diet also unfortunately reduces “good” high-density-lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels.
Most nuts are very low in saturated fats. Opinion polls have show that many people mistakenly believe that nuts contain cholesterol. There is no cholesterol in nuts, since they are a plant product, and cholesterol is found only in animal products.


Nuts, An Ancient Food
Not only are nuts health-enhancing for modern people, they were probably one of the reasons that people first settled into villages. Recent archeological excavations at the village of Hallan Cemi in Eastern Turkey, settled 10,000 years ago, has uncovered the existence of a non-migratory society with economies centered on the harvesting of almonds and pistachios. The work of Michael Rosenberg, Ph.D., has shown that this settled village life preceded the development of agriculture. It’s possible that nut-centered societies not only preceded agricultural ones, but that the harvesting of wild nuts may have actually fostered agriculture.


 

Although the benefits are greatest for frequent nut eaters, those who ate nuts even once a week had 25% less
heart disease than those who avoided nuts.

Nuts should not be left out of any cholesterol lowering diet,” says Dr. Joan Sabaté.

The Role of Nuts in Disease Prevention

In addition to helping people control or prevent cardiovascular diseases, nuts might also play a role in reducing or preventing deaths attributable to diabetes and cancer.

Extracted from : ://www.aboutpeanuts.com/nn1.html

Consume monounsaturated fats.
Vegetable oils like canola, olive and peanut, and certain nuts including walnuts, almonds and peanuts, may increase your high-density lipoprotein, also known as “good” cholesterol.
New research shows “peanut and peanut butter ” is wet loss diet reduces heart disease risk by 14%
Harvard study shows eating peanuts and peanut butter may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes.

Researchers at Harvard find three times as many people stick to Medditerranean -style weight loss diet than traditional low fat diet

Additional studies show peanuts are Heart -Healthy-lowering blood cholesterol.
Effective in healing people on Mediterranean Diet-loose weight and keep it off..

More satisfying for longer period of times,than high carbohydrate snacks.

Comprised of important plant chemicals, such asphytosterols,thought to help fight heart disease and cancer.

Extracted from:http://www.peanut-institute.org/

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Dry Fruit Herbs & Plants

Almonds

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Botanical Name: Prunus dulcis
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Amygdalus
Species: P. dulcis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms:   Prunus amygdalus, Amygdalus communis, Amygdalus dulcis

Almond is called: Lawz in Arabic Baadaam in Farsi and Urdu

Habitat : The tree is a native of southwest Asia. The domesticated form can ripen fruit as far north as the British Isles.

Etymology:
The word ‘almond’ comes from Old French almande or alemande, late Latin amandola, derived through a form amingdola from the Greek  (cf Amygdala), an almond. The al- for a- may be due to a confusion with the Arabic article al, the word having first dropped the a- as in the Italian form mandorla; the British pronunciation ah-mond and the modern Catalan ametlla and modern French amande show the true form of the word.

Description:

The almond is a deciduous tree, growing 4–10 m (13–33 ft) in height, with a trunk of up to 30 cm (12 in) in diameter. The young twigs are green at first, becoming purplish where exposed to sunlight, then grey in their second year. The leaves are 3–5 inches long,[3] with a serrated margin and a 2.5 cm (1 in) petiole. The flowers are white to pale pink, 3–5 cm (1–2 in) diameter with five petals, produced singly or in pairs and appearing before the leaves in early spring. Almond grows best in Mediterranean climates with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The optimal temperature for their growth is between 15 and 30 °C (59 and 86 °F) and the tree buds have a chilling requirement of between 300 and 600 hours below 7.2 °C (45.0 °F) to break dormancy.  The flowers are white or pale pink, 3.5 cm diameter with five petals, produced before the leaves in early spring.

Almonds begin bearing an economic crop in the third year after planting. Trees reach full bearing five to six years after planting. The fruit matures in the autumn, 7–8 months after flowering.

click to see the pictures…>…..(01)...(02)...(1)..(2).(3).....(4)....(5)..(6).….….

The sweet fleshy outer covering of other members of Prunus, such as the plum and cherry, is replaced by a leathery coat called the hull, which contains inside a hard shell the edible kernel, commonly called a nut in culinary terms. However, in botanical terms, an almond is not a true nut. In botanical parlance, the reticulated hard stony shell is called an endocarp, and the fruit, or exocarp, is a drupe, having a downy outer coat. .

Origin and history
The wild form of domesticated almond grows in the Mediterranean region in parts of the Levant; almonds must first have been taken into cultivation in this region. The fruit of the wild forms contains glycoside amygdalin, “which becomes transformed into deadly Prussic acid (Hydrogen cyanide) after crushing, chewing, or any other injury to the seed.” Before cultivation and domestication occurred, wild almonds were harvested as food and doubtless were processed by leaching or roasting to remove their toxicity.

However, domesticated almonds are not toxic; Jared Diamond argues that a common genetic mutation causes an absence of glycoside amygdalin, and this mutant was grown by early farmers, “at first unintentionally in the garbage heaps and later intentionally in their orchards.” Zohary and Hopf believe that almonds were one of the earliest domesticated fruit-trees due to “the ability of the grower to raise attractive almonds from seed. Thus in spite of the fact that this plant does not lend itself to propagation from suckers or from cuttings, it could have been domesticated even before the introduction of grafting.”Domesticated almonds appear in the Early Bronze Age (3000–2000 BC) of the Near East, or possibly a little earlier. A well-known archaeological example of almond is the fruits found in Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt (c. 1325 BC), probably imported from the Levant.

Culinary uses:

While the almond is most often eaten on its own, raw or toasted, it is used in some dishes. It, along with other nuts, is often sprinkled over desserts, particularly sundaes and other ice cream based dishes. It is also used in making baklava and nougat. There is also almond butter, a spread similar to peanut butter, popular with peanut allergy sufferers and for its less salty taste. The young, developing fruit of the almond tree can also be eaten as a whole (“green almonds”), when it is still green and fleshy on the outside, and the inner shell has not yet hardened. The fruit is somewhat sour, and is available only from mid April to mid June; pickling or brining extends the fruit’s shelf life.

The sweet almond itself contains practically no carbohydrates and may therefore be made into flour for cakes and biscuits for low carbohydrate diets or for patients suffering from diabetes mellitus or any other form of glycosuria. A standard serving of almond flour, 1 cup, contains 20 grammes of carbohydrates, of which 10 g is dietary fibre, for a net of 10 g of carbohydrate per cup. This makes almond flour very desirable for use in cake and bread recipes by people on carbohydrate-restricted diets.

Almonds can be processed into a milk substitute simply called almond milk; the nut’s soft texture, mild flavour, and light colouring (when skinned) make for an efficient analog to dairy, and a soy-free choice, for lactose intolerant persons, vegans, and so on. Raw, blanched, and lightly toasted almonds all work well for different production techniques, some of which are very similar to that of soymilk and some of which actually use no heat, resulting in “raw milk” (see raw foodism).

Sweet almonds are used in marzipan, nougat, and macaroons, as well as other desserts. Almonds are a rich source of Vitamin E, containing 24 mg per 100 g They are also rich in monounsaturated fat, one of the two “good” fats responsible for lowering LDL cholesterol.

The Marcona variety of almond, which is shorter, rounder, sweeter, and more delicate in texture than other varieties, originated in Spain and is becoming popular in North America and other parts of the world Marcona almonds are traditionally served after being lightly fried in oil, and are also used by Spanish chefs to prepare a dessert called turrón.

In China, almonds are used in a popular dessert when they are mixed with milk and then served hot. In Indian cuisine, almonds are the base ingredient for pasanda-style curries.

Possible health benefits

Edgar Cayce, a man regarded as the father of American holistic medicine, also highly favored the almond. In his readings, Cayce often recommended that almonds be included in the diet. Claimed health benefits include improved complexion, improved movement of food through the colon and the prevention of cancer. Recent research associates inclusion of almonds in the diet with elevating the blood levels of high density lipoproteins and of lowering the levels of low density lipoproteins.

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In Ayurveda, the Indian System of Medicine, almond is considered a nutritive for brain and nervous system. It is said to induce high intellectual level and longevity. Almond oil is called Roghan Badam in both Ayurveda and Unani Tibb (the Greco-Persian System of Medicine). It is extracted by cold process and is considered a nutritive aphrodisiac both for massage and internal consumption. Recent studies have shown that the constituents of almond have anti-inflammatory, immunity boosting, and anti-hepatotoxicity effects

Fresh Sweet Almonds possess demulcent and nutrient properties, but as the outer brown skin sometimes causes irritation of the alimentary canal, they are blanched by removal of this skin when used for food. Though pleasant to the taste, their nutritive value is diminished unless well masticated, as they are difficult of digestion, and may in some cases induce nettlerash and feverishness. They have a special dietetic value, for besides containing about 20 per cent of proteids, they contain practically no starch, and are therefore often made into flour for cakes and biscuits for patients suffering from diabetes.

Sweet Almonds are used medicinally, the official preparations of the British Pharmacopoeia being Mistura Amygdalae, Pulvis Amygdalae Compositus and Almond Oil.

On expression they yield nearly half their weight in a bland fixed oil, which is employed medicinally for allaying acrid juices, softening and relaxing solids, and in bronchial diseases, in tickling coughs, hoarseness, costiveness, nephritic pains, etc.

When Almonds are pounded in water, the oil unites with the fluid, forming a milky juice – Almond Milk – a cooling, pleasant drink, which is prescribed as a diluent in acute diseases, and as a substitute for animal milk: an ounce of Almonds is sufficient for a quart of water, to which gum arabic is in most cases a useful addition. The pure oil mixed with a thick mucilage of gum arabic, forms a more permanent emulsion; one part of gum with an equal quantity of water being enough for four parts of oil. Almond emulsions possess in a certain degree the emollient qualities of the oil, and have this advantage over the pure oil, that they may be given in acute or inflammatory disorders without danger of the ill effects which the oil might sometimes produce by turning rancid. Sweet Almonds alone are employed in making emulsions, as the Bitter Almond imparts its peculiar taste when treated in this way.

Blanched and beaten into an emulsion with barley-water, Sweet Almonds are of great use in the stone, gravel, strangury and other disorders of the kidneys, bladder and biliary ducts.

By their oily character, Sweet Almonds sometimes give immediate relief in heartburn. For this, it is recommended to peel and eat six or eight Almonds.

Almonds are also useful in medicine for uniting substances with water. Castor oil is rendered palatable when rubbed up with pounded Almonds and some aromatic distilled water.

The fixed Oil of Almonds is extracted from both Bitter and Sweet Almonds. If intended for external use, it must, however, be prepared only from Sweet Almonds.

The seeds are ground in a mill after removing the reddish-brown powder adhering to them and then subjected to hydraulic pressure, the expressed oil being afterwards filtered and bleached, preferably by exposure to light.

Almond oil is a clear, pale yellow, odourless liquid, with a bland, nutty taste. It consists chiefly of Olein, with a small proportion of the Glyceride of Linolic Acid and other Glycerides, but contains no Stearin. It is thus very similar in composition to Olive Oil (for which it may be used as a pleasant substitute), but it is devoid of Chlorophyll, and usually contains a somewhat larger proportion of Olein than Olive Oil.

It is used in trade, as well as medicinally, being most valuable as a lubricant for the delicate works of watches, and is much employed as an ingredient in toilet soap, for its softening action on the skin. It forms a good remedy for chapped hands

‘The oil newly pressed out of Sweet Almonds is a mitigator of pain and all manner of aches, therefore it is good in pleurisy and colic. The oil of Almonds makes smooth the hands and face of delicate persons, and cleanseth the skin from all spots and pimples.’

The oil of both (Bitter and Sweet) cleanses the skin, it easeth pains of the chest, the temples being annointed therewith, and the oil with honey, powder of liquorice, oil of roses and white wax, makes a good ointment for dimness of sigh.

‘This kind of butter is made of Almonds with sugar and rose-water, which being eaten with violets is very wholesome and commodious for students, for it rejoiceth the heart and comforteth the brain, and qualifieth the heat of the liver.

RECIPES

–To make Almond Cake—(Seventeenth Century)
‘Take one pound of Jordan almonds, Blanch ym into cold water, and dry ym in a clean cloth: pick out these that are nought and rotten: then beat ym very fine in a stone mortar, puting in now and then a little rose water to keep ym from oyling: then put it out into a platter, and half a pound of loaf sugar beaten fine and mixt with ye almonds, ye back of a spoon, and set it on a chafing dish of coals, and let it stand till it be hott: and when it is cold then have ready six whites of eggs beaten with too spoonfuls of flower to a froth, and mix it well with ye almonds: bake ym on catt paper first done over with a feather dipt in sallet oyle.’

—Almond Butter—(Seventeenth Century)
‘Seeth a little French Barly with a whole mace and some anniseeds to sweeten but not to give any sensible tast: then blanch and beat the almonds with some of the clearest of the liquor to make the milke the thicker, and strain them, getting forth by often beating what milk you can: seeth the milke till it thicken and bee ready to rise, and turne it with the juice of a lemon or salt dissolved in rose water: spread the curd on a linnen cloath that the whey may run out, and let it hang till it leave dropping: then season the butter that is left with rose water, and sugar to your liking.’

—To make Almond Milk—(Seventeenth Century)
‘Take 3 pints of running water, a handfull of Raisins of the Sun stoned, halfe a handfull of Sorrell as much violet and strawberry leaves, halfe a handfull of the topps and flowers of burrage (borage), as much of Buglass, halfe a handfull of Endive, as much Succory, some Pauncys (Pansies), a little broad time and Orgamen (Marjoram), and a branch or two of Rosemary, lett all these boyle well together; then take a good handfull of French Barley, boyling it in three waters, put it to the rest, and lett them boyle till you think they are enough, then pour the liquor into a basin, and stampe the barley and reasons, straining them thereto; then take a quarter of a pound of Sweet Almonds, blanch them and pound them thrice, straining them to the other liquor; then season it with damask rosewater to your liking.’

—A Paste for ye Hands—(Seventeenth Century)
‘Take a pound of sun raysens, stone and take a pound of bitter Almonds, blanch ym and beat ym in stone morter, with a glass of sack take ye peel of one Lemond, boyle it tender; take a quart of milk, and a pint of Ale, and make therewith a Possett; take all ye Curd and putt it to ye Almonds: yn putt in ye Rayson: Beat all these till they come to a fine Past, and putt in a pott, and keep it for ye use.

Medicinal Uses:
*Almonds form an ideal tonic for your growing child. Soak 3-6 shelled almonds in warm water and than remove the skin. Grind them into paste, and mix it with milk. Add a teaspoon of honey. Feed your child daily. It can also be useful in adolescent girls with delayed puberty; crushed almonds, egg yolk, gingelly (til) powder, and a teaspoon of honey in milk will ensure good overall development during adolescence.

*An excellent food supplement in case of general debility and convalescence. Soak 12-15 shelled almonds in hot water and remove outer covering. Grind them into fine paste, and mix it with the buttermilk and mash a ripe banana in it. Strain it through a muslin cloth, add 4 teaspoons honey, and drink twice daily. Almond forms an ideal food for diabetics also as it contains little carbohydrates.

*Almonds increase libido and enhance general sexual performance in cases of frigidity. Grind a few almonds and 2-3 pinches of saffron and eat everyday for 40 days.

*Almonds are a good for constipation. Grind separately 5 teaspoons almonds and 5 teaspoons dried dates. Combine them and add 10 teaspoons honey.  Take 3 teaspoons of this mixture twice daily.

*In the case of head lice, grind 7-8 kernels with 1-2 teaspoons lime juice and apply on the scalp. Apply a little almond oil on the scalp regularly and massage.

*In the case of tooth ache and gum diseases, burn the shells of almonds, powder, and use as tooth powder.

*To get relief from psoriasis and allied skin troubles, powder a few almonds, boil and apply on affected areas and let it remain overnight.

*To improve skin complexion, mix equal quantities of almond oil and honey and apply to face. To protect from sunburn, apply the paste of almonds and milk cream along with coconut oil on exposed skin.

*In the case of insomnia, grind blanched almonds (8-10) along with khuskhus grass powder (1 teaspoon) and milk (half teacup) and smear the paste on palms and soles.

*To get relief from muscle sprains, mix equal parts of almond oil and garlic oil and massage over affected areas.
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/Almonds

www.botanical.com

http://blog.tattvasherbs.com/tag/medicinal-uses-of-almonds/

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