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Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Amaranth

Botanical Name: Amaranthus
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily:Amaranthoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales
Genus: Amaranthus

Synonyms:
*Amaranthus abyssinicus L.H.Bailey
*Amaranthus alopecurus Hochst. ex A.Br. & C.D.Bouché
*Amaranthus cararu Moq.
*Amaranthus caudatus subsp. mantegazzianus (Pass.) Hanelt
*Amaranthus caudatus subsp. saueri V.Jehlík

Common Name: Amaranth.
Amaranth possess various vernacular names such as Hindi: Lal sag, Thotakura Chaulai; Marathi: Shavrani math, Rajgira; Tamil: Punkirai; Telegu: Chilaka thotakoora etc. It is also known as Amaranthus hypochondriacus, Amaranthus frumentaceus, Amaranto, Chua, Amaranthus leucocarpus, Red Cockscomb, Velvet Flower.

Habitat: Amarnath is native to Central America and South America, it is also cultivated in the countries having warm climate.

Description:
Amaranth is an annual, large and bushy plant usually about 90-130 cm high. It has oblong-lanceolate pointed green leaves normally arranged alternately in 2-4 inches long. The stems are erect branched. The plant yields flowers at summer or autumn (August and October) which is pink or white in color. The seeds are yellow, white, red, brown, pink, or black in a spherical or flattened lenticular shape. It prefers the warm climate and thrives in well-drained soils. As the plant is annual, it has got the lifespan of one year.

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Food Uses:
The younger greens and small varieties are consumed as salad and older greens are used as a substitute for spinach. Amaranth is added as an ingredient in pasta, bread, instant drinks, baby’s food, etc. It could be added to soups or stews and also taken as a cereal for breakfast. Popped Amaranth is added to bread, tofu or meat. Amaranth flour could be mixed with wheat flour to make bread or other foods. The seed could be cooked or roasted like germ vegetables.

Nutritional Value:
In 98 grams of Amaranth, 9.35 grams of protein is found along with 45.98 grams of Carbohydrate and 5.2 grams of fiber. This grain is rich in various minerals and vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, panthothenic acid, calcium, folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, zinc and potassium. It also possess huge amount of lysine, which is not oftenly found in other grains.

Health Benefits:
Amaranth is rich in antioxidants, , proteins, vitamins and minerals which make it the healthy food by preventing the chronic diseases, enhancing immune system, stimulating repair and growth, lowering inflammation and blood pressure, lessening varicose veins, and promoting the strength of bones and others. It could be consumed either as a leaf vegetable, grain flour or a cereal grain.

Medicinal Uses:
This herb is used by the practitioners to obstruct bleeding. Amaranth is used as an astringent and as treatment for diarrhea, mouth ulcers and excessive menstrual flow. Gargling with this herb assist to alleviate the pharynx tenderness and assist the mouth ulcer treatment. This herb if used externally helps to cure vaginal discharges, nose bleeding and other abrasions. Amaranth greens are used to enhance eyesight.

Known Hazards:
Raw Amaranth possesses some toxic or undesirable components so; Amaranth should be consumed by cooking. Children are intolerant to lysinuric protein which may cause stomach pain and diarrhea. Lysine increases the absorption of calcium in the body which leads to the damage causing amount of calcium in the body. So one should avoid huge intake of calcium and lysine at the same time. Pregnant or breast feeding women should avoid Amaranth in order to be in the safe side.

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://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/amaranth/

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Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Prunus americana lanata

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Botanical Name: Prunus americana lanata
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus:Prunus
Section: Prunocerasus
Species: P. americana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: Prunus lanata. (Sudw.)

Habitat : Prunus americana lanata is native to Central and Southern N. America – Indiana to Illinois, south to Texas. It grows on the hillsides and river bottom lands.

Description:
Prunus americana lanata is a deciduous Tree growing to 10 m (32ft 10in). The leaves are somewhat stout with pubescent, usually glandless petioles; twigs often become somewhat spinelike at the tips. White flowers usually appear before the leaves and are borne in fasicles of two to five on the tip of spur branchlets or from axillary buds formed the previous season. Fruits are yellow to red plums (drupes), at least 0.8 inch (2 cm) long with yellow flesh and a compressed stone. Although this species sometimes produces small, hard plums, the fruits are generally fleshy and highly palatable. Occassionally trees cultivated for plums escape and persist. Horticultural varieties can be distinguished from the native species by their larger petals, smaller flower clusters (one to three per node), and sometimes by the gland-tipped teeth of the leaves.

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It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation;
Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil, doing well on limestone. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.

Propagation:
Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Layering in spring.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.

Fruit – raw or cooked. Used mainly in jellies. The fruit is about 25mm in diameter, it has a thick succulent flesh and contains one large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes above on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.

Other Uses:
Dye; Wood.

A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit. Wood – heavy, hard, close-grained, strong. The tree is too small for the wood to be of commercial value.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

Disclaimer : 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://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+americana+lanata
http://www.cirrusimage.com/tree_American_plum.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_americana

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Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Triticum aestivum

Botanical Name: Triticum aestivum
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Pooideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales
Tribe: Triticeae
Genus: Triticum
Species: T. aestivum

Synonyms:
*Triticum sativum Lam.
*Triticum vulgare Vill.

Common Names: Common wheat, Bread wheat, Wheatgrass

Habitat : Triticum aestivum is native to Egipt or Armenia. An easily grown plant, it prefers a sunny position in a rich well-drained soil.

Description:
Triticum aestivum is an annual plant growing to 1.5 m (5ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

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Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it prefers a sunny position in a rich well-drained soil. Wheat is widely cultivated in most parts of the world, but less so in Asia, for its edible seed. There are many named varieties. This is a hexaploid species. Grows well with maize and with camomile in small quantities. Dislikes dogwood, cherry, tulips, pine and poppies.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring or autumn in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within a few days.

Edible Uses:
Seed – cooked. The seed can be cooked as a whole grain but it is more usually ground into a powder and used as a flour for making bread, fermented foods, pasta, cakes, biscuits etc. High in gluten, it is the most common flour used for making bread. The seed can also be sprouted and then added to salads or juiced to make a healthy drink. A nutritional analysis is available.
Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Seed (Fresh weight)

*340 Calories per 100g
*Water : 13%
*Protein: 11.7g; Fat: 2.2g; Carbohydrate: 72g; Fibre: 2g; Ash: 1.7g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 40mg; Phosphorus: 377mg; Iron: 3.5mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 400mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.55mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.11mg; Niacin: 4.8mg; B6: 0mg; C: 0mg;

Medicinal Uses:
The young stems are used in the treatment of biliousness and intoxication. The ash is used to remove skin blemishes. The fruit is antipyretic and sedative. The light grain is antihydrotic. It is used in the treatment of night sweats and spontaneous sweating. The seed is said to contain sex hormones and has been used in China to promote female fertility. The seed sprouts are antibilious, antivinous and constructive. They are used in the treatment of malaise, sore throat, thirst, abdominal coldness and spasmic pain, constipation and cough. The plant has anticancer properties.

Other Uses:
Biomass; Mulch; Paper; Size; Starch; Thatching.

The straw has many uses, as a biomass for fuel etc, for thatching, as a mulch in the garden etc. A fibre obtained from the stems is used for making paper. The stems are harvested in late summer after the seed has been harvested, they are cut into usable pieces and soaked in clear water for 24 hours. They are then cooked for 2 hours in lye or soda ash and then beaten in a ball mill for 1½ hours in a ball mill. The fibres make a green-tan paper. The starch from the seed is used for laundering, sizing textiles etc

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/Common_wheat
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheatgrass
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Triticum+aestivum

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Avena orientalis

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Botanical Name: Avena orientalis
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Avena
Species: orientalis

Synonyms : A. sativa orientalis. Hook.f.

Common Name: Hungarian Oat

Habitat :Avena orientalis is native to Southern Europe. It grows in dry wasteland, cultivated ground and meadows, especially on heavier soils.

Description:
Avena orientalis is an annual olant. It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought…CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species, but it should be possible to grow it as a spring-sown annual in Britain, and might also succeed as an autumn-sown crop. Occasionally cultivated for its edible seed, especially in S.E. Europe, this species is considered to be no more than a part of A. sativa by many botanists. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in full sun. Oats are in general easily grown plants but, especially when grown on a small scale, the seed is often completely eaten out by birds. Some sort of netting seems to be the best answer on a garden scale.

Propagation:
Seed – sow in situ in early spring or in the autumn. Only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 2 weeks.

Edible Uses:
Seed – cooked. The seed ripens in the latter half of summer and, when harvested and dried, can store for several years. It has a floury texture and a mild, somewhat creamy flavour. It can be used as a staple food crop in either savoury or sweet dishes. The seed can be cooked whole, though it is more commonly ground into a flour and used as a cereal in all the ways that oats are used, especially as a porridge but also to make biscuits, sourdough bread etc. The seed can also be sprouted and eaten raw or cooked in salads, stews etc. The hull is incompletely attached to the grain, yielding a naked seed easily upon threshing. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.
Medicinal Uses:
The seed is diuretic, emollient and refrigerant.

Other Uses:
Fibre; Mulch; Paper; Thatching.
The straw has a wide range of uses such as for bio-mass, fibre, mulch, paper-making and thatching. Some caution is advised in its use as a mulch since oat straw can infest strawberries with stem and bulb eelworm.
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://linnean-online.org/28441/
http://www.pfaf.org/USER/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Avena+orientalis

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Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Jin Qian Cao

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Botanical Name: Lysimachia christiniae
Family: Primulaceae
Genus: Lysimachia
Species: L. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ericales

Common Name: Jin Qian Cao

Habitat: Jin Qian Cao is native to E. AsiaChina. It grows in grassy thickets along roadsides. Damp areas along streamsides, open forests and forest margins at elevations of 500 – 2300 metres.

Description:
Jin Qian Cao is a perennial herb growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is in flower from May to July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile…CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. An easily grown plant, succeeding in a moist loamy soil[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Most species in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits.

Propagation:
Seed – sow autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Medicinal Uses:
The whole plant is antiphlogistic, cholagogue, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge and lithontripic. A decoction is used in the treatment of abscesses, burns, bites, kidney stones, gallbladder stones, inflammation etc.   It is also used to treat mushroom poisoning and drug poisoning
Click & see :(1..)…….( 2)..….(3.)
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://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lysimachia+christiniae
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jin_Qian_Cao