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Ricinodendron

Botanical Name: Ricinodendron heudelotii
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily:Crotonoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales
Tribe: Ricinodendreae
Genus: Ricinodendron
Species:R. heudelotii

Synonyms:
*Barrettia Sim
*Jatropha heudelotii Baill.
*Ricinodendron africanum Müll.Arg.
*Ricinodendron gracilius Mildbr.
*Barrettia umbrosa Sim
*Ricinodendron tomentellum Hutch. & E.A.Bruce
*Ricinodendron schliebenii Mildbr.

Common Names:Manketti nut, Zambezi almond, African oil-nut-tree, Munguella (Angola), Njangsa (Cameroon), Bofeko (Zaire), Wama (Ghana), Okhuen (Nigeria), Kishongo (Uganda), Akpi (Ivory Coast), Djansang, essang, Ezezang and Njasang

Habitat : Ricinodendron is native to tropical Africa from Senegal + Liberia east to Sudan and Tanzania and south to Mozambique and Angola. The tree is also found on Madagascar.

Njangsa grows generally in rain forests and is also typical for secondary forests. This tree is a light-demanding species. Therefore, it can also be found in deciduous forests, forest edges, secondary scrubs and thickets in semi-dry savannahs. The tree is observed in food crop fields, cocoa farms and other agroforestry systems, where the trees can also intentionally be planted

Description:Ricinodendron heudelotii is a deciduous Tree growing to 40 m (131ft) by 25 m (82ft) at a fast rate with a straight trunk which can have a diameter up to 2.7 m. Its crown is broad and the roots are big running. The bark is smooth with a grey colour. Inside, the bark is red when cut.

The flowers are yellowish white, 5 mm long and form a long terminal panicle which measures between 15 and 40 cm. Flowering time is between April and May. Male panicles are larger and slender than female flowers.

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Njangsa trees produce a fruit that are typically two or three lobed and contain two cells in which the seeds lie. These seeds are red brown to black, rounded and some 1 cm in diameter. The seeds are oily in texture and can be bought either raw or dried. They have an odour reminiscent of oily chocolate, but their flavour is truly unique: subtly aromatic with a mild bitter aftertaste. At maturity (August – September) the fruit smells like over-ripe apples.

Cultivation:
A plant mainly of the tropics, where it can also be found at elevations up to 2,000 metres. It grows best in areas where the mean minimum and maximum temperatures are within the range 20 – 30°c, but can tolerate 14 – 34°c. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 800 – 4,000mm, but tolerates 500 – 5,000mm. Grows best in a sunny position. Prefers a medium textured, freely draining, acidic soil.Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 – 6.5, tolerating 5 – 7. A very fast-growing tree, in open light spaces it will bear fruit in its seventh to tenth year of growth. The tree responds well to coppicing and pollarding, regenerating readily from the stump. Some reports suggest the tree does not alwyas coppice well. The tree grows spontaneously from seed and is often preserved in the neighbourhood of forest villages. A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required.

Edible Uses:
Seed – cooked. Although edible, they are not everywhere valued as food. The kernels are eaten boiled in water or in sauce, or mixed with fish, meat and other vegetables. They can be roasted and made into a paste, which can be stored and used for making porridge in times of food shortage. In many areas the seeds are regarded as a famine food, for use when other foods are not available. The black fruit is a 2 – 3-lobed drupe 25 – 30mm long and 40 – 50mm wide, containing 2 – 3, globose seeds around 15mm in diameter. Fallen fruits are collected from the ground. After collection, the fruits are left to rot in big piles. Once the fruit pulp is rotten, the stones are extracted by washing and boiling the fruits vigorously. Then the stones are removed from the hot water, put in cold water and left overnight. They are boiled vigorously once more until the shells crack. Shells are then removed using a knife. After extraction, the seeds are dried. The seed contains about 47% by weight of a light yellow oil with a sweet taste. The seeds are pounded, boiled in water and then allowed to cool. The floating oil is skimmed off, boiled then filtered and used for cooking. The oil consists of the following fatty acids: eleostearic 44%; oleic 16%; plus 10% each of palmitic; stearic; linoleic; and linolenic. Leaves – cooked and eaten as a protein-rich vegetable. The ash of the wood is used as vegetable salt in cooking.

Medicinal Uses:
The stem-bark is taken by enema to prevent abortion. A decoction of the stem bark is used externally to wash and cicatrize sores. A decoction of the root bark is considered a powerful anti-dysenteric. The root bark is ground up into a powder then mixed with pepper and salt and used for treating constipation. A decoction of the bark is used in the treatment of blennorrhoea, cough, painful menstruation and as an antidote to poison. A bark-liquor is taken by pregnant women to relieve pains and to prevent miscarriage. It is also taken by women ‘to kill a worm which is in the bowels and which prevents them from breeding’. Externally, the bark is used in lotions and baths to strengthen rachitic children and premature babies, and to relieve rheumatism and oedemas. The pulped bark (also the leaves) is applied externally to treat fungal infections, to maturate abscesses, furuncles and buboes. The bark is beaten and warmed, then tied to the body in the treatment of elephantiasis. The expressed sap is instilled to the eye in the treatment of filaria and ophthalmia. The leaves are used to treat dysentery, female sterility, oedemas, and stomach-pains. A leaf decoction is taken by draught and in baths as a febrifuge. The roots in Ivory Coast are considered aphrodisiac. Examination of various sources of the bark have found no active principles. Leaves and stems have been reported to contain an unnamed alkaloid. The traditional use of the seed, husk and latex as a remedy for gonorrhoea and diarrhoea may rest on the action of a resin found in the seed, as also the use for treating amoebic dysentery.

Other Uses:
Agroforestry Uses: The roots reach deep into the soil and cause little competition for nutrients and water in the upper soil layers with adjacent cr
ops. It is a popular shade and shelter tree in smallholder cocoa plantations. There is a belief that ‘collar-crack’ disease will occur on a cacao farm if the tree is cut down. When not grown in pure stands, this species has always been intercropped with coffee, cocoa or bananas. The seed contains small amounts of toxic substances, said to be a resin, which renders the residual cake unfit for use as a cattle-food though the cake should be a good nitrogenous agricultural fertiliser. The tree is used as a live fence and for erosion control. The tree could be very useful as a pioneer species – it is very fast growing, often found in secondary formations and commonly invades old farmland in its native range. Other Uses The ash of the wood is used as a source of potash for the preparation of a vegetable-salt in soap-making and in indigo dyeing. The seed contains about 47% of a light yellow drying oil with a sweet taste. It is usable in varnish and to make soft-soap, and it has industrial application in making water-proofing materials. Decortication, however, is not easy, and as the shell amounts to 37% of the weight of the seed the total amount of oil may be as low as 14% of the whole seed[332 ]. The seed contains small amounts of toxic substances, said to be a resin. The seeds are used in rattles and as counters in games[299 , 332 ]. The leaves areused as wrapping material. The sawdust is extraordinarily light and is suitable for use in making life-saving belts. The wood is currently recommended for use in insulation and the sawdust is no doubt suitable for sun-helmets. The heartwood is dull white to pale yellow, darkening once exposed to light; it is not clearly differentiated from the sapwood. The grain is straight to interlocked, sometimes slightly wavy; the texture coarse and even. The wood is very light in weight; very soft; fibrous; brittle; not very durable, being liable to attack by termites, powderpost beetles and marine borers. It dries rapidly with little or no degrade; shrinkage rates are low; once dry the wood is moderately stable to stable in service. The wood saws and works easily with ordinary tools – there is a great tendency to woolliness, however, and tools need to be kept very sharp; it nails and screws without splitting, but holding properties are poor; gluing is correct; turning and planing are difficult. The wood is considered to be a good substitute for balsa wood (Ochroma pyramidale); it is very buoyant and is used for fishing-net floats and rafts for heavy timbers, because of its ease of working it is carved into fetish-masks, spoons, ladles, plates, platters, bowls, dippers, stools, etc; it is also used for rough planks and coffins. The wood is used for making drums which are said to be very sonorous, and it is carved to make the whole or the resonant parts of musical instruments in various parts of Africa. The wood is perhaps suitable for paper-pulp. The wood is indifferent as a fuel, since it burns with great rapidity.

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/Ricinodendron
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ricinodendron+heudelotii

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Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Brassica nigra

Botanical Name: Brassica nigra
Family: Brassicaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales
Genus: Brassica
Species: B. nigra

Common Name: Black Mustard

Habitat: Brassica nigra is native to tropical regions of North Africa, temperate regions of Europe and parts of Asia.( C. Europe. Occasionally naturalized in S.W. Britain). It grows on Cliffs near the sea in S. W. England.

Description:
Brassica nigra is an annual plant growing upright to 1.2 m (4ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in). with large stalked leaves. They are covered with hairs or bristles at the base, but on the stem smoother. It can reach up to 80–90 cm (31–35 in) tall or even up to 2.4 m (8 ft) in moist fertile soil. It blooms in summer, from May (in the UK) onwards. The flowers have four yellow petals, which are twice as long as the sepals. Each stem has around four flowers at the top, forming a ring around the stem. Later, the plant forms long seed pods, that contain four rounded seeds.

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Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, black mustard is suited to many types of soils except very heavy clays, it grows best on light sandy loams, or deep rich fertile soils. Succeeds in full sun in a well-drained fertile preferably alkaline soil. Prefers a heavy soil in an open position. Another report says that it prefers a light well-drained soil and some shade in the summer. The plant tolerates an annual precipitation of 30 to 170cm, an annual average temperature range of 6 to 27°C and a pH in the range of 4.9 to 8.2. Black mustard is adapted to a wide variety of climatic conditions, it is often grown in the temperate zone though it is mainly suited to tropical areas, and grown chiefly as a rainfed crop in areas of low or moderate rainfall. Black mustard is often cultivated for its edible seed, though it is going out of favour because it rapidly sheds its seeds once they are ripe and this makes it harder to harvest mechanically than the less pungent brown mustard (Brassica juncea).. This is used especially as a food flavouring, though it is also sown with the seeds of garden cress (Lepidium sativum) to provide mustard and cress, a salading eaten when the seedlings are about one week old. Black mustard is also grown as a medicinal plant. It germinates freely and quickly grows rapidly and makes a very useful green manure. The plants are not very winter hardy so the seed is best sown in the spring when grown for its seed whilst it can be sown as late as late summer as a green manure crop. The flowers have a pleasing perfume, though this is only noticed if several flowers are inhaled at the same time.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. A hot flavour, they can be finely chopped and added to salads or cooked as a potherb. The seedlings can also be used as a salading when about one week old, adding a hot pungency to a salad. Immature flowering stems – cooked and eaten like broccoli. Mustard seed is commonly ground into a powder and used as a food flavouring and relish. This is the black mustard of commerce, it is widely used as a food relish and as an ingredient of curry. Pungency of mustard develops when cold water is added to the ground-up seed – an enzyme (myrosin) acts on a glycoside (sinigrin) to produce a sulphur compound. The reaction takes 10 – 15 minutes. Mixing with hot water or vinegar, or adding salt, inhibits the enzyme and produces a mild bitter mustard. The seed can also be used whole to season pickles, curries, sauerkraut etc. Black mustard has a stronger more pungent flavour than white mustard (Sinapis alba) and brown mustard (B. juncea). An edible oil is obtained from the seed.

Medicinal Uses:
Mustard seed is often used in herbal medicine, especially as a rubefacient poultice. The seed is ground and made into a paste then applied to the skin in the treatment of rheumatism, as a means of reducing congestion in internal organs. Applied externally, mustard relieves congestion by drawing the blood to the surface as in head afflictions, neuralgia and spasms. Hot water poured on bruised seeds makes a stimulant foot bath, good for colds and headaches. Old herbals suggested mustard for treating alopecia, epilepsy, snakebite, and toothache. Care must be taken not to overdo it, since poultices can sometimes cause quite severe irritation to the skin. The seed is also used internally, when it is appetizer, digestive, diuretic, emetic and tonic. Swallowed whole when mixed with molasses, it acts as a laxative. A decoction of the seeds is used in the treatment of indurations of the liver and spleen. It is also used to treat carcinoma, throat tumours, and imposthumes. A liquid prepared from the seed, when gargled, is said to help tumours of the “sinax.”. The seed is eaten as a tonic and appetite stimulant. Hot water poured onto bruised mustard seeds makes a stimulating foot bath and can also be used as an inhaler where it acts to throw off a cold or dispel a headache. Mustard Oil is said to stimulate hair growth. Mustard is also recommended as an aperient ingredient of tea, useful in hiccup. Mustard flour is considered antiseptic.

Other Uses:
A semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed, as well as being edible it is also used as a lubricant, illuminant and in making soap. The plant is often grown as a green manure, it is very fast, producing a bulk suitable for digging into the soil in about 8 weeks. Not very winter hardy, it is generally used in spring and summer. It does harbour the pests and diseases of the cabbage family so is probably best avoided where these plants are grown in a short rotation and especially if club root is a problem. Mustard oil (allyl isothiocyanate) is used in commercial cat and dog repellent mixtures.

Known Hazards: When eaten in large quantities, the seed and pods have sometimes proved toxic to grazing animals. Mustard allergy possibly especially in children and adolescents. Retention of seeds possibly in intestines if taken internally.

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/Brassica_nigra
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Brassica+nigra

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Herbs & Plants Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Pseudowintera colorata

Botanical Name: Pseudowintera colorata
Family: Winteraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Canellales
Genus: Pseudowintera
Species: P. colorata

Synonyms: Drimys colorata Raoul, Drimys axillaris var. colorata (Raoul) Kirk, Wintera colorata Tiegh.

Common Names: Mountain horopito or Pepper tree.
It is also known as the New Zealand pepper tree, winter’s bark, or red horopito. It is so named because early taxonomists recognized the similarity between horopito and the South American Drimys winteri that provided the herbal remedy “winter’s bark.”

Habitat: Pseudowintera colorata is endemic to New Zealand.(North, South and Stewart Islands). All Winteraceae are magnoliids, associated with the humid Antarctic flora of the southern hemisphere. It grows on coastal, lowland, or montane forest margins and shrubland.

Description:
Pseudowintera colorata, or mountain horopito, is an evergreen shrub or small tree (1–2.5 m) commonly called pepperwood because its leaves have a very hot bite. Its yellow and green leaves are blotched with red; new leaves in the spring are bright red. It is widespread throughout New Zealand, from lowland forests to higher montane forests, and from 36° 30′ South as far southwards as Stewart Island/Rakiura. Because of its various uses, both medicinal and culinary, the name horopito when used in common speech normally refers to the colorata species.

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Pseudowintera colorata flower

Pseudowintera colorata red leopard

Pseudowintera axillaris

Its yellowish-green leaves are blotched with red, with new leaves in the spring being bright red. It is distributed within lowland forests up to higher montane forests from 36° 30′ South as far southward as Stewart Island/Rakiura. A characteristic plant association for P. colorata is within the podocarp forests of Westland, where alliant understory plants such as Rumohra adiantiformis, Ascarina lucida, Pseudopanax colensoi, Pseudopanax edgerleyi and Blechnum discolor are found.

The reproductive parts of the family Winteraceae are primitive, reflecting their origin among the first flowering plants. In New Zealand, Horopito appears in the fossil record for more than 65 million years. It is particularly unusual in that its flowers come directly off the older stems rather than from among the leaves. It is a very slow growing plant that lacks the specialist water conducting tubes found in nearly all other flowering plants.

The evergreen horopito plant is continually exposed to attack by various insects and parasites and its occurrence in high rainfall areas makes it particularly susceptible to attack by fungi. This has led to efficient built in defence mechanisms. Consequently, horopito has a rich source of secondary metabolites that have an interesting range of biologically active properties.

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Cultivation:
Plant in moisture-retentive, freely draining soil in a sheltered, shady position. If containerised, over winter indoors in cold areas.

Edible Uses:
Horopito leaves are used in cooking in a variety of ways. Horopito is now being used as a seasoning in modern New Zealand cuisine. Typically the leaves are dried and then ground to form a powder. The powder may be used wherever black pepper is used and applied directly to meats, mixed with oils, used to make condiments (e.g. with mustard), in vinegars, biscuits and even ice-cream.

Medicinal Uses:
Horopito contains a substance called sesquiterpene dialdehyde polygodiali, otherwise known as polygodial that has a number of biological properties including antifungal, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic and insecticide effects. Polygodial has been tested as a very effective inhibitor of Candida albicans. Horopito was used traditionally by Maori for a variety of medicinal purposes including treatment of: fungal skin infection, stomach pain, diarrhoea and as an analgesic. Early European settlers to New Zealand also used horopito for medicinal purposes.

Activity of chemical constituents:
The main biologically active chemical component isolated from the leaves of P. colorata is polygodial. The chewed horopito leaf has a characteristically sharp, hot peppery taste. This is primarily due to polygodial which causes pungency on the tongue in concentrations as low as 0.1 µg.

An ex vivo study used a horopito and aniseed mixture (Kolorex) to inhibit the growth of C. albicans in the oral cavity. This research concluded that the antifungal action of Kolorex was constant against all species tested (including C. albicans, C. tropicalis, C. glabrata, C. guilermonii, C. parapsilosis and C. krusei) with a minimum inhibitory concentration of 1:20 (diluted with sterilised distilled water) of Kolorex.

Another study concluded that a mixture of horopito (containing polygodial) and aniseed (containing anethole) protects the gut of mice from colonization and dissemination of Candida albicans. After mice were inoculated with C. albicans and treated with Kolorex, testing of intestinal samples showed that Kolorex treated mice had a much reduced concentration of C. albicans per gram of tissue. The data suggested that the horopito and aniseed product might exert an early competitive effect against colonisation.

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/Pseudowintera_colorata
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudowintera

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Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Garcinia gummi-gutta

Botanical Name: Garcinia gummi-gutta
Family: Clusiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malpighiales
Genus: Garcinia
Species:G. gummi-gutta

Synonyms:
*Cambogia binucao Blanco
*Cambogia gemmi-gutta L.
*Cambogia solitaria Stokes
*Garcinia affinis Wight & Arn.
*Garcinia cambogia (Gaertn.) Desr.
*Garcinia sulcata Stoke

Common Names:Camboge, Garcinia cambogia (a former scientific name), as well as brindleberry, Malabar tamarind, and Kudam puli (pot tamarind)

Habitat:Garcinia gummi-gutta is a tropical species of Garcinia native to Indonesia. It is grown for its fruit in Southeast Asia, coastal Karnataka/Kerala, India, and west and central Africa. It thrives in most moist forests.

Garcinia gummi-gutta is one of several closely related Garcinia species from the plant family Clusiaceae. With thin skin and deep vertical lobes, the fruit of G. gummi-gutta and related species range from about the size of an orange to that of a grapefruit; G. gummi-gutta looks more like a small yellowish, greenish, or sometimes reddish pumpkin. The color can vary considerably. When the rinds are dried and cured in preparation for storage and extraction, they are dark brown or black in color.

Along the west coast of South India, G. gummi-gutta is popularly termed “Malabar tamarind”, and shares culinary uses with the tamarind (Tamarindus indica). The latter is a small and the former a quite large evergreen tree. G. gummi-gutta is also called goraka or, in some areas, simply kattcha puli (souring fruit). It is called uppage in Kannada language and fruits are collected and dried for selling to dealers in Sirsi, Karnataka.

The tree is also cultivated outside its native range, especially in China, Malaysia and the Philippines. The fruit rind is traded in large quantities.

Description:
Camboge is an evergreen tree with a rounded crown growing 5 – 20 metres tall. The bole can be around 70cm in diameter. Leaves are simple, opposite, decussate; petiole 5-1.6 cm long, planoconvex or shallowly canaliculate above, slightly sheathing at base; lamina 5-13 x 2-6 cm; variable in shape from narrow elliptic, oblanceolate to obovate, apex usually acute, sometimes obtuse, base cuneate to attenuate, coriaceous or subcoriaceous; secondary nerves not prominent on both sides; tertiary nerves obscure.

Flowers polygamous, in axillary or terminal clusters; calyx cream; petals pink.

Fruit and Seed :Berry, globose, 6-8 grooved, to 5 cm in diameter; many seeded

The plant is harvested from the wild for its edible fruit and gum-resin, that has medicinal and various other uses.

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Cultivation:
A plant of hot, wet, tropical climates. It grows best in areas where the mean annual temperature is in the range 15 – 30°c and the mean annual rainfall is 1,500 – 4,000mm. Succeeds in both dry or occasionally inundated soils. Seed-grown plants start bearing after 10-12 years whereas grafts from the third year onwards and will attain the stage of full bearing at the age of 12-15 years. There are also reports of off-season bearers, bearing twice annually.
The orange yellow mature fruits either drop from the tree or are harvested manually. The rind is separated for processing immediately after harvest.
G. Gummi-gatta flowers in the dry season. It appears to be pollinated by wind, bees and small weevils of the genus Deleromus (Curculionidae).

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe, though viability can be maintained for 1 – 2 months in moist storage at 20°c. We have no specific information on this species, but the seed of most members of the genus can be slow to germinate, even if sown fresh, often taking 6 months or more.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. A very sour flavour. Used in curries. The fruit is a green, ovoid berry, turning yellow or red when fully ripe, around 5cm in diameter. The rinds of the ripe fruits are processed and used as a condiment to impart flavour and taste and to improve keeping qualit. The dried seeds yield a protein and fat-rich butter, popularly known as ‘uppage tuppa’. The fruit juice or syrup is used as a coolant and helps to reduce body fat.

Phytochemicals:
Although few high-quality studies have been done to define the composition of the fruit, its phytochemical content includes hydroxycitric acid which is extractable and developed as a dietary supplement. Other compounds identified in the fruit include the polyphenols, luteolin, and kaempferol

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction made from the plant (part not specified) is used in the treatment of rheumatism and bowel complaints. An extract obtained from the mature fruit rind, Hydroxy Citric Acid, is used as a treatment against obesity.

Other Uses:
Agroforestry Uses:
The tree provides good shade for shade-loving crops such as ginger, or it can be grown in association with other field crops, including medicinal plants.
The tree can also be grown as a perennial intercrop with coconut and areca nut. The tree is sometimes grown as an ornamental.

Gamboge, a gum-resin obtained from the plant, is used as a yellow dye, as an illuminant and in varnishes, water colours etc. The wood is used in construction and furniture making.

Known Hazards:
Adverse effects:
Hydroxycitric acid can cause dry mouth, nausea, gastrointestinal discomfort, and headaches.

Drug interactions:
There is potential for Garcinia cambogia to interfere with prescription medications, including those used to treat people with diabetes, asthma, and clotting disorders.

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/Garcinia_gummi-gutta
http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Garcinia+gummi-gutta
https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/12222

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Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Lippia abyssinica

Botanical Name: Lippia abyssinica
Family: Verbenaceae
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Lippia
Species: L. abyssinica

Synonyms:
*Lantana abyssinica Otto & A.Dietr.
*Lantana polycephala R.Br.
*Lippia adoensis Hochst. ex Walp.
*Lippia schimperi Hochst. ex Walp.
*Lippia grandifolia Hochst. ex A.Rich.
*Lippia grandifolia var.

Common Names: Kosearut, Lemon herb, Butter clarifying herb, Gambey tea bush, and Gambia(n) tea bush, although the latter can also apply to Lippia multiflora. Besides the word koseret, in Amharic it is also called kesse or kessie. In Gurage it can be called koseret , Kesenet or Quereret. Said in Tigrinya it is kusay. Kasey, kusaye, or kusaayee are the terms in the Oromo language. In French it is called verveine d’Afrique Brégué Balenté, or Mousso et mâle. German speakers call it Gambia-Teestrauch (Gambia tea shrub). In Sierra Leone it is named a-kimbo and in the Congo it is called ngadi or dutmutzur.

Habitat:Lippia abyssinica is native to Angola, Burundi, Central African Repu, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaïre.

. It is endemic to Ethiopia but cultivated throughout tropical African countries. The specific epithet abyssinica derives from Latin and means ‘of or from Ethiopia (Abyssinia)

Description:
Lippia abyssinica is a species of flowering plant that grows as a 3m tall shrubby herb at 1600-2000m altitude in Ethiopia. It has hairy leaves and small flowers that are purple or pink. Other common names include kosearut, lemon herb, butter clarifying herb, Gambey tea bush, and Gambia(n) tea bush, although the latter can also apply to Lippia multiflora.

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Ediblew Uses:
Koseret, specifically the subspecies L. a. var. koseret, is dried and used as an herb in Ethiopian cuisine. The smell is camphorous and minty. Some describe its flavor as being similar to basil, but it is not closely related to that herb (they are merely in the same order, Lamiales). Koseret is closely related to the herb Mexican oregano (not to be confused with oregano), sharing the same genus Lippia. It is commonly used in making the spiced oils niter kibbeh and ye’qimem zeyet and the spice mix afrinj. Koseret along with the other herbs and spices preserve the butter and oil, preventing spoilage for up to 15 years. In these preparations koseret then flavors many common dishes, such as kitfo. In Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of the Congo it is eaten as a potherb. In west Africa, notably The Gambia, it is brewed into a tisane as a substitute for tea.

Medicinal Uses:
The plant has also been used as traditional medicine for cough, fever, constipation, and cutaneous conditions such as burns. It also is used as an insecticide and antimicrobial treatment and shows some promising antibacterial properties. Koseret has some antioxidant activity as well.

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/Lippia_abyssinica