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Vicia faba major

Botanical Name: Vicia faba major
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Vicieae
Genus: Vicia
Species: V. faba
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales
Common Names: Broad bean, Fava bean, Faba bean, Field bean, Bell bean, English bean, Horse bean, Windsor bean, Pigeon bean and Tic(k) bean
Habitat ; The origin of this legume is obscure, but it had been cultivated in the Middle East for 8,000 years before it spread to Western Europe. It is grown on cultivated bed.

Description:
Vicia faba major is an annual stiffly erect plant growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate with stout stems of a square cross-section. The leaves are 10–25 cm long, pinnate with 2–7 leaflets, and of a distinct glaucous grey-green color. Unlike most other vetches, the leaves do not have tendrils for climbing over other vegetation. The flowers are 1–2.5 cm long, with five petals, the standard petal white, the wing petals white with a black spot (true black, not deep purple or blue as is the case in many “black” colorings,) and the keel petals are white. Crimson-flowered broad beans also exist, which were recently saved from extinction. The flowers have a strong and sweet scent which is attractive to bees and other pollinators,[6] particularly bumble bees. The fruit is a broad, leathery pod, green maturing to blackish-brown, with a densely downy surface; in the wild species, the pods are 5–10 cm long and 1 cm diameter, but many modern cultivars developed for food use have pods 15–25 cm long and 2–3 cm thick. Each pod contains 3–8 seeds, round to oval and 5–10 mm diameter in the wild plant, usually flattened and up to 20–25 mm long, 15 mm broad and 5–10 mm thick in food cultivars. Vicia faba has a diploid (2n) chromosome number of 12 (six homologous pairs). Five pairs are acrocentric chromosomes and one pair is metacentric.

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It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.
It can fix Nitrogen.

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 can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
Cultivation:
Prefers a fairly heavy loam but succeeds in a sunny position in most soils that are well-drained. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Dislikes dry conditions according to some reports, whilst another says that it is drought tolerant once established. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 to 7. Broad beans are often cultivated for their edible seed and sometimes also as a green manure crop. There are two main types, the ‘longpod’ beans are the more hardy and can be sown in the autumn in cool temperate areas, whilst ‘windsor’ beans, which are considered to be finer flavoured, are less tolerant of the cold and so are best sown in spring. The ideal temperature range in the growing season is between 18 and 27°c, at higher temperatures the flowers are often aborted. The autumn sown varieties are more susceptible to ‘chocolate spot’ fungus, this problem can be alleviated by the addition of potash to the soil. Black fly can be a major problem in late spring. Autumn sown crops are less likely to be affected. Pinching out the soft tips of the plants, one they are tall enough and are beginning to flower, can reduce the problem since the blackfly always start on the soft shoots and then spread to the older stems. Grows well with carrots, cauliflowers, beet, cucumber, cabbages, leeks, celeriac, corn and potatoes, but is inhibited by onions, garlic and shallots. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.

Propagation:
Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in situ in succession from late winter until early summer. Germination should take place in about 7 – 10 days. The earlier sowings should be of suitably hardy varieties such as the ‘Longpods’ whilst later sowings can be of the tastier varieties such as the ‘Windsors’. By making fresh sowings every 3 weeks you will have a continuous supply of fresh young seeds from early summer until early autumn. If you want to grow the beans to maturity then the seed needs to be sown by the middle of spring. You may need to protect the seed from the ravages of mice. Another sowing can be made in middle to late autumn. This has to be timed according to the area where the plants are being grown. The idea is that the plants will make some growth in the autumn and be perhaps 15 – 20cm tall by the time the colder part of winter sets in. As long as the winter is not too severe, the plants should stand well and will grow away rapidly in the spring to produce an earlier crop. The plants will also be less likely to be attacked by blackfly. Make sure you choose a suitably hardy variety for this sowing.
Edible Uses:
Broad bean seeds are very nutritious and are frequently used as items of food. There are, however, some potential problems to their use if they are consumed in large quantities – see the notes above on toxicity. The immature seeds can be eaten raw when they are small and tender, as they grow older they can be cooked as a vegetable. They have a very pleasant floury taste. The young pods can be cooked as a vegetable, though they quickly become fibrous and also have a hairy coating inside that can become unpleasant as the pods get larger. Mature seeds can be eaten cooked as a vegetable or added to soups etc. They are best soaked for 12 – 24 hours prior to cooking in order to soften them and reduce the cooking time. They will also become more nutritious this way. The flavour is mild and pleasant with a floury texture. They can also be dried and ground into a flour for use in making bread etc with cereal flours. The seed can also be fermented to make ‘tempeh’.The seed can be sprouted before being cooked. Popped seeds can be salted and eaten as a snack or roasted like peanuts. Young leaves – cooked. They are very nutritious and can be used like spinach.
Medicinal Uses: The seedpods are diuretic and lithontripic.

Other Uses :
Fibre; Soap making.

A fibre is obtained from the stems. The burnt stems are rich in potassium and can be used in making soap.

Known Hazards: Although often used as an edible seed, there are reports that eating the seed of this plant can cause the disease ‘Favism‘ in susceptible people. Inhaling the pollen can also cause the disease. Favism, which is a severe haemolytic anaemia due to an inherited enzymatic deficiency, only occurs in cases of excessive consumption of the raw seed (no more details are given) and when the person is genetically inclined towards the disease. About 1% of Caucasians and 15% of Negroids are susceptible to the disease.
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/Vicia_faba
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Vicia+faba+major

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Fragaria x ananassa

Botanical Name: Fragaria x ananassa
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Rosoideae
Genus: Fragaria
Species: F. × ananassa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms : Fragaria grandiflora.

Common Name: Strawberry or Garden strawberry

Habitat : It is cultivated worldwide for its fruit. The fruit (which is not a botanical berry, but an aggregate accessory fruit) is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness. It is consumed in large quantities, either fresh or in such prepared foods as preserves, fruit juice, pies, ice creams, milkshakes, and chocolates. Artificial strawberry flavorings and aromas are also widely used in many products like lip gloss, candy, hand sanitizers, perfume, and many others.

Description:
Fragaria x ananassa plants are rosette-forming perennials which spread by thin runners (stolons) growing to 0.3 m (1ft). The leaves are trifoliate, dark green but paler and haired on the undersides, on long petioles emerging from the crowns. It is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Jun to August. The flowers have yellow centers, with the 5 petals white or occasionally pink, borne underneath the foliage canopy. The fruits need no describing.

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Strawberry varieties vary remarkably in fruit size, colour, flavour and shape, the degree of fertility, season of ripening, liability to disease and constitution of plant. Some vary in foliage, and some vary materially in the relative development of their sexual organs. In most cases the flowers appear hermaphroditic in structure, but function as either male or female.

Cultivation:
Prefers a fertile, well-drained, moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Tolerates semi-shade though fruit production will be reduced when plants grow in such a position. Strawberries appreciate a mulch of pine or spruce leaves. The strawberry is widely cultivated in temperate areas for its edible fruit, there are many named varieties that can supply fruit from late spring (under cloches) to late autumn. Most strawberry varieties are day-length sensitive and only flower at certain times of the year. However, a number of cultivars have been selected that are not sensitive to day-length and can produce fruit for most of the summer. These cultivars are normally referred to as ‘remontants’. The blossom can be damaged by late spring frosts. Oat straw should not be used as a mulch since this can infect the strawberries with stem and bulb eelworm. Strawberry plants are very subject to virus diseases, these are usually spread by an aphid. Plants tend to degenerate after a few years and need to be replaced. Seed is a safe means of propagation though, since this species is of hybrid origin, the seed will not breed true. Strawberries are a good companion plant, growing well with bush beans, spinach, borage, lettuce and pyrethrum.

Propagation :
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed can take 4 weeks or more to germinate. The seedlings are very small and slow-growing at first, but then grow rapidly. Prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out during the summer. This is a hybrid species and seed will not breed true, though this is the only way to develop new varieties. Division of runners, preferably done in July/August in order to allow the plants to become established for the following years crop. They can also be moved in the following spring if required though should not then be allowed to fruit in their first year. The runners can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves.

Fruit – raw. Fruits of the best cultivars are sweet and succulent with an exquisite flavour. Strawberries are a very popular fruit and are widely available in the summer. The fruit of some cultivars is up to 3cm in diameter. Young leaves – raw.

Strawberries are often used to flavor other foods, such as ice cream. Apart from its interest as a dessert fruit, the strawberry draws interest due to the peculiarities of its structure, its tendency towards variation, and the gardener’s success in exploiting this tendency.

Medicinal Uses:
Medicines made from Fragaria x ananassa is not known but it is highly delicious fruit. It has all the qualities & health benifits that fruits have.

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/Strawberry
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fragaria+x+ananassa
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Horticulture/Fragaria_x_ananassa

Fucus vesiculosus

Botanical name :Fucus vesiculosus
Family: Fucaceae
Genus: Fucus
Species: F. vesiculosus
Kingdom: Chromalveolata
Phylum: Heterokontophyta
Class: Phaeophyceae
Order: Fucales

Common names:  black tang, rockweed, bladder fucus, sea oak, black tany, cut weed, dyers fucus, red fucus, and rock wrack,Kelp/Bladderwrack , Fucus, Seaweed, dried

Habitat ;Fucus vesiculosus is the most common algae on the shores of the British Isles. It has been recorded from the Atlantic shores of Europe, Northern Russia, the Baltic Sea, Greenland, Azores, Canary Islands, Morocco and Madeira. It is also found on the Atlantic coast of North America from Ellesmere Island, Hudson Bay to North Carolina

Description:
The fronds of Fucus vesiculosus have a prominent midrib and almost spherical air bladders which are usually paired but may be absent in young plants. The margin is smooth and the frond is dichotomously branched. It is sometimes confused with Fucus spiralis with which it hybridises
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Plants of F. vesiculosus are dioecious. Gametes are generally released into the seawater under calm conditions and the eggs are fertilised externally to produce a zygote. Eggs are fertilised shortly after being released from the receptacle. A study on the coast of Maine showed that there was 100% fertilisation at both exposed and sheltered sites. Continuously submerged populations in the Baltic Sea are very responsive to turbulent conditions. High fertilisation success is achieved because the gametes are only released when water velocities are low

chemical Constituents:
Primary chemical constituents of this plant include mucilage, algin, mannitol, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, iodine, bromine, potassium, volatile oils, and many other minerals.

Medicinal Uses:
Properties: * Analgesic * Antiscorbutic * Appetite Depressant/Obesity * Laxative

This herb is used for cancer prevention & a diet fore wetloss.

It  is commonly used in herbal medicine to stimulate the thyroid function, and can be effective in weight loss as part of a low calorie diet. The consumption of seaweeds has also been associated with lower cancer rates.

Kelp, dried seaweed Fucus vesiculosis, was the original source of iodine, being discovered as such by Courtois in 1812. Iodine does not occur in nature in the uncombined condition but is widely, though sparingly, distributed in the form of iodides and iodates, chiefly of sodium and potassium, in seawater, some seaweeds, and various mineral and medicinal springs. Kelp is an important part of the diet in Japan, Norway, and Scotland. For vegans (vegetarians who eat no animal products at all), it supplies vitamin B12, otherwise found almost exclusively in animal products, and is a concentrated source of minerals, including iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron. As a source of iodine, it assists in the production of of thyroid hormones, which are necessary for maintaining healthy metabolism in all cells of the body. The brown algae known as bladderwrack is a particularly common source of kelp.

The main use of bladder wrack (and other types of seaweed) in herbal medicine is as a source of iodine, an essential nutrient for the thyroid gland. Bladder wrack has been used in the treatment of underactive thyroid glands (hypothyroidism) and goitre.

Bladder wrack has been shown to help women with abnormal menstrual cycling patterns and menstrual-related disease histories. Doses of 700 to 1400 mg/day were found to increase the menstrual cycle lengths, decrease the days of menstruation per cycle, and decrease the serum levels of 17B-estradiol while was later carried out and showed similar effects.

Safety precautions:
Bladderwrack may contains significant amounts of iodine, which could cause an allergic reaction in sensitive people

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.ask.com/wiki/Fucus_vesiculosus?o=3986&qsrc=999#Description
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail197.php

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Alocasia

Botanical Name :Alocasia
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Tribe: Colocasieae
Genus: Alocasia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Alismatales
Syn. : Arum Indicum, Roxb. Sans, Alocasia macorhiza (Linn);  Alocasia odora Koch; Colocasia macrorhiza Schott

Common Name :Makanda, Giant taro, Mankachu, Great-leaved Caledium, Alavu, mankanda, Genasoo, Marambu, Alu, Merukanlilangu, Chara kanda,Elephant Ear,Giant Elephant Ear

.Bengali name :Kochu
Parts used: Stems, leave, rhizomes.

Habitat :Native to Java and Malaysia, people there use alocasia (Esculenta, Taro) as important sources of starch, such as poi in the Hawaiian food tradition. It grows most places having worm climate.Grows  very well in India, Balgladesh and Sreelankha.

Description:
Alocasia is a genus of about 70 species .These rhizomatous or bulbous perennials occur in tropical humid climates of southeast Asia and a few other places. They are grown as ornamentals for their large heart-shaped or arrowhead-shaped leaves, sometimes called African Masks or Elephant’s Ears. These plants are variable in size, height, shape, and leaf color.
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The underground stems of Alocasia Indica constitute a valu-able and important vegetable of native dietary. The stems sometimes grow to an immense size, from six to eight feet in length and can be preserved for a considerable time. Hence they are of great importance in jail dietary when fresh vegetables become scarce in the bazar or jail garden. They thrive best in shade under the eaves of huts or buildings and beside fences.
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The stem (a corm) is edible, but contains raphid or raphide crystals of oxalic acid that can numb and swell the tongue and pharynx resulting in difficult breathing, and sharp throat pain. The lower parts contain more of the poison. Prolonged boiling before serving or processing may reduce the risks but acidic fruit such as tamarind will dissolve them.

Constituents and properties:-
*Rhizomes contain phytosterols, alkaloids, glucose and fructose.
*Root tuber contains neurotoxin, sapotoxin.

Medicinal Uses:
Medicinally manaka is said to be useful in anasarca, in which disease it is used in the following manner. Take of the powdered meal of Alocasia Indica eight tolas, powdered rice sixteen tolas, water and milk, forty-eight tol?s each, boil them together till the water is evaporated. This preparation called Menamanda, is given as diet.1 No other article is allowed in addition to it except milk. A ghrita is also ordered to be made with a decoction and paste of menaka but it is not in vogue.

Folkloric
• Leaves and corms used for furuncles, impetigo and snake bites
• Ground petioles in near-decayed state are placed in cloth and heated in coals, used for toothaches.
• Decoction of rhizomes used for abdominal pains and vomiting.
• Acrid juice used for stings of giant nettles (Laportea).
• In Java, chopped roots and leaves applied to painful joints.
• In India, rhizomes are rubefacient; employed as external stimulant and for fevers.

Other Uses:
As Houseplants
Hybrids, such as the Amazon Lily or the African Mask (Alocasia x amazonica) are grown as popular ornamentals. Alocasia are distinctly exotic and tropical plants that are increasingly becoming popular in American and European homes as houseplants. They are typically grown as pot plants but a better way is to grow the plants permanently in the controlled conditions of a greenhouse. They do not do well in the dark and need good lighting if inside the house. They should be cared for as any other tropical plant with weekly cleaning of the leaves and frequent fine water misting without leaving the plants wet.

Unfortunately, they rarely survive cold winters, or the dryness of artificial heating, but an attempt to slowly acclimatize plants from the summer garden to the house can help . Once inside the watering period must be reduced and the plants should be protected from spider mites or red spider attack. Alternatively, let younger plants die back to the corm from when the temperature reaches 19 degrees and with some luck this could lead to a rebirth in spring.

Studies
• Antifungal / Anti-HIV1 Reverse Transcriptase: Alocasin, an anti-fungal protein was isolated from the rhizome of Alocasia macrorrhiza. and showed antifungal activity against Botrytis cineria. Alocasin also reduced the activity of HIV1 reverse transcriptase.
• Neurotoxicity / Sapotoxin: A case report of poisoning due to the raw root tuber of Chinese medicinal plant, A macrorrhiza, presenting with severe pain and numbness periorally, with nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Root tuber is known to contain the neurotoxin, sapotoxin.
Anti-Tumor: In a study of the antitumor effect of water extract of Alocasia macrorrhiza, the inhibitory rate was 29.38% against S180 in mice and 51.72% against transplantable human gastroadenitis in nude mice.

Known Possible Hazards :
• Stinging Raphides: Stems, corms, leaves and petioles contain stinging raphides (calcium oxalate crystals) that are destroyed by boiling and roasting.
• Neurotoxicity: Case report possiblty caused by tuber root neurotoxin, sapotoxin.

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

Resources:
http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/alocasia
http://mgonline.com/articles/alocasia.aspx
http://www.aroid.org/gallery/kozminski/Alocasia/
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp
http://www.stuartxchange.org/Biga.html

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Yashtimadhu – (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

 

Botanical Name : Glycyrrhiza Glabra
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Galegeae
Genus: Glycyrrhiza
Species: G. glabra
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Family name: Leguminosae

Sanskrit: Yashtimadhu
English: Liquorice

Hindi: Mulethi
Telugu: Athimadhuramu
Common names:Liquorice, or Licorice, Yashtimadhuka, Mitilakadi, Asailasoos, Erattimadhuram, Athimadhuram, Athimadhura, Jeshtamaddu,

The word liquorice is derived (via the Old French licoresse) from the Greek    (glukurrhiza), meaning “sweet root”,   from    (glukus), “sweet”  +  (rhiza), “root”,  the name provided by Dioscorides.  It is usually spelled liquorice in British usage, but licorice in the United States and Canada. It is called erk-soos   in Arabic, athimadhuram   in Telugu, jyeshthamadhu   in Kannada,   in Urdu, athimadhuram   in Tamil, irattimadhuram   in Malayalam, yastimadhu   in Sanskrit, mulethi   in Hindi, Vel Mee  in Sinhalese, jethimadh  in Gujarati, and jyeshthamadh  in Marathi.

Other Names: Licorice, Mithi-lakdi, Mulathi, Liquorice, sweetwood.

Parts used : Roots and runners, either unpeeled or peeled.
Habitat: Glycyrrhiza Glabra is  native to southern Europe, India, and parts of Asia. It is not botanically related to anise, star anise, or fennel, which are sources of similar flavouring compounds.It is a legume plant and grows as a shrub.This herb is found in many countries. It is believed to give contentment and harmony.

Origin: China. Licorice is a medical plant in China and India, and therefore cultivated.

Description:
The liquorice plant is a herbaceous perennial legume. It goows to 1 m in height, with pinnate leaves about 7–15 cm (2.8–5.9 in) long, with 9–17 leaflets. The flowers are 0.8–1.2 cm (1?3–1?2 in) long, purple to pale whitish blue, produced in a loose inflorescence. The fruit is an oblong pod, 2–3 cm (3?4–1 1?6 in) long, containing several seeds. The roots are stoloniferous.

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History:
Licorice is a traditional herbal remedy with an ancient history and world wide usage. Modern research has shown it to have effects upon, amongst other organs, the endocrine system and liver. The triterpenes of Glycyrrhiza are metabolized in the body to molecules that have a similar structure to the

Active Compounds:
*Triterpenes of the oleanane type, mainly glycyrrhizin (=glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhizinic acid), and its agylcone glycyrrhetinic acid (=glycyrrhitic acid), liquiritic acid, glycyrrhetol, glabrolide, isoglabrolide, licoric acid, & phytosterols.

* Flavonoids and isoflavonoids; liquiritigenin, liquiritin, rhamnoliquiritin, neoliquiritin, licoflavonol, licoisoflavones A and B, licoisoflavanone, formononetin, glabrol, glabrone, glyzarin, kumatakenin and others.

* Coumarins; liqcoumarin, umbelliferone, herniarin glycyrin.

*Chalcones; liquiritigenin, isoliquiritigenin, neosoliquiritin, rhamnoisoliquiritin, licuraside, licochalcones A and B, echinatin and others.

*Polysaccharides, mainly glucans.

*Volatile oil, containing fenchone, linalool, furfuryl alcohol, benzaldehyde.

* Miscellaneous; starch, sugars, amino acid etc

In Ayurveda Yashtimadhu is known as an aphrodisiac and a rejuvenating tonic. It is an excellent natural herb that is used for treating various ailments like throat congestions, coughs, respiratory disorders and tuberculosis. Yastimadhu also helps inincreasing the appetite by facilitating proper evacuation of stools. This herb has a specialaction on kapha, which helps in expectoration of the accumulated kapha.

Some recent scientific studies have shown that Yashtimadhu also acts as a memory enhancer and mental rejuvenator.

Reduces hyperacidity and is documented for preventing gastric and duodenal ulcers. It has spasmolytic effect and is useful in treating heartburn.

Yashtimadhu is an excellent natural herb for treating throat congestions, coughs, respiratory disorders and tuberculosis. Yashtimadhu is known in Ayurvedic as an aphrodisiac and a rejuvenating tonic, it also helps in relieving hyperacidity, soothing peptic ulcers, liver diseases and abdominal aches.

The scent of liquorice root comes from a complex and variable combination of compounds, of which anethole is up to 3% of total volatiles. Much of the sweetness in liquorice comes from glycyrrhizin, which has a sweet taste, 30–50 times the sweetness of sugar. The sweetness is very different from sugar, being less instant, tart, and lasting longer.
The isoflavene glabrene and the isoflavane glabridin, found in the roots of liquorice, are phytoestrogens.
Edible Uses:………..CLICK & SEE
Food and candy:
Liquorice flavour is found in a wide variety of candies or sweets. In most of these candies, the taste is reinforced by aniseed oil so the actual content of liquorice is very low. Liquorice confections are primarily purchased by consumers in the European Union.

In the Netherlands, where liquorice candy (drop) is one of the most popular forms of sweets, only a few of the many forms that are sold contain aniseed, although mixing it with mint, menthol, or with laurel is quite popular. Mixing it with ammonium chloride (salmiak) is also popular. The most popular liquorice, known in the Netherlands as zoute drop (salty liquorice), actually contains very little salt, i.e., sodium chloride. The salty taste is probably due to ammonium chloride and the blood pressure-raising effect is due to glycyrrhizin. Strong, salty sweets are popular in Nordic countries.

Pontefract in Yorkshire was the first place where liquorice mixed with sugar began to be used as a sweet in the same way it is in the modern day.[20] Pontefract cakes were originally made there. In County Durham, Yorkshire, and Lancashire, it is colloquially known as ‘Spanish’, supposedly because Spanish monks grew liquorice root at Rievaulx Abbey near Thirsk.
Liquorice root chips:

Dried sticks of liquorice root:
In Italy (particularly in the south), Spain, and France, liquorice is popular in its natural form. The root of the plant is simply dug up, washed, dried, and chewed as a mouth freshener. Throughout Italy, unsweetened liquorice is consumed in the form of small black pieces made only from 100% pure liquorice extract; the taste is bitter and intense. In Calabria a popular liqueur is made from pure liquorice extract.

Liquorice is also very popular in Syria and Egypt, where it is sold as a drink, in shops as well as street vendors. It is used for its expectorant qualities in folk medicine in Egypt.

Dried liquorice root can be chewed as a sweet. Black liquorice contains about 100 calories[dubious – discuss] per ounce (15 kJ/g).

Liquorice is used by brewers to flavour and colour porter classes of beers, and the enzymes in the root also stabilize the foam heads produced by beers brewed with it

Medicinal Uses:anti-inflammatory, anti-hepatotoxic, anti-spasmodic, demulcent, emetic, expectorant, laxative, rejuvenative, sedative, tonic.

Uses in:
abdominal pain
bronchitis
colds
cough
debility (general)
heart tonic
hyperacidity
inflammation
laryngitis
laxative
mucus membrane toner and soother
muscle spasms
sore throat
ulcers
painful urination

Yashtimadhu is an excellent natural herb for treating throat congestions, coughs, respiratory disorders and tuberculosis. Yashtimadhu is known in Ayurvedic as an aphrodisiac and a rejuvenating tonic, it also helps in relieving hyperacidity, soothing peptic ulcers, liver diseases and abdominal aches.

Various scientific studies suggest that Yashtimadhu also acts as a memory enhancer and mental rejuvenator.
As an anti-hepatotoxic licorice is effective in the treatment of chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis, for which it is been widely used in Japan. Much of the liver orientated research has focused upon the triterpene glycyrrhizin. This inhibits hepatocyte injury caused by carbon tetrachloride, benzene hexachloride and PCB. Antibody production is enhanced by glycyrrhizin, possibly through the production of interleukin.

Glycyrrhizin inhibits the growth of several DNA and RNA viruses, inactivating Herpes simplex virus particles irreversibly. It has a variety of uses in bronchial problems such as catarrh, bronchitis and coughs in general. Liquorice is used in allopathic medicine as a treatment for peptic ulceration, a similar use to its herbal use in gastritis and ulcers. It can be used in the relief of abdominal colic.

It nourishes the brain-increasing cranial and cerebrospinal fluid. Also improves complexion, hair, and vision.

It is used for:Sore throat with hoarseness of voice and cough.Acid peptic disease.Chronic liver diseases General tonic.

Since Hippocrates’ day licorice has been prescribed for dropsy because it does, indeed, prevent thirst–probably the only sweet thing that does. The chief medicinal action of licorice is as a demulcent and emollient. Its soothing properties make it excellent in throat and chest complaints and it is a very common ingredient in throat pastilles and cough mixtures. It is also widely used in other medicines to counteract bitter tastes and make them more palatable. Recent research has shown that it has a pain-killing effect on stomach ulcers and prolonged use raises the blood pressure. Medicinally the dried peeled root has been decocted to allay coughs, sore throat, laryngitis, and urinary and intestinal irritations. The root is expectorant, diuretic, demulcent, antitussive, anti-inflammatory, and mildly laxative. It has proven helpful in inflammatory upper respiratory disease, Addison’s disease, and gastric and duodenal ulcers. Side effects may develop in ulcer treatment. Licorice may increase venous and systolic arterial pressure causing some people to experience edema, and hypertension. In some countries, licorice has been used to treat cancers. Licorice stick, the sweet earthy flavored stolons, are chewed. Licorice chew sticks blackened Napoleon’s teeth. In the 1940s Dutch physicians tested licorice’s reputation as an aid for indigestion. They came up with a derivative drug, carbenoxolone, that promised to help peptic ulcer patients by either increasing the life span of epithelial cells in the stomach or inhibiting digestive activity in general. Many cures were achieved in the experiments, but negative side effects–the patients’ faces and limbs swelled uncomfortably–outweighed the cures.

Certain agents in licorice have recently been credited with antibacterial and mild antiviral effects; licorice may be useful in treating dermatitis, colds, and infections. It also has been used in a medicinal dandruff shampoo. Other modern-day research found that the herb can reduce arthritic activity.

An extract of licorice is made by crushing the fresh or stored roots, then boiling or passing steam through them and evaporating the liquid, leaving a thick paste or solid black glossy substance with a sharp fracture. The active ingredient Glycyrrhizin may cause hypertension from potassium loss, sodium retention, and in increase of extracellular fluid and plasma volume. It is fifty times sweeter than sugar. Licorice also reportedly contains steroid hormones, but their relation to licorice’s biological activity is yet to be determined, though extracts have been shown to be estrogenic in laboratory animals. Perhaps the most common medicinal use is in cough syrups and cough drops; licorice soothes the chest and helps bring up phlegm. Licorice has also been used to treat ulcers, to relieve rheumatism and arthritis, and to induce menstruation. In this country it was used in powder form as a laxative.

Licorice root is being used today in France and China in eye drops that relieve inflammation. Sodium salts of glycyrrhinic acid are extracted from the root and added to the eye drop formula. The cortisone like action of the licorice root extract is responsible for its healing effects.

Safety:
Caution : There is a small possibility of effecting electrolyte balance with extended use of large doses of licorice. It has an ACTH like effect causing retention of sodium thus raising BP. The whole herb has constituents that counter this but it is best to avoid Licorice if the patient has hypertension, kidney disease or during pregnancy.

It may interfere with the calcium and potassium absorption. Do not use if you are suffering from osteoporosis, hypertension (increases water around heart). Take with boiled milk.

No other information about the safety of this herb is available. Use caution. Ayurvedic herbs are often taken in combination with others to neutralize the toxicity one herb with the opposing effect of other. Do not take except under the supervision of a qualified professional.
Its major dose-limiting toxicities are corticosteroid in nature, due to the inhibitory effect its chief active constituents, glycyrrhizin and enoxolone, have on cortisol degradation and include oedema, hypokalaemia, weight gain or loss, and hypertension.

The United States Food and Drug Administration believes that foods containing liquorice and its derivatives (including glycyrrhizin) are safe if not consumed excessively. Other jurisdictions have suggested no more than 100 mg to 200 mg of glycyrrhizin per day, the equivalent of about 70 to 150 g (2.5 to 5.3 oz) of liquorice.

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.

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Resources:
http://www.allayurveda.com/herbalcure5.htm
http://www.india-shopping.net/india-ayurveda-products/Glycyrrhiza%20glabra-yashtimadhu.htm
http://www.herbzonline.com/safeherbs/natural-antacid.htm
http://www.holisticonline.com/Herbal-Med/_Herbs/h204.htm
http://www.ayurveda-recipes.com/yashtimadhuka.html
http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Glyc_gla.html

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

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

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