Habitat: Jin Qian Cao is native to E. Asia – China. It grows in grassy thickets along roadsides. Damp areas along streamsides, open forests and forest margins at elevations of 500 – 2300 metres.
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. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Most species in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits.
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:
Synonyms: Ground Thistle. Dwarf May Thistle (Culpepper)
Common Name : Stemless Carline Thistle, Carline Thistle
Johns (Flowers of the Field) calls this the Ground Thistle, and Culpepper calls it the Dwarf May Thistle, and says that ‘in some places it is called the Dwarf Carline Thistle.’ Habitat: Carduus acaulis, the Dwarf Thistle, is found in pastures, especially chalk downs, and is rather common in the southern half of England, particularly on the east side.It grows in poor soils in dry sandy pastures and on rocky slopes, especially on limestone.
Carduus acaulis is a biennial/ perennial plant, growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.3 m (1ft).long, It has woody root-stock. The stem in the ordinary form is so short that the flowers appear to be sessile, or sitting, in the centre of the rosette of prickly leaves, but very occasionally it attains the length of a foot or 18 inches, and then is usually slightly branched. The leaves are spiny and rigid, with only a few hairs on the upper side, and on the veins beneath, and are of a dark, shining green. The flowers are large and dark crimson in colour, and are in bloom from July to September and the seeds ripen from Jul to August..The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera, self.The plant is self-fertile…..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Succeeds in a sunny position in ordinary garden soil. Prefers a neutral to alkaline soil. Prefers a poor soil. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. The stemless carline thistle is a protected plant in the wild because of its rarity. This species resents root disturbance, it should be planted into its final position as soon as possible. Plants are usually short-lived or monocarpic. The plant is popular in dried flower arranging, the dried heads keeping their appearance indefinitely.
Seed – surface sow in a cold frame in the spring. The seed usually germinates in 4 – 8 weeks at 15°c. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer.
Edible Uses: Flowering head is cooked. Used as a globe artichoke substitute, though they are considerably smaller and even more fiddly. The fleshy centre of the plant is edible.
Stemless carline thistle is seldom used in modern herbalism. The root has also been used in treating a range of skin complaints such as acne and eczema. A decoction of the root can be used externally to cleanse wounds or as an antiseptic gargle. Some caution should be employed since in large doses the root is purgative and emetic. The root is antibiotic, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, mildly diuretic, emetic in large doses, febrifuge and purgative in large doses. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.
It is used nternally for fluid retention, liver, gall bladder, and prostate problems, bronchitis, and skin complaints, such as acne and eczema. It is used in the form of an infusion to treat stomach and liver disorders, edema and urine retention. Decoctions are applied externally to bathe skin disorders, fungal infections and wounds and are used as an antiseptic gargle. The dried and chopped roots, soaked in wine, stimulate digestion and soothe the nerves. Wine extract of 40-50 g of powdered roots/1 litre wine acts as a vermifuge. Take a wine glass twice daily. A water extract produces the same effect in 50/50 mixture with vinegar. Swedish bitters contains the root of the carline thistle, which possesses bacteriostatic properties and acts on the stomach as well. The root is antibiotic, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, mildly diuretic, emetic in large doses, febrifuge and purgative in large doses. The plant was at one time in great demand as an aphrodisiac, it is used nowadays in the treatment of spasms of the digestive tract, gall bladder disorders, dropsy etc.
At one time the root used to be chewed as a remedy for toothache.
Weather forecasting. : The dried flowers respond to the amount of humidity in the air and can be used as hygrometers. Flowers on the growing plant close at the approach of rain.
Known Hazards:The Thistle is very injurious in pastures; it kills all plants that grow beneath it and ought not to be tolerated, even on the borders of fields and waste places. Resources:
Botanical Name : Stachvs Sieboldii Family: Lamiaceae Genus: Stachys Species: S. affinis Kingdom:Plantae Order: Lamiales
Other Names: Stachys affinis, the Chinese artichoke, chorogi, knotroot, artichoke betony, or crosne
Habitat :This species occurs wild in Northern China, where it is also cultivated, its native name being Tsanyungtzu, while in Japan it is called Chorogi. It was introduced as a culinary vegetable by the late Dr. M. T. Masters, F.R.S., in 1888. The tubers are eaten more in France than in this country. It grows in wet and submersed areas; 0-3200 m. Gansu, Hebei, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Xinjiang.
While the plant is easy to grow, the tubers are small, convoluted, and indented, so they are considered very tedious, if not difficult to clean properly. The thin skin ranges from a pale beige to ivory-white colour. The flesh underneath, under proper cultivation, is white and tender. Chinese poets compare it to jade beads. It is in season generally commencing with October……….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation: It is perfectly hardy and may be left in the ground until required for use. Planting should take place in the spring and the tubers dug through the winter as required. The plants are perfectly easily grown and extraordinarily productive.
Propagation : Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If sufficient growth has been made, it is possible to plant them out during the summer, otherwise grow them on in pots for their first summer, leaving the tubers in the pots to overwinter in a cold frame and then plant out in late spring when in active growth. Seed is rarely if ever produced on plants growing in Britain. Division. The tubers can be harvest and replanted at any time whilst they are dormant. They do start into growth fairly early in the year so it is better to have moved them by the end of March.
Edible Uses: The flavor of the stem tubers is delicate, and they can be prepared similarly to Jerusalem artichokes in cooking. It is used as a vegetable, in salad compositions, but more so as a garnish. It has a nutty, artichoke-like flavor.
In Chinese and Japanese cuisine, the Chinese artichoke is primarily pickled. In particular, its tuber is a part of Osechi, cooked for celebrating Japanese New Year. Dyed red by leaves of red shiso after being pickled, it is called Chorogi.
In French cuisine, its cooked tuber is often served alongside dishes named japonaise or Japanese-styled.
The dried and powdered root is anodyne. The entire plant has been used in the treatment of colds and pneumonia.
Chinese artichoke is composed mostly of carbohydrate with some protein. One hundred grams of this vegetable contains 80 calories. The Chinese artichoke plant is very similar and directly related to the European plant, wood betony or lousewort. Wood betony is renowned for its use in traditional European medicine and for the treatment of a number of ailments. They include heartburn, varicose veins, urinary tract inflammation and respiratory tract inflammation. It also has calming effects and is used for headaches and neuralgia. Chinese artichoke, both the root and the plant, are used in Chinese traditional medicine although for different ailments, mainly to treat symptoms of the common cold. So far there has been very little research into the active constituents of the Chinese artichoke plant, although wood betony is know to contain alkaloids, tannins and glycosides.
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.
Common Names:Cardoon,artichoke thistle, cardone, cardoni, carduni or cardi
Habitat : Cardoon is native to the Mediterranean, where it was domesticated in ancient times.Stony or waste places and in dry grassland, usually on clay
Cynara cardunculus is a PERENNIAL growing to 2 m (6ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.
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The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay and nutritionally poor soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
Prefers a light warm soil and an open position in full sun. For best results, this plant requires plenty of moisture in the growing season and a good rich soil , though another report says that it is drought tolerant once established. Plants grew very well with us in the hot and very dry summer of 1995, though they were looking very tatty by September. Tolerates most soils including heavy clays of both acid and alkaline nature, especially when grown in heavier or more spartan soils. Plants are reasonably wind resistant. This species is hardy to about -10°c. Plants are more likely to require protection from winter cold when they are grown in a heavy soil. Wet winters can do more harm than cold ones. At one time the cardoon was often grown for its edible stems but it has now fallen into virtual disuse. There are some named varieties. It is a very ornamental foliage plant and makes a very attractive feature in the garden. The leaves are long lasting in water and are often used in flower arrangements. Recent taxonomic revisions (1999) have seen the globe artichoke being merged into this species. However, since from the gardener’s point of view it is quite a distinctive plant, we have decided to leave it with its own entry in the database under Cynara scolymus. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits.
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. Germination is usually quick and good, prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions during the summer. It would be prudent to give the plants some winter protection in their first year. The seed can also be sown in situ in April. Sow the seed 2cm deep, putting 2 or 3 seeds at each point that you want a plant. Protect the seed from mice. Division of suckers. This is best done in November and the suckers overwintered in a cold frame then planted out in April. Division can also be carried out in March/April with the divisions being planted out straight into their permanent positions, though the plants will be smaller in their first year.
While the flower buds can be eaten much as the artichoke, more often the stems are eaten after being braised in cooking liquid. Battered and fried, the stems are also traditionally served at St. Joseph’s altars in New Orleans.
The stalks, which look like large celery stalks, can be served steamed or braised. They have an artichoke-like flavor. Cardoons are available in the market only in the winter months. In the U.S.A., it is rarely found in stores, but available in farmers’ markets, where it is available through May, June, and July. The main root can also be boiled and served cold. Acclaimed chef Mario Batali calls the cardoon one of his favorite vegetables and says they have a “very sexy flavor.”
Cardoons are also an ingredient in one of the national dishes of Spain, the cocido madrileño, a slow-cooking, one-pot, meat and vegetable dinner simmered in broth.
In the Abruzzi region of Italy, Christmas lunch is traditionally started with a soup of cardoons cooked in chicken broth with little meatballs (lamb or more rarely, beef), sometimes with the further addition of egg (which scrambles in the hot soup – called stracciatella) or fried chopped liver and heart.
The cardoon has become important as a medicinal herb in recent years following the discovery of cynarin. This bitter-tasting compound, which is found in the leaves, improves liver and gall bladder function, stimulates the secretion of digestive juices, especially bile, and lowers blood cholesterol levels. The leaves are anticholesterolemic, antirheumatic, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, hypoglycaemic and lithontripic. They are used internally in the treatment of chronic liver and gall bladder diseases, jaundice, hepatitis, arteriosclerosis and the early stages of late-onset diabetes. The leaves are best harvested just before the plant flowers, and can be used fresh or dried.
The cardoon has become important as a medicinal herb in recent years following the discovery of cynarin. This bitter-tasting compound, which is found in the leaves, improves liver and gall bladder function, stimulates the secretion of digestive juices, especially bile, and lowers blood cholesterol levels. The leaves are used internally in the treatment of chronic liver and gall bladder diseases, jaundice, hepatitis, arteriosclerosis and the early stages of late-onset diabetes.
Cardoons are used as a vegetarian source of enzymes for cheese production. In Portugal, traditional coagulation of the curd relies entirely on this vegetable rennet. This results in cheeses such as the Nisa (D.O.P.), with a peculiar earthy, herbaceous and a slightly citric flavour that bears affinity with full-bodied or fortified wines.
Cardoon has attracted recent attention as a possible source of biodiesel. The oil, extracted from the seeds of the cardoon, and called artichoke oil, is similar to safflower and sunflower oil in composition and use
The plant is said to yield a good yellow dye, though the report does not say which part of the plant is used.
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.
Description: The Globe Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) is a perennial thistle originating in southern Europe around the Mediterranean. It grows to 1.5-2 m tall, with arching, deeply lobed, silvery glaucous-green leaves 50 to 80 cm long. The flowers develop in a large head from an edible bud about 8 to 15 cm diameter with numerous triangular scales; the individual florets are purple. The edible portion of the buds consists primarily of the fleshy lower portions of the involucral bracts and the base, known as the “heart”; the mass of inedible immature florets in the center of the bud are called the “choke.”
Globe Artichokes were first cultivated at Naples around the middle of the 9th century, and are said to have been introduced to France by Catherine de’ Medici, Dutch introduced artichokes to England, where they were growing in Henry VIII’s garden at Newhall in 1530. They were introduced to the United States in the 19th century, to Louisiana by French immigrants and to California by Spanish immigrants. The name has originated from ardi shauki , which is Arabic for ground-thorn, through the Italian, articiocco.
An artichoke flower.Today, the Globe Artichoke cultivation is concentrated in the contries bordering the Mediterranean basin. The main producers are Italy, Spain, and France. In the United States, California provides nearly 100% of the U.S. crop, and approximately 80 percent of that is grown in Monterey County; there, Castroville proclaims itself to be “The Artichoke Center of the World”. The cultivar ‘Green Globe‘ is virtually the only kind grown commercially in the U.S.
Artichokes can be produced from seeds or from perennials. Perennials produce the edible flower only during the second and subsequent year, while varieties from seeds can be annual. Commercial culture is limited to warm areas in USDA hardiness zone 7 and above. It requires good soil, regular watering and feeding plus frost protection in winter. Rooted suckers can be planted each year so that mature specimens can be disposed of after a few years, as each individual plant only lives a few years. The peak season for artichoke harvesting is the spring, but they continue to be harvested throughout the summer, with another peak period in mid autumn.
When harvesting, if they are cut from the ground so as to leave an inch or two of stem, artichokes possess good keeping qualities, frequently remaining quite fresh for two weeks or longer under average retail conditions.
The recently introduced hybrid cultivar ‘Imperial Star’ has been bred to produce in the first year without such measures. An even newer cultivar, ‘Northern Star’, is said to be able to overwinter in more northerly climates, and readily survive sub-zero temperatures. A second generation of new hybrid cultivars were bred during the last decade, much more homogeneous and stable than the former and more suitable for professional growers.
Apart from food use, the Globe Artichoke is also an attractive plant for its bright floral display, sometimes grown in herbaceous borders for its bold foliage and large purple flowerheads.
Varieties Traditionally, globe artichoke has been grown by vegetative propagation of suckers, although seed planted cultivars has been introduced in the latest years.
Traditional cultivars (Vegetative multiplication):
Green color, large size: Camus de Bretagne, Castel, Blanc Hyerois (France), Green globe (USA).
Green color, medium size: Blanca de Tudela (Spain), Argentina, EspaÃ±ola (Chile), Blanc d’Oran (Algeria), Sakiz, Bayrampsha (Turkey).
Purple color, large size: Romanesco, C3 (Italy).
Purple color, medium size: Violet de Provence (France), Brindisino, Catanese (Italy), Violet d’Algerie (Algeria), Baladi (Egypt).
Spined: Spinoso sardo (Italy), Criolla (Peru).
Varieties multipled by seeds:
Whole Globe Artichokes are prepared for cooking by removing all but 5-10 mm or so of the stem, and (optionally) cutting away about a quarter of each scale with scissors. This removes the thorns that can interfere with handling the leaves when eating. Then, the artichoke is boiled or steamed until tender, about 15-45 minutes. If boiling, salt can be added to the water, if desired. It may be preferable not to cover the pot while the artichokes are boiled, so that the acids will boil out into the air. Covered artichokes can turn brown due to the acids and chlorophyll oxidation.
The leaves are often removed and eaten one at a time, sometimes dipped in butter, mayonnaise, aioli, or other sauces.
Artichokes can also be made into an herbal tea; artichoke tea is produced as a commercial product in the Dalat region of Vietnam.photo.
Artichoke is the primary flavor of the Italian liquor Cynar.
The total antioxidant capacity of artichoke flower heads is one of the highest reported for vegetables. Cynarine is a chemical constituent in Cynara. The majority of the cynarine found in artichoke is located in the pulp of the leaves, though dried leaves and stems of artichoke also contain it. It inhibits taste receptors, making water (and other foods and drinks) seem sweet.
Studies have shown artichoke to aid digestion, liver function and gallbladder function, and raise the ratio of HDL to LDL. This reduces cholesterol levels, which diminishes the risk for arteriosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Aqueous extracts from artichoke leaves have also been shown to reduce cholesterol by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase and having a hypolipidemic influence, lowering blood cholesterol. Artichoke contains the bioactive agents apigenin and luteolin. C. scolymus also seems to have a bifidogenic effect on beneficial gut bacteria. Its effect in arresting pathogenic bacteria may be attributed to the notable presence of phenolic compounds. Both are higher in the baby anzio artichoke (Cyrnara scolymus). Artichoke leaf extract has proved helpful for patients with functional dyspepsia, and may ameliorate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
Artichoke leaves contain a wide number of active constituents, including cynarin,1,3 dicaffeoylquinic acid, 3-caffeoylquinic acid, and scolymoside. The choleretic (bile stimulating) action of the plant has been well documented.In an un controll clinical trial it is observed that 320 -640 mg of stadardized artichoke extract taken three times per day can reduce nausea,abdominal pain, constipation,and flatulence .
The standard extract has been used to treat high cholesterol and triglycerides.
Studies have shown that blood cholesterol levels dropped after eating artichoke. An anticholesterol drug called cynara is derived from this plant. In 1940, a study in Japan showed that artichoke not only reduced cholesterol but it also increased bile production by the liver and worked as a good diuretic. This make artichoke useful for gallbladder problems, nausea, indigestion, and abdominal distension. It has been found that globe artichoke contains the extract cymarin, which is similar to silymarin. Researchers discovered that this extract promotes liver regeneration and causes hyperaemia. It was also found that an artichoke extract caused dyspeptic symptoms to disappear. The researchers interpreted the reduction in cholinesterase levels to mean that the extract effected fatty degeneration of the liver. In 1969 a team of French researchers patented an artichoke extract as a treatment for kidney and liver ailments. Although the leaves are particularly effective, all parts of the plant are bitter. A Mediterranean home recipe uses fresh artichoke leaf juice mixed with wine or water as a liver tonic. It is also taken during the early stages of late-onset diabetes. It is a good food for diabetics, since it significantly lowers blood sugar. In France it has been used to treat rheumatic conditions.
Dried or fresh leaves and/or stems of Cynara are used as a choleretic (to increase bile production), to treat gallstones, and as a tonic for convalescence.
Cynarin is the principal active constituent in Cynara; research in 2005 found that cynarin causes an increase in bile flow.
Known Hazards: Can cause allergic reactions (dermatitis) due to lactones. . Use with caution in cases of biliary obstruction. May hinder breast feeding (lactation)
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