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Portulaca oleracea

Botanical Name: Portulaca oleracea
Family: Portulacaceae
Genus: Portulaca
Species: P. oleracea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Garden Purslane. Pigweed.
Common Name: Green Purslane, Little hogweed ,Common purslane, Verdolaga, Pigweed, Little hogweed, Red root, Pursley, and Moss rose

Parts Used: Herb, juice, seeds.

Habitat:The Purslanes are distributed all over the world. Portulaca oleracea, the Garden, or Green Purslane, is a herbaceous annual, native of many parts of Europe, found in the East and West Indies, China, Japan and Ascension Island, and though found also in the British Isles is not indigenous there.It grows in fields, waste ground, roadside verges, cultivated ground and by the sea

Description:
Portulaca oleracea is an annual succulent plant growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a fast rate.It has smooth, reddish, mostly prostrate stems and alternate leaves clustered at stem joints and ends. The yellow flowers have five regular parts and are up to 6 mm wide. Depending upon rainfall, the flowers appear at anytime during the year. The flowers open singly at the center of the leaf cluster for only a few hours on sunny mornings. Seeds are formed in a tiny pod, which opens when the seeds are mature. Purslane has a taproot with fibrous secondary roots and is able to tolerate poor, compacted soils and drought.The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects, self.The plant is self-fertile. It is frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to September, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September.

CLICK &  SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
Requires a moist light rich well-drained soil in a sunny position. Plants will not produce good quality leaves when growing in dry conditions. A perennial plant in warmer climates than Britain, purslane is killed by frost but can be grown as a half-hardy annual in this country. It can become an aggressive weed in areas where the climate suits it. The flowers only open in full sunlight. Purslane is occasionally cultivated for its edible leaves, there are some named varieties. The plants take about six to eight weeks to produce a crop from seed and can then be harvested on a cut and come again principle, providing edible leaves for most of the summer.

Propagation:
Seed – for an early crop, the seed is best sown under protection in early spring and can then be planted out in late spring. Outdoor sowings in situ take place from late spring to late summer, successional sowings being made every two to three weeks if a constant supply of the leaves is required.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed.

Leaves and stems – raw or cooked. The young leaves are a very acceptable addition to salads, their mucilaginous quality also making them a good substitute for okra as a thickener in soups. Older leaves are used as a potherb. The leaves have a somewhat sour flavour. A spicy and somewhat salty taste. The leaves are a source of omega-3 fatty acids, though seed sources such as walnuts are magnitudes richer. The leaves can be dried for later use. They contain about 1.8% protein, 0.5% fat, 6.5% carbohydrate, 2.2% ash. Another analysis gives the following figures per 100g ZMB. 245 – 296 calories, 17.6 – 34.5g protein, 2.4 – 5.3g fat, 35.5 – 63.2g carbohydrate, 8.5 – 14.6g fibre, 15.9 – 24.7g ash, 898 – 2078mg calcium, 320 – 774mg phosphorus, 11.2 – 46.7mg iron, 55mg sodium, 505 – 3120mg potassium, 10560 – 20000ug B-carotene equivalent, 0.23 – 0.48mg thiamine, 1.12 – 1.6mg riboflavin, 5.58 – 6.72mg niacin and 168 – 333mg ascorbic acid. Seed – raw or cooked. The seed can be ground into a powder and mixed with cereals for use in gruels, bread, pancakes etc. The seed is rather small and fiddly to utilize. In arid areas of Australia the plants grow quite large and can produce 10, 000 seeds per plant, a person can harvest several pounds of seed in a day. The seeding plants are uprooted and placed in a pile on sheets or something similar, in a few days the seeds are shed and can be collected from the sheet. In Britain, however, yields are likely to be very low, especially in cool or wet summers. The seed contains (per 100g ZMB) 21g protein, 18.9g fat 3.4g ash. Fatty acids of the seeds are 10.9% palmitic, 3.7% stearic, 1.3% behenic, 28.7% oleic, 38.9% linoleic and 9.9% linolenic. The ash of burnt plants is used as a salt substitute.

Constituents:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight) 270 Calories per 100g
*Water : 0%
*Protein: 26g; Fat: 4g; Carbohydrate: 50g; Fibre: 11.5g; Ash: 20g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 1500mg; Phosphorus: 550mg; Iron: 29mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 55mg; Potassium: 1800mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 15000mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.35mg; Riboflavin (B2): 1.4mg; Niacin: 6mg; B6: 0mg; C: 250mg;
*Notes: The figures given here are the median of a very wide range quoted in the report.

Medicinal Uses:
Antiscorbutic; Depurative; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Skin; Tonic; Vermifuge.

The plant is antibacterial, antiscorbutic, depurative, diuretic and febrifuge. The leaves are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is thought to be important in preventing heart attacks and strengthening the immune system. Seed sources such as walnuts, however, are much richer sources. The fresh juice is used in the treatment of strangury, coughs, sores etc. The leaves are poulticed and applied to burns, both they and the plant juice are particularly effective in the treatment of skin diseases and insect stings. A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of stomach aches and headaches. The leaf juice is applied to earaches, it is also said to alleviate caterpillar stings. The leaves can be harvested at any time before the plant flowers, they are used fresh or dried. This remedy is not given to pregnant women or to patients with digestive problems. The seeds are tonic and vermifuge. They are prescribed for dyspepsia and opacities of the cornea.

The sticky, broken leaves of fresh purslane sooth burns, stings and swellings.  The juice was once used for treating earaches and to  fasten   teeth and soothe sore gums.  Purslane has been considered valuable in the treatment of urinary and digestive problems.  The diuretic effect of the juice makes it useful in the alleviation of bladder ailments-for example, difficulty in passing urine. The plant’s mucilaginous properties also make it a soothing remedy for gastrointestinal problems such as dysentery and diarrhea.  In Chinese herbal medicine, purslane is employed for similar problems and for appendicitis.  The Chinese also use the plant as an antidote for wasp stings and snake bite.  Clinical trials in China indicate that purslane has a mild antibiotic effect.  In one study, the juice was shown to be effective in treating hookworms.  Other studies suggest that it is valuable against bacillary dysentery.  When injected, extracts of the herb induce powerful contractions of the uterus.  Taken orally, purslane juice weakens uterine contractions.    In Europe it’s been turned into a cough syrup for sore throats.  Purslane is the richest known plant source of Omega-3 acids, found mostly in fish oils.  These fatty acids reduce blood cholesterol and pressure, clotting, and inflammation and may increase immunity.   Recommended medicinal dosage is 15-30 grams.   Use for scours in goats.

Use is contraindicated during pregnancy and for those with cold and weak digestion. Purslane is a clinically effective treatment for oral lichen planus,

Other uses: Portulaca oleracea efficiently removes bisphenol A, an endocrine-disrupting chemical, from a hydroponic solution.

Companion plant: It is used as a companion plant, Purslane provides ground cover to create a humid microclimate for nearby plants, stabilising ground moisture. Its deep roots bring up moisture and nutrients that those plants can use, and some, including corn, will “follow” purslane roots down through harder soil that they cannot penetrate on their own (ecological facilitation). It is known as a beneficial weed in places that do not already grow it as a crop in its own right.

Popular culture:    Purslane also finds mention in a translation of the Bible as a repulsive food. Job’s question in Job 6:6 is translated in the RSV as, “Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt or is there any taste in the slime of the purslane?”
The name verdolaga, associated with the plant that grows in South America is a nickname for Football clubs with green-white schemes in their uniforms, such as Colombia’s Atletico Nacional and Argentina’s Ferrocarril Oeste.

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/Portulaca_oleracea
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/prugol77.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Portulaca+oleracea

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

Valerianella olitoria

Botanical Name: Valerianella olitoria
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Genus: Valerianella
Species: V. locusta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dipsacales
Synonyms:   Lamb’s Lettuce. Valerian locusta (Linn.). White Pot Herb. Lactuca agnina.
(French) Loblollie. Mâche. Doucette. Salade de Chanoine. Salade de Prêtre.

Common names: Corn salad, Common cornsalad, Lamb’s lettuce,  Mâche, Fetticus,  Feldsalat, Nut lettuce,  Field salad, and Rapunzel. In restaurants that feature French cooking, it may be called doucette or raiponce
Habitat : Valerianella olitoria is native to Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia. It is  now grows wild in parts of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. In Europe and Asia it is a common weed in cultivated land and waste spaces. In North America it has escaped cultivation and become naturalized on both the eastern and western seaboards
Description:
Valerianella olitoria is a small, annual, bright-green plant, with succulent stems, 6 to 12 inches high, generally forking from the very base, or at least within the lowest quarter of their height. The first leaves, springing from the root, are 1 to 3 inches long, bluntly lance-shaped scarcely-stalked, generally decaying early. The stem leaves are quite stalkless, often stem-clasping. The flowers are minute and are greenish-white in appearance, arranged in close, rounded, terminal heads, surrounded by narrow bracts, the tiny corolla is pale lilac, but so small that the heads of flowers do not give the appearance of any colour…..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation & propagation:   When cultivated in gardens, Valerianella olitoria may be sown in rows all through the autumn, winter and early spring, so as to produce a constant succession of crops. A small portion of garden earth sown with the seeds in August, will supply an excellent portion of the salad throughout the winter. The younger the leaves, the better they taste in salad.

Edible Uses: Young leaves  is eaten  raw as salad. A very mild flavour, with a delicate quality that makes them seem to melt in the mouth, they can be added in quantity to salads. The leaves can be available all year round from successional sowings and will only require protection in the colder winters. Flowers and flowering stems  are also  eaten raw.

Nutrition:
Valerianella olitoria  or corn salad has many nutrients, including three times as much vitamin C as lettuce, beta-carotene, B6, iron, and potassium. It is best if gathered before flowers appear

Medicinal Uses:
This herb was in request by country folk in former days as a spring medicine, and a homoeopathic medicinal tincture is made from the fresh root.

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/Valerianella_locusta
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/corsa104.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Valerianella+locusta

Stachvs Sieboldii

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.

Description:
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.

Medicinal Uses:
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.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stachys_affinis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/artic067.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Stachys+affinis
https://food-nutrition.knoji.com/chinese-artichoke-or-crosne-culinary-uses-and-nutrition/

Sichuan pepper

Botanical Name ; Sichuan pepper
Family  :  Rutaceae
Subfamily: Rutoideae
Gender : Zanthoxylum
Species : Z. piperitum
Kingdom :Plantae
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta, Vascular plants
Superdivision :Spermatophyta, Seed plants
Division : Magnoliophyta,Flower plants
Class :Magnoliopsida, Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms:  Zanthoxylum piperitum,  Zanthoxylum acanthophyllum, Zanthoxylum argyi, Zanthoxylum podocarpum

Common Names:
English: Sichuan pepper, Szechwan pepper or Szechuan pepper, Japanese pepper
Spanish: pimienta de Sichuán, pimienta de Sechuán, Fagara, pimienta anís, pimienta marrón, pimienta china, pimienta de Japón, Sansho, pimentero japonés (arbusto, bonsai).
Catalan: pebre japonès, pebre de Japó, pebre de Szechuan.
French: Poivrier du Japon, poivre chinois.
Italian: Pepe di Sichuan.
German: Japanischer Pfeffer, Anispfeffer, Chinesischer Pfeffer, Szechuanpfeffer.
Japanese: san-shô, shichimi.

Habitat:Sichuan pepper is native to Asia (mainly Caina)It grows in sun or partial shade. It prefers moist soils or heavy clay soils, well drained. Frost resistant up to -15 ° C.

Description:
Sichuan pepper is a deciduous shrub that grows 2 feet high by about 1 meter wide.Stem with rough colored bark, branched and covered with spines.
The leaves are pinnate, with an odd number of leaflets oval opposite (5 to 19), alternate and dark green. In fall, the leaves becom yellow stained.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
It flowers from April to June in the northern hemisphere. The Japanese pepper tree is a dioecious species, that’s to say, it has male plants and female plants. The variety to provide fruits must have both sexes.

The flowers are yellowish green, small and aromatic, fruity . They are formed on old wood, in the axils of the new branches.

The fruit is a capsule-sized sessile like peppercorns (3 to 5 mm in diameter), which grow in groups of 4 in the stem end, but only 1 or 2 fruits fail to develop.
CLICK & SEE
The capsules or fruit are reddish-brown.they have many bumps in the bark. They contain a liquid inside responsible for the characteristic pungent spiciness of this plant.

The interior has a black seed, shiny. It is customary that some fruits are empty inside.
Cultivation:
Easily grown in loamy soils in most positions, but prefers a good deep well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun or semi-shade. A plant has been growing well for many years in deep woodland shade at Cambridge Botanical gardens, it was fruiting heavily in autumn 1996. Cultivated for its seed, which is used as a condiment in China. Flowers are formed on the old wood. The bruised leaves are strongly aromatic. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Special Features:Inconspicuous flowers or blooms, Blooms appear periodically throughout the year.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Stored seed may requires up to 3 months cold stratification, though scarification may also help. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Germination should take place in late spring, though it might take another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Root cuttings, 3cm long, planted horizontally in pots in a greenhouse. Good percentage. Suckers, removed in late winter and planted into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:
The plant (fruit) is used as a spice . Its leaves are also edible.

Sichuan pepper’s unique aroma and flavour is not hot or pungent like black, white, or chili peppers. Instead, it has slight lemony overtones and creates a tingly numbness in the mouth (caused by its 3% of hydroxy alpha sanshool) that sets the stage for hot spices. According to Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking, they are not simply pungent; “they produce a strange, tingling, buzzing, numbing sensation that is something like the effect of carbonated drinks or of a mild electrical current (touching the terminals of a nine-volt battery to the tongue). Sanshools appear to act on several different kinds of nerve endings at once, induce sensitivity to touch and cold in nerves that are ordinarily nonsensitive, and so perhaps cause a kind of general neurological confusion.”

Recipes often suggest lightly toasting the tiny seed pods, then crushing them before adding them to food. Only the husks are used; the shiny black seeds are discarded or ignored as they have a very gritty sand-like texture. The spice is generally added at the last moment. Star anise and ginger are often used with it in spicy Sichuan cuisine. It has an alkaline pH and a numbing effect on the lips when eaten in larger doses. Ma la (Chinese: ??; pinyin: málà; literally “numbing and spicy”), common in Sichuan cooking, is a combination of Sichuan pepper and chili pepper, and it is a key ingredient in má là hot pot, the Sichuan version of the traditional Chinese dish. It is also a common flavouring in Sichuan baked goods such as sweetened cakes and biscuits.

Sichuan pepper is also available as an oil. In this form, it is best used in stir-fry noodle dishes without hot spices. The recipe may include ginger oil and brown sugar cooked with a base of noodles and vegetables, then rice vinegar and Sichuan pepper oil are added after cooking.

Hua jiao yan is a mixture of salt and Sichuan pepper, toasted and browned in a wok and served as a condiment to accompany chicken, duck, and pork dishes. The peppercorns can also be lightly fried to make a spicy oil with various uses.

In Indonesian Batak cuisine, andaliman (a relative of Sichuan pepper) is ground and mixed with chilies and seasonings into a green sambal tinombur or chili paste, to accompany grilled pork, carp, and other regional specialties. Arsik, a Batak dish from the Tapanuli region, uses andaliman as spice.

Sichuan pepper is one of the few spices important for Nepali (Gurkha), Tibetan and Bhutanese cookery of the Himalayas, because few spices can be grown there. One Himalayan specialty is the momo, a dumpling stuffed with vegetables, cottage cheese or minced yak meat, water buffalo meat, or pork and flavoured with Sichuan pepper, garlic, ginger, and onion, served with tomato and Sichuan pepper-based gravy. Nepalese-style noodles are steamed and served dry, together with a fiery Sichuan pepper sauce.

In Korean cuisine, two species are used: Z. piperitum and Z. schinifolium.

Medicinal uses:
Native North Americans use the ground bark of Szechuan plant as a remedy for toothache.
Like in anise, these peppercorns too found application in traditional medicines as stomachic, anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, digestive, expectorant, stimulant and tonic. It is used in the treatment of gastralgia and dyspepsia due to cold with vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, ascariasis and dermal diseases. It has a local anaesthetic action and is parasiticide against the pork tapeworm (Taenia solium). The pericarp contains geraniol. In small doses this has a mild diuretic action, though large doses will inhibit the excretion of urine. There is a persistent increase in peristalsis at low concentration, but inhibition at high concentration. The leaves are carminative, stimulant and sudorific. The fruit is carminative, diuretic, stimulant, stomachic and tonic. The seed is antiphlogistic and diuretic. A decoction of the root is digestive and also used in the treatment of snakebites. The resin contained in the bark, and especially in that of the roots, is powerfully stimulant and tonic.

Other Uses: Landscape Uses:Border, Massing

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sichuan_pepper
http://www.botanical-online.com/english/pepper_zanthoxylum_piperitum.htm
http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/sichuan-peppercorns.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Zanthoxylum+simulans

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Maranta arundinacea

Botanical Name : Maranta arundinacea
Family: Marantaceae
Genus: Maranta
Species: M. arundinacea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Zingiberales

Common Names:Arrowroot,  Arrowroot maranta West Indian arrowroot, obedience plant, Bermuda arrowroot, araru, ararao or hulankeeriya

Habitat : Maranta arundinacea is native to South America, the Caribbean, and Mexico.

The plant is naturalized in Florida, but it is chiefly cultivated in the West Indies (especially Jamaica and St. Vincent), Australia, Southeast Asia, and South and East Africa.

Description:
A perennial plant growing to about 2 feet (0.61 m) tall, arrowroot has small white flowers and fruits approximately the size and shape of currants. The rootstocks are dug when the plant is one year old, and often exceed 1 foot (30 cm) in length and 0.75 inches (19 mm) in diameter. They are yellowish white, jointed and covered with loose scales

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

Medicinal Uses:
Arrowroot powder is added to foods to help stop diarrhea, help soothe irritable bowel syndrome, and is considered a nutritious and easily digested food starch for infants and elderly patients with bowel complaints. Arrowroot is also used in bath and body care recipes, like these bath salts.

Hospitals formerly employed arrow root in barium meals given prior to X-raying the gastro-intestinal system.  When mixed with hot water, the root starch of this plant becomes gelatinous and serves as an effective demulcent to soothe irritated mucous membranes.  Used in much the same way as slippery elm.  It helps to relieve acidity, indigestion, and colic, and it exerts a mildly laxative action on the large bowel.

click to see the picture

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maranta_arundinacea
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail485.php

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

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