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Herbs & Plants

Senecio erucifolius

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Botanical Name : Senecio erucifolius
Family:Asteraceae or Compositae
Tribe: Senecioneae
Genus: Jacobaea
Species: J. erucifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Syn: Jacobaea erucifolia

Common Names: Hoary Groundsel, Hoary ragwort

Habitat: Senecio erucifolius occurs in Central and southern Europe, including Britain, north to Denmark and Lithuania, east to W. Asia. It grows in dry banks, field borders, grassy slopes and roadsides, in limestone and chalky districts and especially on heavy soils.

Description:
Senecio erucifolius is a perennial herb, growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in).Medium to tall, grey downy plant, with a shortly creeping stock bearing terminal leaf rosettes. Stems erect, branched above the middle. Leaves pinnately lobed, the lower stalked and usually present at flowering time. Upper leaves with narrower lobes; all leaves with somewhat down rolled margins and woolly, especially beneath. Flowerheads bright yellow 12 to 15 mm with 12 to 15 rays, borne in a narrow flat topped cluster.It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on the cultivation needs of this plant but, judging by its native habitats, it is likely to require a sunny position and to succeed in most moderate to heavy soils, including those of an alkaline nature.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ. Division in spring
Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Antiscorbutic; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Poultice; Purgative.

The plant is used in plasters, ointments and poultices. This species is related to groundsel, S. vulgaris, and is said to have similar properties. These are:- The whole herb is anthelmintic, antiscorbutic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue and purgative. It is often used as a poultice and is said to be useful in treating sickness of the stomach, whilst a weak infusion is used as a simple and easy purgative. The plant can be harvested in May and dried for later use, or the fresh juice can be extracted and used as required. Use with caution, see notes above on toxicity.

Known Hazards: All parts of the plant are poisonous to many mammals, including humans. The toxin affects the liver and has a cumulative affect. Some mammals, such as rabbits, do not seem to be harmed by the plant, and will often seek it out. Various birds also eat the leaves and seeds.

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/Jacobaea_erucifolia
http://www.naturespot.org.uk/species/hoary-ragwort
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Senecio+erucifolius

 

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Herbs & Plants

Syzygium polyanthum

Botanical Name: Syzygium polyanthum
Family:    Myrtaceae
Subfamily:Myrtoideae
Tribe:    Syzygieae
Genus:    Syzygium
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Myrtales

Synonyms: Eugenia balsamea, Eugenia nitida, Eugenia polyantha

Common Names:Indonesian bay leaf, daun salam

Habitat : Syzygium polyanthum is native to  Southeast Asia.:  Indochina, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia (GRIN).It grows in tropical climate.

Description:
Syzygium polyanthum is a medium-sized evergreen perennial tree,it grows up to 30 m tall with dense crown, bole up to 60 cm in diameter; bark surface fissured and scaly, grey. Leaves opposite, simple, glabrous; petiole up to 12 mm long; blade oblong-elliptical, narrowly elliptical or lanceolate, 5-16 cm x 2.5-7 cm, with 6-11 pairs of secondary veins distinct below and a distinct intramarginal vein, dotted with minute oil glands, petiole up to 12 mm long. Inflorescence a panicle, 2-8 cm long, usually arising below the leaves, sometimes axillary, but trees flower very profusely; flowers sessile, bisexual, regular, fragrant, white, in threes on ultimate branchlets of the panicle; calyx cup-shaped, about 4 mm long, with 4 broad persistent lobes; petals 4, free, 2.5-3.5 mm long, white; stamens numerous, arranged in 4 groups, about 3 mm long; disk quadrangular, orange-yellow. Fruit a 1-seeded berry, depressed globose to globose, up to 12 mm in diameter, dark red to purplish-black when ripe”
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Propagation: Through Seed

Edible Uses:
Syzygium polyanthum has been known as a seasoning in various culinary nations Indonesia.  In addition, there are also benefits in terms of bay leaves as a natural treatment.

Medicinal Uses:
Syzygium polyanthum is used in Gastrointestinal disorders  and other disorders.

Forv diarrhea
Wash 15 fresh bay leaves. Boil in two cups water to boil for 15minutes. Add a little salt. Once cool, strain and filter drinking water well

For diabetes
7-15 Wash fresh bay leaves, then boiled in 3 cups of water until remaining 1 glass. Once cool, strain and filter drinking water well before eating. Apply 2 times a day.

For Lowering high cholesterol levels:
Wash 10-15 fresh bay leaves, and then boiled in 3 cups of water until remaining 1 glass. Once cool, strain and filter drinking water well at night. Do it every day.

For lowering high blood pressure:
Wash 7-10 bay leaves then boiled in 3 cups of water until remaining 1 glass. Once cool, strain and filter drinking water 2 times a day, each half a glass.

For ulcers:
Rinse 15-20 fresh bay leaves. Boil with 1 / 2 litter of water to boil for 15 minutes. Add palm sugar to taste. After chilling, drinking water as a tea. Do it every day until the pain disappeared and a full stomach.

During Hangover
Wash 1 handful of ripe fruit greeting, then mash until smooth. Squeeze and strain, the water collected while drunk.

For Scabies, itch
for external treatment, simply grab a leaf, bark, stems, or roots regards as necessary. Rinse, then milled until smooth dough like mush. And apply to the itchy spot, then wrapped.

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/Syzygium
http://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/Syzygium_polyanthum.htm
http://herbpathy.com/Uses-and-Benefits-of-Syzygium-Polyanthum-Cid644
http://herbalmedicinalplant01.blogspot.in/2011/09/efficacy-syzygium-polyanthum.html

Categories
Home remedies

Sisymbrium altissimum

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Botanical Name :Sisymbrium altissimum
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Sisymbrium
Species: S. altissimum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonyms:  S. pannonicum. S. sinapistrum.

Common Name :Jim Hill mustard, after James J. Hill, a Canadian-American railroad magnate, Tall mustard, Tumble mustard, tumbleweed mustard, tall sisymbrium, and tall hedge mustard.

Habitat :Sisymbrium altissimum is native to the western part of the Mediterranean Basin in Europe and Northern Africa and is widely naturalized throughout most of the world, including all of North America. It was probably introduced into North America by a contaminant crop seed. The plant grows in soils of all textures, even sand.

Description:
Sisymbrium altissimum is an annual herb L growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). Stems is erect, branched distally, (2-)4-12(-16) dm, sparsely to densely hirsute basally, glabrous or glabrate distally. Basal leaves rosulate; petiole 1-10(-15) cm; blade broadly oblanceolate, oblong, or lanceolate (in outline), (2-)5-20(-35) cm × (10-)20-80(-100) mm, margins pinnatisect, pinnatifid, or runcinate; lobes (3-)4-6(-8) on each side, oblong or lanceolate, smaller than terminal lobe, margins entire, dentate, or lobed. Cauline leaves similar to basal; distalmost blade with linear to filiform lobes. Fruiting pedicels usually divaricate, rarely ascending, stout, nearly as wide as fruit, (4-)6-10(-13) mm. Flowers: sepals ascending or spreading, oblong, (cucullate), 4-6 × 1-2 mm; petals spatulate, (5-)6-8(-10) × 2.5-4 mm, claw 3.5-6 mm; filaments 2-6 mm; anthers oblong, 1.5-2.2 mm.

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The plant germinates in winter or early spring. The blooming time is lengthy, and after maturity the plant forms a tumbleweed.

It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. Fruits narrowly linear, usually straight, smooth, stout.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring or autumn in situ.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Condiment.

Young leaves and shoots – raw or cooked. A somewhat hot flavour, they can be used as a flavouring in salads or cooked as a potherb. Seed – ground into a powder and used as a gruel or as a mustard-like flavouring in soups etc.

Medicinal Uses:

Antiscorbutic;  Astringent.

The leaves and flowers are antiscorbutic and astringent.The leaves and flowers have medicinal properties that has been used to cause tissue to contract. They also contain an agent that is effective against scurvy.

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/Sisymbrium_altissimum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Sisymbrium+altissimum
http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/taxa/index.php?taxon=1151
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Cinnamomum tamala

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Botanical Name :Cinnamomum tamala
Family:  Lauraceae
Genus:  Cinnamomum
Species:  C. tamala
Kingdom:  Plantae
Order:  Laurales

Common Names:Malabathrum, ( Hindi: Tej Patta ) or Indian bay leaf also known as Malobathrum or Malabar leaf

Habitat :Cinnamomum tamala is  native to the southern slopes of the Himalayas  and the mountains of North Eastern India, extending into Burma.

Description:
Cinnamon trees belong to a large genus of some 250 species, most of which are aromatic. True Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon and the south-eastern coast of India, while the closely related Cassia is native to China. Cinnamon and Cassia are both small tropical evergreen trees that grow up to 20 – 30 feet tall, with aromatic bark and leaves. Young leaves employ a typical trick of tropical trees to make themselves look unappealing to predatory insects by assuming a limp, reddish appearance, as if wilting. Once they mature they perk up and darken to a deep green. The leaves are elongated ovate with a pointed tip, shiny and dark green on the upper surface, lighter below. The inconspicuous whitish flowers grow in panicles, which later develop into bluish berries. The bark is reddish brown and smooth.

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The leaves, known as tejpat in Nepali, t?japatt? or tejpatta  in Hindi, Tejpat in Assamese and tamalpatra in Marathi and in original Sanskrit, are used extensively in the cuisines of India, Nepal, and Bhutan, particularly in the Moghul cuisine of North India and Nepal and in Tsheringma herbal tea in Bhutan. It is called Biryani Aaku or Bagharakku in Telugu. They are often erroneously labeled as “Indian bay leaves,” or just “Bay leaf” though the bay leaf is from the Bay Laurel, a tree of Mediterranean origin in a different genus, and the appearance and aroma of the two are quite different. This may lead to confusion when following Indian or Pakistani recipes. Bay leaves are shorter and light to medium green in color, with one large vein down the length of the leaf;photo while tejpat are about twice as long and wider than laurel leaves. They are usually olive green in color, may have some brownish spots and have three veins down the length of the leaf.photo True tejpat leaves impart a strong cassia- or cinnamon-like aroma to dishes, while the bay leaf’s aroma is more reminiscent of pine and lemon. Indian grocery stores usually carry true tejpat leaves. Some grocers may only offer Turkish bay leaves, in regions where true tejpat is unavailable.

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Main constituents
In the essential oil from the leaves, mostly monoterpenoides were found: Linalool (50%) is the major compound, whereas ?-pinene, p-cymene, ?-pinene and limonene range around 5 to 10% each. Phenylpropanoids appear only in traces: Newer work reports 1% cinnamic aldehyde and no eugenol, whereas older literature speaks of traces of both compounds.

Edible Uses:
In Indian and Sri Lankan cooking Cinnamon is used as a common spice, not only for sweets, but also as an integral part of the spice mixture known as ‘curry powder’. It is frequently mixed with honey and taken as tea, though the British found it more to their taste to add rum and lemon to the brew. Cinnamon is also an essential ingredient of ‘Chai’, the Indian spice tea, which was long rumored to have aphrodisiac properties. Probably the warming and fortifying properties of the various spices it is comprised of helped to kindle passions, especially among the willing.

The bark is also sometimes used for cooking, although it is regarded as inferior to true cinnamon or cassia

Medicinal Uses:
Aromatic, carminative, stimulant, anti-microbial, anti-fungal

Despite the fact that Cinnamon has such a longstanding history of use, it is not very commonly employed for medicinal purposes today outside its native homelands. However, recent studies have been showing some interesting effects, which may renew this ancient spice’s popularity.

The ancients were aware of the differences between Cinnamon and Cassia. Dioscurides clearly distinguishes between the two species and describes both in detail. He recommends Cassia as an eye remedy. He also says that when taken internally it will act as an anti-inflammatory and will stimulate menstruation. In a sitzbad it will help to open the uterus. Of Cinnamon he says that it stimulates the urinary tract and can be used for problems of the kidneys, edema and urinary retention. He also recommends it for cough and congestion of the respiratory system.

In Ayurvedic medicine Cinnamon oil is used in external applications for rheumatism, aching joints and stiffness. It is also used for toothache and sore gums, much like clove oil. Aryuveda makes use of Cinnamon for the same purposes as Disocorides recommends: as a decongestant for the respiratory tract and urinary problems. It is a good addition to teas for coughs and colds and is sometimes used in steam inhalations for respiratory conditions. In India it is used at the first sign of a cold to prevent it from taking hold fully.

The essential oil component of Cinnamon has anti-coagulant properties, which helps to thin blood and improves circulation. (Caution is advised for those already on blood thinning medication). It also exhibits anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. The anti-microbial action helps to preserve food and can be used in place of common food preservatives. It not only helps to prevent food spoilage by common bacteria, but also by yeasts. Cinnamon is one of the few herbs that can used to treat fungal growths like candida.

Cinnamon is a warming aromatic tonic that stimulates the digestive system and can help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Recent studies have found it to be quite effective for ‘metabolic syndrome’ a ‘pre’ stage of insulin resistant type 2 diabetes. As little as 2 teaspoons of the spice have shown a marked effect in people who were not on insulin medication. It achieves this effect by delaying emptying of the stomach content after a meal, which prevents blood sugar peaks. It also sensitizes insulin receptors and inhibits an enzyme that inactivates these receptors, thus making a significant impact on glucose uptake. This is great news as Cinnamon can so easily be added to foods and drinks as part of a normal diet.

Another study has shown that Cinnamon can have a beneficial effect on cognitive function. It was shown that people who used Cinnamon prior to test situations performed better than the control group. They also appeared to process new information better.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malabathrum
http://www.sacredearth.com/ethnobotany/plantprofiles/cinnamon.php
http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/herb-entry.php?term=Malabathrum
http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Cinn_tam.html

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Herbs & Plants Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Kaffir Lime

Botanical Name : Citrus hystrix DC., Rutaceae),
Family: Rutaceae
Other Names:Kieffer lime, Thai lime, wild lime, makrut, or magrood,
Burmese: shauk-nu
Indonesian: jerk purut, jeruk sambal
Malay:
duan limau purut
Philippino: swangi
Thai: makrut, som makrut

The leaves of this member of the citrus family are responsible for the distinctive lime-lemon aroma and flavour that are an indispensable part of Thai and, to a lesser extent, Indonesian cooking.

Description:
The leaves of the kaffir lime tree are a dark green color with a glossy sheen. They come in two parts: the top leaflet is lightly pointed at its tip and is attached to another leaflet beneath that is broader on its upper edge. The size of the leaves can vary quite a bit, from less than an inch to several inches long.

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The fruit is dark green and round, with a distinct nipple on the stem end. It has a thick rind, knobby and wrinkled, and one of its common names is ‘porcupine orange’. As the fruit becomes older, the color fades to a lighter, yellowish green. Though the juice is infrequently use in cooking, the zest of the rind is often used for making curry pastes.
The leaves and rind have a perfume unlike any other citrus, sometimes called mysterious or haunting. There is a combined lemon/lime/madarin aroma but clearly an identity of its own.

Culinary Uses
Kaffir lime leaves are precious to many Thai dishes, from soups and salads to curries and stir-fried dishes. They blend blend with lemon grass and lime juice in tom yam to give the soup its wholesome lemony essence. In soupy dishes, add the leaves whole or torn into smaller pieces, using them as one would bay leaves to flavour broth or stew.

Salads or garnishes require fresh leaves. Dried leaves cannot be substituted. The leaves, when young and tender, are finely shredded and added to salads and sprinkled over curries for a burst of flavour. Being rather thick, they must be cut very fine, like threads, and the thick mid-rib removed. To sliver kaffir lime leaves finely, stack three to four leaves of similar size together and slice them very thinly with a sharp knife. It is faster to cut diagonally , which gives the hands better leverage, or roll a few leaves at a time into a tight roll before slicing. If fresh kaffir lime leaves are not available, use the tender new leaves of lime, lemon or grapefruit. They won’t have the same fragrance but are preferable to using dried kaffir lime leaves in some dishes.

When making a soup or stock, whole fresh or dried leaves may be added, as they are removed after cooking. Finely chopped fresh or crumbled dry kaffir lime leaves are used in dishes like tom yum, strir fries and curries, especially those containing coconut cream. The flavour also combines well with basil, cardamom, chiles, cilantro, cumin, curry leaves, lemon grass, galangal, ginger, mint, tamarind, turmeric and coconut milk.

Though the juice is seldom used in cooking, the peel of the fruit, with its high concentration of aromatic oils, is indispensable in many curry pastes and is one reason why Thai curries taste refreshingly unique. The zest also imparts a wonderful piquant flavour to such delectable favorites as fried fish cakes, and it blends in powerfully with such spicy, chile-laden stews as “jungle soup” (gkaeng bpah). Because it’s strong flavour can over power the more subtle ones in a dish, the rind should be used sparingly, grated or chopped finely and reduced in a mortar with other paste ingredients until indistinguishable..

Kaffir lime is used extensively in Thai cooking. Both the zest and leaves are very useful. The fruit looks like wrinkled lime, big wrinkles. Thai people believed the juice is excellent hair rinse to prevent hair from falling out. The zest of the lime is an ingredient in red curry paste.

The juice is rarely used in Thai cooking, but the zest is common.

Recently, Thai growers have developed and started growing a kaffir lime without wrinkles that is easier to pack and ship around the world.
The leaf look like any citrus leaf, but it has two connecting leaves. I often call it the double leaf. Many recipes calls for its leaves. If the leaf is used whole, in soup, most people do not eat the leaf itself. The only time the leaf is eaten is when it sliced very thin for recipes like Tod Mun.

Medicinal Properties
The citrus juice used to be included in Thai ointments and shampoos, and in tonics in Malaysia. Kaffir lime shampoo leaves the hair squeaky clean and invigorates the scalp. Kaffir lime has also been used for ages as a natural bleach to remove tough stains.

The essential oils in the fruit are incorporated into various ointments, and the rind is an ingredient in medical tonics believed to be good for the blood. Like lemon grass and galangal, the rind is also known to have beneficial properties for the digestive system.

In folk medicine, the juice of kaffir lime is said to promote gum health and is recommended for use in brushing teeth and gums. It is believed to freshen one’s mental outlook and ward off evil spirits

The leaves can be used fresh or dried, and can be stored frozen.

The juice and rinds of the kaffir lime are used in traditional Indonesian medicine; for this reason the fruit is sometimes referred to in Indonesia as jeruk obat – literally “medicine citrus”. The oil from the rind has strong insecticidal properties.

The zest of the fruit is widely used in creole cuisine and to impart flavor to “arranged” rums in the Réunion island and Madagascar.

Storage
The leaves may be recognized by their distinctive two sections. For simmering in soups or curries the leaves are used whole. Frozen or dried leaves may be used for simmering if fresh leaves are not available. The finely grated rind of the lumpy-skinned fruit has its own special fragrance. If you can obtain fresh kaffir limes, they freeze well enclosed in freezer bags and will keep indefinitely in that state. Just grate a little rind off the frozen lime and replace lime in freezer until next required. The leaves freeze well too. dried kaffir lime leaves should be green, not yellow, and are best kept under the same conditions as other dried herbs. They will keep for about 12 months in an airtight pack, out of light, heat and humidity.

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Resources:

http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/kaffir.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaffir_lime

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/67460/