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Herbs & Plants

Cymbopogon citrates

Botanical Name : Cymbopogon citrates
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Cymbopogon
Species: C. citratus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales

Common Names : Lemon grass or Oil grass, Fever Grass, Citronella, Capim

Habitat : Cymbopogon citrates is native to tropical regions ( Indonesia, and introduced and cultivated in most of the tropics, including Africa, South America and Indo-China.) It grows in clusters. The plant has globular stems that eventually become leaf blades.

Description:
The Cymbopogon citrates is a perennial plant with brawny stalks and somewhat broad and scented leaves. This species of plant is usually cultivated commercially for oil refinement and is different by its individual aroma and chemical composition of the oil. Apart from C. citratus, or Cymbopogon citratus, there are other varieties of lemongrass such as C. nardus (also known citronella grass that is a source of citronella oil), C. martini (known as ginger grass, palma-rosa or rusha) and C. winterianus (Java citronella oil).
Cymbopogon citrates is also a resourceful plant in the garden. This grass, native of the tropical regions, usually grows in thick bunches that often develop to a height of six feet (1.8 meters) and approximately four feet (1.2 meters) in breadth. The leaves of the plant are similar to straps and are 0.5 inch to 1 inch (1.3 cm to 2.5 cm) in width and around three feet (0.9 meter) in length, and possess stylish apexes. The plant bears leaves round the year and they are vivid bluish-green and when mashed they emit an aroma akin to lemons. The leaves of this plant are used for flavoring and also in the manufacture of medications. The leaves are refined by steam to obtain lemongrass oil – an old substitute in the perfume manufacturers’ array of aroma. The most common type of lemongrass found is a variety of plants that originated and persisted under cultivation and do not usually bear flowers…….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Over the years, lemongrass has fast turned out to be the most wanted plant for the American gardeners and this is attributed to the increasing popularity of Thai culinary in the United States. The aromatic lemongrass is considered to be of multi-purpose use in the kitchen as it is used in teas, drinks, herbal medications and the soups and delicacies originated in the Eastern region of the world and now popular all over. In fact, the worth of this aromatic and cosmetic plant was known to the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians.
Edible Uses:
The stalks and leaves of the lemongrass are widely used in culinary in different Asian countries.

Cymbopogon citratus is abundant in the Philippines and Indonesia where it is known as tanglad or sereh. Its fragrant leaves are traditionally used in cooking, particularly for lechon and roasted chicken.

The dried leaves can also be brewed into a tea, either alone or as a flavoring in other teas, imparting a flavor reminiscent of lemon juice but with a mild sweetness without significant sourness or tartness.

Medicinal Uses:
Apart from the herb’s aromatic, ornamental and culinary uses, lemongrass also provides a number of therapeutic benefits. Lemongrass leaves and the essential oils extracted from them are utilized to cure grouchy conditions, nervous disorders, colds and weariness. It may be mentioned here that many massage oils and aromatherapy oils available in the market enclose lemongrass oil as an important ingredient. The essential oils extracted from lemongrass have a yellow or yellowish-brown hue and this liquid is known to be antiseptic. Very often the oil is applied externally to treat disorders like athlete’s foot (tinea pedia). Among other things, lemongrass is also used as a carminative to emit digestive gas, a digestive tonic, a febrifuge or analgesic as well as an antifungal. In addition, lemongrass is prescribed to treat rheumatism and sprains, suppress coughs, and as a diuretic and sedative.

In East India and Sri Lanka, where it is called “fever tea,” lemon grass leaves are combined with other herbs to treat fevers, irregular menstruation, diarrhea, and stomachaches. Lemon grass is one of the most popular herbs in Brazil and the Caribbean for nervous and digestive problems. The Chinese use lemon grass in a similar fashion, to treat headaches, stomachaches, colds, and rheumatic pains. The essential oil is used straight in India to treat ringworm or in a paste with buttermilk to rub on ringworm and bruises. Studies show it does destroy many types of bacteria and fungi and is a deodorant. It may reduce blood pressure – a traditional Cuban use of the herb – and it contains five different constituents that inhibit blood coagulation.

The leaves of Cymbopogon citratus have been used in traditional medicine and are often found in herbal supplements and teas. Many effects have been attributed to both their oral consumption and topical use, with modern research supporting many of their alleged benefits.

In the folk medicine of Brazil, it is believed to have anxiolytic, hypnotic, and anticonvulsant properties.

In traditional medicine of India the leaves of the plant are used as stimulant, sudorific, antiperiodic, and anticatarrhal, while the essential oil is used as carminative, depressant, analgesic, antipyretic, antibacterial, and antifungal agent.

Laboratory studies have shown cytoprotective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro, as well as antifungal properties (though Cymbopogon martinii was found to be more effective in that study).

Citronellol is an essential oil constituent from Cymbopogon citratus, Cymbopogon winterianus, and Lippia alba. Citronellol has been shown to lower blood pressure in rats by a direct effect on the vascular smooth muscle leading to vasodilation. In a small, randomized, controlled trial, an infusion made from C. citratus was used as an inexpensive remedy for the treatment of oral thrush in HIV/AIDS patients.

Lemon grass oil contains 65-85% citral in addition to myrcene, citronella, citronellol, and geraniol. Hydrosteam distillation, condensation, and cooling can be used to separate the oil from the water. The hydrosol, as a by-product of the distillation process, is used for the production of skin care products such as lotions, creams, and facial cleansers. The main ingredients in these products are lemon grass oil and “negros oil” (mixture of lemon grass oil with virgin coconut oil) used in aromatherapy.
Other Uses:
Effects on insects: Beekeepers sometimes use lemon grass oil in swarm traps to attract swarms. Lemon grass oil has also been tested for its ability to repel the pestilent stable fly, which bite domestic animals. The oil is used as insect replants.

The leaves and essential oils of the plant are also utilized in herbal medications. In addition, Cymbopogon citratus is extensively used by the cosmetic industry in the manufacture of soaps as well as hair care products. Finally, these days, lemongrass is being appreciated for its effectiveness in repelling mosquitoes. The essential oils of Cymbopogon species are basically used in the fragrance industry as they possess very restrained therapeutic uses.

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/Cymbopogon_citratus
http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_lemongrass.htm
http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/cymbopogon-citratus-lemon-grass
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
https://findmeacure.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1821&action=edit

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Herbs & Plants Lentils

Mung

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Botanical Name: Vigna radiata
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Vigna
Species: V. radiata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms:
*Azukia radiata (L.) Ohwi
*Phaseolus abyssinicus Savi
*Phaseolus aureus Roxb.
*Phaseolus aureus Wall.
*Phaseolus aureus Zuccagni
*Phaseolus chanetii (H.Lev.) H.Lev.
*Phaseolus hirtus Retz.
*Phaseolus novo-guineense Baker f.
*Phaseolus radiatus L.
*Phaseolus setulosus Dalzell
*Phaseolus sublobatus Roxb.
*Phaseolus trinervius Wight & Arn.
*Pueraria chanetii H.Lev.
*Rudua aurea (Roxb.) F.Maek.
*Rudua aurea (Roxb.) Maekawa
*Vigna brachycarpa Kurz
*Vigna opistricha A.Rich.
*Vigna perrieriana R.Vig.
*Vigna sublobata (Roxb.) Babu & S.K.Sharma
*Vigna sublobata (Roxb.) Bairig. & al.

Common Names: Mung ,Mung bean, Moong bean, Green gram

Habitat : Mung is native to the Indian subcontinent, the mung bean is mainly cultivated today in India, China, and Southeast Asia. It is also cultivated in hot, dry regions in Southern Europe and the Southern United States. It is used as an ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes.

Description:
Mung is an upright annual legume ranging in height from 15 cm to 1 m; average height of mature plant, 0.9 m. Branches freely, but not heavily foliaged. Leaves, stems and pods are slightly hairy. Junctions of branches and stems are stipuled. The first flowers appear seven to eight weeks after planting and the crop reaches maturity in 12 to 14 weeks. Pods borne at top of plant. Seeds, green and almost globular (Doherty, 1963a). Pods clothed in long, spreading, deciduous silky hairs.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Mung bean or green gram has long been a food crop in Asia. It is less known as a useful green manure crop. Recently it has become of interest in Queensland as a fodder crop. In its short growing season, Vigna radiata will outyield cowpea and velvet bean of the same age, although maximum yields of the other two are greater. It is, therefore, a useful legume for early forage. It is adapted to a wide range of well drained soils, but is best on fertile sandy loams. On sandy soils of low fertility, 185 to 250 kg./ha molybdenized superphosphate will usually give adequate growth.

A good seed bed (as for maize or sorghum) should be prepared. The seed is broadcast or drilled in rows 16 to 35 cm apart, the usual seeding rate being 6 kg./ha drilled and up to 10 kg./ha broadcast. It can also be sod-seeded into existing pastures. Seed is preferably inoculated with the cowpea strain of Rhizobium before sowing. The first grazing can be given about six weeks after planting, before the flowers appear; two grazings are usually obtained. Green manure should be ploughed in when the plant is in full flower. Mung bean should be cut for hay as it begins to flower. The cut material should be conditioned to hasten drying. Doherty (1963a) obtained a yield of 1 872 kg./ha of green matter from mung bean sod-seeded into a Rhodes grass/green panic pasture at the rate of 11 kg./ha in 53-cm rows, fertilized with 264 kg./ha molybdenized superphosphate. Unfertilized pasture yielded only 623 kg./ha of green matter.

Edible Uses:
Mung beans are commonly used in various cuisines across Asia.

Whole beans and mung bean paste:
Whole cooked mung beans are generally prepared from dried beans by boiling until they are soft. Mung beans are light yellow in colour when their skins are removed. Mung bean paste can be made by dehulling, cooking, and pulverizing the beans to a dry paste.

Although whole mung beans are also occasionally used in Indian cuisine, beans without skins are more commonly used; but in Kerala, whole mung beans are commonly boiled to make a dry preparation often served with rice gruel (kanji). Dehulled mung beans can also be used in a similar fashion as whole beans for the purpose of making sweet soups. Mung beans in some regional cuisines of India are stripped of their outer coats to make mung dal. In Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, steamed whole beans are seasoned with spices and fresh grated coconut in a preparation called sundal. In south and north Indian states, mung beans are also eaten as pancakes. They are soaked in water for six to 12 hours (the higher the temperature, the lesser soaking time). Then they are ground into fine paste along with ginger and salt. Then pancakes are made on a very hot griddle. These are usually eaten for breakfast. This provides high quality protein that is rare in most Indian regional cuisines. Pongal or kichdi is another recipe that is made with rice and mung beans without skin. In Kerala, it is commonly used to make the parippu preparation in the Travancore region (unlike Cochin and Malabar, where toor dal, tuvara parippu, is used). It is also used, with coconut milk and jaggery, to make a type of payasam.

In Chinese cuisine, whole mung beans are used to make a Tong sui, or dessert, otherwise literally translated, “sugar water”, called ludou Tong sui, which is served either warm or chilled. In Indonesia, they are made into a popular dessert snack called es kacang hijau, which has the consistency of a porridge. The beans are cooked with sugar, coconut milk, and a little ginger.

In Hong Kong, dehulled mung beans and mung bean paste are made into ice cream or frozen ice pops. Mung bean paste is used as a common filling for Chinese mooncakes in East China and Taiwan. Also in China, the boiled and shelled beans are used as filling in glutinous rice dumplings eaten during the dragon boat festival. The beans may also be cooked until soft, blended into a liquid, sweetened, and served as a beverage, popular in many parts of China.

In the Philippines, ginisáng monggó (sautéed mung bean stew), also known as monggó guisado or balatong, is a savoury stew of whole mung beans with prawns or fish. It is traditionally served on Fridays of Lent, when the majority Roman Catholic Filipinos traditionally abstain from meat. Variants of ginisáng monggó may also be made with chicken or pork.

Mung bean paste is also a common filling of pastries known as hopia (or bakpia) popular in Indonesia, the Philippines and further afield in Guyana (where it is known as black eye cake) and originating from southern China.

Neutrients:
The seeds and sprouts of mung bean (Vigna radiata), a common food, contain abundant nutrients with biological activities. This review provides insight into the nutritional value of mung beans and its sprouts, discussing chemical constituents that have been isolated in the past few decades, such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, organic acids, amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids. Moreover, we also summarize dynamic changes in metabolites during the sprouting process and related biological activities, including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, lipid metabolism accommodation, antihypertensive, and antitumor effects, etc., with the goal of providing scientific evidence for better application of this commonly used food as a medicine.

Known Hazards: They are one of many species recently moved from the genus Phaseolus to Vigna, and is still often seen incorrectly cited as Phaseolus aureus or Phaseolus radiatus.

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/Mung_bean
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/GBASE/DATA/PF000088.HTM
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24438453

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Herbs & Plants

Capsicum annuum

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Botanical Name : Capsicum annuum
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Capsicum
Species: C. annuum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Common Name:Cayenne,Sweet Pepper

Habitat :Probably native of the Tropics, but the original habitat is obscure.

Description:
Capsicum annuum is an evergreen Perennial growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in). The single flowers are an off-white (sometimes purplish) color while the stem is densely branched and up to 60 centimetres (24 in) tall. The fruit is a berry and may be green, yellow or red when ripe.[6] While the species can tolerate most climates, C. annuum is especially productive in warm and dry climates.
It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

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

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation :     
Requires a very warm sunny position and a fertile well-drained soil. Prefers a light sandy soil that is slightly acid[201]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 8.3. Plants can tolerate a small amount of frost, but this species does not normally do well outdoors in an average British summer and so it is usually grown in a greenhouse in this country. However, if a very warm sheltered position outdoors is chosen then reasonable crops could be obtained in good summers. This species is widely grown throughout the world, but especially in warm temperate to tropical climates, for its edible fruit – the sweet and chilli peppers. There are many named varieties. There are five basic forms of fruits, each form having various varieties. These forms are:- Cerasiforme. These have small cherry-shaped pungent fruits. Conioides. These fruits are cone-shaped and up to 5cm long. Many of them are grown as ornamentals, but some are also cultivated for food.. Fasciculatum. Also cone-shaped, but with pungent red fruits up to 7.5cm long. Grossum. These are the sweet peppers with large bell-shaped fruits and thick flesh. Longum. These are the cultivated hot cayenne and chilli peppers with long thin fruits up to 30cm long. The pungency of peppers depends upon the presence of a single gene, cultivars that lack this gene are the sweet peppers. A short-lived evergreen perennial in the tropics, though the plants are grown as annuals in temperate zones. Sweet pepper plants are good companions for basil and okra. They should not be grown near apricot trees, however, because a fungus that the pepper is prone to can cause a lot of harm to the apricot tree.

Propagation :    
Seed – sow late winter to early spring in a warm greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 3 – 4 weeks at 20°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of reasonably rich soil and grow them on fast. If trying them outdoors, then plant them out after the last expected frosts and give them the protection of a cloche or frame at least until they are established and growing away well.

Edible Uses :
The species is a source of popular sweet peppers and hot chilis with numerous varieties cultivated all around the world.

In British English, the sweet varieties are called red or green peppers and the hot varieties chillies, whereas in Australian and Indian English the name capsicum is commonly used for bell peppers exclusively and chilli is often used to encompass the hotter varieties. Americans call the sweet types “peppers” and the hot ones “chili peppers” or “chilies” (sometimes spelled “chiles”).

Sweet peppers are very often used as a bulking agent in ready-made meals and take-away food, because they are cheap, have a strong flavour, and are colorful. The colorful aspect of peppers increases the visual appeal of the food, making it more appetizing. Foods containing peppers, especially chili peppers, often have a strong aftertaste due to the presence of capsinoids in peppers. Capsaicin, a chemical found in chili peppers, creates a burning sensation once ingested, which can last for several hours after ingestion.

Medicinal Uses:
Antidiarrhoeal;  Antiemetic;  Antihaemorrhoidal;  Antirheumatic;  Antispasmodic;  Appetizer;  Digestive;  Irritant;  Rubefacient;  Sialagogue.

The fruit of the hot, pungent cultivars is antihaemorrhoidal when taken in small amounts, antirheumatic, antiseptic, diaphoretic, digestive, irritant, rubefacient, sialagogue and tonic. It is taken internally in the treatment of the cold stage of fevers, debility in convalescence or old age, varicose veins, asthma and digestive problems. Externally it is used in the treatment of sprains, unbroken chilblains, neuralgia, pleurisy etc. It is an effective sea-sickness preventative. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Capsicum for muscular tension, rheumatism (see [302] for critics of commission

Hot peppers are used in medicine as well as food in Africa and other places around the world.

English botanist John Lindley described C. annuum on page 509 of his 1838 ‘Flora Medica’ thus:

“ It is employed in medicine, in combination with Cinchona in intermittent and lethargic affections, and also in atonic gout, dyspepsia accompanied by flatulence, tympanitis, paralysis etc. Its most valuable application appears however to be in cynanche maligna (acute diphtheria) and scarlatina maligna (malignent Scarlet fever, used either as a gargle or administered internally.) ”

*In ayurvedic medicine, C. annuum is classified as follows:

*Gunna (properties) – ruksh (dry), laghu (light) and tikshan (sharp)

*Rasa dhatu (taste) – katu (pungent)

*Virya (potency) – ushan (hot)

Other Uses:
Some cultivars grown specifically for their aesthetic value include the U.S. National Arboretum‘s Black Pearl  and the Bolivian Rainbow. Ornamental varieties tend to have unusually coloured fruit and foliage with colors such as black and purple being notable. All are edible, and most (like Royal Black) are hot.

Known Hazards   Pungent-fruited peppers may cause painful irritation when used in excess, or after accidental contact with the eyes. Although no reports have been seen for this species, many plants in this family produce toxins in their leaves. The sap of the plant can cause the skin to blister.  Avoid in patients taking monoamine oxidase inhibitor antidepressants and antihypertensive drugs

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsicum_annuum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Capsicum+annuum

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Herbs & Plants Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Alligator pepper

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Botanical Name :Alligator pepper
Family :Zingerberaceae (Ginger family).
Synonym :Amomum melegueta.

Common Names: Grains of paradise, nengrekondre pepre, alligator pepper, guinea grains, graines de paradis, atar, paradies kõrner, grani de Meleguetta, paradijs korrels, Grana paradise, poivre de Guinée, malaguette, Malagettapfeffer, grani de paradiso.

Parts Used: Dried ripe seeds and oil. In commerce the pods and seeds are found whole, shelled, and ground (green or roasted).

Habitat :Alligator pepper is  native to West Africa; brought over to Surinam by the slaves to swampy habitats along the West African coast.

Description:
A herbaceous plant reaching 1-4 m in height. The stem is short and marked with scars of fallen leaves. The leaves are lanceolate and  about 30 cm long and 12 cm wide, with close nerves below. The flowers are handsome, aromatic and with orange-coloured lip and a rich pinkish-orange upper part. The fruits are fleshy and indehiscent, and contains numerous small golden- or red-brown seeds. USES The cardemom-flavored seeds are used as a spice and carminative and the can also be used to spice wine and beer. Fruit, seed, leaf and rhizome have medicinal properties.

You may click to see the pictures..

The plants which provide alligator pepper are herbaceous perennials  flowering plants  reaching 1-4 m in height.The stem is short and marked with scars of fallen leaves. The leaves are about 30 cm long and 12 cm wide, with close nerves below. The flowers are handsome, aromatic and with orange-coloured lip and a rich pinkish-orange upper part. Once the pod is open and the seeds are revealed the reason for this spice’s common English name becomes apparent as the seeds have a papery skin enclosing them and the bumps of the seeds within this skin is reminiscent of an alligator’s back.

The trumpet-shaped, purple flowers develop into 5 – 7 cm long grayish – brown, wrinkled dried pods (capsules) containing the numerous very small seeds.
These are almost oval in shape, hard, shiny, and have a reddish-brown color.

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The numerous seeds are borne in grayish – brown capsules.
The important part of this plant is the seed; the small (3-4 mm =1/8″) reddish – brown seeds have a pungent aroma with a pepper – like heat.
This much sought after spice is tempered with, among others, flavors reminiscing of hazelnut, butter and citrus.
The essential oil from grains of paradise consists of two sesquiterpenes, humelene and caryophyllene and the oxides of these.
It has an exotic tropical scent and flavor and is used for the production of beer, wine and spirits, and the flavoring of vinegar.
It is used in the Surinam cuisine to flavor dishes such as vegetables (okra and tomatoes recipes), soups (lentil and chicken) and fish recipes.
The rhizome of the plant is used medicinally and is also is an important part from the diet of Western lowland gorillas in Africa.

As mbongo spice the seeds of alligator pepper is often sold as the grains themselves, isolated from the pod and with the outer skin removed. Mbongo spice is most commonly either Aframomum danielli or Aframomum citratum and has a more floral aroma than Aframomum exscapum (which is the commonest source of the entire pod).

It is a common ingredient in West African cuisine where it imparts both ‘heat’, ‘pungency‘ and a spicy aroma to classic West African ‘soups’ (stews).

Use in cuisine:
Even in West Africa, alligator pepper is an expensive spice and is used sparingly. Often a single whole pod is pounded in a pestle and mortar before half of it is added (along with black pepper) as a flavouring to West African ‘soups’ (stews) or to boiled rice. The spice can also be substituted in any recipe using grains of paradise or black cardamom to provide a hotter and more pungent flavour.

When a baby is born in Yoruba culture, they are given a small taste of alligator pepper shortly after birth as part of the routine baby welcoming process and it is also used as an ingredient at traditional meet-and-greets.

In Igbo land, alligator pepper with kola nuts are used in naming ceremonies, as presentation to visiting guests and for other social events.

Click to see :Water leaf, alligator pepper treats hypertension – survey ….

Medicinal Uses:
As a purgative, galactogogue (to increase production of breast milk), anthelmintic- and hemostatic agent (purifies the blood). It is also effective against schistosomiasis (bilharzia).
Further is it used against intestinal infections, infestations, to calm indigestion and heartburn.
The seeds of Aframomum melegueta possess potent anti-inflammatory activity with a favorable gastric tolerability profile.
Phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of alkaloids, glycosides, tannins, flavonoids, sterols, triterpenes, and oils, while the methanol fraction contains alkaloids, glycosides, tannins, flavonoids, sterols, and resins.
The pungent, peppery taste of the seeds is caused by aromatic ketones such as (6)-paradol; essential oils occur only in traces.

Some of the known areas of application are to cure Arthritis, boil, pimples, and any inflammatory disease. Alligator pepper is used in combination of one or two other components to cure different sicknesses. For information on different application go to web site: http://www.free-est.com.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alligator_pepper
http://www.tropilab.com/nengrekondrepepre.html
http://finimanaturepark.org/capacity-building/community-capacity/
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/cropView?id=2872
http://hubpages.com/hub/Alligator-pepper

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Herbs & Plants

Allium acuminatum

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Botanical Name : Allium acuminatum
Family : Alliaceae
Genus : Allium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Species: A. acuminatum

Common Name: Tapertip onion or Hooker’s onion


Habitat
: Allium acuminatum is native to  Western N. America – Washington to N. California.It grows in amongst dry sunny rocks on hills and plains.

Description:
Plant:  perennial
; scape terete full length, 10-35 cm. Traditionally, bulbs were dug in the spring and eaten by the Thompson.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from May to June. Its bulbs are small and spherical and smell like onions. The flowers are pink to purple on a long stem which appear after the leaves have died.

Flowers: 10-20 flowers per scape; outer tepals commonly purple-rose, lanceolate, 8-15 mm, becoming involute margined and keeled, tips spreading to recurved; inner tepals smaller than outer series

Bulb: Bulb growing to 0.3m by 0.08m.    New bulb is formed inside of the bulb coat of the parent bulb, bulb coat maked with squarish reticulations

The long, narrow basal leaves typical of the Onion Family can be seen dried in the lower part of the picture at left.  Many wild animals eat the bulbs and the onion-flavored leaves of this and other Alliaceae.

Leaves: slightly channeled or V-shaped in cross section

CLICK & SEE

The onions were eaten by first peoples in southern British Columbia. They were harvested in either early spring or late fall and usually cooked in pits.
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Cultivation :
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil.  The bulbs tend to rot when grown in cool wet climates, even if they are given sharp drainage. This species is best in a cold frame and given a dry summer rest.  The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. Very easy, the plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season and the divisions can be planted straight out into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root; Seed.

Bulb – raw or cooked.   Eaten in spring and early summer. A strong flavour . The bulb is 10 – 15mm wide .  Leaves – raw or cooked. Used as a relish. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads. The seed heads can be placed in hot ashes for a few minutes, then the seeds extracted and eaten.

Medicinal  Actions & Uses

Although no specific mention of medicinal uses has been seen for this species, members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses : …Repellent.....The growing plant is said to repel insects and moles. The bulbs can be rubbed on the skin to repel insects.

Known Hazards :  Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

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.

Other Uses
Repellent.

The growing plant is said to repel insects and moles . The bulbs can be rubbed on the skin to repel insects.

Known Hazards : Although no individual reports regarding this species have been seen, there have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of certain members of this genus. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible .

Resources:

http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Allium+acuminatum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_acuminatum
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ALAC4&photoID=alac4_005_ahp.jpg
http://www.cwnp.org/photopgs/adoc/alacuminatum.html
http://www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/Pink%20Enlarged%20Photo%20Pages/allium.htm
http://www.penstemon.org/Idaho07PreviewPartTwo.htm

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