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Herbs & Plants

Breadfruit

Botanical Name :Artocarpus altilis
Family: Moraceae
Tribe: Artocarpeae
Genus: Artocarpus
Species: A. altilis
Kingdom
: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales

Scientific names : Artocarpus altilis Linn.,Artocarpus communis  ,Artocarpus incisus
Common names:Fruta de pan (Span.), Breadfruit (Engl.),Rimas (Tag.)

Habitat :Native to the Malay Peninsula, through all of Island Southeast Asia and into most Pacific Ocean islands. The ancestors of the Polynesians found the trees growing in the northwest New Guinea area around 3500 years ago. They gave up the rice cultivation they had brought with them from ancient Taiwan, and raised breadfruit wherever they went in the Pacific (except Easter Island and New Zealand which were too cold). Their ancient eastern Indonesian cousins spread the plant west and north through Insular and coastal Southeast Asia. It has, in historic times, also been widely planted in tropical regions elsewhere

Description:
Breadfruit trees grow to a height of 85 feet (26 m). The large and thick leaves are deeply cut into pinnate lobes. All parts of the tree yield latex, a milky juice, which is useful for boat caulking.
You may click to see the picture:->

The tree.

Artocarpus altilis (fruit).

ARS breadfruit49

Bread fruit in early stages.

Breadfruit drawing

Tree trunk

Fruit
The trees are monoecious, with male and female flowers growing on the same tree. The male flowers emerge first, followed shortly afterward by the female flowers, which grow into a capitulum, which are capable of pollination just three days later. The pollinators are Old World fruit bats in the family Pteropodidae. The compound, false fruit develops from the swollen perianth and originates from 1,500-2,000 flowers. These are visible on the skin of the fruit as hexagon-like disks.

Breadfruit is one of the highest-yielding food plants, with a single tree producing up to 200 or more fruits per season. In the South Pacific, the trees yield 50 to 150 fruits per year. In southern India, normal production is 150 to 200 fruits annually. Productivity varies between wet and dry areas. In the Caribbean, a conservative estimate is 25 fruits per tree. Studies in Barbados indicate a reasonable potential of 6.7 to 13.4 tons per acre (16-32 tons/ha). The grapefruit-sized ovoid fruit has a rough surface, and each fruit is divided into many achenes, each achene surrounded by a fleshy perianth and growing on a fleshy receptacle. Some selectively bred cultivars have seedless fruit.

The breadfruit is closely related to the breadnut and the jackfruit.

Cultivation:
Breadfruit is an equatorial lowland species that grows best below elevations of 650 metres (2,130 ft), but is found at elevations of 1,550 metres (5,090 ft). Its preferred rainfall is 1,500–3,000 millimetres (59–120 in) per year. Preferred soils are neutral to alkaline (pH of 6.1-7.4) and either sand, sandy loam, loam or sandy clay loam. Breadfruit is able to grow in coral sands and saline soils.

Edible uses:
Nutritional :Breadfruit is roughly 25% carbohydrates and 70% water. It has an average amount of vitamin C (20 mg/100g), small amounts of minerals (potassium and zinc) and thiamin (100 ?g).

*Crop considered a carbohydrate food source.
*Fruit can be fried, boiled, candied or cooked as a vegetable.
*High in starch, it is also high in Vitamin B, with fair amounts of B and C.

Breadfruit is a staple food in many tropical regions. They were propagated far outside their native range by Polynesian voyagers who transported root cuttings and air-layered plants over long ocean distances. They are very rich in starch, and before being eaten they are roasted, baked, fried or boiled. When cooked the taste is described as potato-like, or similar to fresh-baked bread (hence the name).

Because breadfruit trees usually produce large crops at certain times of the year, preservation of the harvested fruit is an issue. One traditional preservation technique is to bury peeled and washed fruits in a leaf-lined pit where they ferment over several weeks and produce a sour, sticky paste. So stored, the product may last a year or more, and some pits are reported to have produced edible contents more than 20 years later.  Fermented breadfruit mash goes by many names such as mahr, ma, masi, furo, and bwiru, among others.

Drawing of breadfruit by John Frederick MillerMost breadfruit varieties also produce a small number of fruits throughout the year, so fresh breadfruit is always available, but somewhat rare when not in season.

Breadfruit can be eaten once cooked, or can be further processed into a variety of other foods. A common product is a mixture of cooked or fermented breadfruit mash mixed with coconut milk and baked in banana leaves. Whole fruits can be cooked in an open fire, then cored and filled with other foods such as coconut milk, sugar and butter, cooked meats, or other fruits. The filled fruit can be further cooked so that the flavor of the filling permeates the flesh of the breadfruit.

The Hawaiian staple food called poi made of mashed taro root is easily substituted or augmented with mashed breadfruit. The resulting “breadfruit poi” is called poi ?ulu. In Puerto Rico, it is called “panapen” or “pana”, for short. Pana is often served boiled with a mixture of sauteed bacalao (salted cod fish), olive oil and onions. It is also serve as tostones or mofongo. In Dominican Republic, it is known by the name “buen pan” or “good bread”. Breadfruit is also found in Indonesia and Malaysia, where it is called ‘sukun’. In the South Indian state of Kerala and coastal Karnataka especially on the sides of Mangalore, where it is widely grown and cooked, it is known as Kadachakka and Gujje respectively. In Belize, the Mayan people call it ‘masapan’.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used:Bark, leaves, fruit.

Properties and constituents : Study has yielded papayotin, enzyme and artocarpin.

Folkloric:
• Decoction of the bark used as vulnerary (wound healing). In the Visayas, decoction of the bark used in dysentery.
• Used as emollient.
• In the Carribean, leaves are used to relieve pain and inflammation.
• In Jamaican folk medicine, leaf decoction used for hypertension.

.It is also used in traditional medicine to treat illnesses that range from sore eyes to sciatica.

Studies:-
• Phytochemical: (1) Study concluded that the starch of Artocarpus altilis showed a high degree of purity. Physiochemical and rheological characteristics suggest the starch could be useful in products that require long heating process, with an excellent digestibility that might be advantageous for medical and food use. (2) Study showed percent recoveries of amino acid, fatty acid and carbohydrate content showed 72.5%, 68.2% and 81.4%. The starch content is 15.52 g/100 g fresh weight.
• Cytoprotective: Study yielded cytoprotective components – ß-sitosterol and six flavonoids with good potential for medicinal applications.
• Antiinflammatory: Extract of breadfruit leaves was shown to contain compounds with significant anti-inflammatory activities.
Phenolic Compounds / Cytotoxicity: Study isolated isoprenylated flavonoids – morusin, artonin E, cycloartobiloxanthone and artonol B – that showed high toxicity against Artmia salina. Result of cytotoxicity test showed the presence of an isoprenyl moiety in the C-3 position in the flavone skeleton, an important factor for its activity.
• Negative Inotropic Effect: Leaf extract study exerted a weak, negative chronotropic and inotropic effect in vivo in the rat. The mechanism of action of the inotropic agent was not cholinergic and may involve decoupling of excitation and contraxction.

Other Uses:
The wood of the breadfruit tree was one of the most valuable timbers in the construction of traditional houses in Samoan architecture.
Breadfruit was widely and diversely used among Pacific Islanders. Its lightweight wood (specific gravity of 0.27) is resistant to termites and shipworms, consequently used as timber for structures and outrigger canoes.  Native Hawaiians used its sticky sap to trap birds, whose feathers were made into cloaks.
Its wood pulp can also be used to make paper, called breadfruit tapa

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

Resources:
http://www.stuartxchange.com/Rimas.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breadfruit

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Herbs & Plants

Calophyllum inophyllum

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Botanical Name : Calophyllum inophyllum
Family: Clusiaceae
Subfamily: Kielmeyeroideae
Genus: Calophyllum
Tribe: Calophylleae
Species: C. inophyllum  
Kingdom:
Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales

Common Names:-
In Sanskrit this tree is known as punnaga. In Tamil it is known as pinnai and is often found on coastal Tamil Nadu. In Malayalam, the tree is called as “Punnagam” or “Punna” and the fruit is called as Punnakka. Bats are known to feed on the fruits. In the Maldives it is known as funa, a name derived from Sanskrit. Several of the Maldive Islands are named Funadhoo in reference to this tree.

In English this tree is also often called Ballnut or, confusingly, “Alexandrian Laurel” (it is not a laurel nor native to Alexandria and not to be confused with the small shrub Danae racemosa also known as Alexandrian laurel).

In Tahiti it is called ?ati or tamanu  tree. Several species of the tree grow wild in the tropical climes in the Pacific. In Hawai?i, the tree and nuts are called kamani in Fiji the name is dilo, while it is fetau in both Samoa and Niu?, and in Tonga it is feta?u or tamanu. In Vanuatu, the natives call the oil nambagura.


Habitat :
It is native from East Africa, southern coastal India to Malesia and Australia.


Description:

Calophyllum inophyllum is a large evergreen. Nowadays it is widely cultivated in all tropical regions of the world, including several Pacific Islands. Because of its decorative leaves, fragrant flowers and spreading crown, it is best known as an ornamental plant.

It is a low-branching and slow-growing tree with a broad and irregular crown. It usually reaches 8 to 20 metres (26 to 66 ft) in height. The flower is 25 millimetres (0.98 in) wide and occurs in racemose or paniculate inflorescences consisting of 4 to 15 flowers. Flowering can occur year-round, but usually two distinct flowering periods are observed, in late spring and in late autumn. The fruit (the ballnut) is a round, green drupe reaching 2 to 4 centimetres (0.79 to 1.6 in) in diameter and having a single large seed. When ripe, the fruit is wrinkled and its color varies from yellow to brownish-red.

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This tree often grows in coastal regions as well as nearby lowland forests. However it has also been cultivated successfully in inland areas at moderate altitudes. It tolerates varied kinds of soil, coastal sand, clay or even degraded soil.

Medicinal Uses:

Common Uses:Calophyllum inophyllum fruit oil is used in  Abrasions/Cuts * Acne * Burns/SunBurn * Deodorants/Perfumes * Eczema * Facial and Skin care * Fungus Infections * Herpes * Insect Bites/Rashes * Neuralgia * Psoriasis * Rheumatoid Arthritis * Scabies *
Properties:  Anti-inflammatory* Deodorant* Emollient* Skin tonic* Vulnerary*

Pacific islanders apply Tamanu nut oil to scrapes, cuts, burns, insect bites and stings, acne and acne scars, psoriasis, diabetic sores, anal fissures, sunburn, dry or scaly skin, blisters, eczema, diaper rash and herpes sores–and even to reduce foot and body odor! It takes 100 kilograms of Tamanu nuts, the amount that one tree produces annually, to yield just 5 kilograms of cold pressed oil, which puts the somewhat the high cost of this spectacular nut oil into perspective.

Tamanu oil fades stretch marks with incredible results. It also works miracles on scar tissue, making scars look less unsightly. Can be used directly on the skin or mixed within formulations.

Other Uses
Besides being a popular ornamental plant, its wood is hard and strong and has been used in construction or boatbuilding. Traditional Pacific Islanders used Calophyllum wood to construct the keel of their canoes while the boat sides were made from breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) wood. The seeds yield a thick, dark green oil for medicinal use or hair grease. Active ingredients in the oil are believed to regenerate tissue, so is sought after by cosmetics manufacturers as an ingredient in skin cremes. The nuts should be well dried before cracking, after which the oil-laden kernel should be further dried. The first neoflavone isolated in 1951 from natural sources was calophyllolide from Calophyllum inophyllum seeds.

The fatty acid methyl ester of Calophyllum inophyllum seed oil meets all of the major biodiesel requirements in the United States (ASTM D 6751-02, ASTM PS 121-99), Germany (DIN V 51606) and European Union (EN 14214). The average oil yield is 11.7 kg-oil/tree or 4680 kg-oil/hectare

The tree is regarded as sacred in some Pacific islands because of its excellent growth in sandy soil as shade tree and many uses.

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/Calophyllum_inophyllum
http://www.hear.org/starr/images/species/?q=calophyllum+inophyllum&o=plants
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail285.php

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Burdock

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Botanical Name: Arctium lappa (LINN.)
Family: Asteraceae/N.O. Compositae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:Asterales
Tribe:Cynareae
Genus:Arctium

Synonyms-:–Lappa. Fox’s Clote. Thorny Burr. Beggar’s Buttons. Cockle Buttons. Love Leaves. Philanthropium. Personata. Happy Major. Clot-Bur.

Parts Used:—Root, herb and seeds (fruits).

Habitat:
Burdock is any of a group of biennial thistles in the genus Arctium, family Asteraceae. Common Burdock (A. minus) grows wild throughout most of North America, Europe and Asia. It grows freely throughout England (though rarely in Scotland) on waste ground and about old buildings, by roadsides and in fairly damp places.
The Burdock, the only British member of its genus, belongs to the Thistle group of the great order, Compositae.

Description:—A stout handsome plant, with large, wavy leaves and round heads of purple flowers. It is enclosed in a globular involucre of long stiff scales with hooked tips, the scales being also often interwoven with a white, cottony substance.
The whole plant is a dull, pale green, the stem about 3 to 4 feet and branched, rising from a biennial root. The lower leaves are very large, on long, solid foot-stalks, furrowed above, frequently more than a foot long heart-shaped and of a grey colour on their under surfaces from the mass of fine down with which they are covered. The upper leaves are much smaller, more egg-shaped in form and not so densely clothed beneath with the grey down.

The plant varies considerably in appearance, and by some botanists various subspecies, or even separate species, have been described, the variations being according to the size of the flower-heads and of the whole plant, the abundance of the whitish cottonlike substance that is sometimes found on the involucres, or the absence of it, the length of the flower-stalks, etc.

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The flower-heads are found expanded during the latter part of the summer and well into the autumn: all the florets are tubular, the stamens dark purple and the styles whitish. The plant owes its dissemination greatly to the little hooked prickles of its involucre, which adhere to everything with which they come in contact, and by attaching themselves to coats of animals are often carried to a distance…..click & see

Plants of the genus Arctium have dark green leaves that can grow up to 18″ (45 cm) long. They are generally large, coarse and ovate, with the lower ones being heart-shaped. They are woolly underneath. The leafstalks are generally hollow. Arctium species generally flower from July through October.

The prickly heads of these Old World plants are noted for easily catching on to fur and clothing, thus providing an excellent mechanism for seed dispersal. Burrs cause local irritation and can possibly cause intestinal hairballs in pets. However, most animals avoid ingesting these plants.

A large number of species have been placed in genus Arctium at one time or another, but most of them are now classified in the related genus Cousinia. The precise limits between Arctium and Cousinia are hard to define; there is an exact correlation between their molecular phylogeny. The burdocks are sometimes confused with the cockleburs (genus Xanthium) and rhubarb (genus Rheum).

The roots of burdock, among other plants, are eaten by the larva of the Ghost Moth (Hepialus humuli). The plant is used as a food plant by other Lepidoptera including Brown-tail, Coleophora paripennella, Coleophora peribenanderi, The Gothic, Lime-speck Pug and Scalloped Hazel.

The green, above-ground portions may cause contact dermatitis in humans due to the lactones the plant produces.

Cultivation:–-As the Burdock grows freely in waste places and hedgerows, it can be collected in the wild state, and is seldom worth cultivating.

It will grow in almost any soil, but the roots are formed best in a light well-drained soil. The seeds germinate readily and may be sown directly in the field, either in autumn or early spring, in drills 18 inches to 3 feet apart, sowing 1 inch deep in autumn, but less in spring. The young plants when well up are thinned out to 6 inches apart in the row.

Yields at the rate of 1,500 to 2,000 lb. of dry roots per acre have been obtained from plantations of Burdock.

The roots are dug in July, and should be lifted with a beet-lifter or a deep-running plough. As a rule they are 12 inches or more in length and about 1 inch thick, sometimes, however, they extend 2 to 3 feet, making it necessary to dig by hand. They are fleshy, wrinkled, crowned with a tuft of whitish, soft, hairy leaf-stalks, grey-brown externally, whitish internally, with a somewhat thick bark, about a quarter of the diameter of the root, and soft wood tissues, with a radiate structure.

The seeds (or fruits) are collected when ripe. They are brownish-grey, wrinkled, about 1/4 inch long and 1/16 inch in diameter. They are shaken out of the head and dried by spreading them out on paper in the sun.

Uses:-
The taproot of young burdock plants can be harvested and eaten as a root vegetable. While generally out of favor in modern European cuisine, it remains popular in Asia, particularly in Japan where A. lappa (Greater burdock) is called gobo. Plants are cultivated for their slender roots, which can grow about 1 meter long and 2 cm across. Burdock root is very crisp and has a sweet, mild, and pungent flavor with a little muddy harshness that can be reduced by soaking julienne/shredded roots in water for five to ten minutes. Immature flower stalks may also be harvested in late spring, before flowers appear; the taste resembles that of artichoke, to which the burdock is related. A popular Japanese dish is kinpira gobo, julienned or shredded burdock root and carrot, braised with soy sauce, sugar, mirin and/or sake, and sesame oil; another is burdock makizushi (sushi filled with pickled burdock root rather than fish; the burdock root is often artificially colored orange to resemble a carrot). In the second half of the 20th century, burdock achieved international recognition for its culinary use due to the increasing popularity of the macrobiotic diet, which advocates its consumption. It also contains a fair amount of gobo dietary fiber (GDF, 6g per 100g), calcium, potassium, amino acids,  and is also low calorie. It also contains polyphenols that causes darkened surface and muddy harshness by formation of tannin-iron complexes though the harshness shows excellent harmonization with pork in miso soup (tonjiru) and Japanese-style pilaf (takikomi gohan).

Dandelion and burdock is a soft drink that has long been popular in the United Kingdom, and authentic recipes are sold by health food shops, but it is not clear whether the cheaper supermarket versions actually contain either plant. Burdock is believed to be a galactagogue, a substance that increases lactation.

Parts Used Medicinally-:–The dried root from plants of the first year’s growth forms the official drug, but the leaves and fruits (commonly, though erroneously, called seeds) are also used.

Constituents:-–Inulin, mucilage, sugar, a bitter, crystalline glucoside – Lappin-a little resin, fixed and volatile oils, and some tannic acid.
The roots contain starch, and the ashes of the plant, burnt when green, yield carbonate of potash abundantly, and also some nitre.

Burdock root has a sweetish and mucilaginous taste.

Burdock leaves, which are less used than the root, are collected in July. For drying, follow the drying of Coltsfoot leaves. They have a somewhat bitter taste.

Folk herbalists consider dried burdock to be a diuretic, diaphoretic, and a blood purifying agent. The seeds of A. lappa are used in traditional Chinese medicine,.

Burdock has been a favorite medicinal herb for centuries and is used for many ailments. Burdock root oil extract, also called Bur oil, is popular in Europe as a scalp treatment applied to improve hair strength, shine and body, help reverse scalp conditions, and combat hair loss. It is used as a natural hair oil to help get rid of scalp itching and dandruff, promote healing of skin and scalp conditions. Modern studies indicate that Burdock root oil extract is rich in phytosterols and essential fatty acids (including rare long chain EFAs), the nutrients required to maintain healthy scalp and promote natural hair growth. Regular use of Burdock oil helps restore and maintain healthy scalp and hair. The oil helps combat scalp itching, redness and dandruff, and promotes recovery of scalp irritation. It combines immediate relieving effect with nutritional support of normal functions of sebaceous glands and hair follicles.

For centuries, Burdock oil has been used to produce Burdock herbal medicines. High-quality Burdock oil has a mild attractive aroma which comes from the volatile root ingredients. This unique aroma may be used to identify genuine Burdock oil and avoid adulterated products.

Medicinal Action and Uses:—Alterative, diuretic and diaphoretic. One of the best blood purifiers. In all skin diseases, it is a certain remedy and has effected a cure in many cases of eczema, either taken alone or combined with other remedies, such as Yellow Dock and Sarsaparilla.

The root is principally employed, but the leaves and seeds are equally valuable. Both root and seeds may be taken as a decoction of 1 OZ. to 1 1/2 pint of water, boiled down to a pint, in doses of a wineglassful, three or four times a day.

The anti-scorbutic properties of the root make the decoction very useful for boils, scurvy and rheumatic affections, and by many it is considered superior to Sarsaparilla, on account of its mucilaginous, demulcent nature; it has in addition been recommended for external use as a wash for ulcers and scaly skin disorders.

An infusion of the leaves is useful to impart strength and tone to the stomach, for some forms of long-standing indigestion.

When applied externally as a poultice, the leaves are highly resolvent for tumours and gouty swellings, and relieve bruises and inflamed surfaces generally. The bruised leaves have been applied by the peasantry in many countries as cataplasms to the feet and as a remedy for hysterical disorders.

From the seeds, both a medicinal tincture and a fluid extract are prepared, of benefit in chronic skin diseases. Americans use the seeds only, considering them more efficacious and prompt in their action than the other parts of the plant. They are relaxant and demulcent, with a limited amount of tonic property. Their influence upon the skin is due largely to their being of such an oily nature: they affect both the sebaceous and sudoriferous glands, and probably owing to their oily nature restore that smoothness to the skin which is a sign of normal healthy action.

The infusion or decoction of the seeds is employed in dropsical complaints, more especially in cases where there is co-existing derangement of the nervous system, and is considered by many to be a specific for all affections of the kidneys, for which it may with advantage be taken several times a day, before meals.

Help taken from: en.wikipedia.org and www.botanical.com

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