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Herbs & Plants

Allium moly

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Botanical Name : Allium moly
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Tribe: Allieae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. moly
Order: Asparagales

Synonyms:
*Cepa moly (L.) Moench
*Kalabotis moly (L.) Raf.
*Molyza moly (L.) Salisb.
*Nectaroscordum moly (L.) Galasso & Banfi
*Allium aureum Lam.
*Allium flavum Salisb. 1796, illegitimate homonym not L. 1753
*Allium moly var. bulbilliferum Rouy

Common Names: Golden Garlic, Ornamental Onion, Lily leek
Habitat : Allium moly is native to Europe – Mediterranean in south-western Europe and northern Africa. It grows on shady rocks and screes in mountains. Limestone rubble.

Description:
Allium moly is a BULB growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in) at a fast rate. It is a vigorous little allium bearing dense clusters of star-shaped, golden yellow flowers from late spring. Neat clumps of grey-green, strap-like foliage are quick to establish and will rapidly spread to naturalize beneath shrubs and throughout woodland areas. Allium moly is easy to grow, needing little attention throughout the season. Bulb size 4/5. Height: 15cm (6″) Spread: 5cm (2″).

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It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Massing, Rock garden, Woodland garden. An easily grown plant, preferring a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. Established plants are fairly drought tolerant. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. The dormant bulbs are fairly hardy and will withstand soil temperatures down to at least -10°c. There are some named forms selected for their ornamental value. The flowers are softly scented. Some forms of this species, especially A. moly bulbiferum, produce bulbils in the flowering head and can be invasive. The species type is sometimes considered to be invasive, though it has not proved so with most people. It is useful for naturalising between shrubs and grows well at the base of a beech hedge in a wet garden. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. It is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Special Features:Not North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for dried flowers.
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. Plants sometimes produces bulbils, these can be potted up as soon as they are ripe and planted out in late spring.
Edible Uses:

Bulb – raw or cooked. A pleasant mild garlic flavour, when sliced it makes a very nice addition to salads and can also be used as a flavouring in cooked foods. The bulbs are about 25mm in diameter. Leaves – raw or cooked. Flowers – raw. The yellow flowers make an attractive garnish on salads and have a pleasant onion flavour.

Medicinal 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 juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles

Knwn 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 supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_moly
http://www.thompson-morgan.com/flowers/flower-bulbs/allium-bulbs/allium-moly/t11408bTM

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Herbs & Plants

Artemisia ludoviciana

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Botanical Name ; Artemisia ludoviciana
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species:A. ludoviciana
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names: White Sage, Louisiana Sage, Prairie Sage, silver wormwood, western mugwort, Louisiana wormwood, white sagebrush, and gray sagewor

Habitat :Artemisia ludoviciana is native to North America where it is widespread across most of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Some botanists suggest that eastern United States populations have been introduced from the western and central part of the continent.It grows on prairies, dry open soils and thin woodland.

Description:
Artemisia ludoviciana is a rhizomatous perennial plant growing to heights between 0.33–1 metre (1.1–3.3 ft). The stems bear linear leaves up to 11 centimeters long. The stems and foliage are covered in woolly gray or white hairs.
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The top of the stem is occupied by a narrow inflorescence of many nodding (hanging)flower heads. Each small head is a cup of hairy phyllaries surrounding a center of yellowish disc florets and is about half a centimeter wide. It is in flower from Aug to October, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October.

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The fruit is a minute achene. This plant was used by many Native American groups for a variety of medicinal, veterinary, and ceremonial purposes.

Cultivation:
Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a sunny position. Does well in a sandy soil. Established plants are very drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. A very polymorphic species. Slugs love the young shoots of this plant and have been known to destroy even well-established plants. A very ornamental plant, spreading by stolons to form loose patches, it can be invasive[190]. There are many named forms selected for their ornamental value. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Fragrant foliage, Invasive, Suitable for dried flowers.

Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse, making sure that the compost does not dry out. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn[200]. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the young shoots when about10 – 15cm long, pot up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse or cold frame and plant them out when well rooted. Very easy.
Edible Uses:
Leaves and flowering heads are used as a flavouring or garnish for sauces, gravies etc. A herb tea is made from the leaves and flowering heads. Seed. Seed is very small and fiddly to use.
Medicinal Uses:
The leaves are astringent. They were commonly used by the N. American Indians to induce sweating, curb pain and diarrhoea. A weak tea was used in the treatment of stomach ache and menstrual disorders. Externally, a wash of the leaves was applied to itching, rashes, swellings, boils, sores, etc. The wash was also applied to eczema and as an underarm deodorant. A poultice of the leaves can be applied to spider bites, blisters and burst boils. A snuff of the crushed leaves has been used to treat headaches, the sinuses and nosebleeds.

Other Uses: Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Massing, Seashore. The plant makes a useful ground cover plant once it is established. The leaves can be placed in the shoes as a foot deodorant. An infusion of the leaves has been used as an underarm deodorant. The soft leaves can be used as a toilet paper. The plant can be burnt to repel mosquitoes
Native Americans used the species as a medicinal plant, a source of fiber for crafting household items, and for ceremonial purposes.

Known Hazards: There is a report that the plant can cause allergies in some people.
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://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+ludoviciana
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_ludoviciana

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News on Health & Science

Depressed? Have Some Soup

Time to be a Soup-o-holic!

Feeling low or bored, and don’t want to binge again? It’s time for your serving of soup for the soul! Move over that never-ending book series. Steaming fresh soups do a lot to keep you healthy and spirited. Whether it’s thick, rich and creamy or clear and light, these all weather stress-busters are a good bet to keep your taste buds alive without burdening the tummy. Here are some delectable varieties you must try…

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“Minestrone is my all time favorite”, says top restaurateur Ritu Dalmia. This classic Italian preparation is made from fresh beans, celery, carrots, tomato, onions and stock. “Cold soups are also a good option”, she adds, citing examples of the avocado and beetroot-strawberry soups she recently enjoyed on her trip abroad. I would personally recommend Chilled Cucumber soup which most French restaurants should offer. Other exotic varieties of the cold kind are the Andalusian Almond soup, which is thick and creamy with the flavor of raw almonds and sea salt, and the Iced Shrimp soup, a rarity which you must try wherever available.

And if you’d rather prefer a menu that’s closer home, you’re not alone! Model and former Miss India Nikita Anand swears by homemade soups. “I love my bowl of soup in winters. My mum makes great mushroom and chicken broth and clear spinach soup, and I prefer them to restaurant preparations because they’re simple, healthy and minimalist as far as spices and unnecessary ingredients go, she says. Tarla Dalal, one of India’s most successful cookery experts, echoes Nikita’s choice.  Light, clear varieties like the quintessential Lemon-Coriander soup are the healthiest”, she says. For her,   Soups are the best part of any meal !
Dalal also recommends cooking up your own versions by mish-mashing recipes. So get creative with chicken, mushroom, lemon, basil, lentil, garlic and lettuce… garnish the regular Talumein or Tomyum with your own additions and stew up your own unique consommé.

While you are at it, keep in mind that seasonal ingredients work the best with any preparation. “What is available at that time of the year makes for the best taste   says expert chef and restaurateur Moshe Shek.   The healthiest of soups are natural purees, like the ones we serve”, he adds. This means  no butter or cream, or white flour. His special recommendations include roasted corn soup with oregano and jalape±o for the monsoon and pea and fresh mint soup which is available round the year.

And if you thought soup-o-mania is a recent trend, let me tell you that the Greeks are believed to have sold soup as a fast-food on the street as early as 600 BC! The term   soup , however, came much later. People used to pour broth over a piece of bread in a bowl. That bread was known as sop, and thus   soup  was born.

Anyway, leave all the gyaan aside and relish your portion of this easy-to-cook appetizer which comes in an array of yummy forms. And, always follow celebrity chef and food writer Vikas Khanna’s tip:   Remember that a delicious and inspiring meal comes from a creative and adventurous mind!

Source: The Times Of India

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Parsley

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Botanical Name: Carum petroselinum (BENTH.)
Kingdom: Plantae
Family: Apiaceae/Umbelliferae
Genus:     Petroselinum
Species: P. crispum
Order:     Apiales
Synonyms: Apium petroselinum (Linn.). Petroselinum lativum (Hoffm.). Petersylinge. Persely. Persele.
Parts Used: Root, seeds.
Habitat: The Garden Parsley is not indigenous to Britain: Linnaeus stated its wild habitat to be Sardinia, whence it was brought to England and apparently first cultivated here in 1548. Bentham considered it a native of the Eastern Mediterranean regions; De Candolle of Turkey, Algeria and the Lebanon. Since its introduction into these islands in the sixteenth century it has been completely naturalized in various parts of England and Scotland, on old walls and rocks.

Description:

Garden parsley is a bright green, biennial, plant in temperate climates, or an annual herb in subtropical and tropical areas.

Where it grows as a biennial, in the first year, it forms a rosette of tripinnate leaves 10–25 cm long with numerous 1–3 cm leaflets, and a taproot used as a food store over the winter. In the second year, it grows a flowering stem to 75 cm tall with sparser leaves and flat-topped 3–10 cm diameter umbels with numerous 2 mm diameter yellow to yellowish-green flowers. The seeds are ovoid, 2–3 mm long, with prominent style remnants at the apex. One of the compounds of the essential oil is apiol. The plant normally dies after seed maturation.

Parsley is used for its leaf in much the same way as coriander (which is also known as Chinese parsley or cilantro), although it has a milder flavor. Two forms of parsley are used as herbs: curly leaf and Italian, or flat leaf (P. neapolitanum). Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish. Many people think flat leaf parsley has a stronger flavor, and this opinion is backed by chemical analysis which finds much higher levels of essential oil in the flat-leaved cultivars.

Another type of parsley is grown as a root vegetable. This type of parsley produces much thicker roots than types cultivated for their leaves. Although little known in Britain and the United States, root parsley is very common in Central and Eastern European cuisine, where it is used in most soups or stews. Though it looks similar to parsnip it tastes quite different.

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The use of curly leaf parsley is often favored, because it cannot be confused with poison hemlock, like flat leaf parsley or chervil.

Cultivation:
Parsley requires an ordinary, good well-worked soil, but a moist one and a partially-shaded position is best. A little soot may be added to the soil.

The seed may be sown in drills, or broadcast, or, if only to be used for culinary purposes, as edging, or between dwarf or shortlived crops.

For a continuous supply, three sowings should be made: as early in February as the weather permits, in April or early in May, and in July and early August – the last being for the winter supply, in a sheltered position, with a southern exposure. Sow in February for the summer crop and for drying purposes. Seed sown then, however, takes several weeks to germinate, often as much as a full month. The principal sowing is generally done in April; it then germinates more quickly and provides useful material for cutting throughout the summer. A mid-August sowing will furnish good plants for placing in the cold frames for winter use

Parsley’s germination is notoriously difficult. Tales have been told concerning its lengthy germination, with some suggesting that “germination was slow because the seeds had to travel to hell and back two, three, seven, or nine times (depending on sources) before they could grow.”Germination is inconsistent and may require 3-6 weeks.

Furanocoumarins in parlsey’s seed coat may be responsible for parsley’s problematic germination. These compounds may inhibit the germination of other seeds, allowing parsley to compete with nearby plants. However, parsley itself may be affected by the furanocoumarins. Soaking parsley seeds overnight before sowing will shorten the germination period.

Parsley grows well in a deep pot, which helps accommodate the long taproot. Parsley grown indoors requires at least five hours of sunlight a day.

In parts of Europe, and particularly in West Asia, many foods are served with chopped parsley sprinkled on top. The fresh flavor of parsley goes extremely well with fish. Parsley is a key ingredient in several West Asian salads, e.g., tabbouleh which is the national dish of Lebanon. In Southern and Central Europe, parsley is part of bouquet garni, a bundle of fresh herbs used to flavor stocks, soups, and sauces. Additionally, parsley is often used as a garnish. Persillade is mixture of chopped garlic and chopped parsley. Gremolata is a mixture of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest.

Medicinal uses:
Tea may be used as an enema. Chinese and German herbologists recommend parsley tea to help control high blood pressure, and the Cherokee Indians used it as a tonic to strengthen the bladder. It is also often used as an emmenagogue.
Parsley also appears to increase diuresis by inhibiting the Na+/K+-ATPase pump in the kidney, thereby enhancing sodium and water excretion while increasing potassium reabsorption.  It is also valued as an aquaretic.
When crushed and rubbed on the skin, parsley can reduce itching in mosquito bites.

Constituents: Parsley Root is faintly aromatic and has a sweetish taste. It contains starch, mucilage, sugar, volatile oil and Apiin. The latter is white, inodorous, tasteless and soluble in boiling water.

Parsley fruit or ‘seeds’ contain the volatile oil in larger proportion than the root (2.6 per cent); it consists of terpenes and Apiol, to which the activity of the fruit is due. There are also present fixed oil, resin, Apiin, mucilage and ash. Apiol is an oily, nonnitrogenous allyl compound, insoluble in water, soluble in alcohol and crystallizable when pure into white needles. The British Pharmacopceia directs that Apiol be prepared by extracting the bruised fresh fruits with ether and distilling the solvent. The residue is the commercial liquid Apiol. It exercises all the virtues of the entire plant. Crystallized Apiol, or Parsley Camphor, is obtained by distilling the volatile oil to a low temperature. The value of the volatile oil depends on the amount of Apiol it contains. Oil obtained from German fruit contains this body in considerable quantity and becomes semi-solid at ordinary temperature, that from French fruit is much poorer in Apiol. In France, only the crystalline Apiol is official, but three different varieties, distinguished as green, yellow and white, are in use.

Apiol was first obtained in 1849 by Drs. Joret and Homolle, of Brittany, and proved an excellent remedy there for a prevailing ague. It is greatly used now in malarial disorders. The name Apiol has also been applied to an oleoresin prepared from the plant, which contains three closely-allied principles: apiol, apiolin and myristicin, the latter identical with the active principle of oil of Nutmeg. The term ‘liquid Apiol’ is frequently applied to the complete oleoresin. This occurs as a yellowish liquid with a characteristic odour and an acrid pungent taste. The physiological action of the oleoresin of Parsley has not been sufficiently investigated, it exercises a singular influence on the great nerve centres of the head and spine, and in large doses produces giddiness and deafness, fall of blood-pressure and some slowing of the pulse and paralysis. It is stated that the paralysis is followed by fatty degeneration of the liver and kidney, similar to that caused by myristicin.

Parsley has carminative, tonic and aperient action, but is chiefly used for its diuretic properties, a strong decoction of the root being of great service in gravel, stone, congestion of the kidneys, dropsy and jaundice. The dried leaves are also used for the same purpose. Parsley Tea proved useful in the trenches, where our men often got kidney complications, when suffering from dysentery.

A fluid extract is prepared from both root and seeds. The extract made from the root acts more readily on the kidneys than that from other parts of the herb. The oil extracted from the seeds, the Apiol, is considered a safe and efficient emmenagogue, the dose being 5 to 15 drops in capsules. A decoction of bruised Parsley seeds was at one time employed against plague and intermittent fever.

In France, a popular remedy for scrofulous swellings is green Parsley and snails, pounded in a mortar to an ointment, spread on linen and applied daily. The bruised leaves, applied externally, have been used in the same manner as Violet leaves (also Celandine, Clover and Comfrey), to dispel tumours suspected to be of a cancerous nature. A poultice of the leaves is said to be an efficacious remedy for the bites and stings of poisonous insects.

Culpepper tells us:
‘It is very comfortable to the stomach . . . good for wind and to remove obstructions both of the liver and spleen . . . Galen commendeth it for the falling sickness . . . the seed is effectual to break the stone and ease the pains and torments thereof…. The leaves of parsley laid to the eyes that are inflamed with heat or swollen, relieves them if it be used with bread or meat…. The juice dropped into the ears with a little wine easeth the pains.’
Formerly the distilled water of Parsley was often given to children troubled with wind, as Dill water still is.

Medicinal Action and Uses—The uses of Parsley are many and are by no means restricted to the culinary sphere. The most familiar employment of the leaves in their fresh state is, of course, finely-chopped, as a flavouring to sauces, soups, stuffings, rissoles, minces, etc., and also sprinkled over vegetables or salads. The leaves are extensively cultivated, not only for sending to market fresh, but also for the purpose of being dried and powdered as a culinary flavouring in winter, when only a limited supply of fresh Parsley is obtainable.

In addition to the leaves, the stems are also dried and powdered, both as a culinary colouring and for dyeLg purposes. There is a market for the seeds to supply nurserymen, etc., and the roots of the turnip-rooted variety are used as a vegetable and flavouring.

Medicinally, the two-year-old roots are employed, also the leaves, dried, for making Parsley Tea, and the seeds, for the extraction of an oil called Apiol, which is of considerable curative value. The best kind of seed for medicinal purposes is that obtained from the Triple Moss curled variety. The wholesale drug trade generally obtains its seeds from farmers on the East coast, each sample being tested separately before purchases are made. It has been the practice to buy secondyear seeds which are practically useless for growing purposes: it would probably hardly pay farmers to grow for Apiol producing purposes only, as the demand is not sufficiently great.

Indigestion: Parsley aids digestion and helps prevent the stomach and intestines. It is one of the most popular remedies for indigestion.A couple of springs of fresh herb or a 1/4th. teaspoon of dried herbs can be taken with a glass of water in this condition.

Eye Problems: Raw parsley juice ,mixed with carrot juice, is effective in all ailments connected with the eyes and the optic nerves. It is good for weak eyes, ulceration of the cornea,cataracts,conjunctivitis and opthalmia.

Manstrual disorders: The herb is an effective remedy for scanty menstruation. It also assists in the regularization of monthly period.Cramps as a result of menstrual irregularities are relieved and frequently corrected by the regular use of parsley juice, specially when combined with beet, carrot and cucumber juices.

Insect bites: Bruised parsley is very good medicine for for bites and stings of insects.

Wounds: Likewis, it is very effective when applied on bruised and inflamated joints.It is most cleansing suppuration when applied to open wounds.

Bad breath:It is very effective remedy for bad breath.Coarsely chopped parsley springs should be boiled in water with a quarter teaspoon of ground cloves.It is then strained and can be used as a mouthwash or gargle several times a day.

Boils: The herb is proved beneficial in the treatment of boils. It should be steeped in boiled water till it is soft and juicy . It can be applied on the boils when comfortably hot and rapped with a clean muslin.

Parsley is known as best cleaning treatment for kidneys :-
Procedures:Take a bunch of parsley (MALLI Leaves) KOTHIMBIR(DHANIYA)and wash it clean
Then cut it in small pieces and put it in a pot and pour clean water and boilit for ten minutes and let it cool down and then filter it and pour in a cleanbottle and keep it inside refrigerator to cool.

Drink one glass daily and you will notice all salt and other accumulated poisoncoming out of your kidney by urination also you will be able to notice the difference which you never felt before.

Other uses:

It canbe added freely to salads and hot soups. Uncooked parsley is palatable and easy to digest when used by itself or cooked with other green vegetables like cabbage or roots. It can be taken as a beverage.

Health risks:
Parsley should not be used in pregnant women. Parsley as an oil, root, leaf, or seed could lead to uterine stimulation and preterm labor.
Parsley is high (1.70 g per 100 g, in oxalic acid, a compound involved in the formation of kidney stones and nutrient deficiencies.
Parsley oil contains furanocoumarins and psoralens which leads to extreme photosensitivity if used orally.

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/Parsley

http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/parsle09.html

Mirackes of Herbs

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Celery

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Botanical Name :Apium graveolens
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Apium
Species: A. graveolens
Variety: dulce
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Common Names:

English: celery, leaf celery, stalk celery, celeriac, turnip-rooted celery
French: celeri
Portuguese: aipo hortense, salso, aipa nabo

Habitat: Celery occurs wild in Europe, the Mediterranean region and in Asia west of the Himalayas. The ancient Greeks and Egyptians already cultivated celery. It was probably first grown as a medicinal plant, later for the leaves as flavouring. Celery has a long history in China, dating back to at least the 6th century AD. Chinese celery most resembles leaf celery. Cultivated celery was recorded in 1623 in France, where plants with a milder taste were selected from wild plants for use as a vegetable. This was the so-called stalk celery with large, swollen petioles. At the same time celeriac with its large edible tuber was selected, probably in Italy. These two types became most important in Western temperate areas. Various types of celery are now grown all over the world. Celery is reported as being cultivated in several African countries, more commonly in highland regions than in lowlands. In Africa it is occasionally found as an escape or relic of cultivation, e.g. in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Réunion, and more commonly in South Africa.
Description:
Celery is a biennial plant, it grows to 1 m (3.3 ft) tall. The leaves are are pinnate to bipinnate with rhombic leaflets 3–6 cm long and 2–4 cm broad., shiny top, bottom mat. Stems erect, grooved, silnovetvisty. Umbrellas are small, numerous. The flowers are small,, 2–3 mm in diameter, and are produced in dense compound umbels, white or yellowish in color. Fruits are round, small (1.5-2 mm in diameter.), Gray or brownish. In leaf and petioles of celery root system is fibrous, branched, the Root — the root fleshy, round-flat or nearly spherical.

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The seeds are broad ovoid to globose, 1.5–2 mm long and wide. Modern cultivars have been selected for solid petioles, leaf stalks. A celery stalk readily separates into “strings” which are bundles of angular collenchyma cells exterior to the vascular bundles.

Cultivation:  Apium graveolens grows to 1 m tall. The leaves are pinnate to bipinnate leaves with rhombic leaflets 3-6 cm long and 2-4 cm broad. The flowers are creamy-white, 2-3 mm diameter, produced in dense compound umbels. The seeds are broad ovoid to globose, 1.5-2 mm long and wide.

In North America, commercial production of celery is dominated by a variety called Pascal celery. Gardeners can grow a range of cultivars, many of which differ little from the wild species, mainly in having stouter leaf stems. They are ranged under two classes, white and red; the white cultivars being generally the best flavoured, and the most crisp and tender.

The wild form of celery is known as smallage. It has a furrowed stalk with wedge-shaped leaves, the whole plant having a coarse, rank taste, and a peculiar smell. With cultivation and blanching, the stalks lose their acidic qualities and assume the mild, sweetish, aromatic taste particular to celery as a salad plant.

The plants are raised from seed, sown either in a hot bed or in the open garden according to the season of the year, and after one or two thinnings out and transplantings they are, on attaining a height of 15-20 cm, planted out in deep trenches for convenience of blanching, which is affected by earthing up to exclude light from the stems.

In the past, celery was grown as a vegetable for winter and early spring; because of its antitoxic properties, it was perceived as a cleansing tonic, welcomed after the stagnation of winter.

Trivia
Celery contains androsterone, a hormone released through sweat glands said to attract women.

There is a common belief that celery is so difficult for humans to digest, that it has ‘negative calories‘ because human digestion burns more calories than can be extracted.

Snopes believes this to be true, however at only 6kcal per rib, the effect is negligible. Celery is still valuable in diets, where it provides low-calorie fiber bulk.
The Class B Michigan-Ontario League, a minor league baseball league from the early 20th century, included a team called the Kalamazoo Celery Pickers.
Dr. Brown’s makes a celery-flavored soft drink called Cel-Ray, which is sold mostly in the New York City region.
Some pet rabbits eat a lot of celery. One may wonder if this means rabbits lose a lot of weight. However, a rabbit’s natural flora of bacteria in their appendix includes micro-organisms which break down the cellulose in the celery into a form which the rabbit can absorb.
Exercise-induced anaphylaxis can be exacerbated by eating celery.
In the British science fiction series Doctor Who, the Fifth Doctor‘s costume included a piece of celery on the lapel. The reason for this was that he was allergic to certain gases in praxis range of the spectrum and in the presence of these gases, the celery turned purple. In this case, he ate the celery (for if nothing else he was sure it was good for his teeth).
The closely related Apium bermejoi from the island of Minorca is one of the rarest plants in Europe with only 60 individuals left.
The edible celery stalk is not a plant stem as often claimed. It is a petiole, which is part of a leaf.Foley artists break stalks of celery into a microphone to simulate the sound of breaking bones.
Celery was banned from the Gillingham’s Priestfield Stadium in 1996 after the goalkeeper complained of being struck by celery thrown by spectators.


Some people report that eating raw celery makes their tongues and mouths numb
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Fans of Chelsea Football Club have been known to sing a saucy song in which they suggest they might use a “lump of celery” in order to tickle a lady’s behind: “Celery, Celery, If she don’t come, we’ll tickle her bum with a lump of celery”
A large amount of celery was tossed in the courtyard of the old trafford arms before the semi final against Blackburn 2007, by a big group standing together.

Uses:
The most common use of celery is for its thick, succulent leaf stalks that are used, often with a part of the leaf blades, in soups, cooked dishes and salads for the Western style kitchen. The type known as Chinese celery has thinner stalks and a stronger flavor. It is rarely consumed raw, but is often added to soups and stir-fries……..CLICK & SEE

Celeriac or turnip-rooted celery is mainly used as a cooked vegetable in stews and soups but is becoming increasingly popular grated as a raw salad. Leaf celery, also called smallage, is chopped and used as garnish and flavouring, either fresh or in dried powdered form.

Celery seeds:Celery Seed is the dried fruit of Apium graviolens, a biennial in the parsley family. This is the same genus and species used for growing table celery, although there are particular varieties that are used for the vegetable. The seeds are very small (about 1/16th of an inch), ovoid and light brown.

In temperate countries, celery is also grown for its seeds, which yield a valuable volatile oil used in the perfume and pharmaceutical industries. Celery seeds can be used as flavouring or spice either as whole seeds or, ground and mixed with salt, as celery salt. Celery salt can also be made from an extract of the roots.

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It is used as a seasoning, cocktails, notably to enhance the flavor of Bloody Mary cocktails, the Chicago-style hot dog, and Old Bay Seasoning. Celery is one of three vegetables considered the holy trinity (along with onions and bell peppers) of Louisiana Creole and Cajun cuisine. It is also one of the three vegetables (together with onions and carrots) that constitute the French mirepoix, which is often used as a base for sauces and soups.

Celery Seed is a traditional diuretic and blood cleanser, well suited for treating rheumatism.1 Its inclusion in arthritic blends is a rather modern tradition, but has repeatedly proven itself in clinical trials. The mechanism of action remains obscure, but it is no longer doubted that the herb contains potent active principles. For example, a famous Chinese study showed that it lowered blood pressure in 14 of 16 human patients with chronic high blood pressure.2 In Europe, Celery Seed is a common medicinal treatment for gout and rheumatism.3

Celery Seed has not been subjected to the same amount of research investigation as many other herbs. Nevertheless, in addition to its diuretic activity, it has been shown to possess other definite medicinal properties, including, a blood pressure lowering property3, antioxidative principle4, and sedative activity.5-6 It has been shown to possess insulin-like activity7, and to suppress adrenaline hyperglycemia.8 These findings, taken together, suggest that this lowly herb, if eaten regularly, can promote a certain degree of health, especially in the vital organs of the body, including the glands, heart and nerves.

Benefits of eating Clery: Celery is a wonderful low-calorie and low-fat vegetable, consisting of about 95% water. When looking at its nutrients, celery contains adequate amounts of potassium, folate and fiber. One cup of diced celery provides 344.4 milligrams of potassium, 34 micrograms of folate, 2 grams of fiber, 19 calories, and less than 0.16 grams of fat!

Celery is a great guilt-free snack item, especially if you want to lose weight. You get to chew on something that makes you think you are eating a lot, but is actually providing you with more water (which contains no calories) than calories. It is much healthier to munch on celery while watching TV, movies or videos than popcorn or chips. You will feel satisfied because you are not depriving yourself of food, but your waistline will not suffer from eating too much of it. Additionally, because celery has such a high water content, it helps hydrate your body and skin (from the inside out)!

Potassium helps control our nerves and muscles, and aids in the transmission of nerve impulses. It also helps reduce blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke. Because lack of potassium is rare, there is no RDA for this mineral. However, it is thought that 1,600 to 2,000 milligrams a day is adequate for adults. Some research suggests getting 3,000 milligrams of potassium daily, preferably from food.

Folate is essential for the production and maintenance of new cells. It may help reduce the development of cardiovascular disease and help protect against certain cancers (like colon and rectal). Folate is also recommended for women of childbearing years to reduce the risk of birth defects. The RDA for folate is 400 micrograms a day.

Medicine:
The use of celery seed in pills for relieving pain was described by Aulus Cornelius Celsus ca. 30 AD Celery seed aids in the elimination of uric acid and is often used for the relief of symptoms of arthritis, rheumatism and inflammation of the joints. Its diuretic properties assist in relieving fluid retention. Celery seed also relieves pain. Celery has several applications in traditional medicine, particularly as a diuretic and emmenagogue, and against dengue fever and rheumatism.. Treatment of inflammatory complaints with celery or other Umbelliferae or extracts thereof is regulated under world patent WO 1995 00000157 A1.

The whole plant is gently stimulant, nourishing, and restorative; it can be liquefied, with the juice taken for joint and urinary tract inflammations, such as rheumatoid arthritis, cystitis, or urethritis, for weak conditions, and for nervous exhaustion.

The seeds, harvested after the plant flowers in its second year, are the basis for a homeopathic extract used as a diuretic. The extract is believed to help clear toxins from the system, so are especially good for gout, where uric acid crystals collect in the joints, and arthritis. They are also used as a mild digestive stimulant. The extract can be combined with almond or sunflower oil, and massaged into arthritic joints or for painful gout in the feet or toes.

The root is an effective diuretic and has been taken for urinary stones and gravel. It also acts as a bitter digestive remedy and liver stimulant. A tincture can be used as a diuretic in hypertension and urinary disorders, as a component in arthritic remedies, or as a kidney energy stimulant and cleanser.

Celery roots, fruits (seeds), and aerial parts, are used ethnomedically to treat mild anxiety and agitation, loss of appetite, fatigue, cough, and as a anthelmintics (vermifuge).

Nervous affictions: An abudant use of celery juice combined with carrot juice is beneficial in the treatment of nervous affictions resulting from the protective cover of the nerves.

Arthritis: Celery is useful in the treatment of arthritis due to it’s high sodium content.Its organic sodium tends to prevent and relieve the arthritic joint deposits by keeping lime and magnesia in the solution form.For optimum results , it should be taken in the form fresh extracted juice, using its leave as well as stem.

Rheumatism and gout: Celery is very effective in diseases arising from acidity and toxemia, rheumatism and gout.A fluid extract of the seeds is more powerful than the raw vegetable.

General debility: The power of the dried root extracted from the herb is an effective tonic for general debility or weakness and malnutrition.One teaspoon of this powder mixed with a teaspoon of honey is taken twice daily in such conditions.

Insomnia: Celery is also useful in the treatment of sleeplessness.Celery juice mixed with a table spoon of honey make a delightful drink. The mixture taken at night before sleeping will help one relax into a soothing and restful sleep.

Blood disorders: The herb is valuable in disease related to blood such as anaemia, leukaemia, Hodgkin’s disease, purpura and hemophilia. This plant is very high in magnesium and iron content, a combination which is valuable as a food for blood cells. The juice of celery in combination with carrot juice should be taken in the treatment of blood related diseases.

Respiratory disorders:Celery is known to have antispasmodic properties and is useful in the treatment of asthma,bronchitis, pleurisy and tuberculosis.Its seeds serves the same purpose in such diseases.

Indigestion: The seeds of celery are an effective remedy for indigestion. A teaspoon of the seeds soaked in a glass of butter milk for a night should be ground in the same buttermilk mixture and administered to relieve indigestion.

Kidney and gall stones: Celery is valuable food for those who are prone to stone formation in the gall bladder and kidneys. Its regular use prevents stone formation.

Other Different Uses:

Aroma and Flavour: Celery seeds should be used with discretion as they have a fairly strong, and sometimes rather bitter, flavour. There is no mistaking their distinctive, celery aroma.

Culinary Use: Whole celery seeds can be added to bread dough or when making cheese biscuits, and savoury dishes. A few seeds can be sprinkled over lightly boiled carrots, grilled tomatoes or salads and they are especially complementary to egg and fish dishes. Celery salt and celery pepper are both made by grinding the seeds with either salt or peppercorns in the required proportions. Use these seasonings judiciously as their flavours are strong. Celery salt or pepper is best made when required.

Medicinal and Other Use: The oil from the seeds is used medically to treat asthma, flatulence and bronchitic conditions.

Until the 19th century the essential oils was recommended as a cure for rheumatism.  It is believed to be a tonic for asthma and herbalists use it to treat liver diseases, bronchitis, fever and flatulence. It is also recommended as a diuretic, tranquilizer, sedative and menstruation promoter and as treatment for gout, arthritis, obesity, anxiety and lack of appetite.  Celery seed tea is said to promote rest and sleep.  It is good for nervous disorders and enjoys aphrodisiac qualities.  India’s traditional Ayurvedic physicians have prescribed celery seed as a diuretic and as a treatment for colds, flu, indigestion, arthritis and diseases of the liver and spleen.

Other uses: Celery can alway be eaten raw as salads or in the cooked form.Soup and juice can also be made. It is also used in flavour stews and sauces.

Caution
Cross-section of a Pascal celery stalk.Bergapten in the seeds could increase photosensitivity, so do not apply the essential oil externally in bright sunshine.
Avoid the oil and large doses of the seeds during pregnancy: they can act as a uterine stimulant.

Seeds intended for cultivation are not suitable for eating as they are often treated with fungicides.

Allergic responses
Although many people enjoy foods made with celery, a small minority of people can have severe allergic reactions. For people with celery allergy, exposure can cause potentially fatal anaphylactic shock. The allergen does not appear to be destroyed at cooking temperatures. Celery root – commonly eaten as celeriac, or put into drinks – is known to contain more allergen than the stalk. Celery is amongst a small group of foods (headed by peanuts) that appear to provoke the most severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis). An allergic reaction also may be triggered by eating foods that have been processed with machines that have previously processed celery, making avoiding such foods difficult. In contrast with peanut allergy being most prevalent in the US, celery allergy is most prevalent in Central Europe.

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.

Help taken from: en.wikipedia.org and www.hort.purdue.edu and vegweb.com and http://www.hotel-club-thailand.com/thai-cooking/thai-spices.htm

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