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Herbs & Plants

Prunus canescens

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Botanical Name : Prunus canescens
Family: Rosaceae
Subfamily: Prunoideae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Cerasus
Section: Cerasus
Species :P. canescens
Kingdom : Plantae
Phylum/Division : Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales

Common Name: Greyleaf Cherry

Habitat :Prunus canescens is native to E. Asia – W. China. It grows on the Cliffs.

Description:
Prunus canescens is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in). It has lanceolate leaves that grow from 2-2 1/2 inches long. It is in flower from Apr to May. There are usually 2-5 white flowers together, and rarely ever grow alone. The fruit is small and red, like most fruits of the Cerasus subgenus.

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The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil, growing well on limestone. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Layering in spring.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Seed.

Fruit – raw or cooked. A pleasant cherry-like flavour. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter and contains one large seed[200]. Seed – raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes below on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.
Other Uses:
Dye; Rootstock.

Used as a rootstock for cherries. It is compatible with most sweet cherry cultivars and produces small trees with an open growth habit. Suitable for planting at 300 – 500 trees per hectare. The fruit yield tends to be very good[183]. A green dye can be obtained from the leaves[168]. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit.

Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.

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://plantspedia.wikia.com/wiki/Prunus_canescens
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+canescens

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Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Broccoli

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Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea italica
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Brassica
Species: B. oleracea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Common Names: Broccoli
Broccoli is an edible green plant in the cabbage family whose large flowerhead is eaten as a vegetable…....CLICK &  SEE

The word broccoli comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which means “the flowering crest of a cabbage”, and is the diminutive form of brocco, meaning “small nail” or “sprout”.  Broccoli is often boiled or steamed but may be eaten .

Habitat: Broccoli is native to Mediterranean Region. It is a result of careful breeding of cultivated leafy cole crops in the northern Mediterranean starting in about the 6th century BC. Since the Roman Empire broccoli has been considered a uniquely valuable food among Italians. Broccoli was brought to England from Antwerp in the mid-18th century by Peter Scheemakers. Broccoli was first introduced to the United States by Italian immigrants, but did not become widely known there until the 1920s.

Description:
Broccoli is an herbaceous annual or biennial plant grown for its edible flower heads which are used as a vegetable. The broccoli plant has a thick green stalk, or stem, which gives rise to thick, leathery, oblong leaves which are gray-blue to green in color. The plant produces large branching green flower heads covered with numerous white or yellow flowers. Broccoli can be annual or biennial depending on the variety and can grow to 1 m (3.3 ft) in height. Broccoli may also be referred to as sprouting broccoli and likely originates from the Mediterranean although the exact location has not been determined……..CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

Varieties:
Broccoli plants in a nursery:
There are three commonly grown types of broccoli. The most familiar is Calabrese broccoli, often referred to simply as “broccoli”, named after Calabria in Italy. It has large (10 to 20 cm) green heads and thick stalks. It is a cool season annual crop. Sprouting broccoli has a larger number of heads with many thin stalks. Purple cauliflower is a type of broccoli sold in southern Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. It has a head shaped like cauliflower, but consisting of tiny flower buds. It sometimes, but not always, has a purple cast to the tips of the flower buds.

Other cultivar groups of Brassica oleracea include cabbage (Capitata Group), cauliflower and Romanesco broccoli (Botrytis Group), kale and collard greens (Acephala Group), kohlrabi (Gongylodes Group), Brussels sprouts (Gemmifera Group), and kai-lan (Alboglabra Group). Rapini, sometimes called “broccoli raab” among other names, forms similar but smaller heads, and is actually a type of turnip (Brassica rapa). Broccolini or “Tenderstem broccoli” is a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. Beneforté is a variety of broccoli containing 2-3 times more glucoraphanin that was produced by crossing broccoli with a wild Brassica variety, Brassica oleracea var villosa.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in full sun in a well-drained fertile preferably alkaline soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 8.3. Prefers a heavy soil. Succeeds in any reasonable soil. Succeeds in maritime gardens. Some forms are very cold-hardy, tolerating temperatures down to about -17°c. Broccoli is closely related to the cauliflowers (C. oleracea botrytis) and is often grown for its edible young flowering stems which, by careful selection of varieties, can be available almost all year round from early summer right round to late spring. There are many named varieties and these can be classified into three main groups:- Calabrese, which matures in summer and autumn, is the least cold-hardy form. It produces green, or sometimes purple, flowering heads. Some forms will produce a number of side shoots once the main head has been harvested, though other forms seem unable to do this. Romanesco matures in late summer and the autumn. It has numerous yellowish-green conical groups of buds arranged in spirals. Given a little protection from the cold, it is possible to produce a crop throughout the winter. Unlike the other types of broccoli, romanesco seems unable to produce side shoots once the main head has been harvested. Sprouting broccoli is the most cold-hardy group. It does not form a central head like the other two groups but instead produces a mass of side shoots from early spring until early summer. The more you harvest these shoots, especially if you do so before the flowers open, then the more shoots the plant produces. A good companion for celery and other aromatic plants since these seem to reduce insect predations. Grows badly with potatoes, beet and onions. Grows well with potatoes, beet and onions according to another report.

Propagation:
Seed – sow sprouting broccoli in a seedbed outdoors in March to May. Plant out in June. Do not let the seedlings get overcrowded or they will soon become leggy and will not make such good plants. If your seedlings do get leggy, it is possible to plant them rather deeper into the soil – the buried stems will soon form roots and the plant will be better supported. Romanesco and calabrese are often sown in situ in the spring.

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

Young flowering stems and leaves – raw or cooked. The shoots of sprouting broccoli are harvested when about 10cm long, and before the flowers open, the shoots look somewhat like a small white or purple cauliflower and have a delicious flavour. They are considered to be a gourmet vegetable. When picking the stems, make sure that you leave behind a section of the stem with leaves on it, since the plants will often produce new side shoots from the leaf axils. Calabrese and Romanesco plants produce a central inflorescence rather like a small cauliflower, which are sometimes followed by a number of smaller flowering shoots. They usually come into bearing in the late summer or autumn and are very productive if they are regularly harvested. Sprouting broccoli plants come into production in late winter to early spring and can be very heavy bearing over a period of two months or more so long as all the flowering stems are harvested before coming into flower.
Nutrition:
Broccoli is high in vitamin C and dietary fiber. It also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties, such as diindolylmethane (DIM) and small amounts of selenium. A single serving provides more than 30 mg of vitamin C and a half-cup provides 52 mg of vitamin C. DIM is a potent modulator of the innate immune response system with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activity. Broccoli also contains the compound glucoraphanin, which can be processed into an anti-cancer compound sulforaphane, though the anti-cancer benefits of broccoli are greatly reduced if the vegetable is boiled. Broccoli is also an excellent source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.Sulforaphane, another compound in broccoli has been shown to stop over-rapid aging.

Boiling broccoli reduces the levels of suspected anti-carcinogenic compounds, such as sulforaphane, with losses of 20–30% after five minutes, 40–50% after ten minutes, and 77% after thirty minutes. However, other preparation methods such as steaming, microwaving, and stir frying had no significant effect on the compounds.

Broccoli has the highest levels of carotenoids in the brassica family.[20] It is particularly rich in lutein and also provides a modest amount of beta-carotene
Meditional Uses:
*Broccoli can provide us with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if we cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in broccoli do a better job of binding together with bile acids in our digestive tract when they’ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels.

*Raw broccoli still has cholesterol-lowering ability—just not as much.

*Broccoli has a strong, positive impact on our body’s detoxification system, and researchers have recently identified one of the key reasons for this detox benefit. Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin are 3 glucosinolate phytonutrients found in a special combination in broccoli. This dynamic trio is able to support all steps in body’s detox process, including activation, neutralization, and elimination of unwanted contaminants. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) are the detox-regulating molecules made from broccoli’s glucosinolates, and they help control the detox process at a genetic level.

*Broccoli may help us solve our vitamin D deficiency epidemic. When large supplemental doses of vitamin D are needed to offset deficiency, ample supplies of vitamin K and vitamin A help keep our vitamin D metabolism in balance. Broccoli has an unusually strong combination of both vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and vitamin K. For people faced with the need to rebuild vitamin D stores through vitamin D supplements, broccoli may be an ideal food to include in the diet.

*Broccoli is a particularly rich source of a flavonoid called kaempferol. Recent research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body. This kaempferol connection helps to explain the unique anti-inflammatory benefits of broccoli, and it should also open the door to future research on the benefits of broccoli for a hypoallergenic diet.

CLICK & READ  THE LATEST RESEARCH
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/Brassica_oleracea
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Brassica+oleracea+italica
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=9
https://www.plantvillage.com/topics/broccoli/infos

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Herbs & Plants

Ceratonia siliqua

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Botanical Name :Ceratonia siliqua
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Ceratonia
Species: C. siliqua
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names:  carob tree, St John’s-bread, Locust Bean

Habitat  :Ceratonia siliqua is native to the Mediterranean region including Southern Europe, Northern Africa, the larger Mediterranean islands; to the Levant and Middle-East of Western Asia into Iran; and to the Canary Islands and Macaronesia. It grows in the  rocky places near the sea shore.

Description:
The Ceratonia siliqua tree grows up to 15 metres (49 ft) tall. The crown is broad and semi-spherical, supported by a thick trunk with brown rough bark and sturdy branches. Leaves are 10 to 20 centimetres (3.9 to 7.9 in) long, alternate, pinnate, and may or may not have a terminal leaflet. It is frost-tolerant.

Click to see the pictures..>....(01)...(1)....(2)....(3).....(4)....(5)..….(6)..

Most carob trees are dioecious. The trees blossom in autumn. The flowers are small and numerous, spirally arranged along the inflorescence axis in catkin-like racemes borne on spurs from old wood and even on the trunk (cauliflory); they are pollinated by both wind and insects. Male flowers produce a characteristic odour, resembling semen.

The fruit is a pod that can be elongated, compressed, straight or curved, and thickened at the sutures. The pods take a full year to develop and ripen. The ripe pods eventually fall to the ground and are eaten by various mammals, thereby dispersing the seed.

The seeds of Ceratonia siliqua contains leucodelphinidin, a colourless chemical compound

Cultivation:
Ceratonia siliqua is widely cultivated in the horticultural nursery industry as an ornamental plant for planting in Mediterranean climate and other temperate regions around the world, as its popularity in California and Hawaii shows. The plant develops a sculpted trunk and ornamental tree form when ‘limbed up’ as it matures, otherwise it is used as a dense and large screening hedge. When not grown for legume harvests the plant is very drought tolerant and part of ‘xeriscape’ landscape design for gardens, parks, and public municipal and commercial landscapes.

Propagation:
Seed – pre-soak for 24 hours in warm water prior to sowing. If the seed has not swollen then give it another soaking in warm water until it does swell up. Sow in a greenhouse in April[200]. Germination should take place within 2 months. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual deep pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Give them some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors.

Edible Uses:
Carob consumed by humans is the dried (and sometimes roasted) pod, and not the ‘nuts’ or seeds. Carob is mildly sweet and is used in powdered, chip, or syrup form as an ingredient in cakes and cookies, and as a substitute for chocolate.

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is poisonous to some mammals, but carob does not, and is used to make chocolate-flavored treats for dogs.

The seeds, also known as locust beans, are used as animal feed, and are the source of locust bean gum — a food thickening agent. Crushed pods may be used to make a beverage; compote, liqueur, and syrup are made from carob in Turkey, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Sicily. Several studies suggest that carob may aid in treating diarrhea in infants.[13] In Libya, carob syrup (there called rub) is used as a complement to Asida. The so-called carob syrup made in Peru is actually from the fruit of the Prosopis nigra tree.

Carob is rich in sugars – Sucrose = 531g ± 93 g/kg dry weight for cultivated varieties and 437 ± 77 g/kg in wild type varieties. Fructose and glucose levels do not differ between cultivated and wild type carob

Carob is a healthy substitute for  chocolate that is lower in calories. Roasted carob is naturally sweeter, (or not as bitter), as unsweetened chocolate, so it can be made palatable with less added sugar in recipes. Carob has a number of advantages over chocolate: it is hypoallergenic, and hypoglycemic. 55 The true trick to enjoying carob is to not expect it to taste exactly like chocolate,(and be forever disappointed), but to learn to appreciate carob for its own unique taste.

Traditional uses:
Carob was eaten in Ancient Egypt. Carob juice drinks are traditionally drunk during the Islamic month of Ramadan. It was also a common sweetener and was used in the hieroglyph for “sweet” (nedjem). Dried carob fruit is traditionally eaten on the Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat. Also it is believed to be an aphrodisiac.

In Cyprus, carob syrup is known as Cyprus’s black gold, and is widely exported.

In Malta, a syrup (?ulepp tal-?arrub) is made out of carob pods. This is a traditional medicine for coughs and sore throat. A traditional sweet, eaten during Lent and Good Friday, is also made from carob pods in Malta. However, carob pods were mainly used as animal fodder in the Maltese Islands, apart from times of famine or war when they formed part of the diet of many Maltese.

In the Iberian Peninsula, carob pods were used mainly as animal fodder, especially to feed donkeys.

Carob pods were an important source of sugar before sugarcane and sugar beets became widely available.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Aggressive surface roots possible. Requires a very sunny position in any well-drained moderately fertile soil[200]. Does well in calcareous, gravelly or rocky soils. Tolerates salt laden air. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.2 to 8.6. The tree is very drought resistant, thriving even under arid conditions, the roots penetrating deep into the soil to find moisture. This species is not very hardy in Britain but it succeeds outdoors in favoured areas of S. Cornwall[1], tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c when in a suitable position. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. The carob is frequently cultivated in warm temperate zones for its edible seed and seed pods. Mature trees in a suitable environment can yield up to 400 kilos of seedpods annually. There are named varieties with thicker pods. Seeds are unlikely to be produced in Britain since the tree is so near (if not beyond) the limits of its cultivation. The seed is very uniform in size and weight, it was the original ‘carat’ weight of jewellers. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. Special Features:Edible, Not North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – pre-soak for 24 hours in warm water prior to sowing. If the seed has not swollen then give it another soaking in warm water until it does swell up. Sow in a greenhouse in April[200]. Germination should take place within 2 months. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual deep pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Give them some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors.

Medicinal  Uses::
Parts Used: Seed Pod
Constituents:  arginine, benzoic-acid , gallic-acid , glucose , pectin ,starch, sucrose ,tannin,tocopherol,tyrosine

Antidiarrhoeal;  Antiemetic;  Astringent;  Demulcent;  Emollient;  Purgative.

The pulp in the seedpods of carob is very nutritious and, due to its high sugar content, sweet-tasting and mildly laxative. However, the pulp in the pods is also astringent and, used in a decoction, will treat diarrhoea and gently help to cleanse and also relieve irritation within the gut. Whilst these appear to be contradictory effects, carob is an example of how the body responds to herbal medicines in different ways, according to how the herb is prepared and according to the specific medical problem. The seedpods are also used in the treatment of coughs. A flour made from the ripe seedpods is demulcent and emollient. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea.   The seed husks are astringent and purgative. The bark is strongly astringent. A decoction is used in the treatment of diarrhoea.

Other Uses:  A flour made from the seedpods is used in the cosmetic industry to make face-packs. Tannin is obtained from the bark. Wood – hard, lustrous. Highly valued by turners, it is also used for marquetry and walking stick.

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

 

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceratonia_siliqua
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ceratonia+siliqua
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail462.php

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Herbs & Plants

Petasites palmatus

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Botanical Name :Petasites palmatus
Family : Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus : Petasites Mill. – butterbur
Species : Petasites frigidus (L.) Fr. – arctic sweet coltsfoot
Variety : Petasites frigidus (L.) Fr. var. palmatus (Aiton) Cronquist – arctic sweet coltsfoot
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision : Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division:  Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class : Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass:  Asteridae
Order : Asterales

Common Names :Sweet Butterbur ,Western Coltsfoot,Sweet Coltsfoot

Habitat :Petasites palmatus is native to  N. America – Newfoundland to Massachusetts, west to Alaska and south to California. It grows in Low woods, glades and damp clearings. Swamps and along the sides of streams.

Description:
Petasites palmatus is a deciduous  perennial plant growing to 1’h x 3’w   at a fast rate. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is not self-fertile.

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Leaves – round to heart- or kidney-shaped at stem base. 5 – 20 cm wide, deeply divided (more than halfway to centre), into 5 to 7 toothed lobes, green, essentially hairless above, thinly white-woolly below; stem leaves reduced to alternate bracts.

Flowers – in clusters of several to many white, 8 – 12 mm wide heads on glandular, often white-woolly stalks, mostly female or mostly male; ray flowers creamy white; disc flowers whitish to pinkish; involucres 7 – 16 mm high, bracts lance-shaped, hairy at base.; appearing early-summer.

Fruit – hairless, linear achenes, about 2 mm long, 5 to 10 ribs; pappus soft, white; appearingmid-summer.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist or wet soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil, but prefers a deep fertile humus-rich soil that is permanently moist but not stagnant, succeeding in shade, semi-shade or full sun. Requires a moist shady position. Plants can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. A very invasive plant, too rampant for anything other than the wild garden. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation:   
Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe or in early spring. Only just cover the seed and do not allow the compost to dry out. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division succeeds at almost any time of the year. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Edible Uses   :
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Stem.
Edible Uses: Salt.

Young flower stalks, used before the flower buds appear, are boiled until tender and seasoned with salt. Flower buds – cooked. Leafstalks – peeled and eaten raw. The ash of the plant is used as a salt substitute. To prepare the salt, the stems and leaves are rolled up into balls whilst still green, and after being carefully dried they are placed on top of a very small fire on a rock and burned.

Medicinal Uses:

Pectoral;  Salve;  TB.

The roots have been used in treating the first stages of grippe and consumption. The dried and grated roots have been applied as a dressing on boils, swellings and running sores. An infusion of the crushed roots has been used as a wash for sore eyes. A syrup for treating coughs and lung complaints has been made from the roots of this species combined with mullein(Verbascum sp.) and plum root (Prunus sp.).

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.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Petasites+palmatus
http://www.borealforest.org/herbs/herb27.htm
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=pefrp

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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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