Categories
Herbs & Plants

Cymbopogon citrates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cymbopogon_citratus
http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_lemongrass.htm
http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/cymbopogon-citratus-lemon-grass
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm
https://findmeacure.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1821&action=edit

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Categories
Herbs & Plants Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Parsley

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Botanical Name :Petroselinum crispum
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Petroselinum
Species: P. crispum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Common Name :Parsley

Habitat :Parsley is native to the central Mediterranean region (southern Italy, Algeria and Tunisia), naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and widely cultivated as an herb, a spice and a vegetable.

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

click to see the pictures……>…(01).....(1)...(2).….(3)…..(4)....

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, 2–3mm 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.

In cultivation, parsley is subdivided into several cultivar groups depending on the form of the plant, which is related to its end use. These are often treated as botanical varieties, but are cultivated selections, not of natural botanical origin.

Leaf parsley:
The two main groups of parsley used as herbs are curly leaf (i.e.) (P. crispum crispum group; syn. P. crispum var. crispum) and Italian, or flat leaf (P. crispum neapolitanum group; syn. P. crispum var. neapolitanum); of these, the neapolitanum group more closely resembles the natural wild species. Flat-leaved parsley is preferred by some as it is easier to cultivate, being more tolerant of both rain and sunshine, and has a stronger flavor (though this is disputed), while curly leaf parsley is preferred by others because of its more decorative appearance in garnishing.   A third type, sometimes grown in southern Italy, has thick, celery-like leaf stems

 

Root Parsley:...CLICK & SEE
Another type of parsley is grown as a root vegetable, the Hamburg root parsley (P. crispum radicosum group, syn. P. crispum var. tuberosum). This type of parsley produces much thicker roots than types cultivated for their leaves. Although seldom used in Britain and the United States, root parsley is very common in central and eastern European cuisine, where it is used in soups and stews.

 

Though root parsley looks similar to the parsnip, it tastes quite different. Parsnips are among the closest relatives of parsley in the family Apiaceae, but the similarity of the names is a coincidence, parsnip meaning “forked turnip”; it is not closely related to real turnips.

Cultivation:
Parsley grows best in moist, well drained soil, with full sun. It grows best between 22–30 °C, and is usually grown from seed. Germination is slow, taking four to six weeks, and often difficult because of furanocoumarins in its seed coatPlants grown for the leaf crop are typically spaced 10 cm apart, while those grown as a root crop are typically spaced 20 cm apart to allow for the root development.

Edible Uses:
Parsley is widely used in Middle Eastern, European, and American cooking. Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish. In central and eastern Europe and in western Asia, many dishes are served with fresh green chopped parsley sprinkled on top. Green parsley is often used as a garnish on potato dishes (boiled or mashed potatoes), on rice dishes (risotto or pilaf), on fish, fried chicken, lamb or goose, steaks, meat or vegetable stews (like beef bourguignon, goulash or chicken paprikash).

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English: Mashed potatoes with a parsley leaf. ...
..

Escargot cooked with garlic and parsley butter...

In southern and central Europe, parsley is part of bouquet garni, a bundle of fresh herbs used as an ingredient in stocks, soups, and sauces. Freshly chopped green parsley is used as a topping for soups such as chicken soup, green salads or salads such as salade Olivier, and on open sandwiches with cold cuts or pâtés. Parsley is a key ingredient in several Middle Eastern salads such as tabbouleh. Persillade is a mixture of chopped garlic and chopped parsley used in French cuisine. Gremolata is a traditional accompaniment to the Italian veal stew, ossobuco alla milanese, a mixture of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest.

Root parsley is very common in central and eastern European cuisines, where it is used as a vegetable in many soups, stews and casseroles.

Medicinal Uses:
Chew the leaf raw to freshen the breath and promote healthy skin. Infuse for a digestive tonic.  Bruised leaves have been used to treat tumors, insect bites, lice and skin parasites and contusions.  Parsley tea at one time was used to treat dysentery and gallstones.  Other traditional uses reported include the treatment of diseases of the prostate, liver and spleen, in the treatment of anemia, arthritis and cancers, and as an expectorant, antimicrobial, aphrodisiac, hypotensive, laxative and as a scalp lotion to stimulate hair growth.   Use in a poultice as an antiseptic dressing for sprains, wounds and insect bites.  Decoct the root for kidney troubles and as a mild laxative.  Apply juice to reduce swellings.  It also stimulates appetite and increases blood flow to digestive organs, as well as reducing fever. Another constituent, the flavonoid apigenin, reduces inflammation by inhibiting histamine and is also a free-radical scavenger.   The seed, when decocted, has been used for intermittent fevers.  It has also traditionally used as a carminative to decrease flatulence and colic pain.  The seeds have a much stronger diuretic action than the leaves and may be substituted for celery seeds in the treatment of gout, rheumatism and arthritis.  It is often included in “slimming” teas because of its diuretic action.   Oil of the seed (5-15 drops) has been used to bring on menstruation.  Avoid if weak kidneys

Other Uses:
Parsley attracts some wildlife. Some swallowtail butterflies use parsley as a host plant for their larvae; their caterpillars are black and green striped with yellow dots, and will feed on parsley for two weeks before turning into butterflies. Bees and other nectar-feeding insects visit the flowers. Birds such as the goldfinch feed on the seeds.

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Photograph of caterpillar of the Black Swallow...
Photograph of caterpillar of the Black Swallowtail en ( Papilio polyxenes en ) on its Curly Parsley en ( Petroselinum crispum en ) host plant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may click to learn more  uses of Parsley…..(1)l….(2)

Known Hazards:
Parsley should not be consumed in excess by pregnant women. It is safe in normal food quantities, but large amounts can have uterotonic effects.

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/Parsley
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_OPQ.htm

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Categories
Healthy Tips

Top 10 Nutrition and Fitness Tips

1. Get real and be specific. Write down three or four realistic goals that you can stick to. For example, “I will try to lose one pound of body fat every week. I will walk for 30 minutes minimum five days a week.” Avoid fantasy-land goals that will only frustrate you.

2. Get prepared. Throw away all the junk, the processed, and the “bingeable” foods now and replace them with fresh, whole foods like lots of water and veggies. Buy a new pair of walking shoes and find some clothes in your closet you feel comfortable to walk in. During a lifestyle change, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail!

3. Get support. Whether it’s your best friend, spouse, or pet, it helps to have some nonjudgmental and nurturing support when trying to lose weight, especially during trying times.

4. Make daily notes. Research has shown that keeping track of your daily exercise and food intake in a journal or notebook will increase the likelihood of success. Keep it simple, or if you’re inspired, write a novel! The key is to hold yourself accountable.

5. Create a food-free reward system. How about a new workout outfit, pair of jeans, shoes — or what the heck, even a spa treatment, shopping spree, or weekend getaway? You deserve this kind of treatment when you reach your goals.

6. Buy a pedometer. A pedometer keeps track of how many steps you take daily. Wear it every day, around home, work, and while exercising. Your National Body Challenge goal is to increase your steps by 10,000 or more daily! Remember this: You’ll burn roughly 100 to 125 calories by taking 2,500 steps (about one mile). The goal during the challenge is to burn 300 extra calories and to eat roughly 200 calories less in a day. This 500-calorie deficit is equivalent to one pound of body fat per week and a healthy boost to your self-esteem.

7. Don’t skip breakfast. Research shows that the most successful “losers” never skip it. Try to keep it balanced with some protein, a healthy carb, and a small amount of fat. Here are some examples: an egg-white omelet with fresh berries and a piece of whole-wheat toast, or a skim milk shake with fruit and yogurt.

8. Nix the late-night eating. If you eat a lot of excess calories after 8 p.m., you wear them the next morning. Put a stop to this by making sure you have a healthy dinner consisting of lean protein, veggies, and fruit.

9. Eliminate processed sugars. Processed sugars are carbs that have been stripped of their valuable nutrients. How can you identify these sugars? They are all white: table sugar, pasta, rice, and bread, and they’re nothing but trouble, since they kick up your appetite for more of the same.

10. Have a mid-afternoon snack. This will curb your appetite and provide fuel for your after-work walk or workout at the gym. Some great snack ideas include: reduced-fat peanut butter on a multi-grain cracker, a couple of pieces of low-fat string cheese and an apple, cottage cheese with pineapple, or try a low-fat cheese microwaved in a whole-wheat pita.

From: Discovery Health Channel National Body Challenge
Last Updated: 2005-10-13

Categories
Healthy Tips

Top 10 Nutrition & Fitness Tips

1. Get real and be specific. Write down three or four realistic goals that you can stick to. For example, “I will try to lose one pound of body fat every week. I will walk for 30 minutes minimum five days a week.” Avoid fantasy-land goals that will only frustrate you.

2. Get prepared. Throw away all the junk, the processed, and the “bingeable” foods now and replace them with fresh, whole foods like lots of water and veggies. Buy a new pair of walking shoes and find some clothes in your closet you feel comfortable to walk in. During a lifestyle change, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail!

3. Get support. Whether it’s your best friend, spouse, or pet, it helps to have some nonjudgmental and nurturing support when trying to lose weight, especially during trying times.

4. Make daily notes. Research has shown that keeping track of your daily exercise and food intake in a journal or notebook will increase the likelihood of success. Keep it simple, or if you’re inspired, write a novel! The key is to hold yourself accountable.

5. Create a food-free reward system. How about a new workout outfit, pair of jeans, shoes — or what the heck, even a spa treatment, shopping spree, or weekend getaway? You deserve this kind of treatment when you reach your goals.

6. Buy a pedometer. A pedometer keeps track of how many steps you take daily. Wear it every day, around home, work, and while exercising. Your National Body Challenge goal is to increase your steps by 10,000 or more daily! Remember this: You’ll burn roughly 100 to 125 calories by taking 2,500 steps (about one mile). The goal during the challenge is to burn 300 extra calories and to eat roughly 200 calories less in a day. This 500-calorie deficit is equivalent to one pound of body fat per week and a healthy boost to your self-esteem.

7. Don’t skip breakfast. Research shows that the most successful “losers” never skip it. Try to keep it balanced with some protein, a healthy carb, and a small amount of fat. Here are some examples: an egg-white omelet with fresh berries and a piece of whole-wheat toast, or a skim milk shake with fruit and yogurt.

8. Nix the late-night eating. If you eat a lot of excess calories after 8 p.m., you wear them the next morning. Put a stop to this by making sure you have a healthy dinner consisting of lean protein, veggies, and fruit.

9. Eliminate processed sugars. Processed sugars are carbs that have been stripped of their valuable nutrients. How can you identify these sugars? They are all white: table sugar, pasta, rice, and bread, and they’re nothing but trouble, since they kick up your appetite for more of the same.

10. Have a mid-afternoon snack. This will curb your appetite and provide fuel for your after-work walk or workout at the gym. Some great snack ideas include: reduced-fat peanut butter on a multi-grain cracker, a couple of pieces of low-fat string cheese and an apple, cottage cheese with pineapple, or try a low-fat cheese microwaved in a whole-wheat pita.

From :  Discovery Health Channel National Body Challenge
Last Updated: 2005-10-13