Tag Archives: Caraway

Parsley

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. ...

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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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Caraway

Botanical Name: Carum carvi
Family:    Umbelliferae
Genus:    Carum
Species:C. carvi
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Apiales

Common Names:Caraway,Meridian fennel, Persian cumin

Other Names:
carvies (Scottish), wild cumin, Roman cumin, Persian caraway

Habitat :Caraway is native to western Asia, Europe and Northern Africa.The plant prefers warm, sunny locations and well-drained soil.

Description:
Caraway or Persian cumin (Carum carvi) is a biennial plant in the family Apiaceae, native to Europe and western Asia and Northern Africa, the Mediterranean and much of Europe. It falls into both categories of herb and spice, as it is the seeds that are used primarily, but if you grow it yourself , the leaves and the root are also edible. Caraway has been found in food dating back to 3000 BC making it one of the oldest cultivated spices. The Ancient Egyptians buried their dead with caraway to ward off evil spirits. It was also used as a food and a medicine in Ancient Greece and Rome. A Greek physician, Dioscorides prescribed oil of caraway to young ladies to rub into their skin and restore a healthy glow. Julius Caesar’s army ate a bread made of caraway root (chara). During the middle ages the use of caraway spread up from the Arabian pensinsula and into Northern Europe. Old herbal legends describe caraway’s power to keep things from getting lost or stolen. It was used in an ancient love potion, and it was also believed that if you tucked some into your possesions they would be protected from theft. As well it is known to be attractive to fowl and is used to keep chickens and pigeons from straying

The plant is similar in appearance to other members of the carrot family, with finely divided, feathery leaves with thread-like divisions, growing on 20–30 cm stems. The main flower stem is 40–60 cm tall, with small white or pink flowers in umbels. Caraway fruits (erroneously called seeds) are crescent-shaped achenes, around 2 mm long, with five pale ridges.

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Cultivation and uses:

Caraway is a biennial that takes two years for full life cycle, after it produces seeds it dies off. It can reach a height of 30-80cm with foliage that is frilly like the foliage of carrots. It has a thick root, similar to a parsnip and hollow fluted stems. The clusters of small flowers can be white, yellow or green. It is an easily grown plant that prefers a well drained soil and a sunny spot. After it flowers, the seed produced are brownish in colour, are ribbed and slightly cresent shaped. It resembles cumin and the two are often confused in Asia. It is commercially cultivated all over Europe as well as in Turkey, India and North African. Dutch caraway is considered to be of high quality and Holland is one of the largest producers.

The fruits, usually used whole, have a pungent, anise-like flavor and aroma that come from essential oils, mostly carvone and limonene. They are used as a spice in breads especially rye bread. Caraway is also used in liquors, casseroles, and other foods, especially in Central European and Scandinavian cuisine, for instance sauerkraut. It is also used to add flavor to cheeses such as havarti.

The roots may be cooked as a root vegetable like parsnips or carrots.

In one of the short stories in Dubliners by James Joyce, a character eats caraway seeds to mask the alcohol on his breath.
Culinary Uses
Caraway seeds can hold their flavour for months stored in airtight containers and kept away from light. It is suggested to add seeds after a dish is cooked, as a long simmer may turn the flavour bitter. It has a sweet warm aroma with a flavour similar to aniseed and fennel. It figures prominently in the cuisines of Germany, Austria, eastern Europe and Scandinavia. It seems to have a special affinity for apples, pork and sausages.The spice seems to counter act the fattiness of pork, duck and goose. It is an essential taste in sauerbraten, sauerkraut and rye bread. Smoked and skimmed milk cheeses from Austria, Germany, Hungary Holland and Scandinavia contain whole seed. There are medieval recipes for caraway flavoured cheese that are still in use today. (Dutch cheese). There are many liquers are flavoured with caraway (Kummel, Akuavit gins and Schnapps). It can also be used in cakes cookies, soups, omelets, rice and pasta dishes, cheese spreads and vegetable dishes. In Elizabethan times it was used to flavour bread, cakes and fruit, particularly apples. It was popular with english tea in a seedcake, similar to a pound cake served warm with butter. Caraway seeds were customarily chewed to freshen breath. The essential oil extracted from caraway is used to flavour liquers, mouthwashes, toothpastes and chewing gums

Medicinal Properties and Uses
The primary medical benefit of caraway is its effect on digestion. It is a carminative which means it helps with gas and digestion. It is helpful to chew caraway seeds after a heavy meal. It has been used for colic as it is a light sedative and it can be used to settle a queasy stomach (antispasmodic).Akvavit and several liqueurs are also made with caraway, and a tisane made from the seeds is good for colic, loss of appetite, digestive disorders and to dispel worms. Caraway seed oil is also used as a fragrance component in soaps, lotions, and perfumes.

Caraway water is well known for its carminative effect, particularly for babies.  This property of the seeds has been known and used from ancient times until today.  Caraway is also used as a flavoring for children’s medicines.  It is a good digestive and stomachic.  Other properties it is believed to have are: antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, appetitive, emmenagogic, expectorant and galactagogic (stimulates the secretion of bile).   It was used in cases of dyspepsia, diarrhoea and even hysteria.   Dioscorides is quoted as recommending pallid girls to take a tonic of caraway oil.  Modern researchers have discovered that two chemicals (carvol and carvene) in caraway seeds soothe the smooth muscle tissue of the digestive tract and help expel gas.  Antispasmodic, which appear to be present in caraway, soothe not only the digestive tract but other smooth muscles, such as the uterus, as well.  Thus, caraway might relax the uterus, not stimulate it.  Women may try it for relief of menstrual cramps.  For a pleasant-tasting infusion that might help aid digestion, relieve gas or menstrual cramping, use 2-3 teaspoons of bruised or crushed seeds per cup of boiling water. Steep 10-20 minutes.  Drink up to 3 cups a day.  If you prefer a tincture, take -1 teaspoon up to three times a day.  Low-strength caraway infusions may be given to infants for colic and gas.
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.

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

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

Black cumin seeds

Botanical Name : Nigella sativa
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus: Nigella
Species: N. sativa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Ranunculales

Common Names : Black Seed Oil , Black cumin, black caraway, Roman-coria

Other Names
Black Caraway, Black Cumin, Black Seed, Damascena, Devil in-the-bush, Fennel flower, Melanthion, Nutmeg Flower, Roman Coriander, Wild Onion Seed
French: cheveux de Venus, nigell, poivrette
German: Scharzkummel (black caraway)
Italian: nigella
Spanish: neguilla
Indian: kala zeera (lit, black cumin), kalonji, krishnajiraka, Bengali  name; Kalo Zeera
Spice Description:
Nigella seeds are small, matte-black grains with a rough surface and an oily white interior. They are roughly triangulate, 1 1/2 – 3 mm (1/16 to 1/8 in ) long. They are similar to onion seeds.
Bouquet: The seeds have little bouquet, though when they are rubbed they give off an aroma reminiscent of oregano.
Flavour: Slightly bitter and peppery with a crunchy texture.
Hotness Scale: 3

Parts Used : Seeds

Plant Description and Cultivation
An herbaceous annual of the buttercup family, about 60 cm (2 ft) high. The gray–green leaves are wispy and threadlike. Flowers are have five petals bout 2.5 cm wide (1 in), white with blue veins and appearing between June and September. They yield a seed capsule with five compartments each topped by a spike. The compartments open when dried to disperse the seeds. Nigella is native to western Asia where it grows both wild and cultivated. India, Egypt and the Middle East also cultivate it.

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Plants :
flower 1:
flower-2 :

 Negella seeds
Nigella damascena seed capsule

Nigella has been used since antiquity by Asian herbalists and pharmacists and was used for culinary purposes by the Romans. The seeds are known to repel certain insects and can be used like moth balls. The name nigella derives from the Latin nigellus, or niger, meaning black.
A spice that is made from seeds of the black cumin plant. A member of the parsley family of plants, black cumin is native to parts of Asia, India and Pakistan where the seeds are harvested. Narrow, tiny and curved in shape, Kala Jeera has a strong earthy aroma that becomes nutty flavored when cooked. Although it is not the same as cumin, it can be similarly used in small amounts to enhance the flavor of meats, soups, stews, rice, and sauces.

Culinary uses
The seeds of N. sativa, known as kalonji, black cumin (though this can also refer to Bunium persicum) or just nigella, are used as a spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. The dry roasted nigella seeds flavor curries, vegetables and pulses. The black seeds taste mostly like oregano crossed with pepper. Most people use it as a “pepper” in recipes with pod fruit, vegetables, salads and poultry.

Nigella is used in India and the Middle East as a spice and condiment and occasionally in Europe as both a pepper substitute and a spice. It is widely used in Indian cuisines, particularly in mildly braised lamb dishes such as korma. It is also added to vegetable and dhal dishes as well as in chutneys. The seeds are sprinkled on to naan bread before baking. Nigella is an ingredient of some garam masalas and is one of the five spices in panch phoran. In the Middle East nigella is added to bread dough.

Other uses
Several species are grown as ornamental plants in gardens, popular for their seed capsules, which are used in dried flower arrangements. Love in the mist are used exclusively for dried arrangements. These flowers are the best to add texture to any dried flower arrangement. The delicate, purple striped pods are used in several arrangements for an airy effect.

In India the seeds are used as a carminative and stimulant to ease bowel and indigestion problems and are given to treat intestinal worms and nerve defects to reduce flatulence, and induce sweating. Dried pods are sniffed to restore a lost sense of smell. It is also used to repel some insects, much like mothballs.

Constituents::oleic-acid ,palmitic-acid,phenylalanine ,phytosterols, potassium,stearic-acid, stigmasterol,tannin,thymoquinone,tryptophan ,tyrosine

Medicinal Uses:
Nigella is considered carminative, a stimulant, and diuretic. A paste of the seeds is applied for skin eruptions and is sure to relieve scorpion stings. The seeds are antiseptic and used to treat intestinal worms, especially in children. The seeds are much used in India to increase breast milk. The seeds are often scattered between folds of clothes as an effective insect repellent. Alcoholic extracts of the seeds are used as stabilizing agents for some edible fats. In India, the seeds are also considered as stimulant, diaphoretic and emmenagogue. Some of the conditions nigella has been used for include: eruption fever, puerperium (Iraq); liver disease (Lebanon); cancer (Malaya); joints, bronchial asthma, eczema, rheumatis (Middle East); with butter for cough and colic (North Africa); excitant (Spain); boosing immune system, colds (U.S.) A recent study in South Carolina at the International Immuno-Biology Research Laboratory showed that there was some action against cancer cells using nigella plant extract. nder, fennel-flow.

Black cumin seed oil is used as a healthy dietary supplement. Black seed oil contains fatty acids, vitamins and minerals in a unique cell structure. Native to Western Asia, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt, black seed oil has been valued for it’s health benefits for centuries, and is now becoming more well known in the West. As a general tonic 1 teaspoon of black seed oil, taken in food or drink, is said to benefit many conditions, in much the same manner as other oils rich in fatty acids, such as flax and walnut oils. According to Dr. Duke, the constituents in black cumin oil have been shown to have health benefits for: Stomach aches, asthma, bronchitis, coughs, digestive system, and fevers. The is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and acts as an emmenagogue (brings on menses) and a lactagogue (increase breast milk.)

Benefits and Side Effects
Black cumin seed is derived from a plant with the botanical name Nigella sativa. The plant is indigenous to Mediterranean areas, though it is grown in other parts of the world as well. The seeds of the Nigella sativa plant are black in color and look something like sesame seeds. Both the seeds and oil from the seeds are used as a nutritional supplement. Black cumin seed is considered to have a number of beneficial properties when used as part of an overall holistic health program. Many studies show that, while black cumin seed is effective by itself, it is particularly potent when combined with other herbs in regimens used to treat specific ailments.

Black cumin seed (also referred to simply as “black seed”) has been used as a nutritional supplement for centuries. It was even found in King Tut’s tomb, suggesting that even centuries ago, great respect existed for black cumin seed’s beneficial health effects. Ancient traditions document the use of black cumin seed as an energy source, perhaps because of its rich nutritional value. The seeds are still believed to increase heat in the body, making metabolism more efficient.

As a nutritional supplement in modern times, black cumin seed is used to treat respiratory conditions like bronchitis, asthma and emphysema. In addition, it is used to support stomach and intestinal health as well as kidney and liver function. Black cumin seed is thought to have antihistamine-like properties that make it useful in treating congestion, and it is widely used as a general tonic to boost immune function and to help prevent cancer. Several skin conditions can be treated with black cumin seed, and it is also used to enhance circulation. Over the past six decades, black cumin seed has been studied at various universities throughout the world, and more than 200 studies support its use as an effective herbal supplement

The primary active ingredient in black cumin seed is crystalline nigellone. The substance was first identified and isolated for use in supplements in 1959. Other components with health benefits include amino acids, essential fatty acids, crude fiber, and minerals such as potassium, sodium, iron and calcium.

The usual recommended dosage is between 50 and 75 mg of a supplement made from standardized extracts. Black cumin seed oil is also available as a nutritional supplement. The seeds are cold pressed to extract the oil, which is especially effective when used topically on the skin to treat eczema, psoriasis, and dryness.black cumin seed is used to boost immune system function, as an anticancer agent, and to treat skin conditions, including eczema, abscesses, and boil.Very effective for acne, pimples.

Black cumin seed oil can also be taken internally to treat arthritis and asthma and to boost the immune system. The recommended dosage of the oil is one teaspoon daily with meals. It can be mixed with juice or other beverages and should be refrigerated after opening.

As with many supplements, black cumin seed works best when used on a regular basis so that it can support the body’s natural healing ability. Though there is no known toxicity, pregnant and lactating women should not use black cumin seed, which has a history of use in large doses to induce abortion.

Side Effects:Undiluted oil can cause skin irritation. Not to be used while pregnant For food and dietary use only.

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.theepicentre.com/Spices/nigella.html
http://vitamins.ultimatefatburner.com/black-cumin-seed.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigella

http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail469.php

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

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