Categories
Herbs & Plants

Cow Parsnip

Botanical Name :Heracleum maximum
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Heracleum
Species: H.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Common Names : Cow Parsnip,Indian Celery or Pushki

Habitat : The Cow Parsnip is distributed throughout most the continental United States except the Gulf Coast and a few neighboring states. It is especially prevalent in Alaska. It is listed as “Endangered” in Kentucky and “Special Concern” in Tennessee. In Canada, it is found in each province and territory, except Nunavut. It may be weedy or invasive in portions of its range

Description:
The Cow Parsnip is a tall herb, reaching to heights of over two meters. It has the characteristic flower umbels of the carrot family (Apiaceae), about 20 cm across; these may be flat-topped, as in the picture at right, or more rounded, and are always white. The leaves are large, up to 40 cm across, divided into lobes. The stems are stout and succulent.

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

Medicinal Uses:
Used mainly in a poultice for boils and other skin problems.  The dried powdered roots have been used on the gums to relieve discomfort from loose teeth, and all over the body to treat fever.  Mixed with available fats or oils, the dried powdered roots have been rubbed on affected parts to treat rheumatic pains and heart palpitations.  Sometimes the roots have been boiled and the liquid rubbed on for these treatments.  The root has been taken internally for colic, gas, diarrhea, indigestion, and for asthma.

Cow parsnip is a remedy for the stomach and nervous system.  The root, which loses most of its acridity upon drying and should not be used fresh is made into a tea (a teaspoon to a cup) and drunk for nausea that is of a persistent nature but does not progress to vomiting, as well as for acid indigestion or heartburn. In New Mexico, it is often used for the gas and indigestion that accompanies a hiatus hernia, particularly in older women.  The seeds are equally effective and if tinctured (fresh or dry), even a few drops on the tongue can settle the most unsettled stomach.  Although not as antiseptic as oil of cloves, the seed tincture is a good temporary analgesic when applied to a sore tooth and is far less irritating the gums.  The root or seeds act as an antispasmodic to the intestinal tract and will help quiet tenesmus or cramping of the large intestine and the lower tract and will help quiet tenesmus or cramping of the large intestine and the lower section of the small intestine.  It can sooth a spastic colon caused by mucous membrane inflammations but is less effective when it is of a distinctly nervous origin.  It may help bronchial spasms and will both increase menstrual flow and relax uterine cramps.   In New Mexico a strong tea is made from the dry or wilted roots and poured into the bath water of a recently paralyzed person.  This is repeated once a day until some nerve function has returned or the therapy has brought to apparent relief.  Also, in northern New Mexico, a poultice or strong tea is applied to the face for tic douloureux particularly where there is some motor paralysis, and for aigre: a temporary paralysis of the face, neck, or arms that is attributed to bad night air or drafts.  The powdered root or seeds can be used as a poultice for sore muscles and joints, having a mild rubifacient effect.

Other Uses:
The juices of all parts contain a phototoxin that can act on contact with skin and exposure to ultraviolet light, causing anything from a mild rash to a blistering, severe dermatitis, depending on the sensitivity of the individual.

Various Native American peoples had many different uses for this plant; all parts of it were used by one nation or another. Perhaps the most common use was to make poultices to be applied to bruises or sores. In addition, the young stalks and leaf stems — before the plant reaches maturity — were widely used for food with the outer skin peeled off giving a sweetish flavor. The dried stems were also used as drinking straws for the old or infirm, and to make flutes for children. A yellow dye can be made from the roots, and an infusion of the flowers can be rubbed on the body to repel flies and mosquitoes

 

Known Hazards: or infirm, and to make flutes for children. A yellow dye can be made from the roots, and an infusion of the flowers can be rubbed on the body to repel flies and mosquitoes

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/Cow_Parsnip
https://findmeacure.com/wp-admin/edit.php
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Anise

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Botanical Name:Pimpinella anisum.
Family:
Apiaceae
Genus:
Pimpinella
Species:
P. anisum
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Apiales

Habitat:
Anise is native to  Eastern Mediterranean or Western Asia.

Synonyms: Anisum vulgare (Gaertn.), A. officinarum (Moench.), Anise, Anisum, Anisi fructus, common aniseed

Parts used: Fruits (sometimes incorrectly called “seeds”).
Cultivated : Southern Europe, North Africa, Near East, China, Pakistan, Mexico, Chile, USA
Taste/smell:Sweet and very aromatic. A similar fragrance to that of cicely.( licorice-like, sweet)

Etymology: The spice gained its Latin name anisum as a result of confusion with dill, known in Greek as an?son. Names of anise in virtually all European languages are derived from anisum.
The Sanskrit name shatapushpa means “one hundred flowers” and refers to the flower cluster. The Hindi name saunf properly denotes fennel, of which anise is incorrectly thought to be a foreign variety. To distinguish anise clearly from fennel, the specialised terms patli saunf “thin fennel” or vilayati saunf “foreign fennel” are often used. Some languages refer to the sweetness of anise, e.g. Greek glykaniso “sweet anise”, or name anise as a sweet variant of other spices, e.g. Indonesian jinten manis and Arabic kamun halu “sweet cumin” (a name sometimes also used in English). Arabic has another, similar name habbu al-hulwa “sweet grains”. The Portuguese term erva doce “sweet herb” may denote anise, fennel or sweetleaf (stevia rebaudiana).
The genus name pimpinella is Late Latin for “narrow-ribbed fruit”.
Major Uses: pastries, candies, liquors

Description:

Anise, Pimpinella anisum, is an herbaceous annual plant in the family Umbelliferae grown primarily for its fruits which are used as a spice. The plant has a grooved stem and alternately arranged leaves. The lower leaves are round with a toothed edge and petioles which can be between 4 and 10 cm (1.6–3.9 in) in length. The upper leaves are feathered and become progressively shorter towards the top of the plant. The aniseed plant produces umbels of white flowers and an oval, flattened, hairy fruit with a single seed. Anise can reach a height of 45–60 cm (17.7–23.6 in) and is an annual plant, surviving only one growing season. Anise may also be referred to as aniseed and originates from the Mediterranean.

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Several spices have been called anise. The native of Egypt, Pimpinella anisum, is anise seed or aniseed, while China is the source of Illicum verum, star anise. In the past, dill, caraway and fennel seeds were confused with anise seed.
Useful Parts: The seeds have been used widely in cooking, and are popular in spicy cakes. The oil of anise  is often used in artificial licorice, and gives its distinctive taste to liqueurs such as anisette and raki. Anise is used in many processed foods and in cough medicines, and is often included in pet foods for the flavor it imparts.
Edible  Uses:In Western cuisine, anise is mostly restricted to bread and cakes although fruit products are occasionally aromatised with anise. In small dosage, anise seeds are sometimes contained in spice mixtures for sausages and stews. Their main applications are, however, anise-flavoured liqueurs, of which there are many in different Mediterranean countries including rak? in Turkey, ouzo in Greece and pernod in France. In many cases, oil of anise is partially or wholly substituted by oil of star anise in these products.

In the East, anise is less known and both fennel and star anise are more easily available and more popular. Anise may substitute for fennel in North Indian recipes, but it is a less suitable substitute for star anise in Chinese foods.
Anise appears occasionally in Mexican recipes, but native anise-flavoured herbs (Mexican tarragon and Mexican pepper-leaf) are more commonly used. Anise is an acceptable substitute for both, although tarragon is even better.
Several plants generate an aroma comparable to that of anise. Within the apiaceae (parsley) family, fennel and cicely copy the aroma of anise perfectly and chervil and dill also resemble anise, although their fragrance is less pure. In Far Eastern cuisines (India, Iran and Indonesia), no distinction is made between anise and fennel and the same name is usually given to both of them. In the Philippines star anise is very popular and is referred to as “anise” for short.

Constituents:
As with all spices, the composition of anise varies considerably with origin and cultivation method. These are typical values for the main constituents.

*Moisture: 9-13%
*Protein: 18%
*Fatty oil: 8-23%
*Essential oil: 2-7%
*Starch: 5%
*N-free extract: 22-28%
*Crude fibre: 12-25%
*Essential oil yielded by distillation is generally around 2-3% and anethole makes up 80-90% of this.

Medicinal Properties: Over the centuries, anise has been reported to have numerous medical benefits, but there is no evidence that it offers any pharmacologic benefit. It is thus a flavorful digestive spice that may be soothing, stimulating or carminative (relieving gas) in different individuals, and it is a popular taste in drinks, confections and simple proprietary medicines.

Anise is a carminative and an expectorant. It is also a good source of iron. One tablespoon of anise seeds sprinkled on cookies, bread or cake provides 16% of the RDA for a woman and 24% of the RDA for a man. A 1990 study tested the effect of certain beverage extracts on the absorption of iron. The results showed that anise was the most effective of the extracts tested in promoting iron absorption. The authors recommended offering this as a preventive agent to iron deficiency anemia. To make a carminative tea that may relieve intestinal gas, crush 1 teaspoon of anise seeds per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10-20 minutes and strain. Drink up to 3 cups a day. In a tincture, take  1 teaspoon up to three times a day. Diluted anise infusions may be given cautiously to infants to treat colic. For older children and people over 65, begin with low-strength preparations and increase strength if necessary. Some people simply chew the anise seeds. Early English herbalist Gerard suggested anise for hiccups. It has also been prescribed as a milk promoter for nursing mothers and as a treatment for water retention, headache, asthma, bronchitis, insomnia, nausea, lice, infant colic, cholera and even cancer. America’s 19th century Eclectic physicians recommended anise primarily as a stomach soother for nausea, gas, and infant colic.

Modern uses: Science has supported anise’s traditional use as a treatment for coughs, bronchitis, and asthma. According to several studies the herb contains chemicals (creosol and alpha-pinene) that loosen bronchial secretions and make them easier to cough up. Another chemical (anethole) acts as a digestive aid. Anise also contains chemicals (dianethole and photoanethole) similar to the female sex hormone estrogen. Scientists suggest their presence probably accounts for the herb’s traditional use as a milk promoter and may help relieve menopausal discomfort. One report shows that anise spurs the regeneration of liver cells in laboratory rats, suggesting a possible value in treating hepatitis and cirrhosis. While there are no studies that support using anise to treat liver disease in humans, anise looks promising in this area.

Other Miscellaneous Uses:
*In the 1860s, American Civil War nurse Maureen Hellstrom used anise seeds as an early form of antiseptic. This method was later found to have caused high levels of toxicity in the blood and was discontinued shortly thereafter.

*According to Pliny the Elder, anise was used as a cure for sleeplessness, chewed with alexanders and a little honey in the morning to freshen the breath, and, when mixed with wine, as a remedy for asp bites (N.H. 20.72).

*The Biblical “anise” mentioned in some translations of Matthew 23 is dill (A. graveolens), rather than this plant.

*In 19th-century medicine, anise was prepared as aqua anisi (“Water of Anise”) in doses of an ounce or more and as spiritus anisi (“Spirit of Anise”) in doses of 5–20 minims.

*In Pakistani and Indian cuisines, no distinction is made between anise and fennel. Therefore, the same name (saunf) is usually given to both of them. Some use the term patli (thin) saunf or velayati (foreign) saunf to distinguish anise from fennel, although Gujarati has the term anisi or Sava.

*In the Middle East, water is boiled with about a tablespoon of aniseed per teacup to make a special hot tea called yansoon. This is given to mothers in Egypt when they are nursing.

*Builders of steam locomotives in Britain incorporated capsules of aniseed oil into white metal plain bearings, so the distinctive smell would give warning in case of overheating.

*Anise can be made into a liquid scent and is used for both drag hunting and fishing. It is put on fishing lures to attract fish.

*Anise is frequently used to add flavor to mu’assel, particularly the double apple flavor.

*Anise is one of the three odors used in K9 Nosework.

Historical View :
Oil of anise possesses the same aromatic, carminative, and stimulant properties as anise fruits, and as already noticed is commonly preferred to them as a medicine, and is alone official in the British Pharmacopoeia.

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:
unitproj.library.ucla.edu
http://www.aidanbrooksspices.blogspot.com/2007/10/anise.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anise

Categories
Fruits & Vegetables

Onion

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You are what you eat. Some of the gravest health problems can be caused by food and yet, food can also be a cure for many an ailment.

CLICK & SEE THE ONION PLANT 

Onion, like its cousin garlic, is a member of the Allium family. It is rich is certain sulphur-containing compounds. It is these compounds that are responsible for the pungent smell and fumes as well as the various health benefits,

It is Rich in chromium, Vitamin C and dietary fibre.

– Onions have blood sugar regulating effects due to its chromium content as well as increasing insulin availability. This makes it a friend of diabetics.
– Regular consumption of onion reduces bad cholesterol and high blood pressure. It also reduces atherosclerosis.
– Eating onions as little as 2-3 times a week significantly reduces risk of colon cancer
– Onions have this compound that inhibits the breakdown of bone cells thereby reducing osteoporosis.
– The anti bacterial property of onion has long been recognised by Ayurveda. The anti-inflammatory agents present in onions help reduce the cell-inflammation in conditions like asthma and respiratory tract infection. Onion soup could be nature’s own remedy to soothe a cold!

If you ignore the slight side-effect of onion-breath, onions can be just good for you.

Onions have been used for their medicinal properties for centuries. A paste or Ointment made out of onion is said to prevent infection in wounds and burns. Another use externally for age spots, warts, or freckles is to mix onion juice with vinegar and rub on the affected areas. One amusing bit of folklore says that if you put onion juice on your head and then sit out in the sun, you can cure baldness….

Onions and all the other members of the Allium family are thought to have some impact on high cholesterol and blood pressure. An onion Tea can be made and used daily, but I’m not sure how that would taste. The prudent thing for blood pressure and high cholesterol is probably to just include onions in your diet at every opportunity. Unfortunately, the down side to this is that onion compounds travel through the body when ingested and it takes time to process them out through sweat or breathing. Just brushing the teeth doesn’t make the odor go away. So, you’ll live to a ripe old age, but nobody will want to be around you…..

In Ayurveda both Charaka and Shushruta believed onion to be a strengthening food.

*Drinking the mixed juice of onion and bitter gourd cures severe indigestion.
*The juice of a boiled and crushed onion clears phlegm.
*Eating onion helps to clear phlegm from the throat and mouth. Teeth turn brighter. It sharpens the memory and strengthens the nerves.
*One spoonful of onion juice eliminates worms in the stomach of children

Handling onions
Next time you chop an onion and it stings your eyes, remember this is the compound that makes you cry and bestows so many benefits.

Some people soak the halved onion pieces in water before chopping it. But this process causes a loss of nutrients and you may not reap the full benefits of this vegetable. The best way to avoid the tears is to chill the onions for some time before you start chopping. Also, chopping onions in standing position will keep your eyes away from the line of fumes and lessen the eye irritatio.

Some ways to use onion in your diet:

*Use sliced onions in salads with tomatoes, cucumber slices and feta cheese, flavoured with salt, pepper and juice of a lime.
*Roast onion slices in an oven and use them as a garnish on curries and gravy vegetables.
*Make a paste of onions, tomato, garlic, ginger, red chillies and salt. Saut in a little oil and use as gravy for your favourite vegetables.
*Sliced onions can be cooked with any vegetable like cauliflower, gourds, peas, ladys finger, etc., to make a dry curry.
*Mix finely chopped onions in whole wheat flour, with a sprinkling of salt, pepper, ajwain (omum). Bind the dough and roll out into chapattis/parathas.
*Sliced onions can be added to any cooked lentils/ beans like tur dal, rajma, Kabuli chana, chana dal, black-eyed peas.
*Add finely chopped onions to fresh curds with some grated carrots to make a refreshing raita (pachadi).
SOME HEALTH BENEFITS OF EATING RAW ONIONS:-

Health benefits of eating raw onions: Cures constipation:

The fiber in raw onions help flush out toxins and hard food particles that get stuck in the intestines. If you are suffering from constipation, have raw onions.

An Ayurveda medicine for sore throat: If you are suffering from cold, cough and a sore throat, have fresh onion juice. Add jaggery or honey to the onion juice.

Remedy for bleeding problems: Have a bleeding nose or suffer from piles? Have raw onions. It is one simple and effective home remedy to cure piles naturally. To cure a bleeding nose, cut a raw onion and smell it for some time. The white onions can help cure bleeding problems.

Controls diabetes: This is one of the health benefits of eating raw onions. If consumed raw, onions increase the production of insulin. So, if you are diabetic, you have a good reason to munch crisp raw onion salad regularly.

Protects the heart: Regular consumption of raw onion protects the heart from coronary diseases. It control high blood pressure and also opens blocked arteries. This is one of the known health benefits of eating raw onions.

Controls cholesterol levels: The small herbaceous plant vegetable has a very good health benefit for obese people and heart patients. Raw onions control cholesterol by reducing the bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. It has methylallyl sulphide as well as the sulphur-containing amino-acids that lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol (HDL) levels.Prevents growth of cancer cells: Onion is rich in sulphur compounds. Sulphur protects the body from stomach, colon, breast, lung and prostate cancer and prevents the growth of cancer cells. It also helps cure urinary tract disorders.

We often see tears flowing from the eyes while chopping onions. The sulphur-containing oils and organic sulphides lead to tears once it enters the nostrils. These oils help treat anemia. Note that the oils and the effect of organic sulphides reduce when the onions are cooked. So, to treat anemia, have raw onions. These are few health benefits of eating raw onions. You can have raw onions in sandwiches, mix with your vegetable salad or use as toppings for hamburgers and chaats. To prevent the strong and pungent mouth odor of raw onions, brush your teeth and have some mouth fresheners like cardamom or clove

Ext.from:/www.chennaionline.com/health and http://www.gardensablaze.com/VegOnion.htm

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