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Herbs & Plants

Hibiscus cannabinus

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Botanical Name : Hibiscus cannabinus
Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Malvoideae
Tribes: Hibisceae
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:Malvales
Genus: Hibiscus
Sectio: Hibiscus sect. Furcaria
Species: Hibiscus cannabinus
Common Names : Kenaf, Brown Indianhemp
Europe:
English: kenaf (Persian origin), Deccan hemp, Java jute…
French: chanvre de Bombay, chanvre du Deccan, chanvre de Guinée, chanvre de Gambo, chanvre de roselle, jute de Java, jute de Siam, kénaf, ketmie à feuilles de chanvre (Belgium), roselle

German: Ambari, Dekkanhanf, Gambohanf, Hanfeibisch, Javajute, Kenaf, Rosellahanf, Roselle, Siamjute
Portuguese: cânhamo rosella, juta-de-java, juta-do-sião, quenafe

Spanish: cáñamo de la India, cáñamo de gambo, cáñamo Rosella, pavona encendida, yute de Java, yute de Siam

Americas:
Brazilian Portuguese: papoula-de-são-francisco, cânhamo-brasileiro, quenafe

Africa:
Afrikaans: stokroos
Egypt & Northern Africa: til, teel, or teal

West Africa: dah, gambo, and rama

Asia
Himachal(Pangolu) fiber known as sunn used to make rope used for beds and to tie cattle and all other possible uses.
India (Manipur): Shougri
India (Bihari): Kudrum
India (Bengal): mesta
India (Marathi): Ambaadi
India (Tamil): pulicha keerai , Palungu
India (Telugu): Gongura, Taag-Ambadi ,  Punti Kura
Iran (Persian): Hanf (guttural H)
Taiwan: ambari

Habitat : Hibiscus cannabinus is probably native to southern Asia, though its exact natural origin is unknown.
Description:
Hibiscus cannabinus is an annual or biennial herbaceous plant (rarely a short-lived perennial) growing to 1.5-3.5 m tall with a woody base. The stems are 1–2 cm diameter, often but not always branched. The leaves are 10–15 cm long, variable in shape, with leaves near the base of the stems being deeply lobed with 3-7 lobes, while leaves near the top of the stem are shallowly lobed or unlobed lanceolate. The flowers are 8–15 cm diameter, white, yellow, or purple; when white or yellow, the centre is still dark purple. The fruit is a capsule 2 cm diameter, containing several seeds.It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile….CLICK  & SEE  THE  PICTURES
Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in full sun[200]. Tolerates most soils but prefers a light sandy soil. Plants are adapted to a wide range of soils and climatic conditions. Kenaf is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation in the range of 57 to 410cm, an annual temperature range of 11.1 to 27.5°C and a pH in the range of 4.3 to 8.2 (though it prefers neutral to slightly acid). The plant is frost sensitive and damaged by heavy rains with strong winds. Kenaf is widely cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world, where it is grown mainly as a fibre crop but also for its seeds and leaves. It is not very hardy outdoors in Britain, it really requires a frost free climate. It can, however, probably be grown as an annual. A fast-growing plant, it can be harvested in 3 – 4 months from seed. The plant requires temperatures in the range of 15 – 25°c. It succeeds as a crop as far north in N. America as Indiana, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. Plants are daylight sensitive, they remain vegetative and do not flower until the daylength is less than 12.5 hr/day. Two weeks of very cloudy days will induce flowering as daylength approaches 12.5 hr. The plant has a deep-penetrating taproot with deep-seated laterals. Plants, including any varieties, are partially self-fertile.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a warm greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly rapid. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If growing them as annuals, plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and protect them with a frame or cloche until they are growing away well. If hoping to grow them as perennials, then it is better to grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year and to plant them out in early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Overwinter them in a warm greenhouse and plant out after the last expected frosts.

Edible Uses:
Young leaves – cooked. Used as a potherb or added to soups. The leaves have an acid flavour like sorrel. Seed – roasted or ground into a flour and made into a kind of cake. Root – it is edible but very fibrousy. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. The yield varies from 2 – 10 tonnes per hectare.

Medicinal Uses:
The juice of the flowers, mixed with sugar and black pepper, is used in the treatment of biliousness with acidity. The seeds are aphrodisiac. They are added to the diet in order to promote weight increase. Externally, they are used as a poultice on pains and bruises. The leaves are purgative. An infusion of the leaves is used in the treatment of coughs. In Ayurvedic medicine, the leaves are used in the treatment of dysentery and bilious, blood and throat disorders. The powdered leaves are applied to Guinea worms in Africa. The peelings from the stems have been used in the treatment of anaemia, fatigue, lassitude, etc

Other Uses:
Yields a fibre from the stem, a very good jute substitute though it is a bit coarser. The fibre strands, which are 1.5 – 3 metres long, are used for making rope, cordage, canvas, sacking, carpet backing, nets, table cloths etc. For the best quality fibre, the stems should be harvested shortly after the flowers open. The best fibre is at the base of the stems, so hand pulling is often recommended over machine harvesting. Yields of about 1.25 tonnes of fibre per hectare are average, though 2.7 tonnes has been achieved in Cuba. The pulp from the stems has been used in making paper. The seed contains between 18 and 35% of an edible semi-drying oil. It is rather similar to groundnut oil, obtained from Arachis hypogaea. The oil is also used for burning, as a lubricant and in making soap, linoleum, paints and varnishes. The seed yield varies from 2 to 10 tonnes per acre (or is it per hectare). The stems have been used as plant supports for growing runner beans etc. The soot from the stems has been used as a black pigment in dyes. The stem has been used as a base for drilling fire.
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/Kenaf
https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Hibiscus_cannabinus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hibiscus+cannabinus

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News on Health & Science

Joint pain? It could be fluorosis

The next time you suffer from a persistent backache or an irritating stiff joint, don’t attribute it to long hours spent at the computer. It could well be the result of fluorosis, a disease thought to affect people in rural India with no access to safe drinking water. It’s time to include it in the long list of urban lifestyle diseases.

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While fluoride-rich water is perceived as a major cause for fluorosis, in reality, 50% of fluoride entry into the body is through food. Whether it’s a plate of chaat-papri, liberally sprinkled with black salt, canned fruit juices, black tea, masala powders or Hajmola tablets—all are equally responsible for increasing fluoride content in the body. Of course, regular consumption over a sustained period and the body’s immune system determine how badly the fluoride affects the system.

“Patients come to me with complaints of back-ache, joint pains, fatigue and low energy levels. When I test their drinking water, it’s perfect. But on testing their blood and urine samples, I find high fluoride content. Further examination reveals consumption of food rich in fluoride,” says Dr A K Susheela, executive director, Fluorosis Research and Rural Development Foundation (FRRDF). Since its setting up in 1997, number of urban patients, she says, has doubled.

A recent UNICEF study conducted in smaller towns and rural areas revealed that 66 million are afflicted by fluorosis in India. Out of this, nearly 6 million are children between 6-14 years. The disease is widespread—19 states and 203 districts are affected —but efforts to prevent it are negligible. Unfortunately, no study has been conducted in cities on the numbers affected through food.

“It’s necessary to first diagnose the disease. But no hospital is interested in buying the testing equipment. It costs only Rs one lakh. Is that too much for any hospital?” asks Susheela.

Till two years back, Bijoy De, an MNC executive, suffered from fluorosis symptoms—extreme fatigue, constant back and joint pains. When he visited Susheela, his haemoglobin level was 11. “I travel constantly and had little control over what I ate. On the advice of my doctor, I changed my food habits. Within 3-4 months, my haemoglobin level shot up to 13.”

Similarly, Kanpur-based Ratish Bajpai was constantly fatigued and had regular back pain. On testing, the blood serum level was eight times above normal, while the fluoride level in urine was 20 times higher. ” I had no idea about fluorosis. I vaguely knew it was something to do with water,” he says.

And that’s the level of awareness of most urban Indians—thanks to lack of knowledge among doctors and unavailability of fluorosis testing centres. Only two centres in the country, AIIMS and FRRDF, are equipped to test fluorosis. “As most doctors aren’t trained for the disease, it goes largely undiagnosed or misdiagnosed,” says Dr V B Bhasin, senior orthopaedic surgeon, Gangaram Hospital. In fact, many end up being treated for arthritis as the symptoms for both diseases are the same. In the past few years, Bhasin has had patients complaining of stiff joints and backaches.

When no other treatment works, he sends them for fluoride testing and most end up being positive. Affirms Dr P K Dave, chairman, Rockland Hospital, and a senior orthopaedic doctor, “In most cases, complaints of back pain have been traced to a high fluoride content in the body.”

Interestingly, fluorosis manifests itself slowly. The good news is that it can be easily prevented in the early stages. However, in the advanced stage, called skeletal fluorosis—when the vertebrae partially fuses and moving joints becomes difficult— there’s no cure.

“That’s why,” suggests Susheela, “it’s important not to ignore joint pains and backaches. It’s advisable to do a fluoride test whenever a backache or joint pain persists.”

Thankfully, awareness levels are rising, though slowly.

Source:The Times Of India