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Herbs & Plants

Fragaria viridis

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Botanical Name : Fragaria viridis
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Fragaria
Species: F. viridis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Synonyms : Fragaria collina.

Common Names: Green Strawberry

Habitat : Fragaria viridis is native to Europe. It grows in woods and banks.

Description:
Fragaria viridis is a perennial plant, growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jun to July. 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……..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Prefers a fertile, well-drained, moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Tolerates semi-shade though fruit production will be reduced when plants grow in such a position. This species is closely related to F. vesca. Plants are sometimes dioecious. In this case, male and female plants will be needed if fruit and seed is required.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed can take 4 weeks or more to germinate. The seedlings are very small and slow-growing at first, but then grow rapidly. Prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out during the summer. Division of runners, preferably done in July/August in order to allow the plants to become established for the following years crop. They can also be moved in the following spring if required, though should not then be allowed to fruit in their first year. The runners can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses :    Fruit – raw or cooked. The fruit are greenish-tinged with red and are sweet and succulent with a rich musky pineapple-like flavour. Absolutely delicious, though they are not produced very freely.

Medicinal Uses : None known

Other Uses : An excellent ground cover plant, spreading vigorously by means of surface stolons and forming a dense carpet.   It grows well amongst shrubs but can out-compete smaller plants

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://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fragaria+viri
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fragaria_viridis

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Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Apricot

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Botanical Name :Prunus Armeniaca
Family:    Rosaceae
Genus:    Prunus
Subgenus:Prunus
Section:    Armeniaca
Species:    P. armeniaca
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Rosales

Synonyms:Apricot,  Apricock. Armeniaca vulgaris.

Common Names: Ansu apricot, Siberian apricot, Tibetan apricot

Habitat:Prunus Armeniaca  is considered  native range is somewhat uncertain due to its extensive prehistoric cultivation. Although formerly supposed to come from Armenia, where it was long cultivated, hence the name Armeniaca, there is now little doubt that its original habitat is northern China, the Himalaya region and other parts of temperate Asia. It is cultivated generally throughout temperate regions. Introduced into England, from Italy, in Henry VIII’s reign.

Description:
Prunus armeniaca is a small tree, 8–12 m (26–39 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 40 cm (16 in) in diameter and a dense, spreading canopy. The leaves are ovate, 5–9 cm (2.0–3.5 in) long and 4–8 cm (1.6–3.1 in) wide, with a rounded base, a pointed tip and a finely serrated margin. The flowers are 2–4.5 cm (0.8–1.8 in) in diameter, with five white to pinkish petals; they are produced singly or in pairs in early spring before the leaves. The fruit is a drupe similar to a small peach, 1.5–2.5 cm (0.6–1.0 in) diameter (larger in some modern cultivars), from yellow to orange, often tinged red on the side most exposed to the sun; its surface can be smooth (botanically described as: glabrous) or velvety with very short hairs (botanically: pubescent). The flesh is usually firm and not very juicy. Its taste can range from sweet to tart. The single seed is enclosed in a hard, stony shell, often called a “stone”, with a grainy, smooth texture except for three ridges running down one side….....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Edible Uses:   Fruits     are eaten  raw  or  cooked or dried for later use. The best forms are soft and juicy with a delicious rich flavour. Wild trees in the Himalayas yield about 47.5kg of fruit per year.The fruit of the wild form contains about 6.3% sugars, 0.7% protein, 2.5% ash, 2.5% pectin. There is about 10mg vitamin C per 100g of pulp. The fruit is about 5cm in diameter and contains one large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. Bitter seeds should be eaten in strict moderation, but sweet ones can be eaten freely. The bitter seeds can be used as a substitute for bitter almonds in making marzipan etc. An edible gum is obtained from the trunk. The seed contains up to 50% of an edible semi-drying oil

The Italian liqueur amaretto and amaretti biscotti are flavoured with extract of apricot kernels rather than almonds. Oil pressed from these cultivar kernels, and known as oil of almond, has been used as cooking oil. Kernels contain between 2.05% and 2.40% hydrogen cyanide, but normal consumption is insufficient to produce serious effects.

Cultivation:        
Landscape Uses:Specimen. Requires a well-drained moisture retentive fertile soil in a warm sunny position. Succeeds in light shade but fruits better in a sunny position. Thrives in a loamy soil, doing well on limestone. Prefers some chalk in the soil but is apt to become chlorotic if too much is present. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 to 7.5. Dislikes clay soils. Intolerant of saline soils. Trees drop their fruit buds if there is a summer drought. The apricot is widely cultivated for its edible fruit in temperate areas that have long hot summers, there are many named varieties. The tree is perfectly hardy in Britain but it usually flowers very early in the spring and the flowers are then liable to be destroyed by frosts. It really requires a more continental climate (with its clearly defined seasons) than it gets in Britain. However, if given the benefit of a south or west facing wall and some protection from frosts when it is in flower, reasonable crops can usually be produced in southern England. The plants are self-fertile, but hand pollination would be advisable since they are normally flowering before many pollinating insects are active. In Britain apricots are usually grown on plum rootstocks, ‘St. Julien A’ is the most widely used. The dwarfing rootstock ‘Pixie’ is also a possibility, but this must be double worked with ‘St. Julien A’ because it is incompatible with apricots. Any pruning should be carried out in the summer to allow rapid healing and therefore less risk of infection. Oats should not be grown near apricots because their roots have an antagonistic effect on the roots of the apricot. Tomatoes and potatoes are also bad companions for apricots. If nasturtiums (Tropaeoleum spp) are grown under apricots they will make the fruit less palatable to insects, though this is not detectable by the human palate. 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. Special Features: Edible, Not North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

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. Difficult. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Difficult. Layering in spring.

Constituents:  Prunus Armeniaca  yield by expression 40 to 50 per cent. of a fixed oil, similar to that which occurs in the sweet almond and in the peach kernel, consisting chiefly of Olein, with a small proportion of the Glyceride of Linolic acid, and commonly sold as Peach Kernel oil (Ol. Amygdae Pers.). From the cake is distilled, by digestion with alcohol, an essential oil (0l. Amygdae Essent. Pers.) which contains a colourless, crystalline glucoside, Amygdalin, and is chemically identical with that of the bitter almond. The essential oil is used in confectionery and as a culinary flavouring.

 Medicinal  Uses:
Analgesic;  Anthelmintic;  Antiasthmatic;  Antidote;  Antipyretic;  Antiseptic;  Antispasmodic;  Antitussive;  Demulcent;  Emetic;  Emollient;
Expectorant;  Laxative;  Ophthalmic;  Pectoral;  Sedative;  Tonic;  Vulnerary.

Apricot fruits contain citric and tartaric acid, carotenoids and flavonoids. They are nutritious, cleansing and mildly laxative. They are a valuable addition to the diet working gently to improve overall health. The salted fruit is antiinflammatory and antiseptic. It is used medicinally in Vietnam in the treatment of respiratory and digestive diseases. Antipyretic, antiseptic, emetic, ophthalmic. The flowers are tonic, promoting fecundity in women. The bark is astringent. The inner bark and/or the root are used for treating poisoning caused by eating bitter almond and apricot seeds (which contain hydrogen cyanide). Another report says that a decoction of the outer bark is used to neutralize the effects of hydrogen cyanide. The decoction is also used to soothe inflamed and irritated skin conditions. The seed is analgesic, anthelmintic, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, antitussive, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, pectoral, sedative and vulnerary. It is used in the treatment of asthma, coughs, acute or chronic bronchitis and constipation. The seed contains ‘laetrile’, a substance that has also been called vitamin B17. This has been claimed to have a positive effect in the treatment of cancer, but there does not at present seem to be much evidence to support this. The pure substance is almost harmless, but on hydrolysis it yields hydrocyanic acid, a very rapidly acting poison – it should thus be treated with caution. In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being

Apricot oil is used as a substitute for Oil of Almonds, which it very closely resembles. It is far less expensive and finds considerable employment in cosmetics, for its softening action on the skin. It is often fraudulently added to genuine Almond oil and used in the manufacture of soaps, cold creams and other preparations of the perfumery trade.

Other Uses:
Adhesive;  Dye;  Gum;  Oil;  Oil;  Wood.

An edible semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. Used for lighting. The oil has a softening effect on the skin and so it is used in perfumery and cosmetics, and also in pharmaceuticals. A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit. Wood – handsome, hard, durable. Agricultural implements etc

In Armenia, the wood of the apricot tree is used for making wood carvings such as the duduk, which is a popular wind instrument in Armenia and is also called the apricot pipe. Several hand-made souvenirs are also made from the apricot wood.

Known Hazards: This species produces 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. Usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm, 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. Oral doses of 50g of hydrogen cyanide can be fatal (= 30g of kernels or 50-60 kernels at 2 mg HCN/g kernel)

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_armeniaca
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+armeniaca
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/apric050.html

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Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Mango Fruit is delicious

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Common Names: Mango, Mangot, Manga, Mangou. It is known as the ‘king of fruit’ throughout the world.Mangos are a good staple for your daily diet.
Origin: .Mangos originated in East India, Burma and the Andaman Islands bordering the Bay of Bengal. Around the 5th century B.C., Buddhist monks are believed to have introduced the mango to Malaysia and eastern Asia – legend has it that Buddha found tranquility and repose in a mango grove. Persian traders took the mango into the middle east and Africa, from there the Portuguese brought it to Brazil and the West Indies. Mango cultivars arrived in Florida in the 1830’s .Mangos were introduced to California (Santa Barbara) in 1880.

Description:
Mango trees grow up to 35–40 m (115–131 ft) tall, with a crown radius of 10 m (33 ft). The trees are long-lived, as some specimens still fruit after 300 years[citation needed]. In deep soil, the taproot descends to a depth of 6 m (20 ft), with profuse, wide-spreading feeder roots; the tree also sends down many anchor roots, which penetrate several feet of soil. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, 15–35 cm (5.9–13.8 in) long, and 6–16 cm (2.4–6.3 in) broad; when the leaves are young they are orange-pink, rapidly changing to a dark, glossy red, then dark green as they mature. The flowers are produced in terminal panicles 10–40 cm (3.9–15.7 in) long; each flower is small and white with five petals 5–10 mm (0.20–0.39 in) long, with a mild, sweet odor suggestive of lily of the valley. Over 400 varieties of mangoes are known, many of which ripen in summer, while some give double crop.  The fruit takes three to six months to ripen.

click to see the pictures…....(01).…...(1).…...(2)……..(3).…...(4)..…...(5).….

The ripe fruit varies in size and color. Cultivars are variously yellow, orange, red, or green, and carry a single flat, oblong pit that can be fibrous or hairy on the surface, and which does not separate easily from the pulp. Ripe, unpeeled mangoes give off a distinctive resinous, sweet smell. Inside the pit 1–2 mm (0.039–0.079 in) thick is a thin lining covering a single seed, 4–7 mm (0.16–0.28 in) long. The seed contains the plant embryo. Mangos have recalcitrant seeds; they do not survive freezing and drying

Forms: The mango exists in two races, one from India and the other from the Philippines and Southeast Asia. The Indian race is intolerant of humidity, has flushes of bright red new growth that are subject to mildew, and bears monoembryonic fruit of high color and regular form. The Philippine race tolerates excess moisture, has pale green or red new growth and resists mildew. Its polyembryonic fruit is pale green and elongated kidney-shaped. Philippines types from Mexico have proven to be the hardiest mangos in California.

Adaptation: Mangos basically require a frost-free climate. Flowers and small fruit can be killed if temperatures drop below 40° F, even for a short period. Young trees may be seriously damaged if the temperature drops below 30° F, but mature trees may withstand very short periods of temperatures as low as 25° F. The mango must have warm, dry weather to set fruit. In southern California the best locations are in the foothills, away from immediate marine influence. It is worth a trial in the warmest cove locations in the California Central Valley, but is more speculative in the coastal counties north of Santa Barbara, where only the most cold adapted varieties are likely to succeed. Mangos luxuriate in summer heat and resent cool summer fog. Wet, humid weather favors anthracnose and poor fruit set. Dwarf cultivars are suitable for culture in large containers or in a greenhouse.The Mango tree plays a sacred role in India; it is a symbol of love and some believe that the Mango tree can grant wishes. In the Hindu culture hanging fresh mango leaves outside the front door during Ponggol (Hindu New Year) and Deepavali is considered a blessing to the house.

Mango leaves are used at weddings to ensure the couple bear plenty of children (though it is only the birth of the male child that is celebrated – again by hanging mango leaves outside the house).Hindus may also brush their teeth with mango twigs on holy days (be sure to rinse well and spit if you try this at home – toxic).Many Southeast Asian kings and nobles had their own mango groves; with private cultivars being sources of great pride and social standing, hence began the custom of sending gifts of the choicest mangos.The Tahis like to munch mango buds, with Sanskrit poets believing they lend sweetness to the voice.

Burning of mango wood, leaves and debris is not advised – toxic fumes can cause serious irritation to eyes and lungs. Mango leaves are considered toxic and can kill cattle or other grazing livestock.

The over 1,000 known mango cultivars are derived from two strains of mango seed – monoembryonic (single embryo) and polyembryonic (multiple embryo). Monoembryonic hails from the Indian (original) strain of mango,
polyembryonic from the Indochinese.

Mangos are an excellent source of Vitamins A and C, as well as a good source of Potassium and contain beta carotene. Mangos are high in fiber, but low in calories (approx. 110 per average sized mango), fat (only 1 gram) and sodium.

Mango Nutrient Information*
Serving size: 3 1/2 ounces mango slices
Calories
Protein
Total Carbohydrate
Fat
Cholesterol
Sodium
Potassium
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
66
0.5g
17g
0.27g
0mg
2mg
156mg
3,890IU
27mg

Medicinal Uses:
Mango is considered a very useful remedy and energizer in Ayurveda and used to balance all three humors or doshas (Vata, Kapha or and Pitta), especially Pitta dosha. Its medicinal properties are presented below.

The insoluble fiber, present in mangoes, helps the elimination of waste from the colon and prevents constipation.

The tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid found in the fruit help to maintain the alkali reserve of the body.

A milk-mango shake used in the summers help people gain weight.

Extracts of leaves, bark, stem and unripe mangoes are believed to possess antibacterial properties against some micro-organisms.

Dried mango flowers are used in the treatment of diarrhea, chronic dysentery and some problems of the bladder.

The stone (kernel) of the mango fruit is used widely in Ayurvedic medicines for treatment of different ailments.

Antioxidants and enzymes present in the mango fruits are believed to play an important role in the prevention/protection of cancer (colon, breast, leukemia and prostate) and heart disease. Serum cholesterol is regulated by the high content of fiber, pectin and vitamin C present in the mango.

Some of the flavonoids present in the fruit are believed to strengthen the immune system of human body. Presence of fiber and enzymes makes mangoes favorite for healthy digestion.


Every part of the mango is beneficial and has been utilized in folk remedies in some form or another
. Whether the bark, leaves, skin or pit; all have been concocted into various types of treatments or preventatives down through the centuries. A partial list of the many medicinal properties and purported uses attributed to the mango tree are as follows: anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-septic, anti-tussive (cough), anti-asthmatic, expectorant, cardiotonic, contraceptive, aphrodisiac, hypotensive, laxative, stomachic (beneficial to digestion)….

Mango is regarded as a valuable article of diet and one of the effective home remedies for various ailments. The ripe mango has antiscorbutic, diuretic, laxative, invigorating, fattening and astringent properties. It has been found effective in fighting infections. All bacterial infections are due to poor epithelium. Liberal use of mangoes during the season contributes towards the formation of healthy epithelium, preventing infections like cold, rhinitis and sinusitis. Mangoes are rich source of vitamin A. Mango barks is highly beneficial in diphtheria and other throat problems. The leaves of mango tree are an anti-diabetic food that controls the blood sugar levels. Raw mango is a rich source of pectin, oxalic, citric, malic and succinic acids. It also contains vitamin C, B1 and B2 in good amounts.

Home Remedies:
Using Aqueous extract of fresh tender mango leaves in the morning, prepared after soaking overnight and filtering in morning, is believed to be useful in the beginning of diabetes.

Alternately, people also use twice a day (morning & evening) half teaspoonful of powdered leaves after drying them in the shade.

It may also provide relief in the dysentery when taken with water 2-3 times a day.Mango and Jamun (S. cumini) juice taken in equal proportion is considered useful in controlling diabetes.

Ash of mango leaves is applied on burns for relief in pain and healing whereas juice of the roasted ripe mango (on hot sand)provides relief in cough.

Tooth paste, prepared from powdered mango kernal, is believed to strengthen gums.

Boiling 20 g mango bark powder in a liter water till volume reduces merely to 250 g (ml) and using the decoction after mixing 1 g black salt is believed to cure diarrhea.

Juice extracted from fresh flowers and taken after mixing it with curd is reported to be useful in diarrhea. Paste of decorticated kernel is found useful in leucorrhoea, veginitis and also as a contraceptive.

Mangiferin – rich in splenocytes, found in the stem bark of the mango tree has purported potent immunomodulatory characteristics – believed to inhibit tumor growth in early and late stage.

Mango seeds are of great value for treating leucorrhoea. Apply 1 tsp paste of decorticated kernel of mango inside the vagina.

Mango bark is efficacious in the treatment of a sore throat and other throat disorders. Its fluid, which is extracted by grinding, can be applied locally with beneficial results. It can also be used as a throat gargle. This gargle is prepared by mixing 10 ml of the fluid extract with 125 ml of water

Mango seeds are valuable in diarrhoea. The seeds should be collected during the mango season, dried in the shade and powdered, and kept stored for use as a medicine when required. A dose of about one and a half to two grams with or without honey, should be administered twice daily.

Known Hazards:  Dermatitis can result from contact with the resinous latex sap that drips from the stem end when mangos are harvested. The mango fruit skin is not considered edible.
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.

Extracted from,:http://freshmangos.com/aboutmangos/index.html and http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/mango.html,http://cvsingh.hubpages.com/hub/Medicinal-uses-of-mango-and-associated-benefits,

 

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