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Herbs & Plants

Cereus grandiflorus

Botanical Name: Cereus grandiflorus
Family:Cactaceae
Subfamily:Cactoideae
Tribe:Hylocereeae
Genus:Selenicereus
Species:S. grandiflorus
KingdomPlantae
Order:Caryophyllales

Synonyms:  Selenicereus grandiflorus

Common Names: Vanilla Cactus. Sweet-scented Cactus. Large-flowered Cactus

Other Common names:
Afrikaans: Koningin van die Nag
Chinese?Shé Bian Zhu ( Column of snake-like rope)
Danish: Nattens Dronning
Dutch: Koningin van de Nacht
English: Queen of the Night, Night-blooming Cereus, Large-flowering Cactus, Sweet-scented Cactus, Vanilla Cactus, Lunar Flower, Large Blooming Cereus, Large flowered torch thistle, Large-flowered Night Cactus
Estonian: Öökuninganna
Finnish: Yönkuningatar
French: reine de la nuit, princesse de la nuit, cierge à grande fleurs, vierge à grandes fleurs, cierge rampant à grandes fleurs, fleur d’amour
German: Königin der Nacht, Schlangencereus, Schlangenkaktus
Italian: cacto grandifloro, regina della notte
Japanese: Gekka Bijin (Beautiful woman under the moon)
Malayalam: Nisha Ghanthi(Nishagandhi)(Fragrance of the Night). This name is also used for Saussurea obvallata
Marathi: Brahma KamaLa. This name is also used for Saussurea obvallata
Portuguese: flor-de-baile, cardeiro trepador
Punjabi: Raat di sassi
Român?: Cactus din Antilele Olandeze
Sinhala: Kadupul
Spanish: Reina de las Flores, Reina Gigante, Cardon, Gigante, Organillo, Reina de la noche.
Swedish: nattens drottning
Tamil/Telugu  : Brahma Kamalam (Lord Bhrahma’s Flower). This name is also used for Saussurea obvallata
Kannada: Brahma Kamala. This name is also used for Saussurea obvallata
Arabic: Malikat Al lail
Vietnamese: Hoa qu?nh

Parts Used in medicines: The flowers, young and tender stems.

Habitat: Cereus grandiflorus is native to  Tropical America, Mexico, West Indies, and Naples
Description:
A fleshy, creeping, rooting shrub, stems cylindrical, with five or six not very prominent angles, branching armed with clusters of small spines, in radiated forms. Flowers, terminal and lateral from the clusters of spines, very large 8 to 12 inches in diameter, expanding in the evening and only lasting for about six hours, exhaling a delicious vanilla-like perfume. Petals are white, spreading, shorter than the sepals, which are linear, lanceolate, outside brown, inside yellow. Fruit ovate, covered with scaly tubercles, fleshy and of a lovely orange-red colour, seeds very small and acid. The flower only lasts in bloom about six hours and does not revive- when withered, the ovary enlarges, becomes pulpy and forms an acid juicy fruit, something like a gooseberry. The plant was brought to the notice of the medical profession by Dr. Scheile but it aroused little interest till a homoeopathic doctor of Naples, R. Rubini, used it as a specific in heart disease. The flowers and young stems should be collected in July and a tincture made from them whilst fresh. The plant contains a milky acrid juice….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:
An easily cultivated, fast growing epiphyte or lithophytic plant. Needs a compost containing plenty of humus and sufficient moisture in summer. Should not be kept under 5°C (41°F) in winter. Perform best if grown in full sun. Extra light in the early spring will stimulate budding. Flowers in late spring or early summer, only blooms one night a year or several years and withers within hours.

Constituents:  No special analysis seems yet to have been made; the chief constituents are resins, the presence of the alleged alkaloid cactine not having been confirmed.

Medicinal  Uses:
Diuretic Sedative, Cardiac. Cereus has been used as a cardiac stimulant and as a partial substitute for digitalis. In large doses it produces gastric irritation, slight delirium, hallucinations and general mental confusion. It is said to greatly increase the renal secretion. It does not appear to weaken the nervous system. It has a decided action on the heart and frequently gives prompt relief in functional or organic disease. It has been found of some service in haemoptysis, dropsy and incipient apoplexy.
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/Selenicereus_grandiflorus
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/cernig48.html

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Healthy Tips News on Health & Science

Vitamin B1 Can Reverse Kidney Damage

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Vitamin B1 can reverse early kidney disease in people with type-2 diabetes, a study by British researchers has shown.
……..click & see

The team from Warwick University tested the effect of vitamin B1 (thiamine), which is found in meat, yeast and grain, on 40 patients from Pakistan, BBC News website reported on Monday.

The treatment stopped the loss of a key protein in the urine, the journal Diabetologia reports. Charity Diabetes UK called the results “very promising” — but said it was too early for any firm conclusions.

The latest findings build on earlier work by the same team, showing that many diabetes patients have a deficiency of thiamine.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Healthy Tips

Top 10 Foods Your Body Needs

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What do a guava, cabbage and a weed have in common? They’re all foods you should be eating. Here’s why you should add the following 10 fruits, vegetables and plants to your diet.

FRUITS

1. Guava is a slightly pear-shaped tropical fruit known for its sweet, acidic flavor and yellow or pink color. It contains such cancer-fighting agents as lycopene, known for warding off prostate cancer. And with 688 mg of potassium and 9 grams of fiber, this fruit is a must for anyone’s diet.

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2.Goji Berry   resemble raisins, taste sweet and sour, and are red in color. Eating them can help protect the liver, improve sexual function and increase circulation. They also have the highest Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) rating (a method of measuring antioxidant levels in food) of any fruit, according to researchers at Tufts University.

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3. Dried plums,
also known as prunes, are somewhat infamous for their high fiber content. However, don’t forget that they also include high amounts of neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acids which fight the “superoxide anion radical,” known to cause structural damage to cells, one of the primary causes of cancer.

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4. Pomegranate juice has been consumed for decades in the Middle East as a popular juice beverage; now it’s becoming popular in the United States. Just 4 oz. a day provides 50 percent of your daily vitamin C needs.

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VEGETABLES

5. Cabbage is a leafy, green vegetable. Its benefits: a healthy supply of nutrients including sulforaphane, a chemical which increases your body’s production of enzymes that combat cell-damaging free radicals and reduce the risk of cancer.

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CLICK TO SEE cabbage

6. Beets are a root known
for their dark red coloring and are surprisingly sweet for a vegetable. It is one of the best sources of both folate and betaine, which help to lower your blood levels of homocysteine. That’s good news because homocysteine can damage arteries and increase the risk of heart disease.

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CLICK TO SEE Beetroot

7. Swiss chard is a slightly bitter and salty vegetable. It contains huge amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, plant chemicals known as carotenoids that protect the retinas from age-related damage.

CLICK TO SEE Swiss chard

PLANTS


8. Purslane
is a broad-leaved weed. It features the highest amount of heart-healthy omega-3 fats of any edible plant and has 10 to 20 times more melatonin than any other fruit or vegetable.

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9. Cinnamon is a common spice most of us think of when we make cake or cookies – but don’t overlook a pinch or two on your oatmeal or in your coffee. Cinnamon’s health benefits include controlling your blood sugar and lowering triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol. Active ingredients include methylhydroxychalcone polymers, which increase your cells’ ability to metabolize up to 20 times.

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10. Pumpkin seeds are too-frequently tossed away during the traditional October pumpkin carving. That’s a mistake, because just 1 ounce contains 150 mg of magnesium. Pumpkin seeds are also high in zinc and phytosterols, shown to lower cholesterol and defend against cancer.

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Medicinal Properties: Catarrh, demulcent, diuretic and anthelmintic.
Uses in Folklore: Pumpkin seeds have been a popular folk remedy for expelling worms and treating urinary complaints. Recent research has shown that pumpkin seeds have anti-tumor properties, in particular, for treating an enlarged prostate. Pumpkin contains the active components resin, fatty oils, proteins, glycoside curcurbitin, vitamins and minerals

Sources: http://www.toyourhealth.com/mpacms/tyh/article.php?id=1030

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Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Beetroot

Botanical Name::Beta vulgaris
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily:Betoideae
Genus: Beta
Species: B. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Synonyms: Spinach Beet. Sea Beet. Garden Beet. White Beet. Mangel Wurzel.
Parts Used: Leaves, root.
Habitat:Coasts of Europe, North Africa and Asia, as far as India, and is found in muddy maritime marshes in many parts of England,

Description: Beta vulgaris (Linn.) is a native of South Europe, extensively cultivated as an article of food and especially for the production of sugar, and presents many varieties.The plant is a tall & succulent plant, about 2 feet high, with large, fleshy, glossy leaves, angular stems and numerous leafy spikes of green flowers.foot.

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It is derived from the Sea Beet (B. maritima, Linn.), which grows wild on the coasts of Europe, North Africa and Asia, as far as India, and is found in muddy maritime marshes in many parts of England, a tall, succulent plant, about 2 feet high, with large, fleshy, glossy leaves, angular stems and numerous leafy spikes of green flowers, much like those of the Stinking Goosefoot.

The lower leaves, when boiled, are quite equal in taste to Spinach, and the leaf-stalks and midrib of a cultivated form, the Spinach Beet (B. vulgaris, var. cicla), are sometimes stewed, under the name of Swiss Chard (being the Poirée à Carde of the French, with whom it is served as Sea Kale or Asparagus). This white-rooted Beet is also cultivated for its leaves, which are put into soups, or used as spinach, and in France are often mixed with sorrel, to lessen its acidity. It is also largely used as a decorative plant for its large handsome leaves, blood red or variegated in colour. Its root, thoughcontaining almost as much sugar as the red Garden Beet, neither looks so appetizing nor tastes so well.

The Mangel Wurzel, or Mangold, also a variety of the Beet, too coarse for table use, is good for cattle, who thrive excellently upon this diet, both its leaves and roots affording an abundance of valuable and nutritious food.

In its uncultivated form, the root of the Sea Beet is coarse and unfit for food, nor has any use been made of the plant medicinally, but the Garden Beet has been cultivated from very remote times as a salad plant and for general use as a vegetable. It was so appreciated by the ancients, that it is recorded that it was offered on silver to Apollo in his temple at Delphi.

Click to learn more about —> Beetroot

Constituents:Contains Sodium benzoate, methylparaben, sorbic acid. The root contains about a tenth portion of pure sugar, which is one of the glucoses or fruit sugars and is very wholesome. It is softer than cane sugar and does not crystallize as well as the latter. There is a treacle principle in it, but this renders it all the more nutritious. Canesugar has to be converted by the digestive juices into fruit sugar, before the body can absorb it, but the sugar present in the Beetroot is already in the more easily assimilated form, thus making the Beet a valuable food. Its sugar is a force-giver and an energy creator, a source of vitality to the human body. Besides its tenth portion of pure sugar, Beetroot has as much as a third of its weight in starch and gum.

The Beet makes an appetizing vegetable, plain boiled, stewed, or baked and a good pickle, and in Russia forms an appetizing soup – called Bortsch – the red root in this case being made to exude all its juice into a rich, white stock.

A pleasant wine can be made from the roots and an equally good domestic ale has also been brewed from Mangolds. A considerable amount of alcohol can be obtained by distillation.

Although modern medicine disregards the Beet, of old it was considered to have distinct remedial properties.

Benefits of Beet Root:

*Beetroot provides a good source of anthocyanadins, a natural antioxidant that contributes to its deep red colour

*Extract is a natural source of vitamins and minerals

*Beetroot is used traditionally as a blood building food

*Beetroot may aid the natural process of elimination and support detoxification processes

*Beetroot has liver, spleen, gall bladder and kidney cleansing properties

*Beetroot is particularly rich in Vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus and iron

*The iron contained in beetroot is organic and non-irritating and will not cause constipation

*Beetroot is useful in acidosis due to it being rich in alkaline elements

Click to see -> Beet juice and benefit of beet

Medicinal Action and Uses: The juice of the White Beet was stated to be ‘of a cleansing, digestive quality,’ to open obstructions of the liver and spleen, and, says Culpepper, ‘good for the headache and swimmings therein and all affections of the brain.’ Also,’effectual against all venomous creatures and applied upon the temples, it stayeth inflammations in the eyes, it helpeth burnings, being used without oil and with a little alum put to it is good for St. Anthonys Fire. It is good for all weals, pushes, blisters and blains in the skin: the decoction in water and vinegar healeth the itch if bathed therewith and cleanseth the head of dandriff, scurf and dry scabs and relieves running sores and ulcers and is much commended against baldness and shedding the hair.’
The juice of the Red Beetroot was recommended ‘to stay the bloody flux’ and ‘to help the yellow jaundice,’ also the juice ‘put into the nostrils, purgeth the head, helpeth the noise in the ears and the toothache.’

The Sugar Beet, or White Beet, is a selected form of the ordinary red-rooted Garden Beet and is now the chief source of our sugar; as food for animals, it has been preferred to turnips and carrots.

The root contains about a 10% fructose and about 30% by weight of starch and gum. The juice of the red beetroot was traditionally used for its astringent and antiseptic properties.

Primary chemical constituents of Beet Root include saponiside, phytosterol, betaine, leucine, tyrosine, betacyanin, beta carotene, manganese, potassium, and iron.
Beet Root powder is a very popular colouring agent for use in soaps and cosmetic products. The colour is due to Betanin.

Click to see->Beetroot Cut Blood Pressure “

Augaherb Beetroot AG:
In addition to its use as a colouring agent the rich antioxidant and silicon content of beetroot helps strengthen connective tissue and supports overall skin health.
Carrier: Monopropylene glycol/ water.

About 1760, the Berlin apothecary Marggraff obtained in his laboratory by means of alcohol, 6.2 per cent. of sugar from a white variety of Beet and 4.5 per cent. from a red variety. At the present day, as a result of careful study of many years, improvement of cultivation, careful selection of seed and suitable manuring, especially with nitrate of soda, the average Beet worked up contains 7 per cent. of fibre and 92 per cent. of juice. The average yield of its weight in sugar was stated in 1910 to be 12.79 per cent. in Germany and 11.6 per cent. in France.

Resources:

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

http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/beetro28.html
http://www.augustus-oils.ltd.uk/products/herb%20monographs.htm

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Fruits & Vegetables

Watermelon’s Myriad Health Benefits

Easiest tips to keep you fit.

Sweet, juicy watermelon is actually packed with some of the most important antioxidants in nature. Watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A, notably through its concentration of beta-carotene. Pink watermelon is also a source of the potent carotenoid antioxidant, lycopene.

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These powerful antioxidants travel through the body neutralising free radicals, that can cause a great deal of damage. They oxidise cholesterol, making it stick to blood vessel walls, leading to heart attack or stroke.

A cup of watermelon provides 24.3 per cent of the daily value for Vitamin C, and, through its beta-carotene, 11.1 per cent of the DV for Vitamin A.

Source: The Times Of India