Tag Archives: Chinese

Dendrobium hancockii

Botanical Name : Dendrobium hancockii
Family:Orchid
Genus: Dendrobium
Species: hancockii

Common Name : Shih Hu

Habitat :Origin: China

Description:
Plants look like a cluster of miniature 26″ bamboo canes with branching reddish purple stems, grass-like 1″ leaves, 1-1/2″ brilliant golden/yellow flowers with a velvet orange lip appear at random during winter and spring, overall a charming oriental appearance with beautiful flowers, easy grower

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Winter,Spring Blooming Bright to Full Sun; 2750-3750 Footcandles (midday shade required) Warm,Intermediate to Cool;45°F min. to 98°F max.(tolerant of extremes,favoring warm)

Medicinal Uses:
Shih hu is the Chinese dendrobium orchid, a famous chi tonic of the sages.  It is cooling and mildly sweet and salty, restoring bodily fluids and alleviating fatigue.  Large golden stems are dried and simmered with licorice or ginger to restore sexual vigor.  This Chinese kidney yin tonic affects the lower back, knees and sexual vigor. To the Chinese, the kidneys rule the bone, bone marrow, memory, hearing and brain function. The kidneys store ancestral chi and heredity, as well as having both yin and yang properties, restoring fluids and enhancing vitality. The stem is used to treats fever, cough, thirst

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.clanorchids.com/pages/dends/denhancockii.html
http://www.andysorchids.com/pictureframe.asp?pic=images/Species/3462med.jpg&PicId=3462&PicNam=Dendrobium – hancockii
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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Eucommia (a Unique Rubber Tree)

Botanical Name: Eucommia Ulmoides.
Family: Eucommiaceae
Engler
Genus: Eucommia
Oliv.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Garryales
Species
: E. ulmoides

Synonymy: It is also sometimes known as “Gutta-percha tree” or “Chinese rubber tree“, but is not related to either the true Gutta-percha tree of southeastern Asia, nor to the South American rubber tree.

Habitat:Eucommia is native to China.This tree is also occasionally planted in botanical gardens and other gardens in Europe, North America and elsewhere, being of interest as the only cold-tolerant (to at least -30°C) rubber-producing tree.

Fossils of Eucommia have been found in 10–35 million year old brown coal deposits in central Europe and widely in North America (Call & Dilcher 1997), indicating that the genus had a much wider range in the past.

Description:
Eucommia grows to about 15 m tall. The leaves are deciduous, arranged alternately, simple ovate with an acuminate tip, 8–16 cm long, and with a serrated margin. If a leaf is torn across, strands of latex exuded from the leaf veins solidify into rubber and hold the two parts of the leaf together. It flowers from March to May. The flowers are inconspicuous, small and greenish; the fruit, June to November, is a winged samara with one seed, very similar to an elm samara in appearance, 2–3 cm long and 1–2 cm broad.

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Medicinal Uses:
The bark is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat lower back pain, aching knees, and to prevent miscarriage. Also used to “tonify” the Yang.

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MODERN USES OF EUCOMMIA
More than 50 years ago, eucommia was shown to have hypotensive action in laboratory studies conducted in the Soviet Union and China, and there was already some initial clinical use of the herb for this purpose. In fact, a formula with eucommia and other hypotensive Chinese herbs was developed at that time: Tianma Gouteng Yin (Gastrodia and Uncaria Combination). It was described in New Approaches to Patterns and Treatments in Complex Diseases (a text relaying research conducted during the 1950s). This formula has since become well-known as a treatment for hypertension. Additional studies were undertaken since then, mainly in China, and the primary hypotensive constituent was identified as pinoresinol diglucoside, one of 27 lignans found in eucommia .

Pinoresinol
This component, also found in the Chinese herb forsythia, is present in eucommia bark in only small concentrations. However, it has a significant dilating effect on the blood vessels. The herb and its extracts are now commonly found in Chinese patent remedies for hypertension , but this component is not alcohol soluble and is not useful in tinctures. Compound Cortex Eucommia Tablets are sold as a hypertension remedy and the package lists eucommia as the prime ingredient (others mentioned on the label are uncaria, prunella, and scute, all of which are attributed antihypertensive properties). During an evaluation of potential anti-hypertensive Chinese herbs that could be clinically tested in the U.S., ITM developed a six herb formulation with the four herbs just mentioned (eucommia, uncaria, prunella, and scute) plus loranthus and tang-kuei.

Aucubin and the other iridoids of eucommia are likely responsible for the anti-inflammatory effect, which is attained by inhibiting the arachidonic acid pathway . This may partly explain its use in treatment of arthritis. Rehmannia, which also contains iridoid glycosides (including aucubin) as major active components, is often used with eucommia in the formulas for arthralgia.

It has been found that eucommia leaves can substitute for the bark, and hence these are increasingly used in China in order to get a larger amount of the desired medicinal agents from the limited cultivated groves. Eucommia leaves have also been made into a health beverage .

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/Eucommia

http://www.itmonline.org/arts/eucommia.htm

http://www.trees-shrubs.org.uk/pic-trees/43-eucommia-ulmoides.html

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Pak Choy

Wong Baak

Image via Wikipedia

Botanical Name:Brassica rapa
Family: Cruciferae
Genus: Brassica
Synonyms: Brassica parachinensis – L.H.Bailey.
Known Hazards: None known

Common Names:bok choy, pak choi, choi sum, Chinese white cabbage, Chinese flowering cabbage, Peking cabbage, celery cabbage, and white mustard cabbage.
Nomenclature
In Mandarin Chinese bai cai ( “white vegetable”) refers to both groups of B. rapa. However, the English word bok choy and its variations bok choi and pak choi are derived from the Cantonese cognate, which instead denotes one specific variety of cabbage, namely those with white stems and dark green leaves. The other varieties all have different names which entered the English language as you choy, choy sum, napa and baby bok choy, etc. Hence the English word bok choy (and its Cantonese source) is not equivalent to the Mandarin word bai cai, though the Chinese characters are the same.

Description:
Pak Choy have gloss, dark green leaves with long, large white petioles. They are generally called Full Size White Pak Choy in the markets. These varieties grow best in mild and slightly cold climates, suitable for fall crops. They may go into the pre-matured flowering in heat conditions. Pak Choy is used extensively in Cantonese cooking. Many varieties can grow up to 20 inches high.

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A type of Chinese vegetable of the mustard family. It has dark green leaves and white celery-like stalks that have a mild, slightly peppery flavor. Both the greens and the stalks are popular in salads and the stalks are often used in stir-fry recipes.Pak Choy is available throughout the year. When selecting, look for a firm compact head with fresh leaves. The cabbage should be used when fresh if possible because it does not store well. If it is necessary to store, keep it in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic, and it should stay fresh for 4 to 5 days.

Cultivation details:
Succeeds in full sun in a well-drained fertile preferably alkaline soil. Prefers a pH of 5.5 to 7. Prefers a cool moist reasonably fertile soil. The plant is shallow rooted and intolerant of drought, it responds well to a moist fertile soil but succeeds in poorer soils than standard Pak choi. Hardy to about -10°c, the plants stand up well to snow but are less likely to stand up to prolonged winter wet. The prostrate forms are hardier than semi-prostrate forms. The rosette pak choi is widely cultivated in China for its edible leaves, there are several named varieties. It is slower-growing than standard Pak choi, B. rapa chinensis.

choy seeds are extremely small, so difficult to handle when sowing. Pak choy can either be sown direct in the row and thinned to an appropriate spacing, or transplanted 15 to 30 days, depending on the variety, after seeding. Transplanting may reduce bolting, especially during summer. The soil should be well prepared so that the beds are raised with good drainage and air circulation.

Within row spacing varies from 2.5 to 10 cm for the smallest varieties and up to 45 cm for the largest. Spacing between rows varies between 15 and 30 cm. Do not sow seeds deeper than 2 cm below the surface.

Pak choy is a shallow-rooted crop and requires frequent watering. Apply light irrigations to avoid leaching. Outdoor plants can be protected by film covers in winter and shading net in summer. Do not apply large amounts of nitrogen to soil as this may increase the incidence of bacterial soft rots in pak choy.

Harvesting:
Pak choy are usually harvested by hand, cut off at the base 35 to 55 days after sowing. Pak choy should always be picked when leaves are fresh and crisp, and before the outer leaves turn yellow. Remove any dead or damaged leaves, trim the base flush with the first petiole and wash the plant. Harvest during a cooler part of the day. Yields are usually about 15 tonne per hectare. Market prices are highest for green, turgid produce.

Uses:
Pak choy is a vegetable which has been cultivated in China for thousands of years. In addition to being widely used in Chinese cuisine, pak choy or “white vegetable” is very popular in other parts of Asia as well. Many English speakers know pak choy as bok choy or pak choi, thanks to disagreement about how the Chinese word for this vegetable should be transliterated. Whatever you call it, pak choy is a very versatile, tender, flavorful vegetable which can be used in a wide assortment of dishes.

This vegetable is also sometimes called “Chinese cabbage,” a reference to the fact that it is classified in the Brassica genus, to which cabbages belong. Brassicas are also members of the mustard family, and they have a distinctive tangy, somewhat spicy flavor as a result. Brassica chinensis, as pak choy is more formally known, comes in a wide variety of sizes and colors, thanks to the development of specific cultivars.

Classic pak choy has white, crunchy stems and dark green leaves, both of which are edible. In China, the smaller the vegetable is, the more favorably it is viewed, because small pak choy plants tend to be more tender. Outside of China, some cooks seek out larger versions, as they are under the impression that bigger is better, but if you can obtain smaller vegetables, you may find that they are much more tasty; many markets sell young pak choy as “baby pak choy,” and it is growing easier to find. Big pak choy bunches tend to be woody and lacking in flavor.

Tender young pak choy only needs to be cooked very briefly, and the leaves take even less time to cook than the stems. Most cooks separate leaves and stems, throwing the leaves into a dish at the last minute to lightly wilt them before serving. The stalks can be allowed to cook a bit longer than the leaves, although many people favor a brief cooking time to leave the stalks crunchy and tender, rather than allowing them to soften.

Many cooks like to use pak choy in stir fries, and it can also be used in soups, curries, spring rolls, and a variety of other dishes. The flavor of pak choy is very mild, with a hint of a tangy bite which betrays its place in the mustard family, and this vegetable is also very healthy. It is high in calcium, like other Brassicas, and it also has high levels of vitamins A and C.
Click to see:->Pak Choy cooking Terms

Resources:
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-pak-choy.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Brassica+rapa+parachinensis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bok_choy
http://www2.dpi.qld.gov.au/horticulture/5300.html
http://www.evergreenseeds.com/larleafpetty.html

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