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Myrica nagi

Botanical Name: Myrica nagi
Family: Myricaceae
Genus: Myrica
Species: M. esculenta
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fagales
Synonyms:
*Myrica integrifolia
*Myrica sapida
Common Name : Box Myrtle

Habitat : Myrica nagi is native to E. Asia – Himalayas. It grows on drier aspects to 1800 metres. Open, mixed forests on mountain slopes at elevations of 300 – 2500 metres.

Description:
Myrica nagi is an evergreen Tree growing to 12 m (39ft 4in). It is in leaf 12-Jan. The leaves are long and either pale or rust- colored. The tree has many hairy branches. The flowers that bloom on them are few and far apart and quite small in size as well. The seeds of the plant own a wrinkled appearance.

The bark that grows on the tree Myrica Nagi is aromatic in nature and owing to it; the tree has been in use for its aromatic properties for ages.
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 Wind.The plant is not self-fertile.
It can fix Nitrogen.

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Cultivation:
Prefers a moist soil. Grows well in an open position in a well-drained soil in sun or light shade. Thrives in any ordinary garden soil. Prefers a lime-free loamy or peaty soil. We are not sure how hardy this plant will be in Britain, it is unlikely to succeed outside the very mildest areas of the country. There is also some confusion between this species and M. rubra, it is possible that they are the same. The fruit is sold in local markets in the Himalayas. It ripens over a fairly long period, so is not suitable for commercial cultivation. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required. Many species in this genus have a symbiotic relationship with certain soil micro-organisms, these form nodules on the roots of the plants and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Barely cover the seed and keep it moist. Stored seed germinates more freely if given a 3 month cold stratification and then sown in a cold frame. Germination is usually good[78]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in the cold frame for the first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Pot up and overwinter in a cold frame. Fair to good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood in November/December in a frame. Layering in spring. Division of suckers in the dormant season. Plant them out direct into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:

Fruit – raw or cooked. Sweet with a pleasant blend of acid, they are very pleasant eating. About 13mm in diameter. The fruit contains about 12.6% sugar, 1% protein, 0.4% ash. Low in vitamin C, about 4.1mg per 100ml. The fruit does not keep well, only lasting in good condition for 2 – 3 days after picking. Yields from mature trees can be as high as 25kg per year, but are more often around 15.5kg.
Medicinal Uses:

Anthelmintic; Antirheumatic; Antiseptic; Aromatic; Astringent; Carminative; Febrifuge; Ophthalmic;
Rubefacient; Stimulant.

The bark is antirheumatic, antiseptic, aromatic, astringent, carminative, ophthalmic and stimulant. It has proved useful in the treatment of fevers, asthma and coughs. The juice is applied to treat rheumatism. Mixed with ginger, it is used as a rubefacient in the treatment of choler. The juice of the bark is taken internally in the treatment of catarrh and headaches, and is applied externally to cuts and wounds. A decoction of the bark is used in the treatment of fevers, asthma and diarrhoea. This decoction is boiled to form a gelatinous mass that is applied as a poultice on sprains. Combined with the bark of Quercus lanata, it is used as a decoction in the treatmnt of dysentery. The juice of the unripe fruit is used as an anthelmintic.
Other Uses:
Dye; Tannin; Wax; Wood.

A wax covering on the fruit is extracted by scalding the fruit with boiling water and immersing them for a few minutes, the wax floats to the surface and is then skimmed off. The fruit is then boiled in water to extract the wax from the pulp and once more the wax is skimmed off. It is then strained through a muslin cloth and can be used to make aromatic candles. Candles made from this wax are quite brittle but are less greasy in warm weather. They are slightly aromatic and do not smoke when put out, making them much more pleasant to use that wax or tallow candles. The wax is also used in making soaps. A yellow dye is obtained from the bark. The plant is a source of tannin. (Probably the bark or the leaves.) The bark is said to contain 60 – 80% tannin. Wood – hard, close-grained. a good fuel. Used mainly for fuel, though it is sometimes used for making poles for construction.

Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, there is a report for some members of this genus that some of the constituents of the wax might be carcinogenic.

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/Myrica_esculenta

Myrica Nagi


http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Myrica+nagi

Solanum scabrum

Botanical Name: Solanum scabrum
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. scabrum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales

Synonyms: S. intrusum. S. melanocerasum. All. S. scabrum.

Common Name: Garden Huckleberry

Habitat: The origin of the species is uncertain, although Linnaeus attributed it to Africa, but it also occurs in North America, and is naturalized in many countries. In Africa it is cultivated as a leaf vegetable and for dye from the berries. It grows in cultivated bed.

Description:
Solanum scabrum is an annual or short-lived perennial herb to 1 m tall, hairless or sparsely hairy. The leaves are usually ovate, 7–12 cm long and 5–8 cm wide, with petioles 1.5–7 cm long. The inflorescence is simple or sometimes branched with 9–12 flowers. The white corolla is stellate, 15–20 mm diam., and sometimes tinged purple and with yellow/green basal star. The berries are globular, 10–17 mm diam., purple-black. The seeds are 1.8–2.2 mm long, pale or stained purple.

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It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils. Dislikes shade. Caterpillars and slugs are particularly fond of this plant and can totally destroy it. This is a cultivated form of S. nigrum, grown for its edible fruit. There is at least one named form. See notes about possible toxicity at the top of this page. There is some disagreement among taxonomists as to the correct name of this plant. It is also listed as S. melanocerasum. Grows well with clover. Does not grow well with wormwood or white mustard and, when these plants are growing Closely related to S. nigra, they increase its content of toxic alkaloids.
Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ. The seed can also be sown in a greenhouse during the spring if required since this will normally produce larger crops of fruit. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant out in late spring.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Leaves.

Solanum scabrum is grown as an edible leaf crop in Africa. It is the most intensively cultivated species for leaf cropping within the Solanum nigrum complex, and as such has undergone genetic selection by farmers for leaf size and other characteristics.

Fruit – cooked.. Used in preserves, jams and pies. A pleasant musky taste. Only the fully ripe fruits should be used, the unripe fruits contain the toxin solanine. Often cooked with some baking soda first in order to remove any bitterness. The fruit contains about 2.5% protein, 0.6% fat, 5.6% carbohydrate, 1.2% ash. The fruit is up to 12mm in diameter. Young leaves and new shoots – raw or cooked as a potherb or added to soups.

Medicinal Uses:

Antiperiodic; Antiphlogistic; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Narcotic; Purgative.

The whole plant is antiperiodic, antiphlogistic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, narcotic, purgative and sedative. It is harvested in the autumn when both flowers and fruit are upon the plant, and is dried for later use. Use with caution, see notes above on toxicity. The leaves, stems and roots are used in the treatment of cancerous sores, leucoderma and wounds. Extracts of the plant are analgesic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and vasodilator. The plant has been used in the manufacture of locally analgesic ointments and the juice of the fruit has been used as an analgesic for toothaches.

Other Uses:
Dye:
In Africa a stocky form of Solanum scabrum is cultivated as a dye crop using the ripe berries.

Known Hazards: There is a lot of disagreement over whether or not the leaves or fruit of this plant are poisonous. Views vary from relatively poisonous to perfectly safe to eat. The plant is cultivated as a food crop, both for its fruit and its leaves, in some parts of the world and it is probably true to say that toxicity can vary considerably according to where the plant is grown and the cultivar that is being grown. The unripe fruit contains the highest concentration of toxins
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanum_scabrum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Solanum+scabrum

Rosa Canina

Botanical Name:Rosa Canina
Family:Rosaceae
Subfamily: Rosoideae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division:
Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Genus: Rosa
Species: R. canina

Comon Name:Rosehip,  Dog rose

Etymology:
The name ‘dog’ has a disparaging meaning in this context, indicating ‘worthless’ (by comparison with cultivated garden roses) (Vedel & Lange 1960). It was used in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to treat the bite of rabid dogs, hence the name “dog rose” arose. (It is also possible that the name derives from “dag,” a shortening of “dagger,” in reference to the long thorns of the plant.) Other old folk names include rose briar (also spelt brier), briar rose, dogberry, herb patience, sweet briar, wild briar, witches’ briar, and briar hip.

*In Turkish, its name is ku?burnu, which translates as “bird nose.”
*In Swedish, its name is stenros, which translates to “stone rose.”
*In Norwegian, its name is steinnype, which translates to “stone hip.”
*In Danish, , its name is hunderose, which translates as “dog rose.”
*In Azeri, its name is itburunu, which translates as “dog nose.”

Habitat: Rosa Canina is native to Europe, including Britain, from Norway south and east to N. Africa and southwest Asia. It grows in the hedges, scrub, woods, roadsides, banks etc.

 

Description:
It is a fast growing deciduous shrub normally ranging in height from 1-5 m, though sometimes it can scramble higher into the crowns of taller trees. Its stems are covered with small, sharp, hooked spines, which aid it in climbing. The leaves are pinnate, with 5-7 leaflets. The flowers are usually pale pink, but can vary between a deep pink and white. They are 4-6 cm diameter with five petals, and mature into an oval 1.5-2 cm red-orange fruit, or hip.

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The branches bearing two inch (5cm) wide white to pale pink flowers in June followed by glossy red egg-shaped hips in autumn. These are good for rose-hip syrup, or provide excellent bird food in winter.

Invasive species
Dog rose is an invasive species in the high country of New Zealand. It was recognised as displacing native vegetation as early as 1895 although the Department of Conservation do not consider it to be a conservation threat.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a circumneutral soil and a sunny position with its roots in the shade. When grown in deep shade it usually fails to flower and fruit.  Succeeds in wet soils but dislikes water-logged soils or very dry sites. Tolerates maritime exposure. The fruit attracts many species of birds, several gall wasps and other insects use the plant as a host A very polymorphic species, it is divided into a great number of closely related species by some botanists. The leaves, when bruised, have a delicious fragrance. The flowers are also fragrant. Grows well with alliums, parsley, mignonette and lupins. Garlic planted nearby can help protect the plant from disease and insect predation. Grows badly with boxwood. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed. Rose seed often takes two years to germinate. This is because it may need a warm spell of weather after a cold spell in order to mature the embryo and reduce the seedcoat[80]. One possible way to reduce this time is to scarify the seed and then place it for 2 – 3 weeks in damp peat at a temperature of 27 – 32°c (by which time the seed should have imbibed). It is then kept at 3°c for the next 4 months by which time it should be starting to germinate. Alternatively, it is possible that seed harvested ‘green’ (when it is fully developed but before it has dried on the plant) and sown immediately will germinate in the late winter. This method has not as yet(1988) been fully tested. Seed sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame sometimes germinates in spring though it may take 18 months. Stored seed can be sown as early in the year as possible and stratified for 6 weeks at 5°c. It may take 2 years to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Plant out in the summer if the plants are more than 25cm tall, otherwise grow on in a cold frame for the winter and plant out in late spring. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July in a shaded frame. Overwinter the plants in the frame and plant out in late spring[78]. High percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth. Select pencil thick shoots in early autumn that are about 20 – 25cm long and plant them in a sheltered position outdoors or in a cold frame[78, 200]. The cuttings can take 12 months to establish but a high percentage of them normally succeed. Division of suckers in the dormant season. Plant them out direct into their permanent positions. Layering. Takes 12 months

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Flowers; Fruit; Seed.
Edible Uses: Coffee; Tea.

Fruit – raw or cooked. It can be used in making delicious jams, syrups etc. The syrup is used as a nutritional supplement, especially for babies[238]. The fruit can also be dried and used as a tea. Frost softens and sweetens the flesh. The fruit is up to 30mm in diameter, but there is only a thin layer of flesh surrounding the many seeds. Some care has to be taken when eating this fruit, see the notes above on known hazards. The seed is a good source of vitamin E, it can be ground and mixed with flour or added to other foods as a supplement. Be sure to remove the seed hairs. The dried leaves are used as a tea substitute. A coffee substitute according to another report. Petals – raw or cooked. The base of the petal may be bitter so is best removed. Eaten as a vegetable in China. The petals are also used to make an unusual scented jam

Medicinal Uses:
The petals, hips and galls are astringent, carminative, diuretic, laxative, ophthalmic and tonic. The hips are taken internally in the treatment of colds, influenza, minor infectious diseases, scurvy, diarrhoea and gastritis. A syrup made from the hips is used as a pleasant flavouring in medicines and is added to cough mixtures. A distilled water made from the plant is slightly astringent and is used as a lotion for delicate skins. The seeds have been used as a vermifuge. The plant is used in Bach flower remedies – the keywords for prescribing it are ‘Resignation’ and ‘Apathy’. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers. Ascorbic acid in Dog Rose shells (vitamin C, 0.2 to 2.4%).

The hips yield ascorbic acid and are of the greatest value when given to young children. Rosehip tea has a mild diuretic and tonic effect, and the fresh petals can be made into a delicate jam. Rose hips are rich in Vitamin C and are traditionally made into conserves and puries. They were collected from the wild during World War II when citrus fruit was scarce. They will help the body’s defenses against infections and especially the development of colds. They make an excellent spring tonic and aid in general debility and exhaustion. They will help in cases of constipation and mild gall-bladder problems as well as conditions of the kidney and bladder. One of the best tonics for old dogs. Dog rose hips reduce thirst and alleviate gastric inflammation. The hips are taken internally in the treatment of colds, influenza, minor infectious diseases, scurvy, diarrhea and gastritis. A syrup made from the hips is used as a pleasant flavoring in medicines and is added to cough mixtures. A distilled water made from the plant is slightly astringent and is used as a lotion for delicate skins. The seeds have been used as a vermifuge. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bioactive compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.

Other Uses:
Plants make a dense and stock-proof hedge, especially when trimmed. 

Dog rose in culture
The dog rose was the stylized rose of Medieval European heraldry, and is still used today. It is also the county flower of Hampshire.

Known Hazards: There is a layer of hairs around the seeds just beneath the flesh of the fruit. These hairs can cause irritation to the mouth and digestive tract if ingested.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosa_canina
http://www.bucknur.com/acatalog/product_10286.html
http://www.actahort.org/books/690/690_13.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rosa+canina
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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Tea and Coffee are Key to Long Life

Want to live a long and healthy life? Make sure you eat chocolate, and drink tea and coffee in moderation daily, says a leading nutritional scientist.

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Yes, according to Prof Gary Williamson of University of Leeds, chocolate, tea and coffee are among some key foods and beverages needed to live a long and healthy life, British newspaper ‘The Daily Telegraph‘ reported.

In fact, Prof Williamson has prepared a list of 20 “lifespan essential” foodstuffs — all are rich in naturally occurring chemicals, known as polyphenols, which have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including protection against heart disease.

And, these foods and drinks could also help to slow down the ageing process by helping to protect cells from the natural damage that occurs over time, he has suggested.

Prof Williamson said: “Epidemiology studies support the protective effects of polyphenol-rich foods. Lack of these components in the diet because of low intake of fruit and vegetables, increases the risk of chronic disease.

“This means that they are essential to fulfil the maximum individual lifespan, and so I propose that they are ‘lifespan essential’.

“Although they might not be essential for growth and development or the maintenance of major body functions, there is increasing knowledge concerning their potential for health maintenance or disease risk reduction throughout adulthood and during ageing.”

Even a recent study carried out by scientists in the US, Britain and Australia concluded that polyphenols can help protect against heart disease.

Sources: The Times Of India

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