Tag Archives: Cook

Feronia limonia

Botanical Name : Feronia limonia
Family: Rutaceae
Subfamily: Aurantioideae
Tribe: Citreae
Genus: Limonia
Species: L. acidissima
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms. Feronia elephantum, Feronia limonia, Hesperethusa crenulata, Schinus limonia

Common Names:
*Bengali) : bela, kait, kath bel
*(English) : curd fruit, elephant apple, monkey fruit, wood-apple
*(French) : citron des mois, pomme d’ elephant, pomme de bois
*(Hindi) : bilin, kait, katbel, kavitha
*(Lao (Sino-Tibetan)) : ma-fit
*(Malay) : belinggai, gelinggai
*(Thai) : ma-khwit
*Oriya: Kaitha
*Kannada: Belada Hannu / Byalada Hannu
*Telugu: Vellaga Pandu
*Tamil: Vilam Palam
*Khmer: Kvet
*Hindi: Kaitha  or Kath Bel.
*Gujarati: Kothu.
*Sinhalese: Divul.
*Marathi: KavaTH .
*Javanese: Kawis or Kawista
*Sanskrit: Kapittha, Dadhistha, Surabhicchada, Kapipriya, Dadhi, Pu?papahala , Dantas?tha, Phalasugandhika, Cirap?k?, Karabhith?, Kanti, Gandhapatra, Gr?hiphala, Kas?y?mlaphala.

Habitat : It is native in the Indomalaya ecozone to Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and in Indochinese ecoregion east to Java and the Malesia ecoregion.

Description:
Feronia limonia is a deciduous, slow-growing, erect tree with a few upward-reaching branches bending outward near the summit where they are subdivided into slender branchlets drooping at the tips. Bark ridged, fissured and scaly; spines sharp, 2-5 cm long on some of the zigzag twigs. Leaves alternate, 7.5-12.5 cm long, dark-green, leathery, often minutely toothed, blunt or notched at the apex, dotted with oil glands and slightly lemon-scented when crushed. Flowers dull-red or greenish, to 1.25 cm wide, borne in small, loose, terminal or lateral panicles. Fruit round to oval, 5-12.5 cm wide, with a hard, woody, greyish-white, scurfy rind about 6 mm thick, pulp brown, mealy, odorous, resinous, astringent, acid or sweetish, with numerous small, white seeds scattered through it. Feronia is a monotypic genus in the family Rutaceae. There are 2 forms, one with large, sweet fruits and the other with small,little showerish fruits.

CLICK  &  SEE  THE PICTURES

 

Edible Uses;
The fruit is eaten plain, blended into an assortment of drinks and sweets, or well-preserved as jam. The scooped-out pulp from its fruits is eaten uncooked with or without sugar, or is combined with coconut milk and palm-sugar syrup and drunk as a beverage, or frozen as an ice cream. It is also used in chutneys and for making Fruit preserves jelly and jam.

Indonesians beat the pulp of the ripe fruit with palm sugar and eat the mixture at breakfast. The sugared pulp is a foundation of sherbet in the subcontinent. Jam, pickle, marmalade, syrup, jelly, squash and toffee are some of the foods of this multipurpose fruit. Young bael leaves are a salad green in Thailand. Indians eat the pulp of the ripe fruit with sugar or jaggery. The ripe pulp is also used to make chutney. The raw pulp is varied with yoghurt and make into raita. The raw pulp is bitter in taste, while the ripe pulp would be having a smell and taste that’s a mixture of sourness and sweet.

Food Value :
A hundred gm of fruit pulp contains 31 gm of carbohydrate and two gm of protein, which adds up to nearly 140 calories. The ripe fruit is rich in beta-carotene, a precursor of Vitamin A; it also contains significant quantities of the B vitamins thiamine and riboflavin, and small amounts of Vitamin C.

Medicinal Uses:
The fruit is much used in India as a liver and cardiac tonic, and, when unripe, as an astringent means of halting diarrhea and dysentery and effective treatment for hiccough, sore throat and diseases of the gums. The pulp is poulticed onto bites and stings of venomous insects, as is the powdered rind.   Juice of young leaves is mixed with milk and sugar candy and given as a remedy for biliousness and intestinal troubles of children. The powdered gum, mixed with honey, is given to overcome dysentery and diarrhea in children.  Oil derived from the crushed leaves is applied on itch and the leaf decoction is given to children as an aid to digestion. Leaves, bark, roots and fruit pulp are all used against snakebite. The spines are crushed with those of other trees and an infusion taken as a remedy for menorrhagia. The bark is chewed with that of Barringtonia and applied on venomous wounds.

 

Other Uses:
Ornamental: F. limonia is planted as a roadside tree near villages. Boundary or barrier or support: The tree is cultivated along field boundaries.

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/Limonia_(plant)
http://www.worldagroforestrycentre.org/sea/products/afdbases/af/asp/SpeciesInfo.asp?SpID=18044
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
http://www.floracafe.com/Search_PhotoDetails.aspx?Photo=All&Id=1143

Advertisements

Hazelnut(Corylus avellana)

Botanical Name :Corylus avellana
Family: Betulaceae
Genus: Corylus
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fagales
Species: C. avellana
Common Names:  Hazelnut ,
Vernacular names:-
Cymraeg: Cneuen gyll
Dansk: Almindelig Hassel
Deutsch: Gemeine Hasel
Eesti: Harilik sarapuu
English: Common Hazel
Français: Noisetier
Italiano: Nocciolo
Magyar: Közönséges vagy európai mogyoró

Habitat :It is  native to Europe and western Asia, from the British Isles south to Iberia, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, north to central Scandinavia, and east to the central Ural Mountains, the Caucasus, and northwestern Iran.

Description:
Common hazel is typically a shrub reaching 3–8 m tall, but can reach 15 m. The leaves are deciduous, rounded, 6–12 cm long and across, softly hairy on both surfaces, and with a double-serrate margin. The flowers are produced very early in spring, before the leaves, and are monoecious with single-sex wind-pollinated catkins. Male catkins are pale yellow and 5–12 cm long, while female catkins are very small and largely concealed in the buds with only the bright red 1–3 mm long styles visible. The fruit is a nut, produced in clusters of one to five together, each nut held in a short leafy involucre (“husk”) which encloses about three quarters of the nut. The nut is roughly spherical to oval, 15–20 mm long and 12–20 mm broad (larger, up to 25 mm long, in some cultivated selections), yellow-brown with a pale scar at the base. The nut falls out of the involucre when ripe, about 7–8 months after pollination.

You click to see different pictures of Corylus avellana

It is readily distinguished from the closely related Filbert (Corylus maxima) by the short involucre; in the Filbert the nut is fully enclosed by a beak-like involucre longer than the nut.

You may click to see also List of Lepidoptera that feed on hazels :

The leaves provide food for many animals, including Lepidoptera such as the case-bearer moth Coleophora anatipennella. Caterpillars of the concealer moth Alabonia geoffrella have been found feeding inside dead Common Hazel twigs. The fruit are possibly even more important animal food, both for invertebrates adapted to circumvent the shell (usually by ovipositing in the female flowers, which also gives protection to the offspring) and for vertebrates which manage to crack them open (such as squirrels and corvids).

The scientific name avellana derives from the town of Avella in Italy, and was selected by Linnaeus from Leonhart Fuchs’s De historia stirpium commentarii insignes (1542), where the species was described as “Avellana nux sylvestris” (“wild nut of Avella”).

Common Hazel is cultivated for its nuts. The name hazelnut applies to the nuts of any of the species of the genus Corylus. This hazelnut or cob nut, the kernel of the seed, is edible and used raw or roasted, or ground into a paste. The cob is round, compared with the longer filbert nut.

The hazelnut is the nut, of the hazel and is also known as the cobnut. It is roughly spherical to oval, about 15–25 mm long and 10–15 mm in diameter, with an outer fibrous husk surrounding a smooth shell. The nut falls out of the husk when ripe, about 7–8 months after pollination. The kernel of the seed is edible and used raw or roasted, or ground into a paste. The seed has a thin, dark brown skin which has a bitter flavour and is sometimes removed before cooking.
.

There are many cultivars of the Hazel, including ‘Barcelona’, ‘Butler’, ‘Casina’, ‘Clark’ ‘Cosford’, ‘Daviana’, ‘Delle Langhe’, ‘England’, ‘Ennis’, Fillbert, ‘Halls Giant’, ‘Jemtegaard’, ‘Kent Cob’, ‘Lewis’, ‘Tokolyi’, ‘Tonda Gentile’, ‘Tonda di Giffoni’, ‘Tonda Romana’, ‘Wanliss Pride’, and ‘Willamette’.[8] Some of these are grown for specific qualities of the nut including large nut size, and early and late fruiting cultivars, whereas other are grown as pollinators. The majority of commercial Hazelnuts are propagated from root sprouts. Some cultivars are of hybrid origin between Common Hazel and Filbert.

Hazelnuts, with shell (left), without shell (right)
Common Hazel is cultivated for its nuts in commercial orchards in Europe, Turkey, Iran and Caucasus. The name “hazelnut” applies to the nuts of any of the species of the genus Corylus. This hazelnut or cobnut, the kernel of the seed, is edible and used raw or roasted, or ground into a paste. The seed has a thin, dark brown skin which has a bitter flavour and is sometimes removed before cooking. The top producer of hazelnuts, by a large margin, is Turkey, specifically the [[ORDU Province]. Turkish hazelnut production of 625,000 tonnes accounts for approximately 75% of worldwide production.

Cultivation:
The Common Hazel is a shrub common in many European woodlands. It is an important component of the hedgerows that were the traditional field boundaries in lowland England. The wood was traditionally grown as coppice, the poles cut being used for wattle-and-daub building and agricultural fencing.

Medicinal Uses:
Hazelnuts are rich in protein and unsaturated fat. Moreover, they contain significant amounts of thiamine and vitamin B6, as well as smaller amounts of other B vitamins. Additionally, 1 cup (237 ml) of hazelnut flour has 20 g of carbohydrates, 12 g of which are fibre.

Hazelnut oil is a good carrier oil in aromatherapy applications, it has a slightly astringent action that is good for all skin types. The name “hazelnut” applies to the nuts of any of the species of the genus Corylus. This hazelnut or cobnut, the kernel of the seed, is edible and used raw or roasted, or ground into a paste.  Hazelnuts are extensively used in confectionery, hazelnut butter is being promoted as a more nutritious spread than its peanut butter counterpart, though it has a higher fat content.

Yellow color contains vitamins, minerals, protein slightly astringent, good for all skin types. Absorbed quickly into the skin, it has tonifying and astringent action. Good for those with slightly oily skins, dry, devitalized, or sun damaged. A lovely carrier oil for aromatherapy skin care blends.

They are under the dominion of Mercury. The parted kernels made into an electuary, or the milk drawn from the kernels with mead or honeyed water, is very good to help an old cough; and being parched, and a little pepper put to them and drank, digests the distillations of rheum from the head. The dried husks and shells, to the weight of two drams, taken in red wine, stays lasks and women’s courses, and so doth the red skin that covers the kernels, which is more effectual to stay women’s courses.

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/Corylus_avellana
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail83.php
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Corylus_avellana
http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Corylus_avellana

Enhanced by Zemanta

Some Useful Household Tips

Ants Problem:
Keep the skin of cucumbers near the place or ant hole.

To get pure and clean ice:
Boil water first before freezing.

To make the mirror shine:
Clean with spirit

To remove chewing gum from clothes:
Keep the cloth in the freezer for an hour.

To whiten white clothes
Soak white clothes in hot water with a slice of lemon for 10 minutes 10

To give a shine to hair:
Add one teaspoon of vinegar to hair, then wash hair.

To get maximum juice out of lemons:
Soak lemons in hot water for one hour, and then juice them.

To avoid smell of cabbage while cooking:
Keep a piece of bread on the cabbage in the vessel while cooking.

To rid the smell of fish from your hands:
Wash your hands with a little apple vinegar.

To avoid tears while cutting onions:
Chew gum.

To boil potatoes quickly:
Skin one potato from one side only before boiling.

To boil eggs quickly:
Add salt to the water and boil.

To check freshness of fish:
Put it in a bowl of cold water. If the fish floats, it’s fresh.

To check freshness of eggs:
Put the egg in water. If it becomes horizontal, it’s fresh. If it becomes slanting, its 3-4 days old. If it becomes vertical, its 10 days old. If it floats, it’s stale.

To remove ink from clothes:
Put toothpaste on the ink spots generously and let it dry completely, then wash.

To skin sweet potatoes quickly:
Soak in cold water immediately after boiling.

To get rid of mice or rats:
Sprinkle black pepper in places where you find mice or rats. They will run away.

To get rid of mosquitoes at night:
Keep leaves of mint near your bed or pillows and in around the room.

Sources:Internet site

Enhanced by Zemanta

Kalmi (Ipomoea reptans)

N Ipoa D1600.

Image via Wikipedia

Botanical Name:Ipomoea reptans
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Ipomoea subgenus
Genus:    Ipomoea
Species:    I. aquatica
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Solanales
Vernacular names: Kangkong, kangkung, water convolvulus, water spinach, swamp spinach, swamp morning glory (En). Kangkong, liseron d’eau, patate aquatique (Fr). Cancon, batata aquática (Po). Mriba wa ziwa (Sw).

In Bengal  it is called Kalmi

Habitat :Ipomoea aquatica is widespread as a swamp weed in all tropical and many subtropical lowland areas. It is a declared aquatic or terrestrial noxious weed in the south-eastern United States. It occurs in nearly all countries of tropical Africa, from Mauritania and Senegal, east to Eritrea and Somalia, and south to South Africa, and also in the Indian Ocean islands. It is a popular cultivated vegetable in South-East Asia and southern China, but is rare in India. It is known as a leafy vegetable in tropical America, where people of Asian origin cultivate it. It is grown on a small scale under protected cultivation in France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands for Vietnamese, Thai and Indonesian clients. In tropical Africa it is reported as a collected wild vegetable in Benin, DR Congo, Kenya and Tanzania. Asian cultivars are occasionally grown on a small scale for the Asian clientele near big cities. Kangkong can be found in market gardens, e.g. in Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria.

DESCRIPTION: Water spinach is an herbaceous trailing vine that dwells in muddy stream banks, freshwater ponds, and marshes. This perennial aquatic vine is confined to the tropics and subtropics zones because it is susceptible to frosts and does not grow well when temperatures are below 23.9 C. Water spinach can reproduce sexually by producing one to four seeds in fruiting capsules or vegetatively by stem fragmentation. It is a member of the “morning-glory” family.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES..>….(01)...(1).....(2).…....(3).…..(4)....(5).
Flowers: Funnel shaped, solitary or in few flowered clusters at leaf axils, two inches wide, pink to white in color, and darker in the throat (rarely nearly white).

Leaves: Arrowhead shaped, alternate, one to six inches long, and one to three inches wide

Stems: Vine like, trailing, with milky sap and roots at the nodes; usually to 9 ft. long but can be much longer.

Fruit: An oval or spherical capsule, woody at maturity, 1 cm long, holding 1 to 4 grayish seeds.

History:
The first historical record of W ater spinach is of its cultivation as a vegetable during the Chin Dynasty around 300 A.D. Native to India and Southeast Asia, but widely cultivated and naturalized in Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Islands, and South America. This aquatic vine is rich in iron, making it an ancient remedy for anemia. So people emigrating from Asian regions understandably wanted to take this nutritious vegetable along for use in traditional recipes. It is unclear when this plant was introduced in the United States, but this invasive and aggressive plant poses a serious threat to waterways in the Southern United States. W ater spinach has been introduced repeatedly to Florida waters since 1973, despite its state and federal listing as a prohibited plant and noxious weed.

Uses:-
Young shoots and leaves of water spinach are collected for use as a leafy vegetable. Often the whole above-ground plant part of cultivated water spinach , including the tender hollow stems, is consumed. Water spinatch can be stir-fried, steamed, boiled for a few minutes or lightly fried in oil and eaten in various dishes. It is often mixed with hot peppers and garlic, and prepared with meat or fish. In Asia the leaves are sometimes separated from the stems, and the stems are cooked a bit longer. In Africa only the leaves of wild plants are consumed, the stems are removed. The roots are occasionally eaten. Wild kangkong is often collected as fodder for cattle and pigs.

In Indonesia, kangkong or water spinach  is traditionally given at dinner to young children to make them quiet and help them sleep well. In Asia it is used in traditional medicine. The sap is used as an emetic, purgative and sedative, and flower buds are applied to ringworm. In Sri Lanka kangkong is used to treat diabetes mellitus.

Properties:
The nutritional composition of raw kangkong per 100 g edible portion is: water 92.5 g, energy 80 kJ (19 kcal), protein 2.6 g, fat 0.2 g, carbohydrate 3.1 g, dietary fibre 2.1 g, Ca 77 mg, Mg 71 mg, P 39 mg, Fe 1.7 mg, Zn 0.2 mg, vitamin A 6300 IU, thiamin 0.03 mg, riboflavin 0.10 mg, niacin 0.90 mg, folate 57 ?g, ascorbic acid 55 mg (USDA, 2002). The nutritional value of leaf-blades is higher than that of petioles and stems; unfortunately, sources do not state whether stems and leaves or leaves only were analysed. Accumulation of heavy metals in kangkong has been reported for Asia because the plants often grow in polluted water.

Medicinal Uses:
Kangkong showed oral hypoglycaemic activity in tests with diabetic humans and rats; it was shown that an aqueous leaf extract can be as effective as tolbutamide in reducing blood glucose levels.

Health risk:
If harvested from contaminated areas, and eaten raw, I. aquatica may transmit Fasciolopsis buski, an intestinal fluke parasite of humans and pigs, causing fasciolopsiasis.

Study in animals;
Studies conducted with pregnant diabetes-induced rats have shown a blood sugar-lowering effect of Ipomoea aquatica by inhibiting the intestinal absorption of glucose.

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.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?20218
http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20o?search=Ipomoea+aquatica&guide=North_American_Invasives
http://database.prota.org/PROTAhtml/Ipomoea%20aquatica_En.htm
.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Okra

Okra growing in a Sub-urban garden

Image via Wikipedia

Botanical Name:Abelmoschus esculentus
Family: Malvaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malvales
Genus: Abelmoschus
synonym: Hibiscus esculentus L.

Other Names:
Okra, Okro, Ochro, Okoro, Quimgombo (Cuba), Quingumbo, Ladies Fingers,gombo, quingombo, Gombo, Kopi Arab, Kacang Bendi, Bhindi (S. Asia), Bendi (Malaysia), Bamia, Bamya or Bamieh (middle east), Gumbo (Southern USA), Quiabo, Quiabos (Portugal and Angola), okura (Japan), qiu kui (Taiwan),in India it is bhindi,eastern Mediterranean and Arab countries bamies.

Parts Used: Immature pods

Etymology, origin and distribution
The name “okra” is of West African origin . In various Bantu languages, okra is called “kingombo” or a variant thereof, and this is the origin of its name in Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and French. The Arabic “bemyah” is the basis of the names in the Middle East, the Balkans, Turkey, Greece, North Africa and Russia. In Southern Asia, its name is usually a variant of “bhindi” or “vendi.”

The species apparently originated in the Ethiopian Highlands, though the manner of distribution from there is undocumented. The Egyptians and Moors of the 12th and 13th centuries used the Arab word for the plant, suggesting that it had come from the east. The plant may thus have been taken across the Red Sea or the Bab-el-Mandeb strait to the Arabian Peninsula, rather than north across the Sahara. One of the earliest accounts is by a Spanish Moor who visited Egypt in 1216, who described the plant under cultivation by the locals who ate the tender, young pods with meal.

From Arabia, the plant spread around the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and eastward. The lack of a word for okra in the ancient languages of India suggests that it arrived there in the Common Era. The plant was introduced to the Americas by ships plying the Atlantic slave trade by 1658, when its presence was recorded in Brazil. It was further documented in Suriname in 1686. Okra may have been introduced to the southeastern North America in the early 18th century and gradually spread. It was being grown as far north as Philadelphia by 1748, while Thomas Jefferson noted that it was well established in Virginia by 1781. It was commonplace throughout the southern United States by 1800 and the first mention of different cultivars was in 1806

Description:
Okra is a member of the Mallow family, related to cotton, hibiscus and hollyhock. It has heart shaped leaves (one species is cultivated for its edible leaves), and large, yellow, hibiscus-like flowers.
The species is an annual or perennial, growing to 2 m tall. The leaves are 10–20 cm long and broad, palmately lobed with 5–7 lobes. The flowers are 4–8 cm diameter, with five white to yellow petals, often with a red or purple spot at the base of each petal. The fruit is a capsule up to 18 cm long, containing numerous seeds.

click to see the pictures….>….(01)...(1).....(2).…..(3)…..(4).…..(5)..…..(6).

It is a tall-growing, warm-season, annual vegetable from the same family as hollyhock, rose of Sharon and hibiscus. The pods, when cut, exude a mucilaginous juice that is used to thicken stews (gumbo), and have a flavor somewhat like a cross between asparagus and eggplant.

Cultivation:
Abelmoschus esculentus is among the most heat- and drought-tolerant vegetable species in the world. It will tolerate poor soils with heavy clay and intermittent moisture. Severe frost can damage the pods.
It is an annual crop in the southern United States.

Recommended Varieties :
Annie Oakley (hybrid; 52 days to harvest; compact plant; extra tender pods)

Dwarf Green Long Pod (52 days; ribbed pods)

Clemson Spineless (56 days; AAS winner)

In cultivation, the seeds are soaked overnight prior to planting to a depth of 1-2 cm. Germination occurs between six days (soaked seeds) and three weeks. Seedlings require ample water. The seed pods rapidly become fibrous and woody and must be harvested within a week of the fruit being pollinated to be edible.

The products of the plant are mucilaginous, resulting in the characteristic “goo” when the seed pods are cooked. In order to avoid this effect, okra pods are often stir fried, so the moisture is cooked away, or paired with slightly acidic ingredients, such as citrus or tomatoes. The cooked leaves are also a powerful soup thickener.

Based on the rising experiences with its country cousin, kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus), okra could, at least in principle, have a future producing yet more things that are strange for a vegetable crop, including:

*Construction materials: Kenaf-blend panels are said to perform better than the present particleboard.

*Handicrafts: Kenaf fiber makes excellent mats, hats, baskets, and more.

*Forage: Chopping up the whole kenaf plant and feeding it to animals has proven successful.

*Fuel: Kenaf roots and stems burn fiercely.

Uses:
Abelmoschus esculentus is cultivated throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions of the world for its fibrous fruits or pods containing round, white seeds. The fruits are harvested when immature and eaten as a vegetable.

The immature pods are used for soups, canning and stews or as a fried or boiled vegetable. The hibiscus like flowers and upright plant (3 to 6 feet or more in height) have ornamental value for backyard gardens.

A traditional food plant in Africa, this little-known vegetable has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare.

In Egypt, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Yemen, and other parts of the eastern Mediterranean, okra is widely used in a thick stew made with vegetables and meat. In Indian cooking, it is sauteed or added to gravy-based preparations and is very popular in South India. In Caribbean islands okra is cooked up and eaten as soup, often with fish. In Haiti, it is cooked with rice and maize; it is also used as a sauce for meat. It became a popular vegetable in Japanese cuisine toward the end of the 20th century, served with soy sauce and katsuobushi or as tempura. It is used as a thickening agent in gumbo. Breaded, deep fried okra is served in the southern United States. The immature pods may also be pickled.

click to see

Okra leaves may be cooked in a similar manner as the greens of beets or dandelions. The leaves are also eaten raw in salads. Okra seeds may be roasted and ground to form a non-caffeinated substitute for coffee. As imports were disrupted by the American Civil War in 1861, the Austin State Gazette noted, “An acre of okra will produce seed enough to furnish a plantation of fifty negroes with coffee in every way equal to that imported from Rio.

click to see

Okra forms part of several regional “signature” dishes. Frango com quiabo (chicken with okra) is a Brazilian dish that is especially famous in the region of Minas Gerais. Gumbo, a hearty stew whose key ingredient is okra, is found throughout the Gulf Coast of the United States and in the South Carolina Lowcountry. The word “gumbo” is based on the Central Bantu word for okra, “kigombo”, via the Caribbean Spanish “guingambó” or “quimbombó”. It is also an expected ingredient in callaloo, a Caribbean dish and the national dish of Trinidad & Tobago. Okra is also enjoyed in Nigeria where okra soup (Draw soup) is a special delicacy with Garri(eba) or akpu.

click to see

In Vietnam, okra is the important ingredient in the dish canh chua.

Mature okra is used to make rope and paper! (Avoid those old woody pods!).

Medicinal Uses:
Nutrition:
Okra is a good source of vitamin C and A, also B complex vitamins, iron and calcium. It is low in calories, a good source of dietary fiber, and is fat-free.

Okra oil is a pressed seed oil, extracted from the seeds of the okra. The greenish yellow edible oil has a pleasant taste and odor, and is high in unsaturated fats such as oleic acid and linoleic acid. The oil content of the seed is quite high at about 40%. Oil yields from okra crops are also high. At 794 kg/ha, the yield was exceeded only by that of sunflower oil in one trial.

Unspecified parts of the plant reportedly possess diuretic properties.

Contains male contraceptive gossypol.

According to Sylvia W. Zook, Ph.D. (nutritionist) Okra has several benefits.

1. The superior fiber found in okra helps to stabilize blood sugar by curbing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract.

2. Okra’s mucilage binds cholesterol and bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver.

3. Okra helps lubricate the large intestines due to its bulk laxative qualities. The okra fiber absorbs water and ensures bulk in stools. This helps prevent and improve constipation. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, okra’s mucilage soothes, and okra facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic. Okra binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids). These, if not evacuated, will cause numerous health problems. Okra also assures easy passage out of waste from the body. Okra is completely non-toxic, non-habit forming, has no adverse side effects, is full of nutrients, and is economically within reach of most unlike the OTC drugs.

4. Okra fiber is excellent for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics). This contributes to the health of the intestinal tract.

5. Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression.

6. Okra is used for healing ulcers and to keep joints limber. It helps to neutralize acids, being very alkaline, and provides a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract.

7. Okra treats lung inflammation, sore throat, and irritable bowel.

8. In India, okra has been used successfully in experimental blood plasma replacements.

To retain most of okra’s nutrients and self-digesting enzymes, it should be cooked as little as possible, e.g. with low heat or lightly steamed. Some eat it raw.

Specific Ailments:-

Acid Reflux and Constipation
A person, suffering from constipation for the past 20 years and recently from acid reflux, started eating 6 pieces of Okra. Since then, has not taken any other medication. Now, his blood sugar has dropped from 135 to 98 and his cholesterol and acid reflux are also under control.

Asthma
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. This anti-inflammatory activity may curtail the development of asthma symptoms. A large preliminary study has shown that young children with asthma experience significantly less wheezing if they eat a diet high in fruits rich in vitamin C. 1/2 cup of cooked Okra contains over 13 mg of vitamin C.

Atherosclerosis
Diets high in insoluble fiber, such as those containing okra, are associated with protection against heart disease in both men and women.

Cancer
The insoluble fiber found in Okra helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy, decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colo-rectal cancer.

Capillary fragility
Eating plenty of flavonoid and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables such as okra helps to support the structure of capillaries.

Cataracts
1/2 cup of cooked okra contains 460 IU of vitamin A. Some studies have reported that eating more foods rich in beta-carotene or vitamin A was associated with a lower risk of cataracts.

Cholesterol
A study (JAMA July 23, 2003) showed that consuming a “dietary portfolio” of vegetarian foods lowered cholesterol nearly as well as the prescription drug lovastatin (Mevacor). The diet was rich in soluble fiber from oats, barley, psyllium, eggplant and okra. It used soy substitutes instead of meat and milk and included almonds and cholesterol-lowering margarine (such as Take Control) every day.

Depression and Lack of Energy
Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression.

High homocysteine
A controlled trial showed that eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables containing folic acid, beta-carotene, and vitamin C effectively lowered homocysteine levels. Healthy people were assigned to either a diet containing a pound of fruits and vegetables per day, or to a diet containing 3 1/2 ounces (99g) of fruits and vegetables per day. After four weeks, those eating the higher amount of fruits and vegetables had an 11 percent lower homocysteine level compared to those eating the lower amount of fruits and vegetables. Okra is a storehouse of vitamins and folic acid.

Multiple sclerosis (MS)
In one survey, researchers gathered information from nearly 400 people (half with MS) over three years. They found that consumption of vegetable protein, fruit juice, and foods rich in vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, and potassium correlated with a decreased MS risk.

Click & read……..>To deliver drugs, try veggies

Known Hazards  : The hairs on the seed pods can be an irritant to some people and gloves should be worn when harvesting. These hairs can be easily removed by washing.

Known Hazards :  The hairs on the seed pods can be an irritant to some people and gloves should be worn when harvesting. These hairs can be easily removed by washing.

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/Okra#cite_note-tamu-1
http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/veggies/okra1.html
http://www.foodreference.com/html/artokra.html
http://www.holisticonline.com/herbal-med/_Herbs/h_okra.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Abelmoschus+esculentus