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Herbs & Plants

Lablab purpureus

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Botanical Name : Dolichos lablab
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Lablab
Species: L. purpureus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms :  Lablab purpureus L. Sweet; Dolichos lablab L; Dolichos purpureus L; Dolichos lablab ssp ensiformis Thunb; Dolichos cultratus Thunb; Dolichos bengalensis Jacq; Dolichos lablab var; hortensis Schweinf & Muschler; Dolichos albus Lour; Dolichos uniflorus; Dolichos lablab ssp bengalensis Jacq; Lablab niger Medik; Lablab vulgaris Savi; Lablab leucocarpos Davi; Lablab purpureus ssp purpureus Verdc; Lablab vulgaris var; niger DC; Lablab purpureus ssp uncinatus Verdc; Lablab perennans DC; Lablab nankinicus Savi; Lablab purpureus ssp bengalensis (Jacq.) Verdc.

Common Names : Dolichos bean, Hyacinth bean, Bonavist bean, Seim bean, Lablab bean, Egyptian kidney bean, Indian bean, Common bean, Field bean, Pendal bean, Pole bean, Waby bean (English); Avare, Chapparadavare, Chikkadikai (Kannada, India); Avari, Mochai (Tamil, India); Anumulu, Chikkudu (Telugu, India); Avara, Mochakotta (Malayalam, India); Sem, Ballar (Hindi, India); Shim (Bengali, India); Val (Gujarathi, India); Pavta, Wal (Marathi, India); Sin bean (Assam, India); Agni guango ahura (Ivory coast); Australian pea, Bannabees (Guyana); Batao, Batau, Beglau, Parda, Agaya, Itab (Philippines); Bounavista pea, Seim bean, Sem (Trinidad); Bunabis (Grenada.); Butter bean (Bah., Dom., Guy.); Caraota Chivata (Venzula); Chiancha Japanese (Spain); Chimbolo Verde (Costa Rica); Dauvan, Dall van (Vietnam); Dolic (d’ Egypte), Ataque, D. du Soudan, Feved Egypte (France); F, Cabellero (Salvador); Frijol bocon, F chileno (Peru); F.de la tierra (Cuba); Fuji-mame (Japan); Gallinazo blanco (Venezuela); Gallinita (Mexico); O- cala, Amora guaya, Gerenga (Ethiopia); Gueshrangaig (Egypt); Haricot cutelinho (Portugal); Helmbohne (Germany); Kashrengeig (Sudan); Kachang Kara, Kara-Kara, Kekara (Malaysia); Kerara (Indonesia); Fiwi bean, Kikuyu bean (East Africa); Cumandiata, Labe-labe (Brazil); Lubia bean (Ethopia, Sudan); Macape (Malag); Macululu (Angola); Pe-gyi (Burma); Tonga bean, Papaya bean, Poor man bean (Australia); Poroto bombero (Chile); P.de Egipto (Argentina); Tua nang. T. pab, T. pep (Thailand); P.contor, P.coolis, P.dum sou, P.en tout temps, P.indien (Mauritius); Macululu (Angola); Louria (Cyprus).

Habitat :Lablab purpureus grows  throughout the tropics, especially in Africa, India and Indonesia.It is a  traditional food plant in Africa,

Description:
Lablab bean is a twining vine with leaflets in threes and showy bright purple flowers and pods. In frostfree areas the vine becomes woody and can reach more than 30 ft (9 m) in length. In zones 9 and colder, the vine remains herbaceous and rarely exceeds 10 ft (3 m). The leaflets are purplish green, broad oval or triangular in shape and 3-6 in (7.6-15.2 cm) long. The flowers are pealike, a rich, brilliant purple and arranged in loose clusters on long stems that extend above the foliage. The pods are just as showy as the flowers. They are flat and curved, about 3 in (7.6 cm) long and bright purple. The beans inside are dark colored with a conspicuous white hilum, the elongate scar on the edge of the bean where it was attached to the inside of the pod.

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Several cultivars have been selected including some with white flowers and pale green pods; some with red flowers; some with long, thin cylindrical pods; and some dwarf forms. Some cultivars are grown primarily for the pods, some for the seeds, and some for roots. Some are day length neutral and some flower mainly as day length shortens.

Uses:
It is often grown as forage  and as an ornamental plant. In addition, this plant is also cited as a medicinal plant and a poisonous plant.
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In Maharashtra, a special spicy curry, known as vaala che birde , is often used during fasting festivals during Shravan month.

In the Telangana region of India, bean pods are cut into small pieces and cooked as spicy curry in Pongal festival season, along with bajra bread; it has been a very special delicacy for centuries.

In Hue, Vietnam, it is the main ingredient of the dish chè dau ván.

In Kenya, it is known as njahi, and is popular among the Kikuyu group. It is thought to encourage lactation and has historically been the main dish for breastfeeding mothers. Beans are boiled and mashed with ripe and/or semiripe bananas, giving the dish a sweet taste.

The leaves are used as greens, but have to be cooked like spinach and the water has to be discarded

Medicinal Uses:
Lablab purpureus is mild-and-lightly-warm-natured, tastes sweet.  It can tonify the spleen and stomach, relieve internal heat fever, relieve summer beat-and damp and remove dampness to stop diarrohea, etc.,  leukorrhea, with reddish discharge, infantile malnutrition and anti-cancer, etc.  The seeds are used to stimulate gastric activities, for vomiting and diarrhoea in acute gastro-enteritis, thirst in heat-stroke,  rheumatic arthritis, sunstroke, as an antidote against fish and vegetable poisoning and to treat colic and cholera.  The flowers are used to treat dysentery when there is pus and bloody stools, inflammation of the uterus and to increase menstrual flow.  Contraindicated in cases of intermittent fevers and chills, and in cold disorders.

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.floridata.com/ref/d/doli_lab.cfm
http://www.lablablab.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lablab_purpureus
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Broad Bean

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Botanical Name : Vicia faba
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Vicieae
Genus: Vicia
Species: V. faba
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales

Synonyms. : Faba vulgaris Moench, Faba bona Medik., Faba equina Medik.

Common Name :Broad Bean, Fava Bean, Field Bean, Bell Bean or Tic Bean

Habitat :Broad Bean is  native to north Africa and southwest Asia, and extensively cultivated elsewhere. A variety is provisionally recognized.

Does not occur in the wild. It was grown in ancient times (cultivated for 2-3 thousand years), but only by purposeful cultivation. In Russia, it has been cultivated since the 6th to 8th century. In the USSR, it was cultivated as basic fodder almost everywhere, but the cultivated area was not large (around 20 thousand hectares). The greatest areas of cultivation are in Byelorussia and Ukraine, the Baltic states, and the Altai region.

Description:
Annual plant. Taproot is strongly branched, penetrates to a depth of 80-150 cm. Colonies of nodule bacterium, which enrich soil with nitrogen, are formed on the roots. Stalk thick, strong, upright, bare or slightly pubescent, tetrahedral, hollow, 10-150 (200) cm tall, branching only at base. Leaves paripinnate, large, pulpy, without tendrils (the axil of leaf ends with soft cusp); with 1-4 pairs of leaflets, 4-8 x 2-4 cm, elliptical, glaucous-green (with a waxen bloom), bare; stipules up to 2 cm long, ovate-triangular, dentate, with nectaries. Peduncles 0.9-3 cm long. Flowers large, up to 3.5 cm long, 2-6 (12) per cluster. Calyx tubular, bare. Corolla white or pinkish with violet veins, spathes with a black maculae. Self-pollinator, but sometimes cross-pollinated. Fruit is a bean with 2-4-8 seeds. Beans very large, 5-10 (35) x 1.5-4 cm, oblate, cylindrical or oblong-cylindrical, pulpy, short pubescence, with bare sutures, green color when young, brown and black color when mature, coriaceous, on 1-4 in axil. Seeds 0.5 to 4 cm long, usually flat, oval, with lateral, pressed elliptical or linear scar, dark violet, red-brown, light yellow or green in color. The beans are differentiated by size: large seed grade (weight of 1000 seeds is 800-1300 g), middle seed grade (weight of 1000 seeds is 500-700 g) and small seed grade (weight of 1000 seeds is 200-450 g). Large seed grade is cultivated as a vegetable.

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Cultivation:
Broad beans have a long tradition of cultivation in Old World agriculture, being among the most ancient plants in cultivation and also among the easiest to grow. It is believed that along with lentils, peas, and chickpeas, they became part of the eastern Mediterranean diet in around 6000 BC or earlier. They are still often grown as a cover crop to prevent erosion, because they can over-winter and because as a legume, they fix nitrogen in the soil. These commonly cultivated plants can be attacked by fungal diseases, such as rust (Uromyces viciae-fabae) and chocolate spot (Botrytis fabae). It is also attacked by the black bean aphid (Aphis fabae).

The broad bean has high hardiness cvs. This means it can withstand rough climates, and in this case, cold ones. Unlike most legumes, the broad bean can be grown in soils with high salinity. However, it does prefer to grow in rich loams.

In much of the Anglophone world, the name broad bean is used for the large-seeded cultivars grown for human food, while horse bean and field bean refer to cultivars with smaller, harder seeds (more like the wild species) used for animal feed, though their stronger flavour is preferred in some human food recipes, such as falafel. The term fava bean (from the Italian fava, meaning “broad bean”) is sometimes used in English speaking countries, however the term broad bean is the most common name in the UK.

Culnilary Uses;
Broad beans are eaten while still young and tender, enabling harvesting to begin as early as the middle of spring for plants started under glass or over-wintered in a protected location, but even the main crop sown in early spring will be ready from mid to late summer. Horse beans, left to mature fully, are usually harvested in the late autumn. The young leaves of the plant can also be eaten either raw or cooked like spinach.

The beans can be fried, causing the skin to split open, and then salted and/or spiced to produce a savory crunchy snack. These are popular in China, Colombia, Peru (habas saladas), Mexico (habas con chile) and Thailand (where their name means “open-mouth nut”).

Broad bean purée with wild chicory is a typical Puglian dish in Italy.

In the Sichuan cuisine of China, broad beans are combined with soybeans and chili peppers to produce a spicy fermented bean paste called doubanjiang.

In most Arab countries, the fava bean is used for a breakfast dish called ful medames.

Fava beans are common in Latin American cuisines as well. In central Mexico, mashed fava beans are a common filling for many corn flour-based antojito snacks such as tlacoyos. In Colombia they are most often used whole in vegetable soups. Dried and salted fava beans are a popular snack in many Latin countries.

In Portugal, a fava bean (usually referred to as fava in Portuguese) is included in the bolo-rei (king cake), a Christmas cake. Traditionally, the person who gets fava has to buy the cake the following year.

In the Netherlands, they are traditionally eaten with fresh savory and some melted butter. When rubbed the velvet insides of the pods are a folk remedy against warts.

Broad beans are widely cultivated in the Kech and Panjgur districts of Balochistan Province in Pakistan, and in the eastern province of Iran. In the Balochi language, they are called bakalaink, and baghalee in Persian.

Medicinal  uses:     
Broad beans are rich in tyramine, and thus should be avoided by those taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors.

The ground dried beans have bee used to treat mouth sores. In New Mexico, a paste made of ground beans and hot water is applied to the chest and back as a treatment for pneumonia.

Raw broad beans contain the alkaloids vicine, isouramil and convicine, which can induce hemolytic anemia in patients with the hereditary condition glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD). This potentially fatal condition is called “favism” after the fava bean.

Broad beans are rich in L-dopa, a substance used medically in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. L-dopa is also a natriuretic agent, which might help in controlling hypertension.

Areas of origin of the bean correspond to malarial areas. There are epidemiological and in vitro studies which suggest that the hemolysis resulting from favism acts as protection from malaria, because certain species of malarial protozoa such as Plasmodium falcipacrum are very sensitive to oxidative damage due to deficiency of the glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase enzyme, which would otherwise protect from oxidative damage via production of glutathione reductase.

The seed testas contain condensed tannins of the proanthocyanidins type  that could have an inhibitory activity on enzymes

Medicinal Uses;
The ground dried beans have bee used to treat mouth sores. In New Mexico, a paste made of ground beans and hot water is applied to the chest and back as a treatment for pneumonia.

Other Uses;
*In ancient Greece and Rome, beans were used in voting; a white bean being used to cast a yes vote, and a black bean for no. Even today the word koukia  is used unofficially, referring to the votes.

*In Ubykh culture, throwing beans on the ground and interpreting the pattern in which they fall was a common method of divination (favomancy), and the word for “bean-thrower” in that language has become a generic term for seers and soothsayers in general.

*In Italy, broad beans are traditionally sown on November 2, All Souls Day. Small cakes made in the shape of broad beans (though not out of them) are known as fave dei morti or “beans of the dead”. According to tradition, Sicily once experienced a failure of all crops other than the beans; the beans kept the population from starvation, and thanks were given to Saint Joseph. Broad beans subsequently became traditional on Saint Joseph’s Day altars in many Italian communities. Some people carry a broad bean for good luck; some believe that if one carries a broad bean, one will never be without the essentials of life. In Rome, on the first of May, Roman families traditionally eat fresh fava beans with Pecorino Romano cheese during a daily excursion in the Campagna. In Northern Italy, on the contrary, fava beans are traditionally fed to animals and some people, especially the elderly, might frown on human consumption. But in Liguria, Northern Italy too, fava beans are loved like in Rome, and consumed fresh, alone or with fresh Pecorino Sardo or with local salami from Sant’Olcese. In some Central Italian regions was once popular and recently discovered again as a more fancy food the “bagiana” a soup of fresh or dried fava beans seasoned with onions and beet leaves stir fried, before being added to the soup, in olive oil and lard (or bacon or cured ham’s fat).

*In Portugal, a Christmas cake called Bolo Rei (“King cake”) is baked with a fava bean inside. Whoever eats the slice containing it, is supposed to buy next year’s cake.

*In ancient Greece and Rome, beans were used as a food for the dead, such as during the annual Lemuria festival.

*In some folk legends, such as in Estonia and the common Jack and the Beanstalk story, magical beans grow tall enough to bring the hero to the clouds.

*The Grimm Brothers collected a story in which a bean splits its sides laughing at the failure of others. Dreaming of a bean is sometimes said to be a sign of impending conflict, though others said that they caused bad dreams.

*Pliny claimed that they acted as a laxative.

*European folklore also claims that planting beans on Good Friday or during the night brings good luck.

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/Vicia_faba
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.agroatlas.ru/en/content/cultural/Vicia_faba_K/

http://digilander.libero.it/ipdid/photos-eng/vicia-faba—fava-bean.htm

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Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Ambarella(Spondias dulcis)

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Botanical Name :Spondias dulcis
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Spondias
Species: S. dulcis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Name:- Ambarella,Malay Apple,Golden Apple,Pomme cythere in Trinidad and Tobago, June plum in Jamaica, Juplon in Costa Rica, Jobo Indio in Venezuela, and Caja-manga in Brazil.
Hog Plum in English , In Bengali it is called as  Amra or bilati amra

Vernacular names:-
(Ambarella) (Sinhalese)
ambarella (Dutch)
amra (Bengali)
buah kedondong (Malay)
cajá-manga (Brazilian Portuguese)
cóc (Vietnamese)
Manzana de Oro (Dominican Republic)
évi (Réunion)
Goldpflaume (German)
gway (Burmese)
hevi (Philippines)
hog plum
jobo indio (Español de Venezuela)
June plum (Jamaica)
kedondong (Indonesian)
makok farang (Thai)
manga zi nsende (Kikongo)
mkak  (Khmer)
mokah (Cambodian)
naos (Bislama)
pomarosa (Puerto Rico)
prune Cythère, pomme Cythère (French)
sugar apple (St. Lucia)
wi apple (Hawaii)
Pomcite (Trinidad and Tobago)

Habitat: Native to Melanesia through Polynesia, S. dulcis has been introduced into tropical areas across the world. The species was introduced into Jamaica in 1782, and, among other places, is also cultivated in Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and also from Puerto Rico to Trinidad, and Sucre east, in Venezuela. Although the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) received seeds from Liberia in 1909, S. dulcis has yet to become popular in America.

Description:
This fast growing tree can reach up to 60 ft (18 m) in its native homeland of Melanesia through Polynesia; however, it usually averages out at 30 to 40 ft (9-12 m) in other areas. Spondias dulcis has deciduous, “pinnate leaves, 8 to 24 in (20-60 cm) in length, composed of 9 to 25 glossy, elliptic or obovate-oblong leaflets 2 1.2 to 4 in (6.25-10 cm) long, finely toothed toward the apex” (Morton 1987). The tree produces small, inconspicuous white flowers in terminal panicles, assorted male, female. Its oval fruits, 2 ½ to 3 ½ in (6.25-9 cm) long, are long-stalked and are produced in bunches of 12 or more. Over several weeks, the fruit fall to the ground while still green and hard, turning golden-yellow as they ripen. According to Morton (1987), “some fruits in the South Sea Islands weigh over 1 lb (0.45 kg) each”.

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Edible Uses:
Spondias dulcis is most commonly used as a food source. Its fruit may be eaten raw; the flesh is crunchy and a little sour. In Indonesia and Malaysia, S. dulcis is eaten with shrimp paste (a thick black salty-sweet sauce, called hayko in Chinese Southern Min dialect). It occurs as an ingredient in rojak. It may also be juiced, and goes then under the name “umbra juice” in Malaysia, or balonglong juice in Singapore.

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Alternative food uses include cooking the fruit into a preserve, similar in consistency to apple butter, sauce flavoring, soups, and stews.

In Fiji, it is used to make jam.

In West Java, its young leaves are used as seasoning for pepes.

In Vietnam it is not considered as a regular “table” fruit, just a snack. It is consumed unripe, like green mangoes, sliced and dipped in a mixture of salt, sugar and fresh chili, or in shrimp paste. Another recipe favored by children is to macerate in liquid, artificially sweetened licorice extract.

In Jamaica it is mostly considered a novelty especially by children. The fruit is peeled and sprinkled with salt. The sourness and saltiness provide amusement. The fruit is also made into a drink sweetened with sugar and spiced with some ginger.

In India & Bangladesh this fruit is used in “Achar” and “Chatni”

The ambarella has suffered by comparison with the mango and by repetition in literature of its inferior quality. However, taken at the proper stage, while still firm, it is relished by many out-of-hand, and it yields a delicious juice for cold beverages. If the crisp sliced flesh is stewed with a little water and sugar and then strained through a wire sieve, it makes a most acceptable product, much like traditional applesauce but with a richer flavor. With the addition of cinnamon or any other spices desired, this sauce can be slowly cooked down to a thick consistency to make a preserve very similar to apple butter. Unripe fruits can be made into jelly, pickles or relishes, or used for flavoring sauces, soups and stews.

Young ambarella leaves are appealingly acid and consumed raw in southeast Asia. In Indonesia, they are steamed and eaten as a vegetable with salted fish and rice, and also used as seasoning for various dishes. They are sometimes cooked with meat to tenderize it.

Food Value Per 100 g of Edible Portion:-
Calories -157.30
Total Solids -14.53-40-35%
Moisture -59.65-85.47%
Protein- 0.50-0.80%
Fat– 0.28-1.79%
Sugar (sucrose)-8.05-10-54%
Acid-0.47%
Crude Fiber- 0.85-3-60%
Ash-0.44-0.65%

Medicinal Uses: In Cambodia, the astringent bark is used with various species of Terminalia as a remedy for diarrhea.

Other Uses: The wood is light-brown and buoyant and in the Society Islands has been used for canoes.

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/Spondias_dulcis
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/ambarella_ars.html
http://saintlucianplants.com/cultivated/spondulc/spondulci.html
http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/ambarella.htm

http://www.kew.org/mng/gallery/348.html

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Herbs & Plants Lentils

Mung

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Botanical Name :Phaseolus aureus Roxb.
Other scientific names ,Phaseolus mungo Blanco ,Phaseolus radiatus Merr.
Family :Fabaceae
Common Names :Balatong (Tag., Ibn., If., Ilk.),Mongo (Tag.),Mungo (Tag., Bis.) ,Mungos (Tag.) , Mongo bean (Engl.)  , Mung bean (Engl.) ,Green gram (Engl.)

Bengali name:  Mung dal

Habitat:The mung bean is native to Southwest Asia, where it was first cultivated 5,000-6,000 years ago. Currently it is grown in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Burma, China, Vietnam, Japan, and elsewhere. In the USSR it is grown in Tadzhikistan, Transcaucasia, and southern Kazakhstan (in small fields), using irrigation; it is planted in the spring or after the harvest. The seed yield of the mung bean is 10-16 centners per hectare; the foliage yield, up to 200 centners per hectare.

It is widely cultivated in warm regions of India and Indonesia and United States for forage and especially its edible seeds; chief source of bean sprouts used in Chinese cookery; sometimes placed in genus Phaseolus.


Description:

Erect, annual herb branching at the base, clothed with spreading brownish hairs. Leaves are long-petioled, compound, with three leaflets that are ovate and entire, broad based with pointed tips, 8 tto 15 cm long, the lateral ones inequilateral. The flowers are golden yellow, about 1 cm long, arranged near the end of the short stalks.

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The pods (beans) are narrow and cylindrical; they may be straight or curved, are 8-15 cm long, and contain seven to ten seeds. The ripe pods are nearly black. The seeds are rounded and cylindrical or barrel-shaped and may be green, yellow, or brown; 1,000 seeds weigh 25-80 g. The growing period for early ripening varieties in the USSR (such as Pobeda 104) is 80-100 days. The plants are heat- and moisture-loving. The seeds contain 24-28 percent protein, 46-50 percent starch, 2-4 percent oil, and vitamins. Mung beans are used as food in the form of groats, and the green beans and blanched sprouts are used as vegetables. The foliage is dried, ensiled, and plowed under as green manure; the straw and chaff are fed to livestock.

Chemical constituents and properties:-
*Seeds are high in carbohydrate (>45%) and protein (>21%); fair source of calcium, iron, vitamins A and B. deficient in vitamin C.
*Sprouts are a good source of vitamin B.
*Seeds are tonic and aperient.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Edible Uses:

Extensively used in Philippine cuisine, in salads or boiled, in soups or stews. Mung is eaten in most part of Asian countries.

Medicinal Uses:

Folkloric
*Decoction of seeds as diuretic.
*The seeds, boiled or raw, used in poultices.
*Roots are thought to be narcotic, used for bone pains.
*Seeds, internally and externally, used for rheumatism and a variety of nervous system ailments.
*The seeds are used for hemorrhoids and liver afflictions.
*Powdered beans used to promote suppuration.
*Seeds used in anorexia.

Studies

Hypotensive: The hypotensive effects of green bean (Phaseolus aureus), common rue (Ruta graveolens) and kelp (Laminaria japonica) in rats: All extracts in the PA study contained bioactive proteinaceous substances and were hypotensive.
• Anti-irritation: Clinical studies on the anti-irritation effects of mung bean (Phaseolus aureus) extract in cosmetics: The study of extracts applied to irritant-containing cosmetic formulations showed considerable anti-irritation efficacy and suggesting a potential use for cosmetic products.
• Cardiovascular: The cardiovascular effects of green beans (Phaseolus aureus), common rue (Ruta graveolens), and kelp (Laminaria japonica) in rats: Green beans (P aureus) showed negative chronotropic effect on isolated right atria. The plants showed a variety of effects and explains why herbs, as in herbal medicine, should be used together therapeutically.
• Hypolipidemic / Antiatherogenic: Changes in serum lipids in normal and diabetic guinea pigs on feeding Phaseolus aureus (Green gram): Study showed green gram feeding showed lowering of both free and esterified fractions of cholesterol, significant loweriing of triglycerides and decreased the total cholesterol / phospholipid ration indicating its antiatherogenic nature.

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.stuartxchange.com/Mongo.html
http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Phaseolus+aureus

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Herbs & Plants

Quinoa

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Botanical Name : Chenopodium quinoa
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Chenopodioideae
Genus: Chenopodium
Species: C. quinoa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales
Common Spanish Name :Quinua, from Quechua kinwa

Habitat :The original habitat is obscure, the plant probably arose through cultivation.

Quinoa originated in the Andean region of South America, where it has been an important food for 6,000 years. Its name is the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name. Quinoa is generally undemanding and altitude-hardy, so it can be easily cultivated in the Andes up to about 4,000 meters. Even so, it grows best in well-drained soils and requires a relatively long growing season. In eastern North America, it is susceptible to a leaf miner that may reduce crop success; this leaf miner also affects the common weed and close relative Chenopodium album, but C. album is much more resistant.

Similar Chenopodium species, such as pitseed goosefoot (Chenopodium berlandieri) and fat hen (Chenopodium album), were grown and domesticated in North America as part of the Eastern Agricultural Complex before maize agriculture became popular. Fat hen, which has a widespread distribution in the Northern Hemisphere, produces edible seeds and greens much like quinoa, but in lower quantities.

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ANNUAL growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind, self.The plant is self-fertile.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. and can grow in very alkaline and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade.It requires moist soil and can tolerate drought.The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Quinoa is a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach, and tumbleweeds. Its leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is currently limited.

Chenopodium quinoa (and a related species from Mexico, Chenopodium nuttalliae) is most familiar as a fully domesticated plant, but it was believed to have been domesticated in the Andes from wild populations of Chenopodium quinoa. There are non-cultivated quinoa plants (Chenopodium quinoa var. melanospermum) which grow in the same area where it is cultivated; those are probably related to quinoa’s wild predecessors, but could instead be descendants of cultivated plants.

History & Culture:
The Incas, who held the crop to be sacred, referred to quinoa as chisaya mama or mother of all grains, and it was the Inca emperor who would traditionally sow the first seeds of the season using ‘golden implements’. During the European conquest of South America quinoa was scorned by the Spanish colonists as food for Indians, and even actively suppressed, due to its status within indigenous non-Christian ceremonies. In fact, the conquistadors forbade quinoa cultivation for a time and the Incas were forced to grow corn instead.

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it requires a rich moist well-drained soil and a warm position if it is to do really well, but it also succeeds in less than optimum conditions.   Tolerates a pH range from 6 to 8.5 and moderate soil salinity. Plants are quite wind resistant. Plants are drought tolerant once they are established. Plants tolerate light frosts at any stage in their development except when flowering. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is commonly cultivated as a grain crop in Chile and Peru. This plant is receiving considerable attention world-wide as a trouble-free easily grown seed crop for warm temperate and tropical zones. It has the potential to outcrop cereals on light land in Britain. There are a great many named varieties. The plant is day-length sensitive and many varieties fail to flower properly away from equatorial regions, however those varieties coming from the south of its range in Chile are more likely to do well in Britain. Different cultivars take from 90 – 220 days from seed sowing to harvest. Yields as high as 5 tonnes per hectare have been recorded in the Andes, which compares favourably with wheat in that area[196]. Young plants look remarkably like the common garden weed fat hen (Chenopodium album). Be careful not to weed the seedlings out in error. The seed is not attacked by birds because it has a coating of bitter tasting saponins. These saponins are very easily removed by soaking the seed overnight and then thoroughly rinsing it until there is no sign of any soapiness in the water. The seed itself is very easy to harvest by hand on a small scale and is usually ripe in August. Cut down the plants when the first ripe seeds are falling easily from the flower head, lay out the stems on a sheet in a warm dry position for a few days and then simply beat the stems against a wall or some other surface, the seed will fall out easily if it is fully ripe and then merely requires winnowing to get rid of the chaff.

Propagation :
Seed – sow April in situ. The seed can either be sown broadcast or in rows about 25cm apart, thinning the plants to about every 10cm. Germination is rapid, even in fairly dry conditions. Be careful not to weed out the seedlings because they look very similar to some common garden weeds[

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.

Seed – cooked. A pleasant mild flavour, the seed can absorb the flavour of other foods that are cooked with it and so it can be used in a wide variety of ways. It should be thoroughly soaked and rinsed to remove a coating of saponins on the seed surface. The seed can be used in all the ways that rice is used, as a savoury or sweet dish. It can also be ground into a powder and used as a porridge. The seed can also be sprouted and used in salads though many people find the sprouted seed unpleasant. The seed contains a very high quality protein that is rich in the amino acids lysine, methionine and cystine, it has the same biological value as milk. The seed contains about 38% carbohydrate, 19% protein, 5% fat, 5% sugar. Leaves – raw or cooked. The young leaves are cooked like spinach. It is best not to eat large quantities of the raw leaves, see the notes above on toxicity.

Nutritional Value :
Quinoa was of great nutritional importance in pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, being secondary only to the potato, and was followed in importance by maize. In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), and like oats, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods. It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA’s Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights

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The Health Benefits of Quinoa

Chenopodium quinoa as World’s most Healthy Food :

Preparation:
Quinoa has a light, fluffy texture when cooked, and its mild, slightly nutty flavor makes it an alternative to white rice or couscous.

The first step in preparing quinoa is to remove the saponins, a process that requires soaking the grain in water for a few hours, then changing the water and resoaking, or rinsing it in ample running water either in a fine strainer or in cheesecloth. Removal of the saponin helps with digestion; the soapy nature of the compound makes it act as a laxative. Most boxed quinoa has been pre-rinsed for convenience.

A common cooking method is to treat quinoa much like rice, bringing two cups of water to a boil with one cup of grain, covering at a low simmer and cooking for 14–18 minutes or until the germ separates from the seed. The cooked germ looks like a tiny curl and should have a slight bite to it (like al dente pasta). As an alternative, one can use a rice cooker to prepare quinoa, treating it just like white rice (for both cooking cycle and water amounts).

Vegetables and seasonings can also be added to make a wide range of dishes. Chicken or vegetable stock can be substituted for water during cooking, adding flavor. It is also suited to vegetable pilafs, complementing bitter greens like kale.

Quinoa can serve as a high-protein breakfast food mixed with honey, almonds, or berries; it is also sold as a dry product, much like corn flakes. Quinoa flour can be used in wheat-based and gluten-free baking.

Quinoa may be germinated in its raw form to boost its nutritional value. Germination activates its natural enzymes and multiplies its vitamin content.[6] In fact, quinoa has a notably short germination period: Only 2–4 hours resting in a glass of clean water is enough to make it sprout and release gases, as opposed to, e.g., 12 hours overnight with wheat.[citation needed] This process, besides its nutritional enhancements, softens the grains, making them suitable to be added to salads and other cold foods


Name of crops:

This crop is known as quinoa in English and, according to Merriam-Webster, the primary pronunciation is with two syllables with the accent on the first (English pronunciation:KEEN-wah). It may also be pronounced with three syllables, with the stress on either the first syllable  or on the second . In Spanish, the spelling and pronunciation vary by region. The accent may be on the first syllable, in which case it is usually spelled quinua [kinwa], with quínoa [kinoa] being a variant; or on the second syllable: [ki?noa]), in which case it is spelled quinoa. The name derives from the Quechua kinwa, pronounced in the standard dialect [kinwa]. There are multiple other native names in South America:
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Quechua: ayara, kiuna, kuchikinwa, achita, kinua, kinoa, chisaya mama
Aymara: supha, jopa, jupha, juira, ära, qallapi, vocali
Chibchan: Suba, pasca
Mapudungun: dawe, sawe


Other Uses

Dye;  Repellent;  Soap.

Gold/green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant. Saponins on the seed can be used as a bird and insect deterrent by spraying them on growing plants. The saponins are obtained by saving the soak-water used when preparing the seed for eating. The spray remains effective for a few weeks or until washed off by rain.

Known Hazards :  The leaves and seeds of all members of this genus are more or less edible. However, many of the species in this genus contain saponins, though usually in quantities too small to do any harm. Although toxic, saponins are poorly absorbed by the body and most pass straight through without any problem. They are also broken down to a large extent in the cooking process. Saponins are found in many foods, such as some beans. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K]. The plants also contain some oxalic acid, which in large quantities can lock up some of the nutrients in the food. However, even considering this, they are very nutritious vegetables in reasonable quantities. Cooking the plants will reduce their content of oxalic acid. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

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.hub-uk.com/interesting/quinoa.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Chenopodium%20quinoa

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