Tag Archives: Cucumber

Lactuca sativa longifolia

Botanical Name: Lactuca sativa longifolia
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Lactuca
Species: L. sativa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Tribe :Cichorieae

Common Name : Cos Lettuce, Romaine lettuce

Habitat: Of garden origin, probably derived from L. serriola. It is grown on cultivated bed.

Lactuca sativa longifolia is an annual/biennial plant growing to 0.9 m (3ft) 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 Flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.


Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Prefers a light sandy loam. Succeeds in most well-drained, humus-rich soils but dislikes acid conditions. Plants strongly dislike dry conditions, quickly running to seed in such a situation. Early and late sowings are best in a sunny position, but summer crops are best given a position with some shade in order to slow down the plants tendency to go to seed and to prevent the leaves becoming bitter. The garden lettuce is widely cultivated in many parts of the world for its edible leaves and is probably the most commonly grown salad plant. This is the cos lettuce, a taller growing plant that has longer, thinner leaves and a more erect habit, it does not form a compact heart. There are many named varieties capable of providing fresh leaves throughout the year if winter protection is given in temperate areas. Lettuces are quite a problematic crop to grow. They require quite a lot of attention to protect them from pests such as slugs, aphids and birds. If the weather is hot and dry the plants tend to run very quickly to seed, developing a bitter flavour as they do so. In wet weather they are likely to develop fungal diseases. In addition, the seed needs to be sown at regular intervals of 2- 3 weeks during the growing season in order to provide a regular supply of leaves. Lettuces make a good companion plant for strawberries, carrots, radishes and onions. They also grow well with cucumbers, cabbages and beetroot.

Seed – sow a small quantity of seed in situ every 2 or 3 weeks from March (with protection in cooler areas) to June and make another sowing in August/September for a winter/spring crop. Only just cover the seed. Germination is usually rapid and good, thin the plants if necessary, these thinnings can be transplanted to produce a slightly later crop (but they will need to be well watered in dry weather). More certain winter crops can be obtained by sowing in a frame in September/October and again in January/February.

Edible Uses:
Leaves – raw or cooked. A mild slightly sweet flavour with a crisp texture, lettuce is a very commonly used salad leaf and can also be cooked as a potherb or be added to soups etc. A nutritional analysis is available. Seed – sprouted and used in salads or sandwiches. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. The seed is very small, extraction of the oil on any scale would not be very feasible.

Medicinal Uses :
The whole plant is rich in a milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and dries when in contact with the air[4]. The sap contains ‘lactucarium‘, which is used in medicine for its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc[238]. Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several times a day until the plant is exhausted. The cultivated lettuce does not contain as much lactucarium as the wild species, most being produced when the plant is in flower. An infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The plant should be used with caution, and never without the supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness[238] and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis. Some physicians believe that any effects of this medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied externally in the treatment of warts. The seed is anodyne and galactogogue. Lettuce has acquired a folk reputation as an anaphrodisiac, anodyne, carminative, diuretic, emollient, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, hypnotic, narcotic, parasiticide and sedative.

Other Uses:
Parasiticide. No further details are given, but it is probably the sap of flowering plants that is used. The seed is said to be used to make hair grow on scar tissue.

Known Hazards : The mature plant is mildly toxic.

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.



Daikon (Indian Radish)

Botanical Name ; Raphanus sativus
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Raphanus
Species: sativus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Common Names: Daikon, Indian Radish

Hindi Name : Mooli,  Bengali Name : Mullo

In culinary contexts, “daikon” or “daikon radish” (from its Japanese name) is the most common in all forms of English, although historical ties to South Asia permit “mooli” (from its Hindi name and also in Urdu) as a general synonym in British English. The generic terms “white radish”, “winter radish”, “Oriental radish“, “long white radish”, etc. are also used. Other synonyms usually vary by region or describe regional varieties of the vegetable. When it is necessary to distinguish the usual Japanese form from others, it is sometimes known as “Japanese radish” or “true daikon”. The vegetable’s Mandarin names are still uncommon in English; in most forms of Chinese cuisine, it is usually known as Chinese white radish” although in Cantonese and Malaysian cuisine it is encountered as “lobak”, “lo pak”, etc. In the cuisines of Hokkien-speaking areas such as Singapore, it is also known as “chai tow” or “chai tau” and, in South Asia, as “mooli”. In any of these, it may also simply be referred to as “radish”, with the regional variety implied by context. In English-speaking countries, it is also sometimes marketed as “icicle radish”.

In mainland China and Singapore, the calque “white carrot” or misnomer “carrot” is sometimes used, owing to the similarity of the vegetables’ names in Mandarin and Hokkien. This variant gave the title to a popular guidebook on Singaporean street food, There’s No Carrot in Carrot Cake, which refers to chai tow kway, a kind of cake made from daikon.

The official general name used by the United States Department of Agriculture is “oilseed radish”, but this is only used in non-culinary contexts. Other English terms employed when daikon is being used as animal feed or as a soil ripper are “forage radish”, “fodder radish”, and “tillage radish”

Habitat : Daikon is native to Southeast or continental East Asia, daikon is harvested and consumed throughout the region (as well as in South Asia) but is primarily grown in North America as a fallow crop, with the roots left unharvested to prevent soil compaction and the leaves (if harvested) used as animal fodder.
Daikon is an herbaceous annual or biennial plant in the family Brassicaceae, grown for its edible taproot. The radish plant has a short hairy stem and a rosette (ground level horizontal and circular leaves) of oblong shaped leaves which measure 5–30 cm (2–12 in) in length. The top leaves of the plant are smaller and lance-like. The taproot of the plant is cylindrical or tapering and commonly red or white in color. The radish plant produces multiple purple or pink flowers on racemes which produce 2–12 seeds. The reddish brown seeds are oval, and slightly flattened. Radish is generally grown as an annual plant, surviving only one growing season and can reach 20–100 cm (8–39 in) in height depending on the variety. Radish may also be referred to by the name of the cultivar and names may include Chinese radish, Japanese radish or oriental radish……...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The most common variety in Japan (aokubi-daikon) produces an elongated root in the shape of a giant white carrot approximately 20 to 35 cm (8 to 14 in) long and 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 in) in diameter. Most Chinese and Indian forms are roughly similar.

The turnip-shaped “giant white radish” or “Sakurajima radish” is cultivated around Kagoshima in Japan and grows as large as 50 cm (20 in) in diameter and 45 kg (100 lb) in mass.

There are a number of non-white varieties. The Cantonese lobak, lo pak, etc. sometimes refers to the usual Chinese form but is also applied to a form of daikon with light green coloration of the top area of the root around the leaves. The “Korean radish”, also called “mu”, is similarly colored but with a rounder, more potato-like shape. Both are often spicier than the long white radishes. The heirloom “watermelon radish” is another Chinese variety of daikon with a dull green exterior but a bright rose or fuchsia-colored center. Its Chinese name is sometimes irregularly romanized as the “shinrimei radish” and sometimes translated as the “beauty heart”, “beautiful heart inside” or “roseheart radish”

The Chinese and Indian varieties tolerate higher temperatures than the Japanese one. These varieties grow well at lower elevations in East Africa. It is best if there is plenty of moisture and it can grow quickly; otherwise, the flesh becomes overly tough and pungent. The variety “Long White Icicle” is available as seed in Britain, and will grow very successfully in Southern England, producing roots resembling a parsnip by midsummer in good garden soil in an average year.

The roots can be stored for some weeks without the leaves if lifted and kept in a cool dry place. If left in the ground, the texture tends to become woody, but the storage life of untreated whole roots is not long.

Certain varieties of Daikon can be grown as a winter cover crop and green manure. These varieties are often named “tillage radish” because it makes a huge, penetrating root which effectively performs deep cultivation. They bring nutrients lower in the soil profile up into the higher reaches; are good nutrient scavengers, so they are good partners with legumes instead of grasses; if harsh winters, the root will decompose while in the soil in Spring releasing early nitrogen stores.
Radishes are fast growing cool-season vegetables that grow very well in cool moist climates. the optimum temperature for the growth of radishes is between 10 and 18°C (50–65°F) and they grow best in a well-draining sandy loams which are rich in organic matter with a pH between 5.8 and 6.8.. Radish should be grown in full sun to part shade.
Edible Uses:
The radish root can be eaten fresh in salads or cooked with other ingredients such as meat. The leaves of the plant are also edible and can bu used as a salad green.

Nutritional information:
Daikon is very low in food energy. A 100-gram serving contains only 76 kilojoules or 18 Calories (5 Cal/oz), but provides 27 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. Daikon also contains the active enzyme myrosinase.

Medicinal Uses (Health Benefits):
Cancer Prevention:
Daikon is one of many cruciferous vegetables linked in studies with successful cancer prevention. Daikon contains several great antioxidants associated with fighting free radical damage, a known cause of cancer. Research has also shown that daikon juice helps prevent the formation of dangerous chemicals and carcinogens inside the body and helps the liver process toxins.

High In Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that not only combats free radical activity in the body but also offers great immune system support and helps prevent illness such as the common cold. 100 grams of daikon provides 34% the DV of vitamin C. Daikon leaves have a much higher concentration of vitamin C than that of daikon roots

Antibacterial & Antiviral:
Daikon appears to be able to combat bacterial and viral infections.

Research suggests that high levels of vitamin C and B, such as found in daikon, help to prevent chronic inflammation in the body which can lead to problems such as arthritis and heart disease.

Digestive Aid:
Raw daikon juice is abundant with human digestive enzymes that help the body process proteins, oil, fat and carbohydrates.

Daikon helps the kidneys discharge excess water. A natural diuretic, it may also be helpful in treating urinary disorders.

Respiratory Health:
Raw daikon juice may help dissolve mucus and phlegm and aid in the healthy function of the respiratory system. Its ability to combat bacteria and viral infections may make it an effective combatant of respiratory disease such as bronchitis, asthma and flu.

Skin Health:
Applied topically or ingested, daikon juice has proven effective in preventing and treating acne and other skin conditions.

Bone Health:
Daikon leaves are an excellent source of calcium, which helps promote healthy bone growth and may lower the risk of osteoporosis.

Weight Loss:
In Asia, it is believed that daikon helps the body to burn fat, though this has not been proven. Whether it helps burn fat or not, daikon radish is extremely low in fat and cholesterol, but dense with nutrients, making it a great addition to any effective weight loss program.
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.

10 Health Benefits Of Daikon Radish


Ecballium elaterium

Botanical Name :Ecballium elaterium
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Subfamily: Cucurbitoideae
Tribe: Benincaseae
Genus: Ecballium
Species: E. elaterium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales

Synonyms:  Momordica Elaterium. Wild Cucumber.

Common Names : Squirting cucumber or exploding cucumber

Habitat: Ecballium elaterium is native to Europe, northern Africa, and temperate areas of Asia. It is grown as an ornamental plant elsewhere, and in some places it has naturalized.It grows in hot dry places on waste ground and roadsides, usually close to the coast.

Ecballium elaterium is a perennial plant(but in Britain it is  annual) growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) with a large fleshy root from which rise several round, thick stems, branching and trailing like the Common Cucumber but without tendrils; leaves heartshaped, rough; flower-stalks auxillary; male flowers in clusters with bell-shaped, yellow green veined corollas, females solitary; fruit a small elliptical greenish gourd covered with soft triangular prickles. The fruits forcibly eject their seeds together with a mucilaginous juice, a phenomenon due to endormosis. The plant flowers in July. The fruit is collected just before it ripens and is left until it matures and ejects the seeds and juice; this must not be artificially hastened or the product will be injured; the juice is then dried in flakes and sent to the market as Elaterium. The flakes often bear the impress of the muslin on which they were dried.

click to see the pictures

It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

Prefers a moist well-drained soil in a sunny position. Grows best in a rich soil. Another report says that it succeeds in poor soils. The foliage is fairly frost-tender, though the roots are much hardier and plants can survive quite cold winters in Britain. They are more likely to be killed by excessive winter wet. The squirting cucumber is sometimes cultivated for its use as a medicinal plant. The ripening fruit becomes pumped full of liquid, leading to an increase in pressure. As the seed becomes ripe, this pressure forces the fruit to break away explosively from the plant, ejecting its seed to a considerable distance in the opposite direction. The plant occasionally self-sows in our Cornwall trial ground and can become a weed in warmer climates than Britain. It is subject to statutory control as a weed in Australia.

Seed – sow early spring in rich compost in a greenhouse. Place 2 – 3 seeds per pot and thin to the strongest plant. The seed usually germinates in 10 – 21 days at 25°c. Grow the plants on fast and plant them out after the last expected frosts.

Medicinal Uses:

Constituents: Elaterin; a green resin, starch, lignin, and saline matter.

It is used in  Abortifacient;  Analgesic;  Antirheumatic;  Cardiac;  Kidney;  Purgative.

The squirting cucumber has been used as a medicinal plant for over 2,000 years, though it has a very violent effect upon the body and has little use in modern herbalism. The juice of the fruit is antirheumatic, cardiac and purgative. The plant is a very powerful purgative that causes evacuation of water from the bowels. It is used internally in the treatment of oedema associated with kidney complaints, heart problems, rheumatism, paralysis and shingles. Externally, it has been used to treat sinusitis and painful joints. It should be used with great caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. Excessive doses have caused gastro-enteritis and even death. It should not be used by pregnant women since it can cause an abortion. The fully grown but unripe fruits are harvested during the summer, they are left in containers until the contents are expelled and the juice is then dried for later use. The root contains an analgesic principle.

It is used to increases the flow of urine, and  sometimes in the treatment of dropsy, especially when oedema is due to disease of the kidney. There is a case on record of a French doctor who suffered severely from carrying some of the seeds in his hat from the Jardin des Plante to his Paris lodging.

Known Hazards :    Poisonous in large quantities(this probably refers to the fruit). The juice of the fruit is irritative to some types skins.

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.


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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

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Herb Triggers The Death of Cancer Cell

CM NEWS – A substance of popular Chinese herb huang qin (Scutellaria radix,) triggers the death process in tumour cells, while it has virtually no effect on healthy cells, according to a new discovery of this selective function of huang qin by scientists of the German Cancer Research Centre (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum,
CLICK  & SEE….>.Huang qin

The valuable substance extrachted from huang qin is wogonin (han huang qin su,´ ). It’s until recently that modern science has been able to uncover the molecular mechanism underlying the anti-cancerous effect of wogonin.

Defects in genes that control growth can turn a cell into a threat for the whole organism. Defective cells that might get out of control are driven into suicide by a protective mechanism called apoptosis. However, this life saving mechanism is no longer working in most tumour cells, since numerous molecules regulating apoptosis are defective.

This is why researchers have been trying for some time to restore the capability of controlled suicide in tumour cells. However, this is a risky venture, because it involves the danger of damaging healthy tissue, too, by cell death. Therefore, scientists have urgently been searching for substances that induce cell death selectively in tumour cells.

Dr. Min Li-Weber of the Division of Immunogenetics headed by Prof. Dr. Peter Krammer has been concentrating on pure substances from herbs that are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Investigating their ability to trigger apoptosis, the scientist has recently come across an interesting candidate: the substance wogonin, a plant flavone from huang qin.

According to the researchers, wogonin causes apoptosis in leukemia cells in the culture dish, while it has virtually no damaging effect on healthy blood cells. Wogonin also led to reduced cancer growth in mice that had been transplanted human leukemia cells.

The mechanism underlying the selective effect of this plant constituent had still been unclear. There are two different ways by which the apoptosis program can be started in a cell: by external stimuli or by signals from within the cell as a response to factors such as radioactive radiation or reactive oxygen compounds such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).

Li-Weber has now shown that wogonin leads to highly increased formation of hydrogen peroxide in tumour cells compared to healthy cells. The peroxide, in turn, produces a calcium response which triggers the apoptosis reaction cascade. In addition, tumour cells contain a higher number of those membrane channels through which calcium flows from its intracellular storages into the cytoplasm.

Min Li-Weber¡’s results so far are based on experiments in the culture dish and in the animal model. The scientists rate the data as convincing enough to continue testing the suitability of wogonin as a therapeutic agent for leukemias.

Awesome Cancer-Busting Approaches

Without disputing the value and effectiveness of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as an alternative to the flawed healthcare system in the United States, I believe you can VIRTUALLY ELIMINATE your risk of cancer and chronic disease, and radically improve your chances of recovering from cancer if you currently have it, by following these relatively simple risk reduction strategies.

You won’t read or hear much about them because they have not been formally “proven” yet by conservative researchers. However, did you know that 85 percent of therapies currently recommended by conventional medicine have never been formally proven either?!

Most of the herbs are frequently effective symptomatic band-aids. Therefore, if you depend solely on herbs without addressing the underlying cause of your disease, you’re still likely avoiding the real cure.

So what are the underlying causes of most, if not all disease? It boils down to three basics of equal importance:

1.Your emotional and mental state
2.Your nutrition
3.Your physical activity
All advice essentially falls under one of these three basic necessities for optimal health, which create a circle of either positive or negative ramifications, depending on whether you address them appropriately or not.

Here are Twelve Strategies:

1.Reduce or eliminate your processed food, sugar and grain carbohydrate intake. Yes, this is even true for whole unprocessed organic grains as they tend to rapidly break down and drive your insulin and leptin levels up, which is the last thing you need to have happening if you are seeking to resolve a cancer.

2.Control your fasting insulin and leptin levels. This is the end result, and can be easily monitored with the use of simple and relatively inexpensive blood tests.

3.Normalize your ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats by taking a high-quality krill oil or fish oil and reducing your intake of most processed vegetable oils.

4.Get regular exercise. One of the primary reasons exercise works is that it drives your insulin levels down. Controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risks.

5.Normalize your vitamin D levels and vitamin A levels by getting plenty of sunlight exposure and consider careful supplementation when this is not possible. If you take oral vitamin D and have a cancer, it would be very prudent to monitor your vitamin D blood levels regularly.

6.Get regular, good sleep.

7.Eat according to your nutritional type. The potent anti-cancer effects of this principle are very much underappreciated. When we treat cancer patients in our clinic this is one of the most powerful anti-cancer strategies we have.

8.Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, household chemical cleaners, synthetic air fresheners and air pollution.

9.Limit your exposure and provide protection for yourself from information carrying radio waves produced by cell phone towers, base stations, phones and WiFi stations.

10.Avoid frying or charbroiling your food. Boil, poach or steam your foods instead.

11.Have a tool to permanently reprogram the neurological short-circuiting that can activate cancer genes. Even the CDC states that 85 percent of disease is caused by emotions. It is likely that this factor may be more important than all the other physical ones listed here, so make sure this is addressed. Energy psychology seems to be one of the best approaches and my particular favorite tool, as you may know, is the Emotional Freedom Technique. German New Medicine is another powerful tool.

12.Eat at least one-third of your food raw.

Sources: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/1/19/herb-triggers-cancer-cell