Tag Archives: Finland

Rubus chamaemorus

Botanical Name : Rubus chamaemorus
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Rubus
Species: R. chamaemorus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names : Cloudberry , Cloud Berry, Bakeapple Berry, Ground Mulberry

Bakeapple (in Newfoundland and Labrador), Knotberry and knoutberry (in England), Aqpik or low-bush salmonberry (in Alaska – not to be confused with true salmonberry, Rubus spectabilis), and Averin or Evron (in Scotland).
Habitat : Rubus chamaemorus is native to Northern Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Germany and N. Asia. It grows in cool boggy places, often found amongst bilberries on hills and mountain sides, avoiding shade and calcareous soils.

Description:
Rubus chamaemorus is a perennial plant .It grows to 10–25 cm (4-10 inches) high. The leaves alternate between having 5 and 7 soft, handlike lobes on straight, branchless stalks. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September . After pollination, the white (sometimes reddish-tipped) flowers form raspberry-sized aggregate fruits. Encapsulating between 5 and 25 drupelets, each fruit is initially pale red, ripening into an amber color in early autumn.

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The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.The plant is not self-fertile.

Unlike most Rubus species, the cloudberry is dioecious, and fruit production by a female plant requires pollination from a male plant.

Cultivation:
Easily grown in a good well-drained loamy soil in sun or semi-shade. Avoids calcareous soils in the wild and is often found in boggy soils. Considered to be a gourmet fruit, it is occasionally sold in speciality stores. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation :
Seed – requires stratification and is best sown in early autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires one month stratification at about 3°c and is best sown as early as possible in the year. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a cold frame. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Division in early spring or just before leaf-fall in the autumn

Edible Parts: Flowers; Fruit.
Edible Uses: Tea.………Fruit – raw or cooked. Sour but delicious, the fruit can be eaten out of hand or stewed, used in preserves, pies etc. Rich in vitamin C. The sweet fruit tastes like baked apples. Flowers – raw. The fresh or dried leaves are used as a tea substitute.

Alcoholic drinks:
In Nordic countries, traditional liqueurs such as Lakkalikööri (Finland) are made of cloudberry, having a strong taste and high sugar content. Cloudberry is used as a spice for making akvavit. In northeastern Quebec, a cloudberry liqueur known as chicoutai (aboriginal name) is made.

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of the roots has been used as ‘woman’s medicine’. A decoction of the root and lower stem has been used by barren women to try and become pregnant. The root has been used in the treatment of coughs, fevers and consumption.

Other Uses:...Dye.……A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit.

Cultural references:
The cloudberry appears on the Finnish version of the 2 euro coin.  The name of the hill Beinn nan Oighreag in Breadalbane in the Scottish Highlands means “Hill of the Cloudberries” in Scots Gaelic.

The berry is called Bakeapple in Newfoundland. One explanation for the name suggests it is derived from the French term “Baie Qu’Appelle”, meaning “What is this berry called?

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubus_chamaemorus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rubus+chamaemorus
http://www.plantexplorers.com/vandusen/product_info.php/products_id/1089

Gentiana campestris

Botanical Name : Gentiana campestris
Family: Gentianaceae
Genus: Gentianella
Species: G. campestris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Bitterroot. Felwort.
Common name : Field Gentian

Habitat: Gentiana campestris is widespread in Northern and Central Europe and its distribution range includes the European Alps and the Jura. The plant is present in Italy, France, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, Estonia and Russia. It grows in moderately moist to rather dry substrates and neutral or acid soils of alpine meadows, lawns, pastures, forest clearings and roadsides, at an altitude of 1,000–2,300 metres (3,300–7,500 ft) above sea leve

Description:
Gentianella campestris is a plant of small size, reaching on average 3–30 centimetres (1.2–11.8 in) in height. It has erect stems, simple or branched at the base and the leaves are opposite, ovate-lanceolate and unstalked. The flowers are 15–30 millimetres (0.59–1.18 in) in size. Their color is usually bluish-purple, but may be white, pink or lilac, with petals and sepals fused (gamopetalous and gamosepalous). There are four petals, ciliate at the base. There are also four sepals, which differ in size (two are wide and two narrow). The flowering period extends from June to October. The fruit is a capsule

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Part Used: Root.

Edible Uses:
Alcoholic Drink:
Fresh Gentian root is used in Germany and Switzerland in the production of an alcoholic beverage.

The roots are cut, macerated with water, fermented and distilled. The resulting liquid gives it a characteristic odour and taste.

Medicinal Uses:
One of the medicinal uses was that it was used as an antidote to poison.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentianella_campestris
https://www.virtualheb.co.uk/field-gentian-wildflowers-western-isles/

Juniperus communis

Botanical Name :Juniperus communis
Family: Cupressaceae
Genus:     Juniperus
Species: J. communis
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class:     Pinopsida
Order:     Pinales

Synonyms: Genévrier. Ginepro. Enebro. Gemeiner Wachholder.

Common Name:Juniper Berries

Parts Used: The ripe, carefully dried fruits, leaves.

Habitat:Juniperus communis is native to  Europe. North Africa. North Asia. North America. It grows throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic south in mountains to around 30°N latitude in North America, Europe and Asia.

Description:
Juniperus communis is a shrub or small coniferous evergreen tree, very variable and often a low spreading shrub, but occasionally reaching 10 m tall. It has needle-like leaves in whorls of three; the leaves are green, with a single white stomatal band on the inner surface. It is dioecious, with male and female cones on separate plants, which are wind pollinated.

Leaf: Persistent, linear-lanceolate (sword-like), about 1/3 to 1/2 inch long, and ternate (arranged in whorls of 3); white stomatal bloom above and green below; sessile (no petiole).

Flower: Species is mostly dioecious, rarely monoecious; male cones small, yellow and solitary; female cones small, round and solitary.

Fruit: Cones are small (about 1/4 inch diameter) and round with smooth, leathery scales; green when young and bluish black when mature, but always covered with white bloom, require 3 growing seasons to mature.

Twig: Slender, smooth, and often shiny; triangular between the nodes.

Bark: Mature bark is thin (less than 1/4 inch thick), shreddy, and red- to gray-brown.

Form: Most commonly grow as prostrate, mat-forming shrubs, but sometimes as upright shrubs or small trees.
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The seed cones are berry-like, green ripening in 18 months to purple-black with a blue waxy coating; they are spherical, 4–12 mm diameter, and usually have three (occasionally six) fused scales, each scale with a single seed. The seeds are dispersed when birds eat the cones, digesting the fleshy scales and passing the hard seeds in their droppings. The male cones are yellow, 2–3 mm long, and fall soon after shedding their pollen in March–April.

Edible Uses:
Its astringent blue-black seed cones, commonly known as “juniper berries“, are too bitter to eat raw and are usually sold dried and used to flavour meats, sauces, and stuffings. They are generally crushed before use to release their flavour. Since juniper berries have a strong taste, they should be used sparingly. They are generally used to enhance meat with a strong flavour, such as game, including game birds, or tongue.

The cones are used to flavour certain beers and gin (the word “gin” derives from an Old French word meaning “juniper”).   In Finland, juniper is used as a key ingredient in making sahti, a traditional Finnish ale. Also the Slovak alcoholic beverage Borovi?ka and Dutch Genever are flavoured with juniper berry or its extract.

Medicinal Uses:
Constituents:  The principal constituent is the volatile oil, with resin, sugar, gum, water, lignin, wax and salines. The oil is most abundant just before the perfect ripeness and darkening of the fruit, when it changes to resin. The quantity varies from 2.34 to 0.31 per cent Juniper Camphor is also present, its melting-point being 1.65 to 1.66 degrees C.

The tar is soluble in Turpentine oil, but not in 95 per cent acetic acid.

Junol is the trade name of a hydroalcoholic extract.

Oil of Juniper is given as a diuretic, stomachic, and carminative in indigestion, flatulence, and diseases of the kidney and bladder. The oil mixed with lard is also used in veterinary practice as an application to exposed wounds and prevents irritation from flies.

Spirit of Juniper has properties resembling Oil of Turpentine: it is employed as a stimulating diuretic in cardiac and hepatic dropsy.

The fruit is readily eaten by most animals, especially sheep, and is said to prevent and cure dropsy in the latter.

The chief use of Juniper is as an adjuvant to diuretics in dropsy depending on heart, liver or kidney disease. It imparts a violet odour to the urine, and large doses may cause irritation to the passages. An infusion of 1 oz. to 1 pint of boiling water may be taken in the course of twenty-four hours.

Juniper berries have long been used as medicine by many cultures. Juniper berries act as a strong urinary tract disinfectant if consumed, and were used by Navajo people as an herbal remedy for diabetes. Western American tribes combined the berries of Juniperus communis with Berberis root bark in a herbal tea. Native Americans also used juniper berries as a  contraceptive.(Dioscorides’ De materia medica also lists juniper berries, when crushed and put on the penis or vagina before intercourse, as a contraceptive.)

Other Uses:
The berries are used for the production of the volatile oil which is a prime ingredient in Geneva or Hollands Gin, upon which its flavour and diuretic properties depend.

Crafts:
It is too small to have any general lumber usage. In Scandinavia, however, juniper wood is used for making containers for storing small quantities of dairy products such as butter and cheese, and also for making wooden butter knives. It was also frequently used for trenails in wooden shipbuilding by shipwrights for its tough properties.

In Estonia juniper wood is valued for its long lasting and pleasant aroma, very decorative natural structure of wood (growth rings) as well as good physical properties of wood due to slow growth rate of juniper and resulting dense and strong wood. Various decorative items (often eating utensils) are common in most Estonian handicraft shops and households.

According to the old tradition, on Easter Monday Kashubian (Northern Poland) boys chase girls whipping their legs gently with juniper twigs. This is to bring good fortune in love to the chased girls.

Adulteration by oil of Turpentine can be recognized by the lowering of the specific gravity.

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/Juniperus_communis
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/j/junipe11.html
http://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=212

Call for Mandatory Salt Curbs

Forcing food manufacturers to cut salt levels in processed food could help cut heart disease rates, claim Australian researchers.

A high salt food is bad for health

A theoretical study suggests mandatory salt limits could help reduce heart disease rates by 18% – far more than by using existing voluntary measures.

High-salt diets are linked to high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

Adults are advised to consume a maximum of 6g of salt a day – about a teaspoon.

The study looked at the effectiveness of different strategies around the world for reducing salt in processed foods.

Many countries, including Finland, the US, the UK, Canada, France, Australia and New Zealand, have adopted salt reduction programmes based on food labelling and voluntary cuts.

Australia uses a “Tick” programme, where food manufacturers can use a health promotion logo on packaging if they volunteer to cut salt content.

The team calculated that voluntary use of the logo could reduce heart disease rates in Australia by almost 1% – more than twice that of dietary advice alone.

But if all manufacturers were made to use the logo, the health benefits could be 20 times greater, they predict.

“If corporate responsibility fails, maybe there is an ethical justification for government to step in and legislate,” the authors, led by Linda Cobiac, of the University of Queensland, write in the journal Heart.

A UK heart charity said voluntary measures placed on food companies in the UK had made a difference but more could be done.

Victoria Taylor, senior heart health dietician at the British Heart Foundation, said: “We’re making progress without the need for compulsory limits and as a result we’ve seen a reduction in salt intake.

“But as three quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, we need to build on this work and watch carefully to make sure the food industry doesn’t slip back into old habits.”

Katharine Jenner of Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) said the UK had pioneered a voluntary approach where all food sectors reduce the amount of salt they put in food.

“This cost-effective approach has been very successful and has already led to population average salt intakes falling by 10%,” she said.

Source
:BBC News

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Sea-Buckthorn

Botanical Name: Hippophae Rhamnoides
Family: Elaeagnaceae

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Genus: Hippophae

Other Names: Espino Falso, Oblebicha, Olivella Spinosa, Sallow Thorn, Duindoorn, Seabuckthorn

Parts used: The sea buckthorn berries are used to make juice but also bark and leaves are used for the production of pharmaceuticals or to make sea buckthorn tea. Sea buckthorn oil is produced from the fruits and seeds.

Habitat:There are 6 species and 12 subspecies native over a wide area of Europe and Asia, including China, Mongolia, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Great Britain, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Finland, Sweden and Norway.More than 90 percent or about 1.5 million hectares of the world’s sea buckthorn resources can be found in China where the plant is exploited for soil and water conservation purposes.

The name sea-buckthorn is hyphenated here to avoid confusion with the buckthorns (Rhamnus, family Rhamnaceae). It is also referred to as “sea buckthorn”, seabuckthorn, sandthorn or seaberry

Description:
Sea buckthorn is a deciduous winter-hardy shrub with yellow to orange 6 to 8 mm small berries, which remain on the shrubs throughout the winter . Sea buckthorn reaches 2 to 5 m in height. The sea buckthorn?s leaves are alternate and narrow are silver-grey colored. The small, yellow flowers appear in spring before leaves. Both male and female sea buckthorn plants are needed for fruit production.
Sea buckthorn is used for land reclamation and to prevent soil erosion because of its extensive root system and its ability to fix nitrogen and other nutrients.

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The shrubs reach 0.5–6 m tall, rarely up to 10 m in central Asia, and typically occur in dry, sandy areas. They are tolerant of salt in the air and soil, but demand full sunlight for good growth and do not tolerate shady conditions near larger trees.

The common sea-buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is by far the most widespread, with a range extending from the Atlantic coasts of Europe right across to northwestern China. In western Europe, it is largely confined to sea coasts where salt spray off the sea prevents other larger plants from out-competing it, but in central Asia it is more widespread in dry semi-desert sites where other plants cannot survive the dry conditions; in central Europe and Asia it also occurs as a subalpine shrub above tree line in mountains, and other sunny areas such as river banks.

Common sea-buckthorn has branches that are dense and stiff, and very thorny. The leaves are a distinct pale silvery-green, lanceolate, 3–8 cm long and less than 7 mm broad. It is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The male produces brownish flowers which produce wind-distributed pollen.

Berries and leaves
The female plants produce orange berries 6–9 mm in diameter, soft, juicy and rich in oils. The berries are an important winter food resource for some birds, notably fieldfares.

Leaves are eaten by the larva of the coastal race of the ash pug moth and by larvae of other Lepidoptera including brown-tail, dun-bar, emperor moth, mottled umber and Coleophora elaeagnisella.

Uses
Harvesting and landscaping

Harvesting is difficult due to the dense thorn arrangement among the berries on each branch. A common harvesting technique is to remove an entire branch, though this is destructive to the shrub and reduces future harvests. A branch removed in this way is next frozen, allowing the berries to be easily shaken off. The branches are cut, deep frozen to ?32°C, then shaken or abraded for removal of the berries.

The worker then crushes the berries to remove up to 95% of the leaves and other debris. This causes the berries to melt slightly from the surface as the work takes place at ambient temperature (about 20°C). Berries or the crushed pulp are later frozen for storage.

The most effective way to harvest berries and not damage branches is by using a berry-shaker. Mechanical harvesting leaves up to 50% in the field and the berries can be harvested only once in two years. They only get about 25% of the yield that could be harvested with this relatively new machinery.

During the Cold War, Russian and East German horticulturists developed new varieties with greater nutritional value, larger berries, different ripening months and a branch that is easier to harvest. Over the past 20 years, experimental crops have been grown in the United States, one in Nevada and one in Arizona, and in several provinces of Canada.

Sea-buckthorn is also a popular garden and landscaping shrub, particularly making a good vandal-proof barrier hedge with an aggressive basal shoot system exploited in some parts of the world as wind breaks and to stabilize riverbanks and steep slopes. They have value in northern climates for their landscape qualities, as the colorful berry clusters are retained through winter.[5] Branches may be used by florists for designing ornaments. The plant is the regional flora of the Finnish region of Satakunta.

Nutrients and potential health effects

Sea-buckthorn berries are multipurposed, edible and nutritious, though very acidic and astringent, unpleasant to eat raw, unless ‘bletted’ (frosted to reduce the astringency) and/or mixed as a juice with sweeter substances such as apple or grape juice.

When the berries are pressed, the resulting sea-buckthorn juice separates into three layers: on top is a thick, orange cream; in the middle, a layer containing sea-buckthorn’s characteristic high content of saturated and polyunsaturated fats; and the bottom layer is sediment and juice.  Containing fat sources applicable for cosmetic purposes, the upper two layers can be processed for skin creams and liniments, whereas the bottom layer can be used for edible products like syrup.

Nutrient and phytochemical constituents of sea-buckthorn berries have potential value as antioxidants that may affect inflammatory disorders, cancer  or other diseases,  although no specific health benefits have yet been proved by clinical research in humans.

The fruit of the plant has a high vitamin C content—in a range of 114 to 1550 mg per 100 grams with an average content (695 mg per 100 grams) about 12 times greater than Oranges— placing sea-buckthorn fruit among the most enriched plant sources of vitamin C. The fruit also contains dense contents of carotenoids, vitamin E, amino acids, dietary minerals, ?-sitosterol and polyphenolic acids.

Apart from being nourishing, the juice has a freezing point of ?22 degrees Celsius allowing it to remain a liquid even in sub-zero temperatures.[citation needed]

Consumer products
Sea-buckthorn fruit can be used to make pies, jams, lotions and liquors. The juice or pulp has other potential applications in foods or beverages. For example, in Finland, it is used as a nutritional ingredient in baby food.[citation needed] Fruit drinks were among the earliest seabuckthorn products developed in China. Seabuckthorn based juice is even popular in Germany and Scandinavian countries.It provides a nutritious beverage, rich in Vitamin C and carotenes. For its troops confronting extremely low temperatures (see Siachen), India’s Defence Research Development Organization established a factory in Leh to manufacture a multi-vitamin herbal beverage based on sea-buckthorn juice.

The seed and pulp oils have nutritional properties that vary under different processing methods. Sea-buckthorn oils are used as a source for ingredients in several commercially available cosmetic products and nutritional supplements.
Traditional medicine

Different parts of sea-buckthorn have been used as traditional therapies for diseases. As no applications discussed in this section have been verified by Western science and sufficient clinical trial evidence, such knowledge remains mostly unreferenced outside of Asia and is communicated mainly from person to person.

Grown widely throughout its native China and other mainland regions of Asia, sea-buckthorn is an herbal medicine used over centuries to relieve cough, aid digestion, invigorate blood circulation and alleviate pain. In Mongolia, extracts of sea-buckthorn branches and leaves are used to treat gastrointestinal distress in humans and animals.

Phytochemicals:    Isorhamnetin, Flavonoids, Carotenoids, Phytosterols
Medicinal properties: Although sea buckthorn has other benefits, it is most frequently used for the treatment of diseases of skin and digestive tract. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbiological activity, relieves pain and promotes tissue regeneration. Sea buckthorn oil is traditionally used to treat vaginal mucositis, cervical erosion, radiation damage, burns, ulcers and skin damage. Recent studies have shown that sea buckthorn may also improve heart health.
Wound healing
The best know but also most studied property of sea buckthorn is the improvement of wound healing. Topical treatment of wounds with extracts or oil from sea buckthorn relieves pain and accelerates wound healing. Animal studies showed that sea buckthorn stimulates the healing of gastric ulcers.
Heart health
Flavonoids are linked to a lower risk of heart disease. Studies on humans show no or only a small effect of sea buckthorn on heart health parameters.

Bark and leaves are used for treating diarrhea and gastrointestinal and dermatologic disorders. Topical compressions are used for rheumatoid arthritis. Flowers may be used as a skin softener.

For its hemostatic and anti-in?ammatory effects, berry fruits are added to medications for pulmonary, gastrointestinal, cardiac, blood and metabolic disorders in Indian, Chinese and Tibetan medicines. Sea-buckthorn berry components have potential anticarcinogenic activity.

Fresh juice, syrup and berry or seed oils are used for colds, fever, exhaustion, as an analgesic or treatment for stomach ulcers, cancer, and metabolic disorders.

Called ‘Chharma’ in some native languages, oil from fruits and seeds is used for liver diseases, in?ammation, disorders of the gastrointestinal system, including peptic ulcers and gastritis, eczema, canker sores and other ulcerative disorders of mucosal tissues, wounds, in?ammation, burns, frostbite, psoriasis, rosacea, lupus erythematosus, and chronic dermatoses. In ophthalmology, berry extracts have been used for keratosis, trachoma, eyelid injuries and conjunctivitis. The sea-buckthorn is also known to kill tiny parasitic mites called Demodex.

Other facts:    The berries have very high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and flavonoids. The vitamin C level of 3600 ppm is about 10 times higher than that of oranges. The seabuckthorn berries are also rich in vitamins B1, B2, K and P. Because of sea buckthorn’s thorny nature, it is becoming popular for planting to deter trespassing animals and people.
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Discover Today How the Many Marvelous Qualities of Sea Buckthorn Oil Promote Your Youthful-Looking Skin

.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/Sea-buckthorn
http://www.phytochemicals.info/plants/sea-buckthorn.php

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