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Fabiana imbricata

Botanical Name :Fabiana imbricata
Family: Solanaceae
Genus:     Fabiana
Species: F. imbricata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Solanales

Synonym: Fabiana.
.Common Name : Pichi

Habitat:Fabiana imbricata is native to Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentine Republic.It occurs on dry upland slopes.

Description:
A neat half-hardy evergreen shrub, very like a heath in general appearance. Fastigiate habit, has small branches covered with scale-like imbricated leaves, colour bluish green, leaves are smooth, entire, flowers solitary, terminal, corolla tubular, usually white, sometimes purple. A dwarf decorative plant; will grow in warmer parts of England; it needs a bright sheltered sunny spot, and would do well on a rockery. The fruit is a capsule containing a few sub-globular seeds. The odour of the drug is aromatic, the taste bitter, and terebinthinate. It grows to 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) tall and wide, it is a frost-hardy, heath-like evergreen mound-forming shrub. It has needle-like leaves and small white, tubular flowers in early summer. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation:  
Succeeds in a sunny position in a light well-drained soil. Plants are not very hardy in Britain, growing best in areas that receive little or no frost. The cultivar ‘Violacea’ is generally faster growing and is somewhat hardier than the type, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c.

Propagation:  
Seed – sow in a well-drained sandy soil in the greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Greenwood cuttings, rooted with gentle bottom heat, summer in a cold frame

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used: Dried leaf and twig

Constituents: Volatile oil, fat, resin, bitter fluorescent glucoside, and an alkaloid fabianine and tannin.

Tonic, cholagogue, a valuable terebinthic diuretic, largely used in acute vesical catarrh, giving very favourable results where urinary irritation is caused by gravel. Is said to ease the irritability and assist in the expulsion of renal, urethal or cystic calculi, very useful in the treatment of jaundice and dyspepsia due to lack of biliary secretion. Is contraindicated in organic disease of the kidneys, though cases of renal haemorrhages from Bright’s disease have been greatly benefited by its use; it has been used also for gonorrhoea and gonorrhoeal prostatitis.

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://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Fabiana+imbricata
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabiana_imbricata
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/pichi-31.html

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Sedum album

Botanical Name : Sedum album

Family: Crassulaceae
Genus:     Sedum
Species: S. album
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Saxifragales

Synonym: Small Houseleek (Culpepper).

Common Names: White stonecrop,

Habitat : Sedum album   is found in the northern temperate regions of the world,(Europe. Long naturalized in Britain.) often growing in crevices or free-draining rocky soil. It is not very common, and is found wild on rocks and walls. As a rule, however, when growing on garden walls and the roofs of cottages and outhouses,

Description:
Sedum album is a tufted perennial herb that forms mat-like stands. Much of the year the stems are short, semi prostrate and densely clad in leaves. At the flowering time in July and August, the stems lengthen and are erect, occasionally branched and often pinkish-brown.The flowering stems are 6 to 10 inches high, with a few leaves growing alternately on them and terminated by muchbranched, flat tufts (cymes) of numerous, small, star-like flowers, about 1/6 inch in diameter, the white petals twice as large as the green sepals.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The leaves are alternate, fleshy and nearly cylindrical with a blunt, rounded tip. They are also sometimes tinged with pink, especially in drought-stressed plants. The starry flowers form a dense cyme. The calyx has five fleshy sepals fused at the base, the corolla consists of five regular white petals, there are ten stamens, a separate gynoecium and five pistils. The fruit is five united, many-seeded follicles.

It owes its presence indirectly to human agency, and is to be considered a garden escape. The root is perennial and fibrous, the flowerless stems prostrate, of a bluish-green colour, round and leafy. The leaves are bright green and very succulent, oblong, cylindrical, blunt and spreading, 1/3 to 1/2 inch long.

This Stonecrop, which flowers in July and August, is not to be confounded with another white-flowered Stonecrop (Sedum Anglicum), which flowers earlier – June and July – and is an annual. It is a plant of smaller and compacter growth, the leaves shorter and less cylindrical, with less numerous flowers, the white petals of which are spotted with red.

Cultivation:     
A very easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils but prefers a fertile well-drained soil. Established plants are drought tolerant, they grow well in dry soils and succeed on a wall. Requires a sunny position. Plants spread rapidly and aggressively at the roots. If clearing the plant from an area it is quite important to try and remove every part of the plant since even a leaf or a small part of the stem, if left on the ground, can form roots and develop into a new plant. This species has white flowers. All members of this genus are said to have edible leaves, though those species that have yellow flowers can cause stomach upsets if they are eaten in quantity. Plants in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits.

Propagation:   
Seed – surface sow in spring in well-drained soil in a sunny position in a greenhouse. Do not allow the soil to dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If sufficient growth is made, it is possible to plant them out during the summer, otherwise keep them in a cold-frame or greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in early summer of the following year. Division is very easy and can be carried out at almost any time in the growing season, though is probably best done in spring or early summer. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Edible Uses: Leaves – raw or cooked. Usually eaten as a pickle, though it can also be added to salads or cooked with other leafy vegetables.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used: Leaves, stalks.

Antiinflammatory;  Poultice.

The leaves and stems are applied externally as a poultice to inflammations and are especially recommended for treating painful haemorrhoids.

The older herbalists considered the White Stonecrop to possess all the virtues of the Houseleek. The leaves and stalks were recommended and used for all kinds of inflammation, being especially applied as a cooling plaster to painful haemorrhoids. Culpepper tells us: ‘it is so harmless an herb you can scarce use it amiss.’ It was the custom, too, to prepare and eat it as a pickle, in the same way as the juicy Samphire.

Other Uses:
The plant spreads aggressively and can be used for ground cover in a sunny position amongst plants tall enough not to be overrun by it. It is best planted about 45cm apart each way. Strong growing bulbs such as some lilies will grow happily through this ground cover

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/Sedum_album
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/stonec91.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Sedum+album

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Eriodictyon crassifolium

Botanical Name :Eriodictyon crassifolium
Family: Boraginaceae
Subfamily: Hydrophylloideae
Genus: Eriodictyon
Species: E. crassifolium
Kingdom: Plantae

Common Name :Thick-leaved Yerba Santa

Habitat : It is endemic to California, where it grows in several types of habitat, including chaparral, in the coastal and inland hills and mountains, mainly in the Southern California part of the state.

Description:
Thick leaved Yerba Santa is a fuzzy grey perennial herb that can grow to 5′. The leaves are up to 17 centimeters long by 6 wide, gray-green with a coat of woolly hairs, and sometimes toothed along the edges. The inflorescence is a cluster of bell-shaped lavender flowers.

click to see the pictures….(01)…(1)..….…(2)………..(3)..….

Flowers are 1/2″ wide and 1″ long pale blue. Sun, good drainage, doesn’t need water after first year if your rainfall is greater than 14″. The inflorescence is a cluster of bell-shaped lavender flowers. Felt leaved Yerba Santa will grow in most gardens and can be quite the butterfly magnet.

Medicinal Uses:
It was traditionally used by the Chumash people to keep airways open for proper breathing.

Other Uses:
Eriodictyon crassifolium is great for a butterfly garden.

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/Eriodictyon_crassifolium
http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/eriodictyon-crassifolium

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Bitter orange

Botanical Name :Citrus aurantium L.
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Citrus
Species: C. × aurantium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms : Citrus bigarradia – Loisel.,  Citrus vulgaris – Risso.

Common Names:Bitter orange, Seville orange, sour orange, bigarade orange, or marmalade orange

Habitat :Bitter oranges originate from northeastern India and certain regions of China and Myanmar. The fruit has spread to the rest of the world by the 1st century CE, when the Romans first started cultivating bitter oranges to use them in natural remedies and as a delicious treat. With fall of Roman Empire, the cultivation of Bitter Orange has staggered for a while in Europe. It was the Arabs who spread it all the way to Spain, where they grow even today, lining the streets and spreading the wonderful aroma of the fresh citrus blossoms. Some of these trees are more than 600 years old, but oldest live bitter orange tree is supposedly one planted back in 1421, and still growing at the Palace of Versailles outside Paris.

When the Americas were discovered, Spanish people brought the seeds of bitter orange to North America, namely to Florida and the Bahamas. Florida is today known as the world’s largest producer of oranges, and the fragrant blossoms of the orange tree are listed as Florida state symbols.

Description:
An evergreen Tree growing to 9m by 6m.
It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from April to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Apomictic (reproduce by seeds formed without sexual fusion), insects. The plant is self-fertile.
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The plant prefers medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid and neutral soils and can grow in very alkaline soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Varities:
*Citrus x aurantium subsp. amara is a spiny evergreen tree native to southern Vietnam, but widely cultivated. It is used as grafting stock for citrus trees, in marmalade, and in liqueur such as triple sec, Grand Marnier and Curaçao. It is also cultivated for the essential oil expressed from the fruit, and for neroli oil and orange flower water, which are distilled from the flowers.

*Seville orange (or bigarade) is a widely-known, particularly tart orange which is now grown throughout the Mediterranean region. It has a thick, dimpled skin, and is prized for making marmalade, being higher in pectin than the sweet orange, and therefore giving a better set and a higher yield. It is also used in compotes and for orange-flavored liqueurs. Once a year, oranges of this variety are collected from trees in Seville and shipped to Britain to be used in marmalade.[6] However, the fruit is rarely consumed locally in Andalusia.

*Chinotto, from the myrtle-leaved orange tree, C. aurantium var. myrtifolia, is used for the namesake Italian soda beverage.[8] This is sometimes considered a separate species.
Daidai, C. aurantium var. daidai, is used in Chinese medicine and Japanese New Year celebrations. The aromatic flowers are added to tea.

*Wild Florida sour orange is found near small streams in generally secluded and wooded parts of Florida and the Bahamas. It was introduced to the area from Spain.

*Bergamot orange is probably a bitter orange and limetta hybrid; it is cultivated in Italy for the production of bergamot oil, a component of many brands of perfume and tea, especially Earl Grey tea.

Cultivation :
Prefers a moderately heavy loam with a generous amount of compost and sand added and a very sunny position. Prefers a pH between 5 and 6[200]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.8 to 8.3. Plants are intolerant of water logging. When growing plants in pots, a compost comprising equal quantities of loam and leafmould plus a little charcoal should produce good results[260]. Do not use manure since Citrus species dislike it. When watering pot plants it is important to neither overwater or underwater since the plant will soon complain by turning yellow and dying. Water only when the compost is almost dry, but do not allow it to become completely dry. Dormant plants can withstand temperatures down to about -6°c so long as this is preceded by cool weather in order to harden off the plant. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. A tree grown outdoors on the coast at Salcombe in Devon lived for over 200 years. The bitter orange is often grown for its edible fruit in warm temperate and tropical zones, there are many named varieties. In Britain it can be grown in a pot that is placed outdoors in the summer and brought into a greenhouse during the winter. Plants dislike root disturbance and so should be placed into their permanent positions when young. If growing them in pots, great care must be exercised when potting them on into larger containers.

Propagation:
The seed is best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it ripe after thoroughly rinsing it. Sow stored seed in March in a greenhouse[3]. Germination usually takes place within 2 – 3 weeks at 13°c. Seedlings are liable to damp off so they must be watered with care and kept well ventilated. The seed is usually polyembrionic, two or more seedlings arise from each seed and they are genetically identical to the parent but they do not usually carry any virus that might be present in the parent plant. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least three growing seasons before trying them outdoors. Plant them out in the summer and give them some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Layering in October.

Edible Uses:

Edible Parts: Fruit.

Edible Uses: Condiment; Oil.

Fruit – raw or cooked. Very bitter. It is used in making marmalade and other preserves. The fruit is about 5 – 7cm in diameter. The rind of the fruit is often used as a flavouring in cakes etc. Used in ‘bouquet garni’. An oil obtained from the seeds contains linolenic acid and is becoming more widely used as a food because of its ability to reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood. The flowers are used for scenting tea. An essential oil from the dried peel of immature fruits is used as a food flavouring

Cooking:
The unripe fruit, called narthangai, is commonly used in Southern Indian cuisine, especially in Tamil cuisine. It is pickled by cutting it into spirals and stuffing it with salt. The pickle is usually consumed with yoghurt rice thayir sadam. The fresh fruit is also used frequently in pachadis. The juice from the ripe fruit is also used as a marinade for meat in Nicaraguan, Cuban, Dominican and Haitian cooking, as it was in Peruvian Ceviche until the 1960s. The peel can be used in the production of bitters. In Yucatan (Mexico), it is a main ingredient of the cochinita pibil.

The Belgian Witbier (white beer) is made from wheat spiced with the peel of the bitter orange. The Finnish and Swedish use bitter orange peel in gingerbread (pepparkakor), some Christmas bread and in mämmi. It is also used in the Nordic mulled wine glögg. In Greece and Cyprus, the nerántzi or kitrómilon, respectively, is one of the most prized fruits used for spoon sweets, and the C. aurantium tree (nerantziá or kitromiliá) is a popular ornamental tree. Throughout Iran, the juice is popularly used as a salad dressing, souring agent in stews and pickles or as a marinade. The blossoms are collected fresh to make a prized sweet-smelling aromatic jam (“Bitter orange blossom jam” Morabba Bahar-Narendj), or added to brewing tea. In Turkey, juice of the ripe fruits can be used as salad dressing, especially in Çukurova region.

Medicinal Uses:
Antibacterial; Antiemetic; Antifungal; Antispasmodic; Antitussive; Aromatherapy; Carminative; Contraceptive; Diaphoretic; Digestive; Miscellany; Sedative; Stimulant; Stomachic; Tonic.

Citrus species contain a wide range of active ingredients and research is still underway in finding uses for them. They are rich in vitamin C, flavonoids, acids and volatile oils. They also contain coumarins such as bergapten which sensitizes the skin to sunlight. Bergapten is sometimes added to tanning preparations since it promotes pigmentation in the skin, though it can cause dermatitis or allergic responses in some people. Some of the plants more recent applications are as sources of anti-oxidants and chemical exfoliants in specialized cosmetics. The plants also contain umbelliferone, which is antifungal, as well as essential oils that are antifungal and antibacterial. They also contain the pyrone citrantin, which shows antifertility activity and was once used as a component of contraceptives. Both the leaves and the flowers are antispasmodic, digestive and sedative. An infusion is used in the treatment of stomach problems, sluggish digestion etc. The fruit is antiemetic, antitussive, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive and expectorant.The immature fruit can be used (called Zhi Shi in China) or the mature fruit with seeds and endocarp removed (called Zhi Ke). The immature fruit has a stronger action. They are used in the treatment of dyspepsia, constipation, abdominal distension, stuffy sensation in the chest, prolapse of the uterus, rectum and stomach. The fruit peel is bitter, digestive and stomachic. The seed and the pericarp are used in the treatment of anorexia, chest pains, colds, coughs etc. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is ‘Radiance’. It is used in treating depression, tension and skin problems.

The leaves have a high vitamin C content in the form of ascorbic acid, and the fruit is full of this too. The fruit also contains flavonoid-glycosides such as aldehytes, ketone-free acids, esters, coumarins and tetranotriterpenoids (limonin). Synephrine is the main chemical constituent in the fruit flavones naringin and neohesperidin. The fruit contains vitamin A and some B-complex vitamins, with the minerals calcium, iron and phosphorous; amino acids are also present.

Herbal stimulant:
The extract of bitter orange (and bitter orange peel) has been marketed as dietary supplement purported to act as a weight-loss aid and appetite suppressant. Bitter orange contains the tyramine metabolites N-methyltyramine, octopamine and synephrine, substances similar to epinephrine, which act on the ?1 adrenergic receptor to constrict blood vessels and increase blood pressure and heart rate.p-Synephrine alone or in combination with caffeine or other substances has been shown to modestly increase weight loss in several low-quality clinical trials. Following bans on the herbal stimulant ephedra in the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere, bitter orange has been substituted into “ephedra-free” herbal weight-loss products by dietary supplement manufacturers. Like most dietary supplement ingredients, bitter orange has not undergone formal safety testing, but it is believed to cause the same spectrum of adverse events as ephedra. Case reports have linked bitter orange supplements to strokes, angina, and ischemic colitis. The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that “there is currently little evidence that bitter orange is safer to use than ephedra.” Bitter orange may have serious drug interactions with drugs such as statins in a similar way to grapefruit.

Contraindications:
Because of the potential for additive effects, synephrine use is best avoided in patients with hypertension, tachyarrhythmia, or narrow angle glaucoma.

Pregnancy/Lactation:
Avoid use due to lack of clinical data regarding safety and efficacy during pregnancy and lactation.

Bitter Orange Interactions
Bitter orange may inhibit intestinal CYP3A4 and intestinal efflux and may interact with numerous drugs, including anxiolytics, antidepressants, antiviral agents, calcium channel blockers, dextromethorphan, GI prokinetic agents, vasoconstrictors, and weight-loss formulas.

Other Uses

Essential; Hedge; Oil; Repellent; Rootstock.
This species is much used as a rootstock for the sweet orange, C. sinensis, because of its disease resistance and greater hardiness. Grown as a hedging plant in N. America. A semi-drying oil obtained from the seed is used in soap making. Essential oils obtained from the peel, petals and leaves are used as a food flavouring and also in perfumery and medicines. The oil from the flowers is called ‘Neroli oil’ – yields are very low from this species and so it is often adulterated with inferior oils. The oil from the leaves and young shoots is called ‘petit-grain’ – 400 kilos of plant material yield about 1 kilo of oil. This is also often adulterated with inferior products. Neroli oil, mixed with vaseline, is used in India as a preventative against leeches

Toxicology
Medical literature primarily documents cardiovascular toxicity, especially due to the stimulant amines synephrine, octopamine, and N-methyltyramine, which may cause vasoconstriction as well as increased heart rate and blood pressure.

Known Hazards: (Bitter Orange Adverse Reactions)
There are numerous case reports of adverse cardiac reactions associated with C. aurantium extract use.

Following an incident in which a healthy young man suffered a myocardial infarction (heart attack) linked to bitter orange, a case study found that dietary supplement manufacturers had replaced ephedra with its analogs from bitter orange

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/Citrus_%C3%97_aurantium
http://www.drugs.com/npp/bitter-orange.html
http://www.fragrantica.com/notes/Bitter-Orange-79.html
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Citrus+aurantium

Ceratonia siliqua

Botanical Name :Ceratonia siliqua
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Ceratonia
Species: C. siliqua
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names:  carob tree, St John’s-bread, Locust Bean

Habitat  :Ceratonia siliqua is native to the Mediterranean region including Southern Europe, Northern Africa, the larger Mediterranean islands; to the Levant and Middle-East of Western Asia into Iran; and to the Canary Islands and Macaronesia. It grows in the  rocky places near the sea shore.

Description:
The Ceratonia siliqua tree grows up to 15 metres (49 ft) tall. The crown is broad and semi-spherical, supported by a thick trunk with brown rough bark and sturdy branches. Leaves are 10 to 20 centimetres (3.9 to 7.9 in) long, alternate, pinnate, and may or may not have a terminal leaflet. It is frost-tolerant.

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Most carob trees are dioecious. The trees blossom in autumn. The flowers are small and numerous, spirally arranged along the inflorescence axis in catkin-like racemes borne on spurs from old wood and even on the trunk (cauliflory); they are pollinated by both wind and insects. Male flowers produce a characteristic odour, resembling semen.

The fruit is a pod that can be elongated, compressed, straight or curved, and thickened at the sutures. The pods take a full year to develop and ripen. The ripe pods eventually fall to the ground and are eaten by various mammals, thereby dispersing the seed.

The seeds of Ceratonia siliqua contains leucodelphinidin, a colourless chemical compound

Cultivation:
Ceratonia siliqua is widely cultivated in the horticultural nursery industry as an ornamental plant for planting in Mediterranean climate and other temperate regions around the world, as its popularity in California and Hawaii shows. The plant develops a sculpted trunk and ornamental tree form when ‘limbed up’ as it matures, otherwise it is used as a dense and large screening hedge. When not grown for legume harvests the plant is very drought tolerant and part of ‘xeriscape’ landscape design for gardens, parks, and public municipal and commercial landscapes.

Propagation:
Seed – pre-soak for 24 hours in warm water prior to sowing. If the seed has not swollen then give it another soaking in warm water until it does swell up. Sow in a greenhouse in April[200]. Germination should take place within 2 months. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual deep pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Give them some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors.

Edible Uses:
Carob consumed by humans is the dried (and sometimes roasted) pod, and not the ‘nuts’ or seeds. Carob is mildly sweet and is used in powdered, chip, or syrup form as an ingredient in cakes and cookies, and as a substitute for chocolate.

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is poisonous to some mammals, but carob does not, and is used to make chocolate-flavored treats for dogs.

The seeds, also known as locust beans, are used as animal feed, and are the source of locust bean gum — a food thickening agent. Crushed pods may be used to make a beverage; compote, liqueur, and syrup are made from carob in Turkey, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Sicily. Several studies suggest that carob may aid in treating diarrhea in infants.[13] In Libya, carob syrup (there called rub) is used as a complement to Asida. The so-called carob syrup made in Peru is actually from the fruit of the Prosopis nigra tree.

Carob is rich in sugars – Sucrose = 531g ± 93 g/kg dry weight for cultivated varieties and 437 ± 77 g/kg in wild type varieties. Fructose and glucose levels do not differ between cultivated and wild type carob

Carob is a healthy substitute for  chocolate that is lower in calories. Roasted carob is naturally sweeter, (or not as bitter), as unsweetened chocolate, so it can be made palatable with less added sugar in recipes. Carob has a number of advantages over chocolate: it is hypoallergenic, and hypoglycemic. 55 The true trick to enjoying carob is to not expect it to taste exactly like chocolate,(and be forever disappointed), but to learn to appreciate carob for its own unique taste.

Traditional uses:
Carob was eaten in Ancient Egypt. Carob juice drinks are traditionally drunk during the Islamic month of Ramadan. It was also a common sweetener and was used in the hieroglyph for “sweet” (nedjem). Dried carob fruit is traditionally eaten on the Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat. Also it is believed to be an aphrodisiac.

In Cyprus, carob syrup is known as Cyprus’s black gold, and is widely exported.

In Malta, a syrup (?ulepp tal-?arrub) is made out of carob pods. This is a traditional medicine for coughs and sore throat. A traditional sweet, eaten during Lent and Good Friday, is also made from carob pods in Malta. However, carob pods were mainly used as animal fodder in the Maltese Islands, apart from times of famine or war when they formed part of the diet of many Maltese.

In the Iberian Peninsula, carob pods were used mainly as animal fodder, especially to feed donkeys.

Carob pods were an important source of sugar before sugarcane and sugar beets became widely available.

Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Aggressive surface roots possible. Requires a very sunny position in any well-drained moderately fertile soil[200]. Does well in calcareous, gravelly or rocky soils. Tolerates salt laden air. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.2 to 8.6. The tree is very drought resistant, thriving even under arid conditions, the roots penetrating deep into the soil to find moisture. This species is not very hardy in Britain but it succeeds outdoors in favoured areas of S. Cornwall[1], tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c when in a suitable position. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. The carob is frequently cultivated in warm temperate zones for its edible seed and seed pods. Mature trees in a suitable environment can yield up to 400 kilos of seedpods annually. There are named varieties with thicker pods. Seeds are unlikely to be produced in Britain since the tree is so near (if not beyond) the limits of its cultivation. The seed is very uniform in size and weight, it was the original ‘carat’ weight of jewellers. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. Special Features:Edible, Not North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – pre-soak for 24 hours in warm water prior to sowing. If the seed has not swollen then give it another soaking in warm water until it does swell up. Sow in a greenhouse in April[200]. Germination should take place within 2 months. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual deep pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Give them some protection from the cold for their first few winters outdoors.

Medicinal  Uses::
Parts Used: Seed Pod
Constituents:  arginine, benzoic-acid , gallic-acid , glucose , pectin ,starch, sucrose ,tannin,tocopherol,tyrosine

Antidiarrhoeal;  Antiemetic;  Astringent;  Demulcent;  Emollient;  Purgative.

The pulp in the seedpods of carob is very nutritious and, due to its high sugar content, sweet-tasting and mildly laxative. However, the pulp in the pods is also astringent and, used in a decoction, will treat diarrhoea and gently help to cleanse and also relieve irritation within the gut. Whilst these appear to be contradictory effects, carob is an example of how the body responds to herbal medicines in different ways, according to how the herb is prepared and according to the specific medical problem. The seedpods are also used in the treatment of coughs. A flour made from the ripe seedpods is demulcent and emollient. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea.   The seed husks are astringent and purgative. The bark is strongly astringent. A decoction is used in the treatment of diarrhoea.

Other Uses:  A flour made from the seedpods is used in the cosmetic industry to make face-packs. Tannin is obtained from the bark. Wood – hard, lustrous. Highly valued by turners, it is also used for marquetry and walking stick.

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

 

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceratonia_siliqua
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ceratonia+siliqua
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail462.php

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