Categories
Herbs & Plants

Chinese Violet

[amazon_link asins=’B00SHUTS5S,B0042GHOPW,B007IAPJZG,B017XBQHI2,0739421891,B0175Q7H2A,B0711KB8K1,B01MYH2EPM,B00BRJZG8E’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ed5a326f-504b-11e7-8cd6-a3b6529f2a19′]

Botanical Name: Asystasia gangetica
Family: Acanthaceae
Genus: Asystasia
Species: A. gangetica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms:
*Asystasia parvula C.B.Clarke
*Asystasia querimbensis Klotzsch
*Asystasia pubescens Klotzsch
*Asystasia subhastata Klotzsch
*Asystasia quarterna Nees
*Asystasia scabrida Klotzsch
*Asystasia floribunda Klotzsch
*Asystasia coromandeliana Nees
*Justicia gangetica L.
*Asystasia acuminata Klotzsch
*Asystasia coromandeliana Nees var. micrantha Nees
*Asystasia multiflora Klotzsch
*Asystasia ansellioides C.B.Clarke var. lanceolata Fiori
*Asystasia podostachys Klotzsch

Common Names : Chinese Violet, Coromandel or Creeping Foxglove,Asystasia

Habitat :Chinese Violet is widespread throughout the Old World Tropics, and introduced into tropical Americas and Hawaii, where it has become naturalized. Both subspecies of this plant have been introduced to Australia where A. g. micrantha is on the National Environmental Alert List and must be reported when found. The original range of the subspecies is unclear, but it is likely that A. g. gangetica was limited to Asia, and A. g. micrantha was limited to Africa

Description:
This plant is a spreading herb or groundcover, reaching 2 feet in height or up to 3 feet  if supported. The stems root easily at the nodes. The leaves are simple and opposite. The fruit is an explosive capsule which starts out green in colour, but dries to brown after opening……

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Edible  Uses:
In some parts of Africa, the leaves are eaten as a vegetable.

Medicinal Uses;
Chinese Violet is  used as an herbal remedy in traditional African medicine. The leaves are used in many parts of Nigeria for the management of asthma, and scientific investigation has shown some basis for this use.

Other Uses;
Chinese Violet is used as an ornamental plant in several places.This is also an important plant for honeybees, butterflies and other insects. In southern Africa there are at least six species of butterfly that use A. g. micrantha as a larval foodplant; Junonia oenone, Junonia hierta, Junonia natalica, Junonia terea, Protogoniomorpha parhassus and Hypolimnas misippus. The vigorous growth of A. g. micrantha in tropical regions makes it a weed which can smother certain indigenous vegetation where it has been introduced.

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/Asystasia_gangetica

Enhanced by Zemanta
Categories
Herbs & Plants Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Cloves

Dried cloves
Dried cloves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[amazon_link asins=’B00078N94O,B00269T9JQ’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8960acf1-0099-11e7-b95b-cb5de2d0d578′]

[amazon_link asins=’B00PM7S5R6,B002N0H36O’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d5917571-009b-11e7-b123-f93c8b69f42f’]

Botanical Name : Syzigium aromaticum
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Syzygium
Species: S. aromaticum
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Angiosperms
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms:Eugenia Caryophyllata

Common Names: Indian name Laung.In Urdu it is called as ‘Laong’. In Kerala state (India) it is called ‘Grampoo’ in Malayalam. In Hindi, it’s called ‘Lavang’ and many Indian languages have names similar to it, e.g. in Marathi, it is called as “Lavang”, whereas In Telugu, it is called ‘Lavangam’, plural ‘Lavangalu’ . In Kannada, it is called ‘Lavanga’. In Sinhala it is called ‘Karabu Nati. The Tamil language uses both the native  (kirambu) and also the Sanskrit-derived(lavangam).

In Vietnam, it is called ?inh huong. In Indonesia it is called cengkeh or cengkih.Cloves are also known as ‘giroflier’ in French; ‘Gewürznelkenbaum’ in German; ‘cravo-da-Índia’, ‘cravo-das-molucas’, and ‘cravo-de-doce’ in Portuguese; and ‘árbol del clavo’, ‘clavero giroflé’, and ‘clavo de olor’ in Spanish.

Habitat : Cloves are  native to the Spice Islands and the Philippines but also grown in India, Sumatra, Jamaica, the West Indies, Brazil, and other tropical areas.

Description:
The clove is an evergreen tree, 15 to 30 feet tall. It has opposite, ovate leaves more than 5 inches long; and its flowers, when allowed to develop, are red and white, bell-shaped, and grow in terminal clusters. The familiar clove used in the kitchen is the dried flower bud. The fruit is a one- or two-seeded berry.

You may click to see the pictures of  CLOVE TREE
The clove tree is endemic in the North Moluccas (Indonesia) and was of old cultivated on the islands of Ternate, Tidore, Bacan and the West coast of Halmahera. The Dutch extended cultivation to several other islands in the Moluccas, but only after the end of the Dutch monopoly (18.th century), clove trees were introduced to other countries.click & see

Uses:
Cloves can be used in cooking either whole or in a ground form, but as they are extremely strong, they are used sparingly.

Cloves have historically been used in Indian cuisine (both North Indian and South Indian). In North Indian cuisine, it is used in almost all rich or spicy dishes as an ingredient of a mix named garam masala, along with other spices, although it is not an everyday ingredient for home cuisine, nor is it used in summer very often. In the Maharashtra region of India it is used sparingly for sweet or spicy dishes, but rarely in everyday cuisine. In Ayurvedic medicine it is considered to have the effect of increasing heat in system, hence the difference of usage by region and season. In south Indian cuisine, it is used extensively in biryani along with “cloves dish” (similar to pilaf, but with the addition of other spices), and it is normally added whole to enhance the presentation and flavor of the rice.

Dried cloves are also a key ingredient in Indian masala chai, spiced tea, a special variation of tea popular in some regions, notably Gujarat. In the US, it is often sold under the name of “chai” or “chai tea”, as a way of differentiating it from other types of teas sold in the US.

In Mexican cuisine, cloves are best known as ‘clavos de olor’, and often used together with cumin and cinnamon.

In Vietnamese cuisine, cloves are often used to season the broth of Pho.

Due to the Indonesian influence, the use of cloves is widespread in the Netherlands. Cloves are used in cheeses, often in combination with cumin. Cloves are an essential ingredient for making Dutch speculaas. Furthermore, cloves are used in traditional Dutch stews like hachee.

Non-culinary uses:
The spice is used in a type of cigarette called kretek in Indonesia. Kreteks have been smoked throughout Europe, Asia and the United States. In 2009, clove cigarettes (as well as fruit and candy flavored cigarettes) were outlawed in the US. However, they are still sold in similar form, re-labeled as “filtered clove cigars.”

Cloves are also an important incense material in Chinese and Japanese culture. And clove essence is commonly used in the production of many perfumes.

During Christmas, it is a tradition in some European countries to make pomanders from cloves and oranges to hang around the house. This spreads a nice scent throughout the house and acts as holiday decorations.

Cloves are often used as incense in the Jewish practice called Havdala

Clove oil anesthesia and overdose is considered a humane method for euthanizing fish.

Constituents:
Eugenol comprises 72-90% of the essential oil extracted from cloves, and is the compound most responsible for the cloves’ aroma. Other important essential oil constituents of clove oil include acetyl eugenol, beta-caryophyllene and vanillin; crategolic acid; tannins, gallotannic acid, methyl salicylate (painkiller); the flavonoids eugenin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and eugenitin; triterpenoids like oleanolic acid, stigmasterol and campesterol; and several sesquiterpenes.

Eugenol has pronounced antiseptic and anaesthetic properties. Of the dried buds, 15 – 20 percent is essential oils, and the majority of this is eugenol. A kilogram (2.2 lbs) of dried buds yields approximately 150 ml (1/4 of pint) of eugenol.

Eugenol can be toxic in relatively small quantities—as low as 5 ml.

Medicinal Uses:
Traditional Chinese physicians have long used the herb to treat indigestion, diarrhea, hernia, and ringworm, as well as athlete’s foot and other fungal infections.  India’s traditional Ayurvedic healers have used clove since ancient times to treat respiratory and digestive ailments.  America’s 19th century Eclectic physicians used clove to treat digestive complaints and added it to bitter herb-medicine preparations to make them more palatable.  The Eclectics were also the first to extract clove oil from the herbal buds. It has antiseptic, stimulant, stomachic and digestive properties.  As an anti-infectant, cloves are effective against coli bacilli, streptococci, staphylococci, pneumococci and as an antimycotic.  The oil, too, is used in dentistry for its antiseptic and analgesic properties, and, like the whole cloves and powdered cloves, for local pain-relieving purposes.  Eugenol is a local anesthetic used in dental fillings and cements; a rubifacient and a carminative.  It is also an irritant and an allergic sensitizer.      Besides all their other uses, cloves can be used to treat acne, skin ulcers, sores, and styes.  They also make a potent mosquito and moth repellent which is where the clove studded orange pomander comes from.

Traditional medicinal uses:
Cloves are used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine, and western herbalism and dentistry, where the essential oil is used as an anodyne (painkiller) for dental emergencies. Cloves are used as a carminative, to increase hydrochloric acid in the stomach and to improve peristalsis. Cloves are also said to be a natural anthelmintic. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy when stimulation and warming are needed, especially for digestive problems. Topical application over the stomach or abdomen are said to warm the digestive tract. Clove oil, applied to a cavity in a decayed tooth, also relieves toothache. It also helps to decrease infection in the teeth due to its antiseptic properties.

In Chinese medicine cloves or ding xiang are considered acrid, warm and aromatic, entering the kidney, spleen and stomach meridians, and are notable in their ability to warm the middle, direct stomach qi downward, to treat hiccough and to fortify the kidney yang. Because the herb is so warming it is contraindicated in any persons with fire symptoms and according to classical sources should not be used for anything except cold from yang deficiency. As such it is used in formulas for impotence or clear vaginal discharge from yang deficiency, for morning sickness together with ginseng and patchouli, or for vomiting and diarrhea due to spleen and stomach coldness. This would translate to hypochlorhydria. Clove oil is used in various skin disorders like acne, pimples etc. It is also used in severe burns, skin irritations and to reduce the sensitiveness of skin.

Cloves may be used internally as a tea and topically as an oil for hypotonic muscles, including for multiple sclerosis. This is also found in Tibetan medicine. Some recommend avoiding more than occasional use of cloves internally in the presence of pitta inflammation such as is found in acute flares of autoimmune diseases.

In West Africa, the Yorubas use cloves infused in water as a treatment for stomach upsets, vomiting and diarrhea. The infusion is called Ogun Jedi-jedi.

Western studies have supported the use of cloves and clove oil for dental pain. However, studies to determine its effectiveness for fever reduction, as a mosquito repellent and to prevent premature ejaculation have been inconclusive. Clove may reduce blood sugar levels.

Tellimagrandin II is an ellagitannin found in S. aromaticum with anti-herpesvirus properties.

The buds have anti-oxidant properties

CLICK & SEE: Health Benefits Of Oil Of Clove

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/Clove
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.ifood.tv/blog/how-to-grow-clove-trees
http://www.heartofthedragon.net/Cloves.htm
http://www.ifood.tv/blog/how-to-grow-clove-trees

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Curare

[amazon_link asins=’B001VGQI6M,1613777469,6070119177,B072BMV6FW,B01DLRE0ZO,B07519X94Q,B0741RCQT7,B01GKK4L2G,B074KP8GTS’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b0e251fb-8d33-11e7-8ff0-9ba61879f615′]

 

Botanical Name: Chondrodendron tomentosum
Family:Menispermaceae
Genus: Chondrodendron
Species: Tomentosum
Parts Used: Leaf, Root

Synonyms: Pereira Brava. Cissampelos Pareira. Velvet Leaf. Ice Vine.
Parts Used: Dried root, bark, bruised leaves.

Common Names: Curare, Grieswurzel, Pareira Brava, Pareira, Vigne Sauvage,  pareira, uva-da-serra, uva-do-mato, ampihuasca blanca, antinupa, antinoopa, comida de venados, curari, ourari, woorari, worali, velvet leaf

Habitat: Curare is native to   West Indies, Spanish Main Brazil, Peru.  It grows in  Amazon Basin of South America.(In El Salvador and other parts of Central America)

Description:
This deciduous plant will flower in a container just prior to leafing out. The flowers are attractive red “spikes”. Zone 9+ The bright red seeds contain a number of poisonous alkaloids that have a curare-like action.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES

Curare grows as a large liana, or vine, found in the canopy of the South American rainforest. The vine may get as thick as 4 inches in diameter at its base. It has large alternate, heart-shaped leaves which may be 4-8 inches long and almost as wide, with a 2-6 inches long petiole. The leaves are smooth on top with a hairy white bottom, and deeply indented veins radiating from the leaf base. Clusters of small (1/16-1/8 inches), greenish-white flowers are made up of separate male and female flowers. The fleshy fruits are oval, narrow at the base, and approximately 1-2 mm long.

Edible Uses:

The fruit of this vine is edible with a bitter-sweet taste.
Some Indians of South America crush and cook the roots and stems, and add other plants and venomous animals, mixing it until it becomes a light syrup. They call this mixture “ampi”, or “curaré”, which they use on the tip of their arrows and darts to hunt wild game. Crude curare is a dark brown or black mass with a sticky to hard consistency and an aromatic, tarry odor. The name comes from Indian word meaning “poison.”

Curare, in large doses, paralyses the motor nerve-endings in striped muscle, and death occurs from respiratory failure. Curare is very bitter, and is actually a common name for various dart poisons originating from South America.

The young flowers and new growth are added to soups and other food preparations as a soporific vegetables.

Curare has differing effects depending upon dosage, whether it is injected into muscle tissue, or ingested. Curare is used internally in tribal medicine for edema, fever, kidney stones and testicular inflammation. It is also known to relax muscles into a state of inactivity.

Under appropriate medical care and attention, curare is also used to relieve spastic paralysis, to treat some mental disorders, and to induce muscle relaxation for setting fractures. Curare is now used extensively in modern medicine. It is only toxic if it enters the bloodstream. Curare is not for sale to the general public.

As with many Amazonian tribal plant history and legend, curare is prepared by old women. In some traditions, the witch doctor has a monopoly of the business, but generally, wise old men get together to brew a batch. Extra curare was usually carried by tribal members in a gourd or calabash, and stored with weapons.

Medicinal Uses:

The active ingredient in “curaré”, D-tubocurarine, is used in medicine. Brazilians consider the root a diuretic, and use it internally in small quantities for madness and dropsy, and externally for bruises. It is also used for edema, fever, and kidney stones.

Curare is an alkaloid, and acts as a neuromuscular blocking agent to produce paralysis in muscles. It first affects the muscles of the toes, ears, and eyes, then those of the neck, arms and legs, and finally, those involved in breathing. In fatal doses, death is caused by respiratory paralysis. Curare must get into the blood system for it to work. It doesn’t hurt to eat something killed by a poisoned curare arrow, for instance.

The therapeutical employment of curare has been suggested in certain severe and obstinate spasmodic affections, as in epilepsy, chorea, hydrophobia, and, more particularly, in tetanus. It is used by subcutaneous injections of its filtered aqueous solution, thus: Add curare 1 grain, to distilled water 24 minims; dissolve, let the solution stand 48 hours, and filter; of this, from 2 minims (1/12 grain) to 6 minims (1/4 grain) may be used at one injection, carefully repeating the injections until relaxation of the muscles has been effected. Curarine, dissolved in water, with a few drops of sulphuric acid added, to facilitate its solution, is to be used in still smaller doses—from the 1/240 to the 1/120 part of a grain. It is doubtful whether this agent will ever come into general use as a medicinal remedy; at least, not so long as other medicines are known in which greater confidence can be placed. The diversity of action, attributable, in some instances, to its difference of composition, in others to its inertness, or to its highly active qualities, render it an uncertain, as well as an unsafe, remedy.

It is used in modern medicine primarily as an auxiliary in general anesthesia, frequently with cyclopropane, especially in abdominal surgery. Upon injection, curare acts as a neuromuscular blocking agent to produce flaccidity in striated (striped) muscle (it competes with acetylcholine at the nerve ending, preventing nerve impulses from activating skeletal, or voluntary, muscles). It first affects the muscles of the toes, ears, and eyes, then those of the neck and limbs, and, finally, those involved in respiration. In fatal doses, death is caused by respiratory paralysis.
Practitioners commonly rely on velvet leaf as an excellent natural remedy for menstrual difficulties, including cramping and pain, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), excessive bleeding, and fibroid tumors. Its ability to curb excessive menstrual bleeding very quickly can be quite remarkable. It is often employed in overall female balancing formulas, in kidney formulas (for its diuretic and smooth-muscle relaxant effects), and, in combination with other plants, in heart tonics and hypertension remedies. It is also considered effective against malaria, fever, hepatic ailments, gastric ulcers, diabetes, anemia, high cholesterol, cerebral tonic, fever, typhoid, stomach ulcers, pain killer, chronic inflammation of the urinary passages, good diuretic, etc. In North American herbal medicine, velvet leaf is used for many of the same conditions as in South America as well as for inflammation of the testicles and minor kidney problems. Pereira root also acts as an antiseptic to the bladder and is therefore employed for the relief of chronic inflammation of the urinary passages. It is also a good diuretic. The decoction of the stems and roots mixed with wild bee honey is used to treat sterile women. Root decoction used for post-menstrual hemorrhages, the alcoholic maceration, for rheumatism. Macerated leaves, bark and root, mixed with rum, are used by as aphrodisiac. Root decoction used as a cardio tonic, anti-anemic, anti-malarial. One tribe use a leaf decoction for fever and another use the decoction of the bark and stem as a dental analgesic. Some Ecuadorian tribes use the leaf decoction for conjunctivitis and snakebite. Others use the root tea for difficult delivery and nervous or weak children with colic. Also used in homeopathy, in the form of a mother tincture.

Abutua is a very useful herb for women’s affections. Its antispasmodic action makes it influential in treating cramps, painful menstruation and pre and post-natal pain. Brazilian Indian women have for centuries valued its analgesic powers, and the satchels of almost all midwives contain the root of this plant. Helpful for menstrual cramps and difficult menstruation, pre- and post-natal pain Aids poor digestion, drowsiness after meals and constipation.

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.blueplanetbiomes.org/curare.htm
http://ezinearticles.com/?Rainforest-Plants—Curare&id=1030007
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/146779/curare

http://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/kings/curare.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

 

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Gudmar / madhunasini

[amazon_link asins=’B01AN5VEC4,B00WQ7CQAW,B00ANMVP0Y,B01A3NXIS4,B007TB2Q96,B00WQ7CSAK,B00WQ7CVK2,B008OVYOO0,B00ANMVLN0′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’902c91df-65e7-11e7-81f6-13e14b5861c0′][amazon_link asins=’B01BODY6PG,B0180RNMO0′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’4038bbfd-65e7-11e7-9d1c-b751cb75ac52′]

 

Botanical Name:Asclapias geminata Roxb/Periploca Sylvastris Retz
Family : Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Tribe : Marsdenieae
Gender : Gymnema
Species : G. sylvestris
Division :  Magnoliophyta
Class : Magnoliopsida
Subclass:  Asterids
Order :  Gentianales

Synonyms: Periploca sylvestris Willd., Gymnema melicida Edgew.

Common Name:
English :Suger destroyer,Periploca of the wood
Sanskrit:Mesasrngi,Ajaballi, Ajagandini, Ajashringi, Bahalchakshu, Chakshurabahala, Grihadruma, Karnika, Kshinavartta, Madhunasini, Medhasingi, Meshashringi, Meshavishanika, Netaushadhi, Putrashringi, Sarpadanshtrika, Tiktadughdha, Vishani.
Local Indian Names :
Hindi– Gur-mar, merasingi; Bengali- Mera-singi; Marathi– Kavali, kalikardori, vakundi; Gujarati– Dhuleti, mardashingi; Telugu- Podapatri; Tamil- Adigam, cherukurinja; Kannada– Sannager-asehambu; Malyalam– Cakkarakkolli, Madhunashini.

Parts Used: Leaves

Habitat:
Preferentially grows in forests and secondary open scrub and is in heights up to 1000-1200 meters .  It is especially distributed in the monsoon forests and, less frequently, has reached parts of Oceania and America .  It is located in Asia especially in India , in the tropical forests of central and southern Iraq, in Western Ghats is a mountain range that lies west of India and in the territory of Goa .  It also grows in Japan , Sri Lanka , Vietnam , Taiwan and some provinces of China in Fujian , Guangxi , Hainan , Yunnan and Zhejiang .  Less commonly can be found in South Africa .

Description:
Large climbers,rooting at nodes,leaves elliptic,acuminate,base acute to acuminate, glabrous above sparsely or densely tomentose beneath. Flowers small, in axillary and lateral umbel like cymes, pedicels long. Calyz-lobes long, ovate,obtuse,pubescent. Corolla pale yellow campalute,valvate, corona single with 5 fleshy scales. Scales adnate to throat of corolla tube between lobes. Anther connective produced into a membranous tip, pollima2,erect,carpels 2, unilocular; loculus many ovulated. Follicle long,fusiform.

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

Extensive, much-branched, twining shrubs. Leaves 3-6 x 2-3 cm, ovate or elliptic-oblong, apiculate, rounded at base, sub-coriaceous. Flowers minute, greenish-yellow, spirally arranged in lateral pedunculate or nearly sessile cymes. Corolla lobes imbricate. Follicles solitary, upto 8 x 0.7 cm, terete, lanceolate, straight or slightly curved, glabrous. Seeds ovate-oblong, glabrous, winged, brown. Flowering: August-March; Fruiting: Winter.

Madhunashini is an evergreen climber and the best season for planting is June-July. After the ploughing and leveling of the land, 45 cm3 sized pits are made at a distance of 2.5 m between the rows and 1.75 m between plants (within the row). The pits are dug open 15 days earlier to planting, they are filled with green leaves and top soil and 2 kgs of well rotten manure per pit is added. The pits are to be irrigated and left for one week, then the rooted cuttings are planted in the pits.

HARVESTING AND YIELD
The crop is ready for harvest two years after planting. Leaves are the economic part and the harvesting of the leaves begins when plants start flowering i.e., during end of June or first week of July. Leaves can be harvested along with flowers either by hand or can be cut with sickle/knife. The harvest leaves are dried under shade by allowing sufficient air to circulate by spreading thinly on clear ground for about7-8 days. Direct sunlight should be avoided to maintain the quality of the leaves.

The crop is harvested only once in a year during flowering and on an average 5-6 kg dried leaves per plant can be obtained from a 4 years old plant yielding about 10,000 – 15,000 kgs of dried leaves per hectare. The crop can be cultivated for 10-15 years under good management.

Chemical Composition:
The leaves contain hentriacontane, pentatriacontane, a-and ß-chlorophylls, phytin, resins, tartaric acid, formic acid, butyric acid, anthraqui-none derivatives, inositol, d -quercitol and “gymnemic acid”. The leaves give positive tests for alkaloids. Flavonol glycosides, kaempferol and quercetin have been isolated from the aerial parts of the plant (Liu et al., 2004). Three new oleanane-type triterpene glycosides were isolated from the leaves of the plant. Six oleanane-type saponins (Ye et al., 2000, 2001). Few new tritepenoid saponins, gymnemasins A, B, C and D were also isolated from the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre (Suttisri et al., 1995, Sahu et al., 1996).

Medicinal Property & Uses:  The plant is stomachic, stimulant, laxative and diuretic. It is good in cough, biliousness and sore eyes. If the leaves of the plant are chewed, the sense of taste for sweet and bitter substances is suppressed (Gent, 1999, Persaud et al., 1999, Intelegen, 2004). The leaves are said to be used as a remedy for diabetes (Prakash et al., 1986; Shanmugasundaram et al., 1990; Grover et al., 2002; Gholap & Kar, 2003}. It has been included among the most important herbs for all doshas (Mhasker & Caius, 1930; Holistic, 2004). It has shown effective activity against Bacillus pumilis, B. subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus (Satdive et al., 2003). Tribals in Chhindi rub the leaves on infected body parts to cure infections.

The leaf powder is tasteless with a faint pleasant aromatic odour. It stimulates the heart and the circulatory system, increases the secretion of urine, and activates the uterus. Tribals of Central India prepare decoctions of Methi/ fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum), Gudmar (Gymnema sylvestre), Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna), Ajwan (Trachyspermum ammi), gokshura (Tribulus terrestris), vayu-vidanga (Embelia ribes), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Harra (Terminalia chebula), and chitrak (Plumbago zeylanica) to cure diabetes and stress related disorders.

Traditional healers from various states of India use this plant in various ailments. Leaf is given in gastric troubles in Rajasthan. Traditional healers of Maharastra prescribe it in urinary problems and stomachache whereas in Madhya Pradesh, tribals and local healers apply the leaf extract in cornea opacity and other eye diseases. In Andhra Pradesh it is used in glycosuria.

In Indian Ayurveda it is mainly used in the treatment of Diabetes, hydrocil & Asthama.

Few important companies in Product Manufacturing:

Active Ingredients Group., Inc., China

Amitco International Botanical & Nutritional Division, USA

Camden-Grey Essential Oils, Miami, USA.

Christina’s Body & Fitness, USA

Dabur, India

Himalaya Herbals, India

Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd. India

Philly Pharmacy, USA

S&D Chemicals (Canada) Ltd. Canada

Concluding Remarks:

It is the need of the hour to save this highly important medicinal plant of Patalkot valley. If proper initiatives would not be taken in time, there would not be single Gymnema plant in the valley. It is urged to the scientists, conservationists, researchers, NGO’s and other bodies to come forward and take moves to protect this important herb. Local farmers should be encouraged to cultivate this herb. Government and policy makers are having lots of plans/ ideas but they find problems in proper implementations. It is the youth and people from literate world who should come forward to take this task in their hands.

 Other uses: Alcoholic extract has a dry leaves showing antibacterial activity against Bacillus pumilus , Bacillus subtilis , Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus .

Caution:    If the indicated amounts are used, ie no more than 400mg per day is generally safe, well tolerated and no side effects.  During pregnancy and lactation has not been determined whether or not there may be side effects.  Still, it is recommended to consult a medical practitioner before taking Gymnema extract diabetic children and elderly.  Contraindicated if used in combination with oral hypoglycemic drugs.  Be careful when taking gymnema with glipizide, glyburide and insulin.

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:

Click to access GYMNEMA.pdf


http://horticulture.kar.nic.in/APMAC_website_files/madhunasini.htm
http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/gymnema.shtml
http://www.sacredearth.com/ethnobotany/plantprofiles/Gymnea.php
http://www.orissafdc.com/products_medicinal_plants.php

Enhanced by Zemanta
Categories
Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Citron

Citron
Image via Wikipedia

[amazon_link asins=’B01MSNCO0Y,B072MMJCG1,B0102VDWZQ,B01NBW4X13,B072FVXBFH,B06XSC5GQF,B0719X444F’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’2c2ce0c6-65f9-11e7-b9e4-f15988bf277f’]

Botanical Name:Citrus medica L.
Family: Rutaceae
Sub-family: Aurantioideae.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales
Genus: Citrus
Species: C. medica
Common Names: Citron,Citron Melon,Preserving Melon,Stock Melon,Corsican Citron,Diamante Citron,Ethrog,Leghorn Citron

Other Names:Media, Median Apple,Persia or Assyria. The citron has many similar names in diverse languages, e.g. cederat, cedro, etc. Most confusing are the Czech, French, Dutch, Yiddish and Scandinavian languages, in which the false friend “citron” refers to the fruit which is called lemon in English. The French name for citron is “cédrat”.

Habitat:The Citron’s place of origin is unknown but seeds were found in Mesopotamian excavations dating back to 4000 B.C.
Spaniards probably brought the Citron with other Citrus species to St. Augustine in Florida but it survived there only in greenhouses. Today the Citron is grown in southern Florida only occasionally as a curiosity. Citron trees are not uncommon in some of the Pacific Islands but are rare in the Philippines.
(Morton, J. 1987. Fruits of Warm Climates.)

Description:-
Citron is a slow-growing shrub or small tree reaching up to 15 ft (4.5 m) in height with stiff branches and twigs and spines in the leaf axils.
The evergreen leaflets are leathery, lemon-scented, ovate-lanceolate or ovate elliptic. The flower buds are large and white or purplish. The fragrant flowers have 4 to 5 petals and they are pinkish or purplish with 30 to 60 stamens. The fruit is fragrant, oblong or oval and very variable even on the same branch. The peel is yellow, usually rough and bumpy and very thick. The pulp is pale-yellow or greenish divided into as many as 14 or 15 segments, firm, not very juicy, acid or sweet and contains numerous seeds.
(Morton, J. 1987. Fruits of Warm Climates.)

........

Cultivation and uses:-
The citron fruit is slow-growing. The citron tree is typically grown from cuttings that are two to four years old; the tree begins to bear fruit when it is around three years old. The fruit is oblong in shape, and sometimes as much as six inches in length. Its skin is thick, somewhat hard, fragrant, and covered with protuberances; the pulp is white and subacid.

In Pliny’s time the fruit was never eaten (it began to be used in cooking by the early 2nd century), but its intense perfume was used, penetrating clothes to repel noxious insects (compare Citronella).

In Hebrew, the citron is known as the etrog (Hebrew: ???????). It is one of the Four Species used during the holiday of Sukkot each fall. The role of the citron in that holiday was portrayed in the Israeli movie Ushpizin. Citrons that have been bred with lemon (in order to increase output per tree and make the tree less fragile) are not kosher for use as part of the Four Species.

In South Indian cuisine, especially tamil cuisine, citron is widely used in pickles and preserves. In Tamil, the unripe fruit is referred to as ‘narthangai’, which is usually salted and dried to make a preserve. The tender leaves of the plant are often used in conjunction with chili powder and other spices to make a powder, called ‘narthellai podi’, literally translating to ‘powder of citron leaves’. Both narthangai and narthellai podi are usually consumed with thayir sadam.

In Korea, it is used to create a syrupy tea (called Yuja cha) where the slices of whole fruit are eaten with the sweet tea. The fruit is thinly sliced (peel, pith and pulp) and soaked or cooked in honey or sugar to create a chunky syrup. This syrupy candied fruit is mixed with hot water as a fragrant tea, where the fruit at the bottom of the cup is eaten as well. Often perserved in the syrup for the cold months, Yuja tea served as a source of fruit in winter.

Food Uses:
The most important part of the Citron is the peel, which is a fairly important article in international trade.
The candied peel is sun-dried or put up in jars for future use. Candying is done mainly in England, France and the United States. The candied peel is widely employed in the food industry, especially as an ingredient in fruitcake, plum pudding, buns, sweet rolls and candy. In Guatemala, Citron is used as flavoring for carbonated soft drinks. In Malaya, Citron juice is used as a substitute for the juice of imported, expensive lemons. A product called “Citron Water” is made in Barbados and shipped to France for flavoring wine and vermouth.
In Spain, syrup made from the peel is used to flavor unpalatable medical preparations. If the citron lacks flavor, a few orange or lemon leaves can be added to the syrup
(Morton, J. 1987. Fruits of Warm Climates.)

Indigenous Practices:
Chinese and Japanese people prize the Citron for its fragrance. It is a common practice in central and northern China to carry a ripe fruit in the hand or place a fruit in a dish on a table to perfume the air of a room.
The dried fruits are put with stored clothing to repel moths. In southern China, the juice is used to wash fine linen.
In some of the South Pacific islands a fragrant oil call “Cedrat Petitgrain Oil” is distilled from the leaves and twigs of Citron trees for the French perfume industry. The flowers have also been distilled for essential oil however this oil has limited use in scent manufacturing.
Branches of the Citron tree are used as walking sticks in India. The wood is white, hard and heavy, and of fine grain. In India, it is also used for agricultural implements.
(Morton, J. 1987. Fruits of Warm Climates.)

Medicinal Uses:
In ancient times and in the Middle Ages, the “Ethrog” was employed as a remedy for seasickness, pulmonary troubles, intestinal ailments and other disorders.
Citron juice with wine was considered an effective purgative to clean the system of poison. In India, the peel is a remedy for dysentery. The distilled juice is given as a sedative. The candied peel is sold in China as a stimulant, expectorant and tonic. In West Tropical Africa, the citron is used only as a medicine, against rheumatism. In Malaya, a decoction of the fruit is taken to drive off evil spirits. In Panama, they are ground up and combined with other ingredients and given as an antidote for poison. The essential oil of the peel is regarded as an antibiotic.
(Morton, J. 1987. Fruits of Warm Climates.)

Ayurvedic Medicinal Uses:In heart disorders, abdominal colic, Gulma (abdominal tumors), vomiting, nausea, indigestion, haemorrhoids.

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.ntbg.org/plants/plant_details.php?rid=703&plantid=2870
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citrus_medica
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_herbs_and_minerals_in_Ayurveda

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]