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Herbs & Plants

Morus nigra

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Botanical Name : Morus nigra
Family: Moraceae
Tribe: Moreae
Genus: Morus
Species: M. nigra
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Names :Mulberry, Common mulberry, Black mulberry,

Habitat : Morus nigra is native to southwestern Asia, where it has been cultivated for so long that its precise natural range is unknown. It is known for its large number of chromosomes, as it has 154 pairs (308 individuals).

Black (Morus nigra) mulberries are thought to have originated in the mountainous areas of Mesopotamia and Persia and are now widespread throughout Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, Syria, and Turkey, where the tree and the fruit are known by the Persian-derived names toot (mulberry) of shahtoot (??? ???) (king’s or “superior” mulberry), or, in Arabic, shajarat tukki. Jams and sherbets are often made from the fruit in this region.

Description:
Morus nigra is a deciduous tree growing (at a slow rate) to 12 m (39 ft) tall by 15 m (49 ft) broad. The leaves are 10–20 cm (4–8 in) long by 6–10 cm (2–4 in) broad – up to 23 cm (9 in) long on vigorous shoots, downy on the underside, the upper surface rough with very short, stiff hairs.
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It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant)The plant is self-fertile

The edible fruit is dark purple, almost black, when ripe, 2–3 centimetres (0.8–1.2 in) long, a compound cluster of several small drupes; it is richly flavoured, similar to the red mulberry (Morus rubra) but unlike the more insipid fruit of the white mulberry (Morus alba).

Cultivation:    
Prefers a warm moist but well-drained loamy soil in a sheltered sunny position. Prefers a light soil. Plants are very tolerant of atmospheric pollution[4]. Trees are hardy as far north as southern Sweden. A slow growing but very ornamental tree, the mulberry is sometimes cultivated in gardens for its delicious edible fruit. The tree is not grown on a commercial scale because the fruit is too soft and easily damaged to allow it to be transported to market, and is therefore best eaten straight from the tree. There are some named varieties. The mulberry takes many years to settle down and produce good crops of fruit, about 15 years being the norm. Trees fruit well in southern and south-western Britain but they require the protection of a wall further north if the fruit is to ripen. This is a good tree for growing grapes into. It means that the grapes are difficult to pick, but they always seem to be healthier and free from fungal diseases. Plants are late coming into leaf and also lose their leaves at the first autumn frosts though the tree in leaf casts quite a dense shade. Mulberries have brittle roots and so need to be handled with care when planting them out. Any pruning should only be carried out in the winter when the plant is fully dormant because mulberries bleed badly when cut. Ideally prune only badly placed branches and dead wood. Once considered to be a very long-lived tree, doubts are now being cast on this assumption, it is probably fairly short-lived. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.

Propagation:  
The seed germinates best if given 2 – 3 months cold stratification. Sow the seed as soon as it is ripe if possible, otherwise in February in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in the first spring, though it sometimes takes another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 – 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Plant out in spring. A good percentage take, though they sometimes fail to thrive. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth, 25 – 30cm with a heel of 2 year old wood, autumn or early spring in a cold frame or a shady bed outside. Bury the cuttings to threequarters of their depth. It is said that cuttings of older wood up to 2.5 metres long can be readily made to strike. The cuttings are taken in February and planted 30cm deep in a shady sheltered position outdoors. The stem is wrapped in moss to prevent water loss by transpiration, with only the top few buds not being covered. Layering in autumn

Edible Uses:                                           
Edible Parts: Fruit. – raw, cooked or used in preserves. A delicious slightly acid flavour, it makes an excellent dessert fruit and can be eaten in quantity. The fruit is juicy and refreshing, though it must be used as soon as it is ripe (from mid-August to September) otherwise it will start to rot. The fruit falls from the tree as soon as it is fully ripe. It is best, therefore, to grow the tree in short grass to cushion the fall of the fruit but to still make it possible to find and harvest. The fruit can also be dried and ground into a powder. The fruit is up to 25mm in diameter.

RECIPES:
Mulberry Wine
On each gallon of ripe Mulberries, pour 1 gallon of boiling water and let them stand for 2 days. Then squeeze all through a hair sieve or bag. Wash out the tub or jar and return the liquor to it, put in the sugar at the rate of 3 lb. to each gallon of the liquor; stir up until quite dissolved, then put the liquor into a cask. Let the cask be raised a little on one side until fermentation ceases, then bung down. If the liquor be clear, it may be bottled in 4 months’ time. Into each bottle put 1 clove and a small lump of sugar and the bottles should be kept in a moderate temperature. The wine may be used in a year from time of bottling.
Mulberries are sometimes used in Devonshire for mixing with cider during fermentation, giving a pleasant taste and deep red colour. In Greece, also, the fruit is subjected to fermentation, thereby furnishing an inebriating beverage.

Scott relates in Ivanhoe that the Saxons made a favourite drink, Morat, from the juice of Mulberries with honey, but it is doubtful whether the Morum of the Anglo-Saxon ‘Vocabularies’ was not the Blackberry, so that the ‘Morat’ of the Saxons may have been Blackberry Wine.

Mulberry Jam:
Unless very ripe Mulberries are used, the jam will have an acid taste. Put 1 lb. of Mulberries in a jar and stand it in a pan of water on the fire till the juice is extracted. Strain them and put the juice into a preserving pan with 3 lb. of sugar. Boil it and remove the scum and put in 3 lb. of very ripe Mulberries and let them stand in the syrup until thoroughly warm, then set the pan back on the fire and boil them very gently for a short time, stirring all the time and taking care not to break the fruit. Then take the pan off and let them stand in the syrup all night. Put the pan on the fire again in the morning and boil again gently till stiff.

Medicinal Uses:
The mulberry has a long history of medicinal use in Chinese medicine, almost all parts of the plant are used in one way or another. The white mulberry (M. alba) is normally used, but this species has the same properties. Recent research has shown improvements in elephantiasis when treated with leaf extract injections and in tetanus following oral doses of the sap mixed with sugar. Analgesic, emollient, sedative. The leaves are antibacterial, astringent, diaphoretic, hypoglycaemic, odontalgic and ophthalmic. They are taken internally in the treatment of colds, influenza, eye infections and nosebleeds. The leaves are collected after the first frosts of autumn and can be used fresh but are generally dried. The stems are antirheumatic, diuretic, hypotensive and pectoral. A tincture of the bark is used to relieve toothache. The branches are harvested in late spring or early summer and are dried for later use. The fruit has a tonic effect on kidney energy. It is used in the treatment of urinary incontinence, tinnitus, premature greying of the hair and constipation in the elderly. Its main use in herbal medicine is as a colouring and flavouring in other medicines. The root bark is antitussive, diuretic, expectorant and hypotensive. It is used internally in the treatment of asthma, coughs, bronchitis, oedema, hypertension and diabetes. The roots are harvested in the winter and dried for later use. The bark is anthelmintic and purgative, it is used to expel tape worms. Extracts of the plant have antibacterial and fungicidal activity. A homeopathic remedy is made from the leaves. It is used in the treatment of diabetes.

Other Uses  :
Dye;  Fibre;  Wood.

A fibre used in weaving is obtained from the bark. A red-violet to dark purple dye is obtained from the fruit. A yellow-green dye is obtained from the leaves. Wood – used in joinery.

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.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?latinname=Morus+nigra
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mulcom62.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morus_nigra

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Cucumis melo

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Botanical Name :  Cucumis melo
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Cucumis
Species: C. melo
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Cucurbitales

Synonym: Musk Melon.

Common Names : cantaloupe, Persian melon and Santa Claus or Christmas melon,

The Armenian cucumber is also a variety of muskmelon, but its shape, taste, and culinary uses more closely resemble those of a cucumber. The large number of cultivars in this species approaches that found in wild cabbage, though morphological variation is not as extensive. It is a fruit of a type called pepo. Muskmelon is native to Persia (Iran), Anatolia, Armenia, and adjacent areas on the west and the east which is believed to be their center of origin and development, with a secondary center including the northwest provinces of India and Afghanistan. Although truly wild forms of C. melo have not been found, several related wild species have been noted in those regions.

Habitat: The Melon is a native of South Asia-from the foot of the Himalayas to Cape Comorin, where it grows wild – but is cultivated in the temperate and warm regions of the whole world.

Description:
Cucumis melo is an annual, trailing herb, with large palmately-lobed leaves and bears tendrils, by which it is readily trained over trellises. Its flowers (which have bellshaped corollas, deeply five-lobed) are either male or female, both kinds being borne on the one plant. The male flowers have three stamens, the ovary in the female flowers, three cells. The many varieties of Melon show great diversity in foliage and still more in the size and shape of the fruit, which in some kinds is as small as an olive, in others as large as the Gourd (Cucurbita maxima). Some are globular, others egg-shaped, spindle-shaped or serpent-like, the outer skin smooth or netted, ribbed or furrowed, and variously coloured; the flesh, white, green or orange when ripe, scented or scentless, sweet or insipid, some bitter and even nauseous.
CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES
Muskmelons are monoecious plants. They do not cross with watermelon, cucumber, pumpkin, or squash, but varieties within the species intercross frequently. The genome of Cucumis melo L. was first sequenced in 2012

Medicinal Uses:
-The root of the Common Melon is purgative, and in large doses (7 to 10 grains) is said to be a certain emetic, the active and bitter principle having been called Melon-emetin.

The MELON-TREE, so-called, is the PAPAW, or Papaya (Carica Papaya, Linn.), a native of tropical America, where it is everywhere cultivated for its edible fruit and digestive properties.

The dried juice is largely used in the treatment of indigestion, under various trade names, ‘Papain,’ a white powder, being administered in all digestive disorders where albuminoid substances pass away undigested.

Click & see : What Are Cantaloupes Good For?

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/Cucumis_melo
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/melons30.html

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Herbs & Plants

Persia borbonia

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Botanical Name : Persia borbonia
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Persea
Species: P. borbonia
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Order: Laurales

Common Names :Redbay, Scrubbay, Sweetbay, Shorebay and Swampbay

Habitat : Persia borbonia  is native to North America, north of Mexico. It grows in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. It  grows in  sandy to rich moist soils of low woodlands, coastal forests, along the sides of bogs, streams and swamps. Sometimes found in dry sandy areas in Florida.   It also grows in the Bahamas and is cultivated in Hawaii. It usually grows on the borders of swamp land.

Unfortunately, due to an invasion of redbay ambrosia beetles in the Southern United States the tree is slowly dying out. The beetle was discovered in 2002 near Savannah, Georgia and it carries a fungal disease that is responsible for killing Redbay. This is bad because Redbay is a relative of the Avocado tree so if this disease is capable of killing off  Persia borbonia it could probably affect Persia americana.

Description:
Persia borbonia is a tall, evergreen shrub or short-trunked tree, reaching a maximum height of 65 ft. Form is dense and well-rounded. Handsome, aromatic, evergreen tree, with dense crown. The ascending branches are covered with a dense, rusty pubuscence and its aromatic leaves are leathery and narrowly oval. Pale-yellow flowers occur in small panicles from leaf axils and are followed by dark-blue to black fruit.

CLICK  &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

It has evergreen leaves that are about 3 to 7 inches long with a lance shape. The leaves are arranged alternately and emit a spicy smell when crushed. The leaves vary in color from bright green to dark green.  Redbay is a perennial, with a non-herbaceous stem that is lignified.

Propagation:
Sow seeds directly after collection of stratify and sow in spring.

Seed Collection: Gather fruits in the fall when they are dark blue to black. Remove pulp before storing. Store in sealed, refrigerated containers for up to one year.

Edible   uses:    The fresh or dried leaves can be used as a flavouring in soups etc

Medicinal Uses:
Red bay was widely employed medicinally by the Seminole Indians who used it to treat a variety of complaints, but especially as an emetic and body cleanser. It is little, if at all, used in modern herbalism.  An infusion  of the leaves can be used to abort a fetus up to the age of four months. An infusion is also used in treating fevers, headaches, diarrhea, thirst, constipation, appetite loss and blocked urination. A strong decoction is emetic and was used as a body purification when treating a wide range of complaints. A decoction of the leaves is used externally as a wash on rheumatic joints and painful limbs.

The leaves have been used as an abortifacient, analgesic, emetic and febrifuge. They have been used to treat fevers, headaches, diarrhea, thirst, constipation, appetite loss and blocked urination.

Other Uses:
*The wood is hard and strong, which can be used to build boats, cabinets and lining interiors of structures.It takes a beautiful polish
*It can also be used as an ornamental tree due to its evergreen leaves.
*The dried up leaves can used as a condiment but not much else.
*Deer and some reports of bears also eat the leaves and fruits of redbay. Birds and turkey only eat the fruit of the redbay

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/Persea_borbonia
http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=PEBO
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Persea+Borbonia

Red Bay for all seasonings

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Elaeagnus angustifolia

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Botanical Name : Elaeagnus angustifolia
Family: Elaeagnaceae
Genus: Elaeagnus
Species: E. angustifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Name :Russian silverberry, oleaster, or Russian-olive

Habitat : Elaeagnus angustifolia is  native to western and central Asia, from southern Russia and Kazakhstan to Turkey and Iran. It is now also widely established in North America as an introduced species.It grows by  side of  streams and along river banks to 3000 metres in Turkey

Description:

Elaeagnus angustifolia is a deciduous Shrub growing to 7 m (23ft) by 7 m (23ft) at a medium rate.
It is not frost tender. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It can fix Nitrogen.
Elaeagnus angustifolia is a usually thorny shrub or small tree growing to 5–7 m in height. Its stems, buds, and leaves have a dense covering of silvery to rusty scales. The leaves are alternate, lanceolate, 4–9 cm long and 1-2.5 cm broad, with a smooth margin. The highly aromatic flowers, produced in clusters of 1-3, are 1 cm long with a four-lobed creamy yellow corolla; they appear in early summer and are followed by clusters of fruit, a small cherry-like drupe 1-1.7 cm long, orange-red covered in silvery scales. The fruits are edible and sweet, though with a dryish, mealy texture. Its common name comes from its similarity in appearance to the olive (Olea europaea), in a different botanical family, Oleaceae.

cloick to see the pictures….>.....(01).....(1).……..(2).…..…(3)……..(4).……..(5).…….(6).
The shrub can fix nitrogen in its roots, enabling it to grow on bare mineral substrates.

Cultivation :
Elaeagnus angustifolia was described as Zizyphus cappadocica by John Gerard, was certainly grown by John Parkinson by 1633,  and was being grown in Germany in 1736. It is now widely grown across southern and central Europe as a drought-resistant ornamental plant for its scented flowers, edible fruit, attractive silver foliage, and black bark.

The species was introduced into North America in the late 19th century, and subsequently escaped cultivation, because its fruits, which seldom ripen in England, are relished by birds which disperse the seeds. Russian-olive is considered to be an invasive species in many places in the United States because it thrives on poor soil, has low seedling mortality rates, matures in a few years, and outcompetes wild native vegetation. It often invades riparian habitats where overstory cottonwoods have died.

Propagation:
Establishment and reproduction of Elaeagnus angustifolia is primarily by seed, although some spread by vegetative propagation also occurs. The fruit is readily eaten and disseminated by many species of birds. The plants begin to flower and fruit from three years old.
Edible Uses:
Fruits are eaten raw or cooked as a seasoning in soups. Dry, sweet and mealy. The fruit can also be made into jellies or sherbets. The fruit must be fully ripe before it can be enjoyed raw, if even slightly under-ripe it will be quite astringent. The oval fruit is about 10mm long and contains a single large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. It can be eaten with the fruit though the seed case is rather fibrous.

Medicinal Uses:
Some people are reported to use the seed oil, like olive oil, for bronchitis, burns, catarrh, and constipation. Flowers are used for fever, neuralgia, and aching burns, allegedly bringing people back from their deathbeds.  The astringent leaves are used for enteritis and fever.  The oil from the seeds is used with syrup as an electuary in the treatment of catarrh and bronchial affections. The juice of the flowers has been used in the treatment of malignant fevers. It is a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers. The ripe fruits have been used to treat amoebic dysentery. There is general belief that leaves and fruits of the plant have antipyretic effect. In folk medicine, oleaster fruit or flower preparations are used for treating nausea, vomiting, jaundice, asthma, and flatulence. An infusion of the fruit has been used in Iranian traditional medicine as an analgesic agent for alleviating pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients. The flower is also traditionally used for treating tetanus.  Juice of flower is used in Spain for malignant fever. Oil from the seed is used in catarrhal and bronchial affections. Locally the fruit is used as blood purifier and for coughs.

The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.

Other Uses:
Plants can be grown as a hedge in exposed positions, tolerating maritime exposure. It is fairly fast-growing and very tolerant of pruning, but is rather open in habit and does not form a dense screen. Because the plant fixes atmospheric nitrogen, it makes a hedge that enriches the soil rather than depriving it of nutrients. An essential oil obtained from the flowers is used in perfumery. A gum from the plant is used in the textile industry in calico printing. Wood – hard, fine-grained. Used for posts, beams, domestic items, it is also much used for carving. The wood is an excellent fuel.

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/Elaeagnus_angustifolia
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm?Voucher2=Connect+to+Internet
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Elaeagnus_angustifolia_20050608_859.jpg
http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/elan1.htm

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Elaeagnus+angustifolia

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Blepharis edulis

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Botanical Name : Blepharis edulis / Blepharis persica
Family: Acanthaceae
Genus: Blepharis
Species: B. edulis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Sanskrit name : Sunishannaka, Uttagana

English Name: Rohida Tree

Hindi Name: Uttanjan

Habitat : It is found in India, Pakistan and Iran.In Thar desert and also in Africa

Description :
Blepharis edulis is a small, grey-pubescent or nearly glabrous perennial herb found in the Thar desert and in Africa...…CLICK & SEE…….………………………………….Click to see the picture

Click to see the picture
..
The stem is rigid and leaves are four in each node. The flowers are blue, in strobilate inflorescence. The capsules are 2-seeded. Blepharin was identified from the seeds. The seeds are considered aphrodisiac, and are also resolvent and diuretic.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used: Seeds
The seeds of this plant are used for various medicinal purposes in India.

Click to see :
*Medicinal Uses of Uttanjan(Blepharis edulis )

*Investigation Of Aphrodisiac Potential Of Blepharis
edulis Linn.
:

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/Blepharis_edulis
http://www.la-medicca.com/raw-herbs-blepharis-edulis.html
http://www.eco-planet.com/Herbsandplants/Blepharis%20edulis.htm