Tag Archives: Jatropha

Kukui Nut Tree ( Aleurites moluccanus)

Botanical Name : Aleurites moluccanus
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Aleurites
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Species: A. moluccana
Synonyms: Aleurites javanicus, Aleurites pentaphyllus, Aleurites trilobus, Jatropha moluccana

Common Names:Candleberry,  Kemiri, Varnish tree, Nuez de la India or Kukui nut tree.Kukui Nut Oil, Candlenut, Indian-walnut.

Vernacular Names : Hindi:  Jangli akhrot,  Akhrot • Marathi:  Ramakrot,  Akhod, Japhala, Ranakot • Tamil:  Nattu akrottu, Woodooga • Malayalam: Akrottu, Akshotam, Karankolam, Vadam • Telugu: Uduga, Natu akrotu • Kannada: Akroda, Natakrodu, Arkod, Naadu aakrotu • Oriya: Akshota • Sanskrit: Akharota, Akhota, Akshota, Asphotaka, Gudashaya

Habitat:Its native range is impossible to establish precisely because of early spread by humans, and the tree is now distributed throughout the New and Old World tropics.We can say Candle Nut is an evergreen tree  and native to Indo-Malaysia.

Description:
The Candlenut (Aleurites moluccana), is a flowering tree. It grows to a height of 15–25 m (49–82 ft), with wide spreading or pendulous branches. The leaves are pale green, simple and ovate, or trilobed or rarely 5-lobed, with an acute apex, 10–20 cm (3.9–7.9 in) long. The nut is round, 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) in diameter; the seed inside has a very hard seed coat and a high oil content, which allows its use as a candle  hence its name.

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It is a highly domesticated tree. It grows to a height of 15–25 metres, with wide spreading or pendulous branches. The leaves are pale green, simple and ovate, or 3-5 lobed, with a pointed tip, 10–20 cm long. Candle Nut has both male and  female flowers on the same plant. The?greenish-white, fragrant flowers are arranged in a 10–15 cm panicled cyme at the end of branches, with many  small male flowers surrounding the?female?flowers.?The?flowers are?white to creamy in color, with five free petals, oblong in shape and up to1.3 cm long. Male flowers are longer and thinner than female flowers.

The plant typically flowers in the spring, although flowers  can be found nearly any time of year in many areas. The nut is round, 4–6 cm diameter – the seed inside has a very hard seed coat and a high oil content, which allows its use as a candle, hence its name. In Ancient Hawai?i, the nuts, named kukui were burned to provide light. The nuts were strung in a row on a palm leaf midrib, lit one end, and burned one by one every 15 minutes or so. Flowering: March-April.

Edible & Other Uses:
The nut is often used cooked in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine, where it is called kemiri in Indonesian or buah keras in Malay. On the island of Java in Indonesia, it is used to make a thick sauce that is eaten with vegetables and rice. In the Philippines, the fruit and tree are traditionally known as Lumbang after which Lumban, a lakeshore town in Laguna is named although the name Jatropha has since gained more popularity. Outside of Southeast Asia, macadamia nuts are sometimes substituted for candlenuts when they are not available, as they have a similarly high oil content and texture when pounded. The flavor, however, is quite different, as the candlenut is much more bitter. A Hawaiian condiment known as ?Inamona is made from roasted kukui (candlenuts) mixed into a paste with salt. ?Inamona is a key ingredient in traditional Hawaiian poke. Because the nuts contains saponin and phorbol, they are mildly toxic when raw.

In Ancient Hawaii, kukui nuts were burned to provide light. The nuts were strung in a row on a palm leaf midrib, lit one end, and burned one by one every 15 minutes or so. This led to their use as a measure of time. One could instruct someone to return home before the second nut burned out. Hawaiians also extracted the oil from the nut and burned it in a stone oil lamp called a kukui hele po (light, darkness goes) with a wick made of kapa cloth.

Hawaiians also had many other uses for the tree, including: leis from the shells, leaves and flowers; ink for tattoos from charred nuts; a varnish with the oil; and fishermen would chew the nuts and spit them on the water to break the surface tension and remove reflections, giving them greater underwater visibility. A red-brown dye made from the inner bark was used on kapa and aho (Touchardia latifolia cordage). A coating of kukui oil helped preserve ?upena (fishing nets). The nohona wa?a (seats), pale (gunwales) of wa?a (outrigger canoes) were made from the wood. The trunk was sometimes used to make smaller canoes used for fishing. Kukui was named the state tree of Hawai’i on 1 May 1959 due to its multitude of uses. It also represents the island of Moloka?i, whose symbolic color is the silvery green of the kukui leaf.

In Tonga, even today, ripe nuts, named tuitui are pounded into a paste, tukilamulamu, and used as soap or shampoo. As recently as 1993, candlenuts were chewed into sweet-scented emollient utilized during a traditional funerary ritual in the outlying islands of the Kingdom of Tonga.

Dead wood of candlenut is eaten by a larva of a coleoptera called Agrionome fairmairei. This larva is eaten by some people.

Modern cultivation is mostly for the oil. In plantations, each tree will produce 30–80 kg (66–180 lb) of nuts, and the nuts yield 15 to 20% of their weight in oil. Most of the oil is used locally rather than figuring in international trade.

Mythology
In Hawai’i the kukui is a symbol of enlightenment, protection and peace. It was said that Kamapua?a, the hog-man fertility demi-god, could transform into a kukui tree. One of the legends told of a woman who, despite her best efforts to please her husband, was routinely beaten. Finally, the husband beat her to death and buried her under a kukui tree. Being a kind and just woman, she was given new life, and the husband was eventually killed

Medicinal Uses:

Several parts of the plant have been used in traditional medicine in most of the areas where it is native. The oil is an irritant and purgative and sometimes used like castor oil. The seed kernels have a laxative effect. In Japan its bark has been used on tumors. In Sumatra, , pounded seeds, burned with charcoal, are applied around the navel for costiveness. In Malaya, the pulped kernels or boiled leaves are used in poultices for headache, fevers, ulcers, swollen joints, and gonorrhea. In Java, the bark is used for bloody diarrhea or dysentery. In Sumatra, pounded seeds, burned with charcoal, are applied around the navel for cositiveness. Bark juice with coconut milk is used for sprue. The fruit is eaten to produce aphrodisiac stimulation and the gum from the bark is chewed for the same reason. The oil is sometimes used medicinally similar to castor oil, as well as a laxative. In Southeast Asia, the oil is sometimes applied topically to treat headaches, fevers and swollen joints. To treat sores or infections in the mouth and to soothe the gums of teething babies, healers pick green kukui nuts in the morning when the sap is running. They separate the stem from the husk of the nut, and a small pool of sap fills the resulting hole. They apply the sap topically on sores or mix it with water to make a mouthwash. Its partly dried sap is used to treat thrush (ea) and its leaves are used as poultice for swellings and infections.

Candlenut oil is also used as a hair stimulant or additive to hair treatment systems. The seed kernels have a laxative effect. In Japan its bark has been used on tumors. In Sumatra, pounded seeds, burned with charcoal, are applied around the navel for costiveness. In Malaya, the pulped kernels or boiled leaves are used in poultices for headache, fevers, ulcers, swollen joints, and gonorrhea. In Java, the bark is used for bloody diarrhea or dysentery. In Hawaii, the flowers and the sap at the top of the husk (when just removed from the branch) were used to treat e’a (oral candidiasis) in children.

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Common medicinal Uses: Acne * Burns/SunBurn * Eczema * Hair Care/Shampoo * Natural Skin Care-Oils & Herbs * Psoriasis *

Kukui oil is expeller expressed from the nuts, and is light yellow with an amber tint. The oil pentrates skin deeply to hydrate and soften and is used an an emollient in skin care. Kukui oil is used to treat a variety of skin ailments such as eczema, psorisis and burned or damaged skin. Kukui is an excellent botanical source of fatty acids and antioxidents, as well as Vitamins A,C and E.

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/Aleurites_moluccana
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Candle%20Nut.html
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail467.php

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

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Jatropha

Botancal Name:Jatropha Curcas L.
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Crotonoideae

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Tribe: Jatropheae
Genus: Jatropha

Synonyms:
This genus is also known as:
*Adenorhopium Rchb.
*Aamanakku / Kaattaamanakku Tamil, India
*Castiglionia Ruiz & Pav.
*Collenucia Chiov.
*Curcas Adans.
*Jarak Indonesia
*Jatropa Scop., orth. var.
*Loureira Cav.
*Mesandrinia Raf.
*Mesandrinia Ortega
*Zimapania Engl. & Pax
*Nkran Dedua
*Pourghère French term
*Pulga
*Tempate

Common Names:Jatropha is a genus of approximately 175 succulent plants, shrubs and trees (some are deciduous, like Jatropha curcas L.), from the family Euphorbiaceae. The name is derived from (Greek iatros = physician and trophe = nutrition), hence the common name physic nut.

Species
Approximately 175, see Section Species.

Habitat : Jatropha is native to Central America and has become naturalized in many tropical and subtropical areas, including India, Africa, and North America. Originating in the Caribbean, Jatropha was spread as a valuable hedge plant to Africa and Asia by Portuguese traders. The mature small trees bear separate male and female flowers, and do not grow very tall. As with many members of the family Euphorbiaceae, Jatropha contains compounds that are highly toxic.

Description:
It is a small tree or shrub with smooth gray bark, which exudes a whitish colored, watery, latex when cut. Normally, it grows between three and five meters in height, but can attain a height of up to eight or ten meters under favourable conditions.

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Leaves
It has large green to pale-green leaves, alternate to sub-opposite, three-to five-lobed with a spiral phyllotaxis.

Flowers
The petiole length ranges between 6-23 mm. The inflorescence is formed in the leaf axil. Flowers are formed terminally, individually, with female flowers usually slightly larger and occurs in the hot seasons. In conditions where continuous growth occurs, an unbalance of pistillate or staminate flower production results in a higher number of female flowers.

Fruits
Fruits are produced in winter when the shrub is leafless, or it may produce several crops during the year if soil moisture is good and temperatures are sufficiently high. Each inflorescence yields a bunch of approximately 10 or more ovoid fruits. A three, bi-valved cocci is formed after the seeds mature and the fleshy exocarp dries.

Seeds
The seeds become mature when the capsule changes from green to yellow, after two to four months from fertilization. The blackish, thin shelled seeds are oblong and resemble small castor seeds.

The hardy Jatropha is resistant to drought and pests, and produces seeds containing 27-40% oil  (average: 34.4% ). The remaining press cake of jatropha seeds after oil extraction could also be considered for energy production.

Goldman Sachs recently cited Jatropha curcas as one of the best candidates for future biodiesel production.[5] However, despite its abundance and use as an oil and reclamation plant, none of the Jatropha species have been properly domesticated and, as a result, its productivity is variable, and the long-term impact of its large-scale use on soil quality and the environment is unknown.

Ecological Requirements
Jatropha curcas grows almost anywhere – even on gravelly, sandy and saline soils. It can thrive on the poorest stony soil. It can grow even in the crevices of rocks. The leaves shed during the winter months form mulch around the base of the plant. The organic matter from shed leaves enhance earth-worm activity in the soil around the root-zone of the plants, which improves the fertility of the soil.

Regarding climate, Jatropha curcas is found in the tropics and subtropics and likes heat, although it does well even in lower temperatures and can withstand a light frost. Its water requirement is extremely low and it can stand long periods of drought by shedding most of its leaves to reduce transpiration loss. Jatropha is also suitable for preventing soil erosion and shifting of sand dunes.

USES :-

Oil Crop

Analysis of the Jatropha seed shows the following chemical composition:

– Moisture 6.20 %
– Protein 18.00 %
– Fat 38.00 %
– Carbohydrates 17.00 %
– Fiber 15.50 %
– Ash 5.30 %

The oil content is 35 – 40% in the seeds and 50 – 60% in the kernel. The oil contains 21% saturated fatty acids and 79% unsaturated fatty acids.There are some chemical elements in the seed which are poisonous and render the oil not appropriate for human consumption.

Raw material
Oil has a very high saponification value and is being extensively used for making soap in some countries. Also, the oil is used as an illuminant as it burns without emitting smoke.

Raw material for dye
The bark of Jatropha curcas yields a dark blue dye which is used for colouring cloth, fishing nets and lines.

Soil enrichment
Jatropha oil cake is rich in nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium and can be used as organic manure.

Feed
Jatropha leaves are used as food for the tusser silkworm.

Insecticide/ pesticide
The seeds are considered anthelimintic in Brazil, and the leaves are used for fumigating houses against bed-bugs. Also, the ether extract shows antibiotic activity against Styphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.

Alternative to Diesel

It is significant to point out that, the non-edible vegetable oil of Jatropha curcas has the requisite potential of providing a promising and commercially viable alternative to diesel oil since it has desirable physicochemical and performance characteristics comparable to diesel. Cars could be run with Jatropha curcas without requiring much change in design.

Medicinal Uses:
The latex of Jatropha contains an alkaloid known as “jatrophine” which is believed to have anti-cancerous properties. It is also used as an external application for skin diseases and rheumatism and for sores on domestic livestock. In additon, the tender twigs of the plant are used for cleaning teeth, while the juice of the leaf is used as an external application for piles. Finally, the roots are reported to be used as an antidote for snake-bites.

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/Jatropha
http://www.fao.org/docrep/x5402E/X5402e11.htm

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Karanj

Botanical Name:Pongamia glabra
Family : Fabaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Genus: Pongamia
Species: P. pinnata

Other Name:Pongamia pinnata, Indian Beech Tree, Honge Tree, Pongam Tree, Panigrahi

Habitat : Originated in India and is found throughout Asia.

Description:
It is a deciduous legume tree that grows to about 15-25 meters in height with a large canopy which spreads equally wide. The leaves are a soft, shiny burgundy in early summer and mature to a glossy, deep green as the season progresses. Small clusters of white, purple, and pink flowers blossom on their branches throughout the year, maturing into brown seed pods. The tree is well suited to intense heat and sunlight and its dense network of lateral roots and its thick, long taproot make it drought tolerant. The dense shade it provides slows the evaporation of surface water and its root nodules promote nitrogen fixation, a symbiotic process by which gaseous nitrogen (N3) from the air into NH3+ (a form of nitrogen available to the plant). Withstanding temperatures slightly below 0°C to 50°C and annual rainfall of 50–250 cm, the tree grows wild on sandy and rocky soils, including oolitic limestone, but will grow in most soil types, even with its roots in salt water…

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Constituents:Seeds contain 27% bitter and dark (sherry) coloured fixed oil (pongamia oil). The oil contains toxic flavonoids including 1.25% karanjin and 0.85% pongamol alkaloid, resin, mucilage and sugar.

Uses:
Known by many names (Indian Beech, Pongam, Honge, Ponge, and Karanj among other) it is a tree that is well-adapted to arid zones and has many traditional uses. It is often used for landscaping purposes as a windbreak or for shade due to the large canopy and showy fragrant flowers. The bark can be used to make twine or rope and it also yields a black gum that is used to treat wounds caused by poisonous fish. The flowers are used by gardeners as compost for plants requiring rich nutrients. Juices from the plant, as well as the oil, are antiseptic and resistant to pests. In addition the Pongam tree has the rare property of producing seeds of 25-35% lipid content. The seed oil is an important asset of this tree having been used as lamp oil, in soap making, and as a lubricant for thousands of years. This oil is rapidly gaining popularity as a source of feedstock for bio-diesel production.

Medicinal Uses: .Seed extract is used for Skin problems, in tanning, Shops, infestation of grains, piscidal, insecticidal, nematicidal and bactericidal activity.

According to Ayurveda, Karanj is anthelmintic, alexipharmic and useful in diseases of eye, vagina, skin. The oil has been used to treat tumours, wounds, ulcers, itching, enlargement of spleen and abdomen, urinary discharges. It also reputed to cure biliousness, piles, head pains, leucoderma, skin diseases and wounds.

The fruits and sprouts are used in folk remedies for abdominal tumors in India, the seeds for keloid tumors in Sri Lanka, and a powder derived from the plant for tumors in Vietnam. In sanskritic India, seeds were used for skin ailments. Today the oil is used as a liniment for rheumatism. Leaves are active against Micrococcus; their juice is used for colds, coughs, diarrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence, gonorrhea, and leprosy. Roots are used for cleaning gums, teeth, and ulcers. Bark is used internally for bleeding piles. Juices from the plant, as well as the oil, are antiseptic. It is said to be an excellent remedy for itch, herpes, and pityriasis versicolor. Powdered seeds are valued as a febrifuge, tonic and in bronchitis and whooping cough. Flowers are used for diabetes. Bark has been used for beriberi. Juice of the root is used for cleansing foul ulcers and closing fistulous sores. Young shoots have been recommended for rheumatism. Ayurvedic medicine described the root and bark as alexipharmic, anthelmintic, and useful in abdominal enlargement, ascites, biliousness, diseases of the eye, skin, and vagina, itch, piles, splenomegaly, tumors, ulcers, and wounds; the sprouts, considered alexeteric, anthelmintic, apertif, and stomachic, for inflammation, piles and skin diseases; the leaves, anthelmintic, digestive, and laxative, for inflammations, piles and wounds; the flowers for biliousness and diabetes; the fruit and seed for keratitis, piles, urinary discharges, and diseases of the brain, eye, head, and skin, the oil for biliousness, eye ailments, itch, leucoderma, rheumatism, skin diseases, worms, and wounds. Yunani use the ash to strengthen the teeth, the seed, carminative and depurative, for chest complaints, chronic fevers, earache, hydrocele, and lumbago; the oil, styptic and vermifuge, for fever, hepatalgia, leprosy, lumbago, piles, scabies, and ulcers.

Cautions: Generally non-toxic and non-sensitizing. Use well diluted. Avoid during pregnancy.

Research Efforts:
The seed oil has been found to be useful in diesel generators and, along with Jatropha, it is being explored in hundreds of projects throughout India and the third world as feedstock for biodiesel. It is especially attractive because it grows naturally through much of arid India, having very deep roots to reach water, and is one of the few crops well-suited to commercialization by India’s large population of rural poor. Several unelectrified villages have recently used Honge oil, simple processing techniques, and diesel generators to create their own grid systems to run water pumps and electric lighting.

In 2003 the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy as part of its Biofuel Rural Development Initiative started a campaign of education and public awareness to rural farmers about Pongamia in two Indian states. One of the Himalayan Institute’s partners developed a consistently high yield scion that reduced the time it takes to mature from 10 years to as little as three. To help the farmers in the transition from traditional crops to the Pongamia tree the Indian government has contributed over $30 million in low-interest loans and donated 4.5 million KG of rice to sustain impoverished drought-stricken farmers until the trees begin to produce income. Since the project began in 2003 over 20 million trees have been planted and 45,000 farmers are now involved.

In 2006 the Himalayan Institute began looking at locations in Africa to transplant the Pongamia tree into. Initially they began in Uganda but due to the lack of infrastructure and growing desertification the project has been growing very slowly. They have also begun a project in the Kumbo region of Cameroon where conditions are better. There has been some suggestions that the Pongamia tree could be grown all the way across the continent as a way to prevent the encroachment of the Sahara.

The University of Queensland node of the Center for Excellence in Legume Research, under the directorship of Proffessor Peter Gresshoff, in conjunction with Pacific Renewable Energy are currently working on Pongamia Pinnata for commercial use for the production of Biofuel. Projects are currently focussed on understanding aspects of Pongamia including root biology, grafting, salinity tolerance, and the genetics of the oil production pathways.
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Oil from Karanj tree can be the best option of bio fuel

Known Hazards:   All parts of the plant are toxic and will induce nausea and vomiting if eaten, the fruits and sprouts, along with the seeds.

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.bicco.com/herb_photo.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pongamia_pinnata
http://www.newdirectionsaromatics.com/karanj-seed-essential-oil-p-266.html

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

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