Herbs & Plants Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Cinnamomum loureiroi (Saigon cinnamon)

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Botanical Name: Cinnamomum loureiroi
Family:    Lauraceae
Genus:    Cinnamomum
Species:C. loureiroi
Order:    Laurales

Common Names: Saigon cinnamon, Vietnamese cinnamon or Vietnamese cassia.The scientific name was originally spelled as Cinnamomum loureirii, but because the species is named after the botanist João de Loureiro, this is to be treated under the ICN as an orthographic error for the correctly derived spelling of loureiroi.

English Name:    Saigon cinnamon
French Name:    Cannelle de Saïgon, Cannelle de Cochinchine
German Name:    Vietnamesischer Zimt, Saigon-Zimt
Vietnamese Name: Que, Que quì, Que thanh hoá
Habitat : Saigon cinnamon is indigenous to mainland Southeast Asia. Despite its name, it is more closely related to cassia (C. cassia) than to cinnamon (C. verum, “true cinnamon”, Ceylon cinnamon), though in the same genus as both. Saigon cinnamon has 1-5% essential oil in content and 25% cinnamaldehyde in essential oil, which is the highest of all the cinnamon species. Consequently, out of the three species, it commands the highest price.

Saigon cinnamon is produced primarily in Vietnam, both for domestic use and export. The Vietnam War disrupted production, but since the beginning of the early 21st century Vietnam has resumed export of the spice, including to the United States, where it was unavailable for nearly 20 years. Although it is called Saigon cinnamon, it is not produced in the area around the southern city of Saigon, but instead in the central and Central Highlands regions of the country, particularly the Qu?ng Ngai Province of central Vietnam.

Cinnamomum loureiroi is a small tree.The cinnamone is obtained by drying the central part of the bark and is marketed as stick cinnamon or in powdered form. The waste and other parts are used for oil of cinnamon, a medicine and flavoring. Cassia or Chinese cinnamon (C. cassia) was used in China long before true cinnamon. Though considered an inferior substitute for true cinnamon, the spice and oil derived from its bark and that of the related Saigon cinnamon (C. loureiroi) are more commonly sold as cinnamon than spice derived from C. verum bark, which is more delicately flavored. Cinnamon and cassia (often confused) have been favorite spices since biblical times, used also as perfume and incense. Cinnamon is classified in the division Magnoliophyta


Saigon cinnamon or Cinnamomum loureiroi  is used primarily for its aromatic bark, which is quite similar to that of Cinnamomum aromaticum but with a more pronounced, complex aroma.

Edible Uses: In Vietnamese cuisine, Saigon cinnamon bark is an important ingredient in the broth used to make a noodle soup called ph?.

Principal Constituents.—A volatile oil (Oleum Cinnamomi), tannin, and sugars. (Oil of Cinnamon of medicine is Cassia Oil (Oleum Cassiae) derived from Cinnamomum Cassia (Nees), Blume.)

Medicinal Uses:
Cinnamon is an aromatic stimulant, carminative and astringent. Besides it possesses marked internal hemostatic power. That this is not wholly due to the tannin contained in the bark is shown by the prompt action of the tincture of the oil. Oil of Cinnamon has properties which make it nearly specific for certain conditions. While no tests have been made that convinces one of its power over germ-life, there seems to be no question that some such germicidal action is exerted by it in acute infections, as “common colds,” and as la grippe or epidemic influenza. Aromatic bodies, like cinnamon and camphor, have been overlooked in recent years, though the use of the latter has been revived as an antiseptic stimulant in pneumonia. That they possess antibacterial virtues we believe will be found true should investigations be made of them in that line. Cinnamon imparts a flavor to unpleasant medicines and may be used to preserve them from rapid changes. Medicines dispensed in but few drops in a half glass of water will not keep sweet long at any time and will quickly sour in summer time. A few drops of Specific Medicine Cinnamon added to such mixtures give an agreeable sweetness and aroma and will help the medicine to preserve its balance for several days. Children invariably like the flavor. Even cinnamon can be overdone, however. It should not be added day after day for a long period lest the stomach revolt and the taste recoil. Nor should much be put in mixtures for little children, for if overdone it smarts the mouth severely; nor should it be employed when the mouth is irritated or ulcerated. When too much has been added the oil of cinnamon separates and floats upon the surface, and if thus given it is decidedly irritant. If the medicine to which it has been added in over-amount is too valuable to throw away, the excess of cinnamon may be easily removed by lightly sweeping over the surface with a clean piece of bibulous paper-blotting paper or filter paper-or a firm, non-crumbling piece of bread.

Cinnamon is frequently employed as an ingredient of mixtures to restrain intestinal discharges, and the powder with or without chalk or bismuth, or its equivalent in infusion has long figured in the treatment of diarrhea and acute dysentery, though it does not equal in the latter condition other agents which we now use specifically. In diarrhea it should be used in small doses if of the acute type, and in large doses in chronic non-inflammatory and non-febrile forms. It warms the gastro-intestinal tract and dispels flatus, being decidedly useful as a carminative. It has the advantage of preventing griping when given with purgatives, and it enters into the composition of spice poultice, a useful adjuvant in the treatment of some forms of gastro-intestinal disorders.

Cinnamon has been proved in Eclectic practice to be a very important remedy in hemorrhages. It acts best in the passive forms. The type of hemorrhage most benefited is the post-partum variety, though here it has its limitations. If the uterus is empty and the hemorrhage is due to flaccidity of that organ due to lack of contraction, then it becomes an important agent. Then it strongly aids the action of ergot and should be alternated with it. If retained secundines are the provoking cause of the bleeding, little can be expected of this or any other agent until the offenders have been removed. Cinnamon should be frequently given, preferably a tincture of the oil, though an infusion might be useful, but it cannot be prepared quickly enough or be made of the desired strength. Specific Medicine Cinnamon is a preferred preparation. Oil of erigeron acts very well with it. In menorrhagia, even when due to fibroids and polypi, it has had the effect of intermittently checking the waste: but only a surgical operation is the rational course in such cases.

Other hemorrhages of a passive type are benefited by cinnamon. Thus we have found it a very important agent in hemoptysis of limited severity. In such cases we have added it to specific medicine ergot and furnished it to the patient to keep on hand as an emergency remedy. By having the medicine promptly at hand the patient becomes less agitated or frightened, and this contributes largely to the success of the treatment. Rest and absolute mental composure on the part of the patient and the administration of cinnamon have been promptly effective. If not equal to the emergency, then a small hypodermatic injection of morphine and atropine sulphates will usually check the bleeding. When used with ergot in pulmonary hemorrhage probably more relief comes from the cinnamon than from the ergot, for ergot alone is far less effective. We are told that ergot does not act as well in pulmonary bleeding as in other forms of hemorrhage because of the sparse musculature and poor vaso-motor control of the pulmonic vessels. But cinnamon has given results which have been entirely satisfactory. Hemorrhages from the stomach, bowels, and renal organs are often promptly checked by the timely administration of cinnamon.

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.


Herbs & Plants




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Botanical Name : Vanieria cochinchinensis Lour.

Family: Moraceae
Tribe: Moreae
Genus: Maclura
Species: M. tinctoria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Scientific names: Vanieria cochinchinensis Lour.  ,Cudrania javanensis Trecul  ,Trophis spinosa Blume ,Batis spinosa Roxb. ,Moris tinctoria Blanco ,Broussonetia tinctoria Blanco ,Cudrania obovata Trecul   ,Cudrania spinosa Hochr.   ,Maclura tinctoria (L.) D. Don ex Steud.

Common Names
:Kokom-pusa (Ilk.),Patdang-labuyo (Tag.),Tahid-labuyo (Tag.),Talolong (Ilk., Ig.),Dryer’s mulberry or Old Fustic (Engl.)

Habitat :Near villages. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, SE Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, India, Indochina, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Sikkim, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; Australia, Pacific Islands].


The plant is a scandent or strangling, smooth shrub, growing from 2 to 4 meters in length. Branches glabrous; are armed with stout, sharp, straight or somewhat recurved spines, 1 to 1.5 cm long. Leaves are elliptic-ovate to oblong-ovate or oblong-obovate, 3 to 8 cm long, shining, with tapering tips and rounded bases. Heads are solitary or in pairs, rounded and short-peduncled. Female heads are 7 to 8 mm in diameter, yellowish, dense. Fruit is fleshy, up to 5 cm in diameter. Fruiting syncarp reddish orange when mature, 2-5 cm in diam., pubescent. Drupes brown when mature, ovoid, smooth. Fl. Apr-May, fr. Jun-Jul.CLICK & SEE

You may click to see the picture

Edible Uses:

• In the Moluccas, the young leaves are eaten raw.
• In Japan, fruit of Cudrania javanensis considered edible.

Medicinal Uses:

• Decoction of roots used to alleviate coughing; also used for gastralgia.
• In the Moluccas, paste made from ground wood applied as a cooling agent for fevers.
• In Taiwan, used as analgesic and anti-inflammatory.

• Constituents: From the bark of the Cudrania javanensis, study isolated osajaxanthone, vanillic acid, monmethyl fumarate, p-hydroxybenzoic acid and (-)-(S)-stachydrine.
• Isoflavonoid: Study isolated an isoflavonoid – 5,7,4′-trihydroxy-6,3′-diprenylisoflavone.

Others Uses: Dye: The heartwood produces a yellow dye used in the Batik industry in Java; in Thailand for traditional fabric dyeing. Mixed with indigo, it produces a green dye.

It produces a yellow dye called fustic primarily known for coloring khaki fabric for U.S. military apparel during World War.

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.


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Herbs & Plants

Tugi(Lesser Yam)

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Botanical Name : Dioscorea esculenta Lour
Family : Dioscoreaceae – Yam family
Genus : Dioscorea L. – yam
Species: Dioscorea esculenta (Lour.) Burkill – lesser yam
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom :     Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division : Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class : Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass: Liliidae

Other Scientific Names: Oneus esculentus Lour.  ,Discorea papillaris Blanco  ,Discorea tugui Blanco  ,Discorea sativa Blanco  ,Discorea fasciculata Roxb.  ,Discorea tiliaefolia Kunth  ,Discorea aculeata Naves

Common Names :Aneg (Ibn.),Boga (Ilk.),Dukai (Iv.),    Tuñgo (Tag.),Asiatic yam (Engl.) ,a Lesser yam (Engl.),Kamiging (Bik.),Luttu (Ibn.),Toñgo (Tag.),Tugi (Tag., Ilk.)

Habitat : Native of SE Indochina, and widespread in the East, recently introduced to W Africa and found under cultivation around the coast, particularly from Ivory Coast to Nigeria.The plant requires a somewhat seasonal climate. In thickets and secondary forests at low altitudes.Cultivated, but not as extensively as ubi.


Slender, slightly hairy vine, reaching a height of several meters. The tubers are 15-20 cm long. Leaves are simple, suborbicular to reniform, 6-12 cms. apiculate, the base 11- to 15-nervbed, prominently heart-shaped, with rounded lobes. Spikes are slender, axillary, pubescent, up to 50 cm long. Flowers are green, about 4 mm long.

click to..see the pictures.>…..(001)...(01)......(1)...(2)....(.3).....(4).….………………
A spiny climber to 12 m high twining left-handed, with numerous shallow-rooted tubers, It is a 6–10 months crop with short dormancy period. The tubers are small and are found in clusters of some 5 to 20 slightly below the soil surface. Unselected forms produce spiny roots lying above the tubers as a protection. Selection has eliminated some or all of the spininess in certain cultivars. Yield is high and the tubers are palatable and nutritious. Tubers grown in Ivory Coast have been recorded producing 83% starch and 12% protein. Many races in Asia are slightly sweet. The tubers do not store well. They are quick to sprout if left in the ground and are easily damaged in harvesting. Six months storage is said to be possible of sound roots in a dry well-ventilated store. They are not suitable for transport to distant markets, nor for turning into fufu. There appears to be scope for growing the plant under mechanical cultivation.

Constituents and properties:
*Contains 83% starch, 12% protein.
*Phytochemical screening yielded saponins, diosgenin, ß-sitosterol, stigmasterol, cardiac glycosides, fat and starch.
*Genins are used in the semi-synthesis of sex hormones, progesterone and testosterone, while diogenin has been used for the partial synthesis of cortisone.

Edible Uses:Cooked like potatoes. Rich in carbohydrates, a good source of vitamin B, with a nutritional value similar to ubi.

Medicinal Uses:
Of limited use medicinally.
*The raw tubers are applied to swellings.
*A decoction of the tubers used for rheumatism and as diuretic.
*In China, used for beriberi.

• Anti-inflammatory / Phytochemicals: Methanol extract study of D esculenta exhibited significant dose-dependent inhibition of carrageenan-induced edema and supports its folkloric use in inflammation. Phytochemical screening yielded saponins, disgenin, ß-sitosterol, stigmasterol, cardiac glycosides, fat and starch.
• Antioxidant: Study screening the phenolic content of different varieties of root crops in the Philippines, including D esculenta, found the roots crops a rich source of phenolic compounds with antioxidant activity.
• Storage Effect: Study of 1 to 7 weeks of storage revealed the moisture content, dray weight and starch levels decreased gradually with a concomitant increase in sugar content under different stages of dormancy.

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.

Ubi Itik

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Herbs & Plants

Floating Heart ( Limnanthemum cristatum)

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Botanical Name : Limnanthemum cristatum (Roxb.) Griseb.
Family : Menyanthaceae
Scientific names : Limnanthemum cristatum (Roxb.)  ,Menyanthes cristata Roxb. .Menyanthes hydrophyllum Lour. ,Villarsia cristata Spreng.,Nymphoides cristata (Roxb.)Griseb.,Nymphoides hydrophyllum Lour.
Common names:Griseb. Lolokisen (Ilk.),Pusong-lutang (Tag.) , Shui pi lian (Chin.), Floating heart (Engl.) , Snow flake (Engl.)

Habitat : Pusong-lutang is found in shallow lakes, quiet streams, and sometimes rice paddies, at low and medium altitudes though on Mount Data it ascends to an altitude of 2,100 meters. It occurs in Ilocos Norte, Bontoc, Lepanto, Benguet, Rizal, Zambales, and Laguna Provinces in Luzon. It is also found in India to Southern China.

Annual, with large floating stem, rooting at the nodes. Leaves floating, lamina 2.5-7.5 (-10) cm long, 2-8 mm broad, orbicular, cordate at base, with conspicuous dense brown glands on the under surface, margin entire or wavy, petiole (C.5) 1-5 cm long, Pedicel 0.5-5 cm long. Calyx lobes 3-4 x c.2 mm, oblong, rounded. Corolla lobes oblong, acute, c.4 x 1.5-2 mm, white, with yellow base and longitudnal folds along the margin and centre. Stamens 2.75-3 mm long; anthers c. 1 mm long. Capsule ellipsoid, 5-6 mm long, 10-20 seeded. Seeds c. 1 mm long. tuberculate.

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

Floating heart is water plant of the habit of the water lily. It is sometimes cultivated in ponds or as an aquarium plant.

Edible Uses: According to Burkill, in China it is edible.

Medicinal Uses:

Parts used:   Stalks, seeds and leaves
It is reported that in India, the stalks and leaves, pounded with oil, are applied to ulcers and insect bites; a decoction is used as a wash for parasitic skin complaints; and the seeds are eaten to destroy or prevent intestinal worms. Chopra says that they are used in fever and jaundice.

*In India, stalks and leaves are pounded with oil and applied to ulcers and insect bites. Also, used as a substitute for *Valeriana hardwickii in neurological disorders and colic.
*Decoction used as wash for parasitic skin complaints.
*Seeds eaten to destroy or prevent intestinal worms.
*Reported use for fever and jaundice.

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.


Click to access pusong-lutang.pdf

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Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Burmese grape (Baccaurea ramiflora Lour.)

Botanical Name : Baccaurea ramiflora Lour
Family: Phyllanthaceae
Genus: Baccaurea
Species: B. ramiflora
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Synonym : Baccaurea cauliflora Lour.,

Pierardia sapida Roxb.
Baccaurea sapida (Roxb.) Mull.Arg.
Baccaurea flaccida
Baccaurea propinqua Mull.Arg.
Baccaurea wrayi King ex Hook.f.
Baccaurea oxycarpa Gagnep.
Gatnaia annamica Gagnep.

Common Names :Lutco, Leteku, Lotqua.

Other names:-
English: Burmese grape
Thai: mafai, mak fai pa, khi mi, sae khrua sae, somfai, hamkang, pha yio
Vietnamese: giâu gia ??t
Burmese: kanazo
Cambodian: phnhiew
Local names: Phu noi: cha chouay see
Indian : Le-te-ku
Bengali : Lotkon

Habitat : Burma (Myanmar), South China, India (Assam, Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Malaysian Peninsula, Vietnam, Laos (Khammouan and many other provinces ).

Small evergreen tree of more than 10 m. high, branches sympodially developed.  Leaves simple, alternate and spiral. Petiole swollen at base and top. Flowers unisexual cauliflorous. Fruit fleshy, orange to purple.
click to see the pictures
Leaves : Leaves simple, 9-25 by 3-9 cm. alternate and spirally-clustered at intervals along the twigs, narrowly elliptic or obovate, apex acuminate, base acute, margin entire or slightly undulate, reddish when young, finely brown-hairy, becoming dark green and shiny above and glabrous when mature. Midrib flat above, prominent below, secondary veins oblique to the midrib, widely parallel, looped and joined at margin, tertiary veins reticulate.
Petiole slender swollen at top and base.
Stipules caducous.

Inflorescences or flowers : Flowers small grouped in raceme, axillary to cauliflorous, males and females on different trees. Males smaller arranged in slender clusters of 10 cm. long, mostly at the end of the branches, individual flower with short pedicel. Female slightly bigger, racemes clustered of 30 cm. long on old branches and main trunk.

Fruits : The fruit is a berry of 2.5 – 3.5 cm. in diameter, ovoid or ellipsoid, hanging along old branches and main trunk, pale orange ripening reddish to purplish.
Seeds :  2-4 large seeds surrounded by a juicy translucent or pinkish pulp.

They are the oblate fruits hanging in big trees; from the bottom of the branches to the top of the trees. They are so large in number that they even bend the branches. Some are green, some are yellow and some are red, they look like balls engraved with jades or beads made of agates. The fruits have a succulent, sour and sweet taste.

Edible Uses:
1.The fruit is usually eaten fresh, poached or made into wine.
2.The seeds are edible as well.
3.Though it is most commonly cultivated in India and Malaysia, it is also found throughout Asia.
4.The trees are usually found at a low density.
5.The fruit is harvested and used locally.
6.This can be used in variety of colors as a tinned or a sweetened fruit topping.
7.Eating too many fruits makes your stomach get upset.
8.More often it is nurtured in home gardens and intercropped with fruits like durian, rambutan and mango.
9.The trees have a poor regeneration capacity.
10.The tree shows a good example for the fruits which grows directly from the main trunk.

Fruits can be kept fresh for 4–5 days, or boiled and mixed with salt after which it is keeps well closed jars. Marginal importance of the fruit, locally used and sold.

How to eat the fruit?
To consume the fruit first we have to break the fruit by peeling off the skin. After that the pulp can be eaten directly, mostly the seeds are also swallowed.

Nutritions in fruit:
Most of the fruit contain ascorbic acid, enzymes, bioflavonoids. The fruit is rich in minerals like chromium, potassium, and magnesium etc as well as B vitamins to amino acids. The largest amount of iron, 5.34 mg/100g was observed in Burmese-grape,

Medicinal Uses:
1)  It is used medicinally to treat skin diseases.
2)  The roots, bark and wood are harvested for medicinal uses.

Bark, roots and wood are dried and ground before boiling in water.

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.


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