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Herbs & Plants

Hibiscus sinosyriacus

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Botanical Name : Hibiscus sinosyriacus
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Hibiscus
Kingdom :Plants
Division:vascular plants
Class: Dicotyledonous angiosperms
Order: Malvales

Common Name: Rose Of Sharon

Habitat :Hibiscus sinosyriacus is native to E. Asia – China. It grows on the scrub in valleys at elevations of 500 – 1000 metres.

Description:
Hibiscus sinosyriacus is a deciduous Shrub. It is not an evergreen; during the summer it assumes a purple colouring; the adult species are medium in size and reach 3 m in height. Growing they develop a round-shape shrub.....CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES…

It is in flower in September, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in a sheltered position in full sun[200]. Succeeds in any soil of good or moderate quality. Dislikes shade or badly drained soils. Plants grow best with their roots in cool moist soil and their tops in a hot sunny position. Plants are hardy in most parts of the country, tolerating temperatures down to around -15°c. They are best grown in the milder areas, however, because of their habit of flowering late in the season and thus being subject to frost damage. When planted in colder parts of the country they will need some protection for the first few winters. This species is closely related to H. syriacus, differing mainly in the larger leaves and larger epicalyx. Plants rarely require pruning, though they respond well to pruning and trimming and this is best carried out in the spring or just after flowering. The flowers are produced on the current season’s growth. and they only open in sunny weather. Plants are late coming into leaf, usually around the end of May or early June. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value.
Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Some reports say that the seed can be sown in situ outside and that it gives a good rate of germination. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood, early autumn in a frame. Good percentage. Layering in mid summer to early autumn.

Edible Uses:.... Oil; Tea……The following notes are for the closely related H. syriacus. They quite probably also apply to this species[K]. Young leaves – raw or cooked. A very mild flavour, though slightly on the tough side, they make an acceptable addition to the salad bowl. A tea is made from the leaves or the flowers. Flowers – raw or cooked. A mild flavour and mucilaginous texture, they are delightful in salads, both for looking at and for eating. Root – it is edible but very fibrousy. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour.
Medicinal Uses:
The following notes are for the closely related H. syriacus. They quite possibly also apply to this species. Ophthalmic, styptic. The leaves are diuretic, expectorant and stomachic. A decoction of the flowers is diuretic, ophthalmic and stomachic. It is also used in the treatment of itch and other skin diseases, dizziness and bloody stools accompanied by much gas. A decoction of the root bark is antiphlogistic, demulcent, emollient, febrifuge, haemostatic and vermifuge. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, dysmenorrhoea and dermaphytosis.

Other Uses:
The following notes are for the closely related H. syriacus. They quite probably also apply to this similar species. A low quality fibre is obtained from the stems. It is used for making cordage and paper. The seed contains about 25% oil. No further details are given, but it is likely to be edible. A hair shampoo is made from the leaves. A blue dye is obtained from the flowers. This species is planted as a hedge in S. Europe.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hibiscus+sinosyriacus
https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fsv.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FHibiscus_sinosyriacus&edit-text=
http://www.gardening.eu/plants/Shrubs/Hibiscus-sinosyriacus/788/

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Artemisia frigida

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 Botanical Name : Artemisia frigida
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species: A. frigida
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Common Names : Fringed Wormwood,  Fringed sagebrush, Prairie sagewort, and Pasture sage

Habitat ; Artemisia frigida is native to Europe, Asia, and much of North America, in Canada and the western United States. In parts of the north-central eastern United States it is an introduced species. It grows on dry prairies, plains and rocks to 3300 metres in N. America.

Description:
Artemisia frigida is a low-spreading, semi-evergreen, perennial herb but with a woody base. The stems spread out, generally forming a mat or clump up to 40 centimetres (1.3 ft) tall. The stems are covered in lobed gray-green leaves which are coated in silvery hairs. The inflorescence contains many spherical flower heads each about half a centimeter wide and lined with woolly-haired, gray-green or brownish phyllaries. The flower heads contain several pistillate ray florets and many bisexual disc florets. The plant is aromatic, with a strong scent. The fruit are rather inconspicuous. This plant can make a great many seeds.It can also spread by layering; in some years it produces very few seeds.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

This plant is common and dominant or codominant in many areas, especially in dry and disturbed habitat types. It is common in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains in North America, where it occurs in grasslands, shrublands, and woodlands, among others. It has a tendency to increase in areas that have been heavily grazed by livestock. Overgrowth of the plant is sometimes an indicator of overgrazing on rangeland. It sometimes becomes an aggressive weed. Ranchers have considered the plant to be both an adequate forage species and a worthless nuisance species.
Cultivation:
Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil that is not too rich. Requires a lime-free soil. Established plants are very drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. A very ornamental plant. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse in a very free-draining soil, but make sure that the compost does not dry out. The seed usually germinates within 1 – 2 weeks in a warm greenhouse. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Division in spring or autumn.

Edible Uses: The leaves are used by the Hopi Indians as a flavouring for sweet corn.

Medicinal Uses;
First introduced as a substitute for quinine.  Used to combat indigestion by chewing leaves.  The leaves are used in the treatment of women’s complaints. The plant contains camphor, which is stimulant and antispasmodic. An infusion of the leaves is used in the treatment of biliousness, indigestion, coughs and colds while the leaves are chewed and the juice swallowed to treat heartburn. A poultice of the chewed leaves is used as a poultice to reduce swellings and the leaves are also placed in the nose to stop nosebleeds. A hot poultice of the leaves has been used to treat toothache. The leaves can be used as a sanitary towel to help reduce skin irritation. They are also drunk as a tea when the woman is menstruating or to treat irregular menstruation. The dried leaves are burnt in a room as a disinfectant. A decoction of the root is used as a stimulant and tonic.

Other Uses:
A number of wild animals consume the plant, including white-tailed jackrabbits and sage grouse.

This sagebrush had a variety of uses for Native American groups. It was used medicinally for coughs, colds, wounds, and heartburn by the Blackfoot. The Cree people used it for headache and fever and the Tewa people took it for gastritis and indigestion. It also had ceremonial and veterinary applications, including for the Blackfoot, who reportedly used the crushed leaves to “revive gophers after children clubbed them while playing a game”.

This plant is also used in landscaping and for erosion control and revegetation of rangeland. It is drought-resistant.

Both the growing and the dried plant can be used as an insect repellent. The leaves can be placed on a camp fire to repel mosquitoes. The aromatic leaves have been used in pillows etc as a deodorant. Bunches of the soft leaves have been used as towels, toilet paper etc. A green dye is obtained from the leaves.

Known Hazards : Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people.

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

http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ARFR4

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+frigida

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Categories
Healthy Tips

Sex, Chemicals and Longevity

A substance released during intercourse can extend the lifespan of an organism:

Intimate bedroom moments have given researchers new clues about combating ageing. A team of European researchers, led by a biologist in Austria, has found that a substance released in copious amounts during sexual intercourse can actually extend the lifespan of a range of organisms — from flies to worms and even mammals.

Spermidine, an important constituent of seminal fluid which helps neutralise the acidic pH of the vagina — the first step in the sperm’s journey towards fertilising an egg — is known to be necessary for cell growth and maturation. Scientists have previously found that when ageing sets in, its concentration dips in living cells. However, it was unclear if its decrease was the cause or consequence of ageing.

But in an interesting study reported online in the journal Nature Cell Biology, scientists led by Frank Madeo of the Institute of Molecular Biosciences, University of Graz, Austria, have shown that the levels of spermidine can be propped up in cells through the oral route. Experimenting with laboratory mice, the scientists found that an additional dose of spermidine rejuvenated the cells, as a result of which the animals lived longer.

“Our studies have shown that spermidine-treated fruit flies and worms can live up to 30 per cent longer than their average lifespan,” Madeo told KnowHow.

Madeo thinks the study is important for a variety of reasons. First, spermidine is an intrinsically natural compound abundantly found in every type of cell or eukaryotic organism and hence part of normal human nutrition. It is found in abundant quantities in soybeans as well as grapefruit, a subtropical citrus fruit known for its bitter taste.

“Intriguingly, spermidine is (released)… in huge concentrations during sexual intercourse. This means that it is already approved by nature,” says Madeo. The second fascinating thing, according to him, is the way it does cellular “clean up”. Spermidine is capable of inducing a process called “autophagy” by which a cell itself destroys its own degraded components. Scientists have known for long that autophagy plays a critical role in halting the progression of cancers and certain neurodegenerative disorders.

A similar study about three months ago by a team of French scientists found that melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone, when supplied externally, could delay the onset of ageing.

“It is too early to speculate if and to which extent these two substances (melatonin and spermidine) might interfere with ageing through similar mechanisms. It is worthwhile, however, to note that both the studies addressed the effect of a single compound that is naturally produced in the human body,” says Madeo.

Altering the concentrations of these compounds through external supply seems to be efficient in retarding the signs of ageing, he adds.

The advantage, particularly in the case of spermidine, says Madeo, is that its application is easy. Madeo and his team received positive results when they used spermidine simply as a nutritional supplement to food or drinking water in their experiments.

The scientists are also hopeful that spermidine will help them formulate therapies for several neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease which are normally associated with longevity.

In fact, Madeo along with his associate Tobias Eisenberg is currently engaged in a series of experiments on mice to see whether spermidine could be effective against such neurodegenerative diseases.

Milind Gajnan Watve, professor of biology at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune, feels the work is interesting. It indicates that the biology of ageing is very similar in a range of organisms, from simple single-cell creatures to humans. “The study is promising, but has a long way to go,” he adds.

Source:The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

 
Categories
Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Jicama ( Sankalu)

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Botanical Name:Pachyrhizus erosus Blanco

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Genus: Pachyrhizus
Species: P. erosus

Other Names:Spanish: hee-kah-mah, from Nahuatl xicamatl hee-kah-mahtl, also Mexican Potato and Mexican Turnip,is the name of a native Mexican vine, although the name most commonly refers to the plant‘s edible tuberous root. Jicama is one species in the genus Pachyrhizus that is commonly called yam bean, although the “yam bean” sometimes is another name for Jicama. The other, major species of yam beans arealso indigenous within the Americas. In India it is called Sankalu

 

Habitat :Jicama  is native to maxico but now it grows in  many tropical cuntries

Description:The jicama vine can reach a height of 4-5 metres given suitable support. Its root can attain lengths of up to 2 m and weigh up to 20 kilograms. The root’s exterior is yellow and papery, while its inside is creamy white with a crisp texture that resembles raw potato or pear. The flavor is sweet and starchy, reminiscent of some apples, and it is usually eaten raw, sometimes with salt, lemon, or lime juice and chili powder. It is also cooked in soups and stir-fried dishes.

Click to see the pictures…...(01)....(1)......(2).…..…(3)..…..(4).

Jicama is a tropical plant and thus requires at least 9 months of warm growing season for good sized roots to mature. However, if soil is rich, light and there is at least 4 months of warm weather available, the resulting roots will be smaller, but still quite delicious. Presoak seeds in water for about 24 hours before planting. Can be started indoors about 8 to 10 weeks before the last spring frost. Transplant into your garden as soon is weather is warm, but be careful where you plant it as the ripe pods, leaves and seeds are toxic and narcotic. Care should be taken so that no humans or animals will mistakenly eat these parts. The immature seed pods are edible as well as of course the turnip like roots for which it is grown. Can be grown near a trellis for support or like pole beans. Can also be grown on the ground but then requires a lot of space. When they grow to about 3 feet tall, pinch the tips to promote horizontal branches. Tubers form as the days grow shorter and should be harvested before the first frost. If you allow the plants to go to seed, the root lobes will be small. Blossoms appear in late summer, but can be pinched out for maximum root growth.

Due to its growing popularity, cultivation of jícama has recently spread from Mexico to other parts of Central America, China and Southeast Asia where notable uses of raw jícama include popiah and salads such as yusheng and rojak. Jícama has become popular in Vietnamese food,  In Mexico it is very popular in salads, fresh fruit combos, fruit bars, soups, and other cooked dishes.

Edible Uses:

Standard Uses: This is an unusual vegetable that is becoming increasingly popular with American cooks, but has been grown in its native Mexico for centuries. More and more U.S. supermarkets are now carrying this turnip shaped, usually four lobed root. Its skin is a brownish gray, but its flesh is white and crisp. It’s flavor resembles that of water chestnuts but is sweeter. Makes a great appetizer and is a very good addition in both taste and texture when added to salads.

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While many vegetables and fruits are common, others are not, but that doesn’t mean they’re not an excellent food – just unfamiliar. For one thing, jicama plants thrive in tropical regions.

Like other foods, jicama contains real culinary goodness: sliced and baked, julienned in salad, chopped in stir-fries and soups, and mixed with other veggies and fruits to emphasize its sweetness or starchy texture. Just remember to eat only the root, since the other parts may be toxic.

So if you haven’t experienced jicama in your dining repertoire, you have everything to gain – and if you’re actually hoping to lose, this might be your new favorite.

You may click to see:->Expanding Your Pantry: Jicama

Jicama : Kitchen & Cooking Tips

Health benefits, and the common uses for Jicama in cooking.

Medicinal Uses: .

Low in calories but high in a few vital nutrients, jicama is a bit of a contradiction when it comes to its starch content. It provides one-quarter of what’s needed daily in fiber per serving. But not just any fiber – jicama’s fiber is infused with oligofructose inulin, which has zero calories and doesn’t metabolize in the body. Inulin, a fructan, promotes bone health by enhancing absorption of calcium from other foods, protecting against osteoporosis. Inulin has a prebiotic role in the intestine – it promotes “good” bacteria growth that maintains both a healthy colon and balanced immunity. Because it has a very low glycemic index, jicama is a great food for diabetics, and low in calories for those interested in weight reduction.

Jicama is also an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C – 44% of the daily value per serving – and a powerful antioxidant that zaps free radicals to protect against cancer, inflammation, viral cough, cold, and infections.

Jicama is starchy. The most interesting health benefit related to jicama is the inulin, which studies have shown can protect against osteoarthritis, and have a positive impact on colorectal cancer, especially when eaten during its early stages. Studies are increasing on this root veggie that has until recently been quite overlooked.

Besides healthy amounts of potassium, this little powerhouse can help promote heart health, since high-potassium vegetables and fruit are linked to lower risks of heart disease. Jicama contains important vitamins like folates, riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, and thiamin, and the minerals magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese. Like potatoes, they should be used sparingly due to the high carbohydrates content.

Other Uses:

Jicama is a vine plant that makes an attractive ornament, deserving a place in your flower garden. It blooms profusely with white to lavender colored flowers that resemble sweet peas. Its leaves are heart shaped and large.click & see

Studies on Jicama:

A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2005 showed that foods containing inulin, such as jicama, lower colon cancer risks in several ways, which include reducing exposure as well as the toxic impact of carcinogens in the gut, and inhibiting the growth and spread of colon cancer to other areas of the body. Scientists concluded that inulin-type fructans may reduce colorectal cancer incidence when given during early stages of cancer development.

Jícama is high in carbohydrates in the form of dietary fiber. It is composed of 86-90% water; it contains only trace amounts of protein and lipids. Its sweet flavour comes from the oligofructose inulin (also called fructo-oligosaccharide).

 

Known Hazards:The leaves, ripe seed pods and seeds are toxic and narcotic  .  In contrast to the root, the remainder of the jícama plant is very poisonous; the seeds contain the toxin rotenone, which is used to poison insects and fish.

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/J%C3%ADcama
http://boldweb.com/gw/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=44&Itemid=25

http://foodfacts.mercola.com/jicama.html?i_cid=jicama-rb-articles

 

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