Tag Archives: Juice

Vitis vinifera

Botanical Name: Vitis vinifera
Family: Vitaceae
Genus: Vitis
Species: V. vinifera
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Vitales

Synonym: Grape Vine.

Common Name: Grape, Wine grape, Purpleleaf Grape, Common grape vine {The name vine is derived from viere (to twist), and has reference to the twining habits of the plant which is a very ancient one; in the Scriptures the vine is frequently mentioned from the time of Noah onward. Wine is recorded as an almost universal drink throughout the world from very early times. The vine is a very longlived plant. Pliny speaks of one 600 years old, and some existent in Burgundy are said to be 400 and over.}
Parts Used: Fruit, leaves, juice.

Habitat: Vitis vinifera is native to the Mediterranean region, central Europe, and southwestern Asia, from Morocco and Portugal north to southern Germany and east to northern Iran. There are currently between 5000 and 10,000 varieties of Vitis vinifera grapes though only a few are of commercial significance for wine and table grape production. It grows in riversides and damp woods. Grows on the banks of the Thames at Kew in Britain

Description:
Vitis vinifera is a deciduous Climber growing to 35 yards (32 m) tall, with flaky bark. The leaves are alternate, palmately lobed, 5–20 cm (2.0–7.9 in) long and broad. The fruit is a berry, known as a grape; in the wild species it is 6 mm (0.24 in) diameter and ripens dark purple to blackish with a pale wax bloom; in cultivated plants it is usually much larger, up to 3 cm (1.2 in) long, and can be green, red, or purple (black). The species typically occurs in humid forests and streamsides.

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Bloom Color: Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Irregular or sprawling, Spreading or horizontal, Variable spread. It is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Arbor. Prefers a deep rich moist well-drained moderately fertile loam. Grows best in a calcareous soil, but dislikes excessively chalky soils. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 to 7 but tolerates a range from 4.3 to 8.6. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though a warm sunny sheltered position is required for the fruit to ripen. Very commonly grown in the temperate zones of the world for its edible fruit, there are many named varieties, some of which have been developed for their use as a dried fruit, others for dessert use and others for wine. Good and regular crops are a bit problematical in Britain, grapes are on the northern most limits of their range in this country and the British summer often does not provide enough heat to properly ripen the fruit. Late frosts can also damage young growth in spring, though dormant shoots are very hardy, tolerating temperatures down to about -20°c. Nonetheless, there are a number of commercial vineyards in Britain (usually producing wine grapes) and, given a suitably sunny and sheltered position, good dessert grapes can also be grown. In general it is best to grow the dessert varieties against the shelter of a south or west facing wall. There are a number of varieties that have been bred to cope with cooler summers. Grapes are very susceptible to attacks by phylloxera, this disease is especially prevalent in some areas of Europe and it almost destroyed the grape industry. However, American species of grapes that are resistant to phylloxera are now used as rootstocks and this allows grapes to be grown in areas where the disease is common. Britain is free of the disease at the present (1989) and grapes are usually grown on their own roots. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. The flowers are intensely fragrant. Grapes grow well in the company of hyssop, chives, basil and charlock. They grow badly with radishes, both the grapes and the radishes developing an off taste. Plants climb by means of tendrils. Any pruning should be carried out in winter when the plants are dormant otherwise they bleed profusely. The cultivated grape is thought to have been derived from V. vinifera sylvestris. (Gmel.)Hegi. This form has dioecious flowers and produces small black grapes. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Six weeks cold stratification improves the germination rate, and so stored seed is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is obtained. Germination should take place in the first spring, but sometimes takes another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant out in early summer. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth, December/January in a frame. These cuttings can be of wood 15 – 30cm long or they can be of short sections of the stem about 5cm long with just one bud at the top of the section. In this case a thin, narrow strip of the bark about 3cm long is removed from the bottom half of the side of the stem. This will encourage callusing and the formation of roots. Due to the size of these cuttings they need to be kept in a more protected environment than the longer cuttings. Layering

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Flowers; Fruit; Leaves; Oil.
Edible Uses: Oil.

Fruit – raw or dried for winter use. The dried fruits are the raisins, sultanas and currants of commerce, different varieties producing the different types of dried fruit. A fully ripened fresh fruit is sweet, juicy and delicious. The fruit juice can be concentrated and used as a sweetener. This fruit is widely used in making wine. Leaves – cooked. Young leaves are wrapped around other foods and then baked, they impart a pleasant flavour. Young tendrils – raw or cooked. The flower clusters are used as a vegetable. An edible oil similar to sunflower oil is obtained from the seed. It needs to be refined before it can be eaten. A polyunsaturated oil, it is suitable for mayonnaise and cooking, especially frying. Sap – raw. Used as a drink, it has a sweet taste. The sap can be harvested in spring and early summer, though it should not be taken in quantity or it will weaken the plant. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. Cream of tartar, also known as potassium bitartrate, a crystalline salt, is extracted from the residue of pressed grapes, and from the sediment of wine barrels. It is used in making baking powder

Constituents: The leaves gathered in June contain a mixture of cane sugar and glucose, tartaric acid, potassium bi-tartrate, quercetine, quercitrin, tannin, amidon, malic acid, gum, inosite, an uncrystallizable fermentable sugar and oxalate of calcium; gathered in the autumn they contain much more quercetine and less trace of quercitrin.

The ripe fruit juice termed ‘must’ contains sugar, gum, malic acid, potassium bi-tartrate and inorganic salts; when fermented this forms the wine of commerce.

The dried ripe fruit commonly called raisins, contain dextrose and potassium acid tartrate.

The seeds contain tannin and a fixed oil.

The juice of the unripe fruit, ‘Verjuice,’ contains malic, citric, tartaric, racemic and tannic acids, potassium bi-tartrate, sulphate of potash and lime.

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic; Antiinflammatory; Astringent; Bach; Demulcent; Diuretic; Hepatic; Laxative; Lithontripic; Miscellany; Skin;
Stomachic.

Grapes are a nourishing and slightly laxative fruit that can support the body through illness, especially of the gastro-intestinal tract and liver. Because the nutrient content of grapes is close to that of blood plasma, grape fasts are recommended for detoxification. Analgesic. The fresh fruit is antilithic, constructive, cooling, diuretic and strengthening. A period of time on a diet based entirely on the fruit is especially recommended in the treatment of torpid liver or sluggish biliary function. The fruit is also helpful in the treatment of varicose veins, haemorrhoids and capillary fragility. The dried fruit is demulcent, cooling, mildly expectorant, laxative and stomachic. It has a slight effect in easing coughs. The leaves, especially red leaves, are anti-inflammatory and astringent. A decoction is used in the treatment of threatened abortion, internal and external bleeding, cholera, dropsy, diarrhoea and nausea. It is also used as a wash for mouth ulcers and as douche for treating vaginal discharge. Red grape leaves are also helpful in the treatment of varicose veins, haemorrhoids and capillary fragility. The leaves are harvested in early summer and used fresh or dried. The seed is anti-inflammatory and astringent. The sap of young branches is diuretic. It is used as a remedy for skin diseases and is also an excellent lotion for the eyes. The tendrils are astringent and a decoction is used in the treatment of diarrhoea. The plant is used in Bach flower remedies – the keywords for prescribing it are ‘Dominating’, ‘Inflexible’ and ‘Ambitious’.

Other Uses :
Dye; Miscellany; Oil.

A yellow dye is obtained from the fresh or dried leaves. An oil from the seed is used for lighting and as an ingredient in soaps, paints etc. Cream of tartar, extracted from the residue of pressed grapes, is used in making fluxes for soldering. Especially when growing in hotter countries than Britain, the stems of very old vines attain a good size and have been used to supply a very durable timber.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitis_vinifera
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/v/vine–09.html
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Vitis+vinifera

Soda, OJ May Increase Risk of Gout

According to a new study  drinking too much soda or fruit juice will increase the risk of developing gout, a painful form of arthritis.

Women who drank two cans or more of non-diet soda a day, or 12 ounces or more of orange juice a day, were more than twice as likely to develop gout. Women who drank just one soda or 6-ounce glass of juice per day were at 74 percent and 41 percent greater risk, respectively.

CNN reports:
“The culprit appears to be fructose … [F]ructose increases levels of the chemical uric acid, which causes gout. When uric acid levels in the body get too high, the acid hardens into sharp crystals that are deposited in joints.”

You may click to see :
Soft Drinks Linked to Pancreatic Cancer Risk

Resources:
CNN November 10, 2010
Journal of the American Medical Association November 10, 2010; [Epub ahead of print]

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Soda Consumption at an Early Age Indicator of Unhealthy Childhood Diet

Young girls who drink soda have less healthy diets through adolescence than their peers who do not drink soda, according to a Penn State study.
The ten-year study showed that girls who drank soda at age five had diets that were less likely to meet nutritional standards for the duration of the study, which ended at age 15.Girls who did not drink soda at age five did not meet certain nutritional requirements, but their diets were healthier.

The difference between the two groups in nutrient intake is “not just because of what they are consuming, but because of what they are not consuming,” said Laura Fiorito, postdoctoral fellow in Penn State’s Center for Child Obesity Research.

Milk intake differed greatly between the two groups — soda drinkers drank far less milk than non-soda drinkers — and milk has all of the nutrients that differed between the groups except fiber. At age five, non-soda drinkers consumed 10 to 11 ounces of milk daily, while soda drinkers had less than seven ounces.

“Adequate nutrient intake is important for optimal health and growth,” the researchers reported in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

For example, low calcium intake is associated with increased risk of bone fractures and higher added sugar is associated with dental problems and the development of several chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.

The Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, recommends that girls between age 14 and 18 receive at least 65 milligrams of vitamin C daily. In this study, soda drinkers fell short at just 55 milligrams daily, while non-soda drinkers exceeded the recommendation at 70.5 milligrams daily.

Although soda drinkers had less healthy diets, both groups failed to meet recommendations for certain nutrients. The Institute recommends that girls age 14 to 18 receive at least 1,300 milligrams of calcium daily. At age 15, soda drinkers in the study averaged 767 milligrams a day, while non-soda drinkers had slightly higher intakes at 851 milligrams a day, but were still deficient.

The researchers also found that both groups increased their soda consumption by age 15. However, soda drinkers were consuming nearly twice as much soda at age 15 than their counterparts — 6.6 ounces a day versus 3.4 ounces a day.

Although the study has considerable implications on how beverages impact diet, Fiorito believes children may already have developed drinking preferences and patterns by age five.

“We think that the patterns develop when they are younger. Some studies show that children already drinking soda or carbonated beverages at age two,” said Fiorito.

The study followed 170 girls for 10 years, documenting meals three times every two years. Girls classified as “soda drinkers” — those who drank roughly four ounces of soda daily at age five — showed much lower intakes of fiber, protein, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium throughout the study than “non-soda drinkers” — those who had no soda intake at age five. Also, the soda drinkers had much higher intake of added sugars. The study did not distinguish between diet and regular soda because the “soda drinkers” drank both types, but diet soda intake was very low at age five.

Parents of soda drinkers in the study had higher body mass indexes than non-soda drinkers’ parents. Fiorito believes this suggests that “parents model consumption patterns for their children,” and that the parents’ unhealthy eating habits not only contributed to an increased BMI, but influenced children.

There have been other studies on the effects of soda on dieting, but this is the first study to track the consumption of multiple beverages over a ten-year period. Included in the study were coffee/tea, soda, milk, 100 percent fruit juice, and fruit drinks – any fruit-flavored drinks with less than 100 percent fruit juice.

Other beverages have come under scrutiny in recent years for their possible negative health consequences. For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a formal statement in 2001 that recommended limits on children’s fruit juice intake. The Academy has not issued any formal statement on soda, but this study provides a clear link showing that soda can prevent people from maintaining a healthy diet.

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Source:
Elements4Health :June8.2010

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Benincasa hispida

Botanical Namne : Benincasa hispida
Family : Cucurbitaceae
Subfamily: Cucurbitoideae
Genus : Benincasa
Synonyms: Benincasa cerifera – Savi.’ Cucurbita hispida – Thunb.
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Cucurbitales
Tribe: Benincaseae
Subtribe: Benincasinae
Vernacular Names
:    * Assamese: komora
* Bengali:  chal kumra (lit. “thatch pumpkin”)
* Burmese: kyauk pha-yon thee
* Chinese: d?nggu? (lit. “winter melon”)
* English: ash gourd, (Chinese) winter melon, fuzzy melon, green pumpkin, wax gourd, white gourd
* French: courge cireuse, courgette velue (lit. “hairy zucchini”)
* German: Wachskürbis, Wintermelone (Benincasa hispida)
* Hindi: peth?, pethakaddu
* Ilocano: tabungaw
* Indonesian: beligo, kundur
* Japanese:  t?gan ( lit. “winter melon”)
* Kannada: boodagumbala
* Kapampangan: Kundul
* Malay: kundur
* Malayalam:  kumbalanga
* Marathi:  kohja
* Portuguese: abóbora d’água (lit. “water pumpkin”), comalenge
* Sinhala: Puhul
* Taiwanese: dangguev ( lit. “winter melon”)
* Tamil: neer poosanikai
* Tagalog: kundol
* Telugu: boodida gummadikaaya
* Thai:  fak
* Tulu:karkumbuda
* Urdu:  peth?
* Vietnamese: bí ?ao
Sanskrit Name :KUSMANDA (The Sanskrit word kusmanda literally means that, fruit, which does not contain heat at all. It has various synonyms in ancient Ayurvedic scriptures,

Habitat:
Range Tropical Asia.  Cultivated Beds;

Descriptin:

It is a perennial, large trailing gourd climbing with tendrils. The leaves are large, 10-15 cm in diameter, heart-shaped, covered with rather rough bristly hair beneath. The flowers are pale yellow in color, unisexual, male peduncle 7-10 cm long and female peduncle shorter. The fruits are large, broadly cylindrical, 0.33-0.5 meter long, covered with whitish hair throughout. The plant flowers in November and later on fruiting occurs. Each plant yields nearly 50-60 fruits.

click to see the pictures.

It is hardy to zone 10 and is frost tender. It is in leaf from June to October, in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to November. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil and can tolerate drought.


Edible Uses….…..CLICK & SEE

Edible Parts: Flowers; Fruit; Leaves; Seed……..CLICK & SEE

Fruit – raw or cooked. Used as a vegetable, and in pickles, curries and preserves. The fruit can be eaten when it is young or old, it can be picked as early as one week after fertilization. A juicy texture with a mild flavour, the flavour is somewhat stronger in younger fruits. Because of its waxy coating, it will store for several months, sometimes as long as a year. Mature fruits can vary in weight from 2 – 50 kg. A nutritional analysis is available. Young leaves and flower buds are steamed and eaten as a vegetable, or are added as a flavouring to soups. Seed – cooked. Rich in oil and protein.

Composition
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.

Fruit (Fresh weight)
13 Calories per 100g
Water: 96.1%
Protein: 0.4g; Fat: 0.2g; Carbohydrate: 3g; Fibre: 0.5g; Ash: 0.3g;
Minerals – Calcium: 19mg; Phosphorus: 19mg; Iron: 0.4mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 6mg; Potassium: 111mg; Zinc: 0mg;
Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 4mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.11mg; Niacin: 0.4mg; B6: 0mg; C: 13mg;

Medicinal   Actions &  Uses

Anthelmintic; Antiperiodic; Aphrodisiac; Cancer; Demulcent; Diuretic; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Laxative; Salve; Tonic; VD.

The wax gourd has been used as a food and medicine for thousands of years in the Orient. All parts of the fruit are used medicinally. The rind of the fruit is diuretic. It is taken internally in the treatment of urinary dysfunction, summer fevers etc. The ashes of the rind are applied to painful wounds. The seed is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, laxative and tonic. A decoction is used internally in the treatment of vaginal discharges and coughs. In combination with Rheum palmatum it is used to treat intestinal abscesses. In Ayurvedic medicine the seed is used in the treatment of coughs, fevers, excessive thirst and to expel tapeworms. The oil from the seed is also used as an anthelmintic. The fruit is antiperiodic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, laxative and tonic. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine in the treatment of epilepsy, lung diseases, asthma, coughs etc. The fruit juice is used in the treatment of insanity, epilepsy and other nervous diseases. Recent research has shown that the fruits contain anti-cancer terpenes. An infusion of the root is used in the treatment of gonorrhoea. Demulcent, salve. Facilitates pus drainage.

Ayurvedic Properties & Uses

Kusmanda is sweet in taste, sweet in the post digestive effect and has cold potency. It has a special potency as a nervine tonic. It alleviates vata and pitta doshas, but aggravates the kapha dosha. The properties of its fruit changes according to stages of ripening. The tender fruits alleviate pitta dosa. Medium – riped fruits alleviate kapha dosha whereas, fully ripened fruits alleviate all the three doshas. There is an ancient Sanskrit saying- Vrntakam bahubijanam kusmandam komalam visam meaning, over mature fruit of brinjal and very tender fruit of kusmanda is like a toxin to the body . Kusmanda is a refuvenative, diuretic and aphrodisiac in properties and is used in urinary disorders, urinary calculi, general debility etc.

The fruits and seeds are used for medicinal purpose. Externally, the pulp of fruit is applied on wounds and burns to alleviate the burning sensation. The seeds mashed with water, serve the same purpose. In headache the seed oil is massaged for relief.

Internally, kusmanda is used in vast range of diseases. In thirst due to vitiated pitta, it is used with great benefit. In flatulence, it is beneficial because of its mild laxative property. The pulp of the fruit along with laxative is an effective remedy for tapeworm infestation. The seed oil facilitates the stools smoothly as well as renders styptic action, hence beneficial in bleeding piles. The fruit juice, mixed with sugar ameliorates hyperacidity. In tuberculosis with cavitation and haemoptysis, kusmanda is highly recommended, as it bestows rejuvenative, styptic and tonic properties. The root powder is given with water to alleviate the bronchospasm in asthma. The fruit juice, mixed with yastimadhu, is the best panacea for epilepsy. In hysteria, it works well with the powder of kustha, along with honey. The combination of its fruit juice, asafetida and yavaksara is extremely valuable in the treatment of urinary calculi and dysuria. Kusmanda is rewarding in cardiac debility as an adjunct. The seeds mashed with milk or the various preparations from the pulp of fruit in the form of sweetmeats, like Kusmanda paka and petha are commonly used as a general tonic, aphrodisiac, rejuvenative and also a brain tonic. Kusmanda inhibits mental instability, agitation and induces sound sleep. It nourishes the tarpaka kapha, which in turn, augments the memory and intelligence.


Other Uses

Rootstock.

A wax that coats the fruit is used to make candles. The roots have considerable resistance to soil-borne diseases and they are sometimes used as a rootstock for melons and other cucurbits.

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/database/plants.php?Benincasa+hispida
http://www.herbalcureindia.com/herbs/benincasa-hispida.htm
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Benincasa_hispida

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What’s in a Healthy Lunchbox?

Ninety-nine out of every 100 packed lunches being eaten by primary school children are reported to be unhealthy and failing to meet nutritional standards.

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So what should a healthy lunch contain and what foods should be left out?

According to advice from the Food Standards Agency,a healthy packed lunch should include:

• Meat, fish or a dairy source of protein

• Starchy carbohydrate, such as a wholegrain sandwich, to provide energy

• At least one portion each of a fruit and vegetable or salad

• Water or milk to drink, but diluted fruit juice and yoghurt drinks or smoothies are acceptable

 

The key foods to avoid are:-

• Sweets and chocolate

• Snacks, like crisps, with added salt/sugar/fat

Sugary and fizzy drinks

Deep-fried foods and processed meats

• White bread – if children won’t eat brown, try whole white sliced bread

Nutritional standards for school meals were introduced in 2006 and standards for vending machines, breakfast clubs and tuck shops came into force a year later.

In 2008, strict nutrition content guidelines for primary schools were introduced and extended to secondary schools in September 2009.

They include maximum/minimum levels of energy or calories and 13 different nutrients, including fat, salt and sugars.

SUGAR, FAT AND SALT (As per  Food Standards Agency)
Sugar: 15g sugar per 100g is high in sugar, 5g or less is low
Fat: 20g fat per 100g is high in fat, 3g or less is low

Salt: 1.5g salt per 100g is high in salt, 0.3g or less is low


The Schools Food Trust – an independent body set up to advise schools on healthy eating – says there are no plans to issue statutory guidance on packed lunches, but it has produced some sample lunchbox menus

You may click to see:

SAMPLE MENU  in a packed standard lunch (526.29 K

Children’s lunchboxes ‘unhealthy’
Pupils are to face lunchbox exams
Charity seeks end to lunchbox ham
Food Standards Agency
School Food Trust

Source: BBC News:12Th. January. 2010

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