Herbs & Plants

Amaranthus viridis (Bengali : Bon notay)

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Botanical Name : Amaranthus  viridis
Family:    Amaranthaceae
Genus:    Amaranthus
Species:A. viridis
Order:    Caryophyllales

Synonyms :   A. gracilis.

Common Names: Slender Amaranth or Green Amaranth.

Bengali name is Bon notey or notay sak. In Kerala it is called Kuppacheera.In Manipur it is known as Cheng-kruk
In Greece it is called vlita

Habitat : Original habitat is not very well known. But this plant occurs in Tropical  countries of the world.

Amaranthus viridis is a annual plant growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is frost tender. It is in leaf 10-Apr It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. 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 Wind, self.The plant is self-fertile.

Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position. Requires a hot sheltered position if it is to do well. Plants should not be given inorganic fertilizers, see notes above on toxicity. Cultivated as a food plant in the tropics.

Seed – sow late spring in situ. An earlier sowing can be made in a greenhouse and the plants put out after the last expected frosts. Germination is usually rapid and good if the soil is warm. A drop in temperature overnight aids germination. Cuttings of growing plants root easily.

Edible Uses  :
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.

Leaves – cooked as a spinach. A mild flavour. The leafy stems and flower clusters are similarly used. On a zero moisture basis, 100g of leaves contains 283 calories, 34.2g protein, 5.3g fat, 44.1g carbohydrate, 6.6g fibre, 16.4g ash, 2243mg calcium, 500mg phosphorus, 27mg iron, 336mg sodium, 2910mg potassium, 50mg vitamin A, 0.07mg thiamine, 2.43mg riboflavin, 11.8mg niacin and 790mg ascorbic acid. Seed – cooked. Very small, about 1mm in diameter, but it is easy to harvest and very nutritious. The seed can be cooked whole, and becomes very gelatinous like this, but it is rather difficult to crush all of the small seeds in the mouth and thus some of the seed will pass right through the digestive system without being assimilated. The seed contains 14 – 16% protein and 4.7 – 7% fat.

Chemical Constituents: Leaves (Dry weight) 283 Calories per 100g
*Water : 0%
*Protein: 34.2g; Fat: 5.3g; Carbohydrate: 44.1g; Fibre: 6.6g; Ash: 16.4g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 2243mg; Phosphorus: 500mg; Iron: 27mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 336mg; Potassium: 2910mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 50mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.07mg; Riboflavin (B2): 2.43mg; Niacin: 11.8mg; B6: 0mg; C: 790mg;
Medicinal Uses:
Amaranthus viridis is used as a medicinal herb in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, under the Sanskrit name Tanduliya.

A decoction of the entire plant is used to stop dysentery and inflammation. The plant is emollient and vermifuge. The root juice is used to treat inflammation during urination. It is also taken to treat constipation.

Other Uses:Yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant.
Known Hazards: No members of this genus are known to be poisonous, but when grown on nitrogen-rich soils they are known to concentrate nitrates in the leaves. This is especially noticeable on land where chemical fertilizers are used. Nitrates are implicated in stomach cancers, blue babies and some other health problems. It is inadvisable, therefore, to eat this plant if it is grown inorganically.

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

Golapn jam (Syzygium jambos)

Botanical Name :Syzygium jambos
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Syzygium
Species: S. jambos
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

syn. Eugenia jambos L.; Jambosa jambos Millsp.; Jambosa vulgaris DC.; Caryophyllus jambos Stokes

Common Name :Golapn jam, Boga Jamuk , Malabar Plum, champakka, chom pu or chom-phu. Terms like “plum rose“, “water apple”, “Malay apple“, “jambrosade”,and “pomarrosa”, or the English equivalent, “rose apple”. Several of these names also are applied to other species of Syzygium, while “jambu” can also mean a guava.

Habitat :.Syzygium jambos is native to Southeast Asia but is naturalized in India, especially the state of Kerala. It has also been introduced widely on every continent except Antarctica, and it has become established and invasive in several regions. Concern has been expressed concerning the threat to several ecosystems, including those on several Hawaiian islands, Réunion, the Galápagos Islands, parts of Australia and the warmer regions of the Americas.

Syzygium jambos is a large shrub or small-to-medium-sized tree, typically three to 15 metres high, with a tendency to low branching. Its leaves and twigs are glabrous and the bark, though dark brown, is fairly smooth too, with little relief or texture. The leaves are lanceolate, 2cm to 4 cm broad, 10 cm to 20 cm long, pointed, base cuneate with hardly any petiole, lively red when growing, but dark, glossy green on attaining full size. The flowers are in small terminal clusters, white or greenish white, the long, numerous stamens giving them a diameter of 5 – 8 cm. In temperate regions the tree is summer-flowering.

click to see the videos  :

The edible fruit of Syzygium jambos is shaped like some kinds of guava, to which the plant is fairly closely related. In fact the fruit is so like the guava in appearance that people unfamiliar with it may mistake it for a guava on sight. However, the fragrance, flavour and texture are different, and instead of containing dozens of small, hard seeds set in a jelly-like tissue, as a guava does, the fruit of Syzygium jambos usually contains one or two large, unarmoured seeds about a cm in diameter, lying loose in a slightly fluffy cavity when ripe. Shaking a fruit to feel whether the seeds rattle, gives some indication whether it is ripe. The skin is thin and waxy. The flowers are described by some as fragrant, though this appears to be a variable attribute. The ripe fruit however, has a strong, pleasant floral bouquet, hence such common names as “Rose apple” and “pomarrosa”.
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There are many varieties of Syzygium jambos world wide, including nondescript feral trees. In Thailand the commonest cultivated variety bears a pale green fruit. Malaysian varieties generally have red skins. In many regions the fruit is a shade of pale yellow, often with a slight blush. The skin is thin and waxy, and the hollow core contains a small amount of insignificant fluff. The flesh is crisp and watery, and the taste is characteristic, which leads to some fanciful descriptions such as: “like a cross between nashi and bell pepper, with a very mild rose scent and a slightly bitter aftertaste.” There seems to be considerable variation in flavour if such a description has any merit; in South Africa for example, there is no noticeable bitter aftertaste, but the bouquet is decidedly assertive, whether one regards it as rose-like or not.

Edible Uses:
Rich in vitamin C, the fruit can be eaten raw or used in various regional recipes. In South-East Asian countries, rose apple fruit is frequently served with spiced sugar.

The wood is dense and accordingly is used as a source of charcoal.

The tree is variously rich in tannins that are of some antimicrobial interest. Some parts of the tree are used in regional traditional medicine.

Medicinal Uses:
Useful part : Bark,leaves & Fruits.

Plants have long been used as medicines for treating a variety of different diseases and complaints. Phytotherapy in Asia is particularly widespread. Plant preparations and medications continue to be used in the treatment of numerous disorders, including eczema, malaria, respiratory disorders and infectious diseases.

. The fruit has been used as a tonic for the brain and liver and as a diuretic.
The flowers are believed to reduce fever, and the seeds were used to treat diarrhea, dysentery and catarrh.
In South-American cultures, the seeds have additionally been used as an anesthetic,

Recent studies have shown S. jambos extracts to have a similar analgesic efficacy to morphine in rats.

S. jambos leaf decoctions were also used traditionally in the tre

Bark of the S. jambos tree is used to treat asthma, bronchitis and hoarseness.

S. jambos leaf extracts have also been shown to possess antiviral activity towards herpes simplex type 1 and type 2 and towards vesicular somatitis virus.

The antiseptic properties of some members of the genus Syzygium have been extensively studied. In the commercially most important species Syzygium aromaticum (clove), the antiseptic properties are well known. Numerous studies have reported on the antibacterial.

Aurvedic properities:
Plant pacifies vitiated pitta, diarrhea, colic, wounds, ulcers, stomatitis, arthritis, and general debility.

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

Erysimum cheiranthoides

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Botanical Name : Erysimum cheiranthoides
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Erysimum
Species: E. cheiranthoides
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Common Name:Treacle-mustard, Wormseed Mustard

Habitat :Erysimum cheiranthoides is   native to most of central and northern Europe and northern and central Asia.It is widely naturalised outside of its native range, including in western and southern Europe, and North America . Found in many habitats from southern British Columbia to California at elevations of 750 – 3600 metres.

Erysimum cheiranthoides is a herbaceous annual plant similar in appearance to many other mustards, growing an erect stem 15–100 cm (rarely 150 cm) tall. The leaves are lanceolate to elliptic, 2–11 cm long and 0.5–1 cm broad, with an entire to coarsely toothed margin. The flowers are bright yellow, 5–12 mm diameter, produced in an erect inflorescence. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects The fruit is a slender cylindrical capsule 1–3 cm (rarely 5 cm) long, containing several small, dark brown seeds.
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender.

Cultivation :  
Requires a well-drained soil and a sunny position. Dislikes acid soils. Tolerates poor soils.

Seed – sow in situ in the spring. Germination should take place within 3 weeks.

Medicinal Uses
Skin;  Vermifuge.
A drink made from the crushed seed is used as a vermifuge. It is intensely bitter but has been used on children and expels the worms both by vomit and by excretion. A decoction of the root has been applied to skin eruptions. Occasionally used as an anthelmintic.  It is also used in folk medicine to treat rhueumatism, jaundice, dropsy and asthma. The root mixed in water was applied to skin eruptions

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


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Herbs & Plants

Dioscorea hispida

Botanical Name :Dioscorea hispida
Family : Dioscoreaceae – Yam family
Genus :  Dioscorea L. – yam
Species : Dioscorea hispida Dennst. – intoxicating yam
Kingdom ; Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision:  Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division : Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class : Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass : Liliidae
Order : Liliales

Synonyms:  Dioscorea triphylla L., Dioscorea hirsuta Dennst.,Dinoscorea daemona Roxb

Common Names:
Malaysia:Ubi arak,gandongan,gandong mabok
English :Asiatic bitter yam, intoxicating yam
Indonesia: Gadung, Sikapa,ondo
Thiland:Kloi,kloi-nok, kloi-hanieo

Habitat :Dioscorea hispida is native to India, South east Asia, China and Nuw Guinea.Growing wild, chiefly in thickets and forests at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines.

Dioscorea hispida is a twining vine, arising from tuberous roots, and reaching a length of several meters. Stems covered with few or many short, sharp spines. Leaves are 3-foliolate, the leaflets 12 to 20 cm long, somewhat hairy, the lateral ones oblique, oblong-ovate, the terminal one equilateral, oblong to oblong-obovate. Panicle is axillary, slender, hairy, 12 to 20 cm long. Flowers are small; unisexual male flowers with 6 stamens; female flowers similar to males, 3-winged, 3-celled, ovules 2 in each cell. Fruit is a capsule, oblong and about 5 cm long. Flesh and sap of tubers are yellowish. click to see

Click to see the pictures…..

Edible Uses:
– Despite known toxicity, in Thailand, where it is referred to as Kloi, tubers are used to make a dessert called Kao Nuew Kloi.
– In Kerala, India, tuberous herb cooked with salt, chili, tamarind and tumeric powder and used as curry.

– Contains a poisonous alkaloid, dioscoreine, acting like picrotoxin.
– Study of mineral content reports the tubers are a good source of phosphorus, calcium and iron.

Medicinal Uses:
Tuber, relieves abdominal spasms and colic; fry in vegetable oil, topically apply to remove pus from wounds, clears melasma. Toxic substances such as dioscorine were found in tubers which cause palpitations, nausea, vomiting, throat irrita­tion, sweating, blurred vision and unconscious­ness.

Tuber, raw or cooked used as anodyne and maturative for tumors and buboes.
Also used arthrtic and rheumatic pains. sprains and contusions.
Use poultice of freshly pounded material or decoction as external wash.
In Johore, decoction of tuber used as alterative and diuretic in chronic rheumatism.

Other Uses:
• Bleaching: Yellow juice from the flesh and sap of tubers is used for bleaching clothes and abaca fibers.
Poison: Juice of tubers used in criminal poisoning. Also, used as an ingredient together with Antiaris toxicaria in the preparation of arrow poisons.
• Livestock: Tubers used as cure for myiasis of the scrotum in carabaos.

• Phytochemicals / Phenolic Content: Study showed phenolic acids were present in only small amounts in Kloi tuber, compared to relatively high phenolic content for other yam Dioscorea species. The anomaly was attributed to the sample preparation, hydrolysis time and/or pH. Preliminary findings and documented nutritive value suggest the tuber as a potential source of phytochemicals for cosmetic, pharmaceutical or dietary antioxidant use.

Caution !
– Tubers contain the poisonous alkaloid dioscoreine, resembling picrotoxin.
– It is a nervous system paralyzant, not a protoplasmic poison.
– It has been reportedly used in criminal poisoning.

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


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Herbs & Plants

Amaranthus retroflexus

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Botanical Name : Amaranthus retroflexus
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Amaranthus
Species: A. retroflexus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales

Common Names : Red-root Amaranth, Redroot Pigweed, Red Rooted Pigweed, Common Amaranth, and common tumble weed

Habitat :Amaranthus retroflexus is native to the tropical Americas but it is widespread as an introduced species on most continents in a great number of habitats.

True to its name, it forms a tumbleweed.  This is an erect annual herb reaching a maximum height near 3 meters. The leaves are nearly 15 centimeters long on large individuals, the ones higher on the stem having a lance shape and those lower on the plant diamond or oval in shape. The plant is monoecious, with individuals bearing both male and female flowers. The inflorescence is a large, dense cluster of flowers interspersed with spiny green bracts. The fruit is a capsule less than 2 millimeters long with a “lid” which opens to reveal a tiny black seed.

You may click to see the pictures  of  Amaranthus retroflexus


Edible Uses:
This plant is eaten as a vegetable in different places of the world. No species of genus Amaranthus are known to be poisonous, but the leaves contain oxalic acid and may contain nitrates if grown in nitrate-rich soils, so the water should be discarded after boiling.

Amaranthus retroflexus was used for a multitude of food and medicinal purposes by many Native American groups.

Amaranthus retroflexus is used in the Indian state of Kerala to prepare a popular dish known as thoran by combining the finely cut leaves with grated coconut, chilies, garlic, turmeric and other ingredients.

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves have been used to stop internal hemorrhaging, diarrhea, and excessive menstrual flow. An infusion has been used to treat hoarseness.  The stems have treated ulcers and profuse menstrual flows.  In a wash, the flowers, leaves, and roots have been used as an astringent for wounds and sores, and used as a mouthwash for canker sores and sore gums.

Other Uses:
Use as fodder…When fed to cattle and pigs in large amounts over several days, this plant might be harmful by causing nephrotoxicity

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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