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Ginseng May be a Natural Anti-inflammatory

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Ginseng, an herb used in traditional Chinese and other Asian medicine for thousands of years, has anti-inflammatory properties, a new study has found.

Scientists from the University of Hong Kong identified seven ginseng compounds, called ginsenosides, which they believe demonstrate immune-suppressive effects. Specifically, after treating human immune cells with different extracts of ginseng they found the seven ginsenosides had the ability to selectively inhibit expression of the inflammatory gene CXCL-10.

“The [benefits] of ginseng may be due to the combined effects of these ginsenosides, targeting different levels of immunological activity, and so contributing to the diverse actions in humans,” says researcher Allan Lau who led the team.

“Further studies will be needed to examine the potential beneficial effects of [the herb] in the management of acute and chronic inflammatory diseases in humans,” he adds.

Ginseng is a slow-growing perennial plant native to cooler climates of eastern Asia, including northern China, Korea and eastern Siberia, and it is available in the form of roots or nutritional supplements in many health stores across the U.S.

Source: Better Health Research. Nov.9th. 2009

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Herbs & Plants

Akebia

Botanical  Name: Akebiae Caulis;/ Akebia trifoliata

Family: Lardizabalaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Ranunculales
Genus: Akebia
Pinyin Mandarin Name: Mu Tong
Common English Name: Akebia; Akebia Stem

Part Used: Stem (caulis)

Nature: Cool
Taste: Bitter

Species & their Habitats:

*Akebia chingshuiensis T. Shimizu, native to Taiwan
*Akebia longeracemosa Matsumura, native to China and Taiwan
*Akebia quinata (Houttuyn) Decaisne – Chocolate Vine or Five-leaf Akebia, native to China, Japan and Korea
*Akebia trifoliata (Thunberg) Koidzumi – Three-leaf Akebia, native to China, Japan and Korea

a) Akebia trifoliate subsp. australis (Diels) T. Shimizu
b)Akebia trifoliata subsp. longisepala H. N. Qin
c)Akebia trifoliata subsp. trifoliata

Invasive plant
Akebia quinata is listed under the National Pest Plant Accord as an “unwanted organism” in New Zealand since it is an invasive plant.
DESCRIPTION: This group consists of hardy, semi-evergreen, climbing plants that are natives of Japan, China, and Korea. They are grown for their pretty flowers and foliage. The flowers of these plants are followed by interesting, sausage-shaped, edible fruits. They are suitable for growing over hedges, low trees, bushes, or stumps. A. quinata (Fiveleaf Akebia) is a large, vigorous climber that grows from 28 to 40 feet high. The leaves consist of five, notched, green leaflets that are flushed with red. In mid-spring, racemes of fragrant, reddish-purple flowers are produced. Male and female flowers are separate, but borne on the same inflorescence; the females at the base and the males at the tip. The dark purple fruits are 2 to 4 inches long; black seeds are embedded in white pulp. A. trifoliata (Threeleaf Akebia) is also a large vine growing up to 28 feet high. The leaves consist of three, shallowly lobed leaflets. The dark purple flowers are produced in racemes, in mid-spring. The light violet fruits grow 3 to 5 inches long, usually in groups of three.

click & see the pictures

POTTING: Akebias will thrive in regular, well-drained soil, in sun or partial shade. They grow better in light rather than heavy soil. These vines need a mild spring to bear flowers and a long, hot summer to produce fruit. In mild climates, these vines may become a little over vigorous and will need to be pruned. Once in a while, excessively long shoots may be trimmed back and in late fall or early spring, they may be thinned a bit.

PROPAGATION: Seeds, layering and cuttings are all methods of propagation. Seeds can be sown as soon as they are ripe in pots or shallow boxes filled with sandy soil, in a greenhouse or cold frame. Cuttings may be inserted in pots of sandy soil in a closed frame for a few weeks until they form roots, or in sandy soil outdoors covered with a bell jar or hand light. Layers may be made by fastening the ends of shoots to the ground with wooden pegs until they form roots.

Medicinal Uses:

A pungent, bitter herb that controls bacterial and fungal infections and stimulates the circulatory and urinary systems and female organs. It is a potent diuretic due to the high content of potassium salts.  Internally for urinary tract infections, rheumatoid arthritis, absence of menstruation, and insufficient lactation.  Taken internally, it controls gram-positive bacterial and fungal infections.
This herb is used to treat symptoms of difficult urination, insomnia, absent menstruation, sore tongue and throat, joint pains, poor circulation, and deficient lactation (TCM: internal damp heat).
Meridians Entered: Heart, Small Intestine, Bladder
Traditional Usages and Functions
Promotes urination and drains heat from the Heart via the Small Intestine; promotes lactation and unblocks blood vessels.

Common Formulas Used In

Dianthus; Gentiana.
Pharmacological & Clinical Research
*Oral and Intravenous preparations of Akebia Caulis showed a very marked diuretic effect in rabbits. This effect was not produced by the ash and was therefore not due to the presence of potassium, but to some other active ingredient. Akebia Caulis had a mild antidiuretic effect when injected intravenously into anesthetized dogs, but increased urine output when given to healthy human volunteers.
*Decoctions of Akebia Caulis had an inhibitory effect in nonpregnant and pregnant mouse uterus specimens, but a stimulatory effect in mouse intestine specimens.
Cautions & Contraindications:
*Contraindicated during pregnancy and in the absence of interior damp-heat.

*This herb easily injures the fluids and should be used with extreme caution in patients with any sign of yin deficiency.
Do not overdose: acute renal failure was reported following a dose of 60

Cautions in Use
Do not use during pregnancy. Use with extreme caution where there are deficient-Yin conditions since akebia strongly promotes urination.

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.acupuncture-and-chinese-medicine.com/akebia.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akebia
http://www.botany.com/akebia.html
http://library.thinkquest.org/25983/4.%20Akebia%20Caulis.htm

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

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Herbs & Plants

Konjac

Botanical Name:Amorphophallus konjac
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Aroideae
Kingdom: Plantae
syn. A. rivieri; Japanese- konnyaku; Korean: – gonyak; Chinese- pinyin: ju ruò), also known as konjak, konjaku, devil’s tongue, voodoo lily, snake palm, or elephant yam (though this name is also used for A. paeoniifolius), is a plant of the genus Amorphophallus.
Common Name: Devil’s Tongue, Voodoo Lily
Order: Alismatales
Tribe: Thomsonieae
Genus: Amorphophallus
Species: A. konjac

Habitat:It is native to warm subtropical to tropical eastern Asia, from Japan and China south to Indonesia.

Description:It is a perennial plant, growing from a large corm up to 25 cm in diameter. The single leaf is up to 1.3 m across, bipinnate, and divided into numerous leaflets. The flowers are produced on a spathe enclosed by a dark purple spadix up to 55 cm long.

click to see the pictures…>...(0)..(01).…….(1)...(2).…...(3)....(4)...(5).....(6).....(7)…
The corm of the konjac is often colloquially referred to as a yam, although it bears no marked relation to tubers of the family Dioscoreaceae.

Tuber about 10 in. across, flattish round. l. stalk 15 to 30 in. long, brownish green spotted white; blade large, 3-sect, ultimate segs. oblong-elliptic, cuspidate. Peduncle 2 ft. long. Spathe 8-12″ long, ovate, tube about 3″ long, pale green with greenish white spots, margin purplish, blade 8″ long, wide roundish-cordate, acute, green without, dark purple within, margin undulate.

It is very popular in Japan as a cooking supplement for soups and stew-like dishes. The tuber are raised and then cooked (usually cooking is also done on a commercial basis) or reduced to a substance somewhat stiffer than gelatin. The resultant material is pressed into blocks and sold like tofu in the grocery stores. The Japanese pronounce it cone-yuk. The name Amorphophallus is not generally associated with the product to the lay person.

The main substance in konjac is called Glucomannan which has a low caloric content but is rich in dietary fiber. Clinical study indicates the Glucomannan may be responsible for weight reduction and reducing cholesterol in those who have high cholesterol. It is eaten in Japan to clean the digestive tract of toxins.

Cultivation & Uses:
Konjac is grown in China, Japan and Korea for its large starchy corms, used to create a flour and jelly of the same name. It is also used as a vegan substitute for gelatin.

In Japanese cuisine, konnyaku appears in dishes such as oden. It is typically mottled grey and firmer in consistency than most gelatins. It has very little taste; the common variety tastes vaguely like salt. It is valued more for its texture than flavor.

Ito konnyaku  is a type of Japanese food consisting of konjac cut into noodle-like strips. It is usually sold in plastic bags with accompanying water. It is often used in sukiyaki and oden. The name literally means “thread-konjac.”
click to see
Japanese konnyaku jelly is made by mixing konnyaku flour with water and limewater. Hijiki is often added for the characteristic dark color and flavor. Without additives for color, konnyaku is pale white. It is then boiled and cooled to solidify. Konnyaku made in noodle form is called shirataki  and used in foods such as sukiyaki and gyudon.

click to see

Japanese historical novelist Ryotaro Shiba claims in a 1982 travelogue that konjac is consumed in parts of China’s Sichuan province; the corm is reportedly called moyu (??), and the jelly is called moyu doufu (????) or xue moyu (???).

The dried corm of the konjac plant contains around 40% glucomannan gum. This polysaccharide makes konjac jelly highly viscous.

Konjac has almost no calories but is very high in fiber. Thus, it is often used as a diet food.

Fruit jelly
Konjac can also be made into a popular Asian fruit jelly snack, known in the U.S. as konjac candy, usually served in bite-sized plastic cups.

Perhaps due to several highly publicized deaths and near-deaths among children and elderly due to suffocation while eating konjac candy, there were FDA product warnings[1] in 2001 and subsequent recalls in the U.S. and Canada. Unlike gelatine and some other commonly used gelling agents, Konjac fruit jelly does not melt on its own in the mouth. The products that were then on the market formed a gel strong enough such that only chewing, but not tongue pressure or breathing pressure, could disintegrate the gel. The products also had to be sucked out of the miniature cup in which they were served and were small enough such that an inexperienced child could occasionally accidentally inhale them. Konjac fruit jelly was subsequently also banned in the European Union.

Some konjac jelly snacks now on the market have had their size increased so that they cannot be swallowed whole. The snacks usually have warning labels advising parents to make sure that their children chew the jelly thoroughly before swallowing. Japan’s largest manufacturer of konjac snacks, MannanLife, has temporarily stopped production of the jellies after it was revealed that a 21-month old Japanese boy had choked to death on a frozen MannanLife konjac jelly.[5] As of this incident, 17 children and elderly people have died from choking on konjac since 1995

Medicinal Uses:

Konjac is an all-natural, dietary source of 100% fiber obtained from the root of the Konjac plant in Asia.  And Konjac Root contains zero calories , so it’s an excellent addition to a sensible weight loss program.  Additionally, this herb has been shown to help reduce cholesterol, relieve constipation and regulate blood sugar in several clinical studies.
The main substance in konjac is called Glucomannan which has a low caloric content but is rich in dietary fiber. Clinical study indicates the Glucomannan may be responsible for weight reduction and reducing cholesterol in those who have high cholesterol. It is eaten in Japan to clean the digestive tract of toxins.

You may click to see :->Konjac Root (sold as Glucomannan)

Konjac Fibre Information

How to Grow Amorphophallus Konjac in Cold Climates

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/Konjac
http://florawww.eeb.uconn.edu/198500882.html
http://www.viable-herbal.com/singles/herbs/s821.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Japanese Honeysuckle

Botanical Name: Lonicera japonica Thunb.
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Dipsacales
Genus: Lonicera
Species: L. japonica
Other names: Japanese honeysuckle, madreselva, Chin Yin Hua, Chin Yin T’Eng, Honeysuckle, Jen Tung, Jen Tung Chiu, Jen Tung Kao, Sui-Kazura, Yin Hua, Hall’s Honeysuckle, White honeysuckle, Chinese honeysuckle, Halliana

Habitat:-
The Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica; Suikazura in Japanese) is a species of honeysuckle native to eastern Asia including Japan, Korea, northern and eastern China, and Taiwan, which is a major invasive species in North America. In USA it is distributed from Pennsylvania and West Virginia west to Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Widespread in the eastern and southern United States. Japanese honeysuckle is an important white-tailed deer food and is often invasive.

Description: –

It is a twining vine able to climb up to 10 m high or more in trees, with opposite, simple oval leaves 3–8 cm long and 2–3 cm broad. The flowers are double-tongued, opening white and fading to yellow, and sweetly scented. The fruit is a globose dark blue berry 5–8 mm diameter containing numerous seeds. The extremely fragrant, two-lipped flowers are borne in pairs in the axils of young branches and are produced throughout the summer. Flowers range from 1 to 2 inches in length and are white with a slight purple or pink tinge when young, changing to white or yellow with age, they are edible. The fruit is a black, berrylike drupe with three to five one-seeded stones.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Japanese honeysuckle is primarily a weed of fence rows, landscapes, nurseries, and container ornamentals. This weed is now distributed throughout the United States, but is primarily a problem in the southeastern states.

Similar Species:-
Japanese honeysuckle is separated easily from the native honeysuckle vines by its leaves. Leaves near tips of the vines of Japanese honeysuckle are opposite and not united, while leaves of native honeysuckles (3 species) are united at the base, forming a single leaf surrounding the stem. Japanese honeysuckle should be accurately identified before attempting any control measures. If identification of the species is in doubt, the plant‘s identity should be confirmed by a knowledgeable individual and/or by consulting appropriate books.

Cultivation and uses:-
Prefers partial shade to full sun and moist soil. Prune back hard in winter to prevent the build-up of woody growth, provide a trellis.This species is sold by American nurseries, often as the cultivar ‘Hall’s Prolific’ (Lonicera Japonica var. Halliana). It is an effective groundcover, and has pleasant, strong-smelling flowers. It can be cultivated by seed, cuttings, or layering. In addition, it will spread itself via shoots if given enough space to grow.

Japanese Honeysuckle has become naturalized in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand and much of the United States, including Hawaii, as well as a number of Pacific and Caribbean islands.

Japanese Honeysuckle is classified as a noxious weed in Illinois and Virginia. It can be controlled by cutting or burning the plant to root level and repeating at two-week intervals until nutrient reserves in the roots are depleted. It can also be controlled through annual applications of glyphosate, or through grubbing if high labor and soil destruction are not of concern. Cutting the Honeysuckle to within 5–10 cm of the ground and then applying glyphosate has proved to be doubly effective, provided that the mixture is rather concentrated (20–25%) and is applied immediately after making the cut

Medicinal Uses;-
Japanese honeysuckle is edible and medicinal. High in Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium, the leaves can be parboiled and eaten as a vegetable. The edible buds and flowers, made into a syrup or puddings. The entire plant has been used as an alternative medicine for thousands of years in Asia. The active constituents include calcium, elaidic-acid, hcn, inositol, linoleic-acid, lonicerin, luteolin, magnesium, myristic-acid, potassium, tannin, and zink. It is alterative, antibacterial, antiinflammatory, antispasmodic, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge, and is also used to reduce blood pressure. The stems are used internally in the treatment of acute rheumatoid arthritis, mumps and hepatitis. The stems are harvested in the autumn and winter, and are dried for later herb use. The stems and flowers are used together a medicinal infusion in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections (including pneumonia) and dysentery. An infusion of the flower buds is used in the treatment of a wide range of ailments including syphillitic skin diseases and tumors, bacterial dysentery, colds, and enteritis. Experimentally, the flower extracts have been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels and are antibacterial, antiviral and tuberculostatic. Externally, the flowers are applied as a medicinal wash to skin inflammations, infectious rashes and sores. The flowers are harvested in early morning before they open and are dried for later herb use. This plant has become a serious weed in many areas of N. America, it might have the potential to be utilized for proven medicinal purposes. Other uses include; Ground cover, Insecticide, Basketry, vines used to make baskets. The white-flowers of cultivar ‘Halliana’ has a pronounced lemon-like perfume.

Chinese Medicine:-
The Japanese Honeysuckle flower is of high medicinal value in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is called r?n d?ng téng ( literally “winter enduring vine”) or j?n yín hu? ( literally “gold silver flower”). Alternate Chinese names include Er Hua and Shuang Hua. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and is used (often in combination with Forsythia suspensa) to dispel heat and remove toxins, including carbuncles, fevers, influenza and ulcers. In Korean, it is called geumeunhwa. The dried leaves are also used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Jin Yin Hua (Japanese Honeysuckle, Flos Lonicerae Japonicae) is notable for its inclusion in the traditional Chinese medicine herbal formula Honeysuckle and Forsythia Powder. In pinyin, this formula is called Yin Qiao San. Traditional indications for use of this formula include fever, headache, cough, thirst, and sore throat. For indications such as this, it is common to find Japanese Honeysuckle paired in Chinese medicine herbal formulations with Forsythia (Lian Qiao, Fructus Forsythiae Suspensae). According to Chinese medicine, these herbs, when combined, have a synergistic medicinal effect to address indications such as fever with headache and sore throat. This is why these two herbs are considered “paired herbs.”

In Chinese medicine, Jin Yin Hua is classfied with a temperature property of cold. The cold designation specifically refers to, in this case, to Jin Yin Hua’s anti-toxin, anti-bacterial, anti-pyretic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, according to traditional Chinese medicine, Jin Yin Hua is contraindicated for patients with medical conditions that are diagnosed as deficient and cold in nature unless combined with other herbs to balance the temperature nature of Jin Yin Hua. In layperson terms, Jin Yin Hua is used in Chinese medicine to address what are called excess heat conditions such as fevers, skin rashes, and sore throat. Excess heat conditions are essentially inflammatory processes involving heat, redness, pain, and swelling often due to external pathogenic factors such as bacteria and viruses. The cold nature of Jin Yin Hua is considered to cool the heat nature of the heat related conditions. For example, Jin Yin Hua’s antibacterial properties can help to cool a fever. In this case, the cold herb treats the heat condition. However, should a patient present with what is termed as a cold condition such as aversion to cold with cold limbs, cold and pain in the abdomen, and abdominal pain relieved by warmth,[4] then Jin Yin Hua’s cold nature is said to be contraindicated for treating the pre-existing cold condition. Should an herbalist choose to use Jin Yin Hua in an herbal formula for a patient with a cold condition, he/she would then choose to balance the temperature of Jin Yin Hua with another herb that is warming in nature.

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.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/plants/honeysuckle.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Honeysuckle
http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/chf/outreach/VMG/jhnysckl.html
http://www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/lonja.htm

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Herbs & Plants Herbs & Plants (Spices)

CASSIA

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Botanical Name: Cassia Augustifolia
Family:    Lauraceae
Genus:    Cinnamomum
Species:C. cassia
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Laurales

Popular Name(s): Senna, Indian Senna, Tinnervelly Senna, Cassia Senna, Locust Plant, Rajavriksha
Parts Used: Pods, Stems and Leaves
Habitat: Cultivated in dry lands of Southern & Western India, Burma  and indigenous to Arabia.

Genus Species: Cassia senna or Cinnamonum cassia
Cultivated: Hot wet tropics of China, Indochina, East and West Indies, and Central America

Other Names:Chinese cassia or Chinese cinnamon,Malabathrum,Cinnamomum tamala ,Malobathrum or Malabar leaf

Description :
Cassia is an aromatic bark, similar to cinnamon, but differing in strength and quality. Cassia bark is darker, thicker and coarser, and the corky outer bark is often left on. The outer surface is rough and grayish brown, the inside bark is smoother and reddish-brown. Cassia is less costly than cinnamon and is often sold ground as cinnamon. When buying as sticks, cinnamon rolls into a single quill while cassia is rolled from both sides toward the centre so that they end up resembling scrolls.

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Characteristics:
The leaves, known as tejpat in Nepali,  Tejpatta  in Hindi, Tejpat in Assamese and Tamalpatra in Marathi and in original Sanskrit, are used extensively in the cuisines of India, Nepal, and Bhutan, particularly in the Moghul cuisine of North India and Nepal and in Tsheringma herbal tea in Bhutan. It is called Biryani Aaku or Bagharakku in Telugu. They are often erroneously labeled as “Indian bay leaves,” though the bay leaf is from the Bay Laurel, a tree of Mediterranean origin in a different genus, and the appearance and aroma of the two are quite different. Bay leaves are shorter and light to medium green in color, with one large vein down the length of the leaf;photo while tejpat are about twice as long and wider than laurel leaves. They are usually olive green in color, may have some brownish spots and have three veins down the length of the leaf.photo True tejpat leaves impart a strong cassia- or cinnamon-like aroma to dishes, while the bay leaf’s aroma is more reminiscent of pine and lemon. Indian grocery stores usually carry true tejpat leaves. Some grocers may only offer Turkish bay leaves, in regions where true tejpat is unavailable.

Cassia buds resemble cloves. They are the dried unripe fruits about 14 mm (1/2 in) long and half as wide. It is native to Burma and grown in China, Indo-China, the East and West Indies and Central America. Cassia is called kwei in the earliest Chinese herbal by Shen-nung (2700 B.C.). It reached Europe in classical times with Arabian and Phoenician traders and the buds were known in Europe in the Middle Ages.


There are many varieties of cassia, including:

Chinese cassia (Cinnamomum cassia) or cassia, is from Burma and South China, coming in quills or rolled. This variety is also the source of cassia buds.
Indian cassia (Cinnamomum tamala) is native to India where its leaves are also used as an herb (tejpat).
Indonesian cassia (Cinnamomum burmanni) or Padang cassia has a smoother bark and double quills. This is usually the cassia that is imported to North America.
Saigon cassia (Cinnamomum loureirii) is native to Indonesia and is also grown in Japan and Korea.
Oliverâ’s Bark (Cinnamomum oliveri) is an Australian substitute of cassia and cinnamon.
Mossoia Bark (Cinnamomum) is an inferior substitute for cassia and cinnamon from Papua New Guinea.
Bouquet: The buds have a slight aroma. the bark is sweet-spicy like cinnamon, but more pungent.
Flavour: The bark and the buds have similar flavours: warm, sweet and pungent.

Buy Cassia on the Internet
For online purchases we recommend buying through one of the reputable dealers associated with Amazon and their trusted and secure online ordering system. Click here to shop for cassia products.
Cassia is the name given to the bark of several trees such as Cinnamonum cassia, C. aromatium, C. loureirii, C. burmannii, etc. These varieties have a wide distribution, but in ancient trade cassia used to come mainly from China, hence the name Chinese cinnamon or bastard cinnamon. The bark is coarser than that of true cinnamon, and the taste is more astringent and harsh, although a variety C. burmannii from Indonesia is similar to the Sri Lanka product.

Cassia is more widely used today than is cinnamon, although most people are unfamiliar with the name cassia; moreover, the word can be confused with Cassia angustifolia – a very different plant, namely senna! Cassia as a spice is favored by the Chinese for incorporation in Five Spice Powder (along with Szechuan pepper, cloves, fennel and star anise). Cassia leaves (tejpat) are currently used as a spice in Indian cooking, while cassia leaves and buds were a favored import (with the name malabathrum) in ancient Rome and also during the Middle Ages. See a list of spices by Taste and Hotness.


Useful Parts
:The spice in the case of both cinnamon and cassia come from bark of the plants.

Medicinal Properties:It is useful in habitual costiveness. It lowers bowels, increases peristaltic movements of the colon by its local action upon the intestinal wall.

Cinnamon and cassia extracts have been used medically to treat gastrointestinal problems and as a specific for diarrhea, but their value is marginal. Their use as antimicrobials is of limited relevance, and it is dubious if the presence of cinnamon or cassia in cooked foods retards spoilage if left unrefrigerated in a tropical climate. Nevertheless, cinnamon along with many other spices has antibacterial properties that may be worth exploiting.

The properties of cassia and cassia oil are similar to those of cinnamon and comprised largely of cinnamaldehyde.. Cassia is a tonic, carminative and stimulant. It is used to treat nausea and flatulence. It is also used alone or in combination to treat diarrhea.
Cassia (called ròu gùi; 肉桂 in Chinese) is used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs.

A 2003 study published in the DiabetesCare journal followed Type 2 diabetics ingesting 1, 3 or 6 grams of cassia daily. Those taking 6 grams shows changes after 20 days, and those taking lesser doses showed changes after 40 days. Regardless of the amount of cassia taken, they reduced their mean fasting serum glucose levels 18–29%, their triglyceride levels 23–30%, their LDL cholesterol 7–27%, and their total cholesterol 12–26%, over others taking placebos.

The effects, which may even be produced by brewing a tea from cassia bark, may also be beneficial for non-diabetics to prevent and control elevated glucose and blood lipid levels. Cassia’s effects on enhancing insulin sensitivity appear to be mediated by polyphenols . Despite these findings, cassia should not be used in place of anti-diabetic drugs, unless blood glucose levels are closely monitored and its use is combined with a strictly controlled diet and exercise program.

There is also much anecdotal evidence that consumption of cassia has a strong effect in lowering blood pressure, making it potentially useful to those suffering from hypertension. The USDA has three ongoing studies that are monitoring the blood pressure effect.

Though the spice has been used for thousands of years, there is concern that there is as yet no knowledge about the potential for toxic buildup of the fat-soluble components in cassia, as anything fat-soluble could potentially be subject to toxic buildup. There are no concluded long term clinical studies on the use of cassia for health reasons.

FOR MORE KNOWLEDGE CLICK TO SEE……..(1)……..(2)..

Historical View : The properties of cassia are similar to those of cinnamon; but it is commonly regarded as somewhat more astringent. Its uses are the same as those of cinnamon.

Bentley, Robert and Henry Trimen. Medicinal Plants; being descriptions with original figures of the principal plants employed in medicine and an account of the characters, properties, and uses of their parts and products of medicinal value. London, Churchill, 1880. (WZ 295 B556m 1880)

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.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnamomum_cassia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malabathrum

www.theepicentre.com and en.wikipedia.org

http://www.iloveindia.com/indian-herbs/cassia-angustifolia.html