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Chickpea

Botanical Name: Cicer arietinum
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Cicer
Species: C. arietinum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms:
*Cicer album hort.
*Cicer arientinium L
*Cicer arientinum L.
*Cicer edessanum Bornm.
*Cicer grossum Salisb.
*Cicer nigrum hort.
*Cicer physodes Rchb.
*Cicer rotundum Alef.
*Cicer sativum Schkuhr
*Cicer sintenisii Bornm.
Common Names: Chickpea or chick pea, Gram, or Bengal gram, Garbanzo or Garbanzo bean, Egyptian pea, ceci, Cece or Chana or Kabuli Chana (particularly in northern India).

Habitat: Chiekpea is native to Asia. It is grown in cultivated beds. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes: 7,500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East

Description:
Chickpea is an annuak plant. It grows to between 20–50 cm (8–20 inches) high and has small feathery leaves on either side of the stem. Chickpeas are a type of pulse, with one seedpod containing two or three peas. It has white flowers with blue, violet or pink veins. It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)It can fix Nitrogen.

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Types:
There are three main kinds of chickpea.
Desi has small, darker seeds and a rough coat. It is grown mostly in India and other parts of the Indian subcontinent, as well as in Ethiopia, Mexico, and Iran. Desi means ‘country’ or ‘local’ in Hindustani; its other names include Bengal gram or kala chana (“black chickpea” in both Hindi and Urdu) or chhola boot. Desi is probably the earliest variety because it closely resembles seeds found both on archaeological sites and the wild plant ancestor Cicer reticulatum of domesticated chickpeas, which only grows in southeast Turkey, where it is believed to have originated. Desi chickpeas have a markedly higher fibre content than other varieties, and hence a very low glycemic index, which may make them suitable for people with blood sugar problems. The desi type is used to make chana dal, which is a split chickpea with the skin removed.

Bombay chickpeas (Bambai) are also dark but slightly larger than desi. They too are popular in the Indian subcontinent.

Kabuli are lighter-coloured, larger and with a smoother coat, and are mainly grown in the Mediterranean, Southern Europe, Northern Africa, South America and Indian subcontinent. The name means “from Kabul” in Hindi and Urdu, and this variety was thought to come from Kabul, Afghanistan when it was introduced to India in the 18th century. It is called Kabuli chana in Marathi and safed chana in India.

An uncommon black chickpea, ceci neri, is grown only in Apulia, in southeastern Italy. It is larger and darker than the desi variety.

Green chickpeas are common in the state of Maharastra, India. In Marathi, they are called harbhara. Chana dal is also called harbara dal . Tender, immature harbara roasted on coal before the skin is removed is called hula in Marathi.
Cultivation:
Requires a hot sunny position, tolerating drought once established. Prefers a light well-drained fertile soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.5 to 8.6. Plants are hardy to about -25°c when covered by snow. This suggests that plants can be autumn sown – some trials are called for, especially of some of the hardier cultivars. The chickpea is widely cultivated in warm temperate and tropical areas for its edible seed. There are many named varieties, some of which should be suitable for cultivation in Britain. Plants only succeed outdoors in Britain in hot summers. Plants are about as hardy as broad beans but they often do not succeed in mild moist maritime climates because the seedpods are hairy and this holds moisture. The moisture then encourages fungal growth and the seed usually rots before it is fully mature. Plants require 4 – 6 months with moderately warm dry conditions if they are to crop well. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen.

Propagation:
Seed – sow April/May in situ under cloches. Chick peas can germinate at lower temperatures than broad beans. Could an early spring or even autumn sowing outdoors be successful

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed; Seedpod.
Edible Uses: Coffee; Drink.

Seed – raw or cooked. The fresh or dried seed is cooked in soups, stews etc. It has a somewhat sweet flavour and a floury texture somewhat reminiscent of sweet chestnuts. The mature seed can also be sprouted and eaten raw. Parched seeds can be eaten as a snack. The seed can also be ground into a meal and used with cereal flours for making bread, cakes etc. The seed is a good source of carbohydrates and protein. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. The roasted root can also be used. Both the young seedpods and the young shoots are said to be edible but some caution is advised. See the notes above on toxicity. A refreshing drink can be made from the acid dew that collects on the hairy seedpods overnight.

Nutrition:
Chickpeas are a nutrient-dense food, providing rich content (> 20% of the Daily Value, DV) of protein, dietary fibre, folate, and certain dietary minerals such as iron and phosphorus. Thiamin, vitamin B6, magnesium and zinc contents are moderate, providing 10-16 percent of the DV (right table). Chickpeas have a Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score of about 76 percent, which is higher than fruits, vegetables, many other legumes, and cereals.

Compared to reference levels established by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization,[20] proteins in cooked and germinated chickpeas are rich in essential amino acids like lysine, isoleucine, tryptophan and total aromatic amino acids.

A 100 g serving of cooked chickpeas provides 164 kilocalories (690 kJ) (see table). Carbohydrates make up 68 percent of calories, most of which (84 percent) is starch, followed by total sugars and dietary fibre. Lipid content is 3 percent, 75 percent of which is unsaturated fatty acids for which linoleic acid comprises 43 percent of total fat

Medicinal Uses: An acid exudation from the seedpods is astringent. It has been used in the treatment of dyspepsia, constipation and snakebite

Other Uses: Animal feed:
Chickpeas serve as an energy and protein source not only in human nutrition but also as animal feed.
Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cicer+arietinum
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickpea

Pimples

Other Names: Acne,Acne vulgaris, Zit or Spot

Definition;
Pimple is a kind of comedo and one of the many results of excess oil getting trapped in the pores. Some of the varieties are pustules or papules.It is an inflammatory skin condition that causes spots.Spots result from the build up of dead skin cells and grease that block the pores or hair follicles, typically on the face, upper arms, upper back and chest.

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It is not contagious and is nothing to do with not being clean.Hormonal changes, such as those related to puberty, menstruation and pregnancy, can contribute to acne.
Some medicines will also make it worse, including some contraceptive pills and steroids.

Pimples can be treated by various acne medications prescribed by a physician, or purchased at a pharmacy with a wide variety of treatments.

Acne occurs most commonly during adolescence, affecting an estimated 80–90% of teenagers in the Western world. Lower rates are reported in some rural societies.

It is 8th most common disease in the world. People may also be affected before and after puberty. Though it becomes less common in adulthood than in adolescence, nearly half of people in their twenties and thirties continue to have acne. About 4% continue to have difficulties into their forties.

Clasification:
Acne is commonly classified by severity as mild, moderate, or severe. This type of categorization can be an important factor in determining the appropriate treatment regimen. Mild acne is classically defined as open (blackheads) and closed comedones (whiteheads) limited to the face with occasional inflammatory lesions. Acne may be considered to be of moderate severity when a higher number of inflammatory papules and pustules occur on the face compared to mild cases of acne and acne lesions also occur on the trunk of the body. Lastly, severe acne is said to occur when nodules and cysts are the characteristic facial lesions and involvement of the trunk is extensive
Symptoms:
As the pores of the skin become blocked, blackheads develop and small, tender, red spots appear. These can turn into pimples or whiteheads filled with pus.Typical features of acne include seborrhea (increased oil secretion), microcomedones, comedones, papules, pustules, nodules (large papules), and possibly scarring. The appearance of acne varies with skin color. It may result in psychological and social problems.

Some of the large nodules were previously called cysts and the term nodulocystic has been used to describe severe cases of inflammatory acne.

Scars:
Acne scars are the result of inflammation within the dermal layer of skin brought on by acne and are estimated to affect 95% of people with acne vulgaris. The scar is created by an abnormal form of healing following this dermal inflammation. Scarring is most likely to occur with severe nodulocystic acne, but may occur with any form of acne vulgaris. Acne scars are classified based on whether the abnormal healing response following dermal inflammation leads to excess collagen deposition or collagen loss at the site of the acne lesion.

Atrophic acne scars are the most common type of acne scar and have lost collagen from this healing response.  Atrophic scars may be further classified as ice-pick scars, boxcar scars, and rolling scars. Ice pick scars are typically described as narrow (less than 2 mm across), deep scars that extend into the dermis.[19] Rolling scars are wider than ice pick scars (4–5 mm across) and have a wave-like pattern of depth in the skin. Boxcar scars are round or ovoid indented scars with sharp borders and vary in size from 1.5–4 mm across.

Hypertrophic scars are less common and are characterized by increased collagen content after the abnormal healing response. They are described as firm and raised from the skin. Hypertrophic scars remain within the original margins of the wound whereas keloid scars can form scar tissue outside of these borders. Keloid scars from acne usually occur in men and on the trunk of the body rather than the face.

Pigmentation:
Postinflammatory hyper pigmentation (PIH) is usually the result of nodular or cystic acne (the painful ‘bumps’ lying under the skin). They often leave behind an inflamed red mark after the original acne lesion has resolved. PIH occurs more often in people with darker skin color. Pigmented scar is a common but misleading term, as it suggests the color change is permanent. Often, PIH can be avoided by avoiding aggravation of the nodule or cyst. These scars can fade with time. However, untreated scars can last for months, years, or even be permanent if deeper layers of skin are affected. Daily use of SPF 15 or higher sunscreen can minimize pigmentation associated with acne.

Causes:
Inside the pore are sebaceous glands which produce sebum. When the outer layers of skin shed (as they do continuously), the dead skin cells left behind may become ‘glued’ together by the sebum. This causes the blockage in the pore, especially when the skin becomes thicker at puberty. The sebaceous glands produce more sebum which builds up behind the blockage, and this sebum harbours various bacteria including the species Propionibacterium acnes, causing infection and inflammation.

Genetic:
The predisposition for specific individuals to acne is likely explained in part by a genetic component, which has been supported by twin studies as well as studies that have looked at rates of acne among first degree relatives. The genetics of acne susceptibility is likely polygenic, as the disease does not follow classic Mendelian inheritance pattern. There are multiple candidates for genes which are possibly related to acne, including polymorphisms in TNF-alpha, IL-1 alpha, and CYP1A1 among others.

Hormonal:
Hormonal activity, such as menstrual cycles and puberty, may contribute to the formation of acne. During puberty, an increase in sex hormones called androgens cause the follicular glands to grow larger and make more sebum. A similar increase in androgens occurs during pregnancy, also leading to increased sebum production.[25]

Several hormones have been linked to acne including the androgens testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), as well as insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) and growth hormone. Use of anabolic steroids may have a similar effect.

Acne that develops between the ages of 21 and 25 is uncommon. True acne vulgaris in adult women may be due to pregnancy or polycystic ovary syndrome.

Infectious:
Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is the anaerobic bacterium species that is widely suspected to contribute to the development of acne, but its exact role in this process is not entirely clear. There are specific sub-strains of P. acnes associated with normal skin and others with moderate or severe inflammatory acne. It is unclear whether these undesirable strains evolve on-site or are acquired, or possibly both depending on the person. These strains either have the capability of changing, perpetuating, or adapting to, the abnormal cycle of inflammation, oil production, and inadequate sloughing of acne pores. One particularly virulent strain has been circulating in Europe for at least 87 years. Infection with the parasitic mite Demodex is associated with the development of acne. However, it is unclear if eradication of these mites improves acne.

Lifestyle:
Cigarette smoking is known to increase the risk of developing acne. Additionally, acne severity worsens as the number of cigarettes a person smokes increases. The relationship between diet and acne is unclear as there is no high-quality evidence. However, a high glycemic load diet is associated with worsening acne. There is weak evidence of a positive association between the consumption of milk and a greater rate and severity of acne. Other associations such as chocolate and salt are not supported by the evidence. Chocolate does contain a varying amount of sugar that can lead to a high glycemic load and it can be made with or without milk. There may be a relationship between acne and insulin metabolism and one trial found a relationship between acne and obesity. Vitamin B12 may trigger acneiform eruptions, or exacerbate existing acne, when taken in doses exceeding the recommended daily intake.

Psychological:
While the connection between acne and stress has been debated, research indicates that increased acne severity is associated with high stress levels.

Acne excorie is a type of acne in which a person picks and scratches pimples due to stress.

Diagnosis:
There are multiple scales for grading the severity of acne vulgaris, three of these being:

*Leeds acne grading technique: Counts and categorizes lesions into inflammatory and non-inflammatory (ranges from 0–10.0).
*Cook’s acne grading scale: Uses photographs to grade severity from 0 to 8 (0 being the least severe and 8 being the most severe).
*Pillsbury scale: Simply classifies the severity of the acne from 1 (least severe) to 4 (most severe).

Differential diagnosis:
Similar conditions include rosacea, folliculitis, keratosis pilaris, perioral dermatitis, and angiofibromas among others. Age is one factor that may help a physician distinguish between these disorders. Skin disorders such as perioral dermatitis and keratosis pilaris can mimic acne but tend to occur more frequently in childhood whereas rosacea tends to occur more frequently in older adults. Facial redness triggered by heat or the consumption of alcohol or spicy food is suggestive of rosacea. The presence of comedones can also help health professionals differentiate acne from skin disorders that are similar in appearance

Treatment:
Many different treatments exist for acne including benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, retinoids, antiseborrheic medications, anti-androgen medications, hormonal treatments, salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, azelaic acid, nicotinamide, and keratolytic soaps. They are believed to work in at least four different ways, including the following: normalizing skin cell shedding and sebum production into the pore to prevent blockage, killing P. acnes, anti-inflammatory effects, and hormonal manipulation.

Commonly used medical treatments include topical therapies such as retinoids, antibiotics, and benzoyl peroxide and systemic therapies including oral retinoids, antibiotics, and hormonal agents. Procedures such as light therapy and laser therapy are not considered to be first-line treatments and typically have an adjunctive role due to their high cost and limited evidence of efficacy
Over-the-counter medications:
Common over-the-counter medications for pimples are benzoyl peroxide and/or salicylic acid and antibacterial agents such as triclosan. Both medications can be found in many creams and gels used to treat acne (acne vulgaris) through topical application. Both medications help skin slough off more easily, which helps to remove bacteria faster. Before applying them the patient needs to wash his or her face with warm water and dry. A cleanser may also be used for that purpose. Acne rosacea is not caused by bacterial infection. It is commonly treated with tretinoin. A regimen of keeping the affected skin area clean plus the regular application of these topical medications is usually enough to keep acne under control, if not at bay altogether. The most common product is a topical treatment of benzoyl peroxide, which has minimal risk apart from minor skin irritation that may present similar as a mild allergy. Recently nicotinamide, applied topically, has been shown to be more effective in treatment of pimples than antibiotics such as clindamycin. Nicotinamide (vitamin B3) is not an antibiotic and has no side-effects typically associated with antibiotics. It has the added advantage of reducing skin hyperpigmentation which results in pimple scars.

Prescription medication:
Severe acne usually indicates the necessity of prescription medication to treat the pimples. Prescription medications used to treat acne and pimples include isotretinoin, which is a retinoid. Historically, antibiotics such as tetracyclines and erythromycin were prescribed. While they were more effective than topical applications of benzoyl peroxide, the bacteria eventually grew resistant to the antibiotics and the treatments became less and less effective. Also, antibiotics had more side effects than topical applications, such as stomach cramps and severe discoloration of teeth. Common antibiotics prescribed by dermatologists include doxycycline and minocycline.  For more severe cases of acne dermatologists might recommend accutane, a retinoid that is the most potent of acne treatments. However, accutane can cause various side effects including vomiting, diarrhea, and birth defects (women).

Hygiene:
Practicing good hygiene, including regularly washing skin areas with neutral cleansers, can reduce the amount of dead skin cells and other external contaminants on the skin that can contribute to the development of pimples. However, it is not always possible to completely prevent pimples, even with good hygiene practices.

Alternative medicine:
Numerous natural products have been investigated for treating people with acne. Low-quality evidence suggests topical application of tea tree oil or bee venom may reduce the total number of skin lesions in those with acne. There is a lack of high-quality evidence for the use of acupuncture, medicine, and cupping therapy for acne.

Perfectly balanced hormones give a person a pimple-free face. One could try to correct internal hormonal levels by exercising aerobically (jog, swim, run, cycle) for 40 minutes a day, preferably in the fresh air. This needs to be balanced with 20 minutes of stretching and yoga with pranayama.

Prognosis:
Acne usually improves around the age of 20 but may persist into adulthood. Permanent physical scarring may occur. There is good evidence to support the idea that acne has a negative psychological impact and worsens mood, lowers self-esteem, and is associated with a higher risk of anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Research:
In 2007, the first genome sequencing of a P. acnes bacteriophage (PA6) was reported. The authors proposed applying this research toward development of bacteriophage therapy as an acne treatment in order to overcome the problems associated with long-term antibiotic therapy, such as bacterial resistance.

A vaccine against inflammatory acne has been tested successfully in mice, but has not yet been proven to be effective in humans. Other workers have voiced concerns related to creating a vaccine designed to neutralize a stable community of normal skin bacteria that is known to protect the skin from colonization by more harmful microorganisms.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acne_vulgaris#Management

Acne


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pimple
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1150810/jsp/knowhow/story_36267.jsp

Ammi visnaga

Botanical Name: Ammi visnaga
Family:Apiaceae
Genus:Ammi
Species:A. visnaga
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:Apiales

Synonyms : Ammi dilatatum. Apium visnaga. Carum visnaga. Daucus visnaga.

Common names : Bisnaga, Toothpickweed, and Khella.

Habitat: Ammi visnaga is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa, but it can be found throughout the world as an introduced species.It grows in fields and sandy places.
Description:
Ammi visnaga is an annual or biennial herb growing from a taproot erect to a maximum height near 80 centimeters. Leaves are up to 20 centimeters long and generally oval to triangular in shape but dissected into many small linear to lance-shaped segments. The inflorescence is a compound umbel of white flowers similar to those of other Apiaceae species. The fruit is a compressed oval-shaped body less than 3 millimeters long. This and other Ammi species are sources of khellin, a diuretic extract.

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It is in flower from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.

Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained soil in a sunny position, succeeding in ordinary garden soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.8 to 8.3. This species is not fully winter-hardy in the colder areas of Britain, though it should be possible to grow it as a spring-sown annual. This plant is sold as toothpicks in Egyptian markets.

Propagation: Seed – sow spring in situ. ( Sow under cover Feb-March in a seed tray, module or guttering. Sow direct March-May and/or August-September.)
Edible Uses: Leaves are chewed raw for their pleasant aromatic flavour

Chemical constituents:
Khellin, a chemical obtained from Ammi visnaga gives rose red color with KOH (solid) or NaOH & 2-3 drops of water, was used at one time as a smooth muscle relaxant, but its use is limited due to adverse side effects. Amiodarone and cromoglycate are derivates of khellin that are frequently used in modern medicine.

The chemical visnagin, which is found in A. visnaga, has biological activity in animal models as a vasodilator and reduces blood pressure by inhibiting calcium influx into the cell.
Medicinal Uses:
Antiarrhythmic; Antiasthmatic; Antispasmodic; Diuretic; Lithontripic; Vasodilator.

Visnaga is an effective muscle relaxant and has been used for centuries to alleviate the excruciating pain of kidney stones. Modern research has confirmed the validity of this traditional use. Visnagin contains khellin, from which particularly safe pharmaceutical drugs for the treatment of asthma have been made. The seeds are diuretic and lithontripic. They contain a fatty oil that includes the substance ‘khellin’. This has been shown to be of benefit in the treatment of asthma. Taken internally, the seeds have a strongly antispasmodic action on the smaller bronchial muscles, they also dilate the bronchial, urinary and blood vessels without affecting blood pressure. The affect last for about 6 hours and the plant has practically no side effects. The seeds are used in the treatment of asthma, angina, coronary arteriosclerosis and kidney stones. By relaxing the muscles of the urethra, visnaga reduces the pain caused by trapped kidney stones and helps ease the stone down into the bladder. The seeds are harvested in late summer before they have fully ripened and are dried for later use.
In Egypt, a tea made from the fruit of this species has been used as an herbal remedy for kidney stones. Laborarory rat studies show that the extract slows the buildup of calcium oxalate crystals in the kidneys and acts as a diuretic.
This plant and its components have shown effects in dilating the coronary arteries. Its mechanism of action may be very similar to the calcium channel-blocking drugs. The New England Journal of Medicine writes “The high proportion of favorable results, together with the striking degree of improvement frequently observed, has led us to the conclusion that Khellin, properly used, is a safe and effective drug for the treatment of angina pectoris.” As little as 30 milligrams of Khellin per day appear to offer as good a result, with fewer side effects. Rather than use the isolated compound “Khellin,” Khella extracts standardized for khellin content (typically 12 percent) are the preferred form.

A daily dose of such an extract would be 250 to 300 milligrams. Khella appears to work very well with hawthorn extracts. An aromatic herb which dilates the bronchial, urinary and blood vessels without affecting blood pressure.

Visnaga is a traditional Egyptian remedy for kidney stones. By relaxing the muscles of the ureter, visnaga reduces the pain caused by the trapped stone and helps ease the stone down into the bladder. Following research into its antispasmodic properties, visnaga is now given for asthma and is safe even for children to take. Although it does not always relieve acute asthma attacks, it do3es help to prevent their recurrence. It is an effective remedy for various respiratory problems, including bronchitis, emphysema, and whooping cough. In Andalusia in Spain, the largest and best quality visnaga were employed to clean the teeth. Khella is the source of amiodarone one of the key anti-arrhythmia medications. The usual recommendation calls for pouring boiling water over about a quarter-teaspoon of powdered khella fruits. Steep for five minutes and drink the tea after straining.

Its active constituent is khellin, a bronchiodilator and antispasmodic that makes it useful for asthma sufferers It’s best used to prevent asthma rather than to counter an attack and can be taken on a daily basis with no contraindications. Because khella builds up in the blood, its use can be decreased after a period of time. Khella is safer than ma huang (ephedra) for asthma sufferers because it’s nonstimulating and nonenervating. Unlike ma huang, it doesn’t rob the body, especially the adrenals, of energy.

Spasmolytic action of khellin and visnagin (both furanochromones) is indicated for treatment of asthma and coronary arteriosclerosis.
An extract from khella (Ammi visnaga) is so far the only herb found to be useful in vitili. Khellin, the active constituent, appears to work like psoralen drugs?it stimulates repigmentation of the skin by increasing sensitivity of remaining pigment-containing cells (melanocytes) to sunlight. Studies have used 120-160 mg of khellin per day. Khellin must be used with caution, as it can cause side effects such as nausea and insomnia.

Another use is for vitiligo (an extract from ammi visnaga appears to stimulate repigmentation of the skin by increasing sensitivity of remaining pigment containing cells, melanocytes to sunlight)

Other Uses: The fruiting pedicel is used as a toothpick whilst the seeds have been used as a tooth cleaner

Known Hazards : Skin contact with the sap is said to cause photo-sensitivity and/or dermatitis in some people. Avoid during pregnancy and lactation. Avoid if on warfarin or other blood thinning medication. Prolonged use may lead to: constipation, appetite loss, headaches, vertigo, nausea and vomiting.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammi_visnaga
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ammi+visnaga
http://www.sarahraven.com/flowers/plants/cut_flower_seedlings/ammi_visnaga.htm

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

Mentha longifolia

Botanical Name : Mentha longifolia
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Mentha
Species: M. longifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms:  M. sylvestris. M. incana.

Common Name :Horsemint

Habitat :Mentha longifolia is native to Central and southern Europe, including Britain, Mediterranean region, Siberia. Grows in waste places and damp roadsides.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

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There are seven subspecies:

1.Mentha longifolia subsp. longifolia. Europe, northwest Africa.
2.Mentha longifolia subsp. capensis (Thunb.) Briq. Southern Africa.
3.Mentha longifolia subsp. grisella (Briq.) Briq. Southeastern Europe.
4.Mentha longifolia subsp. noeana (Briq.) Briq. Turkey east to Iran.
5.Mentha longifolia subsp. polyadena (Briq.) Briq. Southern Africa.
6.Mentha longifolia subsp. typhoides (Briq.) Harley. Northeast Africa, southwest Asia.
7.Mentha longifolia subsp. wissii (Launert) Codd. Southwestern Africa.

It has been widely confused with tomentose variant plants of Mentha spicata; it can be distinguished from these by the hairs being simple unbranched, in contrast to the branched hairs of M. spicata.

Like almost all mints, Mentha longifolia can be invasive. Care needs to be taken when planting it in non-controlled areas.

It is hardy to zone 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Cultivation:   
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils and situations so long as the soil is not too dry. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A sunny position is best for production of essential oils, but the plants also succeed in partial shade. There is some confusion over the name of this plant, it appears in the British flora but according to Flora Europaea it is not found in Britain. Sometimes cultivated for its leaves, there are some named varieties. Most mints have fairly aggressive spreading roots and, unless you have the space to let them roam, they need to be restrained by some means such as planting them in containers that are buried in the soil. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus. The whole plant has a mint-like aroma. The flowers are very attractive to bees and butterflies. A good companion plant for growing near cabbages and tomatoes, helping to keep them free of insect pests. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:       
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer

Edible Uses:    
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

Leaves – raw or cooked. Peppermint-scented, they are used as a flavouring in salads, chutneys and cooked foods. A herb tea is made from the leaves. An essential oil obtained from the leaves and flowering tops is used as a food flavouring in sweets etc. A peppermint-like taste.

Medicinal Uses:
Antiasthmatic;  Antiseptic;  Antispasmodic;  Carminative;  Stimulant.

Horsemint, like many other members of this genus, is often used as a domestic herbal remedy, being valued especially for its antiseptic properties and its beneficial effect on the digestion. Like other members of the genus, it is best not used by pregnant women because large doses can cause an abortion. The leaves and flowering stems are antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, carminative and stimulant. A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses.

A popular traditional medicine. It is mainly used for respiratory ailments but many other uses have also been recorded. It is mostly the leaves that are used, usually to make a tea that is drunk for coughs, colds, stomach cramps, asthma, flatulence, indigestion and headaches. Externally, wild mint has been used to treat wounds and swollen glands. The infusion of leaves is taken as a cooling medicine. Dried leaves and flowers tops are carminative and stimulant. It is believed to the best remedy for headaches.  In parts of Africa it is used for opthalmatic diseases.  The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use.  It will make a soothing drink for coughs and colds.  The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses. Externally it has been used to treat wounds and swollen glands.
 
Other Uses  :
Essential;  Repellent;  Strewing.

The leaves contain about 0.57% essential oil. It is sometimes used as a substitute for peppermint oil in confectionery. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain.
Known Hazards:  Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentha_longifolia
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Mentha+longifolia
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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Cut Calories Not Taste

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you need to deprive yourself. Learn to lose the fat and keep the flavor…..CLICK & SEE

1.Love a low-fat cheese

As long as you stick to a low-fat cheese, you can eat it in comfort-grilled on a sandwich or with macaroni-and still lose weight. Several low-fat varieties taste very close to traditional cheeses these days with a fraction of the fat. And they melt in a satisfying way. To keep the low-fat benefits, be sure to shred the cheese finely. This guarantees it will spread evenly, with fewer calories and less fat in every bite.

2. Stock up on salsa

Salsa is a dieter’s gift- it’s one of the few insta-flavor-explosions that’s actually good for you. Most salsas are completely fat-free and full of fresh vegetables or fruits. Plus, salsa adds fiber to your meal, filling you up without a lot of added calories. Spoon 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa over a piece of baked or grilled fish or chicken breast; over omelets or poached eggs; on low-fat tacos; or on top of baked potatoes.

3. Embrace olive oil

It’s easy to trick yourself into thinking you’re eating a decadent meal by adding a touch of extra virgin olive oil. Olive oils are monounsaturated fats (the best kind) and have been linked to lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer. Extra virgin means no chemicals were used in the pressing; the finest ones should be labeled “first cold pressed” and “unrefined.”

4. Cover for cream

It’s amazing how easy it is to feed a common craving-cream sauce or gravy-with fat-free half-and-half, some broth, a bit of flour for thickening, and your favorite seasonings. Heavy cream has 51 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 3 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon. The same serving of fat-free half-and-half has only 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, and still provides that rich texture of its full-fat counterpart.

 

Read the links for more healthy food : 1.Fast Food With Healthy Twist

2.Surprisingly Healthy Food

3. Rating Diet Ice Cream

4. Low Fat Foods:Not Always Low Calories

Source:Stealth-Health Cooking