Categories
Herbs & Plants

Euphorbia Tirukalli(Milk bush)

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Botanical Name:Euphorbia tirucalli L. (Euphorbiaceae)

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Genus: Euphorbia

Species: E. tirucalli

Other Names:Indian Tree Spurge, pencil tree or milk bush

English name
: Milk bush, Indian tree spurge.

Sanskrit names : Shatala, Trikantaka.

Vernacular names: Ben: Ganderi, Lankasij, Latadoona; Guj : Thor dandalio; Konpol, Sehund; Hin :Kan : Bantakalli; Mar: Shera; Tam: Tirukalli, Kalli; Tel: Chemudu.

Trade name:
Tirukalli.

Habitat: Introduced from tropical Africa, naturalised in the drier parts of India; elsewhere largely cultivated as hedges and fuel plants.

Description:
Euphorbia tirucalli is an Erect tree, 3-6 m high, branches thin, cylindrical, spreading, scattered, clustered, whorled, latex extraordinarily abundant, sticky and acrid; leaves alternate, linear, caducous, petioles modified to phylloclade; involucres clustered in the forks of branches, inconspicuous, flowers shortly pedicelled, bracteoles numerous; cocci dark brown, velvety, compressed; seeds ovoid, smooth.

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Flowering: very scarce, mainly in June-July; Fruiting: July-October.

Ecology and cultivation: Xerophytic.
According to Melvin Calvin, Euphorbia tirucalli “will grow in the same soils sugarcane will grow in, even without irrigation” (Gogerty, 1977). Calvin notes that 5 cm cuttings take readily and increased one-thousand fold in one growing season, attaining more than 50 cm height in the first growing season (Calvin, 1980).

General Uses:
Euphorbia tirucalli is a shrub that grows in semi-arid tropical climates. Milk bush produces a poisonous latex which can, with little effort, be converted to the equivalent of gasoline. This led chemist Melvin Calvin to propose the exploitation of milk bush for producing oil. This usage is particularly appealing because of the ability of milk bush to grow on land that is not suitable for most other crops. Calvin estimated that 10 to 50 barrels of oil per acre was achievable.

Chemical contents: Root: cycloartenol, euphorbol and its hexacosanoate, taraxerone, tinyatoxin; Bark: euphorbol and its hexacosanate, euphorginol=taraxer­14-en-6-01, ingenol and its triacetate, taraxerone; Latex: a-amyrin, β-sitosterol, cycloartenol, cycloeuphordenol, 4-deoxyphorbol and its esters, euphol, euphorbinol, isoeuphorbol, palmitic acid, taraxerol, tinyatoxin, tirucallol, trimethyl ellagic acid; it may be noted that there are differences in chemical contents of latex of plant growing in differenet countries; Stem: campesterol, hentriacontane, hentriacontanol, kaempferol, stigmasterol, methyl ellagic acid.

Different  Uses:
Probably most familiar as a subtropical and tropical ornamental, aveloz has recently made popular headlines as a potential “cancer cure” and more important, as an energy source. Growing in rather arid zones as well as more mesophytic zones, the species makes a good living fence post. A large shrub, Euphorbia tirucalli, is used as a hedge in Brazil. According to Calvin, these plants grow well in dry regions or land that is not suitable for growing food. He estimates that the plants might be capable of producing between 10 and 50 barrels of oil per acre. Cut near the ground, they would be run through a mill like a cane crushing mill, while the plants would regrow from the stumps. Crude obtained from these plants would run $3.00 to $10.00 per barrel. Calvin discussed this concept with Petrobas, the Brazilian national petroleum company, which is investigating. Calvin’s most exciting statement, if true, would be a boon to Brazil and the United States. “He estimates, assuming a yield of 40 barrels per acre (100 barrels per hectare) that an area the size of Arizona would be necessary to meet current requirements for gasoline” (in the U.S.). (Science 194: 46, 1976). The latex is toxic to fish and rats. Africans regard the tree as a mosquito repellent. In Ganjium, rice boiled with the latex is used as an avicide. Aqueous wood extracts are antibiotic against Staphylococcus aureus. The wood, weighing 34 pounds per cu. ft., is used for rafters, toys, and veneer. The charcoal derived therefrom can be used in gun powder. Since the latex contains rubber, whole plant harvesting seems most advisable from an energy point-of-view (if the tree coppices well) with rubber, petroleum, alcohol as energy products, and resins, which may find use in the linoleum, oil skin, and leather industries. In Brazil, Euphorbia gymnoclada, very similar to tirucalli (both are called aveloz), is much used for firewood. One cu. m. of wood yields 2 kg latex with the fibrous residue usable for paper pulp.

Milk bush also has uses in traditional medicine in many cultures. It has been used to treat cancers, excrescences, tumors, and warts in such diverse places as Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malabar and Malaysia. It has also been used as an application for asthma, cough, earache, neuralgia, rheumatism, toothache, and warts in India. There is some interest in milk bush as a cancer treatment.

In the 1980s the Brazilian national petroleum company – Petrobras – began experiments based on the ideas that Calvin put forth.

.Medicinal Uses:
Traditional use: IRULAR: Latex: in body pain, eczema, scabies; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF CHAMPAKARAI and DHOOMANOOR (Tamil Nadu): Latex: on wounds; NAYADI : Latex: in rheumatism; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF MADHYA PRADESH: Latex: in earache, rheumatism, warts; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF CHHOTANAGPUR : Latex: in earache.

BHAVAPRAKASHA: Itis pungent, bitter, helps digestion, beneficial in oedema, deranged phlegm, epistasis, deranged bile, constipation and dyscrasia.

AYURVEDA : Root: beneficial in colic; Latex of stem and leaf: cures cough, earache, emetic, laxative and rubefacient.

Modern use: Stem-extract: antifungal; Aerial parts (50% EtOH extract) : antiprotozoal.

Folk Medicine :
Recently (SPOTLIGHT July 14, 1980) Alec de Montmorency kindled long-sleeping interests in aveloz (Euphorbia spp. including tirucalli) inferring that it “seems to literally tear cancer tissue apart.” Several Brazilian Euphorbias, E. anomala, E. gymnoclada, E. heterodoxa, E. insulana, E. tirucalli, known as aveloz, have local notoriety as cancer “cures,” and often find their way into the U.S. press as cancer cures. I fear they are more liable to cause than cure cancer. Still the following types of cancer are popularly believed in Brazil to be alleviated by aveloz: cancer, cancroids, epitheliomas, sarcomas, tumors, and warts. Hartwell (1969) mentions E. tirucalli as a “folk remedy” for cancers, excrescences, tumors, and warts in such diverse places as Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malabar and Malaya. The rubefacient, vesicant latex is used as an application for asthma, cough, earache, neuralgia, rheumatism, toothache, and warts in India. In small doses it is purgative, but in large doses it is an acrid irritant, and emetic. A decoction of the tender branches as also that of the root is administered in colic and gastralgia. The ashes are applied as caustic to open abscesses. In Tanganyika, the latex is used for sexual impotence (but users should recall “the latex produces so intense a reaction … as to produce temporary blindness lasting for several days.” In Zimbabwe, one African male is said to have died of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis after swallowing the latex to cure sterility.) The root is used as an emetic for snakebite. In Malabar and the Moluccas, the latex is used as an emetic and antisyphilitic. In Malaya, the stems are boiled for fomenting painful places. The pounded stem is applied to scurf and swelling. In the Dutch Indies, pounded stems are used as a poultice for extracting thorns. The root infusion is used for aching bones, a poultice of the root or leaves for nose ulcers and hemorrhoids. The wood decoction is used for leprosy and for paralysis of the hands and feet following childbirth. Javanese use the latex for skin complaints and rub the latex over the skin for bone fractures.
Remark: The plant is worshipped as a sacred one.

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/Euphorbia_tirucalli
http://www.bsienvis.org/medi.htm#Eclipta%20alba
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Euphorbia_tirucalli.html

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Common Cold

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Alternative Names :
Upper respiratory infection – viral; Cold
Definition :
The common cold generally involves a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. You may also have a sore throat, cough, headache, or other symptoms. Over 200 viruses can cause a cold.

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Description:
There are at least 200 contagious viruses that cause the common cold. These viruses are easily transmitted in minute airborne droplets from the coughs or sneezes of infected people. In many cases, the viruses are also spread to the nose and throat by way of hand-to-hand contact with an infected person or by way of objects that have become contaminated with virus, such as a cup or towel.

Colds can occur at any time of the year, although infections are more frequent in the fall and winter. About half of the population of the us and europe develops al least one cold each year. Children are more susceptible to colds than adults because they have not yet developed immunity to the most common viruses and also because viruses spread very quickly in communities such as nurseries and schools.

Causes:
We call it the “common cold” for good reason. There are over one billion colds in the United States each year. You and your children will probably have more colds than any other type of illness. Children average three to eight colds per year. They continue getting them throughout childhood. Parents often get them from the kids. Colds are the most common reason that children miss school and parents miss work.

Children usually get colds from other children. When a new strain is introduced into a school or day care, it quickly travels through the class.

Colds can occur year-round, but they occur mostly in the winter (even in areas with mild winters). In areas where there is no winter, colds are most common during the rainy season.

When someone has a cold, their runny nose is teeming with cold viruses. Sneezing, nose-blowing, and nose-wiping spread the virus. You can catch a cold by inhaling the virus if you are sitting close to someone who sneezes, or by touching your nose, eyes, or mouth after you have touched something contaminated by the virus.

People are most contagious for the first 2 to 3 days of a cold, and usually not contagious at all by day 7 to 10.

Symptoms :

The initial symptoms of a cold usually develop between 12 hours and three days after infection. Symptoms usually intensify over 24-48 hours, unlike those of influenza, which worsen rapidly over a few hours. The three most frequent symptoms of a cold are:
Runny nose
Nasal congestion
Sneezing

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Adults and older children with colds generally have minimal or no fever. Young children, however, often run a fever around 100-102°F.

Once you have “caught” a cold, the symptoms usually begin in 2 or 3 days, though it may take a week. Typically, an irritated nose or scratchy throat is the first sign, followed within hours by sneezing and a watery nasal discharge.

Within one to three days, the nasal secretions usually become thicker and perhaps yellow or green. This is a normal part of the common cold and not a reason for antibiotics.

Depending on which virus is the culprit, the virus might also produce:

Sore throat
Cough
Muscle aches
Headache
Postnasal drip
Decreased appetite
Still, if it is indeed a cold, the main symptoms will be in the nose.

For children with asthma, colds are the most common trigger of asthma symptoms.

In some people, a common cold may be complicated by a bacterial infection of the chest or of the sinuses. Bacterial ear infections, which may cause earache, are a common complication of colds.

Colds are a common precursor of ear infections. However, children’s eardrums are usually congested during a cold, and it’s possible to have fluid buildup without a true bacterial infection.

The entire cold is usually over all by itself in about 7 days, with perhaps a few lingering symptoms (such as cough) for another week. If it lasts longer, see your doctor to rule out another problem such as a sinus infection or allergies.

Treatment :
Get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. Over-the-counter cold remedies may help ease your symptoms. These won’t actually shorten the length of a cold, but can help you feel better.

NOTE: Some medical experts have recommended against using cough suppressants in many situations. Talk to your doctor before you or your child — especially those under age 2 — take any type of over-the-counter cough medicine, including those specifically labeled for children.

Antibiotics should not be used to treat a common cold. They will not help and may make the situation worse. Thick yellow or green nasal discharge is not a reason for antibiotics, unless it doesn’t get better within 10 to 14 days. (In this case, it may be sinusitis.)

New antiviral drugs could make runny noses completely clear up a day sooner than usual (and begin to ease the symptoms within a day). It’s unclear whether the benefits of these drugs outweigh the risks.

Chicken soup has been used for treating common colds at least since the 12th century. It may really help. The heat, fluid, and salt may help you fight the infection.
Ayurvedic Recommended Product: Curill
Ayurvedic Recommended Therapy: Nasya

Herbal Treatment of Common Cold

Click for Homeopathic Remedies for Common Cold….……………………………(1)….(2).(3)

Home Remedy for Cold

CL ICK & SEE : Simple and Inexpensive Trick to Cure a Common Cold

Take A Foot bath & in heal Steam with little camphor 2 to 3 times a day  Best way to get rid of common cold

Prognosis:
Most people recognize their symptoms as those of a common cold and do not seek medical advice.

The symptoms usually go away in 7 to 10 days.The common cold usually clears up without treatment within 2 weeks, but a cough may last longer.

Possible Complications:
Despite a great deal of scientific research, there is no cure for a common cold, but over-the-counter drugs can help relieve the symptoms. these drugs include analgesics to relieve a headache and reduce a fever, decongestants to clear a stuffy nose, and cough remedies to soothe a tickling throat. It is also important to drink plenty of cool fluids, particularly if you have a fever. Many people take large quantities of vitamin c to prevent infection and treat the common cold, but any benefit from this remedy is unproved.

If your symptoms do not improve in a week or your child is no better in 2 days, you should consult a doctor. if you have a bacterial infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, although they are ineffective against cold viruses.

Bronchitis
Pneumonia
Ear infection
Sinusitis
Worsening of asthma

When to Contact a Medical Professional :

Try home care measures first. Call your health care provider if:

1. The symptoms worsen or do not improve after 7 to 10 days
2.Breathing difficulty develops
3.Specific symptoms deserve a call

.

Prevention:
It might seem overwhelming to try to prevent colds, but you can do it. Children average three to eight colds per year. It is certainly better to get three than eight!

Here are five proven ways to reduce exposure to germs:

Switch day care: Using a day care where there are six or fewer children dramatically reduces germ contact.
Wash hands: Children and adults should wash hands at key moments — after nose-wiping, after diapering or toileting, before eating, and before preparing food.
Use instant hand sanitizers: A little dab will kill 99.99% of germs without any water or towels. The products use alcohol to destroy germs. They are an antiseptic, not an antibiotic, so resistance can’t develop.
Disinfect: Clean commonly touched surfaces (sink handles, sleeping mats) with an EPA-approved disinfectant.
Use paper towels instead of shared cloth towels.

.
Here are seven ways to support the immune system:

Avoid unnecessary antibiotics:
The more people use antibiotics, the more likely they are to get sick with longer, more stubborn infections caused by more resistant organisms in the future.
Breastfeed: Breast milk is known to protect against respiratory tract infections, even years after breastfeeding is done. Kids who don’t breastfeed average five times more ear infections.
Avoid second-hand smoke: Keep as far away from it as possible! It is responsible for many health problems, including millions of colds.
Get enough sleep: Late bedtimes and poor sleep leave people vulnerable.
Drink water: Your body needs fluids for the immune system to function properly.
Eat yogurt: The beneficial bacteria in some active yogurt cultures help prevent colds.
Take zinc: Children and adults who are zinc-deficient get more infections and stay sick longer.

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:
http://www.charak.com/DiseasePage.asp?thx=1&id=115
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000678.htm

Categories
Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Avocado

Botanical Name: Persea americana
Family:Lauraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Laurales
Genus: Persea
Species: P. americana

Other Names:Palta,Aguacate, Alligator pear

Habitat: Native to the Caribbean, Mexico, South America and Central America,
Description:
The tree grows to 20 metres (65 ft), with alternately arranged, evergreen leaves, 25 centimetres long. The flowers are inconspicuous, greenish-yellow, 10 millimetres wide. The pear-shaped fruit is botanically a berry, from 7 to 20 centimetres long, weighs between 100 and 1000 grams, and has a large central seed, 3 to 5 centimetres in diameter.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES>…..(01)……....(1)...…(2)..…...(3)..…….(4).…....

An average avocado tree produces about 120 avocados annually. Commercial orchards produce an average of 7 tonnes per hectare each year, with some orchards achieving 20 tonnes per hectare. Biennial bearing can be a problem, with heavy crops in one year being followed by poor yields the next. The fruit is sometimes called an avocado pear or alligator pear, due to its shape and rough green skin. The avocado tree does not tolerate freezing temperatures, and can be grown only in subtropical or tropical climates.

The name “avocado” also refers to the fruit (technically a large berry) of the tree that contains a pit (hard seed casing) which may be egg-shaped or spherical.

Avocados are a commercially valuable crop whose trees and fruit are cultivated in tropical climates throughout the world (and some temperate ones, such as California), producing a green-skinned, pear-shaped fruit that ripens after harvesting. Trees are partially self-pollinating and often are propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit.

Etymology
The word “avocado” comes from the Spanish word aguacate, which derives in turn from the Nahuatl (Aztec) word ahuacatl, meaning “testicle”, because of its shape. In some countries of South America such as Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, and Uruguay, the avocado is known by its Quechua name, palta. In other Spanish-speaking countries it is called aguacate, and in Portuguese it is abacate. The name “avocado pear” is sometimes used in English, as are “alligator pear” and “butter pear”. The Nahuatl ahuacatl can be compounded with other words, as in ahuacamolli, meaning “avocado soup or sauce”, from which the Mexican Spanish word guacamole derives.

Cultivation:
The subtropical species needs a climate without frost and little wind. When mild frost does occur, the fruit drops from the tree, reducing the yield, although the cultivar Hass can tolerate temperatures down to -1°C. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, avocado trees cannot sustain the frost. Avocado farmers in California lost hundreds of millions of dollars in 2006 due to a temperature drop[citation needed]. The trees also need well aerated soils, ideally more than 1 m deep. Yield is reduced when the irrigation water is highly saline. These soil and climate conditions are met only in a few areas of the world, particularly in southern Spain, the Levant, South Africa, Peru, parts of central and northern Chile, Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, the Philippines, Malaysia, Mexico and Central America, the center of origin and diversity of this species. Each region has different types of cultivars. Mexico is the largest producer of the Hass variety, with over 1 million tonnes produced annually.

Propagation and rootstocks
While an avocado propagated by seed can bear fruit, it takes 4–6 years to do so, and the offspring is unlikely to resemble the parent cultivar in fruit quality. Thus, commercial orchards are planted using grafted trees and rootstocks. Rootstocks are propagated by seed (seedling rootstocks) and also layering (clonal rootstocks). After about a year of growing the young plants in a greenhouse, they are ready to be grafted. Terminal and lateral grafting is normally used. The scion cultivar will then grow for another 6–12 months before the tree is ready to be sold. Clonal rootstocks have been selected for specific soil and disease conditions, such as poor soil aeration or resistance to the soil-borne disease caused by phytophthora, root rot.

Nutritional value
A whole medium avocado contains approximately 15% of the United States FDA’s recommended daily amount of fat, though they are high in monounsaturated fat. Avocados also have 60% more potassium than bananas. They are rich in B vitamins, as well as vitamin E and vitamin K.

A fatty triol (fatty alcohol) with one double bond, avocadene (16-heptadecene-1,2,4-triol) is found in avocado and has been tested for anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties are likely related with the curative effects of avocado described for a number of ailments (diarrhea, dysentery, abdominal pains and high blood pressure).

Uses
The vegetable of horticultural cultivars ranges from more or less round to egg- or pear-shaped, typically the size of a temperate-zone pear or larger, on the outside bright green to green-brown (or almost black) in color. The vegetable has a markedly higher fat content than most other vegetables, mostly monounsaturated fat. A ripe avocado will yield to a gentle pressure when held in the palm of the hand and squeezed. The flesh is typically greenish yellow to golden yellow when ripe. The flesh oxidizes and turns brown quickly after exposure to air. To prevent this, lime or lemon juice can be added to avocados after they are peeled.

The avocado is very popular in vegetarian cuisine, making an excellent substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads because of its high fat content. The fruit is not sweet, but fatty, strongly flavored, and of smooth, almost creamy texture. It is used as the base for the Mexican dip known as guacamole, as well as a filling for several kinds of sushi, including California rolls. Avocado is popular in chicken dishes and as a spread on toast, served with salt and pepper. In Brazil and Vietnam, avocados are considered sweet vegetables, so are frequently used for milk-shakes and occasionally added to ice cream and other desserts. In Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia, a dessert drink is made with sugar, milk, and pureed avocado.

In Central America, avocados are served mixed with white rice. In Chile its consumption is widespread and used as a puree in chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs, and in slices for celery or lettuce salads. The Chilean version of caesar salad contains large slices of mature avocado.

Avocado flesh has also been used by some Native American tribes in the southwestern United States in the mixing and application of adobe.

Avocado is also thought to promote physical beauty and is used in cosmetics to this day. The Aztecs ate the vegetable as an aphrodisiac.

Avocado plants and trees are used for making 1.Skin Care Products 2. Hair Care 3.Perfume and Cologne 4. Vitamins & Nutrition

Medicinal Uses:

Avocado is considered the most nutritious fruit in the world. Avocado provides more than 25 essential nutrients such as protein, potassium, vitamin E, C, B-vitamins, folic acid, iron, copper, phosphorus and magnesium. Avocado also provides calories for energy and beneficial phytochemicals such as beta-sitosterol, glutathione and lutein (necessary to protect us from the damage of ultraviolet radiation from many sources -computers and environment).

Some believe that the fat content of avocado is damaging but the fat in avocado is mostly monounsaturated. What should be avoided or reduced is saturated fat that is present in most dairy and animal products. In fact, avocado helps in the absorption of nutrients that are fat-soluble such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, when food containing these nutrients are eaten with avocado. Avocado is also high in fiber that is good for the digestive system and the heart.

Overall, avocado is considered a complete food. With vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, calories and fiber with no cholesterol and is sodium free. Avocado is ideal for growing up children, adults and even for babies, especially when blended with other fruits. For athletes, avocado is a nutritious energy booster to rev up the body’s strength.

Avocado (in slices) can be eaten as is or with a dash of salt. It can be mixed with other fruits, as salad, a shake, baked in breads and even made into a dip. In the Philippines, ripe avocado is often eaten as a snack by scooping from flesh from the skin then mixed with a some sugar and milk or cream.

A documentation of avocado’s cholesterol lowering effect was studied in in Brisbane, Australia. The researchers reported that eating avocados daily for three weeks improved blood cholesterol in middle-aged women better than a low-fat diet did. The avocado diet reduced total cholesterol by 8 percent compared with 5 percent for the low-fat diet. Another important observation was that it improved the good cholesterol (HDL or high density lipoprotein) by 15 percent. The daily amount of avocado ranged from 1/2 avocado for small women to 1 1/2 for large women. With this study we expect that the myth that avocados can worsen cholesterol can be dispelled. So by eating avocados, heart patients could cut their risk of heart attack 10-20 percent and death rates 4-8 percent in 3-5 years. Don’t hold your cravings for avocados, indulge, it is good for our heart!

Why avocado fat lowers cholesterol?
Avocado fat content is the reason to lower cholesterol since it is monounsaturated fat. Another reason is that avocado packs more of the cholesterol-smashing beta-sitosterol (a beneficial plant-based fat) than any other fruit. Beta-sitosterol reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food. So the combination of beta-sitosterol and monounsaturated fat makes the avocado an excellent cholesterol buster.

Beta-Sitosterol has an apparent ability to block the bad LDL cholesterol absorption from the intestine, resulting in lower blood cholesterol levels. The Australian study not only reported that eating either half or a whole avocado fruit per day for a month succeeded in lowering cholesterol levels, but at the same time most people in the study lost weight.

Sid Information on beta-sitosterol
It is a phytosterol or plant alcohol that is literally in every vegetable we eat. We already eat this every day but we just don’t get enough of it. The typical American is estimated to eat only 200-400 mg a day while vegetarians probably eat about twice this much. This is surely one of the many reasons vegetarians are healthier and live longer.

Actually the term “beta-sitosterol” in commerce refers to the natural combination of beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol and brassicasterol as this is how they are made by nature in plants. There are no magic foods with high levels of phytosterols, but they can be inexpensively extracted from sugar cane pulp, soybeans and pine oil.

The Aztec’s would use Aguacate(Avocado) as an
Aphrodisiac, against Dandruff, Scabs, Menstrual Cramps and Hemorrhage, Cough, Dysentery, Gout, Peritonitis (An inflammation of the peritoneum, the membrane that lines the wall of the abdomen and covers the organs.), Intestinal Worms and for Lice and Nits.

How the Aztecs would use the Avocado as an Aphrodisiac:
The Pulp of the Avocado is a magnificent aphrodisiac as it enhances the tone of the sexual organs which in turn enhances sexual appetite.

For Dandruff and Scabs:
Grind the Avocado seed and mix with Castor Oil, then with the paste rub well on the skin likewise for the head but cover with plastic( Do Not Cover Nose or Mouth) or flannel and leave on overnight and wash off the following morning.

For Menstrual cramps, Hemorrhage and Cough:
Drink one cup of 2 Avocado leaves boiled in 1/4 liter of water.

For Dysentery:
Grind Avocado seed into powder then roast the powder then take 1 gram of powder on an empty stomach.

For Rheumatic Pains and Gout: Rub the affected part with a dry towel to activate circulation then rub a little Avocado seed extract and cover with a flannel cloth. The Extract is made by slicing 4 Avocado seeds into small pieces and let macerate in alcohol for several days.

For Peritonitis:
Boil for 5 minutes in 2 liters of water, 1 Avocado seed cut into tiny pieces, 2 branches of Chamomile and 1 Prickly Pear Cheese; strain, and use as enema as hot as can be tolerated.

To get Rid of Intestinal Worms and Parasites:
Drink a 1 cup infusion made of the skin or rind of the Avocado that has been left to soak in hot water for several minutes

To get rid of Lice and Nits:
Boil 5 Avocado seeds in 1/4 liter of water that have been minced with 2 Rue branches, wash hair with the liquid rubbing well then cover head with towel and the lice will be removed.

More informations on Avocado

How eating avocado could save your life:

Toxicity to animals
There is documented evidence that animals such as cats, dogs, cattle, goats, rabbits, birds, fish and particularly, horses can be severely harmed or even killed when they consume the avocado leaves, bark, skin, or pit. The avocado vegetable is poisonous to birds in some cases, so on a practical level feeding the vegetable to birds should be avoided. Avocado leaves contain a toxic fatty acid derivative known as persin, which in sufficient quantity can cause equine colic and with lack of veterinary treatment–death. The symptoms include gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory distress, congestion, fluid accumulation around the tissues of the heart and even death. Birds also seem to be particularly sensitive to this toxic compound.

Negative effects in humans seem to be primarily in allergic individuals.

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/Avocado

http://electrocomm.tripod.com/aguacate-avocado.html

http://gonatural.com.ph/herbalblog/?cat=3

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Eryngium Foetidum (Long Coriander)

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Botanical Name: Eryngium foetidum
Family: Apiaceae
Genus:     Eryngium
Species: E. foetidum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Apiales

Common Names: Culantro, Long coriander, Mexican coriander, Wild coriander, Recao, Shado beni (English-speaking Caribbean), Spiritweed,, Sawtooth, Saw-leaf herb, or Cilantro cimarron) is a tropical perennial and annual herb in the family Apiaceae.

Habitat :Eryngium Foetidum is native to Mexico and South America, but is cultivated worldwide. In the United States, where it is not well-known, the name culantro sometimes causes confusion with Coriandrum sativum, the leaves of which are known as cilantro, and which culantro is even said to taste like. The two plants are in the same family, Apiaceae.

Today, is has been introduced to large parts of South East Asia (Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia).

Etymology
The derivation of culantro and racao, two names by which the plant is known in Central America, the former is maybe just a variant of cilantro.

Many names in languages that are spoken outside the natural habitat of long coriander compare it to the common coriander, e.g. Thai pakchi farang “foreign coriander”, Chinese ci yuan sui  pricky coriander, Hindi bhandhania “broad coriander” or Malay ketumbar Jawa “Jawanese coriander  (although I haven’t seen it in Jawa). Note, however, that the Thai name pak chi farang may also mean parsley, which also deserves to be called foreign coriander, the similarities being more visual than olfactory.
The Thai term farang foreign, Western, European has a complex history and derives, in last consequence, from the name of a Germanic people, the Franks! In Medieval Europe, the Franks had occupied a powerful position (see also lovage for the herbal edict of Charlemagne), and a large percentage of the Crusaders were Franks. So it was natural to call the continent Europe just firanja Frank country  in Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic forms are ifranji (noun), faranj (adjective) European, where the initial variation (ifra vs. far) results from different strategies to avoid the initial consonant cluster. From Arabic, the word spread eastward, e.g. Urdu frangistan , Sanskrit phiranga and Kannada paramgi Europe”, and Kurdish farangi , Dhivehi faranjee , and Khmer barang foreigner.

English saw leaf herb refers to the serrated leafs, which loosely remind to a saw.
The botanical genus name Eryngium goes back to the Greek name of the related sea holly (Eryngium vulgare), which was called eryngion; the name is probably related to er spring time(cognate to Latin ver). The genus name foetidus is Latin and means stinking, bad smelling, ugly.

Plant Description:
Eryngium comprises over 200 tropical and temperate species (Willis 1960). Most are spiny ornamental herbs with thick roots and fleshy waxy leaves with blue flowers in cymose heads. Eryngium foetidum is a tap-rooted biennial herb with long, evenly branched roots (Fig. 1). The oblanceolate leaves, arranged spirally around the short thick stem, form a basal rosette and are as much as 30 cm long and 4 cm broad. The leaf margin is serrated, each tooth of the margin containing a small yellow spine. The plant produces a well-branched cluster of flower heads in spikes forming the characteristic umbel inflorescence on a long stalk arising from the center of the leaf rosette (Morton 1981; Moran 1988). The calyx is green while the corolla is creamy white in color.

click to see the pictures..>….(01)...(1)..…..…(2)..……..….(3)….…....

CULINARY USES AND NUTRITIONAL VALUE
The appearance of culantro and cilantro are different but the leaf aromas are similar, although culantro is more pungent. Because of this aroma similarity the leaves are used interchangeably in many food preparations and is the major reason for the misnaming of one herb for the other. While relatively new to American cuisine, culantro has long been used in the Far East, Latin America, and the Caribbean. In Asia, culantro is most popular in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore where it is commonly used with or in lieu of cilantro and topped over soups, noodle dishes, and curries. In Latin America, culantro is mostly associated with the cooking style of Puerto Rico, where recipes common to all Latin countries are enhanced with culantro. The most popular and ubiquitous example is salsa, a spicy sauce prepared from tomatoes, garlic, onion, lemon juice, with liberal amounts of chiles. These constituents are fried and simmered together, mixed to a smooth paste and spiced with fresh herbs including culantro. Salsa is usually consumed with tortilla chips as an appetizer. Equally popular is sofrito or recaito, the name given to the mixture of seasonings containing culantro and widely used in rice, stews, and soups (Wilson 1991). There are reportedly as many variations of the recipe as there are cooks in Puerto Rico but basically sofrito consists of garlic, onion, green pepper, small mild peppers, and both cilantro and culantro leaves. Ingredients are blended and can then be refrigerated for months. Sofrito is itself the major ingredient in a host of other recipes including eggplant pasta sauce, cilantro garlic butter, cilantro pesto, pineapple salsa, and gazpacho with herb yogurt.

Culantro is reported to be rich in calcium, iron, carotene, and riboflavin. Fresh leaves are 86-88% moisture, 3.3% protein, 0.6% fat, 6.5% carbohydrate, 1.7% ash, 0.06% phosphorus, and 0.02% iron. Leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A (10,460 I.U./100 g), B2 (60 mg %), B1 (0.8 mg %), and C (150-200 mg %) (Bautista et al. 1988). On a dry weight basis, leaves consist of 0.1   0.95% volatile oil, 27.7% crude fiber, 1.23% calcium, and 25 ppm boron.

Sensory quality
Aroma strong, very similar to fresh coriander leaves; taste similar, but even stronger.

Main constituents
The essential oil from the leaves of long coriander is rich in aliphatic aldehydes, most of which are α,β unsaturated. The impact compound is E-2-dodecenal (60%), furthermore 2,3,6-trimethylbenzaldehyde (10%), dodecanal (7%) and E-2-tridecenal (5%) have been identified. Aliphatic aldehydes appear also in other spices with coriander-like scent (e.g., Vietnamese coriander).

Yet another essential oil can be obtained from the root; in the root oil, unsaturated alicyclic or aromatic aldehydes dominate (2,3,6-trimethylbenzaldehyde 40%, 2-formyl-1,1,5-trimethyl cyclohexa-2,5-dien-4-ol 10%, 2-formyl-1,1,5-trimethyl cyclohexa-2,4-dien-6-ol 20%, 2,3,4-trimethylbenzaldehyde ).

In the essential oil from the seeds, sesquiterpenoids (carotol 20%, β-farnesene 10%), phenylpropanoids (anethole) and monoterpenes (α-pinene) were found, but no aldehydes.

MEDICINAL USES
The plant is used in traditional medicines for fevers and chills, vomiting, diarrhea, and in Jamaica for colds and convulsions in children (Honeychurch 1980). The leaves and roots are boiled and the water drunk for pneumonia, flu, diabetes, constipation, and malaria fever. The root can be eaten raw for scorpion stings and in India the root is reportedly used to alleviate stomach pains. The leaves themselves can be eaten in the form of a chutney as an appetite stimulant (Mahabir 1991).

Medicinally, the leaves and roots are used in tea to stimulate appetite, improve digestion, combat colic, soothe stomach pains, eliminate gases and as an aphrodisiac.

In Carib medicine as a cure-all, and, specifically for epilepsy, high blood pressure, and fevers, fits, and chills in children.  In Suriname’s traditional medicine fitweed (culantro) is used against fevers and flu.  It is used as a tea for diarrhea, flu, fevers, vomiting, diabetes and constipation. In India the root is used to alleviate stomache.

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.

CONCLUSION
Although used widely throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Far East, culantro is still mistaken for and erroneously called cilantro. The herb is rapidly becoming an important import item into the US mainly due to the increasing ethnic immigrant populations who utilize it in their many varied dishes from around the world. It is closely related botanically to cilantro but has a distinctly different appearance and a much more potent volatile leaf oil. Recent research to prevent bolting and early flowering will increase its leaf yields and consequently its demand. Successes in prolonging its postharvest life and storage under refrigeration will undoubtedly increase its export potential and ultimately its popularity among the commonly used culinary herbs.

References:

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1999/v4-506.html
http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/spice_photo.html#eryn_foe
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eryngium_foetidum

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

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Betel Leaves (Paan)

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Botanical Name: Piper betel (LINN.)
Family: Piperaceae
Genus: Piper
Species: P. betle
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales


Synonyms
–:-Chavica Betel. Artanthe Hixagona

Common Name: Paan
Part Used-:–The leaves.
Habitat: The Betel plant originated in Malaysia and now grows in India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, Malaya and Java.

Description:
The plant is evergreen and perennial, with glossy heart-shaped leaves and white catkins, and grows to a height of about 1 metre. . The best Betel leaf is the “Magahi” variety (literally from the Magadha region) grown near Patna in Bihar, India. The plant is known by a series of different names in the regions in which it is consumed – among these are Vetrilai (Tamil).

The Betel plant is indigenous throughout the Indian Malay region and also cultivated in Madagascar, Bourbon and the West Indies. It is a climbing shrub and is trained on poles or trellis in a hot but shady situation. The leaves are pressed together and dried, sometimes being sewn up together in packets for commerce.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
-Constituents–-The chief constituent of the leaves is a volatile oil varying in the leaves from different countries and known as Betel oil. It contains two phenols, betel-phenol (chavibetol) and chavicol. Cadinene has also been found. The best oil is a clear yellow colour obtained from the fresh leaves. The Indians use the leaves as a masticatory (the taste being warm, aromatic and bitter), together with scraped areca nut and lime.

Uses:
Chew as Mouth freshner:In India and parts of Southeast Asia, the leaves are chewed together with the mineral slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) and the areca nut which, by association, is sometimes inaccurately called the “betel nut“. The lime acts to keep the active ingredient in its freebase or alkaline form, thus enabling it to enter the bloodstream via sublingual absorption. The areca nut contains the alkaloid arecoline, which promotes salivation (the saliva is stained red), and is itself a stimulant. This combination, known as a “betel quid”, has been used for several thousand years. Tobacco is sometimes added…...CLICK &  SEE

Paan is the Hindi word (in Hindi: from Sanskrit parna ‘feather) for betel’, which is used for a stimulating and psychoactive preparation combined with areca nut and/or cured tobacco. Paan is chewed and finally spat out or swallowed. Paan has many variations. Slaked lime (chunnam) paste is commonly added to bind the leaves. Some South Asian preparations include katha paste or mukhwas  to freshen the breath.

(Katha is also known as cutch, black cutch, cachou, cashoo, khoyer, terra Japonica, or Japan earth, and also katha in Hindi, kaath in Marathi, khoyer in Assamese and Bengali, and kachu in Malay (hence the Latinized Acacia catechu chosen as the Linnaean taxonomy name of the type-species Acacia plant which provides the extract).

In India, the betel and areca play an important role in Indian culture especially among Hindus. All the traditional ceremonies governing the lives of Hindus use betel and areca. For example to pay money to the priest, they keep money in the betel leaves and place it beside the priest.

The betel and areca also play an important role in Vietnamese culture. In Vietnamese there is a saying that “the betel begins the conversation”, referring to the practice of people chewing betel in formal occasions or “to break the ice” in awkward situational conversations. The betel leaves and areca nuts are used ceremonially in traditional Vietnamese weddings. Based on a folk tale about the origins of these plants, the groom traditionally offer the bride’s parents betel leaves and areca nuts (among other things) in exchange for the bride. The betel and areca are such important symbols of love and marriage such that in Vietnamese the phrase “matters of betel and areca” (chuyện trầu cau) is synonymous with marriage.

 

-Medicinal Action and Uses:

Betel leaves are chiefly used as a gently stimulant, apparently inducing a mild sensation of well-being.  They also affect the digestive system, stimulating salivary secretions, relieving gas, and preventing worm infestation.  In many Asian traditions, including Ayurvedic medicine, betel leaves are thought to have aphrodisiac and nerve tonic properties.  In Chinese herbal medicine, betel root, leaves, and fruit are sometimes used as a mild tonic and stomach-settling herb.  The root has been used with black pepper or jequirity to produce sterility in women.

-The Betel (Piper betle) is a spice whose leaves have medicinal properties.The leaves are stimulant antiseptic and sialogogue; the oil is an active local stimulant used in the treatment of respiratory catarrhs as a local application or gargle, also as an inhalant in diphtheria. In India the leaves are used as a counter-irritant to suppress the secretion of milk in mammary abscesses. The juice of 4 leaves is equivalent in power to one drop of the oil.

In India, they use betel to cast out (cure) worms.

Betel leaves are used as a stimulant, an antiseptic and a breath-freshener Paan. In Ayurvedic medicine, they are used as an aphrodisiac. In Malaysia they are used to treat headaches, arthritis and joint pain. In Thailand and China they are used to relieve toothache. In Indonesia they are drunk as an infusion and used as an antibiotic. They are also used in an infusion to cure indigestion, as a topical cure for constipation, as a decongestant and as an aid to lactation.

In Papua New Guinea, betel is prepared with a mustard stick dipped in lime powder and acts as a stimulant to suppress hunger, reduce stress and heighten the senses.

Known Hazards: In an extensive scientific research monograph, the World Health Organization expert group for research on cancer reported in 2004 that the percentage of oral cancer among all cancers diagnosed in hospitals in Asia has always been much higher than that usually found in western countries, where the habit of chewing betel quid, with or without tobacco, is virtually unknown. In many descriptive studies, investigators have obtained histories of chewing betel quid with tobacco from series of patients with oral cancer; and in all these studies the percentage of patients who practice betel leaf chewing was found to be extremely large. Researchers also noted that the cancer generally develops at the place where the betel quid is kept. ……....CLICK & READ

The high rate of oral cancer in South Asia is thought to be due to the chewing of betel preparations; the inclusion of tobacco may worsen the risk, but there is also evidence that the areca nut, alone or as part of a betel quid, may cause cancer even without tobacco.[23] See its article for more discussion of this point.   ...CLICK & SEE

Effects of chewing paan during pregnancy:   Scientific teams from Taiwan, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea have reported that women who chew areca nut formulations, such as paan, during pregnancy significantly increase adverse outcomes for the baby. The effects were similar to those reported for women who consume alcohol or tobacco during pregnancy. Lower birth weights, reduced birth length and early term were found to be significantly higher

Some reports may suggest that betel leaf by itself has adverse health effects, in part because of tannins delivered by the leaf and for reasons currently not fully understood.   For example, one research paper studied chromosome damaging effect of betel leaf in human leukocyte cultures. These researchers report an increase in the frequency of chromatid aberrations when the leaf extract was added to cultures. Another scientific study from Japan    indicates that the lab rats who ate a mixture of betel leaf and areca nuts all had severe thickening of the upper digestive tract whereas after undergoing a diet of betel leaves alone, only one laboratory rat ended up having a forestomach papilloma.

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.

Help taken from:en.wikipedia.org and botanical.com