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Herbs & Plants

Lemon basil

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Botanical Name:Ocimum americanum
Family:    Lamiaceae
Genus:    Ocimum
Species:O. × citriodorum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Lamiales

Synonyms: Ocimum canum

Common name: Hoary Basil, Wild basil, Lemon basil • Hindi: Kali tulasi • Manipuri: Mayangton • Marathi: Ran-tulshi • Tamil: Nai Thulasi • Malayalam: Kattu-tulasi • Telugu: Kukka Thulasi • Kannada: Nayi tulasi • Bengali: Kalo-tulashi • Sanskrit: Kshudraparna, Gambhira

Habitat :The herb is grown primarily in northeastern Africa and southern Asia for its strong fragrant lemon scent, and is used in cooking.

Description:
Lemon basil is an annual herb that should be replanted each year after the frost, Lemon Basil has narrow pointed green leaves that are very fragrantly scented. Small growing Lemon Basil will only reach a height of  about 45cm and needs regular harvesting to keep it bushy and extend the growing period before the white flowers appears.
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It is  hybrid between basil (Ocimum basilicum) and African basil (Ocimum americanum). It is recognizes its herbaceous culinary composition by displaying heady aromas and notes of citrus, specifically lemon and lime. The stems can grow to 20–40 cm tall. It has white flowers in late summer to early fall. The leaves are similar to basil leaves, but tend to be narrower. Seeds form on the plant after flowering and dry on the plant.

Edible Uses:
In Laos, lemon basil is used extensively in Lao curries, stews, and stir-fried dishes as it is the most commonly used type of basil in Laos.[1] Many Lao stews require the use of lemon basil as no other basil varieties are acceptable as substitutes. The most popular Lao stew called or lam uses lemon basil as a key ingredient.

Lemon Basil is used in Indonesian and Asian curries and soups. Seeds soaked in water will swell up and can be used in sweet puddings or fresh leaves can be added as a garnish.

Lemon basil is the only basil used much in Indonesian cuisine, where it is called kemangi. It is often eaten raw with salad or lalap (raw vegetables) and accompanied by sambal. Lemon basil is often used to season certain Indonesian dishes, such as curries, soup, stew and steamed or grilled dishes. In Thailand, Lemon basil, called maenglak (Thai), is one of several types of basil used in Thai cuisine. The leaves are used in certain Thai curries and it is also indispensable for the noodle dish khanom chin nam ya. The seeds resemble frog’s eggs after they have been soaked in water and are used in sweet desserts.It is also used in North East part of India state Manipur. In Manipur, it is used in curry like pumpkin, used in singju (a form of salad), and in red or green chilli pickles type.

Medicinal Uses:
Lemon basil  is used  in preparing Ayurvedic medicines and is used in aroma  therapy.

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://flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Hoary%20Basil.html
https://flowerpower.com.au/information/fact-sheets/lemon-basil/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_basil

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Herbs & Plants

Amaranthus viridis (Bengali : Bon notay)

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

Synonyms :   A. gracilis.

Common Names: Slender Amaranth or Green Amaranth.

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

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

Description:
Amaranthus viridis is a annual plant growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is frost tender. It is in leaf 10-Apr It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind, self.The plant is self-fertile.
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Cultivation:       
Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position. Requires a hot sheltered position if it is to do well. Plants should not be given inorganic fertilizers, see notes above on toxicity. Cultivated as a food plant in the tropics.

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

Edible Uses  :
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.

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

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

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

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

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Amaranthus+viridis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaranthus_viridis

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Herbs & Plants

Parul Phul (Mansoa alliacea)

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Botanical Name : Mansoa alliacea
Family: Bignoniaceae
Genus:     Mansoa
Species: M. alliacea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Lamiales

Synonyms: Bignonia alliacea, Pseudocalymma alliaceum, Adenocalymma alliaceum, Adenocalymma pachypu,Adenocalymma sagotii, Pachyptera alliacea, Pseudocalymma pachypus, Pseudocalymma sagotti

Common Names :Garlic Vine, Wild Garlic, Ajo Sacha, Amethyst Vine
Among the mestizos of the Amazon rainforest it is known as ajo sacha, a Spanish-Quechua name that means “forest garlic” or “wild garlic”.

In Bengali it is called Parul phul or  Lata parul .
In Manipur it is known as Chanamlei

Habitat : . It is native to Northern South America, and has spread to Central America and Brasil.

Description:
Mansoa alliacea is an ornamental evergreen vine, 2-2.5m (6 to 8 feet) tall; opposite leaves divided into two ovate leaflets, up to 15cm (6 inch) long. The leaves are bright green.
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Two special features makes this plant pretty unique: First, the tri-colour blooms. Secondly, its specific garlic-like odor when parts of plants are crushed.
Deep lavender flowers with white throat are fading to a paler lavender as they mature. You will see three different colour of flowers at the same time on the plant. The vine blooms heavily twice a year: in fall-winter and in spring, although it may also have some flowers on and off throughout the year.
Crushed leaves smell like garlic, although of course the plant is not related to the common edible onion or garlic at all. Usually you will only notice the odor when you crush its leaves or prune its branches. The heavy clusters of  flowers do not emit any scent at all, so no worry that the garden or home will heavily smell of garlic when this plant blooms!

Mansoa alliacea can be described as either a shrub or a vine because it produces numerous woody vines from the root, that grows only 2-2.5m (6 to 8 feet) tall and form a shrub-like appearance.

Propagation: Mansoa alliacea can be propagate from cuttings. Semi-hardwood cuttings can be taken for propagation. Each stem should have at least 3-4 nodes and can be stuck into a mixture of sand and compost to start the rooting process, after removing some leaves to reduce water loss. Rooting hormone powder is usually not needed.

Medicinal Uses:
It is a very common and well respected plant remedy in the Amazon.It is considered analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic and anti-pyretic. Both the bark and the leaves are used in tinctures and decoctions. In addition, the leaves are also used as a common remedy for coughs, colds, flu and pneumonia, and as a purgative.  Some capsule products of the leaves are sold in stores in Brazil and Peru, and it can be found as an ingredient in other various multi-herb formulas for cold and flu, pain, inflammation and arthritis in general. The use of ajos sacha is just catching on in the U.S. market; a few products are now available and it is showing up in several formulas for colds and arthritis here as well.

Other Uses:
It said that this houseplant pushes out all the bad luck from your house. It is one of the most rewarding flowering vines that you can grow, bearing beautiful lavender hued bell shaped flowers. It can be grown in containers and should be trimmed after the flowers are gone. Mansoa alliacea serves a two in one purpose of air purification and treatments (as will be mentioned bellow).

Mansoa alliacea is great for chain link fences (or any fence), or a large trellis. It is a vine with a moderate growth rate and one need not worry that is will become an unruly resident in the garden. It can be grown as a loose flowy bush, but is most attractive on supports, fences, trellises, pergolas, etc. It is a vigorous grower and establishes quickly.

This plant is even used as substitute for garlic in food. The entire plant – roots, stems and leaves – is used in herbal medicine systems in Peru and Brazil. It is considered analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic and anti-pyretic. Both the bark and the leaves are used in tinctures and decoctions. In addition, the leaves are also used as a common remedy for coughs, colds, flu and pneumonia and as a purgative.

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds.

Mansoa alliacea is also effective as a mosquito and snakes repellent.

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.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Garlic%20Vine.html
http://www.somemagneticislandplants.com.au/index.php/plants/296-mansoa-alliacea
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mansoa_alliacea

Mansoa alliacea

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Herbs & Plants

Erysimum cheiranthoides

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

Common Name:Treacle-mustard, Wormseed Mustard

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

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

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

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

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

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Erysimum+cheiranthoides
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erysimum_cheiranthoides
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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