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Mediterranean Diet Cuts the Risk of Depression by 30%

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Consuming plenty of olive oil, nuts, fruit and vegetables – like those living in warm countries by the Med – means you’re less likely to be hit by the blues, according to researchers.

A study of 10,000 people found that those who ate these foods most regularly were found to be have a much sunnier outlook on life.

The diet traditionally favoured by natives of countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy is high in unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. It is also low in red meat and dairy products while alcohol, particularly red wine, is encouraged – but in moderation.
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Sunshine food: Regularly consuming, nuts, fish, fruit and vegetables – like those living in warm countries by the Med – can cut the risk of depression by 30 percent

A Mediterranean diet is already thought to improve heart health and stave off cancer.
Dieticians believe it appears to improve the flexibility of cells lining the walls of blood vessels, particularly in the heart and circulatory system.
The latest study was inspired by the lower risk of suffering mental disorders in Mediterranean countries than in Northern Europe.
Dr Almudena Sanchez-Villegas and colleagues studied 10,094 healthy Spanish men and women between 1999 and 2005. For the project, they filled in food diaries and their adherence to a Mediterranean diet was checked on nine main points.
These included frequency of consumption of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, moderate intake of alcohol and dairy products, and low intake of meat. High intakes of fruit, nuts, cereals, vegetables and fish were also important.

The Mediterranean diet is high in unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. Wine is encouraged, but in moderation
After more than four years of follow-ups, there were 480 new cases of depression, 156 in men and 324 in women.
Those who followed the Mediterranean diet most closely had a greater than 30 per cent reduction in the risk of depression compared with those who had lowest scores.

The figures did not change even when adjusted for other markers of a healthy lifestyle, such as being married, said a report in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
Dr Sanchez-Villegas admitted: ‘The specific mechanisms by which a better adherence to the Mediterranean diet could help to prevent the occurrence of depression are not well-known.’

However, the diet is known to keep arteries healthy, fight inflammation and repair cell damage, she said.
‘The role of the overall dietary pattern may be more important than the effect of single components,’ added the academic, of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and University of Navarra.

There may be ‘a fair degree of protection’ from the combination of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish with other natural ingredients in olive oil, nuts, fruit and plant foods.

Last year, U.S. researchers found strict adherence to a Mediterranean diet could help stave off Alzheimer’s and premature death.
A team from the UK, Greece and Spain also found it helped prevent the development of asthma and respiratory allergies in children.
Other research shows taking fish oil every day in pregnancy can cut the risk of post-natal depression.

Source: Mail Online.6Th. Oct.2009

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Herbs & Plants Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Dill

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Botanical Name:Anethum graveolens
Family: Apiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales
Genus: Anethum.
Species: A. graveolens
Common  Names:  Dill,   Other Name : Shubit.
The name dill is thought to have originated from a Norse or Anglo-Saxon word ‘dylle’ meaning to soothe or lull, the plant having the carminative property of relieving gas. In Sanskrit, this herb is termed as Shatapushpa. The seeds of this herb is also termed as Shatakuppi sompa, Shatapushpi,Sabasige, Badda sompu, Sabasiga, Surva, Soyi, Sowa, Soya in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Kannanda, Gujarathi, Hindi, Punjabi etc

Habitat:Dill originated in Eastern Europe. Zohary and Hopf remark that “wild and weedy types of dill are widespread in the Mediterranean basin and in West Asia.” Although several twigs of dill were found in the tomb of Amenhotep II, they report that the earliest archeological evidence for its cultivation comes from late Neolithic lake shore settlements in Switzerland. Traces have been found in Roman ruins in Great Britain. It grows on fields, waste places etc in the Mediterranean.

Description:
Dill (Anethum graveolens) is a short-lived perennial herb. It is the sole species of the genus Anethum, though classified by some botanists in a related genus as Peucedanum graveolens (L.) C.B.Clarke.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES
It grows to 40–60 cm (16–24 in), with slender stems and alternate, finely divided, softly delicate leaves 10–20 cm (3.9–7.9 in) long. The ultimate leaf divisions are 1–2 mm (0.039–0.079 in) broad, slightly broader than the similar leaves of fennel, which are threadlike, less than 1 mm (0.039 in) broad, but harder in texture. The flowers are white to yellow, in small umbels 2–9 cm (0.79–3.5 in) diameter. The seeds are 4–5 mm (0.16–0.20 in) long and 1 mm (0.039 in) thick, and straight to slightly curved with a longitudinally ridged surface.

Its seeds, dill seeds are used as a spice, and its fresh leaves, dill, and its dried leaves, dill weed, are used as herbs.

Cultivation
Successful cultivation requires warm to hot summers with high sunshine levels; even partial shade will reduce the yield substantially. It also prefers rich, well drained soil. The seeds are viable for 3–10 years. Plants intended for seed for further planting should not be grown near fennel, as the two species can hybridise[citation needed].

The seed is harvested by cutting the flower heads off the stalks when the seed is beginning to ripen. The seed heads are placed upside down in a paper bag and left in a warm dry place for a week. The seeds then separate from the stems easily for storage in an airtight container.

Medicinal Uses:

Dill is recorded as a medicinal plant for at least five thousand years in the writings of the Egyptians. Oil extracted from the seeds is made into potions and given to colicky babies. Adults take the preparation to relieve indigiestion.
Fresh and dried dill leaves (sometimes called “dill weed” to distinguish it from dill seed) are used as herbs.
To brew a stomach-soothing tea, use two teaspoons of mashed seeds per cup of boiling water. Steep for ten minutes. Drink up to three cups a day. In a tincture, take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon up to three times a day. To treat colic or gas in children under two, give small amounts of a weak tea. Many herbalists recommend combining dill and fennel to ease colic in infants.

Carvone is a carminative. Limonene and phellandrene–an irritant found in oil of dill and many other essential oils–are photosensitizers.  Dill seed improves digestion and appetite and sweetens the breath.  The oil kills bacteria and relieves flatulence.    It is frequently used in Ayurvedic and Unani medicines for indigestion, fevers, ulcers, uterine pains and kidney and eye problems.  Ethiopians chew the leaves along with fennel to treat headaches and gonorrhea.  In Vietnam it is used to treat intestinal diseases.  Contemporary herbalists recommend chewing the seeds for bad breath and drinking dill tea both as a digestive aid and to stimulate milk production in nursing mothers.  The herb helps relax the smooth muscles of the digestive tract.  One study shows it’s also an antifoaming agent, meaning it helps prevent the formation of intestinal gas bubbles.
Historically, injured knights were said to have placed burned dill seeds on their open wounds to speed healing.  A mixture of dill, dried honey and butter was once prescribed to treat madness.

Other Uses:
The taste of dill leaves resembles that of caraway, while the seeds are pungent and aromatic. Freshly cut, chopped leaves enhance the flavor of dips, herb butter, soups, salads, fish dishes, and salads. The seeds are used in pickling and can also improve the taste of roasts, stews and vegetables. Try grinding the seeds to use as a salt substitute. Both the flowering heads and seeds are used in flavored vinegars and oils..

Like caraway, its fernlike leaves are aromatic, and are used to flavor many foods, such as gravlax (cured salmon), borscht and other soups, and pickles (where sometimes the dill flower is used). Dill is said to be best when used fresh, as it loses its flavor rapidly if dried; however, freeze-dried dill leaves preserve their flavor relatively well for a few months.

In Vietnam, dill is the important herb in the dish cha ca.

Dill seed is used as a spice, with a flavor somewhat similar to caraway, but also resembling that of fresh or dried dill weed.

Dill oil can be extracted from the leaves, stems and seeds of the plant.

Dill seeds were traditionally used to soothe the stomach after meals

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/Dill
http://www.gardenguides.com/plants/info/herbs/dill.asp

http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html

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

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Herbs & Plants

Lovage

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Botanical Name: Levisticum officinale (KOCH.)
Family: Apiaceae
Tribe:     Apieae
Genus:     Levisticum
Species: L. officinale
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Apiales

Synonyms: Ligusticum Levisticum (Linn.). Old English Lovage. Italian Lovage. Cornish Lovage. In Germany and Holland, one of the common names of Lovage is Maggikraut (German) or Maggiplant (Dutch) because the plant’s taste is reminiscent of Maggi soup seasoning. In Romania the common name of Lovage is LeuÅŸtean.

Parts Used:
Root, leaves, seeds, young stems.
Habitat: It is not considered to be indigenous to Great Britain, and when occasionally found growing apparently wild, it is probably a garden escape. It is a native of the Mediterranean region, growing wild in the mountainous districts of the south of France, in northern Greece and in the Balkans.

The Garden Lovage is one of the old English herbs that was formerly very generally cultivated, and is still occasionally cultivated as a sweet herb, and for the use in herbal medicine of its root, and to a less degree, the leaves and seeds.
It is a true perennial and hence is very easy to keep in garden cultivation; it can be propagated by offsets like Rhubarb, and it is very hardy. Its old-time repute has suffered by the substitution of the medicinally more powerful Milfoil and Tansy, just as was the case when ‘Elecampane‘ superseded Angelica in medical use. The public-house cordial named ‘Lovage,’ formerly much in vogue, however, owed such virtue as it may have possessed to Tansy. Freshly-gathered leafstalks of Lovage (for flavouring purposes) should be employed in long split lengths.

Description: Lovage is an erect, herbaceous, perennial plant growing to 1.8–2.5 m tall, with a basal rosette of leaves and stems with further leaves, the flowers being produced in umbels at the top of the stems. The stems and leaves are shiny glabrous green to yellow-green and smell of lime when crushed. The larger basal leaves are up to 70 cm long, tripinnate, with broad triangular to rhomboidal, acutely pointed leaflets with a few marginal teeth; the stem leaves are smaller, and less divided with few leaflets. The flowers are yellow to greenish-yellow, 2–3 mm diameter, produced in globose umbels up to 10–15 cm diameter; flowering is in late spring. The fruit is a dry two-parted schizocarp 4–7 mm long, mature in autumn.

The large, dark green radical leaves, on erect stalks, are divided into narrow wedge-like segments, and are not unlike those of a coarse-growing celery; their surface is shining, and when bruised they give out an aromatic odour, somewhat reminiscent both of Angelica and Celery. The stems divide towards the top to form opposite whorled branches, which in June and July bear umbels of yellow flowers, similar to those of Fennel or Parsnip, followed by small, extremely aromatic fruits, yellowish-brown in colour, elliptical in shape and curved, with three prominent winged ribs. The odour of the whole plant is very strong. Its taste is warm and aromatic, and it abounds with a yellowish, gummy, resinous juice.

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It is sometimes grown in gardens for its ornamental foliage, as well as for its pleasant odour, but it is not a striking enough plant to have claimed the attention of poets and painters, and no myths or legends are connected with it. The name of the genus, Ligusticum, is said to be derived from Liguria, where this species abounds.

Cultivation: Lovage is of easy culture. Propagation is by division of roots or by seeds. Rich moist, but well-drained soil is required and a sunny situation. In late summer, when the seed ripens, it should be sown and the seedlings transplanted, either in the autumn or as early in spring as possible, to their permanent quarters, setting 12 inches apart each way. The seeds may also be sown in spring, but it is preferable to sow when just ripe. Root division is performed in early spring.

The plants should last for several years, if the ground be kept well cultivated, and where the seeds are permitted to scatter the plants will come up without care.

Constituents: Lovage contains a volatile oil, angelic acid, a bitter extractive, resins, etc. The colouring principle has been isolated by M. Niklis, who gives it the name of Ligulin, and suggests an important application of it that may be made in testing drinking water. If a drop of its alcoholic or aqueous solution is allowed to fall into distilled water, it imparts to the liquid its own fine crimson-red colour, which undergoes no change; but if limestone water be substituted, the red colour disappears in a few seconds and is followed by a beautiful blue, due to the alkalinity of the latter.

Medicinal Action and Uses: Formerly Lovage was used for a variety of culinary purposes, but now its use is restricted almost wholly to confectionery, the young stems being treated like those of Angelica, to which, however, it is inferior, as its stems are not so stout nor so succulent.

The leafstalks and stem bases were formerly blanched like celery, but as a vegetable it has fallen into disuse.

A herbal tea is made of the leaves, when previously dried, the decoction having a very agreeable odour.

Lovage was much used as a drug plant in the fourteenth century, its medicinal reputation probably being greatly founded on its pleasing aromatic odour. It was never an official remedy, nor were any extravagant claims made, as with Angelica, for its efficacy in numberless complaints.

The roots and fruit are aromatic and stimulant, and have diuretic and carminative action. In herbal medicine they are used in disorders of the stomach and feverish attacks, especially for cases of colic and flatulence in children, its qualities being similar to those of Angelica in expelling flatulence, exciting perspiration and opening obstructions. The leaves eaten as salad, or infused dry as a tea, used to be accounted a good emmenagogue.

An infusion of the root was recommended by old writers for gravel, jaundice and urinary troubles, and the cordial, sudorific nature of the roots and seeds caused their use to be extolled in ‘pestilential disorders.’ In the opinion of Culpepper, the working of the seeds was more powerful than that of the root; he tells us that an infusion ‘being dropped into the eyes taketh away their redness or dimness…. It is highly recommended to drink the decoction of the herb for agues…. The distilled water is good for quinsy if the mouth and throat be gargled and washed therewith…. The decoction drunk three or four times a day is effectual in pleurisy…. The leaves bruised and fried with a little hog’s lard and laid hot to any blotch or boil will quickly break it.’

Several species of this umbelliferous genus are employed as domestic medicines. The root of LIGUSTICUM SINENSE, under the name of KAO-PÂU, is largely used by the Chinese, and in the north-western United States the large, aromatic roots of LIGUSTICUM FILICINUM (OSHA COLORADO COUGH-ROOT) are used to a considerable extent as stimulating expectorants.

The old-fashioned cordial, ‘Lovage,’ now not much in vogue, though still occasionally to be found in public-houses, is brewed not only from the Garden Lovage, Ligusticum levisticum, but mainly from a species of Milfoil or Yarrow, Achillea ligustica, and from Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare,  and probably owes its merit more to these herbs than to Lovage itself. From its use in this cordial, Milfoil has often been mistakenly called Lovage, though it is in no way related to the Umbellifer family.

Several other plants have been termed Lovage besides the true Lovage, and this has frequently caused confusion. Thus we have the SCOTCH LOVAGE, known also as Sea Lovage, or Scotch Parsley, and botanically as Ligusticum scoticum; the BLACK LOVAGE, or Alexanders, Smyrnium Olusatrum; BASTARD LOVAGE, a species of the allied genus, Laserpitum, and WATER LOVAGE, a species of the genus Cenanthe.

Laserpitum may be distinguished from its allies by the fruit having eight prominent, wing-like appendages. The species are perennial herbs, chiefly found in south-eastern Europe. Some of them are employed as domestic remedies, on account of their aroma.

The scent of the root of MEUM ATHAMANTICUM (Jacq.), SPIGNEL (also called Spikenel or Spiknel), MEU or BALD-MONEY, has much in common with that of both Lovage and Angelica, and the root has been eaten by the Scotch Highlanders as a vegetable. It is a perennial, smooth and very aromatic herb. The elongated root is crowned with fibres, the leaves, mostly springing from the root, are divided into leaflets which are further cut into numerous thread-like segments, which gives them a feathery appearance. The stem is about 6 or 8 inches high, and bears umbels of white or purplish flowers. The aromatic flavour of the leaves is somewhat like Melilot, and is communicated to milk and butter when cows feed on the herbage in the spring. The peculiar name of this plant, ‘Baldmoney,’ is said to be a corruption of Balder, the Apollo of the northern nations, to whom the plant was dedicated.

Lovage is a plant, the leaves and “seeds” or fruit of which are used to flavor food, especially in South European cuisine. It is a tall (3 to 9 ft) perennial that vaguely resembles its cousin celery in appearance and in flavor. Lovage also sometimes gets referred to as smallage, but this is more properly used for celery.

The fruit of the lovage plant can be used as a spice, but what appears in the trade as lovage seed is usually ajwain, not lovage. On the other hand, what is sold as “celery seed” is often partially or entirely ground lovage seed.

The root of lovage, which is a heavy, volatile oil, is used as a mild aquaretic. Lovage root contains furanocoumarins which can lead to photosensitivity.Preparations made from the roots or leaves are used to treat edema, indigestion and to prevent the formation of kidney stones.

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.

References:
http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/lovage42.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovage

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Herbs & Plants

Yashtimadhu/Mulethi

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Botanical Name : Glycyrrhiza glabra
Family:    Fabaceae
Subfamily:Faboideae
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Fabales
Tribe:    Galegeae
Genus:    Glycyrrhiza
Species:    G. glabra

Vernacular namesSans Yasti madhu, Hind: Jethi madhu, Eng : Licorice

Therapeutic Catagory: Anti-inflammatory, Anti-ulcer

Ayurvedic Names:
Yashtimadhu, Madhuka

Botanical Name: Glycyrrhiza Glabra

Unani Name: Rub-ul-sus

Indian Names: Yashtimadhu, Jethimadhu, Mulethi,Calamus,  Sweet Liquorice, Sweet Wood

Habitat:  This plant can be cultivated in plains of India but the drug is mainly imported from
Afghanistan and Iran.

DESCRIPTION:
Yashtimadhu or Licorice is one of the greatest herbs known to mankind. Egyptian hieroglyphics record the use of Licorice in a popular beverage. Alexander the Great, the Scything armies, Roman Emperor Caesar, and even India’s great prophet, Brahma, are on record endorsing the beneficial properties contained in Licorice. Warriors used it for its ability to quench thirst while on the march, while others recognized Licorice’s valuable healing properties. A very important quality of licorice continues to be its use as a flavoring agent. Glycyrrhiza is Greek meaning ‘sweet root’.

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Liquorice/ Licorice, a perennial herb of the genus Glycyrrhiza, in the family Leguminosae is a tall shrub (4  to  5 feet). This tender, twining plant, woody at the base is native of Asia and Mediterranean region and grows in subtropical climates. Glycyrrhiza glabra is its scientific name
A perennial shrub up to 1m high, violet flowers in racemes, dried roots are the source of liquorice. It is a herb or a small shrub up to 1m high with pinnate leaves having 9-17 leaflets. The leaflets ovate and obtuse. flowers pale blue, arranged in a raceme. Caylx glandular, pubescent. The pods glabrous, red to brown having 3-4 seeds. The root light brown, sweet in taste.

CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS:
Principle constituent of liquorice is the sweet tasting Triterpenoid saponin glyccrrhizin
(2-9%), a mixture of potassium and calcium salts of glycyrrhizinic acid. Include other
triterpenoid saponins like glabranin A&B, glycyrrhetol, glabrolide, isoglabrolide, isoflavones, coumarins, triterpene sterols.

MEDICINAL USES:
The medicinally active sweet juice contained in its root, abounds with a constituent, much used in demulcent compositions. The inspissated juice is used as a confection and for medicinal purposes. Acrid resins, however, render the root irritant and poisonous. The word licorice derives from Greek glykeia rhiza “sweet root” – glykys the modern Greek name means sweet and rhiza means root. This herb known in Malayalam as At(t)i madhuram, Iratti madhuram, can be purchased from angadikkada, the shop in the street Ati madhuram/ Iratti madhuram which means excessively sweet (or extremely charming/ beautiful) is a sugar ally.

Eratti/ iratti means doubling. But Eratti/ iratti madhuram, doesn’t  mean doubling of the sweetness. Iratti is transformed into eratti. The characteristic sweet taste of liquorice is also reflected in the Indian names. In Sanskrit, madhu means sweet, pleasant. This element is found in names for licorice not only in Sanskrit (madhuka and yashtimadhu from yashti “stem, stalk”, but also in modern names of both South and North India, e.g., jestamadha (Marathi), yashthimodhu (Bengali), yashti madhukam, madhu yashti(ka), madhukam, yashti madhuram, yashti, yashtee madhu, madhusrava, yashteekam, kleethakam (Sanskrit), jathi-madh, jethi-madh, mulathi (Hindi), ati-madhura, yashti-madhuka (Kannada), ati-maduram (Tamil), ati-madhuramu, yashti-madhukam (Telugu).

The drug posses potent demulcent, expectorant and anti-inflamattory properties, attributed to the presence of glycyrrhizin, which is about 50 times sweeter than sucrose. Besides these, glyrrhizin is also credited with anti-hepatotoxic, anti-viral and anti-bacterial activites. The drug is also beneficial to peptic ulcer.

In India, the crude as well as its dried aqueous extract is mainly used in bronchial
troubles along with Viola pilosa, Adiantum lunulatum and Justicia adhatoda in the form of
decoction or in lozenges, but in Allopathy, its additional use along with anise oil is as
mild laxative and for masking the bad taste of some herbal preparations of senna aloe,
hyoscyamus, etc.

In Ayurveda, Glycyrrhiza glabra is used in “Yastyadi Churna”, “Yastyadi Kwath” and “Yastimadhavadi Taila”. In Unani system, it is an ingredient of “Banadiq-ul-bazur” used as a diuretic in urinary troubles, of lozenges “Hab Awaz Kusha” and “Hab Maqhas Badam” of “Dawa-i-sandal” a cooling agent for such diseases as syphilis, of “Sufuflodh” for threatened abortion, of “Sharbat Aijaz” a cough syrup and of “Laooq Bihdana” and “Laooq Badama” used as cough linctus.

It is madhura, slightly tikta, sheetala, used in opthalmia, deranged pitta, anorexia, emaciation, allays thirst and cures ulcer.

Therapeutic Uses:
Root (powder) : prescribed in coughs, hoarseness and in respiratory troubles; mixed with citrus juice efficacious in catarrhal affections and with honey in jaundice; in combination with ginger and milk, acts as a good tonic during convalescence; infusion,

Decoction or extract is laxative and an useful medicine in urinary diseases, bronchial and gastric troubles. alterative, galactagogue; good for the eyes, in incipient loss of sight, in diseases of the eyelid; removes biliousness, ear diseases due to biliousness; improves taste; lessens thirst, hiccough, vomiting, fatigue; heals ulcers, wounds; improves the voice; cures” vata “, inflammation, consumption, purifies the blood; useful in leprosy, anremia; hemicrania, haemoptysis, abdominal pains, epilepsy
The root is hot, dry, sweet; diuretic, emmenagogue, demulcent; relieves thirst, cough, vomiting, asthma, bronchitis, abdominal colic, headache; good in eye troubles; cures unhealthy humours, ulcers.-

The branches are bitter.-
The leaves are used for scalds of the head, and in foul perspiration of the armpits
The root is demulcent, pectoral, and emollient.used for coughs, consumption, and chest complaints..
The root is. said to be good for sore throats

CONTENTS:
Licorice root contains triterpenoid saponins (4-24%), mostly glycrrhizin, a mixture of potassium and calcium salts of glycyrrhizic acid; falvonoids (1%), mainly liquiritin and liquiritigenin, chalcones isoliquiritin, isoliquiritigenin, and isoflavonoids (formononetin) ; amines (1-2%) asparagine, betaine, and choline; amino acids; 3-15% glucose and sucrose; starch (2-30%); polysaccharides (arabinogalactans); sterols (beta-sitosterol); coumarins (glycerin); resin; and volatile oils (0.047%). Also Vitamins E, B-complex, phosphorous, biotin, niacin, pantothenic acid, lecithin, manganese, iodine, chromium, and zinc have been found.

BIOCHEMICAL ACTIONS:
Liquorice is used both in the Western and Oriental medicines. In western medicine, liquorice has been used since the ancient Grecian age as an expectorant and antitussive agent and as ad additive for sweetening. In old Chinese Materia Medica “Shin Nung Pen T Sao Chung”, liquorice was described as a drug for strengthening muscle and bone, and curing wounds.

Since liquorice extracts were effective clinically for treatment of gastric ulcer, but
caused oedema and hypertension in nearly 20% patients treated. The physiological and
pharmacolgical studies on glycyrrhizin, the main saponin of liquorice have advanced
remarkably. The side effect of liquorice extracts was regarded as a mineral corticoid like
action of glycyrrhizin. It has been reported that glycyrrhizin caused retention of Na+and Cl and excretion of K+.

Glycyrrhizetic acid has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory activity, in 1/8th potency of hydrocortisone by the cotton-pellet method. The activity is potentiated to 1/5th of hydrocortisone when carbenoxolone (Sodium salt of hemisuccinate of glycyrrhetic acid) is used. Glycyrrhizin ointment is employed clinically for aphtha and other inflammatory skin diseases.

In these cases, glycyrrhizin or its sapogenin glycyrrhetic acid potentiates the
action of glucocorticoid. Glycyrrhizin has been shown to inhibit ulcers in rats and cures
experimental gastric ulcers caused by acetic acid administration. To avoid side effects in
glycyrrhizin in liquorice preparation, such as oedema and hypertension, a glycyrrhizin free
fraction was studied. Later it has been whon that the fraction named FM 100 was found
effective for gastric ulcers and it contains several iso-flavones and chalcones. De-glycyrrhized liquorice extract is now an important substance for treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers.

Click to see    :Liquorice

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.maya-ethnobotanicals.com/product_info.phtml/herbid_055/category_/type_latinname
http://www.banlab.com/herb.htm

http://www.ayurvedakalamandiram.com/herbs.htm#yastimadhu

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Anise

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Botanical Name:Pimpinella anisum.
Family:
Apiaceae
Genus:
Pimpinella
Species:
P. anisum
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order:
Apiales

Habitat:
Anise is native to  Eastern Mediterranean or Western Asia.

Synonyms: Anisum vulgare (Gaertn.), A. officinarum (Moench.), Anise, Anisum, Anisi fructus, common aniseed

Parts used: Fruits (sometimes incorrectly called “seeds”).
Cultivated : Southern Europe, North Africa, Near East, China, Pakistan, Mexico, Chile, USA
Taste/smell:Sweet and very aromatic. A similar fragrance to that of cicely.( licorice-like, sweet)

Etymology: The spice gained its Latin name anisum as a result of confusion with dill, known in Greek as an?son. Names of anise in virtually all European languages are derived from anisum.
The Sanskrit name shatapushpa means “one hundred flowers” and refers to the flower cluster. The Hindi name saunf properly denotes fennel, of which anise is incorrectly thought to be a foreign variety. To distinguish anise clearly from fennel, the specialised terms patli saunf “thin fennel” or vilayati saunf “foreign fennel” are often used. Some languages refer to the sweetness of anise, e.g. Greek glykaniso “sweet anise”, or name anise as a sweet variant of other spices, e.g. Indonesian jinten manis and Arabic kamun halu “sweet cumin” (a name sometimes also used in English). Arabic has another, similar name habbu al-hulwa “sweet grains”. The Portuguese term erva doce “sweet herb” may denote anise, fennel or sweetleaf (stevia rebaudiana).
The genus name pimpinella is Late Latin for “narrow-ribbed fruit”.
Major Uses: pastries, candies, liquors

Description:

Anise, Pimpinella anisum, is an herbaceous annual plant in the family Umbelliferae grown primarily for its fruits which are used as a spice. The plant has a grooved stem and alternately arranged leaves. The lower leaves are round with a toothed edge and petioles which can be between 4 and 10 cm (1.6–3.9 in) in length. The upper leaves are feathered and become progressively shorter towards the top of the plant. The aniseed plant produces umbels of white flowers and an oval, flattened, hairy fruit with a single seed. Anise can reach a height of 45–60 cm (17.7–23.6 in) and is an annual plant, surviving only one growing season. Anise may also be referred to as aniseed and originates from the Mediterranean.

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Several spices have been called anise. The native of Egypt, Pimpinella anisum, is anise seed or aniseed, while China is the source of Illicum verum, star anise. In the past, dill, caraway and fennel seeds were confused with anise seed.
Useful Parts: The seeds have been used widely in cooking, and are popular in spicy cakes. The oil of anise  is often used in artificial licorice, and gives its distinctive taste to liqueurs such as anisette and raki. Anise is used in many processed foods and in cough medicines, and is often included in pet foods for the flavor it imparts.
Edible  Uses:In Western cuisine, anise is mostly restricted to bread and cakes although fruit products are occasionally aromatised with anise. In small dosage, anise seeds are sometimes contained in spice mixtures for sausages and stews. Their main applications are, however, anise-flavoured liqueurs, of which there are many in different Mediterranean countries including rak? in Turkey, ouzo in Greece and pernod in France. In many cases, oil of anise is partially or wholly substituted by oil of star anise in these products.

In the East, anise is less known and both fennel and star anise are more easily available and more popular. Anise may substitute for fennel in North Indian recipes, but it is a less suitable substitute for star anise in Chinese foods.
Anise appears occasionally in Mexican recipes, but native anise-flavoured herbs (Mexican tarragon and Mexican pepper-leaf) are more commonly used. Anise is an acceptable substitute for both, although tarragon is even better.
Several plants generate an aroma comparable to that of anise. Within the apiaceae (parsley) family, fennel and cicely copy the aroma of anise perfectly and chervil and dill also resemble anise, although their fragrance is less pure. In Far Eastern cuisines (India, Iran and Indonesia), no distinction is made between anise and fennel and the same name is usually given to both of them. In the Philippines star anise is very popular and is referred to as “anise” for short.

Constituents:
As with all spices, the composition of anise varies considerably with origin and cultivation method. These are typical values for the main constituents.

*Moisture: 9-13%
*Protein: 18%
*Fatty oil: 8-23%
*Essential oil: 2-7%
*Starch: 5%
*N-free extract: 22-28%
*Crude fibre: 12-25%
*Essential oil yielded by distillation is generally around 2-3% and anethole makes up 80-90% of this.

Medicinal Properties: Over the centuries, anise has been reported to have numerous medical benefits, but there is no evidence that it offers any pharmacologic benefit. It is thus a flavorful digestive spice that may be soothing, stimulating or carminative (relieving gas) in different individuals, and it is a popular taste in drinks, confections and simple proprietary medicines.

Anise is a carminative and an expectorant. It is also a good source of iron. One tablespoon of anise seeds sprinkled on cookies, bread or cake provides 16% of the RDA for a woman and 24% of the RDA for a man. A 1990 study tested the effect of certain beverage extracts on the absorption of iron. The results showed that anise was the most effective of the extracts tested in promoting iron absorption. The authors recommended offering this as a preventive agent to iron deficiency anemia. To make a carminative tea that may relieve intestinal gas, crush 1 teaspoon of anise seeds per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10-20 minutes and strain. Drink up to 3 cups a day. In a tincture, take  1 teaspoon up to three times a day. Diluted anise infusions may be given cautiously to infants to treat colic. For older children and people over 65, begin with low-strength preparations and increase strength if necessary. Some people simply chew the anise seeds. Early English herbalist Gerard suggested anise for hiccups. It has also been prescribed as a milk promoter for nursing mothers and as a treatment for water retention, headache, asthma, bronchitis, insomnia, nausea, lice, infant colic, cholera and even cancer. America’s 19th century Eclectic physicians recommended anise primarily as a stomach soother for nausea, gas, and infant colic.

Modern uses: Science has supported anise’s traditional use as a treatment for coughs, bronchitis, and asthma. According to several studies the herb contains chemicals (creosol and alpha-pinene) that loosen bronchial secretions and make them easier to cough up. Another chemical (anethole) acts as a digestive aid. Anise also contains chemicals (dianethole and photoanethole) similar to the female sex hormone estrogen. Scientists suggest their presence probably accounts for the herb’s traditional use as a milk promoter and may help relieve menopausal discomfort. One report shows that anise spurs the regeneration of liver cells in laboratory rats, suggesting a possible value in treating hepatitis and cirrhosis. While there are no studies that support using anise to treat liver disease in humans, anise looks promising in this area.

Other Miscellaneous Uses:
*In the 1860s, American Civil War nurse Maureen Hellstrom used anise seeds as an early form of antiseptic. This method was later found to have caused high levels of toxicity in the blood and was discontinued shortly thereafter.

*According to Pliny the Elder, anise was used as a cure for sleeplessness, chewed with alexanders and a little honey in the morning to freshen the breath, and, when mixed with wine, as a remedy for asp bites (N.H. 20.72).

*The Biblical “anise” mentioned in some translations of Matthew 23 is dill (A. graveolens), rather than this plant.

*In 19th-century medicine, anise was prepared as aqua anisi (“Water of Anise”) in doses of an ounce or more and as spiritus anisi (“Spirit of Anise”) in doses of 5–20 minims.

*In Pakistani and Indian cuisines, no distinction is made between anise and fennel. Therefore, the same name (saunf) is usually given to both of them. Some use the term patli (thin) saunf or velayati (foreign) saunf to distinguish anise from fennel, although Gujarati has the term anisi or Sava.

*In the Middle East, water is boiled with about a tablespoon of aniseed per teacup to make a special hot tea called yansoon. This is given to mothers in Egypt when they are nursing.

*Builders of steam locomotives in Britain incorporated capsules of aniseed oil into white metal plain bearings, so the distinctive smell would give warning in case of overheating.

*Anise can be made into a liquid scent and is used for both drag hunting and fishing. It is put on fishing lures to attract fish.

*Anise is frequently used to add flavor to mu’assel, particularly the double apple flavor.

*Anise is one of the three odors used in K9 Nosework.

Historical View :
Oil of anise possesses the same aromatic, carminative, and stimulant properties as anise fruits, and as already noticed is commonly preferred to them as a medicine, and is alone official in the British Pharmacopoeia.

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:
unitproj.library.ucla.edu
http://www.aidanbrooksspices.blogspot.com/2007/10/anise.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anise