Categories
Herbs & Plants

Brassica juncea (Brown Mustard)

[amazon_link asins=’B00PKNA7KU,B005GYEFPG,B0032GE6YU,B00UZ6COBC,B01GN6UFK4,B01N0UX87I,B00521G82Q,B01H7JXS6Y,B004ZRMQ1K’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’bb626426-86f0-11e7-a11d-b3126a873aeb’]

Botanical Name: Brassica juncea
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus:     Brassica
Species: B. juncea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Brassicales

Common Names: Brown Mustard,  Mustard greens, Indian mustard, Chinese mustard, or Leaf mustard, Green mustard cabbage

Habitat : Primary center of origin thought to be central Asia (northwest India), with secondary centers in central and western China, eastern India, Burma, and through Iran to Near East. Has been cultivated for centuries in many parts of Eurasia. The principle growing countries are Bangladesh, Central Africa, China, India, Japan, Nepal, and Pakistan, as well as southern Russia north of the Caspian Sea. Considered a principle weed in Canada, a common weed in Argentina and Australia, and a weed in Fiji, Mexico, and the United States, Indian Mustard is widely distributed as a cultivar and escape in subtropical and temperate climates.

Description:
Brassica juncea is a Perennial herb, usually grown as an annual or biennial, up to 1 m or more tall; branches long, erect or patent; lower leaves petioled, green, sometimes with a whitish bloom, ovate to obovate, variously lobed with toothed, scalloped or frilled edges, lyrate-pinnatisect, with 1–2 lobes or leaflets on each side and a larger sparsely setose, terminal lobe; upper leaves subentire, short petioled, 30–60 mm long, 2–3.5 mm wide, constricted at intervals, sessile, attenuate into a tapering, seedless, short beak 5–10 mm long. Rooting depth 90–120 cm. Seeds about 5,660–6,000 per 0.01 kg (1/3 oz).
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Edible Uses:
The leaves, the seeds (Raai in Gujarati), and the stem of this mustard variety are edible. The plant appears in some form in African, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and soul food cuisine. Cultivars of B. juncea are grown as greens, and for the production of oilseed. In Russia, this is the main variety grown for production of mustard oil, which after refining is considered[according to whom?] one of the best vegetable oils. It is widely used in canning, baking and margarine production in Russia, and the majority of table mustard there is also made from this species of mustard plant.

The leaves are used in African cooking, and leaves, seeds, and stems are used in Indian cuisine, particularly in mountain regions of Nepal, as well as in the Punjab cuisine of India and Pakistan, where a famous dish called sarson da saag (mustard greens) is prepared. B. juncea subsp. tatsai, which has a particularly thick stem, is used to make the Indian pickle called achar, and the Chinese pickle zha cai. The mustard made from the seeds of the B. juncea is called brown mustard. The leaves & seeds (Raai in Gujarati)are used in many Indian dishes.

The Gorkhas of Darjeeling and Sikkim prepare pork with mustard greens (also called rayo in Nepali). It is usually eaten with relish with steamed rice, but could also be eaten with chapati (griddle breads).

Brassica juncea is more pungent than the closely related Brassica oleracea greens (kale, cabbage, collard greens, et cetera), and is frequently mixed with these milder greens in a dish of “mixed greens”, which may include wild greens such as dandelion. As with other greens in soul food cooking, mustard greens are generally flavored by being cooked for a long period with ham hocks or other smoked pork products. Mustard greens are high in vitamin A and vitamin K.

Chinese and Japanese cuisines also make use of mustard greens. In Japanese cuisine it is known as Takana and is often pickled and used as filling in onigiri or as a condiment. A large variety of B. juncea cultivars are used, including zha cai, mizuna, takana (var. integlofolia), juk gai choy, and xuelihong. Asian mustard greens are most often stir-fried or pickled. A Southeast Asian dish called asam gai choy or kiam chai boey is often made with leftovers from a large meal. It involves stewing mustard greens with tamarind, dried chillies and leftover meat on the bone.

Medicinal Uses:
Reported to be anodyne, apertif, diuretic, emetic, rubefacient, and stimulant, Indian Mustard is a folk remedy for arthritis, footache, lumbago, and rheumatism. Seed used for tumors in China. Root used as a galactagogue in Africa. Sun-dried leaf and flower are smoked in Tanganyika to “get in touch with the spirits.” Ingestion may impart a body odor repellent to mosquitoes (Burkill, 1966). Believed to be aperient and tonic, the volatile oil is used as a counterirritant and stimulant. In Java the plant is used as an antisyphilitic emmenagogue. Leaves applied to the forehead are said to relieve headache (Burkill, 1966). In Korea, the seeds are used for abscesses, colds, lumbago, rheumatism, and stomach disorders. Chinese eat the leaves in soups for bladder, inflammation or hemorrhage. Mustard oil is used for skin eruptions and ulcers.

Other Uses:
Phytoremediation:
This plant is used in phytoremediation to remove heavy metals, such as lead, from the soil in hazardous waste sites because it has a higher tolerance for these substances and stores the heavy metals in its cells. The plant is then harvested and disposed of properly. This method is easier and less expensive than traditional methods for the removal of heavy metals. It also prevents erosion of soil from these sites preventing further contamination

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

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brassica_juncea
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Brassica_juncea.html

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Mustard seeds

[amazon_link asins=’B003X43EE4,B006T0OIOO,B000JMAXMY,B01BDXXKYU,B01F5IB7AS,B00J5SCO48,B00UJ2H6WE,B003CI8GYY,B006QZ99N2′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’1fc5fc44-4e6d-11e7-a863-153a59f19aac’]

 Botanical Name:Brassica alba
Family: Brassicaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales
Synonym:  Sinapis alba
Common Name :Mustard, Sarson

Habitat :Mild white mustard (Sinapis hirta) grows wild in North Africa, the Middle East and Mediterranean Europe and has spread farther by long cultivation; brown or Indian mustard (Brassica juncea), originally from the foothills of the Himalaya, is grown commercially in the UK, Canada, Denmark and the US; black mustard (Brassica nigra) in Argentina, Chile, the US and some European countries. Canada grows 90% of all the mustard seed for the international market. The Canadian province of Saskatchewan produces almost half of the world’s supply of mustard seed.


Description:

Both white and brown mustard are grown as spring-sown annual crops whose dry seeds are harvested in early autumn. From very small seedlings, the plants grow rapidly and enter a phase of dense flowering; the blooms have an intense yellow colour. The plants reach their full height of 1.5 to 2 m (5 to 61/2 feet) as their flowers fade and after numerous green seedpods appear on their branches. The pods of brown mustard contain up to 20 seeds each, those of white mustard contain up to 8 seeds. Mustard plants are easy and inexpensive to grow; they flourish on many different types of soil, suffer from unusually few insect pests or plant diseases, and tolerate extremes of weather without serious harm.

Click to see the pictures….(01)......(1)..…..(2).…....(3)..…..(4).….(.5)...

Edible Uses:Mustards are several plant species in the genera Brassica and Sinapis whose small mustard seeds are used as a spice and, by grinding and mixing them with water, vinegar or other liquids, are turned into the condiment known as mustard. The seeds are also pressed to make mustard oil, and the edible leaves can be eaten as mustard greens.

Mustard,  any of several herbs belonging to the mustard family of plants, Brassicaceae (Cruciferae), or the condiment made from these plants’ pungent seeds. The leaves and swollen leaf stems of mustard plants are also used, as greens, or potherbs. The principal types are white, or yellow, mustard (Sinapis alba), a plant of Mediterranean origin; and brown, or Indian, mustard (Brassica juncea), which is of Himalayan origin. The latter species has almost entirely replaced the formerly used black mustard (Brassica nigra), which was unsuitable for mechanized cropping and which now occurs mainly as an introduced weed.

The use of mustard seeds as a spice has been known from the earliest recorded times and is described in Indian and Sumerian texts dating back to 3000 bc. Mustard plants are mentioned frequently in Greek and Roman writings and in the Bible. In the New Testament, the tiny mustard seed is a symbol of faith. Mustard seed was used medicinally by Hippocrates, among other ancient physicians. During the 20th century, the use of mustard as a spice or condiment has grown to the extent that it is by far the largest spice by volume in world trade. Mustard is unusual among spices in that it is mainly grown in the temperate regions of the world, principally on the Canadian and American Great Plains, in Hungary and in Britain, and in lesser amounts in other countries. In the main producing countries, the crop production of mustard is fully mechanized.

CLICK  & SEE

Mustard seeds, both white and brown, are nearly globular in shape, finely pitted, odourless when whole, and pungent-tasting. White mustard seeds are light yellow in colour and about 2.5 mm (1/10 inch) in diameter; brown mustard seeds are about the same size but are a darker yellow in colour. The seeds of both types contain similar constituents: about 30 to 40 percent vegetable oil, a slightly smaller proportion of protein, and a strong enzyme called myrosin. When dry or when ground into a flour, the seeds are odourless, but when the seed is chewed or when the flour is mixed with water, a chemical reaction between two of the constituents within mustard, an enzyme and a glucoside, produces an oil that is not present as such in the plant. In brown mustard this action yields the volatile oil of mustard, which has a pungent, irritating odour and an acrid taste. In white mustard the result is sinalbin mustard oil, a nonvolatile oil that has very little odour but produces a sensation of heat on the tongue.

As a condiment, mustard is sold in three forms: as seeds, as dry powder that is freshly mixed with water for each serving to obtain the most aroma and flavour, and prepared as a paste with other spices or herbs, vinegar or wine, and starch or flour to tone down the sharpness. The differing flavours of white and brown mustard are used in different condiments; the pungent brown is used in French-type paste mustards, and the white is used in milder American- or German-type pastes, while both types are used in English mustard products. Mustard is widely used as a condiment with various foods, particularly cold meats, sausages, and salad dressings. It is also used as an ingredient in mayonnaises, sauces, and pickles. Mustard plasters were formerly used in medicine for their counterirritant properties in treating chest colds and other ailments.

Click to see : Mustard (condiment),       Mustasa

Medicinal Uses:
Mustard Seed has long been relied upon to improve the digestive system and to promote a healthy appetite. As an irritant, Mustard stimulates the gastric mucous membrane and increases the flow of gastric juices (also having some effect on pancreatic secretions), all of which help to advance good digestion. Herbalists have also used Mustard Seed to relieve obstinate hiccups.

The mucilage content in Mustard Seed may help to calm an upset stomach due to acid indigestion and also produces a laxative action.

Mustard Seed is a stimulant that warms and invigorates the circulatory system.  It helps to dilate blood vessels, encourages blood flow and is also said to aid in the metabolism of fat in the body.

Mustard See is also considered a diaphoretic, an agent that helps to increase perspiration, which can lower fever and cleanse toxins from the body through the skin. This factor is also useful for colds and flu.

One of the oldest uses of Mustard Seed has been as an emetic, a medicine that provokes vomiting. This is especially valuable when used in narcotic poisoning when it is desirable to empty the stomach without the accompanying depletion and depression of the system.

Used externally, Mustard Seeds are famous for their rubefacient properties by dilating the blood vessels and increasing the blood flow toward the surface of the skin, warming and reddening the affected area and encouraging the removal of toxins.  Poultices and Mustard plasters are a tried-and-true remedy to relieve the pain of arthritic joints, rheumatism, sciatica, neuralgia, neck pain, backache, “charley horse” and muscle pain.

Mustard Seed’s topical use also extends to the relief of respiratory infections when used in baths, poultices and mustard plasters.  Mustard Seed helps treat bronchitis, chest congestion, pneumonia, croup and pleurisy.

Other Uses:
Although some varieties of mustard plants were well-established crops in Hellenistic and Roman times, Zohary and Hopf note that: “There are almost no archeological records available for any of these crops.” Wild forms of mustard and its relatives the radish and turnip can be found over west Asia and Europe, suggesting that their domestication took place somewhere in that area. However, Zohary and Hopf conclude: “Suggestions as to the origins of these plants are necessarily based on linguistic considerations.”

There has been recent research into varieties of mustards that have a high oil content for use in the production of biodiesel, a renewable liquid fuel similar to diesel fuel. The biodiesel made from mustard oil has good cold flow properties and cetane ratings. The leftover meal after pressing out the oil has also been found to be an effective pesticide.

An interesting genetic relationship between many species of mustard has been observed, and is described as the Triangle of U.

Brown mustard, which is related to rapeseed, is grown as a source of vegetable oil and is an important crop for this purpose in northern India, Pakistan, China, southern Russia, and Kazakhstan. The oil is used for food or for industrial purposes, with the residual cake used for animal feed.

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/Mustard_plant
http://www.herbalextractsplus.com/mustard-seed.cfm
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black-mustard-seeds.jpg

Categories
Fruits & Vegetables Herbs & Plants

Tamarind

Botanical Name : Tamarindus indica
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Tribe: Detarieae
Genus: Tamarindus
Species: T. indica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms: Imlee. Tamarindus officinalis (Hook).
Common Names: Tamarind, Imli, Tantul in Bengali

Part Used: The fruits freed from brittle outer part of pericarp.

Habitat:Tamarind is native to India; tropical Africa; cultivated in West Indies.

Description:  Of all the fruit trees of the tropics, none is more widely distributed nor more appreciated as an ornamental than the tamarind, Tamarindus indica L. (syns. T. occidentalis Gaertn.; T. officinalis Hook.), of the family Leguminosae. Most of its colloquial names are variations on the common English term. In Spanish and Portuguese, it is tamarindo; in French, tamarin, tamarinier, tamarinier des Indes, or tamarindier; in Dutch and German, tamarinde; in Italian, tamarandizio; in Papiamiento of the Lesser Antilles, tamarijn. In the Virgin Islands, it is sometimes called taman; in the Philippines, sampalok or various other dialectal names; in Malaya, asam jawa; in India, it is tamarind or ambli, imli, chinch, etc.; in Cambodia, it is ampil or khoua me; in Laos, mak kham; in Thailand, ma-kharm; in Vietnam, me. The name “tamarind” with a qualifying adjective is often applied to other members of the family Leguminosae having somewhat similar foliage.

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

The tamarind, a slow-growing, long-lived, massive tree reaches, under favorable conditions, a height of 80 or even 100 ft (24-30 m), and may attain a spread of 40 ft (12 m) and a trunk circumference of 25 ft (7.5 m). It is highly wind-resistant, with strong, supple branches, gracefully drooping at the ends, and has dark-gray, rough, fissured bark. The mass of bright-green, fine, feathery foliage is composed of pinnate leaves, 3 to 6 in (7.5-15 cm) in length, each having 10 to 20 pairs of oblong leaflets 1/2 to 1 in (1.25-2.5 cm) long and 1/5 to 1/4 in (5-6 mm) wide, which fold at night. The leaves are normally evergreen but may be shed briefly in very dry areas during the hot season. Inconspicuous, inch-wide flowers, borne in small racemes, are 5-petalled (2 reduced to bristles), yellow with orange or red streaks. The flowerbuds are distinctly pink due to the outer color of the 4 sepals which are shed when the flower opens.

The fruits, flattish, beanlike, irregularly curved and bulged pods, are borne in great abundance along the new branches and usually vary from 2 to 7 in long and from 3/4 to 1 1/4 in (2-3.2 cm) in diameter. Exceptionally large tamarinds have been found on individual trees. The pods may be cinnamon-brown or grayish-brown externally and, at first, are tender-skinned with green, highly acid flesh and soft, whitish, under-developed seeds. As they mature, the pods fill out somewhat and the juicy, acidulous pulp turns brown or reddish-brown. Thereafter, the skin becomes a brittle, easily-cracked shell and the pulp dehydrates naturally to a sticky paste enclosed by a few coarse strands of fiber extending lengthwise from the stalk. The 1 to 12 fully formed seeds are hard, glossy-brown, squarish in form, 1/8 to 1/2 in (1.1-1.25 cm) in diameter, and each is enclosed in a parchmentlike membrane.

A mature tree may annually produce 330 to 500 lbs (150-225 kg) of fruits, of which the pulp may constitute 30 to 55%, the shells and fiber, 11 to 30 %, and the seeds, 33 to 40%

Food use :

The food uses of the tamarind are many. The tender, immature, very sour pods are cooked as seasoning with rice, fish and meats in India. The fully-grown, but still unripe fruits, called “swells” in the Bahamas, are roasted in coals until they burst and the skin is then peeled back and the sizzling pulp dipped in wood ashes and eaten. The fully ripe, fresh fruit is relished out-of-hand by children and adults, alike. The dehydrated fruits are easily recognized when picking by their comparatively light weight, hollow sound when tapped and the cracking of the shell under gentle pressure. The shell lifts readily from the pulp and the lengthwise fibers are removed by holding the stem with one hand and slipping the pulp downward with the other. The pulp is made into a variety of products. It is an important ingredient in chutneys, curries and sauces, including some brands of Worcestershire and barbecue sauce, and in a special Indian seafood pickle called “tamarind fish”. Sugared tamarind pulp is often prepared as a confection. For this purpose, it is desirable to separate the pulp from the seeds without using water. If ripe, fresh, undehydrated tamarinds are available, this may be done by pressing the shelled and defibered fruits through a colander while adding powdered sugar to the point where the pulp no longer sticks to the fingers. The seeded pulp is then shaped into balls and coated with powdered sugar. If the tamarinds are dehydrated, it is less laborious to layer the shelled fruits with granulated sugar in a stone crock and bake in a moderately warm oven for about 4 hours until the sugar is melted, then the mass is rubbed through a sieve, mixed with sugar to a stiff paste, and formed into patties. This sweetmeat is commonly found on the market in Jamaica, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. In Panama, the pulp may be sold in corn husks, palmleaf fiber baskets, or in plastic bags.

Tamarind ade has long been a popular drink in the Tropics and it is now bottled in carbonated form in Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico and elsewhere. Formulas for the commercial production of spiced tamarind beverages have been developed by technologists in India. The simplest home method of preparing the ade is to shell the fruits, place 3 or 4 in a bottle of water, let stand for a short time, add a tablespoonful of sugar and shake vigorously. For a richer beverage, a quantity of shelled tamarinds may be covered with a hot sugar sirup and allowed to stand several days (with or without the addition of seasonings such as cloves, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, pepper or lime slices) and finally diluted as desired with ice water and strained.

In Brazil, a quantity of shelled fruits may be covered with cold water and allowed to stand 10 to 12 hours, the seeds are strained out, and a cup of sugar is added for every 2 cups of pulp; the mixture is boiled for 15 to 20 minutes and then put up in glass jars topped with paraffin. In another method, shelled tamarinds with an equal quantity of sugar may be covered with water and boiled for a few minutes until stirring shows that the pulp has loosened from the seeds, then pressed through a sieve. The strained pulp, much like apple butter in appearance, can be stored under refrigeration for use in cold drinks or as a sauce for meats and poultry, plain cakes or puddings. A foamy “tamarind shake” is made by stirring this sauce into an equal amount of dark-brown sugar and then adding a tablespoonful of the mixture to 8 ounces of a plain carbonated beverage and whipping it in an electric blender.

If twice as much water as tamarinds is used in cooking, the strained product will be a sirup rather than a sauce. Sometimes a little soda is added. Tamarind sirup is bottled for domestic use and export in Puerto Rico. In Mayaguez, street vendors sell cones of shaved ice saturated with tamarind sirup. Tamarind pulp can be made into a tart jelly, and tamarind jam is canned commercially in Costa Rica. Tamarind sherbet and ice cream are popular and refreshing. In making fruit preserves, tamarind is sometimes combined with guava, papaya or banana. Sometimes the fruit is made into wine.

Inasmuch as shelling by hand is laborious and requires 8 man-hours to produce 100 lbs (45 kg) of shelled fruits, food technologists at the University of Puerto Rico have developed a method of pulp extraction for industrial use. They found that shelling by mechanical means alone is impossible because of the high pectin and low moisture content of the pulp. Therefore, inspected and washed pods are passed through a shell-breaking grater, then fed into stainless steel tanks equipped with agitators. Water is added at the ratio of 1:1 1/2 or 1:2 pulp/water, and the fruits are agitated for 5 to 7 minutes. The resulting mash is then passed through a screen while nylon brushes separate the shells and seeds. Next the pulp is paddled through a finer screen, pasteurized, and canned.

Young leaves and very young seedlings and flowers are cooked and eaten as greens and in curries in India. In Zimbabwe, the leaves are added to soup and the flowers are an ingredient in salads.

Tamarind seeds have been used in a limited way as emergency food. They are roasted, soaked to remove the seedcoat, then boiled or fried, or ground to a flour or starch. Roasted seeds are ground and used as a substitute for, or adulterant of, coffee. In Thailand they are sold for this purpose. In the past, the great bulk of seeds available as a by-product of processing tamarinds, has gone to waste. In 1942, two Indian scientists, T. P. Ghose and S. Krishna, announced that the decorticated kernels contained 46 to 48% of a gel-forming substance. Dr. G. R. Savur of the Pectin Manufacturing Company, Bombay, patented a process for the production of a purified product, called “Jellose”, “polyose”, or “pectin”, which has been found superior to fruit pectin in the manufacture of jellies, jams, and marmalades. It can be used in fruit preserving with or without acids and gelatinizes with sugar concentrates even in cold water or milk. It is recommended as a stabilizer in ice cream, mayonnaise and cheese and as an ingredient or agent in a number of pharmaceutical products.

Food Value

Analyses of the pulp are many and varied. Roughly, they show the pulp to be rich in calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine and riboflavin and a good source of niacin. Ascorbic acid content is low except in the peel of young green fruits.

Other Uses

Fruit pulp: in West Africa, an infusion of the whole pods is added to the dye when coloring goat hides. The fruit pulp may be used as a fixative with turmeric or annatto in dyeing and has served to coagulate rubber latex. The pulp, mixed with sea water, cleans silver, copper and brass.

Leaves: The leaves are eaten by cattle and goats, and furnish fodder for silkworms–Anaphe sp. in India, Hypsoides vuilletii in West Africa. The fine silk is considered superior for embroidery.

Tamarind leaves and flowers are useful as mordants in dyeing. A yellow dye derived from the leaves colors wool red and turns indigo-dyed silk to green. Tamarind leaves in boiling water are employed to bleach the leaves of the buri palm (Corypha elata Roxb.) to prepare them for hat-making. The foliage is a common mulch for tobacco plantings.

Flowers: The flowers are rated as a good source of nectar for honeybees in South India. The honey is golden-yellow and slightly acid in flavor.

Seeds: The powder made from tamarind kernels has been adopted by the Indian textile industry as 300% more efficient and more economical than cornstarch for sizing and finishing cotton, jute and spun viscose, as well as having other technical advantages. It is commonly used for dressing homemade blankets. Other industrial uses include employment in color printing of textiles, paper sizing, leather treating, the manufacture of a structural plastic, a glue for wood, a stabilizer in bricks, a binder in sawdust briquettes, and a thickener in some explosives. It is exported to Japan, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Tamarind seeds yield an amber oil useful as an illuminant and as a varnish especially preferred for painting dolls and idols. The oil is said to be palatable and of culinary quality. The tannin-rich seedcoat (testa) is under investigation as having some utility as an adhesive for plywoods and in dyeing and tanning, though it is of inferior quality and gives a red hue to leather.

Wood: The sapwood of the tamarind tree is pale-yellow. The heartwood is rather small, dark purplish-brown, very hard, heavy, strong, durable and insect-resistant. It bends well and takes a good polish and, while hard to work, it is highly prized for furniture, panelling, wheels, axles, gears for mills, ploughs, planking for sides of boats, wells, mallets, knife and tool handles, rice pounders, mortars and pestles. It has at times been sold as “Madeira mahogany”. Wide boards are rare, despite the trunk dimensions of old trees, since they tend to become hollow-centered. The wood is valued for fuel, especially for brick kilns, for it gives off an intense heat, and it also yields a charcoal for the manufacture of gun-powder. In Malaysia, even though the trees are seldom felled, they are frequently topped to obtain firewood. The wood ashes are employed in tanning and in de-hairing goatskins. Young stems and also slender roots of the tamarind tree are fashioned into walking-sticks.

Twigs and barks: Tamarind twigs are sometimes used as “chewsticks” and the bark of the tree as a masticatory, alone or in place of lime with betelnut. The bark contains up to 7% tannin and is often employed in tanning hides and in dyeing, and is burned to make an ink. Bark from young trees yields a low-quality fiber used for twine and string. Galls on the young branches are used in tanning.

Lac: The tamarind tree is a host for the lac insect, Kerria lacca, that deposits a resin on the twigs. The lac may be harvested and sold as stick-lac for the production of lacquers and varnish. If it is not seen as a useful byproduct, tamarind growers trim off the resinous twigs and discard them.

Medicinal Uses:

Medicinal uses of the tamarind are uncountable. The pulp has been official in the British and American and most other pharmacopoeias and some 200,000 lbs (90,000 kg) of the shelled fruits have been annually imported into the United States for the drug trade, primarily from the Lesser Antilles and Mexico. The European supply has come largely from Calcutta, Egypt and the Greater Antilles. Tamarind preparations are universally recognized as refrigerants in fevers and as laxatives and carminatives. Alone, or in combination with lime juice, honey, milk, dates, spices or camphor, the pulp is considered effective as a digestive, even for elephants, and as a remedy for biliousness and bile disorders, and as an antiscorbutic. In native practice, the pulp is applied on inflammations, is used in a gargle for sore throat and, mixed with salt, as a liniment for rheumatism. It is, further, administered to alleviate sunstroke, Datura poisoning, and alcoholic intoxication. In Southeast Asia, the fruit is prescribed to counteract the ill effects of overdoses of false chaulmoogra, Hydnocarpus anthelmintica Pierre, given in leprosy. The pulp is said to aid the restoration of sensation in cases of paralysis. In Colombia, an ointment made of tamarind pulp, butter, and other ingredients is used to rid domestic animals of vermin.

Tamarindpepper rasam is also considered an effective home remedy for a cold in South India. Dilute 50 mg tamarind in 250 ml of water. Boil the diluted tamarind water for a few minutes with a teaspoon of hot ghee and half a teaspoon of black pepper powder. This steaming hot rasam has a flushing effect, and should be taken three times a day. As one takes it, the nose and eyes water and the nasal blockage is cleared.

Tamarind leaves and flowers, dried or boiled, are used as poultices for swollen joints, sprains and boils. Lotions and extracts made from them are used in treating conjunctivitis, as antiseptics, as vermifuges, treatments for dysentery, jaundice, erysipelas and hemorrhoids and various other ailments. The fruit shells are burned and reduced to an alkaline ash which enters into medicinal formulas. The bark of the tree is regarded as an effective astringent, tonic and febrifuge. Fried with salt and pulverized to an ash, it is given as a remedy for indigestion and colic. A decoction is used in cases of gingivitis and asthma and eye inflammations; and lotions and poultices made from the bark are applied on open sores and caterpillar rashes. The powdered seeds are made into a paste for drawing boils and, with or without cumin seeds and palm sugar, are prescribed for chronic diarrhea and dysentery. The seedcoat, too, is astringent, and it, also, is specified for the latter disorders. An infusion of the roots is believed to have curative value in chest complaints and is an ingredient in prescriptions for leprosy.

The leaves and roots contain the glycosides: vitexin, isovitexin, orientin and isoorientin. The bark yields the alkaloid, hordenine.

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:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamarind
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/tamarind.html

Categories
Herbs & Plants Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Magic of Methi or Fenugreek

 

[amazon_link asins=’B0009ETA6W,B00014DJL2′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’1092277f-eed4-11e6-b275-091e1a2c9f6f’]

Fenugric; Botanical name: Trigonella foenum-graecum

Family: Fabaceae/Leguminosae
Genus: Trigonella
Species: T. foenum-graecum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Fenugreek,commonly known as Methi, seeds provide a tangy flavor and powerful curry scent to the vegetable and lentil dishes. Fenugreek seed are used in wide range of curry powder. Fenugreek can also be used as a fresh herb.

CLICK TO SEE

Fenugreek are always roasted before using. Light roast gives a mellow flavor and dark roast will give a bitter. Sometimes the seeds are soaked overnight, when they becomes easier to combine in curry paste. Soaked seeds can also be used as main ingredient for a vegetable or chutney.

click  & see

Fenugreek are used and grown throughout the South Asia. The Fenugreek plant grows 2 feet tall with light green leaves and white flower. Each Fenugreek pod gives from 10 to 20 seeds. Fenugreeks are rich in protein, vitamins and mineral

You may click to see the pictures
It is a herb with small, aromatic green leaves. It is also used in dried form (kasoori methi) to flavour chicken and fish and cooked as a classic vegetable dish with potatoes (alumethi). Slightly bitter in taste, it is a popular winter green.

Methi seeds, whole, fried or roasted and powdered, are used as ‘tarka’ or garnishing. It is used commonly in pickles across India and is part of a five spice mixture used in Bengal. Like most herbs, Methi has many medicinal properties.

Fenugreek seeds contain a high percentage of mucilage a natural gummy substance present in the coatings of many seeds. Although it does not dissolve in water, mucilage forms a thick, gooey mass when exposed to fluids. Like other mucilage-containing substances, fenugreek seeds swell up and become slick when they are exposed to fluids. The resulting soft mass is not absorbed by the body, but instead passes through the intestines and also triggers intestinal muscle contractions. Both actions promote the emptying of intestinal contents. Therefore, fenugreek is a mild but effective laxative.

In addition, fenugreek seeds contain chemicals that slow down the time that food takes to go through the intestinal tract. As one result, sugars are absorbed from foods more slowly and blood sugar levels may not rise as high or fluctuate as much as usual. Fenugreek may further affect blood sugar levels by decreasing the activity of an enzyme that is involved in releasing stored sugar from the liver into the blood. Also, fenugreek contains an amino acid called 4-hydroxyisoleucine, which appears to increase the body’s production of insulin when blood sugar levels are high. For many individuals, higher insulin production decreases the amounts of sugar that stay in the blood In some studies of animals and humans with both diabetes and high cholesterol levels, fenugreek lowered cholesterol levels as well as blood sugar levels. However, no blood-sugar lowering effect was seen in non-diabetic animals. Similarly, individuals with normal cholesterol levels showed no significant reductions in cholesterol while taking fenugreek.

Some evidence suggests that fenugreek may also have other medical uses. It may reduce the amounts of calcium oxalate in the kidneys. Calcium oxalate often contributes to kidney stones. In animal studies, fenugreek also appeared to lessen the chance of developing colon cancer by blocking the action of certain enzymes. It may have some ability to protect the liver against damage from alcohol and other chemicals, but much further research is needed to prove or disprove all these possible uses of fenugreek.

Methi is supposed to be natural cure for arthritis. According to ayurveda, the cause of arthritis is a noxious gas produced within the human body known as Va and the gas that causes joint arthritis is known as Sandhiva.

During the course of time, intestines fill with undigested food particles which become glued to the intestine lining. These particles create several different layers in the intestine and act as chemicals that release gases with different constituents. The gas, sandhiva, finds refuge in the joints and creates pressure, immobilizing them and making movement painful, due to inflamation. Methi, if consumed twice a day, cleans the intestines and directs the waste out of the body naturally.

According to Ayurveda, Methi is an antipyretic and anthelmintic herb. Translation: It is an appetizer, relieves constipation, and reduces colic. It is also known to cure leprosy, vomiting, bronchitis, and piles.

Traditional healers recommend that people suffering from digestive problems eat Methi leaves. It also helps you lose weight and reduces dullness, dizziness and drowsiness. In general, it is considered as good appetizer. Methi seeds are considered very effective in combative diabetes.

Topically, the gelatinous texture of fenugreek seed may have some benefit for soothing skin that is irritated by eczema or other conditions. It has also been applied as a warm poultice to relieve muscle aches and gout pain

The fresh juice of Methi leaves prevents hair fall. You can massage it in your hair, particularly the roots, to get rid of dandruff and promote new hair growth. It can also be used in a facepack to reduce wrinkles.

Fenugreek seed is widely used as a galactagogue (milk producing agent) by nursing mothers to increase inadequate breast milk supply. Studies have shown that fenugreek is a potent stimulator of breast milk production and its use was associated with increases in milk production. It can be found in capsule form in many health food stores.

Several human intervention trials demonstrated that the antidiabetic effects of fenugreek seeds ameliorate most metabolic symptoms associated with type-1 and type-2 diabetes in both humans and relevant animal models by reducing serum glucose and improving glucose tolerance.  click & see

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

Extracted from: /www.purpleparka.com and http://www.drugdigest.org/DD/DVH/HerbsWho/0,3923,552024%7CMethi,00.html

Enhanced by Zemanta