Herbs & Plants


Botanical Name :Artocarpus altilis
Family: Moraceae
Tribe: Artocarpeae
Genus: Artocarpus
Species: A. altilis
: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales

Scientific names : Artocarpus altilis Linn.,Artocarpus communis  ,Artocarpus incisus
Common names:Fruta de pan (Span.), Breadfruit (Engl.),Rimas (Tag.)

Habitat :Native to the Malay Peninsula, through all of Island Southeast Asia and into most Pacific Ocean islands. The ancestors of the Polynesians found the trees growing in the northwest New Guinea area around 3500 years ago. They gave up the rice cultivation they had brought with them from ancient Taiwan, and raised breadfruit wherever they went in the Pacific (except Easter Island and New Zealand which were too cold). Their ancient eastern Indonesian cousins spread the plant west and north through Insular and coastal Southeast Asia. It has, in historic times, also been widely planted in tropical regions elsewhere

Breadfruit trees grow to a height of 85 feet (26 m). The large and thick leaves are deeply cut into pinnate lobes. All parts of the tree yield latex, a milky juice, which is useful for boat caulking.
You may click to see the picture:->

The tree.

Artocarpus altilis (fruit).

ARS breadfruit49

Bread fruit in early stages.

Breadfruit drawing

Tree trunk

The trees are monoecious, with male and female flowers growing on the same tree. The male flowers emerge first, followed shortly afterward by the female flowers, which grow into a capitulum, which are capable of pollination just three days later. The pollinators are Old World fruit bats in the family Pteropodidae. The compound, false fruit develops from the swollen perianth and originates from 1,500-2,000 flowers. These are visible on the skin of the fruit as hexagon-like disks.

Breadfruit is one of the highest-yielding food plants, with a single tree producing up to 200 or more fruits per season. In the South Pacific, the trees yield 50 to 150 fruits per year. In southern India, normal production is 150 to 200 fruits annually. Productivity varies between wet and dry areas. In the Caribbean, a conservative estimate is 25 fruits per tree. Studies in Barbados indicate a reasonable potential of 6.7 to 13.4 tons per acre (16-32 tons/ha). The grapefruit-sized ovoid fruit has a rough surface, and each fruit is divided into many achenes, each achene surrounded by a fleshy perianth and growing on a fleshy receptacle. Some selectively bred cultivars have seedless fruit.

The breadfruit is closely related to the breadnut and the jackfruit.

Breadfruit is an equatorial lowland species that grows best below elevations of 650 metres (2,130 ft), but is found at elevations of 1,550 metres (5,090 ft). Its preferred rainfall is 1,500–3,000 millimetres (59–120 in) per year. Preferred soils are neutral to alkaline (pH of 6.1-7.4) and either sand, sandy loam, loam or sandy clay loam. Breadfruit is able to grow in coral sands and saline soils.

Edible uses:
Nutritional :Breadfruit is roughly 25% carbohydrates and 70% water. It has an average amount of vitamin C (20 mg/100g), small amounts of minerals (potassium and zinc) and thiamin (100 ?g).

*Crop considered a carbohydrate food source.
*Fruit can be fried, boiled, candied or cooked as a vegetable.
*High in starch, it is also high in Vitamin B, with fair amounts of B and C.

Breadfruit is a staple food in many tropical regions. They were propagated far outside their native range by Polynesian voyagers who transported root cuttings and air-layered plants over long ocean distances. They are very rich in starch, and before being eaten they are roasted, baked, fried or boiled. When cooked the taste is described as potato-like, or similar to fresh-baked bread (hence the name).

Because breadfruit trees usually produce large crops at certain times of the year, preservation of the harvested fruit is an issue. One traditional preservation technique is to bury peeled and washed fruits in a leaf-lined pit where they ferment over several weeks and produce a sour, sticky paste. So stored, the product may last a year or more, and some pits are reported to have produced edible contents more than 20 years later.  Fermented breadfruit mash goes by many names such as mahr, ma, masi, furo, and bwiru, among others.

Drawing of breadfruit by John Frederick MillerMost breadfruit varieties also produce a small number of fruits throughout the year, so fresh breadfruit is always available, but somewhat rare when not in season.

Breadfruit can be eaten once cooked, or can be further processed into a variety of other foods. A common product is a mixture of cooked or fermented breadfruit mash mixed with coconut milk and baked in banana leaves. Whole fruits can be cooked in an open fire, then cored and filled with other foods such as coconut milk, sugar and butter, cooked meats, or other fruits. The filled fruit can be further cooked so that the flavor of the filling permeates the flesh of the breadfruit.

The Hawaiian staple food called poi made of mashed taro root is easily substituted or augmented with mashed breadfruit. The resulting “breadfruit poi” is called poi ?ulu. In Puerto Rico, it is called “panapen” or “pana”, for short. Pana is often served boiled with a mixture of sauteed bacalao (salted cod fish), olive oil and onions. It is also serve as tostones or mofongo. In Dominican Republic, it is known by the name “buen pan” or “good bread”. Breadfruit is also found in Indonesia and Malaysia, where it is called ‘sukun’. In the South Indian state of Kerala and coastal Karnataka especially on the sides of Mangalore, where it is widely grown and cooked, it is known as Kadachakka and Gujje respectively. In Belize, the Mayan people call it ‘masapan’.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used:Bark, leaves, fruit.

Properties and constituents : Study has yielded papayotin, enzyme and artocarpin.

• Decoction of the bark used as vulnerary (wound healing). In the Visayas, decoction of the bark used in dysentery.
• Used as emollient.
• In the Carribean, leaves are used to relieve pain and inflammation.
• In Jamaican folk medicine, leaf decoction used for hypertension.

.It is also used in traditional medicine to treat illnesses that range from sore eyes to sciatica.

• Phytochemical: (1) Study concluded that the starch of Artocarpus altilis showed a high degree of purity. Physiochemical and rheological characteristics suggest the starch could be useful in products that require long heating process, with an excellent digestibility that might be advantageous for medical and food use. (2) Study showed percent recoveries of amino acid, fatty acid and carbohydrate content showed 72.5%, 68.2% and 81.4%. The starch content is 15.52 g/100 g fresh weight.
• Cytoprotective: Study yielded cytoprotective components – ß-sitosterol and six flavonoids with good potential for medicinal applications.
• Antiinflammatory: Extract of breadfruit leaves was shown to contain compounds with significant anti-inflammatory activities.
Phenolic Compounds / Cytotoxicity: Study isolated isoprenylated flavonoids – morusin, artonin E, cycloartobiloxanthone and artonol B – that showed high toxicity against Artmia salina. Result of cytotoxicity test showed the presence of an isoprenyl moiety in the C-3 position in the flavone skeleton, an important factor for its activity.
• Negative Inotropic Effect: Leaf extract study exerted a weak, negative chronotropic and inotropic effect in vivo in the rat. The mechanism of action of the inotropic agent was not cholinergic and may involve decoupling of excitation and contraxction.

Other Uses:
The wood of the breadfruit tree was one of the most valuable timbers in the construction of traditional houses in Samoan architecture.
Breadfruit was widely and diversely used among Pacific Islanders. Its lightweight wood (specific gravity of 0.27) is resistant to termites and shipworms, consequently used as timber for structures and outrigger canoes.  Native Hawaiians used its sticky sap to trap birds, whose feathers were made into cloaks.
Its wood pulp can also be used to make paper, called breadfruit tapa

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.


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Artificial Sweeteners Don’t Fool Your Brain

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While artificial sweeteners may be able to confuse your taste buds, the suspicion is growing that your brain is not so easily fooled.

……………………...CLICK & SEE
Several studies suggest your brain has a way of detecting calories while food is still in your mouth. For example, researchers made eight cyclists perform 60-minute workouts on a stationary bike while measuring their work rate.

During workouts on separate days they were told to rinse their mouth with a solution of either glucose or saccharin, without swallowing either one. The glucose mouth rinse improved the cyclists’ performance by a small but consistent amount compared to saccharin.

Later, they were asked to rinse their mouths with either saccharin alone or saccharin plus a caloric (but non-sweet) sugar called maltodextrin. The cyclists did slightly better when they rinsed their mouths with maltodextrin, even though both solutions carried identical saccharin taste.

When scientists performed fMRI scans on the athletes, they found that the combination of saccharin and maltodextrin activated two reward-associated brain areas — the striatum and anterior cingulate — which saccharin alone failed to touch.

Source: New Scientist December 27, 2009

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Negative Thoughts ‘Can Induce Sickness’

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If you feel ill just looking at the side effects of the medicine that’s supposed to cure you, it might be best not to bother.


Noto w it’s time ignore the warnings: Even just reading the side-effects listed on a pill bottle can increase your risk of experiencing them

The warnings themselves might actually be making you sick, scientists say.

A series of studies from around the world has shown that if you believe something could make you ill, it might well do just that.

Simply reading the side-effects on a bottle of tablets raises your risk of experiencing them.
And, taken to its extreme, patients who believe they will not survive surgery, are more likely to die on the operating table.
Just as positive thinking can be good for your health, negative thoughts can be bad for well-being.

‘The idea that believing you are ill can make you ill sounds far-fetched, yet rigorous trials have established beyond a doubt that the converse is true  –  the power of suggestion can improve health,’ reports New Scientist magazine

The placebo effect has an evil twin: the nocebo effect, in which dummy pills and negative expectations can produce harmful effects.’ Examples included clinical trials for new drugs, in which up to a quarter of patients given dummy versions experienced the side-effects associated with the real thing.

In trials for blood pressure-lowering beta blockers, tiredness and loss of libido were just as common in those given dummy versions.

And more than half of chemotherapy patients start experiencing the nausea ‘A self-fulfilling prophecy‘ associated with the cancer treatment days before it started. The phenomenon raises the prospect that just telling a patient about the side effects associated with their pills, could make their health worse.

Hull University psychologist Professor Giuliana Mazzoni said: ‘On the one hand, people have the right to be informed about what to expect but this makes it more likely they will experience side-effects.’
Research has shown that women who believe they are particularly prone to heart attack are nearly four times as likely to die from coronary conditions than other women.

The power of suggestion can also be responsible for mass outbreaks of ‘ disease‘. In 1988, a high school teacher, in Tennessee in the U.S, noticed a petrollike smell and began to complain of headache, nausea, shortness of breath and dizziness.

The school was evacuated and over the next week, more than 100 staff and students were admitted to casualty complaining of similar symptoms.

Extensive tests could find no medical explanation for their problems.
Dr Clifton Meador, of Vanderbilt School of Medicine in Nashville in the U.S, said fear can turn into self-fulfilling prophecy.

‘Bad news promotes bad physiology. I think that you can persuade people that they’re going to die and have it happen. I don’t think there is anything mystical about it. We’re uncomfortable with the idea that words or symbolic actions can cause death because it changes our biomolecular model of the world.’

Sources:Mail Online. 14th.May,’09

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News on Health & Science

Stay Calm to be Asthma Free

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Researchers at Heidelberg University have carried out the study and found that people, prone to neurotic conditions, could triple their chances of developing asthma unless they stay calm, the ‘New Scientist‘ reported.

They have based their findings on an analysis of a questionnaire given to over 4,000 volunteers to evaluate their tendencies to hysteria, anxiety and depression without asthma.

Nine years later, the researchers, led by Adrian Loerbroks, reassessed the volunteers and found that those who had high levels of neurosis were three times as likely to have developed asthma as those with low scores allergy.

Animal studies have shown that chronic stress alters hormone levels, which can inflame airways. Loerbroks believes neurotic character traits may exert similar effects, and so treating highly neurotic people could reduce their risk of developing asthma.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Could Drinking Heavy Atoms Lengthen Your Life?

In a back room of New Scientist‘s offices in London, I sit down at a table with the Russian biochemist Mikhail Shchepinov. In front of us are two teaspoons and a brown glass bottle. Shchepinov opens the bottle, pours out a teaspoon of clear liquid and drinks it down. He smiles. It’s my turn.

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A sip a day of heavy water could reduce damage to ageing tissue that is caused by oxygen free radicals (Image: John Sann/Stone/Getty)

I put a spoonful of the liquid in my mouth and swallow. It tastes slightly sweet, which is a surprise. I was expecting it to be exactly like water since that, in fact, is what it is – heavy water to be precise, chemical formula D2O. The D stands for deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen with an atomic mass of 2 instead of 1. Deuterium is what puts the heavy in heavy water. An ice cube made out of it would sink in normal water.

My sip of heavy water is the culmination of a long journey trying to get to the bottom of a remarkable claim that Shchepinov first made around 18 months ago. He believes he has discovered an elixir of youth, a way to drink (or more likely eat) your way to a longer life.

Many anti-aging medications are based on supplementing your body’s own defenses with antioxidant compounds such as vitamin C and beta-carotene, though there is scant evidence that this does any good.

Shchepinov realized there was another way to defeat free radicals. While he was familiarizing himself with research on aging, his day job involved a well-established – if slightly obscure – bit of chemistry called the isotope effect. On Christmas day 2006, it dawned on him that putting the two together could lead to a new way of postponing the ravages of time.

The basic concept of the isotope effect is that the presence of heavy isotopes in a molecule can slow down its chemical reactions.

All of this is conventional chemistry: the isotope effect was discovered back in the 1930s and its mechanism explained in the 1940s. The effect has a long pedigree as a research tool in basic chemistry for probing the mechanisms of complex reactions.

Shchepinov, however, is the first researcher to link the effect with aging. It dawned on him that if aging is caused by free radicals trashing covalent bonds, and if those same bonds can be strengthened using the isotope effect, why not use it to make vulnerable biomolecules more resistant to attack? All you would have to do is judiciously place deuterium or carbon-13 in the bonds that are most vulnerable to attack, and chemistry should take care of the rest.

*New Scientist November 27, 2008
*Rejuvenation Research March 1, 2007; 10(1): 47-60

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