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Cyperus articulatus

Botanical Name : Cyperus articulatus
Family:    Cyperaceae
Genus:    Cyperus
Species:    C. articulatus
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Poales

Common Names:  Piri Piri, Sedges, Borrachera, Jointed flatsedge and Priprioca,

Habitat :Cyperus articulatus is native to the Amazon basin, where tribes have used it as a medicine for hundreds of years; but it is also known to grow in tropical climates in a number of other countries. Notably,  it grows in the southeastern United States, in the Florida panhandle, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. It also grows in Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Congo, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, as well as tropical areas in Asia, northern Australia, and most of the countries in Central and South America. It is still found growing wildly along the Nile River, the Amazon River and the Congo River (Rain Tree Nutrition 2006).It  grows near the edges of lakes, ponds, swamps, rivers, streams, wetlands and other damp soil areas.

Description:
Cyperus articulatus is a tall marsh grass.  This flat sedge grass grows in small clusters and routinely reaches over 6 feet (2 meters) in height. The stems are fibrous, cylindrical, hollow and can be as large as 3/4 of an inch (2 cm) in diameter at the base.The blackish-red, somewhat top-shaped tubers are 3/4 to 1 inch long, 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter, sometimes in a series of two or three, connected by an underground stem 1/8 inch in diameter and 1 to 2 inches long. Internally, the tubers are pale in colour, a transverse section showing a central column with darker points indicating vascular bundles. The stem narrows as it grows upward turning into spiked blades of shiny grass, which range in color from bright yellow-green to dark forest green, and can project a purplish inflorescence under the right lighting conditions. During the summer season, the grass produces many tiny white flowers at the top of the stalk, which has been described as being similar to the tiny white flowers produced by wheat grass.

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Medicinal Uses:
Recent studies on the biochemical makeup of Cyperus articulatus or  Piri Piri have shown that this grass contains an abundant amount of active alkaloids. These compounds include: flavonoids, polyphenols, saponins, tannins, and terpenes. Several specific compounds isolated from this tropical grass include alpha-corymbolol, alpha-cyperone, alpha-pinene, carophyllene oxide, corymbolone, cyperotundone, and mustakone. However, the most interesting and promising compounds isolated from this grass are cyperotundone and alpha-cyperone. These latter two compounds are believed to be effective pain relievers, working in the same manner as aspirin and ibuprofen, and may also possess antimalarial properties. A scientific research study published in early 2003 found that an extract made from the roots of the Cyperus articulatus produced compounds that acted as N-methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists; another compound that acts as an NMDA receptor antagonist and has similar, yet much stronger, effects on the brain is  phencyclidine.

Cyperus articulatus has many medicinal uses in both traditional folk remedies and modern medicines. In the early 1980s it was discovered that the rhizomes of Cyperus articulatus produce compounds that are effective anti-convulsants and beneficial in calming epileptic seizures. In traditional indigenous medicine, Piri Piri roots are made into a tea to treat myriad ailments; they used the tea as a digestive aid, to calm nervous anxiety, as a sedative and tranquilizer, and to induce vomiting at higher doses. Women in certain Amazonian tribes add the root to a love potion that they call Pusanga.

The Karipúna-Palikúr Indians of Guiana use Piri Piri to treat the symptoms of malaria, and to help quell nausea. Other uses include: a hair tonic to help fight baldness, a treatment for severe flu symptoms, and relief for headache and migraine pain. However, the most notable and widely reported effects are the sedative and tranquil feelings induce by the rhizome tea. Even today, many lucid dreamers report that they are able to relax, meditate, dream and more easily recall those dreams, as well as being able to achieve lucidity more easily after consuming Cyperus articulatus tea.

Native tribes in Central America have used this grass to relieve the pain caused by sensitive teeth and toothaches. The Shipibo-Conibo Indian tribe from the Peruvian rainforests make a nerve tonic from the roots of the grass, which helps to calm epileptic seizures and psychological imbalances. The Secoya Indians use the roots to make a medicine that they believe cures influenza, relieve anxiety induced stress and to calm frightened children .

In 19th and 20th century America, a drug called Adrue was made from the roots of C. articulatus and sold over the counter as a digestive aid to help relieve morning sickness, nausea, gas, and other digestive problems; at higher doses it was used to sedate anxious patients and as a side effect produced euphoric states and dreamy surreal perception.

Traditional Uses:
Many aboriginal tribes that live in the Amazonian tropical rainforests believe that Cyperus articulatus or Piri Piri grass has magical qualities and have used it to cure disease, heal wounds, relieve pain, and so forth. The Sharanahua Indians, from the Amazon river basin, have used Cyperus articulatus to help pregnant women induce labor, or even force an early term abortion. They also use Cyperus articulatus to reduce high fevers, soothe upset stomachs, and induce sweating, which they believe expels evil spirits and disease. The Shuar shamans use the roots to make a tea which they consume and lulls them into a deep state of relaxation, trance and allows them to communicate with ancestors and the recently deceased; they also use it an additive in their potent Ayahuasca recipes for magical religious ceremonies. This grass is known throughout Central and South America as a Borrachera, a term used to describe many intoxicating, inebriating plants.

Cyperus articulatus is renowned in both modern and ancient societies for its calming, sedating, and tranquilizing effects. When the rhizomes are steeped in warm water and made into a tea, many people report feelings of relaxation, euphoria, lethargy, and profound tranquility. Overwhelming sensations of contentment, torpidity, and vivid waking dreams are also reported. Cyperus articulatus is classified as a dream herb, sedative, and euphorant, and a number of contemporary reports suggest that many people use the tea to improve dream recall and to induce vivid lucid dreams

Other Uses:
It is used by the cosmetic industry, and increasingly as a flavoring for food.

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/Cyperus_articulatus

Cyperus articulatus – Piri Piri


http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/adrue011.html

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Barley (Hordeum vulgare L)

Botanical Name : Hordeum vulgare L
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Pooideae
Tribe: Triticeae
Genus: Hordeum

German botanical illustration of barley

German botanical illustration of barley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Species: H. vulgare
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales

Synonyms:
Hordeum vulgare L.

HOAE Hordeum aegiceras Nees ex Royle
HODI2 Hordeum distichon L.
HOHE6 Hordeum hexastichon L.
HOHE3 Hordeum hexastichum L., orth. var.
HOIR Hordeum irregulare Aberg & Wiebe
HOSA4 Hordeum sativum Pers.
HOVUH Hordeum vulgare L. ssp. hexastichon (L.) Bonnier & Layens
HOVUT Hordeum vulgare L. var. trifurcatum (Schltdl.) Alef.

Common Name:  Two-Rowed Barley

Barley  (The Old English word for ‘barley’ was bære, which traces back to Proto-Indo-European and is cognate to the Latin word farina “flour”. The direct ancestor of modern English “barley” in Old English was the derived adjective bærlic, meaning “of barley”. The first citation of the form bærlic in the Oxford English Dictionary dates to around 966 AD, in the compound word bærlic-croft.   The underived word bære survives in the north of Scotland as bere, and refers to a specific strain of six-row barley grown there. The word barn, which originally meant “barley-house”, is also rooted in these words)

Habitat : Probably barley is native to Middle East, from Afghanistan to northern India; now widely cultivated in all temperate regions from Arctic Circle to high mountains in the tropics. The earliest remains so far discovered are from Iran (ca 7900 BC), but we still do not know that it originated there or in Egypt, Etiopia, the Near East or Tibet (Foster, 1981).

Description:
Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), a member of the grass family.It is an annual herb with stems erect, stout, tufted, 60–120 cm tall; leaves few, alternate, linear-lanceolate, the upper one close to the spike, blades up to 25 cm long, about 1.5 cm broad; sheath smooth, striate; ligules short, membranous; spikes terminal, linear-oblong, compressed, up to 20 cm long, densely flowered; spikelets sessile, arranged in threes on two sides of a flattened rachis, all fertile (6-rowed types), or lateral ones barren and occasionally rudimentary (2-rowed types); glumes 2, narrow, small, short-awned, enclosing 3 spikelets; lemma lanceolate, 5-ribbed, tapering into a long straight or recurved awn; palea slightly smaller than the lemma with margins inflexed; stamens 3; caryopsis ellipsoid, about 0.9 cm long, short-pointed, grooved on inner face, smooth, free or adherent to palea, or both lemma and palea. Seeds 30,870/kg (Reed, 1976).

You may click to see the picture  :—->…...(01)....…..(1)—->(2)—->(3)

Cultivation:
Seed sown broadcast or in shallow furrows about 22 cm apart, dropped through a drill. Depth of sowing 1.3–4.5 cm. Seeding rates vary from 67 to 101 kg/ha. Crop requires very little interculture or weeding. In dry areas 2–3 waterings are required after sowing. In India, seed sown in Oct.–Nov., and harvested by late March or early April. In Punjab, sowing as late as early Jan. Crop may be raised under both rainfall and irrigated conditions. Crop grown pure, or in mixtures with gram, pea, lentil, berseem, rape, mustard, or linseed. Sometimes grown with wheat. Irrigation increases yields, irrigated crops containing less nitrogen. A light harrowing after first irrigation when crop is about 20 cm tall, gives up to 10% higher yields. Barley is usually grown without any Special manuring. However, an application of fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus, or potash, in various combinations, influence yield and quality of grain. Additional nitrogen increases yield of straw and grain, but in larger doses, nitrogen increases the protein content and affects its brewing quality. Phosphate fertilizers lower the protein content considerably and influence formation and ripening of grain. Lodging, when it occurs, causes loss in quality and yield of crop, and may be due to poor root system, disease infection, weak straw, or storm damage.

Harvesting:
Dry warm weather is favorable for grain ripening. Barley is ready for harvest in about 4 months after sowing; some varieties in 60 days. Plants are either pulled out or cut with sickles and sheaves stacked for about a week or more. Grain is threshed out by beating with sticks or trampled by oxen (India). Barley plants are fed green or as hay to livestock. In some areas, stalks are cut 2 or 3 times without marked injury to grain yield. For hay, plants are cut while still green after heads are well formed. Dry stalks and leaves obtained during threshing are also useful as cattle feed. Barley, like wheat, is stored in bulk or in bags or in underground pits in bulk. Straw is used as roughage for livestock and bedding, for making hats and packing and for manufacture of cellulose pulp. Barley fed to stock alone or mixed with other grains, usually crushed or ground to meal and mixed with other foodstuffs, particularly useful for pigs and horses, less so for cattle.

Uses:
Barley is the fourth most important cereal in the United States, but ca 50% is used for livestock fodder, 37% for the brewing industry (80% for beer, 14% distilled alcohol, 6% malt syrup). Beer is no johnny-come-lately; Clay documents at least 8000 years old have depicted barley beer making. Until the sixteenth century, barley flour was used instead of wheat to make bread (Bukantis and Goodman, 1980). Winter barley furnishes nutritive pasturage without seriously reducing yields.It is used as a component of various health foods. It is used in soups and stews, and in barley bread of various cultures. Barley grains are commonly made into malt in a traditional and ancient method of preparation. In India, a cooling drink called sattu is made from barley. Barley flour is produced by milling the grains or as a by-product in pearl barley manufacturing. Flour of good quality obtained by milling pearl barley. Barley flour unsuitable for use alone in bread-making; used with 10–25% wheat flour for various purposes. Ashes of leaves used in Patna (India) in preparation of cooling sherbets. High protein barleys are generally valued for food and feeding, and starchy barley for malting. Two-rowed barley contains more starch than six-rowed types (Reed, 1976).

You may click to see Purity Indian Barley

Barley was one of the first domesticated grains in the Fertile Crescent, an area of relatively abundant water in Western Asia and near the Nile river of northeast Africa. The grain appeared in the same time as einkorn and emmer wheat. Wild barley (H. vulgare ssp. spontaneum) ranges from North Africa and Crete in the west, to Tibet in the east. The earliest evidence of wild barley in an archaeological context comes from the Epipaleolithic at Ohalo II at the southern end of the Sea of Galilee. The remains were dated to about 8500 BC. The earliest domesticated barley occurs at Aceramic Neolithic sites, in the Near East such as the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B layers of Tell Abu Hureyra, in Syria. Barley has been grown in the Korean Peninsula since the Early Mumun Pottery Period (circa 1500–850 BC) along with other crops such as millet, wheat, and legumes.

In the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond argues that the availability of barley, along with other domesticable crops and animals, in southwestern Eurasia significantly contributed to the broad historical patterns that human history has followed over approximately the last 13,000 years; i.e., why Eurasian civilizations, as a whole, have survived and conquered others.

Barley beer was probably the first drink developed by Neolithic humans.Barley later on was used as currency. Alongside emmer wheat, barley was a staple cereal of ancient Egypt, where it was used to make bread and beer. The general name for barley is jt (hypothetically pronounced “eat”); šma (hypothetically pronounced “SHE-ma”) refers to Upper Egyptian barley and is a symbol of Upper Egypt. The Sumerian term is akiti. According to Deuteronomy 8:8, barley is one of the “Seven Species” of crops that characterize the fertility of the Promised Land of Canaan, and it has a prominent role in the Israelite sacrifices described in the Pentateuch (see e.g. Numbers 5:15). A religious importance extended into the Middle Ages in Europe, and saw barley’s use in justice, via alphitomancy and the corsned.

In ancient Greece, the ritual significance of barley possibly dates back to the earliest stages of the Eleusinian Mysteries. The preparatory kykeon or mixed drink of the initiates, prepared from barley and herbs, referred in the Homeric hymn to Demeter, whose name some scholars believe meant “Barley-mother”. The practice was to dry the barley groats and roast them before preparing the porridge, according to Pliny the Elder’s Natural History (xviii.72). This produces malt that soon ferments and becomes slightly alcoholic.

Pliny also noted barley was a special food of gladiators known as hordearii, “barley-eaters”. However, by Roman times, he added that wheat had replaced barley as a staple.

Tibetan barley has been a staple food in Tibet since the fifth century AD. This grain, along with a cool climate that permitted storage, produced a civilization that was able to raise great armies. It is made into a flour product called tsampa that is still a staple in Tibet.  The flour is roasted and mixed with butter and butter tea to form a stiff dough that is eaten in small balls.

In medieval Europe, bread made from barley and rye was peasant food, while wheat products were consumed by the upper classes.  Potatoes largely replaced barley in Eastern Europe in the 19th century

Constituents: vitamins, minerals, and amino acids: beta-carotene, betaine, biotin, boron, copper, iron, lutein, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine. alpha-linoleic acid, oryzanol, potassium, selenium, zinc, and the tocopherols that make up vitamin e

Medicinal Uses:
Folk Medicine :
According to Hartwell (1967–1971), barley is used in folk remedies for cancer (esp. of stomach and uterus), and tumors (of the abdomen). The seed meal is a folk remedy for cancer of the uterus, inflammatory and sclerotic tumors and gatherings, and parotid gland tumors. The seed flour is used for condylomata of the anus, tumors behind the ears, scirrhus of the testicles and spleen, and whitlows. Cataplasms derived from the seed are also believed to help breast cancers (Hartwell, 1967–1971). Reported to be antilactagogue, demulcent, digestive, diuretic, ecbolic, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge, and stomachic, barley is a folk remedy for bronchitis, burns, cancer, catarrh, chest, chilblains, cholecystosis, cholera, cough, debility, diarrhea, dyspepsia, fever, inflammation, measles, phthisis, puerperium, sores, and urogenital ailments (Duke and Wain, 1981). Other folk medicinal details are presented in Medicinal Plants of the Bible (Duke, 1983a). Barley grain is demulcent and easily assimilable, and used in dietary of invalids and convalescents. Pearl barley is form commonly used. Powdered parched grains used in form of a gruel for painful and atonic dyspepsia. Barley water with honey prescribed for bronchial coughs, and with gum arabic used for soothing irritations of the bladder and urinary passage. Iranians have a saying, “What has disease to do with men who live upon barley-bread and buttermilk?”

Barley grain is an excellent food for convalescence, either in the form of porridge or as a decoction of the seed. It is soothing to the throat and provides easily assimilated nutrients. It can also be taken to clear catarrh. Its demulcent properties soothes inflammation of the gut and urinary tract. It is commonly given to children suffering minor infections or diarrhoea and is particularly recommended as a treatment for feverish states and in catarrhal affections of the respiratory and urinary organs. Made into a poultice, the seed is an effective remedy for soothing and reducing inflammation in sores and swellings. Modern research has shown that barley may be of aid in the treatment of hepatitis, whilst other trials have shown that it may help to control diabetes. Barley bran may have the effect of lowering blood cholesterol levels and preventing bowel cancer.
Other Uses: The stems, after the seed has been harvested, have many uses. They are a source of fibres for making paper, a biomass for fuel etc, they can be shredded and used as a mulch

Known Hazards:
Science 205 (Aug. 24, 1979, p. 768) reported that 70% of 158 European beers analyzed contain 1–68 ppb NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine), dark beer containing more than light beer. American beer testing (some foreign, some domestic) showed only 0.7–7 ppb. Both concluded that the NDMA may be an artifact produced in drying or kilning the barley malt. Other chemical details can be found in two fine source books, the Wealth of India (C.S.I.R., 1948–1976) and Hager’s Handbook (List and Horhammer, 1969–1979).

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/Barley
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=HOVU
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Hordeum_vulgare.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hordeum+distichon

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