Tag Archives: Northern South America

Parul Phul (Mansoa alliacea)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mansoa alliacea

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Vanilla

Botanical Name:Vanulla planifolia

Family: Orchidaceae

Subfamily: Vanilloideae

Tribe: Vanilleae
Subtribe: Vanillinae

Genus: Vanilla

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Asparagales

Habitat :Central America, West Indies, Northern South America
Mostly Cultivated In:Madagascar, Comoros Islands, Reunion, French Polynesia, Tahiti, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mozambique, Seychelles, Uganda, Guatemala, Mexico.
Description:
For many people in countries where quality ice cream is readily available, vanilla is the most popular of the non-pungent spices. It has been regarded as one of the most expensive spices along with saffron, cardamon and green peppercorns. The cost of vanilla reflects its historic importance as a flavor used in the royal drinks of the Mayans and Aztecs that were based on chocolate. The Aztecs called vanilla tlilxochitl, and they used it with chile peppers to flavor their drink.

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Vanilla is found in the seeds of the orchid vine, Vanilla planifolia (V. fragrans), which is native to Mexico. The Spaniards likened the bean pods to a little sheath or vaina, which is derived from the similar Latin word, vagina! Obtaining the flavor can be a several month long process, resulting from slowly fermenting the beans, which contain many small seeds; the ground-up bean is then used in similar fashion to coffee. People who enjoy the strong vanilla taste want to use freshly cured bean, while others accept the commercial extract. True vanilla in ice cream contains tiny dark flecks resulting from the presence of the seeds. However, the vanilla flavor, which is mainly due to vanillin, can be readily chemically synthesized from eugenol or guaiacol, or from lignin derived from tar, wood, or tonka beans. This product lacks the quality of the natural vanilla flavor that develops during the curing of the best beans when glucosides are converted to vanillic aldehyde, which is vanillin, since other aromatic chemicals are also produced.

Vanilla trees are grown in Mexico, Central America (Guatemala and especially Costa Rica), and in some Caribbean islands (especially Jamaica). However, it is difficult to grow since it is only pollinated by native bees and hummingbirds. It requires artificial fertilization outside its natural habitat, but it can be cultivated through the use of cuttings. Following its introduction to the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, a method of hand pollination was introduced in 1841. Reunion is still an important site of vanilla production; the variety is called Bourbon vanilla, after the former name of the island. Madagascar is now the major producer of Bourbon vanilla.

When vanilla became popular in 17th century Europe, it was used for many indications, varying from stomach ulcers to sedation. As was the case with many spices, it was extolled as an aphrodisiac. Today, it may fulfill its latter function when used in high quality baked goods, confectionary and desserts, although most users regard it more prosaically as a delicious flavor that may help digestion. Vanilla is used to flavor tobacco and as a fragrance in the cosmetic industry. It is of interest that sensitive workers in the vanilla industry may develop vanillism, resulting in headaches and skin rashes.

Artificial vanilla (containing vanillin and ethylvanillin) is acceptable to most tastes, and therefore the export of true vanilla may continue to decline, since the culture and manufacture of the quality product is expensive and relatively non-competitive. Moreover, its value as an exotic medicine is no longer accepted. Thus the role of the vanilla bean has declined in significance, with over 95% of the world’s supply of vanilla flavor being synthetic.
Useful Parts:
The cured, dried fruits of the plant impart the flavor.
Medicinal Properties:
Vanillin is in the class of vanilloids, that includes – surprisingly – capsaicin (8-methy-N-vanillyl noneamide) from chile pepper and eugenol from cloves, cinnamon and other spices, and zingerone from ginger. The vanilloid receptors of the central and peripheral nervous systems bind with these compounds, resulting in different sensory effects. Thus, capsaicin can cause a burning sensation while eugenol results in mild anesthesia; vanillin itself is neutral.

Historical View :
“Vanilla is an aromatic stimulant, with a tendency towards the nervous system. It has also been regarded as an aphrodisiac. It has been employed as a remedy in hysteria, low fevers, impotency, etc. But its use as a medicine is obsolete in this country, although still sometimes employed on the Continent and elsewhere.”

You may click to see :Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia Andrews)

Source:Medicinal Spices

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanilla_(genus)