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Herbs & Plants

Garlic (Allium sativum)

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Botanical Name :Allium sativum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. sativum
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Common Name:Garlic

Habitat: Garlic is native to central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa, and Europe. It was known to Ancient Egyptians, and has been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.

Description:
Allium sativum is a bulbous plant. It grows up to 0.6 m (2 ft) in height. Its hardiness is USDA Zone 8. It produces hermaphrodite flowers. Pollination occurs by insects and bees.

Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and rakkyo. With a history of human use of over 7,000 years,

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Varieties:
Within the species, Allium sativum, there are also two main subspecies or varieties.
Allium sativum var. ophioscorodon (Link) Döll, called Ophioscorodon, or hard necked garlic, includes porcelain garlics, rocambole garlic, and purple stripe garlics. It is sometimes considered to be a separate species, Allium ophioscorodon G.Don.
Allium sativum var. sativum, or soft-necked garlic, includes artichoke garlic, silverskin garlic, and creole garlic.
click to see :Italian garlic PDO (Aglio Bianco Polesano)
Bulb garlic is available in many forms, including fresh, frozen, dried, fermented (black garlic) and shelf stable products (in tubes or jars). In addition, see Culinary uses for other edible parts of the garlic plant.

Origin and major types:
According to Zohary and Hopf, “A difficulty in the identification of its wild progenitor is the sterility of the cultivars”, though it is thought to be descended from the species Allium longicuspis, which grows wild in central and southwestern Asia. Allium sativum grows in the wild in areas where it has become naturalized. The “wild garlic”, “crow garlic”, and “field garlic” of Britain are members of the species Allium ursinum, Allium vineale, and Allium oleraceum, respectively. In North America, Allium vineale (known as “wild garlic” or “crow garlic”) and Allium canadense, known as “meadow garlic” or “wild garlic” and “wild onion”, are common weeds in fields.[8] One of the best-known “garlics”, the so-called elephant garlic, is actually a wild leek (Allium ampeloprasum), and not a true garlic. Single clove garlic (also called pearl or solo garlic) originated in the Yunnan province of China

European garlic:
There are a number of garlics with Protected Geographical Status in Europe; these include:

*Aglio Rosso di Nubia (Red Garlic of Nubia) from Nubia-Paceco, Provincia di Trapani, Sicily, Italy

*Aglio Bianco Polesano from Veneto, Italy (PDO)

*Aglio di Voghiera from Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy (PDO)

*Ail blanc de Lomagne from Lomagne in the Gascony area of France (PGI)

*Ail de la Drôme from Drôme in France (PGI)

*Ail rose de Lautrec a rose/pink garlic from Lautrec in France (PGI)

*Ajo Morado de las Pedroñeras a rose/pink garlic from Las Pedroñeras in Spain (PGI)

Cultivation:
Garlic is easy to grow and can be grown year-round in mild climates. While sexual propagation of garlic is indeed possible, nearly all of the garlic in cultivation is propagated asexually, by planting individual cloves in the ground In cold climates, cloves are planted in the autumn, about six weeks before the soil freezes, and harvested in late spring. The cloves must be planted at sufficient depth to prevent freeze/thaw which causes mold or white rot[11] Garlic plants are usually very hardy, and are not attacked by many pests or diseases. Garlic plants are said to repel rabbits and moles. Two of the major pathogens that attack garlic are nematodes and white rot disease, which remain in the soil indefinitely after the ground has become infected. Garlic also can suffer from pink root, a typically nonfatal disease that stunts the roots and turns them pink or red.

Garlic plants can be grown closely together, leaving enough space for the bulbs to mature, and are easily grown in containers of sufficient depth. Garlic does well in loose, dry, well drained soils in sunny locations, and is hardy throughout USDA climate zones 4 – 9. When selecting garlic for planting, it is important to pick large heads from which to separate cloves. Large cloves, along with proper spacing in the planting bed, will also improve head size. Garlic plants prefer to grow in a soil with a high organic material content, but are capable of growing in a wide range of soil conditions and pH levels.

There are different types or subspecies of garlic, most notably hardneck garlic and softneck garlic. The latitude where the garlic is grown affects the choice of type as garlic can be day-length sensitive. Hardneck garlic is generally grown in cooler climates; softneck garlic is generally grown closer to the equator.

Garlic scapes are removed to focus all the garlic’s energy into bulb growth. The scapes can be eaten raw or cooked.

Edible Uses:
Garlic is widely used around the world for its pungent flavor as a seasoning or condiment.

The garlic plant’s bulb is the most commonly used part of the plant. With the exception of the single clove types, garlic bulbs are normally divided into numerous fleshy sections called cloves. Garlic cloves are used for consumption (raw or cooked) or for medicinal purposes. They have a characteristic pungent, spicy flavor that mellows and sweetens considerably with cooking.

Other parts of the garlic plant are also edible. The leaves and flowers (bulbils) on the head (spathe) are sometimes eaten. They are milder in flavor than the bulbs, and are most often consumed while immature and still tender. Immature garlic is sometimes pulled, rather like a scallion, and sold as “green garlic”.   When green garlic is allowed to grow past the “scallion” stage, but not permitted to fully mature, it may produce a garlic “round”, a bulb like a boiling onion, but not separated into cloves like a mature bulb. Additionally, the immature flower stalks (scapes) of the hardneck and elephant types are sometimes marketed for uses similar to asparagus in stir-fries.

Inedible or rarely eaten parts of the garlic plant include the “skin” and root cluster. The papery, protective layers of “skin” over various parts of the plant are generally discarded during preparation for most culinary uses, though in Korea immature whole heads are sometimes prepared with the tender skins intact.[22] The root cluster attached to the basal plate of the bulb is the only part not typically considered palatable in any form.

Garlic is a fundamental component in many or most dishes of various regions, including eastern Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, northern Africa, southern Europe, and parts of South and Central America. The flavour varies in intensity and aroma with the different cooking methods. It is often paired with onion, tomato, or ginger. The parchment-like skin is much like the skin of an onion, and is typically removed before using in raw or cooked form. An alternative is to cut the top off the bulb, coat the cloves by dribbling olive oil (or other oil-based seasoning) over them, and roast them in an oven. Garlic softens and can be extracted from the cloves by squeezing the (root) end of the bulb, or individually by squeezing one end of the clove. In Korea, heads of garlic are fermented at high temperature; the resulting product, called black garlic, is sweet and syrupy, and is now being sold in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

Garlic may be applied to different kinds of bread to create a variety of classic dishes, such as garlic bread, garlic toast, bruschetta, crostini and canapé.

Oils can be flavored with garlic cloves. These infused oils are used to season all categories of vegetables, meats, breads and pasta.

In some cuisines, the young bulbs are pickled for three to six weeks in a mixture of sugar, salt, and spices. In eastern Europe, the shoots are pickled and eaten as an appetizer.

Immature scapes are tender and edible. They are also known as “garlic spears”, “stems”, or “tops”. Scapes generally have a milder taste than the cloves. They are often used in stir frying or braised like asparagus. Garlic leaves are a popular vegetable in many parts of Asia. The leaves are cut, cleaned, and then stir-fried with eggs, meat, or vegetables.

Mixing garlic with egg yolks and olive oil produces aioli. Garlic, oil, and a chunky base produce skordalia. Blending garlic, almond, oil, and soaked bread produces ajoblanco.

Garlic powder has a different taste from fresh garlic. If used as a substitute for fresh garlic, 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder is equivalent to one clove of garlic.

Medicinal Uses:
Garlic is claimed to help prevent heart disease (including atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure) and cancer. Animal studies, and some early research studies in humans, have suggested possible cardiovascular benefits of garlic. A Czech study found garlic supplementation reduced accumulation of cholesterol on the vascular walls of animals. Another study had similar results, with garlic supplementation significantly reducing aortic plaque deposits of cholesterol-fed rabbits. Another study showed supplementation with garlic extract inhibited vascular calcification in human patients with high blood cholesterol. The known vasodilative effect of garlic is possibly caused by catabolism of garlic-derived polysulfides to hydrogen sulfide in red blood cells (RBCs), a reaction that is dependent on reduced thiols in or on the RBC membrane. Hydrogen sulfide is an endogenous cardioprotective vascular cell-signaling molecule.

A randomized clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2007 found the consumption of garlic in any form did not reduce blood cholesterol levels in patients with moderately high baseline cholesterol levels.

However, a 2012 meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials looking at the effects of garlic on serum lipid profiles, found garlic was superior to placebo in reducing serum total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Compared with the placebo groups, serum total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the garlic groups was reduced by 0.28 (95% CI, ?0.45, ?0.11) mmol L?¹ (P = 0.001) and 0.13 (95% CI, ?0.20, ?0.06) mmol L?¹ (P < 0.001), respectively.

Allium sativum has been found to reduce platelet aggregation and hyperlipidemia.

In 2007, the BBC reported Allium sativum may have other beneficial properties, such as preventing and fighting the common cold. This assertion has the backing of long tradition in herbal medicine, which has used garlic for hoarseness and coughs. The Cherokee also used it as an expectorant for coughs and croup. However, in contrast to these earlier claims concerning the cold-preventing properties of garlic, a 2012 report in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews concludes that “there is insufficient clinical trial evidence regarding the effects of garlic in preventing or treating the common cold. A single trial suggested that garlic may prevent occurrences of the common cold but more studies are needed to validate this finding. Claims of effectiveness appear to rely largely on poor-quality evidence.”

Garlic is also alleged to help regulate blood sugar levels. Regular and prolonged use of therapeutic amounts of aged garlic extracts lower blood homocysteine levels and has been shown to prevent some complications of diabetes mellitus. People taking insulin should not consume medicinal amounts of garlic without consulting a physician.

Garlic was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene during World War I and World War II. More recently, it has been found from a clinical trial that a mouthwash containing 2.5% fresh garlic shows good antimicrobial activity, although the majority of the participants reported an unpleasant taste and halitosis.

Garlic cloves are used as a remedy for infections (especially chest problems), digestive disorders, and fungal infections such as thrush. Garlic can be used as a disinfectant because of its bacteriostatic and bacteriocidal properties.

Garlic has been found to enhance thiamin absorption, and therefore reduces the likelihood for developing the thiamin deficiency beriberi.

In 1924, it was found to be an effective way to prevent scurvy, because of its high vitamin C content.

Garlic has been used reasonably successfully in AIDS patients to treat Cryptosporidium in an uncontrolled study in China. It has also been used by at least one AIDS patient to treat toxoplasmosis, another protozoal disease.

Garlic supplementation has been shown to boost testosterone levels in rats fed a high protein diet.

A 2010 double-blind, parallel, randomised, placebo-controlled trial, involving 50 patients whose routine clinical records in general practice documented treated but uncontrolled hypertension, concluded, “Our trial suggests that aged garlic extract is superior to placebo in lowering systolic blood pressure similarly to current first line medications in patients with treated but uncontrolled hypertension.”

One of the most popular and efficacious natural sources that offer both, antimicrobial and antibiotic like activity, is garlic. Garlic contains allicin which makes it strong enough to fight and kill both, Gram positive and negative microorganisms, even Salmonella.If you are down with Salmonella infection, consumption of garlic in raw form will relieve the symptoms that cause discomfort. Another alternative is garlic infused cup of tea which must be taken all through the day.

Other uses:
The sticky juice within the bulb cloves is used as an adhesive in mending glass and porcelain. An environmentally benign garlic-derived polysulfide product is approved for use in the European Union  and the UK as a nematicide and insecticide, including for use for control of cabbage root fly and red mite in poultry

Spiritual and religious uses:
Garlic has been regarded as a force for both good and evil. According to Cassell’s Dictionary of Superstitions, there is an Islamic myth that considers that after Satan left the Garden of Eden, garlic arose in his left footprint and onion in the right. In Europe, many cultures have used garlic for protection or white magic, perhaps owing to its reputation as a potent preventative medicine. Central European folk beliefs considered garlic a powerful ward against demons, werewolves, and vampires. To ward off vampires, garlic could be worn, hung in windows, or rubbed on chimneys and keyholes.

In both Hinduism and Jainism, garlic is considered to stimulate and warm the body and to increase one’s desires. Some devout Hindus generally avoid using garlic and the related onion in the preparation of foods for religious festivities and events. Followers of the Jain religion avoid eating garlic and onion on a daily basis.

A belief among some Hindus is that when Devas and Asuras fought for nectar during churning of the ocean of milk (Samudramathan) in the other world, two Asuras were able to get access to nectar and had some quantity in their mouths in stealthy ways. Knowing the Asuras’ foul play the God cuffed the heads of those Asuras before they could swallow it and as a result nectar fell down on the earth from their mouths in drops which later grew as garlic; that is why the vegetable has such wonderful medicinal properties.

In some Buddhist traditions, garlic – along with the other five “pungent spices” – is understood to stimulate sexual and aggressive drives to the detriment of meditation practice.

In the Philippine folklore garlic is used to drive away monsters.

Known Hazards:
Garlic is known for causing bad breath (halitosis), as well as causing sweat to have a pungent “garlicky” smell, which is caused by allyl methyl sulfide (AMS). AMS is a volatile liquid which is absorbed into the blood during the metabolism of garlic-derived sulfur compounds; from the blood it travels to the lungs (and from there to the mouth, causing bad breath; see garlic breath) and skin, where it is exuded through skin pores. Washing the skin with soap is only a partial and imperfect solution to the smell. Studies have shown sipping milk at the same time as consuming garlic can significantly neutralize bad breath.  Mixing garlic with milk in the mouth before swallowing reduced the odor better than drinking milk afterward. Plain water, mushrooms and basil may also reduce the odor; the mix of fat and water found in milk, however, was the most effective.

The green, dry “folds” in the center of the garlic clove are especially pungent. The sulfur compound allicin, produced by crushing or chewing fresh garlic, produces other sulfur compounds: ajoene, allyl polysulfides, and vinyldithiins. Aged garlic lacks allicin, but may have some activity due to the presence of S-allylcysteine.

In a rat study allicin was found to be an activator of TRPA1. The neurons released neurotransmitters in the spinal cord to generate pain signals and released neuropeptides at the site of sensory nerve activation, resulting in vasodilation, as well as inflammation. Allicin is released only by crushing or chewing raw garlic and cannot be formed from cooked garlic.

Some people suffer from allergies to garlic and other plants in the allium genus. Symptoms can include irritable bowel, diarrhea, mouth and throat ulcerations, nausea, breathing difficulties, and, in rare cases, anaphylaxis. Garlic-sensitive patients show positive tests to diallyl disulfide, allylpropyldisulfide, allylmercaptan and allicin, all of which are present in garlic. People who suffer from garlic allergies will often be sensitive to many plants, including onions, garlic, chives, leeks, shallots, garden lilies, ginger, and bananas.

Garlic reduces platelet aggregation (as does aspirin); this had caused very high quantities of garlic and garlic supplements to be linked with an increased risk of bleeding, particularly during pregnancy and after surgery and childbirth, although culinary quantities are safe for consumption.

Several reports of serious burns resulting from garlic being applied topically for various purposes, including naturopathic uses and acne treatment, indicate care must be taken for these uses, usually testing a small area of skin using a very low concentration of garlic. On the basis of numerous reports of such burns, including burns to children, topical use of raw garlic, as well as insertion of raw garlic into body cavities, is discouraged. In particular, topical application of raw garlic to young children is not advisable. The side effects of long-term garlic supplementation, if any exist, are largely unknown, and no FDA-approved study has been performed. Possible side effects include gastrointestinal discomfort, sweating, dizziness, allergic reactions, bleeding, and menstrual irregularities. The safety of garlic supplements has not been determined for children; some breastfeeding mothers have found their babies slow to feed and have noted a garlic odour coming from their baby when they have consumed garlic.

Garlic may interact with warfarin, antiplatelets, saquinavir, antihypertensives, calcium channel blockers, quinolone family of antibiotics such as Cipro,and hypoglycemic drugs, as well as other medications. Members of the alium family might be toxic to cats or dogs. Some degree of liver toxicity has been demonstrated in rats, particularly in extremely large quantities exceeding those that a rat would consume under normal situations

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.

Resaources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_sativum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Bohol_flora_and_fauna

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Herbs & Plants Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Cuminum cyminum (Jeera)

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Botanical Name :Cuminum cyminum
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Cuminum
Species: C. cyminum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales
Class :Magnoliophyta
Division :Magnoliopsida

Synonyms : Cuminia cyminum. Cuminum aegyptiacum. Cuminum hispanicum. Cuminum sativum

Common Names:English: Cumin seeds,Hindi: Jeera, Sanskrit: Jeerak, Gujrati :Jeeru

Etymology:
The English “cumin” derives from the Old English cymen (or Old French cumin), from Latin cuminum, which is the latinisation of the Greek (kuminon), cognate with Hebrew kammon and Arabic kammun. Forms of this word are attested in several ancient Semitic languages, including kam?nu in Akkadian. The ultimate source is the Sumerian word gamun. The earliest attested form of the word  (kuminon) is the Mycenaean Greek ku-mi-no, written in Linear B syllabic script.Indian Name is Jira

Habitat : Cuminum cyminum is   is grown in Temperent climate.Western Asia, where it is culti­vated since Biblical times . Main pro­duction countries today are India, Iran, Indonesia, China and the South Medi­terranean.

Description:
Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family. The cumin plant   grows to 30–50 cm (0.98–1.6 ft) tall and is harvested by hand. It is an herbaceous annual plant, with a slender branched stem 20–30 cm tall. The leaves are 5–10 cm long, pinnate or bipinnate, thread-like leaflets. The flowers are small, white or pink, and borne in umbels. The fruit is a lateral fusiform or ovoid achene 4–5 mm long, containing a single seed. Cumin seeds resemble caraway seeds, being oblong in shape, longitudinally ridged, and yellow-brown in color, like other members of the Umbelliferae family such as caraway, parsley and dill.

You may click to see the pictures cumin seeds    and      pictures of cumin plant

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Cultivation:
Cultivation of cumin requires a long, hot summer of 3–4 months, with daytime temperatures around 30 °C (86 °F); it is drought-tolerant, and is mostly grown in Mediterranean climates. It is grown from seed, sown in spring, and needs fertile, well-drained soil.

Propagation :
Seed – sow early spring in individual pots in a greenhouse. Grow the plants on fast, and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Give the plants some temporary protection such as a cloche for their first few weeks in the open ground to make sure that they keep on growing in the cooler weather of early summer.

Uses:
Cumin is the most popular spice in the world after black pepper. Cumin seeds are used as a spice for their distinctive aroma, popular in Nepalese, Indian, Pakistani, North African, Middle Eastern, Sri Lankan, Cuban, northern Mexican cuisines, central Asian Uzbek cuisine, and the western Chinese cuisines of Sichuan and Xinjiang. Cumin can be found in some Dutch cheeses, such as Leyden cheese, and in some traditional breads from France. It is commonly used in traditional Brazilian cuisine. Cumin can be an ingredient in chili powder (often Texan or Mexican-style), and is found in achiote blends, adobos, sofrito, garam masala, curry powder, and bahaarat.

Cumin can be used ground or as whole seeds. Cumin was also used heavily in ancient Roman cuisine. It helps to add an earthy and warming feeling to cooking, making it a staple in certain stews and soups, as well as curries and chilli.

Nutritional value:
Although cumin seeds contain a relatively large percentage of iron, extremely large quantities of cumin would need to be consumed for it to serve as a significant dietary source (see nutrition data).

Aroma profile:
Cumin’s distinctive flavour and strong, warm aroma is due to its essential oil content. Its main constituent and important aroma compound is cuminaldehyde (4-isopropylbenzaldehyde). Important aroma compounds of toasted cumin are the substituted pyrazines, 2-ethoxy-3-isopropylpyrazine, 2-methoxy-3-sec-butylpyrazine, and 2-methoxy-3-methylpyrazine.

*beta-Pinene
*Cuminal
*Gamma-terpinene

Main constituents:
The fruits contain 2.5 to 4% essential oil. In the essential oil, cumin aldehyde (p-isopropyl-benzaldehyde, 25 to 35%), furthermore perilla aldehyde, cumin alcohol, ?- and ?-pinene (21%), dipentene, p-cymene and ?-phellandrene were found.

In toasted cumin fruits, a large number of pyrazines has been identified as flavour compounds. Besides pyrazine and various alkyl derivatives (particularly, 2,5- and 2,6-dimethyl pyrazine), 2-alkoxy-3-alkylpyrazines seem to be the key compounds (2-ethoxy-3-isopropyl pyrazine, 2-methoxy-3-sec-butyl pyrazine, 2-methoxy-3-methyl pyrazine). Also a sulfur compound, 2-methylthio-3-isopropyl pyrazine, was found. All these Maillard-products are also formed when fenugreek or coriander are toasted. (Nahrung,?  24, 645, 1980)

.Medicinal Uses:
Cumin seed is used for diarrhea and indigestion.  Specific for headaches caused by ingestion. Hot cumin water is excellent for colds and fevers and is made by boiling a teaspoon of roasted seeds in 3 cups of water.  Honey can be added to soothe a sore throat.  It is supposed to increase lactation and reduce nausea in pregnancy.  Used in a poultice, it relieves swelling of the breast or the testicles.  Smoked in a pipe with ghee, it is taken to relieve the hiccups.  Stimulates the appetite.  Still used in veterinary practice.  Cumin mixed with flour and water is good feed for poultry and it is said if you give tame pigeons cumin it makes them fond of their home and less likely to stray.  Basalt mixed with cumin seeds was a common country remedy for pigeons’ scabby backs and breasts.

Other Uses:  The seed contains about 2.5% essential oil. It is used in perfumery and for flavouring beverages.

Known Hazards : May cause hypoglycaemia. Caution need for diabetics. Avoid if taking barbiturates

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.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumin
http://www.ayushveda.com/herbs/cuminum-cyminum.htm
http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Cumi_cym.html

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Herbs & Plants

Allium humile

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Botanical name: Allium humile
Family: Alliaceae (Onion family)
Synonyms: Allium govanianum, Allium nivale
Common name: Small Alpine Onion, Ornamental Allium

Habitat :Grows naturally on slopes at high elevations in China. Small Alpine Onion is a species of onion found at high altitudes in the Himalayas.

Description:
It is a perennial  herb.Flowers are white, star-shaped, in a rather lax umbel 2.5-4 cm across, borne on a leafy stem. Narrow-elliptic petals, about 1 cm long, spread outwards, and are much longer than the stamens. Out flower stalks are usually longer than the flowers. Spathe lobes are broadly ovate. Leaves are many, flat, 2-5 mm broad, blunt, usually shorter at flowering than the stem. The stem itself is 7-25 cm tall. Bulbs are clustered, cylindrical, covered with fibrous leaf-bases. Small Alpine Onion is found on open alpine slopes, from Pakistan to W Nepal, at altitudes of 3000-4000 m. Flowering: June-August.

click to see the pictures

Medicinal Uses:

Allium humile is used for Asthma, stomach diseases,jaundice, cold, cough (noted from:http://www.indianscience.org/essays/20-%20E–Himalayan%20Medicine%20System%20fine12.pdf)

Dried leaves paste,root powder of saussurea costus mixed with ghee/butter is taken orally  to get relieve from asthma and pectoral  complaints.(noted from : http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/9778/1/IJTK%209(3)%20480-485.pdf

Click to see  :
In-vitro antibacterial activity of Allium humile :

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/Small%20Alpine%20Onion.html
http://www.robsplants.com/plants/AlliuHumil.php
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp

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Herbs & Plants

Allium cepa proliferum

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Botanical Name:Allium cepa proliferum
Family : Alliaceae
Genus : Allium.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asparagales
Species: A. proliferum

Synonyms : Allium cepa viviparum – (Metzg.)Alef. Allium x proliferum – (Moench.)Schrad. ex Willd.

Common Name: Tree Onion ,Top Onions, Topset Onions, Walking Onions, or Egyptian onions

Habitat: Original habitat is obscure. It grows on Cultivated Beds;

Description :
Bulb growing to 1.2m.
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The tree onion plant resembles a green onion plant, or more generally a shallot. Rocambole, a top setting garlic, is alike, but it has flat leaves instead of the hollow leaves of the tree onion.

Of course the part used is the bulb. The Tree Onion is an unusual type of Onion that produces bulblets at the top of a strong stem about 2 feet high. Instead of seeds, a cluster of small bulblets appear which are green at first, but turn into a brownish-red colour which are about the size of hazel nuts. The stems bear so many of these bulblets so heavily that they require support to keep them upright.

Tree Onion bulblets will sprout and grow while still on the original stalk, which may bend down under the weight of the new growth, giving rise to the name, walking onion. Recent research has shown that the tree onion may be a cross between Allium cepa, the cultivated onion, and Allium fistulosum, the Welsh onion (Some sites may currently treat the Tree Onion as Allium cepa Proliferum Group). This phenomenon of forming bulblets instead of flowers is also seen in garlic and other various wild species of Allium. Bulblets in tree onions are generally very small, usually within .5 cm to 3 cm in diameter, although sizes may differ out of this range, from time to time. A similar relative to the tree onion is the pearl onion and a few other, nameable varieties.

Cultivation:-
Prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil[1] but succeeds in most soils that are in good condition[16]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 8.3. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Some modern works have moved this plant from A. cepa, seeing it as being of hybrid origin with A. fistulosum and therefore renaming in A. x proliferum. The tree onion is a genuinely perennial form of A. cepa that is sometimes grown in the herb garden for its edible bulbils. Plants rarely if ever produce seed, instead the flowering head is comprised of a number of small onions or bulbils. Plants are propagated by means of these bulbils or by dividing the main bulb that grows underground. By no means a heavily productive plant, though the bulbils are very well flavoured and the plant is fairly easily grown. Its main problem is that slugs seem to be attracted to it and can eat to death even well-established plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Said to be immune to onion root fly. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:-
The Tree Onion is propagated from the small stem bulbs that are produced, planted 2 inches deep and 4 inches apart, in rows 8 inches apart. This is a general rule of thumb and I planted mine approximately like this.I planted them in a small no-dig garden that I built and grew tomatoes in, in the previous year. I had re-done the bed with some more straw, soil and blood and bone and was perfect for the onions. I also planted some of the giant garlic in the same beds and I will hopefully feature these in an article later on.

Harvest bulbils in late summer and replant immediately or store them in a cool dry frost-free place and plant them out in late winter or early spring. Division of the bulbs after the leaves die down in late summer.

Cultivars:-
‘Catawissa’
A very hardy cultivar of Canadian origin, distinguished by its vigorous growth and the rapidity with which the bulbils commence to grow without being detached from the top of the stem. The bulbils divide into tiers, the second set of bulbils producing green shoots, leaves or barren stems to bring the height of the plant to over 75cm
.
‘McCullar’s White Topset’
This form produces a number of white bulbs below the ground about 25cm or more in diameter, plus pea-sized bulbils at the top of the flower stalk. The larger bulbs are used for eating, the bulbils are used for replanting. It is used primarily as a source of greens when other onions are dormant.

‘Moritz Egyptian’
Similar to the typical tree onion, but the bulbs are a deeper colour (red-purple) and the topsets are slightly larger than most strains. An unusual strain that will sometimes produce sets in the middle of the stalk.
‘Norris Egyptian’

This cultivar is less pungent and more productive than other strains

Edible Uses:-
Edible Parts: Leaves; Root.

The plant forms small bulbs at the top of the flowering stem, these can be eaten raw or cooked. They have a strong onion flavour and are often used as pickled onions or added to salads. As long as the bulbils are dried properly at harvest time, they store well. Bulb – raw or cooked. The bulb can be up to 4cm in diameter and has a strong onion flavour. Chopped into slices, it makes a good addition to salads and can also be used as a vegetable or as a flavouring in cooked foods. Leaves – raw or cooked. A strong onion flavour, it makes a nice flavouring in salads though it should not be harvested in quantity because this would reduce the yield of bulbils. The leaves are produced from late autumn, though we have found that harvesting them at this time will often encourage diseases such as mildew.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses
Anthelmintic; Antiinflammatory; Antiseptic; Antispasmodic; Carminative; Diuretic; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Hypoglycaemic; Hypotensive; Lithontripic; Skin; Stomachic; Tonic.

Although rarely used specifically as a medicinal herb, the onion has a wide range of beneficial actions on the body and when eaten (especially raw) on a regular basis will promote the general health of the body. The bulb is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, hypotensive, lithontripic, stomachic and tonic. When used regularly in the diet it offsets tendencies towards angina, arteriosclerosis and heart attack. It is also useful in preventing oral infection and tooth decay. Baked onions can be used as a poultice to remove pus from sores. Fresh onion juice is a very useful first aid treatment for bee and wasp stings, bites, grazes or fungal skin complaints. When warmed the juice can be dropped into the ear to treat earache. It also aids the formation of scar tissue on wounds, thus speeding up the healing process, and has been used as a cosmetic to remove freckles.

Other Uses:-
Cosmetic; Dye; Hair; Polish; Repellent; Rust.

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent and can also be rubbed onto the skin to repel insects. The plant juice can be used as a rust preventative on metals and as a polish for copper and glass. A yellow-brown dye is obtained from the skins of the bulbs. Onion juice rubbed into the skin is said to promote the growth of hair and to be a remedy for baldness. It is also used as a cosmetic to get rid of freckles. The growing plant is said to repel insects and moles. A spray made by pouring enough boiling water to cover 1kg of chopped unpeeled onions is said to increase the resistance of other plants to diseases and parasites.

Known Hazards :-  There have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of this plant. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

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.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Allium+cepa+proliferum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_onion
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/342274/
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/bulbs_and_plants/98100

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Jimbur (Allium wallichii )

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Botanical Name : Allium wallichii
Family : Alliaceae
Genus : Allium
Species: wallichii
Other Names : Allium wallichii Liliaceae Allium, Ornamental Onion, Jimbu, Dzimbu
English Name: Allium, Ornamental Onion, Jimbu, Dzimbu seeds.
Common name: Himalaya Onion, Jimbur

Habitat : E. Asia – W. China to the Himalayas. Forest clearings and shrubberies, fully open to the monsoon rains, 2800 – 4300 metres from Pakistan to S.W. China.

Description:
Himalaya Onion is a deciduous bulb that grows to 1.0 meters high by 0.5 meters wide. It grows in Himalyan foothills between 2300-6600 m. It sports hemispheric umbels of purple flowers. In Nepal, Himalaya onion is often used for cooking, especially for flavouring dal (lintal) boiled legumes. Rather uniquely, jimbu leaves are usually employed in the dried state and fried in butter fat to develop their flavour.

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It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower from August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.

A large genus of bulbous plants, most of which have a distinctive smell of garlic (onions, leeks, chives, and garlic are all members). However, many are worth growing for their flowers and, unless the foliage is broken, the odour is seldom offensive. Easily raised from seed.

With papery, magenta to purple reflexed flowers, it is much used for medicinal purposes and as a spice, so much so that it is in danger of being over-harvested. The aromatic leaves, with a strong distinctive flavour, are used dried in small quantities to flavour soups, vegetables and meat dishes.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
An easily grown plant,  it prefers a sunny position in a light well-drained soil[1]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of Britain, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c It succeeds outdoors in N.W. England where it sets seed. The bulbs should be planted fairly deeply. Most members of this genus are intolerant of competition from other growing plants. Grows well with most plants, especially roses, carrots, beet and chamomile, but it inhibits the growth of legumes. This plant is a bad companion for alfalfa, each species negatively affecting the other. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.

Propagation:-
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle – if you want to produce clumps more quickly then put three plants in each pot. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter and plant them out into their permanent positions in spring once they are growing vigorously and are large enough. Division in spring. The plants divide successfully at any time in the growing season, pot up the divisions in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing well and then plant them out into their permanent positions.

Edible Uses:-
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves; Root.

Young leaves – cooked as a vegetable. The dried leaves are used as a condiment in curries and pickles. Bulb – raw or cooked. Poorly developed and rather small. The cloves are used as a substitute for garlic. Flowers – raw. Used as a garnish on salads.

Medicinal Uses
The bulbs, boiled then fried in ghee, are eaten in the treatment of cholera and dysentery. The raw bulb is chewed to treat coughs and colds. It is said that eating the bulbs can ease the symptoms of altitude sickness. Members of this genus are in general very healthy additions to the diet. They contain sulphur compounds (which give them their onion flavour) and when added to the diet on a regular basis they help reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the circulatory system.

Other Uses:
Repellent.

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent. The whole plant is said to repel insects and moles.

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.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Allium+wallichii
http://www.chilternseeds.co.uk/chilternseeds/moreinfo/d/allium+wallichii/pid/9368609
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Himalaya%20Onion.html
http://www.srgc.org.uk/bulblog/log2005/140905/log.html