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Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Helianthus petiolaris

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Botanical Name: Helianthus petiolaris
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Helianthus
Species: H. petiolaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:

*Helianthus couplandii B.Boivin
*Helianthus integrifolius Nutt.
*Helianthus patens Lehm.

Common Name : Prairie Sunflower , Lesser sunflower
Habitat : Helianthus petiolaris is native to Central to western N. America – Manitoba and Minnesota south to Arizona.
It grows on sandy soils. Dry prairies.
Description:
Helianthus petiolaris is an annual plant growing to 3 m (9ft 10in). While some references put the plant height at up to 6 feet. It can grow in clumps that make it look like a small bush, but it is not unusual to see single plants scattered around…CLICK &   SEE  THE PICTURESLIC

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: simple

Leaves are rather variable—they may be triangular, oval, or shaped like the head of a spear. All leaves have a rough texture and somewhat wavy edges; the color is a dull green, sometimes bluish-green. There are 2 prominent lower veins that run parallel to the main center vein. There may be a few shallow teeth along the edge, but leaves are mostly toothless. The leaf size is variable depending on the shape. Elongated spear-shapes may be up to 6 inches long and 1 inch wide. Triangular leaves are up to 3½ inches long and 2 inches wide. Leaf stalks are ¾ to 1½ inches long, longer towards the base of the plant, becoming shorter as leaves ascend the stem. Stems are typically branched, and have a rough texture.

Flower: Flower blooms between July to September. Flower is 1½ to 3 inches across, 12 to 25 yellow rays (petals) and a dark brown center disk ½ to 1 inch in diameter. A plant has 1 to several flowers, each at the end of a 1½ to 6 inch long stalk. The bracts are flat, wide at the base tapering to sharply pointed tips, with short.bristly hairs. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.
Fruit: The center disk forms a head of ¼-inch brown seeds. Seeds lack a tuft of hairs but have 2 bristly scales at the tip.

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils in a sunny position. Requires a rich soil. Dislikes shade. Grows well on dry soils. The young growth is extremely attractive to slugs, plants can be totally destroyed by them. This species hybridizes in the wild with H. annuus. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits.

Propagation:
Seed – sow in mid spring in situ. An earlier start can be made by sowing 2 – 3 seeds per pot in a greenhouse in early spring. Use a fairly rich compost. Thin to the strongest seedling, give them an occasional liquid feed to make sure they do not become nutrient deficient and plant them out in late spring or early summer.

Edible Uses:
The seeds in the plant are edible and can be ground up into an oily meal or into a butter.

Medicinal Uses: The powdered leaves, either on their own or in an ointment, have been used as a dressing for sores and swellings.

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/Helianthus_petiolaris
https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/prairie-sunflower
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Helianthus+petiolaris

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Herbs & Plants

Origanum syriacum

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Botanical Name ; Origanum syriacum
Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribe: Mentheae
Genus: Origanum
Species: Origanum syriacum
Regnum: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Kingdom: Plantae
Common Names:Oregano, Syrian,zaatar, za’tar, zatar, zatr, zattr, zahatar, zaktar or Satar

Habitat :Origanum syriacum is  native to the Middle East.

Description:
Origanum syriacum is a woody perennial herb.  This is a spicy smelling and tasting oregano-like herb that is the keystone herb in the condiment of the same name, which is used quite frequently by people living in the Middle east. You mix the dried and powdered herb with various other ingredients–garlic, salt, olive oil, crushed sumac seeds, etc and use it on bread.  Quite delicious and habit forming in a good way. Zaatar is one of the sources of the antiseptic essential oil known as carvacrol, which (along with other terpenoids such as thymol)  inhibits several kinds of nasty bacteria (e.g. Pseudomonas aeruginosa) by eroding the bacterial cell wall. Plant prefers full sun and sandy, fast-draining soil. Makes an abundant crop of leaves in the first growing season.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Edible Uses::
Since Syrian Oregano is one of our most flavorful oreganos, we developed a   Its thymol concentration is probably responsible for its effective applications in treating tooth decay, gum infections, and coughs; hyssop tea is drunk after meals to aid digestion.special recipe for it and the delightfully tasty Italian Oregano Thyme. Oregano Maru and Italian Oregano Thyme Honeyed Pork Chops.

Medicinal Uses;
Za’atar has a long history as a medicinal and flavoring herb.  Its thymol concentration is probably responsible for its effective applications in treating tooth decay, gum infections, and coughs; hyssop tea is drunk after meals to aid digestion.

Its thymol concentration is probably responsible for its effective applications in treating tooth decay, gum infections, and coughs; hyssop tea is drunk after meals to aid digestion.

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://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Origanum_syriacum
http://www.horizonherbs.com/product.asp?specific=820
http://www.mountainvalleygrowers.com/orimaru.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Indian chickweed

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Botanical Name :
Stellaria media
Family:
Caryophyllaceae
Genus:    
Stellaria
Species:    
S. media
Kingdom:  
 Plantae
Order:
Caryophyllales

Other Names: Addre’s mouth, Chickweed, Indian chickweed, tongue grass, satin flower, star chickweed, starwort, starweed, stitchwort, winterweed, tongue-grass

Parts Used:dried herb

Habitat : Chickweed grows  in many areas across the globe, especially in fields, at the side of the road, in waste areas and so on. The scape has the average length of 7 inches and is covered with round-shaped leaves. The plant is characterized by white flowers of compact size.In both Europe and North America this plant is common in gardens, fields, and disturbed grounds. Control is difficult due to the heavy seed sets. Common Chickweed is very competitive with small grains, and can produce up to 80% yield losses among barley

Description:
Chickweed is an annual or biennial weed found in abundance all over the world in gardens, fields, lawns, waste places, and along roadsides. The usually creeping, brittle stems grow from 4 to 12 inches long and bear opposite, entire, ovate leaves. The small white flowers can be found blooming all year long in terminal, leafy cymes or solitary in the leaf axils.Chickweed is a plant with a lifespan of 1-2 years.

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Chemical Constituents:
The active constituents are largely unknown. Chickweed contains relatively high amounts of vitamins and flavonoids, which may explain some of its effect. Although some older information suggests a possible benefit for chickweed in rheumatic conditions, this has not been validated in clinical practice.

Edible Uses:
There is some data on the fact that chickweed was used as a food supplement.Chickweed is still used today as a salad herb or may be cooked as a vegetable. It is one of the ingredients of the symbolic dish consumed in the Japanese spring-time festival, Nanakusa-no-sekku.

Medicinal Uses:
Chickweed is reputed to treat a wide spectrum of conditions in folk medicine, ranging from asthma and indigestion to skin disorders. Traditional Chinese herbalists use chickweed internally as a tea to treat nosebleeds.

Being a widely-used medication in herbal medicine, this herb is known for its ability to have a positive impact on the digestive system, respiratory system and even skin. In China this plant was applied in form of a hot drink to cure nose bleeding. The plant was extensively used to treat stomachaches, digestion problems, coughs, bronchitis, various inflammations and so on. Until recently it has been considered a universal remedy for almost every disease.

It’s applications have traditionally included: bronchitis, pleurisy, coughs, colds, hoarseness, rheumatism, inflammation, or weakness of the bowels and stomach, lungs, bronchial tubes.

Chickweed had been used for externallly for: skin diseases, boils, scalds, burns, inflamed or sore eyes, erysipelas, tumors, piles, cancer, swollen testes, ulcerated throat and mouth, and all kinds of wounds.

External application of chickweed is known to produce healing effect on skin sores of different types, as well as reduce inflammations locally (especially those related to throat diseases). Chickweed was even used to treat cancer.

Chickweed is used for boosting metabolism, healing inflammations, producing an expectorative effect and giving a relief from cough and respiratory diseases.

Severe skin problems like eczema and minor sores like insect bites are also regarded as cases of chickweed application. Stomach and bowel dysfunction, swollen testes, sore-throat, and various types of wounds are effectively treated by applying chickweed.

Chickweed may be useful for:
Used externally for:
Cuts, Wounds, itching and skin irritation; Skin diseases, boils, scalds, burns, inflamed or sore eyes.

Internally:
Rheumatism

Other indications include:
* Eczema
*Insect stings and bites
*Traditionally used for all cases of bronchitis, pleurisy, coughs, colds, hoarseness, rheumatism, inflammation, weakness of the bowels and stomach, lungs, bronchial tubes, and any other forms of internal inflammation.

*Crushed, fresh leaves many be used as a poultice for inflammation and indolent ulcers with most beneficial results. A poultice of Chickweed enclosed in muslin is a sure remedy for a carbuncle or an external abscess. The water in which the Chickweed is boiled should also be used to bathe the affected part.

Also said to regulate the thyroid gland.

Dosage:
Although formerly used as a tea, chickweed’s main use today is as a cream applied liberally several times each day to rashes and inflammatory skin conditions (e.g., eczema) to ease itching and inflammation. As a tincture, 1-5 ml per day can be taken.

Known Hazards:  S. media contains plant chemicals known as saponins, which can be toxic when consumed in large quantities. Chickweed has been known to cause saponin poisoning in cattle. However, as the animal must consume several kilos of chickweed in order to reach a toxic level, such deaths are rare.

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://www.wildcrafted.com.au/Botanicals/Chickweed.html
http://www.holisticonline.com/herbal-med/_Herbs/h45.htm
http://www.oshims.com/herb-directory/c/chickweed

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellaria_media

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Oregano, Garlic Oils Can Prevent Bacteria Attack!

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Essential oils from common spices like oregano, allspice and garlic can act as a natural barrier against bacteria like E-Coli, Salmonella and Oregano, garlic oils can prevent bacteria attack! (Getty Images)

CLICK & SEE.>…....oregano  oil.…….allspice oil..……garlic oil...

Listeria, according to a new US government study.

Oregano oil has been found to be the most effective antimicrobial, followed by allspice and garlic.

Researchers at Processed Foods Research and Produce Safety and Microbiology units of Western Regional Research Centre from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) investigated the effectiveness of the oils by incorporating them in thin, tomato-based antimicrobial coatings known as edible films.

In addition to its flavour properties, tomatoes are reported to possess numerous beneficial nutritional and bioactive components that may benefit human health.

Edible tomato films containing antimicrobials may protect food against contamination by pathogenic microorganisms.

The findings revealed that oregano oil consistently inhibited the growth of all three bacteria.

Although garlic oil was not effective against E. coli or Salmonella, but was effective against Listeria.

Vapour tests of oregano and allspice oils indicated that these two oils diffuse more efficiently through the air than through direct contact with the bacteria.

Listeria was less resistant to EO vapors while E. coli was more resistant.

“The results show that apple-based films with allspice, cinnamon or clove bud oils were effective against the three bacteria. The essential oils have the potential to provide multiple benefits to consumers,” said lead researcher R. J. Avena-Bustillos.

Source: The study appears in Journal of Food Science.

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Herbs & Plants Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Oregano

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Botanical Name:Origanum vulgare
Family:
Lamiaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Lamiales
Genus: Origanum
Species: O. vulgare

Habitat: Native to Europe, the Mediterranean region and southern and central Asia.

Description: It is a perennial herb, growing to 20-80 cm tall, with opposite leaves 1-4 cm long. The flowers are purple, 3-4 mm long, produced in erect spikes. Its name derives from the Greek origanon , oros “mountain” + the verb ganousthai “delight in”. Oregano (seed) is also known as Ajwain in Urdu.

click tom see the pictures..>..(01)....(1)..(2)…..(3)...(4)....(5).
Oregano is a hardy perennial that may need winter protection to survive in the colder zone in northern Illinois. It may grow two feet tall with a rounded, sprawling spread of 18 inches. White or pinkish-purple flower spikelets appear in mid to late summer. The cultivar ‘Aureum’ has golden yellow leaves and develops into an 8–10 inch mound. Use oregano in Spanish, Italian and Mexican cooking.

How to Grow
Plant oregano in full sun and well-drained soil. The gold leaf variety needs partial shade to help prevent leaf scorch. Plants may be started from seed, cuttings or crown division. Seed grown plants may not have good flavor. Propagate oregano by stem cuttings or crown division. Space plants 10–12 inches apart. Plants respond well to clump division every 2–3 years. This helps restore vigor and improve flavor.

Harvesting
Leaves can be snipped as needed. For best flavor, harvest leaves just as flower buds form. To dry, cut stems and bag dry or tray dry. When leaves are brittle, remove and separate them from the stem and store in an airtight container.

Uses:
The subspecies of oregano Origanum vulgare is an important culinary herb. It is particularly widely used in Greek and Italian-American cuisines. It is the leaves that are used in cooking, and the dried herb is often more flavourful than the fresh.

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Oregano is often used in tomato sauces, with fried vegetables, and grilled meat. Together with basil, it contributes much to the distinctive character of many Italian dishes.

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Oregano combines nicely with pickled olives, capers, and lovage leaves. Unlike most Italian herbs,[citation needed] oregano works with hot and spicy food, which is popular in southern Italy.

Oregano is an indispensable ingredient for Greek cuisine. Oregano adds flavour to Greek salad and is usually used separately or added to the lemon-olive oil sauce that accompanies many fish or meat barbecues and some casseroles.

Oregano growing in a pot.It has an aromatic, warm and slightly bitter taste. It varies in intensity; good quality is so strong that it almost numbs the tongue, but the cultivars adapted to colder climates have often unsatisfactory flavour. The influence of climate, season and soil on the composition of the essential oil is greater than the difference between the various species.

The related species Origanum onites (Greece, Asia Minor) and O. heracleoticum (Italy, Balkan peninsula, West Asia) have similar flavours. A closely related plant is marjoram from Asia Minor, which, however, differs significantly in taste, because phenolic compounds are missing in its essential oil. Some breeds show a flavour intermediate between oregano and marjoram.

Traditional Ethnic Uses
Oregano is the spice that gives pizza its characteristic flavor. It is also usually used in chili powder.

The dish most commonly associated with oregano is pizza. Its variations have probably been eaten in Southern Italy for centuries. Oregano became popular in the US when returning WWII soldiers brought back with them a taste for the “pizza herb”.

Oregano tastes great with tomato, egg, or cheese based foods, and is also a great addition to many lamb, pork, and beef main dishes. Try sauteeing aromatic vegetables in olive oil with garlic and Oregano. You can make a savory sauce with melted butter, lemon juice and a bit of Oregano; drizzle it over grilled fish and poultry. An easy way to accent pasta sauces, salad dressings, and ground meat dishes is with a dusting of crushed Oregano leaves. To release its flavor, crush Oregano by hand or with a mortar and pestle before using it in your recipes.

Medicinal Uses:
Oregano is high in antioxidant activity, due to a high content of phenolic acids and flavonoids. Additionally, oregano has demonstrated antimicrobial activity against food-borne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes. Both of these characteristics may be useful in both health and food preservation. In the Philippines, oregano (Coleus aromaticus) is not commonly used for cooking but is rather considered as a primarily medicinal plant, useful for relieving children’s coughs.

Main constituents include carvacrol, thymol, limonene, pinene, ocimene, and caryophyllene. The leaves and flowering stems are strongly antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic and mildly tonic. Oregano is taken by mouth for the treatment of colds, influenza, mild fevers, indigestion, stomach upsets and painful menstruation. It is strongly sedative and should not be taken in large doses, though mild teas have a soothing effect and aid restful sleep. Used topically, oregano is one of the best antiseptics because of its high thymol content.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, used oregano as an antiseptic as well as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments. A Cretan oregano (O. dictamnus) is still used today in Greece to soothe a sore throat[7].
Click to learn more medicinal uses of Oregano

Other plants called oregano
Mexican oregano, Lippia graveolens (Verbenaceae) is closely related to lemon verbena. It is a highly studied herb that is said to be of some medical use and is common in curandera female shamanic practices in Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Mexican oregano has a very similar flavour to oregano, but is usually stronger. It is becoming more commonly sold outside of Mexico, especially in the United States. It is sometimes used as a substitute for epazote leaves[citation needed]; this substitution would not work the other way round.

Several other plants are also known as oregano in various parts of Mexico, including Poliomintha longiflora, Lippia berlandieri, and Plectranthus amboinicus (syn. Coleus aromaticus), also called Cuban oregano.

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.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregano
http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/herbs/oregano.html
http://www.culinarycafe.com/Spices_Herbs/Oregano.html

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