Herbs & Plants

Gossypium hirsutum

Botanical Name : Gossypium hirsutum
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Gossypium
Species: G. hirsutum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

*Gossypium barbadense var. marie-galante (G. Watt) A. Chev., Rev. Int. Bot. Appl Agric. Trop. 18:118. 1938.
*Gossypium jamaicense Macfad., Fl. Jamaica 1:73. 1837.
*Gossypium lanceolatum Tod., Relaz. cult. coton. 185. 1877.
*Gossypium marie-galante G. Watt, Kew Bull. 1927:344. 1927.
*Gossypium mexicanum Tod., Ind. sem. panorm. 1867:20, 31. 1868.
*Gossypium morrillii O. F. Cook & J. Hubb., J. Washington Acad. Sci. 16:339. 1926.
*Gossypium palmeri G. Watt, Wild cult. cotton 204, t. 34. 1907.
*Gossypium punctatum Schumach., Beskr. Guin. pl. 309. 1827.
*Gossypium purpurascens Poir., Encycl. suppl. 2:369. 1811.
*Gossypium religiosum L., Syst. nat. ed. 12, 2:462. 1767.
*Gossypium schottii G. Watt, Wild cult. cotton 206. 1907.
*Gossypium taitense Parl., Sp. Cotoni 39, t. 6, fig. A. 1866.
*Gossypium tridens O. F. Cook & J. Hubb., J. Washington Acad. Sci. 16:547. 1926.
Common Names: Upland cotton or Mexican cotton,Cotton

Habitat : Gossypium hirsutum   is believed to have originated in Central America. In its transition from tropical to temperate regions, American Upland Cotton has lost the perennial, short-day habit to become highly vegetative producing few or no fruiting branches when grown during long days. Annual forms were developed in which all periodicity controls were lost. American Upland Cotton was taken from Mexico to United States about 1700. During American Civil War, it was introduced into most tropical and subtropical countries of the world. It now forms basis of all commercial cotton crops of Africa outside the Nile Valley, all those of South America except in Peru and northern Brazil, of the modern Russian crop, and much of that of northern India and Pakistan, and the Philippine Islands, as well as that of the Cotton Belt of the United States. Upland and Cambodian varieties are invading the Chinese crop, and where these cottons are developed in southeast Asia, they will be based on these types and hybrids between them.

Gossypium hirsutum is an annual subshrub, up to 1.5 m tall; branches of two kinds: vegetative and fruiting; leaves alternate, petiolate, palmately 3–5-lobed, hirsute, blade cordate, as broad as long, 7.5–15 cm across; flowers 6–8 on each fertile branch, large, white or yellow, subtended by a reduced calyx and 3–4 large green fringed bracts; staminal column surrounding style made up of 100 or more stamens; ovary superior, 3–5-carpellate; fruit a dehiscent capsule, 4–6 cm long, spherical, smooth, light green, with few oil glands; seeds 1 cm long, ovoid, dark brown, about 36 per fruit, bearing hairs of two kinds on the epidermis: long fibers called lint and short fibers strongly attached to seedcoat called fuzz; weight of 100 seeds 10–13 g; well-developed taproot with numerous laterals penetrating as deeply as 3 m. Fl. variable as to locality, approx. 3 months after planting……....CLICK &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

Seeds of some cultivars require a 2–3 month period of dormancy. Seeds lose viability quickly under moist conditions. Commercial cotton is always grown from seed, sown when soil temperatures are at least 18°C. Seed sown in drills or in hills. The hill-drop method is perhaps best if hand-hoe labor is used. Plant 2.5 cm deep under normal conditions. Seed rate of 17–28 kg/ha gives a good stand with 75,000–150,000 plants/ha, allowing for some losses. Row width of 100 cm is most suitable for mechanization. Seedbed preparation should include eradication of residue from past crops, maintenance of drainage, good tilth, elimination of hardpans, control of weeds and pests. Periodic cultivation and weeding is practiced. Chemical herbicides are routine in many countries. Insect control is one of the most costly items. Pre- and post-planting pesticide application is practiced. Irrigation is used when soil moisture is inadequate or when soil is poor in moisture-holding ability. An increasing amount of cotton is grown under irrigation yearly. Fertilizers are also a major item; for large harvests nutrients must be continually replaced. Amounts depend on soils; local agents should be consulted. Rotation is a recommended practice. Short rainy seasons often allow only the single crop to be grown. Where possible, a rotation of fallow, wheat, fallow, peas, cotton, fallow has proved practical.
Edible Uses:
Linters are of intermediate texture and shorter than those of G. barbadense. Seeds yield a semi-drying and edible oil, used in shortening, margarine, salad and cooking oils, and for protective coverings.

Chemical Constituents:
Root bark contains ca 3% of a reddish acidic resin, a volatile oil, a phenolic acid (probably 2,3-dihydrobenzoic acid; salicylic acid, a colorless phenol, betaine, a fatty alcohol, a phytosterol (C27H46O), a hydrocarbon (probably triacontane), ceryl alcohol and oleic and palmitic acid. Hager’s Handbook (List and Horhammer, 1969–1979) also lists isoquercitrin, quercimeritrin, quercetin-3′-glucoside, hirsutrin, isoastragalin, palmitic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, a-pinene, b-caryophyllene, bisabolol, caryophyllenepoxide, bisabolenoxide, abscissin II, serotonin, chrysanthemin, gossypicyanin, and histamine.

Medicinal Uses:
Cottonseed and roots have been used in nasal polyps, uterine fibroids and other types of cancer (Hartwell, 1967–1971). Gossypol has shown anticancer activity in the new LL, WA and PS-150 tumor systems. Mucilaginous tea of fresh or roasted seeds used for bonchitis, diarrhea, dysentry, and hemorrhage. Flowers diuretic and emollient, used for hypochondriasis. Leaves steeped in vinegar applied to the forehead for headache. Often used by early American slaves for abortion; apparently with no serious side effects. In Guinea, leaves and seeds considered emollient and roots emmenagogue. About 100 g root was boiled in about a liter of water until reduced by 1/2. Fifty g of the resultant witches brew was then drunk about every half hour. Root decocotion used for asthma, diarrhea, and dysentery. Root bark, devoid of tannin, astringent, antihemorrhoidal; used as an emmenagogue, hemostat, lactagogue, oxytocic, parturient, and vasoconstrictor. Gossypol is being used in China as a male contraceptive.

Other Uses:
Cultivated primarily for its vegetable seed fiber, the raw material for a large volume of textile products, this species is considered the most important of the cotton-yielding plants, providing the bulk of commercial cottons.
Pigg (1980) reports that bread, made with cottonseed protein is an even better source of protein than enriched white bread, six slices of which provide 20% of the adult RDA. Low-grade residue serves as manure, bedding and fuel. Fuzz, which is not removed in ginning, become linters in felts, upholstery, mattresses, twine, wicks, carpets, surgical cottons, and in chemical industries such as rayons, film, shatterproof glass, plastics, sausage skins, lacquers, and cellulose explosives.

Residue, cottonseed cake or meal is important protein concentrate for livestock.
Known Hazards: Gossypol, the toxic dihydroxyphenol, occuring in seeds and the glands of seedlings, must be removed before cottonseed can be used for feed. Hogs have died from eating raw seed (Morton, 1974). Per 100 g, the ground seed is reported to contain 7.3 g H2O, 23.1 g protein, 22.9 g fat, 43.2 g total carbohydrate, 16.9 g fiber, 3.5 g ash, 140 mg Ca, 1.2 mg Mn, 320 mg Mg, 680 mg P, 14 mg Fe, 290 mg Na, 1,110 mg K 240 mg S, 5 mg Cu. Once the oil is removed, the meal contains per 100 g, 7.3 g H2O, 41.4 g protein, 5.6 g fat, 10.9 g crude fiber, 39.5 g total carbohydrate (6.5 g total sugars, 6.4% lignin), 190 mg Ca, 1.8 mg Cu, 10 mg Fe, 490 mg Mg, 2.3 mg Mn, 1,090 mg P, 1,250 mg K, 50 mg Na, and 400 mg S (Parnell, 1981). Commercial cottonseed contains approximately 92% dry matter, 16–20% protein, 18–24% oil, 30% carbohydrates, 22% crude fiber. After ginning, cottonseed includes unginned lint, fuzz, 16% crude oil, 45.5% cake or meal, 25.5% hulls, and 8% linters. Principal pigment in seed is gossypol, a poisonous phenolic compound usually rendered harmless on crushing or heating, but may retain minute amounts to which pigs and chickens are sensitive.

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.


Featured Healthy Tips

Boosting Of Energy

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Benjamin Franklin once wrote that nothing in this world is certain but death and taxes. But surely fatigue should be added to that list. After all, who has not felt dog-tired, sometimes for long stretches, at one time or another?

Researchers say fatigue is one of the most common symptoms experienced by adults in the general population, whether you live in the United States or elsewhere. As one fatigue researcher notes, “Feeling tired is so common as to be considered normal.” Not surprisingly, fatigue is also one of the most frequent complaints in doctors’ offices around the globe.

Often fatigue is to be expected:
You’re recovering from the flu, or, like too many Americans, you haven’t been getting enough sleep lately. Maybe, like so many people, you’re simply trying to do too much, and the resulting stress — a major contributor to fatigue — is wearing you down. In these cases, regaining your energy may be as straightforward as getting some much-needed rest and taking time to relax — which your body and mind need to function at full capacity.


You can fight fatigue with regular physical activity.

If you’re a baby boomer, your fatigue may be due to some of the physical changes that accompany aging, such as normal reductions in the amount of deep sleep or a decline in muscle mass. If you’re a menopausal woman, frequent hot flashes, which can disrupt the amount and quality of sleep, may also be contributing to your fatigue. While no one can turn back the clock, there are steps you can take to slow or even reverse some aspects of age-related fatigue.

But in some cases, fatigue is a sign that something is amiss, and should be brought to the attention of your doctor. For example, fatigue is one of the main symptoms of a number of conditions, including depression, congestive heart failure, anemia, hypothyroidism, and diabetes, all of which require medical attention. Often fatigue subsides when these conditions are treated. Whatever its cause, fatigue is telling you something important — that you need to rest and relax, perhaps, or that you should take better care of yourself, or (fortunately, less often) that you have a disease or condition that needs treatment. Fatigue, like death and taxes, may indeed be an inescapable part of life. But that doesn’t mean you have to take it lying down. This Special Health Report provides you with the latest information about fatigue and offers strategies to help you regain the physical and mental energy you need to enjoy life to its fullest.
Energy and fatigue

The word “energy” can mean many things. You might use it to describe the strength you need to take on a physical challenge and the endurance to keep it up for an extended period: running a marathon, biking uphill, sightseeing all day, weeding and planting in the garden, and so on.

But energy is not just about muscles. It’s also about the mind. When you’re mentally energetic, you’re alert, you’re “on,” you readily absorb information by reading and listening. Another aspect of mental energy is motivation — the drive to do things like read a book cover-to-cover in one sitting, initiate a new work project, or cram for an exam. You may have noticed that when you’re really absorbed in an activity, you feel more energetic than when you are only half-interested in it. Motivation can be a powerful force in overcoming fatigue.

When you lack energy, you feel physically weak, mentally dull, or both. Effort of any sort can tire you out quickly. This absence of energy is often referred to as fatigue, and it’s a common phenomenon that has been viewed differently over the years (see “Changing views of fatigue,” below). Fatigue has physical, mental, and emotional components. Your muscles might ache. You might have trouble concentrating or need to read a passage over three times before you understand it. You might also feel unmotivated or bored.

Is it simply that you need more sleep? Sometimes when you lack energy you also feel sleepy. Sleepiness is specifically the urge to go to sleep. Most people need roughly eight hours of sleep a night. Some people can get by with less; some need more. Sleepiness can also be induced by medications that have a sedative effect on the brain (see “Medications”).

But lack of energy is not just sleepiness: It’s physical (weariness or weakness), emotional (lack of motivation or boredom), and mental (lack of concentration and sharpness). You can lack energy or feel fatigued without being sleepy, and you can also be full of energy and sleepy. Most people have had times when they’ve been able to override the urge to sleep with a surge of physical, mental, or emotional energy. But sleep and energy are related. No matter how energetic you are, you can’t override sleepiness indefinitely. Eventually, lack of sleep will sap your energy and lead to fatigue .

You probably know that getting enough sleep is important to your health and well-being. But the quality of the sleep you get also has a big effect on how you feel during the day.

If sleep time isn’t a good time for you, talk to your doctor or healthcare professional about your options.

You may click to see:Fatigue & Low Energy

Exhaust All The Time


Herbs & Plants

Eryngium Foetidum (Long Coriander)

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Botanical Name: Eryngium foetidum
Family: Apiaceae
Genus:     Eryngium
Species: E. foetidum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Apiales

Common Names: Culantro, Long coriander, Mexican coriander, Wild coriander, Recao, Shado beni (English-speaking Caribbean), Spiritweed,, Sawtooth, Saw-leaf herb, or Cilantro cimarron) is a tropical perennial and annual herb in the family Apiaceae.

Habitat :Eryngium Foetidum is native to Mexico and South America, but is cultivated worldwide. In the United States, where it is not well-known, the name culantro sometimes causes confusion with Coriandrum sativum, the leaves of which are known as cilantro, and which culantro is even said to taste like. The two plants are in the same family, Apiaceae.

Today, is has been introduced to large parts of South East Asia (Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia).

The derivation of culantro and racao, two names by which the plant is known in Central America, the former is maybe just a variant of cilantro.

Many names in languages that are spoken outside the natural habitat of long coriander compare it to the common coriander, e.g. Thai pakchi farang “foreign coriander”, Chinese ci yuan sui  pricky coriander, Hindi bhandhania “broad coriander” or Malay ketumbar Jawa “Jawanese coriander  (although I haven’t seen it in Jawa). Note, however, that the Thai name pak chi farang may also mean parsley, which also deserves to be called foreign coriander, the similarities being more visual than olfactory.
The Thai term farang foreign, Western, European has a complex history and derives, in last consequence, from the name of a Germanic people, the Franks! In Medieval Europe, the Franks had occupied a powerful position (see also lovage for the herbal edict of Charlemagne), and a large percentage of the Crusaders were Franks. So it was natural to call the continent Europe just firanja Frank country  in Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic forms are ifranji (noun), faranj (adjective) European, where the initial variation (ifra vs. far) results from different strategies to avoid the initial consonant cluster. From Arabic, the word spread eastward, e.g. Urdu frangistan , Sanskrit phiranga and Kannada paramgi Europe”, and Kurdish farangi , Dhivehi faranjee , and Khmer barang foreigner.

English saw leaf herb refers to the serrated leafs, which loosely remind to a saw.
The botanical genus name Eryngium goes back to the Greek name of the related sea holly (Eryngium vulgare), which was called eryngion; the name is probably related to er spring time(cognate to Latin ver). The genus name foetidus is Latin and means stinking, bad smelling, ugly.

Plant Description:
Eryngium comprises over 200 tropical and temperate species (Willis 1960). Most are spiny ornamental herbs with thick roots and fleshy waxy leaves with blue flowers in cymose heads. Eryngium foetidum is a tap-rooted biennial herb with long, evenly branched roots (Fig. 1). The oblanceolate leaves, arranged spirally around the short thick stem, form a basal rosette and are as much as 30 cm long and 4 cm broad. The leaf margin is serrated, each tooth of the margin containing a small yellow spine. The plant produces a well-branched cluster of flower heads in spikes forming the characteristic umbel inflorescence on a long stalk arising from the center of the leaf rosette (Morton 1981; Moran 1988). The calyx is green while the corolla is creamy white in color.

click to see the pictures..>….(01)...(1)..…..…(2)..……..….(3)….…....

The appearance of culantro and cilantro are different but the leaf aromas are similar, although culantro is more pungent. Because of this aroma similarity the leaves are used interchangeably in many food preparations and is the major reason for the misnaming of one herb for the other. While relatively new to American cuisine, culantro has long been used in the Far East, Latin America, and the Caribbean. In Asia, culantro is most popular in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore where it is commonly used with or in lieu of cilantro and topped over soups, noodle dishes, and curries. In Latin America, culantro is mostly associated with the cooking style of Puerto Rico, where recipes common to all Latin countries are enhanced with culantro. The most popular and ubiquitous example is salsa, a spicy sauce prepared from tomatoes, garlic, onion, lemon juice, with liberal amounts of chiles. These constituents are fried and simmered together, mixed to a smooth paste and spiced with fresh herbs including culantro. Salsa is usually consumed with tortilla chips as an appetizer. Equally popular is sofrito or recaito, the name given to the mixture of seasonings containing culantro and widely used in rice, stews, and soups (Wilson 1991). There are reportedly as many variations of the recipe as there are cooks in Puerto Rico but basically sofrito consists of garlic, onion, green pepper, small mild peppers, and both cilantro and culantro leaves. Ingredients are blended and can then be refrigerated for months. Sofrito is itself the major ingredient in a host of other recipes including eggplant pasta sauce, cilantro garlic butter, cilantro pesto, pineapple salsa, and gazpacho with herb yogurt.

Culantro is reported to be rich in calcium, iron, carotene, and riboflavin. Fresh leaves are 86-88% moisture, 3.3% protein, 0.6% fat, 6.5% carbohydrate, 1.7% ash, 0.06% phosphorus, and 0.02% iron. Leaves are an excellent source of vitamin A (10,460 I.U./100 g), B2 (60 mg %), B1 (0.8 mg %), and C (150-200 mg %) (Bautista et al. 1988). On a dry weight basis, leaves consist of 0.1   0.95% volatile oil, 27.7% crude fiber, 1.23% calcium, and 25 ppm boron.

Sensory quality
Aroma strong, very similar to fresh coriander leaves; taste similar, but even stronger.

Main constituents
The essential oil from the leaves of long coriander is rich in aliphatic aldehydes, most of which are α,β unsaturated. The impact compound is E-2-dodecenal (60%), furthermore 2,3,6-trimethylbenzaldehyde (10%), dodecanal (7%) and E-2-tridecenal (5%) have been identified. Aliphatic aldehydes appear also in other spices with coriander-like scent (e.g., Vietnamese coriander).

Yet another essential oil can be obtained from the root; in the root oil, unsaturated alicyclic or aromatic aldehydes dominate (2,3,6-trimethylbenzaldehyde 40%, 2-formyl-1,1,5-trimethyl cyclohexa-2,5-dien-4-ol 10%, 2-formyl-1,1,5-trimethyl cyclohexa-2,4-dien-6-ol 20%, 2,3,4-trimethylbenzaldehyde ).

In the essential oil from the seeds, sesquiterpenoids (carotol 20%, β-farnesene 10%), phenylpropanoids (anethole) and monoterpenes (α-pinene) were found, but no aldehydes.

The plant is used in traditional medicines for fevers and chills, vomiting, diarrhea, and in Jamaica for colds and convulsions in children (Honeychurch 1980). The leaves and roots are boiled and the water drunk for pneumonia, flu, diabetes, constipation, and malaria fever. The root can be eaten raw for scorpion stings and in India the root is reportedly used to alleviate stomach pains. The leaves themselves can be eaten in the form of a chutney as an appetite stimulant (Mahabir 1991).

Medicinally, the leaves and roots are used in tea to stimulate appetite, improve digestion, combat colic, soothe stomach pains, eliminate gases and as an aphrodisiac.

In Carib medicine as a cure-all, and, specifically for epilepsy, high blood pressure, and fevers, fits, and chills in children.  In Suriname’s traditional medicine fitweed (culantro) is used against fevers and flu.  It is used as a tea for diarrhea, flu, fevers, vomiting, diabetes and constipation. In India the root is used to alleviate stomache.

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.

Although used widely throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Far East, culantro is still mistaken for and erroneously called cilantro. The herb is rapidly becoming an important import item into the US mainly due to the increasing ethnic immigrant populations who utilize it in their many varied dishes from around the world. It is closely related botanically to cilantro but has a distinctly different appearance and a much more potent volatile leaf oil. Recent research to prevent bolting and early flowering will increase its leaf yields and consequently its demand. Successes in prolonging its postharvest life and storage under refrigeration will undoubtedly increase its export potential and ultimately its popularity among the commonly used culinary herbs.