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Cashew Nut

Botanical Name : Anacardium occidentale
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Anacardium
Species: A. occidentale
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Names:Cashew Nut , Cajueiro, jambu,Caju  (The name Anacardium actually refers to the shape of the fruit, which looks like an inverted heart (ana means “upwards” and -cardium means “heart”). In the Tupian languages acajú means “nut that produces itself)

Habitat :Anacardium occidentale is   Originally native to Northeastern Brazil, it is now widely grown in tropical climates for its cashew apples and nuts.

Description:
The anacardium occidentale is large and   Spreading evergreen perennial tree , growing to 10-12m (~32 ft) tall, with a short, often irregularly shaped trunk. The leaves are spirally arranged, leathery textured, elliptic to obovate, 4 to 22 cm long and 2 to 15 cm broad, with a smooth margin. The flowers are produced in a panicle or corymb up to 26 cm long, each flower small, pale green at first then turning reddish, with five slender, acute petals 7 to 15 mm long. The largest cashew tree in the world covers an area of about 7,500 square metres (81,000 sq ft)…..> click & see
Click to see the pictures of:

Anacardium occidentale tree

Cashew ready in tree

Young cashew nuts

Anacardium occidentale (Cashew nut)
The fruit of the cashew tree is an accessory fruit (sometimes called a pseudocarp or false fruit). What appears to be the fruit is an oval or pear-shaped structure, a hypocarpium, that develops from the pedicel and the receptacle of the cashew flower.[3] Called the cashew apple, better known in Central America as “marañón”, it ripens into a yellow and/or red structure about 5–11 cm long. It is edible, and has a strong “sweet” smell and a sweet taste. The pulp of the cashew apple is very juicy, but the skin is fragile, making it unsuitable for transport. In Latin America, a fruit drink is made from the cashew apple pulp which has a very refreshing taste and tropical flavor that can be described as having notes of mango, raw green pepper, and just a little hint of grapefruit-like citrus.

The true fruit of the cashew tree is a kidney or boxing-glove shaped drupe that grows at the end of the cashew apple. The drupe develops first on the tree, and then the pedicel expands to become the cashew apple. Within the true fruit is a single seed, the cashew nut.

Cultivation :
Cashew germinates slowly and poorly; several nuts are usually planted to the hole and thinned later. Propagation is generally by seeds, but may be vegetative from grafting, air-layering or inarching. Planting should be done in situ as cashew seedlings do not transplant easily. Recommended spacing is 10 x 10 m, thinned to 20 x 20 m after about 10 years, with maximum planting of 250 trees/ha. Once established, field needs little care. Intercropping may be done the first few years, with cotton, peanut, or yams. Fruits are produced after three years, during which lower branches and suckers are removed. Full production is attained by 10th year and continues to bear until about 30 years old. In dry areas, like Tanzania, flowering occurs in dry season, and fruits mature in 2–3 months. Flowers and fruits in various degrees of development are often present in same panicle.

Harvesting :
From flowering stage to ripe fruit requires about 3 months. Mature fruit falls to the ground where the ‘apple’ dries away. In wet weather, they are gathered each day and dried for 1–3 days. Mechanical means for shelling have been unsuccessful, so hand labor is required. Cashews are usually roasted in the shell (to make it brittle and oil less blistering), cracked, and nuts removed and vacuum packed. In India part of nuts are harvested from wild trees by people who augment their meager income from other crops grown on poor land. Kernels extracted by people skilled in breaking open the shells with wooden hammers without breaking the kernels. Nuts are separated from the fleshy pedicel and receptacle, seed coat removed by hand, and nuts dried. Fresh green nuts from Africa and the islands off southern India are shipped to precessing plants in Western India.

Click & see  :Twin Cashews ready to harvest

Edible Uses:
The cashew nut is a popular snack, and its rich flavor means that it is often eaten roasted, on its own, lightly salted or sugared, or covered in chocolate.
Click & see roasted  cashew as snacks

Cashew nuts, roasted and salted

Cashew sprouts (above) are eaten raw as well as cooked in Kerala
Cashews, unlike other oily tree nuts, contain starch to about 10% of their weight. This makes them more effective than other nuts in thickening water-based dishes such as soups, meat stews, and some Indian milk-based desserts. Many southeast Asia and south Asian cuisines use cashews for this unusual characteristic, rather than other nuts.

The shell of the cashew nut is toxic, which is why the cashew is shelled before it is sold to consumers

Cashew is commonly used in Indian cuisine. The nut is used whole for garnishing sweets or curries, or ground into a paste that forms a base of sauces for curries (e.g., Korma), or some sweets (e.g., Kaju Barfi). It is also used in powdered form in the preparation of several Indian sweets and desserts. In Goan cuisine, both roasted and raw kernels are used whole for making curries and sweets.

The cashew nut can also be harvested in its tender form, when the shell has not hardened and is green in color. The shell is soft and can be cut with a knife and the kernel extracted, but it is still corrosive at this stage, so gloves are required. The kernel can be soaked in turmeric water to get rid of the corrosive material before use. This is mostly found in Kerala cuisine, typically in avial, a dish that contains several vegetables, grated coconut, turmeric and green chilies.

Cashew nuts are also used in Thai and Chinese cuisine, generally in whole form.

In the Philippines, cashew is a known product of Antipolo, and is eaten with suman. Pampanga also has a sweet dessert called turrones de casuy which is cashew marzipan wrapped in white wafer.

In Indonesia, roasted and salted cashew nut is called kacang mete or kacang mede, while the cashew apple is called jambu monyet (literally means monkey rose apple).

In Mozambique, bolo polana is a cake prepared using powdered cashews and mashed potatoes as the main ingredients. This dessert is popular in South Africa too.

South American countries have developed their own specialties. In Brazil, the cashew fruit juice is popular all across the country. In Panama, the cashew fruit is cooked with water and sugar for a prolonged time to make a sweet, brown, paste-like dessert called “dulce de marañón”. Marañón is one of the Spanish names for cashew.

Nutrition:
The fats and oils in cashew nuts are 54% monounsaturated fat (18:1), 18% polyunsaturated fat (18:2), and 16% saturated fat (9% palmitic acid (16:0) and 7% stearic acid (18:0)).

Cashews, as with other tree nuts, are a good source of antioxidants. Alkyl phenols, in particular, are abundant in cashews. Cashews are also a good source of dietary trace minerals copper, iron and zinc.

Constituents:  alpha-linolenic-acid ,anacardic-acid,arginine ,ascorbic-acid, benzaldehyde,beta-carotene ,beta-sitosterol,calcium ,gallic-acid ,palmitic-acid ,oleic-acid ,riboflavin, salicylic-acid ,selenium,tocopherol ,vanadium ,zinc

Chemistry
Per 100 g, the mature seed is reported to contain 542 calories, 7.6 g H2O, 17.4 g protein, 43.4 g fat, 29.2 g total carbohydrate, 1.4 g fiber, 2.4 g ash, 76 mg Ca, 578 mg P, 18.0 mg Fe, 0.65 mg thiamine, 0.25 mg riboflavin, 1.6 mg niacin, and 7 mg ascorbic acid. Per 100 g, the mature seed is reported to contain 561 calories, 5.2 g H2O, 17.2 g protein, 45.7 g fat, 29.3 g total carbohydrate, 1.4 g fiber, 2.6 g ash, 38 mg Ca, 373 mg P, 3.8 mg Fe, 15 mg Na, 464 mg K, 60 mg b-carotene equivalent, 0.43 mg thiamine, 0.25 mg riboflavin, and 1.8 mg niacin. Per 100 g, the mature seed is reported to contain 533 calories, 2.7 g H2O, 15.2 g protein, 37.0 g fat, 42.0 g total carbohydrate, 1.4 g fiber, 3.1 g ash, 24 mg Ca, 580 mg P, 1.8 mg Fe, 0.85 mg thiamine, 0.32 mg riboflavin, and 2.1 mg niacin. The apple contains 87.9% water, 0.2% protein, 0.1% fat, 11.6% carbohydrate, 0.2% ash, 0.01% Ca, 0.01% P, .002% Fe, 0.26% vitamin C, and 0.09% carotene. The testa contains a-catechin, b-sitosterol, and 1-epicatechin; also proanthocyanadine leucocyanadine, and leucopelargodonidine. The dark color of the nut is due to an iron-polyphenol complex. The shell oil contains about 90% anacardic acid (C22H32O3 and 10% cardol (C32H27O4). It yields glycerides, linoleic, palmitic, stearic, and lignoceric acids, and sitosterol. Examining 24 different cashews, Murthy and Yadava (1972) reported that the oil content of the shell ranged from 16.6 to 32.9%, of the kernel from 34.5 to 46.8%. Reducing sugars ranged from 0.9 to 3.2%, non-reducing sugars, 1.3 to 5.8%, total sugars from 2.4 to 8.7%, starch from 4.7 to 11.2%. Gum exudates contain arabinose, galactose, rhamnose, and xylose.

Medicinal Uses:
Properties: * Astringent * Hypoglycemic * Vermifuge
Parts Used: bark, stems, nuts, and resin

The cashew nutshell liquid (CNSL), a byproduct of processing cashew, is mostly composed of anacardic acids (70%), cardol (18%) and cardanol (5%). These acids have been used effectively against tooth abscesses due to their lethality to a wide range of Gram-positive bacteria. Many parts of the plant are used by the Patamona of Guyana medicinally. The bark is scraped and soaked overnight or boiled as an antidiarrheal; it also yields a gum used in varnish. Seeds are ground into powders used for antivenom for snake bites. The nut oil is used topically as an antifungal and for healing cracked heels.

click to see cashew apples
Cashew nuts could possibly hold answers in the search for better ways to treat diabetes and high blood sugar. Animal studies with diabetic rats fed nut milk extract are promising, but more study is needed. 1 Anacardiaceae spp  have long been used in the folk medicine and traditional cuisines of India, South America and the Caribbean. Cajueiro,as the tree is known in Brazil contains naturally occurring analogs of the latest diabetes drugs without their potential for liver damage or weight gain.

The nut is highly nutritious, containing 45% fat and 20% protein.  The leaves are used in Indian and African herbal medicine for toothache and gum problems, and in West Africa for malaria.  The bark is used in Ayurvedic medicine to detoxify snake bite.  The roots are purgative.  The gum is used externally for leprosy, corns, and fungal conditions. The oil between the outer and inner shells of the nut is caustic and causes an inflammatory reaction even in small doses.  The fruit bark juice and the nut oil are both said to be folk remedies for calluses, corns, and warts, cancerous ulcers, and even elephantiasis. Anacardol and anacardic acid have shown some activity against Walker carcinosarcoma 256. Decoction of the astringent bark is given for severe diarrhea and thrush. Old leaves are applied to skin afflictions and burns (tannin applied to burns is liepatocarcinogenic). Oily substance from pericarp is used for cracks on the feet. Cuna Indians used the bark in herb teas for asthma, colds, and congestion. The seed oil is believed to be alexeritic and amebicidal; used to treat gingivitis, malaria, and syphilitic ulcers. Ayurvedic medicine recommends the fruit for anthelmintic, aphrodisiac, ascites, dysentery, fever, inappetence, leucoderma, piles, tumors, and obstinate ulcers. In the Gold Coast, the bark and leaves are used for sore gums and toothache. Juice of the fruit is used for hemoptysis. Sap discutient, fungicidal, repellent. Leaf decoction gargled for sore throat. Cubans use the resin for cold treatments. The plant exhibits hypoglycemic activity. In Malaya, the bark decoction is used for diarrhea. In Indonesia, older leaves are poulticed onto burns and skin diseases. Juice from the apple is used to treat quinsy in Indonesia, dysentery in the Philippines.  In Venezuela, a decoction of the cashew leaf is used to treat diarrhea and is believed to be a treatment for diabetes.  Pulverized cashew tree bark, soaked in water for 24 hours is also reported to be used in Colombia for diabetes.   Peruvians have used a tea of the cashew tree leaf as a treatment for diarrhea, while a tea from the bark has been used as a vaginal douche.  Leaf infusions have been used to treat toothache and sore throat and as a febrifuge.

Other Uses:
Anacardic acid is also used in the chemical industry for the production of cardanol, which is used for resins, coatings, and frictional materials

Alcohol:
In Goa, India, the cashew apple (the accessory fruit) is mashed, the juice is extracted and kept for fermentation for 2–3 days. Fermented juice then undergoes a double distillation process. The resulting beverage is called feni. Fenny/feni is about 40-42% alcohol. The single distilled version is called “Urrac” (the ‘u’ is pronounced ~ ‘oo’) which is about 15% alcohol.

In the southern region of Mtwara, Tanzania, the cashew apple (bibo in Swahili) is dried and saved. Later it is reconstituted with water and fermented, then distilled to make a strong liquor often referred to by the generic name, gongo.

In Mozambique, it is very common among the cashew farmers to make a strong liquor from the cashew apple which is called “agua ardente” (burning water).

According to An Account of the Island of Ceylon written by Robert Percival  an alcohol had been distilled in the early twentieth century from the juice of the fruit, and had been manufactured in the West Indies. Apparently the Dutch considered it superior to brandy as a “liqueur.”

Known Hazatrds:
Although a nut in the culinary sense, in the botanical sense the nut of the cashew is a seed. The seed is surrounded by a double shell containing an allergenic phenolic resin, anacardic acid, a potent skin irritant chemically related to the better-known allergenic oil urushiol which is also a toxin found in the related poison ivy. Properly roasting cashews destroys the toxin, but it must be done outdoors as the smoke (not unlike that from burning poison ivy) contains urushiol droplets which can cause severe, sometimes life-threatening, reactions by irritating the lungs. .

Allergy:
For some people, cashews, like other tree nuts, can lead to complications or allergic reactions. Cashews contain gastric and intestinal soluble oxalates, albeit less than some other tree nuts; people with a tendency to form kidney stone may need moderation and medical guidance.   Allergies to tree nuts such as cashews can be of severe nature to some people. These allergic reactions can be life-threatening or even fatal; prompt medical attention is necessary if tree nut allergy reaction is observed. These allergies are triggered by the proteins found in tree nuts, and cooking often does not remove or change these proteins. Reactions to cashew and other tree nuts can also occur as a consequence of hidden nut ingredients or traces of nuts that may inadvertently be introduced during food processing, handling or manufacturing. Many nations require food label warning if the food may get inadvertent exposure to tree nuts such as cashews.

In some people, cashew nut allergy may be a different form, namely birch pollen allergy. This is usually a minor form. Symptoms are confined largely to the mouth.

An estimated 1.8 million Americans (between 0.4%-0.6% of the population) have an allergy to tree nuts. Young children are most affected; and tree nuts allergies tend to last lifelong. Some regions of the world have higher incidence rates than others

Toxicity
He who cuts the wood or eats cashew nuts or stirs his drink with a cashew swizzle stick is possibly subject to a dermatitis.

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/Cashew
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail418.php
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/anacardium_occidentale.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

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Eggplant

Eggplant::ja:??????

Image via Wikipedia

Botanical Name:Solanum Melongena
Family: Solanaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Solanales
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. melongena

Other common Name: Brinjal,Aubergine

Habitat: Native to India and Sri Lanka.Now growing throughout the world.


Synonyms:

The eggplant is quite often featured in the older scientific literature under the junior synonyms S. ovigerum and S. trongum. A list of other now-invalid names have been uniquely applied to it:

*Melongena ovata Mill.
*Solanum album Noronha
*Solanum insanum L.
*Solanum longum Roxb.
*Solanum melanocarpum Dunal
*Solanum melongenum St.-Lag.
*Solanum oviferum Salisb.
An inordinate number of subspecies and varieties have been named, mainly by Dikii, Dunal, and (invalidly) by Sweet. Names for various eggplant types, such as agreste, album, divaricatum, esculentum, giganteum, globosi, inerme, insanum, leucoum, luteum, multifidum, oblongo-cylindricum, ovigera, racemiflorum, racemosum, ruber, rumphii, sinuatorepandum, stenoleucum, subrepandum, tongdongense, variegatum, violaceum and viride, are not considered to refer to anything more than cultivar groups at best. On the other hand, Solanum incanum and Cockroach Berry (S. capsicoides), other eggplant-like nightshades described by Linnaeus and Allioni respectively, were occasionally considered eggplant varieties. But this is not correct.

The eggplant has a long history of taxonomic confusion with the Scarlet and Ethiopian eggplants, known as gilo and nakati and described by Linnaeus as S. aethiopicum. The eggplant was sometimes considered a variety violaceum of that species. S. violaceum of de Candolle applies to Linnaeus’ S. aethiopicum. There is an actual S. violaceum, an unrelated plant described by Ortega, which used to include Dunal’s S. amblymerum and was often confused with the same author’s S. brownii.

Like the potato and Solanum lichtensteinii—but unlike the tomato which back then was generally put in a different genus—the eggplant was also described as S. esculentum, in this case once more in the course of Dunal’s work. He also recognized varieties aculeatum, inerme and subinerme at that time. Similarly, H.C.F. Schuhmacher & Peter Thonning named the eggplant as S. edule, which is also a junior synonym of Sticky Nightshade (S sisymbriifolium). Scopoli’s S. zeylanicum refers to the eggplant, that of Blanco to S. lasiocarpum.

Description:
It is a delicate perennial often cultivated as an annual. It grows 40 to 150 cm (16 to 57 in) tall, with large coarsely lobed leaves that are 10 to 20 cm (4-8 in) long and 5 to 10 cm (2-4 in) broad. (Semi-)wild types can grow much larger, to 225 cm (7 ft) with large leaves over 30 cm (12 in) long and 15 cm (6 in) broad. The stem is often spiny. The flowers are white to purple, with a five-lobed corolla and yellow stamens. The fruit is fleshy, less than 3 cm in diameter on wild plants, but much larger in cultivated forms.

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

The fruit is botanically classified as a berry, and contains numerous small, soft seeds, which are edible, but are bitter because they contain (an insignificant amount of) nicotinoid alkaloids, unsurprising as it is a close relative of tobacco.

Cultivated varieties
Different varieties of the plant produce fruit of different size, shape and color, especially purple, green, or white. There are even orange varieties.
click to see the pictures…>...(1).…..(2)...…..
The most widely cultivated varieties (cultivars) in Europe and North America today are elongated ovoid, 12–25 cm wide (4 1/2 to 9 in) and 6–9 cm broad (2 to 4 in) in a dark purple skin.

A much wider range of shapes, sizes and colors is grown in India and elsewhere in Asia. Larger varieties weighing up to a kilogram (2 pounds) grow in the region between the Ganges and Yamuna rivers, while smaller varieties are found elsewhere. Colors vary from white to yellow or green as well as reddish-purple and dark purple. Some cultivars have a color gradient, from white at the stem to bright pink to deep purple or even black. Green or purple cultivars in white striping also exist. Chinese varieties are commonly shaped like a narrower, slightly pendulous cucumber, and were sometimes called Japanese eggplants in North America.

Oval or elongated oval-shaped and black-skinned cultivars include Harris Special Hibush, Burpee Hybrid, Black Magic, Classic, Dusky, and Black Beauty. Slim cultivars in purple-black skin include Little Fingers, Ichiban, Pingtung Long, and Tycoon; in green skin Louisiana Long Green and Thai (Long) Green; in white skin Dourga. Traditional, white-skinned, egg-shaped cultivars include Casper and Easter Egg. Bicolored cultivars with color gradient include Rosa Bianca and Violetta di Firenze. Bicolored cultivars in striping include Listada de Gandia and Udumalapet. In some parts of India, miniature varieties (most commonly called Vengan) are popular. A particular variety of green brinjal known as Matti Gulla is grown in Matti village of Udupi district in Karnataka state in India.

Click to see:->

Watch your garden grow;

Growing Guide: Eggplant ;

Varieties
*Solanum melongena var. esculentum common eggplant (Ukrainian Beauty)
*Solanum melongena var. depressum dwarf eggplant
*Solanum melongena var. serpentium snake eggplant

Cooking
The raw fruit can have a somewhat bitter taste, but becomes tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavor. Salting and then rinsing the sliced fruit(known as “degorging”) can soften and remove much of the bitterness though this is often unnecessary. Some modern varieties do not need this treatment, as they are far less bitter.  The fruit is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and sauces, allowing for very rich dishes, but the salting process will reduce the amount of oil absorbed. The fruit flesh is smooth; as in the related tomato, the numerous seeds are soft and edible along with the rest of the fruit. The thin skin is also edible, so that peeling is not required.

The plant is used in cuisines from Japan to Spain. It is often stewed, as in the French ratatouille, the Italian melanzane alla parmigiana, the Arabian moussaka, and Middle-Eastern and South Asian dishes. It may also be roasted in its skin until charred, so that the pulp can be removed and blended with other ingredients such as lemon, tahini, and garlic, as in the Middle Eastern dish baba ghanoush and the similar Greek dish melitzanosalata or the Indian dishes of Baigan Bhartha or Gojju. In Iranian cuisine, it can be blended with whey kashk e-bademjan, tomatoes mirza ghasemi or made into stew khoresh-e-bademjan. It can be sliced, battered, and deep-fried, then served with various sauces which may be based on yoghurt, tahini, or tamarind. Grilled and mashed and mixed with onions, tomatoes, and spices it makes the Indian dish baingan ka bhartha. The fruit can also be stuffed with meat, rice, or other fillings and then baked. In the Caucasus, for example, it is fried and stuffed with walnut paste to make nigvziani badrijani. It can also be found in Chinese cuisine, braised , stewed  or stuffed.

You may click to see:->
Eggplant information, recipes, and cooking tips
Nutrition properties of Eggplant, raw including levels of vitamins …
Nutritional Value of Eggplant :

Medicinal  Uses  & properities
Studies of the Institute of Biology of São Paulo State University, Brazil, would have shown that eggplant is effective in the treatment of high blood cholesterol. Another study from Heart Institute of the University of São Paulo found no effects at all and does not recommend eggplant as a replacement to statins.

It helps to block the formation of free radicals and is also a source of folic acid and potassium.

Eggplant is richer in nicotine than any other edible plant, with a concentration of 100 ng/g (or 0.01 mg/100g). However, the amount of nicotine from eggplant or any other food is negligible compared to passive smoking. On average, 20lbs (9 kg) of eggplant contains about the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette.

Medicinal Properties of Eggplant

From yesterday…
Until the 18th century, the eggplant was looked upon in Europe as something nefarious, capable of inducing fever or epileptic fits. It was even called Solanum insanum by the great botanist and taxonomist Linnaeus before he changed it to Solanum melongena .

To today…
Eggplant is not eaten plain nor used in infusions. It can be cooked in various ways to provide medicinal properties without resorting to the rich and heavy method of cooking it in oil.

*Anti-rheumatism

*Cardiac
recommended for those with cardio-vascular illnesses and obese persons whose excess weight is harmful to their heart. See also: cholesterol

*Combats constipation
*Digestive

*Lowers cholesterol
Eggplant contains elements that trap cholesterol in the intestine and cause it to be eliminated from the body. It thus helps prevent the formation of fatty deposits around the heart.

*Diuretic
*Relieves colic
*Reduces stomach ulcers

*Sedative
* Calmative
*Stimulant for the liver and intestines
The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and phytonutrient content in eggplants all support heart health. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating foods containing flavonoids is affiliated with a lower risk of mortality from heart disease. Consuming even small quantities of flavonoid-rich foods may benefit human health.

Several studies show that consumption of the flavonoids known as anthocyanins has played a major role in lowering risk of cardiovascular disease. One particular study revealed that those who consumed more than three servings of fruits and vegetables containing anthocyanins had 34% less risk of heart disease than those who consumed less. In another clinical study, researchers found that increased intake of anthocyanins was associated with significantly lower blood pressure.

Blood cholesterol:
Research on the effects of eggplant consumption in animal studies has shown that rabbits with high cholesterol that consumed eggplant juice displayed a significant decrease in weight and blood cholesterol levels.

Laboratory analyses of the phenolic compounds in eggplant reveal that the vegetable contains significant amounts of chlorogenic acid, which is one of the most powerful free radical scavengers found in plants. Chlorogenic acid has been shown to decrease LDL levels, and also serves as an antimicrobial, antiviral, and anticarcinogenic agent.

Cancer:
Polyphenols in eggplant have been found to exhibit anti-cancer effects. Anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. They protect body cells from damage caused by free radicals and in turn prevent tumor growth and invasion and spread of cancer cells. They also stimulate detoxifying enzymes within cells and promote cancer cell death.
Cognitive function

Findings from animal studies suggest that nasunin, an anthocyanin within eggplant skin, is a powerful antioxidant that protects the lipids comprising cell membranes in brain cells from free radical damage. It has also been proven to help facilitate the transport of nutrients into the cell and wastes out.

Research has also shown that anthocyanins inhibit neuroinflammation and facilitate blood flow to the brain. This helps prevent age-related mental disorders and also improves memory.

Weight management and satiety:
Dietary fibers are commonly recognized as important factors in weight management and loss by functioning as “bulking agents” in the digestive system. These compounds increase satiety and reduce appetite, making you feel fuller for longer and thereby lowering your overall calorie intake. Since eggplant is already low in calories, it makes a great part of a healthy, low-calorie diet.

Click & see :What Are Eggplants Good For?.

As a native plant, it is widely used in Indian cuisine, for example in sambhar, chutney, curries, and achaar. Owing to its versatile nature and wide use in both everyday and festive Indian food, it is often described (under the name brinjal) as the ‘King of Vegetables’. In one dish, Brinjal is stuffed with ground coconut, peanuts, and masala and then cooked in oil.

In Bangladesh, it is called Begun. It, along with the fish Hilsa, is used to cook a famous wedding dish. Slices of the fruit are fried, covered with icing and eaten as snacks. This is called Beguni.

Click to see:-

*Eggplant extract for medical treatments
Allergy to Eggplant ( Solanum melongena ) Caused by a Putative …

Known Hazards: Eggplants  contain oxalates, which can contribute to kidney stone formation. Kidney stones can lead to acute oxalate nephropathy or even kidney death. Consuming foods containing oxalates, such as eggplant, is not recommended for those prone to kidney stone formation, and it is suggested that those suffering from kidney stones limit their intake of oxalate-containing foods.

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://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggplant
http://www.theworldwidegourmet.com/products/articles/eggplant-or-aubergine-medicinal-properties/

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/279359.php

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Kaffir Lime

Botanical Name : Citrus hystrix DC., Rutaceae),
Family: Rutaceae
Other Names:Kieffer lime, Thai lime, wild lime, makrut, or magrood,
Burmese: shauk-nu
Indonesian: jerk purut, jeruk sambal
Malay:
duan limau purut
Philippino: swangi
Thai: makrut, som makrut

The leaves of this member of the citrus family are responsible for the distinctive lime-lemon aroma and flavour that are an indispensable part of Thai and, to a lesser extent, Indonesian cooking.

Description:
The leaves of the kaffir lime tree are a dark green color with a glossy sheen. They come in two parts: the top leaflet is lightly pointed at its tip and is attached to another leaflet beneath that is broader on its upper edge. The size of the leaves can vary quite a bit, from less than an inch to several inches long.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The fruit is dark green and round, with a distinct nipple on the stem end. It has a thick rind, knobby and wrinkled, and one of its common names is ‘porcupine orange’. As the fruit becomes older, the color fades to a lighter, yellowish green. Though the juice is infrequently use in cooking, the zest of the rind is often used for making curry pastes.
The leaves and rind have a perfume unlike any other citrus, sometimes called mysterious or haunting. There is a combined lemon/lime/madarin aroma but clearly an identity of its own.

Culinary Uses
Kaffir lime leaves are precious to many Thai dishes, from soups and salads to curries and stir-fried dishes. They blend blend with lemon grass and lime juice in tom yam to give the soup its wholesome lemony essence. In soupy dishes, add the leaves whole or torn into smaller pieces, using them as one would bay leaves to flavour broth or stew.

Salads or garnishes require fresh leaves. Dried leaves cannot be substituted. The leaves, when young and tender, are finely shredded and added to salads and sprinkled over curries for a burst of flavour. Being rather thick, they must be cut very fine, like threads, and the thick mid-rib removed. To sliver kaffir lime leaves finely, stack three to four leaves of similar size together and slice them very thinly with a sharp knife. It is faster to cut diagonally , which gives the hands better leverage, or roll a few leaves at a time into a tight roll before slicing. If fresh kaffir lime leaves are not available, use the tender new leaves of lime, lemon or grapefruit. They won’t have the same fragrance but are preferable to using dried kaffir lime leaves in some dishes.

When making a soup or stock, whole fresh or dried leaves may be added, as they are removed after cooking. Finely chopped fresh or crumbled dry kaffir lime leaves are used in dishes like tom yum, strir fries and curries, especially those containing coconut cream. The flavour also combines well with basil, cardamom, chiles, cilantro, cumin, curry leaves, lemon grass, galangal, ginger, mint, tamarind, turmeric and coconut milk.

Though the juice is seldom used in cooking, the peel of the fruit, with its high concentration of aromatic oils, is indispensable in many curry pastes and is one reason why Thai curries taste refreshingly unique. The zest also imparts a wonderful piquant flavour to such delectable favorites as fried fish cakes, and it blends in powerfully with such spicy, chile-laden stews as “jungle soup” (gkaeng bpah). Because it’s strong flavour can over power the more subtle ones in a dish, the rind should be used sparingly, grated or chopped finely and reduced in a mortar with other paste ingredients until indistinguishable..

Kaffir lime is used extensively in Thai cooking. Both the zest and leaves are very useful. The fruit looks like wrinkled lime, big wrinkles. Thai people believed the juice is excellent hair rinse to prevent hair from falling out. The zest of the lime is an ingredient in red curry paste.

The juice is rarely used in Thai cooking, but the zest is common.

Recently, Thai growers have developed and started growing a kaffir lime without wrinkles that is easier to pack and ship around the world.
The leaf look like any citrus leaf, but it has two connecting leaves. I often call it the double leaf. Many recipes calls for its leaves. If the leaf is used whole, in soup, most people do not eat the leaf itself. The only time the leaf is eaten is when it sliced very thin for recipes like Tod Mun.

Medicinal Properties
The citrus juice used to be included in Thai ointments and shampoos, and in tonics in Malaysia. Kaffir lime shampoo leaves the hair squeaky clean and invigorates the scalp. Kaffir lime has also been used for ages as a natural bleach to remove tough stains.

The essential oils in the fruit are incorporated into various ointments, and the rind is an ingredient in medical tonics believed to be good for the blood. Like lemon grass and galangal, the rind is also known to have beneficial properties for the digestive system.

In folk medicine, the juice of kaffir lime is said to promote gum health and is recommended for use in brushing teeth and gums. It is believed to freshen one’s mental outlook and ward off evil spirits

The leaves can be used fresh or dried, and can be stored frozen.

The juice and rinds of the kaffir lime are used in traditional Indonesian medicine; for this reason the fruit is sometimes referred to in Indonesia as jeruk obat – literally “medicine citrus”. The oil from the rind has strong insecticidal properties.

The zest of the fruit is widely used in creole cuisine and to impart flavor to “arranged” rums in the Réunion island and Madagascar.

Storage
The leaves may be recognized by their distinctive two sections. For simmering in soups or curries the leaves are used whole. Frozen or dried leaves may be used for simmering if fresh leaves are not available. The finely grated rind of the lumpy-skinned fruit has its own special fragrance. If you can obtain fresh kaffir limes, they freeze well enclosed in freezer bags and will keep indefinitely in that state. Just grate a little rind off the frozen lime and replace lime in freezer until next required. The leaves freeze well too. dried kaffir lime leaves should be green, not yellow, and are best kept under the same conditions as other dried herbs. They will keep for about 12 months in an airtight pack, out of light, heat and humidity.

Click to Buy fresh lime leaves and other Thai ingredients


Resources:

http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/kaffir.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaffir_lime

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/67460/