Habitat: Asphodelus ramosus is native to the Mediterranean region of southern Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East. It can also be found in the Canary Islands. It is particularly common on the Catalan coast, where it shows an affinity for acidic soils, mainly schist. It is to be found close to the sea on the slopes of the Albères massif, where it forms abundant colonies in April to May. Description:
Life form: Hemicryptophyte
Stems: Erect, single, glabrous branched scape
Leaves: Basal rosette; sessile from an underground stem; parallel venation, ensiform, smooth margin
Flowers: White with pink, stellate; 6 tepals with central reddish-brown mid-vein; 6 anthers, white firm filament and an orange anther; superior ovary.
The plant is about 3 feet high, with large, white, terminal flowers, and radical, long, numerous leaves. It is only cultivated in botanical and ornamental gardens, though it easily grows from seeds or division of roots.
The roots must be gathered at the end of the first year.
The ancients planted the flowers near tombs, regarding them as the form of food preferred by the dead, and many poems refer to this custom. The name is derived from a Greek word meaning sceptre. Edible Uses: The roots, dried and boiled in water, yield a mucilaginous matter that in some countries is mixed with grain or potato to make Asphodel bread. In Spain and other countries they are used as cattle fodder, especially for sheep. In Barbary the wild boars eat them greedily.
In Persia, glue is made with the bulbs, which are first dried and then pulverized. When mixed with cold water, the powder swells and forms a strong glue.
Hippocrates, Dioscorides, and Pliny said the roots were cooked in ashes and eaten. The Greeks and Romans used them in several diseases, but they are not employed in modern medicine. Constituents: An acrid principle separated or destroyed by boiling water, and a matter resembling inuline have been found. An alcohol of excellent flavour has been obtained from plants growing abundantly in Algeria.
Acrid, heating, and diuretic. Said to be useful inmenstrual obstructions and as an antispasmodic. The bruised root has been recommended for rapidly dissolving scrofulous swellings. Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.
Habitat : The apple tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have been present in the mythology and religions of many cultures, including Norse, Greek and Christian traditions. In 2010, the fruit’s genome was decoded, leading to new understandings of disease control and selective breeding in apple production.
The apple forms a tree that is small and deciduous, reaching 3 to 12 metres (9.8 to 39 ft) tall, with a broad, often densely twiggy crown. The leaves are alternately arranged simple ovals 5 to 12 cm long and 3–6 centimetres (1.2–2.4 in) broad on a 2 to 5 centimetres (0.79 to 2.0 in) petiole with an acute tip, serrated margin and a slightly downy underside. Blossoms are produced in spring simultaneously with the budding of the leaves. The flowers are white with a pink tinge that gradually fades, five petaled, and 2.5 to 3.5 centimetres (0.98 to 1.4 in) in diameter. The fruit matures in autumn, and is typically 5 to 9 centimetres (2.0 to 3.5 in) in diameter. The center of the fruit contains five carpels arranged in a five-point star, each carpel containing one to three seeds, called pips.
click to see the picture Histry:
The center of diversity of the genus Malus is in eastern Turkey. The apple tree was perhaps the earliest tree to be cultivated, and its fruits have been improved through selection over thousands of years. Alexander the Great is credited with finding dwarfed apples in Kazakhstan in Asia in 328 BCE; those he brought back to Macedonia might have been the progenitors of dwarfing root stocks. Winter apples, picked in late autumn and stored just above freezing, have been an important food in Asia and Europe for millennia, as well as in Argentina and in the United States since the arrival of Europeans. Apples were brought to North America by colonists in the 17th century, and the first apple orchard on the North American continent was planted in Boston by Reverend William Blaxton in 1625. The only apples native to North America are crab apples, which were once called “common apples”. Apple varieties brought as seed from Europe were spread along Native American trade routes, as well as being cultivated on Colonial farms. An 1845 United States apples nursery catalogue sold 350 of the “best” varieties, showing the proliferation of new North American varieties by the early 19th century. In the 20th century, irrigation projects in Washington state began and allowed the development of the multibillion dollar fruit industry, of which the apple is the leading product.
Until the 20th century, farmers stored apples in frostproof cellars during the winter for their own use or for sale. Improved transportation of fresh apples by train and road replaced the necessity for storage. In the 21st century, long-term storage again came into popularity, as “controlled atmosphere” facilities were used to keep apples fresh year-round. Controlled atmosphere facilities use high humidity and low oxygen and carbon dioxide levels to maintain fruit freshness.
About 69 million tonnes of apples were grown worldwide in 2010, and China produced almost half of this total. The United States is the second-leading producer, with more than 6% of world production. Turkey is third, followed by Italy, India and Poland. Apples are often eaten raw, but can also be found in many prepared foods (especially desserts) and drinks. Many beneficial health effects have been found from eating apples; however, two forms of allergies are seen to various proteins found in the fruit.
There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples. Cultivars vary in their yield and the ultimate size of the tree, even when grown on the same rootstock. Different cultivars are available for temperate and subtropical climates. The UK’sNational Fruit Collection, which is the responsibility of the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs, has a collection of over 2,000 accessions in Kent. The University of Reading, which is responsible for developing the UK national collection database, provides access to search the national collection. The University of Reading’s work is part of the European Cooperative Programme for Plant Genetic Resources of which there are 38 countries participating in the Malus/Pyrus work group. The UK’s national fruit collection database contains a wealth of information on the characteristics and origin of many apples, including alternative names for what is essentially the same ‘genetic’ apple variety. Most of these cultivars are bred for eating fresh (dessert apples), though some are cultivated specifically for cooking (cooking apples) or producing cider. Cider apples are typically too tart and astringent to eat fresh, but they give the beverage a rich flavour that dessert apples cannot.
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Commercially popular apple cultivars are soft but crisp. Other desired qualities in modern commercial apple breeding are a colourful skin, absence of russeting, ease of shipping, lengthy storage ability, high yields, disease resistance, common apple shape, and developed flavour. Modern apples are generally sweeter than older cultivars, as popular tastes in apples have varied over time. Most North Americans and Europeans favour sweet, subacid apples, but tart apples have a strong minority following. Extremely sweet apples with barely any acid flavour are popular in Asia and especially India.
Old cultivars are often oddly shaped, russeted, and have a variety of textures and colours. Some find them to have a better flavour than modern cultivars, but may have other problems which make them commercially unviable from low yield, disease susceptibility, or poor tolerance for storage or transport. A few old cultivars are still produced on a large scale, but many have been preserved by home gardeners and farmers that sell directly to local markets. Many unusual and locally important cultivars with their own unique taste and appearance exist; apple conservation campaigns have sprung up around the world to preserve such local cultivars from extinction. In the United Kingdom, old cultivars such as ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ and ‘Egremont Russet‘ are still commercially important even though by modern standards they are low yielding and susceptible to disease.
Apples are often eaten raw. The whole fruit including the skin is suitable for human consumption except for the seeds, which are slightly poisonous. The core is often not eaten and is discarded. Varieties bred for raw consumption are termed dessert or table apples.
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Apples can be canned or juiced. They are milled to produce apple cider (non-alcoholic, sweet cider) and filtered for apple juice. The juice can be fermented to make hard cider, ciderkin, and vinegar. Through distillation, various alcoholic beverages can be produced, such as applejack, Calvados, and apfelwein. Apple seed oil and pectin may also be produced.
Popular uses :
Apples are an important ingredient in many desserts, such as apple pie, apple crumble, apple crisp and apple cake. They are often eaten baked or stewed, and they can also be dried and eaten or reconstituted (soaked in water, alcohol or some other liquid) for later use. Puréed apples are generally known as apple sauce. Apples are also made into apple butter and apple jelly. They are also used (cooked) in meat dishes. click to see the picture
*In the UK, a toffee apple is a traditional confection made by coating an apple in hot toffee and allowing it to cool. Similar treats in the US are candy apples (coated in a hard shell of crystallized sugar syrup), and caramel apples, coated with cooled caramel.
*Apples are eaten with honey at the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah to symbolize a sweet new year.
*Farms with apple orchards may open them to the public, so consumers may themselves pick the apples they will purchase.
Sliced apples turn brown with exposure to air due to the conversion of natural phenolic substances into melanin upon exposure to oxygen. Different cultivars vary in their propensity to brown after slicing. Sliced fruit can be treated with acidulated water to prevent this effect
Organic apples are commonly produced in the United States. Organic production is difficult in Europe, though a few orchards have done so with commercial success, using disease-resistant cultivars. A light coating of kaolin, which forms a physical barrier to some pests, also helps prevent apple sun scalding click to see the picture
The proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”, addressing the health effects of the fruit, dates from 19th century Wales. Fruit specialist J.T. Stinson popularized this proverb during a lecture at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.
Research suggests that apples may reduce the risk of colon cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer. Apple peels contain ursolic acid which, in rat studies, increases skeletal muscle and brown fat, and decreases white fat, obesity, glucose intolerance, and fatty liver disease.
Apple peels are a source of various phytochemicals with unknown nutritional value and possible antioxidant activity in vitro. The predominant phenolic phytochemicals in apples are quercetin, epicatechin, and procyanidin B2.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a typical apple serving weighs 242 grams and contains 126 calories with significant dietary fiber and vitamin C content.
Apple juice concentrate has been found to increase the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in mice. Other studies have shown an “alleviation of oxidative damage and cognitive decline” in mice after the administration of apple juice. Fruit flies fed an apple extract lived 10% longer than other flies fed a normal diet.
The old folks really knew a good thing when they saw it. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”; this humble fruit can help prevent two of the major lifestyle diseases of modern life, diabetes and heart disease. Apples contain malic and tartaric acids, and salts of potassium, sodium, magnesium, and iron. They also contain soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol, help prevent plaque buildup in your arteries, and slow the uptake of glucose, helping you maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Herbalists consider apples to be cleansing and tonic to the liver and kidneys. The best of the medicinal compounds are contained in the apple peel, so buy organic whenever possible and always wash thoroughly.84
Apple cider vinegar is such a useful and versatile substance, truly no household should be without it. You can’t go wrong with something that is good to eat, prevents hair loss, softens skin, and cleans and disinfects the bathroom to boot. When it is made from whole, crushed apples vinegar contains all the nutrition of apples, with some added enzymes and amino acids formed by fermentation. 125 The mother of all home remedies for arthritis is 3 tablespoons of ACV mixed with honey every day. This simple remedy has so much anecdotal evidence of its benefit that I can think of no reason for anyone with arthritis not to try it. If nothing else cut down on calories by substituting a fresh vinaigrette salad dressing with herbs for the calorie laden, bottled kind to help increase weight loss. Vinegar is often touted for its alkalizing, effect as a balance to the many acid producing foods we tend to overeat, like meats and grains. There is some disagreement over whether vinegar, which is an acidic substance, makes the body more acidic, which acts to prevent food poisoning by killing harmful bacteria, 124 or whether it indeed has alkalizing, effect on the body. In any case, there is wide agreement that two or three tablespoons of vinegar as a daily tonic works to decrease inflammation, increase metabolism, and may help to alleviate the crippling pain of arthritis.
The entire apple tree is useful in home and herbal medicine. In addition to the fruit of the apple tree, its bark, flowers, and leaves all have healthy properties. Herbalists use the apple tree much like its cousin the rose, for its astringent properties. The inner bark of the apple tree as well as blossoms are an astringent tonic, and can be used as an infusion for sore throats. The wild crab apple tree is considered better than modern cultivars for use in herbal medicine.
One form of apple allergy, often found in northern Europe, is called birch-apple syndrome, and is found in people who are also allergic to birch pollen. Allergic reactions are triggered by a protein in apples that is similar to birch pollen, and people affected by this protein can also develop allergies to other fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Reactions, which entail oral allergy syndrome (OAS), generally involve itching and inflammation of the mouth and throat, but in rare cases can also include life-threatening anaphylaxis. This reaction only occurs when raw fruit is consumed—the allergen is neutralized in the cooking process. The variety of apple, maturity and storage conditions can change the amount of allergen present in individual fruits. Long storage times can increase the amount of proteins that cause birch-apple syndrome.
In other areas, such as the Mediterranean, some individuals have adverse reactions to apples because of their similarity to peaches. This form of apple allergy also includes OAS, but often has more severe symptoms, such as vomiting, abdominal pain and urticaria, and can be life-threatening. Individuals with this form of allergy can also develop reactions to other fruits and nuts. Cooking does not break down the protein causing this particular reaction, so affected individuals can eat neither raw nor cooked apples. Freshly harvested, over-ripe fruits tend to have the highest levels of the protein that causes this reaction.
Breeding efforts have yet to produce a hypoallergenic fruit suitable for either of the two forms of apple allergy.
Toxicity of seeds:
The seeds of apples contain small amounts of amygdalin, a sugar and cyanide compound known as a cyanogenic glycoside. Ingesting small amounts of apple seeds will cause no ill effects, but in extremely large doses can cause adverse reactions. There is only one known case of fatal cyanide poisoning from apple seeds; in this case the individual chewed and swallowed one cup of seeds. It may take several hours before the poison takes effect, as cyanogenic glycosides must be hydrolyzed before the cyanide ion is released.
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
Where it grows as a biennial, in the first year, it forms a rosette of tripinnate leaves 10–25 cm long with numerous 1–3 cm leaflets, and a taproot used as a food store over the winter. In the second year, it grows a flowering stem to 75 cm tall with sparser leaves and flat-topped 3–10 cm diameter umbels with numerous 2 mm diameter yellow to yellowish-green flowers. The seeds are ovoid, 2–3mm long, with prominent style remnants at the apex. One of the compounds of the essential oil is apiol. The plant normally dies after seed maturation.
In cultivation, parsley is subdivided into several cultivar groups depending on the form of the plant, which is related to its end use. These are often treated as botanical varieties, but are cultivated selections, not of natural botanical origin.
The two main groups of parsley used as herbs are curly leaf (i.e.) (P. crispum crispum group; syn. P. crispum var. crispum) and Italian, or flat leaf (P. crispum neapolitanum group; syn. P. crispum var. neapolitanum); of these, the neapolitanum group more closely resembles the natural wild species. Flat-leaved parsley is preferred by some as it is easier to cultivate, being more tolerant of both rain and sunshine, and has a stronger flavor (though this is disputed), while curly leaf parsley is preferred by others because of its more decorative appearance in garnishing. A third type, sometimes grown in southern Italy, has thick, celery-like leaf stems
Root Parsley:...CLICK & SEE
Another type of parsley is grown as a root vegetable, the Hamburg root parsley (P. crispum radicosum group, syn. P. crispum var. tuberosum). This type of parsley produces much thicker roots than types cultivated for their leaves. Although seldom used in Britain and the United States, root parsley is very common in central and eastern European cuisine, where it is used in soups and stews.
Though root parsley looks similar to the parsnip, it tastes quite different. Parsnips are among the closest relatives of parsley in the family Apiaceae, but the similarity of the names is a coincidence, parsnip meaning “forked turnip”; it is not closely related to real turnips.
Parsley grows best in moist, well drained soil, with full sun. It grows best between 22–30 °C, and is usually grown from seed. Germination is slow, taking four to six weeks, and often difficult because of furanocoumarins in its seed coat. Plants grown for the leaf crop are typically spaced 10 cm apart, while those grown as a root crop are typically spaced 20 cm apart to allow for the root development.
Parsley is widely used in Middle Eastern, European, and American cooking. Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish. In central and eastern Europe and in western Asia, many dishes are served with fresh green chopped parsley sprinkled on top. Green parsley is often used as a garnish on potato dishes (boiled or mashed potatoes), on rice dishes (risotto or pilaf), on fish, fried chicken, lamb or goose, steaks, meat or vegetable stews (like beef bourguignon, goulash or chicken paprikash).
In southern and central Europe, parsley is part of bouquet garni, a bundle of fresh herbs used as an ingredient in stocks, soups, and sauces. Freshly chopped green parsley is used as a topping for soups such as chicken soup, green salads or salads such as salade Olivier, and on open sandwiches with cold cuts or pâtés. Parsley is a key ingredient in several Middle Eastern salads such as tabbouleh. Persillade is a mixture of chopped garlic and chopped parsley used in French cuisine. Gremolata is a traditional accompaniment to the Italian veal stew, ossobuco alla milanese, a mixture of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest.
Root parsley is very common in central and eastern European cuisines, where it is used as a vegetable in many soups, stews and casseroles.
Chew the leaf raw to freshen the breath and promote healthy skin. Infuse for a digestive tonic. Bruised leaves have been used to treat tumors, insect bites, lice and skin parasites and contusions. Parsley tea at one time was used to treat dysentery and gallstones. Other traditional uses reported include the treatment of diseases of the prostate, liver and spleen, in the treatment of anemia, arthritis and cancers, and as an expectorant, antimicrobial, aphrodisiac, hypotensive, laxative and as a scalp lotion to stimulate hair growth. Use in a poultice as an antiseptic dressing for sprains, wounds and insect bites. Decoct the root for kidney troubles and as a mild laxative. Apply juice to reduce swellings. It also stimulates appetite and increases blood flow to digestive organs, as well as reducing fever. Another constituent, the flavonoid apigenin, reduces inflammation by inhibiting histamine and is also a free-radical scavenger. The seed, when decocted, has been used for intermittent fevers. It has also traditionally used as a carminative to decrease flatulence and colic pain. The seeds have a much stronger diuretic action than the leaves and may be substituted for celery seeds in the treatment of gout, rheumatism and arthritis. It is often included in “slimming” teas because of its diuretic action. Oil of the seed (5-15 drops) has been used to bring on menstruation. Avoid if weak kidneys
Parsley attracts some wildlife. Some swallowtail butterflies use parsley as a host plant for their larvae; their caterpillars are black and green striped with yellow dots, and will feed on parsley for two weeks before turning into butterflies. Bees and other nectar-feeding insects visit the flowers. Birds such as the goldfinch feed on the seeds.
You may click to learn more uses of Parsley…..(1)l….(2)
Parsley should not be consumed in excess by pregnant women. It is safe in normal food quantities, but large amounts can have uterotonic effects.
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
Habitat :Stachys byzantina is native to Turkey, Armenia, and Iran. It is cultivated over much of the temperate world as an ornamental plant, and is naturalised in some locations as an escape from gardens.
Stachys byzantina is a perennial herbs usually densely covered with gray or silver-white, silky-lanate hairs. They are named lambs ears because of the curved shape and white, soft, fur like hair coating. Flowering stems are erect, often branched, and tend to be 4-angled, growing 40–80 cm tall. The leaves are thick and somewhat wrinkled, densely covered on both sides with gray-silver colored, silky-lanate hairs, the under sides more silver-white in color than the top surfaces. The leaves arranged oppositely on the stems and 5 to 10 cm long. Leaf petioles semiamplexicaul (the bases wrapping half way around the stem) with the basal leafs having blades oblong-elliptic in shape, measuring 10 cm long and 2.5 cm wide (though variation exists in cultivated forms), The leaf margins are crenulate but covered with dense hairs, the leaf apexes attenuate, gradually narrowing to a rounded point. The flowering spikes are 10–22 cm long, producing verticillasters that each have many flowers and are crowded together over most of the length on the spike-like stem. The leaves produced on the flowering stems are greatly reduced in size and subsessile, the lower ones slightly longer than the interscholastic and the upper ones shorter than the verticillasters. Leaf bracteoles linear to linear-lanceolate in shape and 6 mm long. The flowers have no pedicels (sessile) and the calyx is tubular-campanulate in shape, being slightly curved and 1.2 cm long. The calyx is glabrous except for the inside surface of the teeth, having 10-veins with the accessory veins inconspicuous. The 2–3 mm long calyx teeth are ovate-triangular in shape and are subequal or the posterior teeth larger, with rigid apices. Corollas with some darker purple tinted veins inside, 1.2 cm long with silky-lanate hairs but bases glabrous. The corolla tubes are about 6 mm long with the upper lip ovate in shape with entire margins; the lower lips are subpatent with the middle lobe broadly ovate in shape, lateral lobes oblong. The stamen filaments are densely villous from the base to the middle. Styles much exserted past the corolla. Immature nutlets without hairs, brown in color and oblong in shape.
Lamb’s Ear flowers in late spring and early summer, plants produce tall spike-like stems with a few reduced leaves. The flowers are small and either white or pink. The plants tend to be evergreen but can “die” back during cold winters and regenerate new growth from the crowns. In warmer climates they may grow year-round, but suffer where it’s hot and humid. They are easy to grow, preferring partial shade to full sunlight and well-drained soils not rich in nitrogen.
Cultivated over much of the temperate parts of the world and naturalized in some locations as an escapee from gardens.
Lamb’s Ear is a commonly grown plant for children’s gardens or used as an edging plant, in Brazil is also used as a edible herb, called Lambari, as they are easy to grow and the thick felt like leaves are fun to touch. It has sometimes been used as a medicinal plant. A number of cultivars exist including white flowering forms, plants with shorter habit and plants that do not bloom as much.
*Big Ears‘ – leaves very large, up to 25 cm long.
*Cotton Ball’ – a sterile cultivar that does not produce flowering stems. Asexually propagated.
*Primrose Heron’ – leaves yellow in spring; flowers pink
*Sheila Macqueen’ – sterile; low-growing; leaves large.
*Silky Fleece’ – grows 25 cm tall with lilac-plum flowers, produce smaller white-woolly foliage. Seed propagated.
*Silver Carpet’ – sterile; leaves grey. Asexually propagated.
*Striped Phantom’ – leaves variegated.
Stachys byzantina makes a natural bandage and dressing to staunch bleeding.
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
Common Names : White micromeria or White-leaved Savory,Zuta Levana
Habitat : Native to rocky areas along the coasts of the Mediterranean, especially Israel, Syria, Turkey, Albania, Croatia, Italy, & Spain.Gallilee, Upper Jordan valley, Northern valleys, Gilboa, Carmel, Samarian mountains, Judean mountains, Sharon, Shefela,
Micromeria fruticosa is a dwarf evergreen shrub. It is an aromatic, evergreen rockery perennial with ground covering growth habit. It has opposite, egg shaped grey leaves and small white flowers on its stems. It grows up to 60cm (24″) high and spreads to 60cm (24″) in diameter. It is a member of the genus Micromeria, of the Lamiaceae family. It is known as zuta levana in Hebrew and ashab a-shai in Arabic.
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Many thin, vertical stems create an airy shrub from 40-70cm. This open habit allows the plant to weave into its neighbors, its gray-green leaves and white to pale pink flowers (in late summer & fall) combining well with many other colors and textures.
Although native to lean soils and rocky areas, it is very adaptable to heavy soils as long as they are not sodden or too rich.
A tea is claimed to lower high blood pressure. In Turkey, the tea is used to treat stomach ulcers . Halomint is a mixture of dry herbs, with essential oils, for preparing an infusion. Particularly recommended for treating insomnia, hyperactivity, and stress, chronic digestion difficulties, headaches, muscular pains, indigestion and excessive blood pressure. Contains chamomile, passion fruit, verbena, zuta levana, marjoram, Melissa and orange. It enhances parasympathetic activity and induces sleep. Usage instructions: Pour boiling water on the mixture, wait two minutes, filter and drink. The tea may be sweetened.
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