Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cayenne Peppers

Scientific name: Capsicum annuum

Description:

Densely branched and growing to a large perennial shrub, the capsicum is productive in warm and dry climates and is said to have originated in French Guiana. The flowers are off-white, sometimes purplish color and the fruit is a berry which turns yellow, green or red when ripe. These fruits are dried and grounded to produce these pungent cayenne pepper.  The Cayenne pepper is one of the spices derived from these species of Capsicum.

Capsicum is a catalyst herb.

Part/s Used: Ripe Fruits

Health Benefits:

Cayenne Pepper is high in vitamins and minerals that are needed for healing. It has a rich supply of vitamin C and vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), beta-carotene and carotenes which are antioxidants that helps prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases. It also contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 (folic acid), cobalt and zinc.  Cayenne pepper/Capsicum is also very rich in organic calcium and potassium - minerals that are good for the heart.


Medicinal Properties and Uses:
Capsicum or Cayenne pepper is a medicinal and nutritional herb with constituents like capsaicin, oleic, palmitic and stearic acids and have been used as both food and medicine.



For oral medicine:  Put one or two tablespoons of dried and grounded cayenne pepper into warm water.

For liniment (external use): In one pint of cider vinegar, boil 1 Tablespoon of hot pepper. Do not strain and do not place in a bottle while hot.

As a catalyst herb, the cayenne or capsicum will increase the power of all other herbs. The stimulating properties of the cayenne pepper speed up the absorption and effectiveness of any herbs taken in combination with it.

For example:
Combined with garlic & parsley, Cayenne will help lower blood pressure.

Combine Capsicum and Plantain and apply externally to remove splinter and draw out foreign objects embedded in the skin.


Capsicum/cayenne pepper has been proven beneficial for:

Arthritis - Cayenne or capsicum is used externally as a remedy for painful joints by stimulating blood flow to the affected area and reducing inflammation and discomfort. Liniments (see below for the recipe) can be applied everyday to ease pain.


Cardiovascular disease - it significantly lowers serum cholesterol and serum triglycerides. It regulates blood flow and strengthens the arteries, possibly preventing heart attacks.


Chronic fatigue and depression - Capsicum stimulates energy.
Gastric ulcers - it stimulates the protective mucus-forming membranes of the stomach.

Impotence caused by venous insufficiency

Pain relief, vascular headaches - Cayenne/capsicum is rich in salicylates (an analgesic and a natural aspirin-like compounds). Cayenne are rubefacients that warms the body by quickly dilating small capillaries, and increasing circulation.

Psoriasis - Capsaicin is a potent constituent found in cayenne and has been shown to be effective in treating the symptoms of psoriasis.

Sore Throat - a small amount of cayenne pepper sprinkled in water and gargled will cure sore throat.

Toothaches - Pound cayenne pepper and put an oil.  Soak a cotton into the cayenne oil and plug it into the affected tooth.

Wounds - use a poultice and apply on wound for quick healing.



Warning: Don't touch your eyes with your hands after handling Cayenne peppers. This is also counterindicated in individuals suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or chronic bowel inflammation.


THOUGH THE CONTENT OF THIS BLOG HAD BEEN TRIED/TESTED AND HAD BEEN USED
AS FOLK/HERBAL MEDICINE IT IS STILL BEST TO CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TRYING THIS. AVOID SELF-DIAGNOSIS AND SELF-MEDICATION.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Spinach

Scientific name: Spinacia oleracea

Description:


It is an edible annual flowering plant native to central and southwestern Asia. It grows to a height of up to 30 cm with alternate ovate to triangular-based leaves.  The leaves varies in size with the larger ones at the base of the plant. The flowers are yellow-green that matures into a small, dry, lumpy cluster about 5–10 mm and contain several seeds.

Spinach can be eaten raw in a salad or it can be lightly cooked and eaten as a dish or added to soups or made into green smoothie. It is easy to find spinach in the market and it is easy to grow.

Part used: Leaves

Health Benefits:


Spinach is one of the most nutritious foods available as it provides more nutrients than any other food.  It is renowned for its high iron content, very high in vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, folate, manganese, calcium, vitamin B2 and vitamin B6. It’s a very good source of protein, dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

Spinach has at least 13 different flavonoid compounds that are good antioxidants and act as anti-cancer substances.


Medicinal uses and properties:

Cardiovascular/ Lowers Blood pressure - It is considered as a heart-healthy food as it is loaded with vitamins C, A and folate which are antioxidants. Folate is believe to convert harmful chemicals into harmless compounds.

Diabetes - The magnesium contained in spinach helps prevent diabetes.

Arthritis, osteoporosis - spinach has anti-inflammatory properties.

Migraine headaches, Asthma - also because of the anti-inflammatory properties present in spinach.

Cancer - fresh spinach abounds in cancer-fighting antioxidants. It contains a number of flavonoid compounds and kaempferol which is a strong antioxidant that prevents the formation of cancerous cells.

Cataract and macular degeneration - the  carotenoid found in spinach that is helpful against these eye diseases.

Soothes burns - The leaves are soaked in hot olive oil or soybean oil. Cooled down and applied on affected area.

Kidney or bladder disease - Crush spinach leaves, put a teaspoon in a cup of boiling water. Cover for 15 mins and strain. It is used as a diuretic and consumed in doses of 2 cups/day.


THOUGH THE CONTENT OF THIS BLOG HAD BEEN TRIED/TESTED AND HAD BEEN USED
AS FOLK/HERBAL MEDICINE IT IS STILL BEST TO CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TRYING THIS. AVOID SELF-DIAGNOSIS AND SELF-MEDICATION.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cinnamon

Scientific Name: Cinnamomum Zeylanicum

Description:

Cinnamon is the bark and twigs of a number of related plants that have cinnamon oil in it. They are usually small trees with deep green leaves and white blossoms and are grown South Asia and the Middle East region.  When the trees are 6 or 7 years old, the bark is peeled off, dried and rolled into cinnamon sticks and then ground into powder.  Cinnamon has a characteristic flavor and aroma called cinnamonaldehyde that comes from a compound in the essential oil of the bark.

Parts used: Bark

Health Benefits:

Besides using it in cooking, cinnamon is also thought to have health benefits. It contains compounds like tannins, essential oils, and saponins that helps improve general health.

Cinnamon is a great source of manganese, iron, calcium as well as fiber.
Cinnamon is also a favorite in aromatherapy.


Medicinal Properties and Uses:

Herbal cinnamon tea: Boil water, add a cinnamon stick and let it boil for 2 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick.

In traditional Chinese medicine, cinnamon is used as a pain killer and it relieves fever, colds, arthritis, flatulence, nausea, diarrhea, and dysmenorrhea. It's also believed to improve energy, vitality, promotes good
digestion and circulation.  It is used as a remedy for diabetes and is particularly helpful for people who feel hot in their upper body but have cold extremities.

Cinnamon oil has high anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, larvicidal and anti-fungal properties and the cinnamaldehyde content is a proven tranquilizer.

Cinnamon is one of the oldest tonic and uterine stimulant.  It is used as a treatment for PMS and promotes regular, pain-free menstruation.

Precaution:

Because cinnamon is a uterine stimulant, it should not be used in medicinal amounts during pregnancy.

Coriander



Scientific name: Coriandrum sativum

Other name: Cilantro


Description:

Coriander aka cilantro is an annual, umbelliferous plant native to Southeastern Europe.  It is a herbaceous plant that grows up to 3 feet in height, slender and branched.  The leaves are trilobed, green and hairless
and the lowest leaves being stalked and pinnate while the leaflets are roundish and slightly lobed.

The mature plant bears a shortly-stalked umbels (5 to 10 rays) light pink color flowers.  The seed clusters are symmetrical and the seeds are oval about 4-6 mm in diameter, light green and have a disagreeable taste and odor.  When the plants turn brown and becomes pleasantly aromatic, the seeds are ready for harvest.

Since both the leaves and seeds are used as seasoning condiment, the cilantro or coriander is considered both an herb and a spice.

It is also medicinally used as flavouring for purgatives and an ingredient in tincture of senna.


Parts used: Fruits/seeds and fresh leaves


Health Benefits:


    The coriander seeds are excellent source of minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. It also has Vitamin C and is rich in B-complex vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.


Medicinal properties and uses:

Coriander aka Cilantro has been traditionally been referred to as anti-diabetic plant as it controls blood sugar levels.  It has also been used for its anti-inflammatory properties and antimicrobial properties.

The volatile oil in coriander is high in phytonutrient content such as borneol, camphor, elemol, geraniol, linalool, limonene.  It is rich in flavonoids and contains active phenolic acid compounds.  The coriander
seeds contain many chemical compounds that are known to have anti-oxidant properties and increases the immune system.

Coriander is traditionally used as a stimulant, aromatic and carminative. It is also used for stomach pains and the seeds are known to have  anti-flatulent properties.


THOUGH THE CONTENT OF THIS BLOG HAD BEEN TRIED/TESTED AND HAD BEEN USED
AS FOLK/HERBAL MEDICINE IT IS STILL BEST TO CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE
TRYING THIS. AVOID SELF-DIAGNOSIS AND SELF-MEDICATION.