Tag Archives: Asia

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea

Name of Product:Rhodiola

Latin Name Rhodiola rosea L
Plant origin and Distribution
Active Ingredients Salidroside /Rosavin
Introduction

Rhodiola rosea is extracted from the rhodiola rosea plant. Also called the ‘golden root’, rhodiola rosea is mainly found growing at high altitudes in Asia and Europe. Rhodiola rosea belongs to the plant group Crassuleae and rhodiola rosea can achieve a growth height of 12-30 inches.

With an abundance of yellow blossoms, the rhodiola rosea plant produces a definitive fragrance when it is cut.

Highly popular among the traditional remedies of Asia and Europe, australia rhodiola rosea has been used medicinally for centuries. Rhodiola rosea is used to stimulate the nervous system and rhodiola rosea aids sufferers of depression and irregular mood swings.

Rhodiola rosea is deemed useful in eliminating fatigue and enhancing general work performance. Rhodiola rosea is reportedly excellent in the treatment of male sexual dysfunction and also schizophrenia. Rhodiola rosea has a proven ability to increase poor appetite and can aid sufferers of hypertension and high altitude sickness.

Rhodiola rosea extract is beneficial to athletes and body builders for a variety of reasons. Russian researchers have found that australia rhodiola rosea has adaptogenic properties. Adaptogens are substances found naturally in plants such as rhodiola rosea and found to increase the body’s overall resistance ability, while stabilizing body functions.

Minimal side effects are one of the benefits of rhodiola rosea’s adaptogen properties. Adaptogens increase the ability to use cell fuel efficiently, and enhance general performance. Research shows that australia rhodiola rosea has the ability to increase resistance to a variety of chemical, biological, and physical stressors. Rhodiola rosea contains adaptogens, which help the system adapt to stressful situations.

By taking a dose of adaptogens such as rhodiola rosea when a stressful situation arises, the stress is handled by the system in a healthy and resourceful way. Rhodiola rosea has proven popular with athletes because of its ability to shorten the recovery period after a long workout, a benefit of rhodiola rosea. Because of rhodiola rosea’s adaptogenic ability the system stress occurring during intense physical training is efficiently managed and balanced.

The adaptogenic benefits of rhodiola rosea can also be seen in rhodiola rosea’s ability to increase the levels of beta-endorphin in blood plasma, thus rhodiola rosea aids with the prevention of stress induced hormonal changes. While taking rhodiola rosea extract athletes notice a general improvement in performance and fitness.

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Areca Seed – Areca Catechu

Areca Seed – Areca Catechu

Areca catechu is the areca palm or areca nut palm, (Malay: Pinang), a species of palm which grows in much of the tropical Pacific, Asia, and parts of east Africa. The palm is believed to have originated in either Malaysia or the Philippines. Areca is derived from a local name from the Malabar coast of India and catechu is from another Malay name for this palm ‘caccu.’

This palm is often erroneously called the betel tree because its fruit, the areca nut, is often chewed along with the betel leaf, a leaf from a vine of the Piperaceae family.

Growth

It is a medium-sized and graceful palm tree growing straight to 20 m tall, with a trunk 10-15cm in diameter. The leaves are 1.5-2 m long, pinnate, with numerous, crowded leaflets. It is also known as Puga in Sanskrit, Supari in Marathi.

Characteristics

19th century drawing of Areca catechu

Areca catechu is grown for its commercially important seed crop, the areca nut. The seed contains alkaloids such as arecaine and arecoline, which when chewed is intoxicating and is also slightly addictive. Areca palms are grown in India, Malaysia, Taiwan and many other Asian countries for their seeds.

Etymology

Penang Island, off the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Fua Mulaku in the Maldives and Guwahati in Assam,coastal areas of Kerala and Karnataka in India, are some of the places named after a local name for areca nut.

Uses

The Areca palm is also used as an interior landscaping species. It is often used in large indoor areas such as malls and hotels. It won’t fruit or reach full size. Indoors it is a slow growing, low water, high light plant that is sensitive to spider mite and occasionally mealybug. The areca nut is also popular for chewing throughout some Asian countries such as Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippine, Malaysia, and India and the Pacific notably Papua New Guinea where it is very popular. Chewing areca nut is quite popular among working classes in Taiwan. The nut itself can be addictive and has direct link to mouth cancers. Areca nut in Taiwan will usually contain artificial additives such as limestone powder.

The extract of Areca catechu has been shown to have antidepressant properties, but it may be addictive.

Areca Seed is the dried ripe seed of Areca catechu L. (Fam. Palmae).

Action: To kill worms, to remove undigested food, to promote the flow of qi, and to stop malarial attacks.

Indications: Taeniasis, ascariasis, fasciolopsiasis; abdominal pain due to intestinal parasitosis; diarrhea and tenesmus due to accumulation of undigested food; edema and weakness of the legs; malaria.

Usage:For the treatment of taeniasis and fasciolopsi- asis

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Shitake Mushroom

Shitake Mushroom

Action of Shitake Mushroom Extract ( Lentinus edodes Extract )
Shitake,a kind of precious fungus —
1) Shitake Mushroom Extract ( Lentinus edodes Extract ) is found to be particularly valuable for treating all forms of hepatitis ,anti-tunour and liver protection,gene mutation prevention
2) Shitake Mushroom Extract ( Lentinus edodes Extract ) can also lower blood levels of cholesterol and lipids,and has the function of anti-blood fat,prevent the blood platetet from clotting.
3) Shitake Mushroom Extract ( Lentinus edodes Extract ) can adjust immunity,anti-aging.
Known alternatively as Black Mushroom or Chinese Mushroom, wild Shiitake grows in Asia only. The name derives from the Shii Tree, its preferred host, although Shiitake may also grow on oaks and beeches. Shiitake mushrooms have been cultivated in China and Japan for a thousand years.

Lentinan is the name of another much researched compound isolated from Shiitake mushrooms, named after the Latin genus name Lentinula. Lentinan is a polysaccharide that has been found to stimulate the human immune system to combat cancer.It is currently used in Asia as an intravenous cancer drug.
Arabinoxylanes, compounds resulting from Shiitake-on-rice fermentation, have also demonstrated significant anti-viral activity.
In particular, type 1 herpes simplex virus and HIV have been shown to respond to Shiitake mushroom extracts in clinical trials, although one study found that Lentinan by itself – isolated from the other active compounds of Shiitake – had no noticeable effect on HIV replication.
Additional studies have reported positive results with Shiitake mushroom extract in conditions of chronic fatigue syndromeand Candida,as well as for septic shock prevention.
In his book Mycelium Running, medicinal mushroom expert Paul Stamets also lists the following areas where research has shown Shiitake mushroom extract to have a beneficial effect: Blood Pressure; Blood Sugar; Cholesterol; Kidney Tonic; Liver Tonic; Sexual Potentiator; Stress; Breast Cancer; Liver Cancer; Prostate Cancer.

Although most westerners are now familiar with Shiitake as a food mushroom, few know that it’s also the most researched medicinal mushroom in Asia. As with other medicinal mushrooms, the research has largely focused on applications against cancer,94 but also on its anti-viral properties.
The benefit of using Shiitake mycelium extract as opposed to the mushroom fruit body is that there are compounds in the mycelium that don’t exist in the fruiting body or that may be in much higher concentration in the mycelium.
He most researched Shiitake mushroom extract is known as LEM, short for Lentinula Edodes Mycelia. (Shiitake’s Latin name is Lentinula edodes.) Research has found LEM to enhance the immune system,especially against bacterial infection.It’s also been reported to be anti-tumoral. 100 A 2005 study published findings that it killed melanoma cells while sparing non-diseased tissue.

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Cumin

Cumin

Cumin (Cuminum cyminum, pronounced /ˈkjuːmɪn/ or UK: /ˈkʌmɪn/, US: /ˈkuːmɪn/, and sometimes spelled cummin) is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native from the east Mediterranean to East India.

Scientific Name: Cuminum cyminum

Biological Background: A seasoning that is the principal ingredient of curry powder, a blend of powdered Indian spices. Cumin is a member of the parsley family and cumin seeds resemble caraway seeds. The aromatic seed has a characteristic strong, slightly bitter taste. Traditionally cumin has been used to flavor cheese, unleavened bread, chili, and tomato sauce.

Nutritional Information: Due to its use as a spice, cumin provides insignificant amount of nutrients.

Pharmacological Activity: Studies have indicated that cumin has strong anticancer activity, which may be due to its phytochemical cuminaldehyde. Cuminaldehyde also has strong antiinflammatory properties. In addition, cumin contains two phytochemicals, cuminyl ester and limonene, which have been shown to stop aflatoxin from binding to DNA to start the cancer process.

Eating Tips: Use cumin to add an earthy flavor to Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mexican cuisines.

Etymology

The English “cumin” derives from the French “cumin”, which was borrowed indirectly from Arabic “كمون” Kammūn via Spanish comino during the Arab rule in Spain in the 15th century. The spice is native to Arabic-speaking Syria where cumin thrives in its hot and arid lands. Cumin seeds have been found in some ancient Syrian archeological sites.

The word found its way from Syria to neighbouring Turkey and nearby Greece most likely before it found its way to Spain. Like many other Arabic words in the English language, cumin was acquired by Western Europe via Spain rather than the Grecian route.

Some suggest that the word is derived from the Latin cuminum and Greek κύμινον. The Greek term itself has been borrowed from Arabic. Forms of this word are attested in several ancient Semitic languages, including kamūnu in Akkadian.The ultimate source is believed to be the Sumerian word gamun.

A folk etymology connects the word with the Persian city Kerman where, the story goes, most of ancient Persia’s cumin was produced. For the Persians the expression “carrying cumin to Kerman” has the same meaning as the English language phrase “carrying coals to Newcastle”. Kerman, locally called “Kermun”, would have become “Kumun” and finally “cumin” in the European languages.

In Northern India and Nepal, cumin is known as jeera (Devanagari जीरा) or jira, while in Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan it is known as zeera (Persian زيره); in Southern India it is called “Jeerakam” ( ജീരകം ) in Malayalam and Jeerige ( ಜೀರಿಗೆ in ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)) or jeeragam or seeragam (Tamil (ஜீரகம்/சீரகம்)) or jilakarra (Telugu); in Sri Lanka it is known as duru , the white variety being suduru and the large variety, maduru ; in Iran, South Asia and Central Asia, cumin is known as zireh; in Turkey, cumin is known as kimyon; in northwestern China, cumin is known as ziran (孜然). In Arabic, it is known as al-kamuwn (الكمون). Cumin is called kemun in Ethiopian, and is one of the ingredients in the spice mix berbere.

History

Cumin has been in use since ancient times. Seeds, excavated at the Syrian site Tell ed-Der, have been dated to the second millennium BC. They have also been reported from several New Kingdom levels of ancient Egyptian archaeological sites.

Originally cultivated in Iran and Mediterranean region, cumin is mentioned in the Bible in both the Old Testament (Isaiah 28:27) and the New Testament (Matthew 23:23). It was also known in ancient Greece and Rome. The Greeks kept cumin at the dining table in its own container (much as pepper is frequently kept today), and this practice continues in Morocco. Cumin fell out of favour in Europe except in Spain and Malta during the Middle Ages. It was introduced to the Americas by Spanish and Portuguese colonists.

Since returned to favour in parts of Europe, today it is mostly grown in Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, India, Syria, Mexico, and Chile. The plant occurs as a rare casual in the British Isles, mainly in Southern England, but the frequency of its occurrence has declined greatly; according to the Botanical Society of the British Isles’ most recent Atlas, there has been only one confirmed record since the year 2000.

Uses

Cumin is the second most popular spice in the world after black pepper.[5][unreliable source?] Cumin seeds are used as a spice for their distinctive aroma, popular in Indian, Pakistani, North African, Middle Eastern, Sri Lankan, Cuban, Northern Mexican cuisines, and the Western Chinese cuisines of Sichuan and Xinjiang. Cumin can be found in some Dutch cheeses such as Leyden cheese, and in some traditional breads from France. It is commonly used in traditional Brazilian cuisine. Cumin can be an ingredient in (often Texan or Mexican-style) Chili powder, and is found in achiote blends, adobos, sofrito, garam masala, curry powder, and bahaarat.

Cumin can be used ground or as whole seeds, as it draws out their natural sweetnesses. It is traditionally added to chili, curries, and other Middle-Eastern, Indian, Cuban and Tex-Mex foods. Cumin has also been used on meat in addition to other common seasonings. It is not common in Mexican cuisine. However, the spice is a common taste in Tex-Mex dishes. It is extensively used in the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent. Cumin was also used heavily in ancient Roman cuisine. Cumin is typically used in Mediterranean cooking from Spanish, Italian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It helps to add an earthy and warming feeling to cooking making it a staple in certain stews and soups.

Medicine

In South Asia, cumin tea (dry seeds boiled in hot water) is used to distinguish false labour (due to gas) from real labour.

In Sri Lanka, toasting cumin seeds and then boiling them in water makes a tea used to soothe acute stomach problems.

It is commonly believed in parts of South Asia, that cumin seeds help with digestion. No scientific evidence seems to suggest this is the case.

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Agrimoni – Agrimonia Pilos Ledeb

Agrimoni – Agrimonia Pilos Ledeb

Agrimony (Agrimonia) is a genus of 12-15 species of perennial herbaceous flowering plants in the family Rosaceae, native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, with one species also in Africa. The species grow to between 0.5-2 m tall, with interrupted pinnate leaves, and tiny yellow flowers borne on a single (usually unbranched) spike.

Agrimonia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Grizzled Skipper (recorded on A. eupatoria) and Large Grizzled Skipper.

Species
  • Agrimonia eupatoria – Common Agrimony (Europe, Asia, Africa)
  • Agrimonia gryposepala – Tall Hairy Agrimony (North America)
  • Agrimonia incisa – Incised Agrimony (North America)
  • Agrimonia coreana – Korean Agrimony (eastern Asia)
  • Agrimonia microcarpa – Smallfruit Agrimony (North America)
  • Agrimonia nipponica – Japanese Agrimony (eastern Asia)
  • Agrimonia parviflora – Harvestlice Agrimony (North America)
  • Agrimonia pilosa – Hairy Agrimony (eastern Europe, Asia)
  • Agrimonia procera – Fragrant Agrimony (Europe)
  • Agrimonia pubescens – Soft Agrimony (North America)
  • Agrimonia repens – Short Agrimony (southwest Asia)
  • Agrimonia rostellata – Beaked Agrimony (North America)
  • Agrimonia striata – Roadside Agrimony (North America)

Medicinal value

Agrimony has a long history of medicinal use. The English poet Michael Drayton once hailed it as an “all-heal,” and through the ages it did seem to be a Panacea. The ancient Greeks used Agrimony to treat eye ailments, and it was made into brews to cure diarrhea and disorders of the gallbladder, liver, and kidneys. Anglo-Saxons made a solution from the leaves and seeds for healing wounds; this use continued through the Middle Ages and afterward, in a preparation called eau d’arquebusade , or “musket-shot water.”Later, agrimony was prescribed for athlete’s foot. In the United States and Canada, and late into the 19th century,the plant was prescribed for many of these illnesses and more: for skin diseases, asthma, coughs, and gynecological complaints, and as a gargling solution for sore throats.

Flolklore

Although the plant has no narcotic properties, tradition holds that when placed under a person’s head, Agrimony will induce a deep sleep that will last until removed.

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Pineapple

Pineapple

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Scientific Name: Ananas cosmosus

Biological Background: A tropical plant with stiff, spiny leaves that yields a single large fruit. Pineapple originated in Brazil.

Nutritional Information: One cup (155 g) of raw pineapple contains 76 calories, 0.6 g protein, 19.2 g carbohydrates, 2.95 g fiber, 175 g potassium, 124 mg vitamin C, 0.14 mg thiamin, 0.06 mg riboflavin, 0.65 mg niacin.

Pharmacological Activity: It suppresses inflammation due to Bromelain, an antibacterial enzyme. Pineapple aids digestion and helps to dissolve blood clots, and is food for preventing osteoporosis and bone fractures because of its very high manganese content. It is also antibacterial, antiviral and mildly estrogenic.

Eating Tips: Eat fresh. Canning destroys some pharmacological activities of pineapple.

Etymology

The word pineapple in English was first recorded in 1398, when it was originally used to describe the reproductive organs of conifer trees (now termed pine cones). When European explorers discovered this tropical fruit, they called them pineapples (term first recorded in that sense in 1664) because of their resemblance to what is now known as the pine cone. The term pine cone was first recorded in 1694 and was used to replace the original meaning of pineapple.

In the scientific binomial Ananas comosus, ananas, the original name of the fruit, comes from the Tupi (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) word for pine nanas, as recorded by André Thevenet in 1555 and comosus means “tufted” and refers to the stem of the fruit. Other members of the Ananas genus are often called pine as well by laymen.

Many languages use the Tupian term ananas. In Spanish, pineapples are called piña “pine cone” in Spain and most Hispanic American countries, or ananá (ananás in Argentina) (see the piña colada drink). They have varying names in the languages of India: “Anaasa” (అనాస) in telugu, annachi pazham (Tamil), anarosh (Bengali), and in Malayalam, kaitha chakka. In Malay, pineapples are known as “nanas” or “nenas”. In the Maldivian language of Dhivehi, pineapples are known as alanaasi. A large, sweet pineapple grown especially in Brazil is called abacaxi


Botany

The pineapple is a herbaceous perennial plant which grows to 1.0 to 1.5 metres (3.3 to 4.9 ft) tall with 30 or more trough-shaped and pointed leaves 30 to 100 centimetres (1.0 to 3.3 ft) long, surrounding a thick stem. The pineapple is an example of a multiple fruit: multiple, helically-arranged flowers along the axis each produce a fleshy fruit that becomes pressed against the fruits of adjacent flowers, forming what appears to be a single fleshy fruit.

The fruit of a pineapple are arranged in two interlocking helices, eight in one direction, thirteen in the other, each being a Fibonacci number.

The leaves of the cultivar ‘Smooth Cayenne’ mostly lack spines except at the leaf tip, but the cultivars ‘Spanish’ and ‘Queen’ have large spines along the leaf margins.

Nutrition

Pineapple contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain, which breaks down protein. Pineapple juice can thus be used as a marinade and tenderizer for meat. The enzymes in raw pineapples can interfere with the preparation of some foods, such as jelly or other gelatin-based desserts. The bromelain breaks down in cooking or the canning process, thus canned pineapple can generally be used with gelatin. These enzymes can be hazardous to someone suffering from certain protein deficiencies or disorders, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.[citation needed] Raw pineapples also should not be consumed by those with hemophilia or by those with kidney or liver disease, as it may reduce the time taken to coagulate a consumer’s blood.[citation needed]

Consumers of pineapple have claimed that pineapple has benefits for some intestinal disorders and others believe it serves as a pain reliever; others claim that it helps to induce childbirth when a baby is overdue.

Pineapple is a good source of manganese (91 %DV in a 1 cup serving), as well as containing significant amounts of Vitamin C (94 %DV in a 1 cup serving) and Vitamin B1 (8 %DV in a 1 cup serving).

Cultivation

Southeast Asia dominates world production: in 2001 Thailand produced 1.979 million tons, the Philippines 1.618 million tons while in the Americas, Brazil 1.43 million tons. Total world production in 2001 was 14.220 million tons. The primary exporters of fresh pineapples in 2001 were Costa Rica, 322,000 tons; Côte d’Ivoire, 188,000 tons; and the Philippines, 135,000 tons.

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