Posted by admin | Posted in Plantain | Posted on 13-01-2015

A lawn weed? Or a most useful medicine.

Plantago major
[plan-TA-go MAY-jor]

Family: Plantaginaceae

Names: waybread, waybroad, wagbread, white man’s foot, englishman’s foot, cuckoo bread, snakeweed, devil’s shoestring, common plantain, rabbit ears, ripple grass, slan-lus, healing blade, dooryard plantain, bird seed, rat’s tails; Babka lancetowata, Babka Waskolistna (Polish); Wegerich (German); Biih hiljaa’i – “like a deer’s ear” (Navajo); lanten (Mexican)

Pharmaceutical Name: Herba Plantaginis majoris

Description: The greater plantain is usually perennial and survives the winter by means of its short rootstock set with long fibrous roots. The five to seven-veined leaves are all arranged in a basal rosette that lies flat on the ground. Each plant grows long, upright or ascending flower stems carrying cylindrical spikes densely covered with flowers. The yellow anthers hang conspicuously from the small yellowish-green flowers to facilitate wind pollination. The style protrudes from the flower long before flowering to prevent self-pollination. The outer coat of the small seeds swells up and becomes sticky when moistened, so they are readily distributed by man and animal. It blooms from May to August.

Cultivation: Common plantain a perennial to zone 2 and native to Europe and temperate regions of Asia. Rarely cultivated, it is normally picked from the wild. If cultivated it is propagated by seed and prefers slightly rich, moist ground in full sun or partial shade. Divisions can also be used. Spacing should be 12 inches in the row and the rows spaced at 24-30 inches. Weed heavily when young and continue to cultivate when needed. The leaves are gathered throughout the summer before flowering. Two to four harvests are possible annually starting in the second year. Cut the leaves with pruning shears. A yield of 2,000 pounds of dry herb per acre is possible. Plantain turns brown easily so dry it immediately. It dries easily in 3-7 days.

Constituents: Contains iridoids (such as aucubin), flavonoids (including apigenin), monoterpene alkaloids, glycosides, sugars, triterpenes, linoleic acid, tannins, iroids, silica, plant acids, and mucilage. Aucubin increases uric acid excretion by the kidneys; apigenin is anti-inflammatory. Plantain provides beta carotene and calcium.

Properties: leaves are relaxing expectorant, tonify mucous membranes, reduce phlegm, antispasmodie, topically healing, diuretic, alterative, astringent, refrigerant, vulnerary

History: In Gaelic, this herb is known as “the healing plant” because it was used in Ireland to treat wounds and bruises. It is a plant that has accompanied European colonization around the world—some Native Americans called it “Englishman’s foot” because it seemed to spring up in the footsteps of white settlers. Plantain is one of the plants mentioned in the Saxon ‘nine herbs charm’. The Latin name plantago was derived from the word planta meaning “sole of the foot, alluding to the resemblance between the shape of the leaves and that part of the body. Another version is that plantain is the Old French version of the Latin plantago meaning “plant.” It was called waybread because it commonly bred by the wayside. The leechbooks mention it frequently and recommend its use for more than 20 different ailments, including one affliction for which the use of Plantain is advised “in case a man’s body be hard.” The Anglo-Saxons used it to treat smallpox. Chaucer referred to it and Shakespeare mentions it in his plays. In France, to ensure their immunity before attacking a viper, weasels were said to roll in clumps of plantain. Farmers planted it for their sheep to graze on. The gelatinous matter obtained from soaking the seedhead was once used to stiffen muslin.
To stop vomiting, the patient was fed a cake made with plantain seeds, egg yolk, add flour. Mixed with oil of roses, plantain juice was rubbed on the temples and forehead and “helped lunatic persons very much”. Canaries and many little wildbirds are quite fond of the ripe seeds of plantain. Bunches of seed spikes used to be hung in birdcages and wild birds can frequently be observed feasting on the seeds. This habit may well account for the custom of calling Plantain cuckoo bread in Devonshire; it was believed that once every seven years, the plantain changed into a cuckoo and flew away.
Trotula, a healer and midwife, advised using plantain to treat uterine hemorrhages and insisted that it can restore “the very essence of a woman” to the extent that it could give a woman the appearance of being a virgin.

Energetics: slightly sweet, salty, and bitter; cool, mainly drying

Meridians/Organs affected: bladder, small intestine, gall bladder

Medicinal uses: Common plantain quickly staunches blood flow and encourages the repair of damaged tissue. It may be used instead of comfrey in treating bruises and broken bones. An ointment or lotion may be used to treat hemorrhoids, fistulae and ulcers. Taken internally, common plantain is diuretic, expectorant, and decongestant. It is commonly prescribed for gastritis, peptic ulcers, diarrhea, dysentery, irritable bowel syndrome, respiratory congestion, loss of voice and urinary tract bleeding. The seeds are closely related to psyllium seeds and can be used similarly, a tablespoon or two soaked in hot sweetened water or fruit juice until a mucilage is formed and the whole gruel drunk as a lubricating laxative. The fresh juice can be made into a douche for vaginitis by combining two tablespoons and a pint of warm water with a pinch of table salt. Proteolytic enzymes found in the fresh leaf and the fresh or dried root make plantain useful as a gentle internal vasoconstrictor for milk intestinal inflammation. The fresh juice or dried leaves in tea can help bladder inflammations. The fresh juice can be preserved with 25% vodka or 10% grain alcohol. Take one teaspoon in warm water one hour before every meal for mild stomach ulcers. For bed-wetting plantain leaf can be given as a beverage-strength tea throughout the day (but not right before bedtime).
Plantain roots are an old-time cure for toothaches. Fresh, the roots used to be chewed, dried and powdered and placed in a hollow tooth as a painkiller. The Chippewa used plantain leaves to draw out splinters from inflamed skin, and as vulnerary poultices. They favored the fresh leaves, spreading the surface of these with bear grease before applying them and renewing the poultices when the leaves became dry or too heated. Sometimes they replaced the bear grease with finely chopped fresh roots, or else applied the chopped roots directly to the wound. For winter use, they greased fresh leaves and tightly wrapped stacks of them in leather. The Iroquois used the fresh leaves to treat wounds, as well as coughs, colds, and bronchitis. The Shoshone applied poultices made from the entire plant to battle bruises, while the Meskawaki treated fevers with a tea made from the root.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses plantain to treat urinary problems, dysentery, hepatitis and lung problems, especially asthma and bronchitis. The seeds are used for bowel ailments. Plantain is also found in African and southeast Asian folk medicine. Research in India has shown its beneficial effects in treating coughs and colds.
Navajo Uses: The root of plantain is one of the life medicines. The plant is used to treat many internal problems: indigestion, stomachache, heartburn, venereal disease, and loss of appetite. It is also a diuretic.

REMEDIES: for yeast infections ripe plantain seeds can be gathered from the seed stalks in late summer, dried and stored in a jar. Soak them in a small amount of boiled water. The seeds will form a gel which can be gently placed onto inflamed labia to help reduce itching and swelling and heal open sores.
JUICE: Press from fresh leaves. Take 10 ml, three times a day, for inflamed mucous membranes in cystitis, diarrhea and lung infections
TINCTURE: Make from fresh leaves if possible. Good for heavy mucus, as in allergic rhinitis, or if astringency is needed
POULTICE: apply fresh leaves to bee stings and slow-healing wounds
OINTMENT: apply to wounds, burns and hemorrhoids
WASH: use the juice for inflammations, sores and wounds
GARGLE: Use the diluted juice for sore throats and mouth or gum inflammations
SYRUP: Take a syrup made from the juice for coughs, particularly if the throat is sore of inflamed.

Revitalizing Green Juice:
Cups fresh plantain leaves
1 cup pure liquid honey
Crush the leaves in a food processor, drain and squeeze in cheesecloth. Combine 1 cup of the green juice with the honey and simmer for 10 minutes at low heat, stirring regularly. Let cool and pour into an opaque bottle. Take this nectar 1 spoonful at a time like a syrup to treat a cough, sore throat, fatigue and eczema. 1 Tbsp 3 times daily.

Tonic for Bites, Poison Ivy
½ cup chopped plantain
½ cup chopped lemon balm
½ cup chopped comfrey leaves
½ cup chopped borage leaves
4 cup boiling water
4 cups witch hazel
Make herb water: Combine herbs in large pot with a lid. Pour boiling water over, and cover with lid. Allow to stand 15 minutes. Strain liquid into sterilized jar, seal and store in refrigerator. Herb water keeps up to 3 weeks. Make tonic: Mix 12/ cup of herb water and ½ cup witch hazel. Store in refrigerator. Rub afflicted skin liberally with cotton dipped in tonic or soak swatches of cotton in tonic and lay over skin. Reapply as often as required. (Recipes from Riversong)
HOMEOPATHIC USES: Plantago major is used for earache, toothache, and eye pain due to tooth decay or ear infection. Pyorrhea, depression, and insomnia are treated by it. It causes an aversion to tobacco.

Cosmetic Uses:
Fill a saucepan with the leaves and add the juice of a lemon and 1 pint of water. Simmer for 20 minutes, strain and when cool, add a fluid ounce of witch hazel. Bottle and keep under refrigeration.

Ritual Uses: Plantain, an herb of Venus, was an important element in numerous charms and love divinations. A rite of great antiquity was two flowering stalks of plantain were picked to represent the man and woman in question. The fluffy blossoms were carefully removed, and both stalks were wrapped in a dock leaf and laid under a stone. The next morning the stalks were unwrapped. If both stalks bore new blossoms, there would be real love between the ma and woman; if only one stalk bore flowers, there would be unrequited love. Plantain has a compassionate stability that finds opportunity for growth in every situation. It’s hung in the home and the car as an herb of protection.
For the old Germans, plantain embodied those souls who still sought the light after entering the Underworld. The ancient Greeks and Romans also believed in Plantain’s connection to these powers. The following is a spell from the 11th century marking plantain’s position as a plant of the Roman god Orcus and his daughter Proserpina goddess of death. “Plantain, herb of Proserpina, Daughter of King Orcus! As you have made infertile the mule, So may you also shut the wave of blood from this woman’s womb!” The best time of year to gather plants for amulets is between August 15th and September 8th (Women’s Thirty Days).
Navajo Uses: It is used in the prayers for protection in the Deer Way and is also smoked for a ceremonial tobacco. The stalk is a ceremonial lighter.

Culinary Uses:
This is a plant which should be picked very young, and, if cooked, it should be done thoroughly as it tends to be tough. The leaves have a nutty flavor, similar to Swiss chard and a small quantity of delicate central leaves may be used, finely chopped in a mixed or rice salad. The strong leaf fibers can easily be removed after boiling the herb which greatly improves its palatability. It is high in vitamins C, A. and K. The seeds, which contain protein, have a nut-like flavor and were ground and made into breads, usually mixed with flowers. Early Australian settlers used plantain seeds to substitute for sago in puddings. Aborigines made a kind of porridge from shade plantain.

Chicken and Plantain Cream
8 oz young plantain leaves
2 oz butter
1 ½ lb raw chicken, diced in small pieces
2 oz walnuts
salt and ground black pepper
½ pint double cream
Wash the plantain leaves, having discarded any tough stems, put in boiling salted water and cook until tender. Drain well and chop. Melt the butter in a frying pan and toss the chicken in it until it begins to color. Roughly chop the walnuts and add them with the plantain leaves to the pan and cook together for a further 5 to 8 minutes. Season, then add the double cream, scraping up and amalgamating it with the buttery juices. Stir for 5 minutes or so until the cream thickens. Service with plain boiled potatoes or rice and a green vegetable. (Food from the Countryside)

Plantain with Baked Eggs
For each serving allow 2 oz plantain leaves, 1 Tbsp double cream, a knob of butter, salt, pepper, a little nutmeg and an egg. Boil the chopped plantain leaves until tender, drain well and mix with a very little butter, half the cream, salt and pepper. Put in the bottom of a lightly-buttered ramekin. Break an egg on top of the plantain, spoon over the rest of the cream and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake in a moderate oven until the eggs are set to your liking. Serve with fingers of hot brown toast. (Food from the Countryside)

Plantain Seed—Quinoa Pilaf
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
¼ cup common plantain seed capsules
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp dried basil
1 clove garlic
1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
Bring the water to a boil and add the quinoa and plantain seeds. When the grains are fluffy turn off the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Let sit 5 minutes before serving. (Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places)

Wild Plantain Cookies
2 cups whole wheat flour
¾ cup plantain seeds (dried or fresh)
4 Tbsp baking powder
2 Tbsp molasses
½ cup carob covered raisins
Mix all ingredients well in a big bowl. Add tepid water to slowly form a thick, claylike paste. To form cookies, roll a pinch of dough between your palms and press onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes at 350F or until golden brown. (The Herbal Connection Collection)

A City Herbal, Maida Silverman, 1977, Alfred A. Knopf, ISBN: 0-394-49852-6
The Complete Medicinal Herbal, Penelope Ody, Dorling Dindersley, 1993; ISBN: 1-56458-187-X
Cosmetics from the Earth, Roy Genders, Alfred van der Marck, 1985; ISBN: 0-912383-20-8
A Druid’s Herbal, Ellen Evert Hopman, Destiny Books, 1995; ISBN: 0-89281-501-9
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants,Andrew Chevallier, Dorling Kindersley, 1996; ISBN: 0-7894-0672
Food from the Countryside, Avril Rodway, 1988, Grange Books, ISBN: 1-85627-276-1
The Herbal Connection Collection, Maureen Rogers & Patricia Sulick, 1994
Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places, Steve Brill with Evelyn Dean, Hearst Books, 1994; ISBN: 0-688-11425-3
The Illustrated Herb Encyclopedia, Kathi Keville, Mallard Press, 1991, ISBN: 0-7924-5307-7
Just Weeds, Pamela Jones, Prentice Hall, 1991; ISBN: 0-13-514118-4
Medicinal Herbs in the Garden, Field & Marketplace, Lee Sturdivant and Tim Blakley, San Juan Naturals, 1999, ISBN: 0-9621635-7-0
Medicine of the Earth, Susanne Fischer-Rizzi, Rudra Press, 1996; ISBN: 0-915801-59-0
Nanise’: A Navajo Herbal, Vernon O Mayes and Barbara Bayless Lacy, Navajo Community College Press, 1989; ISBN: 0-912586-62-1
Wild Medicinal Plants, Anny Schneider, Stackpole Books, 2002; ISBN: 0-8117-2987-7
HERBALPEDIA™ is brought to you by The Herb Growing & Marketing Network, PO Box 245, Silver Spring, PA 17575-0245; 717-393-3295; FAX: 717-393-9261; email: URL: Editor: Maureen Rogers. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Material herein is derived from journals, textbooks, etc. THGMN cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information contained in any reference noted herein, for the misuse of information or any adverse effects by use of any stated material presented

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Pomegranate–the key to creation


Posted by admin | Posted in Pomegranate | Posted on 04-01-2015

Tags: , , , ,

Pomegranates are so sensuous. But you should know how good they are for you too.

Punica granatum
[PU-ni-kuh gran-AH-tum]

Family: Lythraceae

Names: Carthaginian apple; grenadier, grenade (French); Granatapfel, Granatbaum (German); melagrana, granato (Italian); Scorzo del Melogranato, Cortezade Granada, Granada (fruit), granado (tree) (Spanish); a(r)nar, anardana (seed), dalim (Indian); zakuro (Japanese); mathulam param (Tamil); Rodhiá (Greek)

Description: deciduous shrub or tree growing to 20 feet. Has branches tipped with spines, worls of lance-shaped leaves about 3 inches long, scarlet flowers resembling hibiscus, and leathery-rinded round fruit containing many pulp-covered seeds. Some bushes have thorns. The smooth-skinned, golden to red fruit is about the size of a large apple. The plump red seeds are encased in individual compartments, each surrounded by a creamy colored, bitter membrane and pith. The dried seeds are hard and reddish-brown, angular and elongated, measuring about 1/3 inches in length.

Cultivation: Native to southwestern Asia, pomegranate has become naturalized in Europe. The tree is widely cultivated for its fruit, which is gathered in autumn when it is ripe. The bark is also gathered in autumn. The bush flourishes best in climates that are cool in winter and hot in the summer. In more humid regions it does not fruit well. A deep loam, well drained, is the best soul. The tree flowers in June and the fruit ripens in September. Pomegranate is usually propagated from hardwood cuttings. The seeds are extracted from the peel, pith and membranes, then dried. When dry, they are small and dark-red to black in color and slightly sticky. To dry cut off and discard a slice from the stem end of the fruit. Stand the fruit on a board and make five incisions from top to bottom. Use your fingers to pry open the fruit in wedge-shaped sections and scoop out the seeds, avoiding the bitter membrane. Spread out the seeds on a baking pan or ovenproof dish and dry them in the sun or in a cool oven, until they harden. Use a pestle and mortar to crush the seeds, if necessary. A food processor or electric grinder is not suitable as the seeds are too sticky. The bark of the stem or root is collected from the cultivated plant.

Constituents: The bark and rind contain pelletierene alkaloids, inulin, mannitol, malic acid, calcium oxalate, isoquercitrin, elligatannins (up to 25%) and triterpenoids. The alkaloids are highly toxic.

Properties: astringent, anthelmintic

History: The common name is a corruption of poma granata, Latin for many seeded apple. The botanical name refers not only to its many seeds, but also to the source of the fruit in Roman times: Punicus or Carthage, a Roman colony in North Africa. Persephone, abducted by Hades, God of the underworld, ate a few of the pomegranate seeds he offered her. She was forced to return to him for 4 months a year, leaving us winter in her absence. Some suggest that this “many-seeded apple” was the serpent’s gift to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Anne of Austria, wife to Louis XIII, chose the pomegranate as her personal emblem. It is often mentioned in the Bible, the most references occurring in the Song of Solomon, and it is still used in certain Jewish ceremonies. Muhammed refers to it in the Koran, suggesting that it suppresses envious thoughts. The striking red color and seed arrangement of the pomegranate made it one of the earliest and most important symbols of fertility, and it is an ancient design motif. It is a Turkish custom for a newly-wed bride to cast a pomegranate on the ground, the number of seeds falling out indicating the number of children she will bear.
In 1500 BC, the pharaoh Tuthmosis reputedly brought back pomegranate to Egypt from Asia. Prized as a fruit, it was also sought after as a means to rid the body of worms. This attribute was subsequently forgotten in Europe for nearly 1,800 years. Then in the early 19th century, after an Indian herbalist used pomegranate to cure an Englishman of tapeworms, English doctors in India become interested in its medicinal properties.

Energetics: husk of fruit–bitter, sweet, astringent, neutral; bark, root bark, peel of fruit—sour, astringent, warm, slightly toxic

Meridians/Organs affected: husk of fruit-stomach, colon; bark, root bark, peel of fruit—colon, stomach, kidney

Medicinal: Both the rind and bark of the pomegranate are considered to be specific remedies for tapeworm infestation. The alkaloids present in the rind and bark (pelletierines) cause the worm to release its grip on the intestinal wall. If a decoction of pomegranate rind or bark is immediately followed by a dose of a strong laxative or purgative, the worm will be voided. The rind and bark are also strongly astringent and occasionally have been used to treat diarrhea. In Spain, the juice of pomegranate fruit pulp is taken to comfort an upset stomach and as a remedy to relieve gas and flatulence.
The seeds are used in gargles and they are said to ease fevers and assist in counteracting diarrhea. They are widely used in Indian medicines. The pulp is good for the heart and stomach. The rind and the skin of the fruit are sun-dried, powdered and mixed with honey to cure diarrhea and dysentery. Pomegranate juice is a natural face mask, its astringency and acidity being beneficial for oily skin. The potassium in pomegranate improves blood pressure.

For worms: Make a decoction of 4 oz of bark to 1 pint of water. Take 15ml.

Flower Essence: Pomegranate promotes conscious alignment with the feminine creative Self, so that a woman can see more clearly her right destiny and choices. Pomegranate helps the soul to stay connected to the Mother-Spirit-of-Love in all that it gives to the world.

Toxicity: Pelleteirene alkaloids are highly toxic. Do not use the rind or bark unless under professional supervision.

Ritual Uses: This fruit has long been considered a key to creation. Some believed that fire was created when the pomegranate struck against a bay laurel. Pomegranates are associated with the crone and with Saturn. They form the background on the High Priestess card (in the Rider-Waite deck) and are also associated with the mysteries of the Judgment card. Sacred to Hera as well, she is often shown holding one in her hand. Given as a gift it may bestow abundance and wishes for the fertility of the creative spark. It is brought into ritual, eaten as part of the feast as the participants contemplate some fo the deeper, more profound mysteries. Baskets of pomegranates are used to decorate the temple. The blood-red juice may fill the ritual cup whether one is moving with the Goddess into the Underworld or seeking to learn from the lessons of Saturn.

Protection Spell for the child in the womb that has been exposed to illness. Cut the pomegranate in half. Rub one half over yourself, especially your belly. Envision any ills or pain or damage being drawn into the pomegranate. When you’re finished, bury this half in Earth. Eat every seed of the other half.

Hang boughs of fresh pomegranate over thresholds to ease delivery, and also to prevent the entry of malicious spirits.

Other Uses: The roots and rind go to make tanners’ dye, and jet black ink in India.

Culinary Uses: Fresh pomegranate seeds add their rubylike appearance and their sweet-and-sour flavor to stuffed baked fish, green or fruit salads, and custards. Grenadine, a pomegranate-flavored syrup, is essential behind any truly suave bar. Pomegranate molasses is used extensively in Eastern Mediterranean cooking. With its tart flavor and wonderful aroma, this thick sauce is delicious as a glaze on fish, poultry, or lamb, or when added to salads and pilafs. Crushed seeds are sprinkled on hummus.
The dried seeds and aril, from the bitter eastern pomegranate, constitute the widely used Indian condiment anardana. This can be used as a souring agent in much the same way as tamarind or lemon juice, or it can be finely ground and sprinkled directly on to food to add piquancy. The seeds are an ingredient of parathas and pakoras (savory vegetable fritters). In the West, the seeds may be used to impart an exotic flavor to casseroles and stews and they can be found in recipes from countries as far apart as Russian and Mexico.

Lotus Root Kebab
1 lb canned lotus root drained
2 medium potatoes
4 fl oz lightly salted water
½ tsp ground ginger
2-3 Tbsp chick pea flour
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp chili powder
2-3 green chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp pomegranate seeds, pounded, or a little lemon juice
2 Tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
oil for frying
Cut the lotus root into ½ inch slices. Peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes. Boil the potatoes and lotus root with the water in a pan, until the potatoes are cooked. Ensure that all the liquid has evaporated. Remove the pan from the heat and mash the potato-lotus root mixture. Add the ground ginger, chickpea flour, ground cumin, garam masala, chili powder, green chiles, pomegranate seeds or lemon juice, fresh coriander and mint leaves and mix to a dough. Lightly oil your hands and shape small pieces of the dough into balls or flat patty shapes. Heat the oil in a deep pan until almost smoking and then lower the heat to medium and fry the lotus root kebabs. At first, fry one kebab to make sure that it does not break up in the oil. If this does happen, then add some more chickpea flour to the lotus root mixture. Fry all the kebabs in this manner until crisp and brown. Serve hot with the chutney of your choice. (A Taste of Kashmir)

Grapefruit and Grenadine Sorbet
4 ½ cups pink grapefruit juice
1 cup superfine sugar
2 Tbsp grenadine
cookie cups
fresh mint for garnish
Combine the grapefruit juice, sugar, and grenadine in a bowl; stir to dissolve the sugar. Freeze the mixture in a metal bowl. When the mixture has solidified, break into chunks and place in a food processor; meanwhile, return the empty bowl to the freezer. Process the frozen chunks until the mixture is smooth. Return to the chilled bowl and freeze until set, 30-45 minutes. Serve scoops of the sorbet in cookie cups and garnish with the mint. (The Encyclopedia of Herbs Spices & Flavorings)

Minted Pomegranate Eggplant
4 slender eggplants about ½ pound each
1 cup coarse sea salt
3 Tbsp coarse sea salt
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tsp ground sumac
1 tsp packed brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
3 Tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds
Remove the stem from each eggplant. Slice them on the bias into ½-inch-thick elongated ovals. Sprinkle generously with the salt and let stand in a colander for 1 hour. Rinse off the salt and pat dry with paper towels. Combine 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, the pomegranate molasses, orange juice, sumac, brown sugar, and garlic. Mix well and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400F. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices sparingly with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake, turning once, for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush the eggplant slices with half of the pomegranate molasses mixture and bake for 2 minutes. Turn the slices and brush with the remaining pomegranate mixture. Bake for 2 minutes more, or until the eggplant is soft but not mushy. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with mint and pomegranate seeds, and serve. (Adriana’s Spice Caravan)

Chickpea Salad
1 ¼ cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in plenty of water (or you can use 5 oz canned chickpeas)
4 Tbsp onion, chopped finely
4 Tbsp red pepper, chopped finely
4 Tbsp potato, peeled, boiled and cubed
1 tsp pomegranate seeds, coarsely ground
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and sugar
Bring the chickpeas to a boil in plenty of water and simmer until they are soft but not mushy, drain and cool (or drain the canned chickpeas). Mix with all the other ingredients. Serve at room temperature. (The Indian Spice Kitchen)

Royal Lamb Curry
1 ¼ lbs lean lamb, cubed
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp salt
6 Tbsp corn oil
2 onions, chopped finely
1 tsp green chilies, minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp white poppy seeds
2 tsp pomegranate seeds
2 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/3 cups milk yogurt
4 Tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
Marinate the lamb in the powder spices and salt for 15 minutes. Heat the oil in a heavy pan and add the onions. Sauté until golden and add the green chilies. Grind the cumin, mustard and poppy seeds with the pomegranate seeds, ginger and garlic and a little water to make a coarse paste. Stir the onions and the chiles a few times and add the paste. Sauté for a minute and add the lamb. Brown well. Add the yogurt, enough water to make a thick sauce and more salt if needed. Cover and cook over low heat until the meat is tender. Serve hot, sprinkled with coriander. (The Indian Spice Kitchen)

Lamb with Pomegranate Juice
3 Tbsp sunflower oil
3 cardamoms, crushed
3 cloves
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 lb lean lamb, cubed
1 large onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
small piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
juice of 2 pomegranates about 1 ¼ cups or 3 Tbsp pomegranate syrup diluted with water
½ tsp ground black cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
12/ tsp ground mace
1/3 cup plain yogurt
chopped mint leaves
Heat the oil in a heavy pan and fry the whole spices briefly to bring out their flavor, shaking and stirring them so they do not burn. Discard the spices, add the meat, tossing and stirring to brown it on all sides. Continue cooking until the meat re-absorbs its juices. Ad the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until the onion colors. Stir in the pomegranate juice, a little at a time, waiting until each addition is absorbed by the meat before adding more. There should be very little liquid left, except the oil. Stir in the ground spices and salt to taste, then fry briefly. Add the yogurt. Cover the pan tightly, put it on a heat diffuser and cook very slowly for 30-40 minutes until the lamb is tender. Check one or twice that the meat is not sticking, and add a little more yogurt or water if necessary. Garnish with chopped mint leaves and serve with rice. (Cooking with Spices)

Olive, Pomegranate and Walnut Salad
2 large pomegranates
1 cup green olives, stoned and chopped
bunch of coriander leaves, chopped
6-8 scallions, chopped
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
pinch of red pepper
Cut open the pomegranates and extract the seeds. Combine with the olives, coriander, scallions and walnuts. Make a piquant dressing with the remaining ingredients. Pour over the salad, toss and serve. (Cooking with Spices)

Pomegranate Liqueur
3-4 fresh pomegranates
2 cups sugar
1 tsp orange zest
1 Tbsp fresh-0squuezed lemon juice
2 cups 100-proof vodka
1 cup white zinfandel
Peel pomegranates and scrape the flesh-covered seeds into bowl, removing the bits of membrane that separate the seed clusters. Add sugar and crush fruit with wooden spoon. Let stand for about 30 minutes. Add orange zest and lemon juice and let stand for 30 minutes more. Use a fine-mesh strainer to strain out solids. Discard. If necessary, add a little water to the mixture to make 1 cup. Transfer juice to clean 1 quart, wide-mouthed jar with tight-fitting lid. Add vodka and wine. Cover and let stand in a cool, dark place for 1 month. Rack or filter into final container such as wine bottle, fruit jar or decanter. (Cordials from your Kitchen)

4 oz chick pea flour
¼ tsp chile, ground
½ tsp cumin, ground
½ tsp turmeric, ground
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pomegranate seeds, crushed
selection of vegetables such as cauliflower, eggplant, peppers, cut into bite-sized pieces
oil for deep frying
Sift flour with chile, cumin, turmeric and salt. Add water gradually to make a fairly stiff batter. Now stir in the pomegranate and rest the mixture for ½ hour. Dip the vegetable pieces in the batter and deep fry a few at a time for 5-10 minutes until light golden. Remove. When all are fried, raise temperature of oil and return pakoras to the pan for about half a minute until golden brown and crisp. Drain and serve immediately. (Cooking with Spices)

Fruit Ratafia
½ lb dried figs
6 pomegranates, juiced
1 quart distilled spirits (your choice)
6 ripe peaches, pitted
1 cup sugar (or more to taste)
Divide the ingredients in equal proportions between 2 1 quart jars. Make sure that peaches and figs are pierced first (use a fork or toothpick). Cover securely, shake daily for 1 month; strain and bottle for later use. Ratafia comes from a tradition of the Middle Ages where parties accepting any legal transaction or agreement would share a drink to celebrate its “ratifications.” (A Witch’s Brew)

Winter Jewel Salad
1 pomegranate
2 persimmons, ripe but slightly firm
1 lb lamb loin
1 quart winter greens, such as mesclun or arugula
Cranberry Vinaigrette
Whole cranberries for garnish
Cut the pomegranate in half, remove the seeds, and set it aside. Peel the persimmons, slice them into ¼ inch thick rounds, and set them aside. Grill or broil the lamb loin until it is medium rare, about 5 or 6 minutes on each side. Let it rest for 5 minutes. While the lamb is resting, toss the greens with just enough cranberry vinaigrette to coat the leaves lightly. Arrange the greens off-center on individual serving plates. Place 2 or 3 slices of persimmon on the greens. Cut the lamb loin into thin slices and arrange them fanned out next to the greens. Spoon a small quantity of the vinaigrette over the persimmons and over the lamb. Sprinkle 2 or 3 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds over each salad, garnish with a few whole cranberries, and serve immediately. (The Good Cook’s Book of Oil & Vinegar)

Ash-e Anar (Soup)
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
6 large cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup yellow split peas
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon ground fennel seed
1 pound lean ground lamb
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
¼ cup finely minced onion
¼ cup freshly minced fresh herbs–a mixture
of cilantro, mint, and parsley
1 cup basmati rice
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream–optional
3 cups fresh pomegranate seeds
1 cup mixed fresh herbs, minced–use at least
two of the following: chives, cilantro, mint and parsley
salt, to taste
Heat olive oil in the bottom of a heavy stockpot, and sauté onions until they turn golden brown. Add garlic, and continue stirring and cooking until the onions are well browned, the garlic is golden, and everything is fragrant. Add the split peas, and continue cooking until the peas take on a bit of color, about a minute or so longer. Add the stock and the spices, and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until the peas are tender. Mix together the lamb, minced garlic, onion and herbs until well blended, and form into walnut sized balls. Drop the meatballs and rice into the soup, and add the pomegranate molasses, and sugar or honey. Cook until the rice, split peas and meatballs are cooked. Stir in the optional cream if you are using it, along with the fresh pomegranate seeds and fresh herbs. Add salt to taste, and if needed, correct seasoning. Fish out cinnamon stick before serving.

Cauliflower and Pomegranate Salad
1 ripe avocado
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 medium cauliflower broken into small florets
seeds from 2 pomegranates
2 ox walnuts, chopped
First make the dressing. Halve the avocado, discard the stone and scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl, liquidizer or food processor. Add the oil, vinegar and sugar and mash or puree until smooth. Mix with the cauliflower and pomegranate seeds, stirring well to coat. Cover and chill for no more than half an hour. Serve sprinkled with walnuts, if liked. (The Hot and Spicy Cookbook)

Pomegranate-Star Anise Delight
In saucepan over medium heat, bring 1 ¼ cuops white grape juice, ¾ cup pomegranate juice, 4 small round apple slices, 1 cinnamon stick and 2 whole star anise to a simmer. Remove from heat. Cover and let steep 5 minutes. Strain, if desired. Serve warm. 2 servings
Adriana’s Spice Caravan, Adriana and Rochelle Zabarkes, Storey, 1997; ISBN: 0-88266-987-7
A Compendium of Herbal Magick, Paul Beyerl, Phoenix Publishing, 1998, ISBN: 0-919345-45-X
The Complete Book of Spices, Jill Norman, Viking, 1990; ISBN: 0-670-83437-8
The Cooking with Spices, Carolyn Heal & Michael Allsop, David & Charles, 1983
Cordials from Your Kitchen, Pattie Vargas & Rich Gulling, Storey, 1997; ISBN: 0-88266-986-9
The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, Judika Illes, Harper Collins, 2004
The Encyclopedia of Herbs & Spices, Hermes House, 1997; ISBN: 1-901289-06-0
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, Andrew Chevallier, Dorling Kindersley, 1997; ISBN: 0-7894-1067-2
The Encyclopedia of Herbs Spices & Flavorings, Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz, Dorling Kindersley, 1992; ISBN: 1-56458-065-2
Flower Essence Repertory, Patricia Kaminiski and Richard Katz, Flower Essence Society, 1996; ISBN: 0-9631306-1-7
The Good Cook’s Book of Oil & Vinegar, Michele Anna Jordan, Aris Books; 1992; ISBN: 0-201-57075-0
The Hot and Spicy Cookbook, Sophie Hale, Quintet Publishing, 1987; ISBN: 1-55521-060-0
The Indian Spice Kitchen, Monisha Bharadwaj, Dutton, 1997; ISBN: 0-525-94343-9
A Taste of Kashmir, Geeta Samtani, Merehurst, 1995; ISBN: 1-85391-474-6
A Witch’s Brew, Patricia Telesco, Llewellyn, 1995; ISBN: 1-56718-708-0

HERBALPEDIA™ is brought to you by The Herb Growing & Marketing Network, PO Box 245, Silver Spring, PA 17575-0245; 717-393-3295; FAX: 717-393-9261; email: URL: Editor: Maureen Rogers. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Material herein is derived from journals, textbooks, etc. THGMN cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information contained in any reference noted herein, for the misuse of information or any adverse effects by use of any stated material presented.

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Black Seed….The cure for everything


Posted by admin | Posted in Nigella | Posted on 01-01-2015

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For a long time I thought nigella was just a pretty flower. Was I wrong.


Nigella sativa
[ny-JELL-luh sa-TEE-vuh]

Family: Ranunculaceae

Pharmaceutical Name: Semen Nigellae sativae

Names: Kalonji; black cumin, black seed, black caraway, devil-in-the-bush, fitch, fennel flower, gith, melanthion, nutmeg flower, nutmeg plant, Roman coriander, Russian caraway, Russian coriander, wild onion seed; ajenuz, black seed, Corekotu, Carnushka (Russian); Schwarzkummel (German); nigelle, cheveux de Venus, faux cumin, poivrette (French); nigella (Italian); neguilla (Spanish); kala zeera, kalonji, kalajira, krishnajiraka (Indian); Habba soda (Oman); habat et Baraka (Egyptian); Kolonji (African); Czarnuszka siewna (Polish)

Description: Nigella is an annual herbaceous plant, up to 20 inches high, with a delicate erect stem with pinnatisect leaves and laciniate leaflets. The solitary flowers, with five black-spotted blue petals, are unmistakable because they are surrounded by an involucre with deeply laciniate, lacy bracts. The fruit is formed of five swollen follicles that contain four tetrahedral black seeds that constitute the spice. The seeds of nigella are 1/8 inch long and jet black with a matte finish. They closely resemble tiny chips of coal and have five distinct points. Nigella has a faint nutty, but bitter taste due to the presence of nigellin and gives out a faint scent of strawberries. This results in it being used for flavoring confectionery and liquors. Nigella damascena should not be substituted for black cumin seeds.

Cultivation: Plants prefer rich, well-drained, medium-textured soil. The pH range tolerated is 5.0-8.2. Prefers warm conditions. It should be given full sun, but will tolerate slight shade and is ready to harvest about 4 months after planting. Sow seeds in the open in the late spring in drills 18 inches apart. Thin out the young plants to 12 inches. Can also be started indoors and as they don’t transplant well, it is advisable to use fiber pots that can be planted directly into the round. The plants flower from summer to spring and the seed capsules are collected as they ripen. They are then dried, crushed whole and sieved to separate the seeds. It adapts well to poor soils and can be sown in open ground, merely requiring some weed control.

History: The seeds account for the generic name, from Latin, niger, black, and the specific name alludes to Damascus, the region where the plant originated. The Sanskrit names indicate that black cumin was used in India at a very early date. It was also known to the ancient Hebrews, Greeks and Romans. The seeds preceded black pepper as a major spice of the Near East. The seeds of black cumin are thought to be the “fitches” mentioned by Isaiah XXVIII: 25-27 in the King James Bible. The Roman surgeon and herbalist Dioscorides thought that black cumin mixed with vinegar cured dog and crocodile bites. He also recorded that they were taken to treat headaches, nasal congestion, toothache and intestinal worms and, in large quantities, as a diuretic, a promoter of menstruation and to increase breast-milk production. Black cumin was popular in Arabic and Turkish cultures as an ingredient of foods designed to fatten women. The Prophet Muhammad encouraged the use of nigella as a cure for all diseases.

Constituents: The whole seeds contain 30-35% oil of which over 60% is linoleic acid, with oleic acid next in predominance. The oil is of a semi-drying type. Additionally, the seeds contain 0.5-1.5% essential oil. Other ingredients include: Alanine, arginine, ascorbic-acid, asparagine, campesterol, carvone, cymene, cystine, dehydroascorbic-acid, eicosadienoic-acid, glucose, glutamic-acid, glycine, iron, isoleucine, leucine, d-limonene, linolenic-acid, lipase, lysine, methionine, myristic-acid, nigellin, nigellone, palmitic-acid, phenylalanine, phytosterols, potassium, beta-sitosterol, alpha-spinasterol, stearic-acid, stigmasterol, tannin, threonine, thymohydroquinone, thymoquinone, tryptophan, tyrosine

Medicinal Uses: Nigella is considered carminative, a stimulant, and diuretic. A paste of the seeds is applied for skin eruptions and is sure to relieve scorpion stings. The seeds are antiseptic and used to treat intestinal worms, especially in children. The seeds are much used in India to increase breast milk. The seeds are often scattered between folds of clothes as an effective insect repellent. Alcoholic extracts of the seeds are used as stabilizing agents for some edible fats. In India, the seeds are also considered as stimulant, diaphoretic and emmenagogue. Some of the conditions nigella has been used for include: eruption fever, puerperium (Iraq); liver disease (Lebanon); cancer (Malaya); joints, bronchial asthma, eczema, rheumatis (Middle East); with butter for cough and colic (North Africa); excitant (Spain); boosing immune system, colds (U.S.)  A recent study in South Carolina at the International Immuno-Biology Research Laboratory showed that there was some action against cancer cells using nigella plant extract.

Cosmetic Uses: A decoction of the seeds rubbed on the breasts will bring about firmness and the finely ground seeds rubbed into the hair will rid it of ticks and lice.

Breast Lotion: An infusion of the seeds of nigella (1 oz to 4 pints boiling water) and straining will provide a lotion which since the earliest times, Egyptian women have used to firm the breasts. While still warm, wring out cloths and place over the breasts, leaving on for 10 minutes. Repeat until the liquid is used up or rub the breasts with the lotion at bedtime and let dry.

Culinary Uses: The seeds of black cumin are used for seasoning and are employed in spice mixes. The odor of crushed seeds has been described as like lemons with a faint suggestion of carrots while the taste is strong, pungent, peppery, rather oddly aromatic and nutty like a cross between poppy seeds and pepper. The name nutmeg flower reflects similarity with the odor of nutmeg. The seeds are added to curries, pickles, cheeses, eggs, poultry, meats, game, pickles, conserves, fruit pies and confections, particularly cookies, rolls and bread. Nigella is delightful with fish, in naan bread and in salads. In west Bengal the most prolific spice blend is panch phoron, a mixture of five spices including nigella and this gives vegetables, legumes and lentils a distinctive Bengali taste. In the Middle East it is used to flavor bread. The seeds may be used whole or ground, often after a preliminary frying or roasting. They are easily crushed with a rolling pin or pestle and mortar.

Other Uses: Nigella seeds were once an ingredient in snuff tobacco and are sometimes employed in perfume.

Spicy Fried Shrimp
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
4 Tbsp distilled vinegar
1 ¼ lbs large raw shrimp, shelled and cleaned
5 Tbsp corn oil
2 tsp nigella seeds
2 tsp garlic, sliced
4 small dried red chilies, deseeded
10 curry leaves
Mix the powder spices and salt with the vinegar. Marinate the shrimp in this mixture for 10 minutes. Heat the oil in a wok. Add the nigella, garlic, red chilies and curry leaves. Reduce the heat and stir-fry for a minute. Add the shrimp, stirring continuously until they are completely cooked. Remove the chilies and curry leaves. Serve hot with a blend accompaniment, such as rice or rotis, to balance the spicy heat of the shrimp. (The Indian Spice Kitchen)

Panch Phoron
Equal parts:
Cumin seeds
Fennel seeds
Fenugreek seeds
Black mustard seeds
Nigella seeds

Cabbage Stir-Fry with Panch Phoron
5 Tbsp mustard oil
1 large onion, sliced finely
1 medium cabbage, shredded finely (1 ¼ lbs
Grind to a coarse paste with 2 teaspoons of water in a blender:
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp ginger, shredded
4 dried red chilies, deseeded, soaked in water
1 tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp panch phoron
Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in skillet and add the onion. Sauté until golden and add the cabbage. Stir-fry until translucent, then add the ground mixture and salt. Add 4 tablespoons of water and cook until the cabbage is done but still crisp. Take off the heat. Heat the remaining oil in a separate pan and ad the panch phoron. When it crackles, pour the oil and the seeds over the cabbage. Stir well. Heat through to blend the vegetable and spices. Serve hot. (The Indian Spice Kitchen).

Naan Bread
1 tsp sugar
¾ cup water, warm
1 oz dried yeast
1 lb strong white flour
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp salt
6 Tbsp yoghurt
2 Tbsp ghee or butter, melted oil to coat
Dissolve sugar in the warm water and sprinkle yeast on it. Leave for 15 minutes. Make sure it froths, otherwise use new batch. Sift flour and salt into bowl and mix in nigella seeds. Make a depression in the flour and pour in yoghurt, ghee and the yeast mixture. Mix well and knead into a dough for about 10 minutes. Form a ball. Put a little oil in another bowl and turn the ball of dough in it until it is covered by the oil. Discard excess oil. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to double in size—about 2 hours. Knead the ball down again and divide it into 6 portions. Flatten these in turn and mold into pear shapes. Place on a greased tray and bake for 10-15 minutes at 450F. Finish under grill if necessary. Serve at once or freeze, which actually improves flavor. (Cooking with Spices)

French Beans with Coconut
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp nigella seeds
2 dried red chilies
1 lb French beans, cut into 1 in lengths
1 Tbsp desiccated coconut
2 Tbsp coconut milk
salt to taste
Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan or wok until almost smoking. Add the nigella seeds and chilies and fry for a minute until sizzling. Add the beans and stir-fry for about 7 minutes. Add the coconut, coconut milk and salt and cook, stirring, for a further 7-10 minutes or until the coconut milk has evaporated and the beans are tender. (The Macmillan Treasury of Spices and Natural Flavorings)

Garlic Pickle
½ lb garlic
1 Tbsp salt
3 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 Tbsp nigella
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp ground asafetida
4-5 cups sunflower oil
Peel the garlic and check that it is free from blemishes. Put the whole cloves together with the salt and spices into a preserving jar. Cover with oil and put on the lid. Place the jar in a warm place—on the boiler or in the sun if it is hot enough. Stir a few times a day for 5 days. Leave for at least a week, still in a warm place, before using. (Cooking with Spices)

Spicy Cucumber Salad
1 cucumber, finely diced
1 cup thick yogurt
½ tsp nigella seeds
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves
crisp lettuce leaves for garnish
Place the cucumber in a shallow bowl and season to taste. Add the yogurt, nigella and mint and toss to blend. Serve lightly chilled, on plates garnished with lettuce leaves. If preparing in advance, do not toss with dressing until serving. (The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spice & Flavorings)

Jerked Scallops
2 lb sea scallops
¼ cup Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup dry white wine
Asian Pear and Date Chutney
Rub the scallops all over with the jerk seasoning. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the scallops and sauté for 4 minutes, or until opaque. Add the wine and simmer for about 1 minute, or until thoroughly hot. Serve plain or over rice, with Asian Pear and Date Chutney on the side.

Asian Pear and Date Chutney
2 Asian pears, or Bosc or Barlett, cored and diced small
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
½ cup rice or white vinegar
½ cup golden raisins
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp nigella seeds
½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, to blend the flavors. Remove from the heat, cool, and serve. (Adriana’s Spice Caravan)

Adriana’s Spice Caravan. Adriana and Rochelle Zabarkes, Storey, 1997; ISBN: 0-88266-987-7
The Complete Book of Spices, Jill Norman, Dorling Kindersley, 1990, ISBN: 0-670-83437-8
Cooking with Spices, Carolyn Heal & Michael Allsop, David & Charles, 1983; ISBN: 0-7153-8369-8
Cosmetics from the Earth, Roy Genders, Alfred van der Marck Editions, 1985; ISBN: 0-912383-20-8
Culinary Herbs, Ernest Small, 1997, NRC Research Press; ISBN: 0-660-16668-2
The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spice & Flavorings, Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz, Dorling Kindersley, 1992; IBSN: 1-56458-065-2
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, Andrew Chevallier, Dorling Kindersley, 1997; ISBN: 0-7894-1067-2
The Indian Spice Kitchen, Monisha Bharadwaj, Dutton, 1997; ISBN: 0-525-94343-9
The Macmillan Treasury of Spices & Natural Flavorings, Jennifer Mulherin, 1988, Macmillan Publishing; ISBN: 0-02-587850-6

HERBALPEDIA™ is brought to you by The Herb Growing & Marketing Network, PO Box 245, Silver Spring, PA 17575-0245; 717-393-3295; FAX: 717-393-9261; email: URL: Editor: Maureen Rogers. Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. Material herein is derived from journals, textbooks, etc. THGMN cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information contained in any reference noted herein, for the misuse of information or any adverse effects by use of any stated material presented

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Turmeric… seems like all you need


Posted by admin | Posted in Turmeric | Posted on 01-01-2015

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So, turmeric inhibits pancreatic tumor growth. Anyone surprised? It boggles my mind why we don’t include it in our daily diet.

Curcuma longa
[KER-koo-muh LONG-uh]

Pharmaceutical Name: Rhizoma Curcumae

Family: Zingiberaceae

Names: Indian saffron; Indian Yellow Root; curcuma, Safran des Indes, Terre-mérite, Souchet des Indes (French); Kurkuma, Curcuma, Indischer Safran, Gelbwurz, Gelbwurzel (German); Curcuma (Italian); Ukon (Japanese); Arishina (Kannada); Romiet (khmer); Khi min khun (Laotian); Kunyit basah (Malay); Huva (Malayalam); Halede (Marathi); Gurkemeie (Norwegian); Zard-choobag (Pahlawi); Zarchoba (Pashto); Klacze kurkumy (Polish); Açafrão da India, Curcuma (Portuguese); Haldi (Punjabi); Zholty imbir (Russian); Haridra, Marmarii (Sanskrit); Kaha (Singhalese); Haldi (Hindi); curcuma, Azafrán arabe (Spanish); Manjano (Swahili); gurkmeja (Swedish); wong geung, Yu chin, Yu jin, Jiang huang (Chinese); kunjit, kunyit, Daun kunyit-leaves (Indonesian); kamin (Thai); Gurkemeje (Danish); Geelwortel, Kurkuma (Dutch); kanghwang (Korean); kyoo (Japanese); Ird (Amharic); Kurkum (Arabic); Halodhi (Assami); Halud (Bengali); Hsanwen, Sa nwin, Sanae (Burmese); Harilik kurkuma (Estonian); Keltajuuri (Finnish); Halad, Saldar (Gujrati); Kurkuma, Sárga gyömbérgyökér (Hungrian); Túrmerik (Icelandic); Dilaw (Tagalog); Manjal (Tamil); Pasupu (Telugu); Kha min (Thai); Zerde¬çal (Turkish); Haladi (Urdu); Cu nghe (fresh), Bot nghe (dried and ground) (Vietnamese)

Description: Tender perennial native to India, Chine, the East Indies. Grows to 2 feet high. Has a multi-rhizomatous rootstock each of which is cylindrical and varies in size from 2 to 3 in. tapering at each end. Large, fragrant, ovoid roots, with deep orange flesh, send up large lance-shaped leaves in tufts. Clusters of pale yellow flowers in dense spikes appear from late spring to midsummer.

Cultivation: Grows in rich loamy soil in humid conditions. It is propagated by small pieces of root planted 4 in deep and 12 in apart. To harvest: the whole clump of the rhizome is lifted carefully to prevent any damage, and the fingers are broken off from the larger rhizomes. The turmeric is boiled or steamed, then dried. The outer skin is removed and the rough brown fingers become orange-yellow and waxy to the touch. About 180,000 tons of cured turmeric are produced in India annually of which 92% is consumed within the country.

History: In some languages, the names of turmeric just mean “yellow root”. English (turmeric) derives from the French terre-mérite meaning “meritorious earth” probably because ground turmeric resembles mineral pigments (ocher). Turmeric was used in Biblical times as a perfume as well as a spice. The earliest record of turmeric comes from an ancient Assyrian herbal in about 600 BC. Some say it came into use in the West through the sun-worshippers of Persia when their supply of saffron ran out.
Turmeric held a place of honor in India’s traditional Ayurvedic medicine. A symbol of prosperity, it was considered a cleansing herb for the whole body. Medically, it was used as a digestive aid and treatment for fever, infections, dysentery, arthritis, and jaundice and other liver problems. In Hindu ceremony it represents fertility. Turmeric boiled with milk and drunk last thing before going to bed is considered to be the best medicine for an irritating dry cough.
Traditional Chinese physicians also used turmeric to treat liver and gallbladder problems, stop bleeding, and treat chest congestion and menstrual discomforts.
In the 1870s, chemists discovered turmeric’s orange-yellow root powder turned reddish brown when exposed to alkaline chemicals This discovery led to the development of “turmeric paper,” thin strips of tissue brushed with a decoction of turmeric, then dried. During the late 19th century, turmeric paper was used in laboratories around the world to test for alkalinity. Eventually, it was replaced by litmus paper. In the Middles Ages it was called “Indian or Eastern saffron”.
The shepherds of Nepal cook their rice in turmeric. Before they set out to herd their sheep high in the mountains, they daub the turmeric paste upon the chakra between their eyebrows. It is believed that this will provide blessings, success and protection when driving their sheep on long, perilous journeys through the mountain path.
In Indonesia, rice dyed with turmeric has traditionally formed part of the wedding ritual feast, and it was the custom for the bride and groom to tinge their arms with the coloring also. In the same country, it was traditionally smeared on the abdomen of women after childbirth and applied as an ointment to the cut cord of the baby, both for healing and as a protection against evil spirits.
In India they say that the external application of turmeric suppresses the unwelcome growth of hair on female skin. In parts of Asia turmeric water is used as a cosmetic, to lend a golden glow to the complexion. It was once widely used as a body paint. In India, they also believe that sometimes tree spirits leave their homes and enter into human beings, in which case they have to be exorcised. The exorcist detects the presence of the spirit by lighting a piece of turmeric root, because no ghost can stand the smell of burnt turmeric.

Nutritional profile. One teaspoon ground turmeric has 8 calories. It provides 0.2 g protein, 0.2 g fat, 1.4 g carbohydrates, 4 mg calcium, 0.9 mg iron and 0.6 mg vitamin C

Constituents: mainly turmerone (60%), with ar-tumerone, artlantones, zingiberene, cineol, borneol, sabinene, and phellandrene

Properties: cholagogue, choleretic, emmenagogue, aromatic stimulant, alterative, analgesic, astringent, antiseptic

Energetics: spicy, bitter, warm

Meridians/Organs Affected: heart, liver, lung

Medicinal Uses: Turmeric is a choleretic, an agent that stimulates the liver to increase its production of bile. This yellow brown or green fluid helps emulsify fats in your duodenum and increases peristalsis, the rhythmic contractions that move food through your gastrointestinal tract.
Turmeric is also a cholagogue, an agent that stimulates the gallbladder and biliary duct to discharge bile and increases your body’s excretion of cholesterol. Turmeric is useful for preventing and treating gallstones, according to Commission E. In one study, mice with experimentally induced gallstones were placed on special feed containing a modest amount of curcumin, and within five weeks their gallstone volume had dropped 45%. After ten weeks they had 80% fewer gallstones than untreated mice. Choleretics and cholagogues are ordinarily beneficial for healthy people but may pose some problems for people with gallbladder or liver disease. Some other choleretic herbs are ginger, oregano and peppermint.
The fleshy tuber-like rhizome is used. It contains a volatile oil and a water-soluble yellow pigment. Its usefulness as a gallbladder remedy in the narrower sense has been demonstrated. The cholagogue and choleretic action is quite powerful, and recent investigations have shown it to be primarily due to the yellow pigment. The drug is prescribed as a tea or infusion: Curcuma rhizome, chopped….Add 1 tablespoonful to a glass of water and boil briefly. 3 glasses per day. Curcuma infusion DRF: curcuma rhizome infusion 6.0/180.0 and Peppermint water to make 200.0…..1 tablespoonful three times daily.
A daily dose of ¼ tsp of turmeric strengthens the body’s immune defenses in as little as one week. The credit goes to turmeric’s antioxidants, which stimulate immune cells to divide rapidly during viral attacks.
The people of Java call this plant temoe lavak. In India and other Asian countries it has a long tradition as a popular remedy for jaundice and liver disease. There is no doubt that it can be effective, particularly where bile flow needs to be thoroughly stimulated, but it is doubtful if it achieves more than our native drugs, and indeed unlikely, as it is not always indicated. Above all it lacks spasmolytic and carminative properties. The yellow pigment has a marked irritant effect on the gastric mucosa, so that caution in indicated where there is a tendency to hyperacidity or where there is simple irritable stomach.
To treat minor wounds, wash them with soap and water, then sprinkle on some powdered herb and bandage. For an infusion to help aid digestion and possibly help promote heart health, use 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder per cup of warm milk. Drink up to 3 cups a day. These infusions may also offer a measure of protection to the liver and help ease the inflammation of arthritis. Turmeric tastes pleasantly aromatic, but in large amounts, it becomes somewhat bitter.
Turmeric regulates the menses, relieves menstrual pains and helps reduce uterine tumors. Used externally or internally, turmeric promotes healing in cases of trauma or injury. In India, it’s a traditional ulcer treatment and in animal studies it’s been shown to stimulate the stomach lining to produce more protective mucus.
In Chinese medicine, turmeric invigorates the blood and unblocks menstruation; for chest or abdominal pain, amenorrhea, or dysmenorrhea due to blood stasis caused by cold from deficiency. Also used for pain and swelling due to trauma. It promotes the movement of qi and alleviates pain; for epigastric and abdominal pain due to stagnant qi. It expels wind and promotes the movement of blood; for wind-dampness painful obstruction with blood stasis, especially in the shoulders. Contraindicated in cases of blood deficiency without stagnant qi or blood stasis.
Research shows: Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It has an even stronger action than hydrocortisone, according to research studies conducted between 1971 and 1991.
When applied to the skin and exposed to sunlight, turmeric is strongly antibacterial. Curcumin is the constituent responsible for this action. Curcumin is also more strongly antioxidant than vitamin E. In lab and animal studies, it’s been shown to protect LDL cholesterol from being “oxidized. In India, in 1992, researchers gave ten healthy volunteers a half a gram of turmeric a day for seven days. That’s an amount you might get in your diet if it includes curry. They measured the level of oxidative by-products of blood cholesterol. After a week, it fell 33%. Blood cholesterol fell, too, by 12%. Turmeric can also dilate blood vessels, so it may lower blood pressure as it’s done in animal studies. Research is also being done with HIV.  Turmeric may be a valuable preventive remedy for those at risk of developing cancer.

EXTRACTION METHOD: by steam distillation from the ‘cured’ rhizome – boiled, cleaned and sun-dried. An oleoresin, absolute and concrete are also produced by solvent extraction.
CHARACTERISTICS: a yellowy-orange liquid with a faint blue fluorescence and a fresh spicy-woody odor.
BLENDS WELL WITH: cananga, labdanum, elecampane, ginger, orris, cassie, clary sage, mimosa
ACTIONS; analgesic, anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, bactericidal, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, hyptensive, insecticidal, laxative, rubefacient, stimulant

Circulation, Muscles and Joints: arthritis, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism
Digestive system: anorexia, sluggish digestion, liver congestion
Other: employed in perfumery work for oriental and fantasy-type fragrances. The oleoresin is used as a flavor ingredient in some foods, mainly curries, meat products and condiments

Toxicity: Turmeric’s potential anticlotting effect might cause problems for those with clotting disorders. If you have a blood-clotting problem, discuss this herb’s effect with your physician before using medicinal preparations. Unusually large amounts of turmeric may cause stomach upset.

Other Uses: It is a substantive dye that gives bright colors on wools, basketry materials, cottons, and silks. It is also a good, clear yellow to mix with other colors when top dyeing. The use of mordants may make turmeric more fast. Put the turmeric powder in the soft water and stir well while bringing to hand-heat. Enter the clean, thoroughly wetted wool. Slowly bring the bath to simmer and simmer gently for 2 minutes, stirring lightly to move the wool about. Remove a skein and hold it to drip over the dyebath for a few moments. Rinse the wool in hot soft water and squeeze gently; then rinse in cooler water and squeeze gently again. Label the skein and hang it to dry in the shade. Continue simmering the wool still in the bath or another 2 minutes, and remove a second skein. Rinse, label, and dry as before. Simmer remaining wool in the bath for another few minutes and remove another skein, and continue as before until all the wool has been dyed. Ten minutes will give a brilliant yellow. Although turmeric needs no mordant, chrome and tin will both give interesting colors. The yellow can also be used for top-dyeing with walnut. Turmeric is a very strong, brilliant dye, but it does not last well over the years.

Culinary uses: Turmeric has a mild, slightly bitter, peppery flavor and aroma that comes from oil of turmeric, which contains peppery-scented, mint-flavored borneol; spicy eucalyptol, which smells like camphor; and zingerone, the spicy sweet flavoring in ginger. Turmeric reaches the West partly in pure form, which becomes coloring for sauces and syrups, an ingredient of some liqueurs and cheeses; and formerly also of butter an margarine. But its role in ready-made curry powder is the primary one. Turmeric is very sensitive to sunlight and should, like curry powder, be stored in darkness. Avoid using turmeric when cooking green vegetables as they will turn grey and bitter. The leaves of the turmeric plant can be dried and used to flavor ghee. The leaves can also be used to wrap foods like fish or sweets before steaming. The leaves are an important ingredient in Malay and Indonesian cooking, especially in rending, the spicy, tasty meat dish particular to these regions. They are shredded finely and added to curries and other dishes. Shredded turmeric leaves can also be used as a garnish. The leaves smell rich and sweet.

Crisp Fried Eggplants
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
4 Tbsp semolina
2 large eggplants
corn oil for frying
Mix together the spices, salt and semolina. Then cut the eggplants into discs, ¼ inch thick. Heat a little oil in a skillet. Coat each disc with the spiced semolina and sauté in hot oil, turning over until both sides are crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Serve immediately. Discs tend to become soggy when cold so do not sauté in advance. (The Indian Spice Kitchen)

Spiced Potatoes and Carrots
1 lb potatoes, diced and parboiled
1 lb carrots, diced and parboiled
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp turmeric
1 little lemon juice
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Heat the oil and put in the cumin seeds. Stir these round for a few seconds before quickly adding the potatoes, stirring as you do so. Now add the ground coriander and turmeric and cook on a medium heat for 3 minutes or so, stirring continuously. Put in the carrots and salt at this point, and turn down the heat to low. Give the mixture a good stir and then cover and cook for 10-15 minutes. Check that the potatoes and carrots are cooked and then squeeze on some lemon juice. Served garnished with the cilantro leaves. (The Spices of Life)

Cold Spiced Chicken
3 T plain yogurt
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp ground turmeric
6 chicken breasts, skinned
2 ½ cups chicken stock
4 green cardamoms
1 curry leaf or bay leaf
1 oz butter
1 T gram flour
½ T plain flour
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 cups reserved chicken stock
½ tsp ground mace
¼ tsp ground cardamom
¼ cup heavy cream or thick yogurt
Blend together the yogurt, garam masala, turmeric and salt to taste. Rub the chicken breasts with the mixture and marinate for 1 hour. Heat the stock with the cardamoms and curry leaf. Put in the chicken breasts and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Lift out the chicken and transfer to a serving dish. Strain and reserve the stock. Leave to cool while making the sauce. Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flours until smooth. Add the garam masala, turmeric and a little salt, then whisk in the reserved stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the mace, cardamom and cream or yogurt. Spoon over the chicken and chill before serving. (The Complete Book of Spices, Jill Norman, Dorling Kindersley, 1990)

Classic Indian Curry Powder
6 dried red New Mexican chiles, seeds and stems removed, or 4 small hot dried red chiles, such as piquant seeds and stems removed
¼ cup cumin seeds
¼ cup coriander seeds
2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cardamom seeds
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 Tbsp ground turmeric
1 Tbsp dried powdered curry leaves
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the chiles, cumin and coriander seeds, peppercorns, mustard and cardamom seeds, cloves, and fenugreek seeds in a baking pan and place in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes, taking care that none of the spices burn. Grind these spices in a spice mill to a fine powder. Mix the ground spices with the turmeric and the curry leaves and seal in an airtight jar. (A World of Curries, Dave Dewitt & Arthur Pais, Little Brown)

Golden New-Potato Salad
1 ¾ lbs new potatoes (about 12), scrubbed
½ tsp whole cumin seeds
2 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp yellow or brown mustard seeds
1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1½ Tbsp snipped chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 small red onion, peeled and diced
Put potatoes in a large pot, and cover them with cold water. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a high simmer, and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, but not mushy, 20-30 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Heat a dry skillet over high heat for 30 seconds. Add the cumin, turmeric, and mustard seeds, and reduce the heat to medium. Toast, shaking the pan and moving it on and off the heat as necessary to prevent scorching, until the spices are aromatic, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a spice mill, and grind into a fine powder. In a medium bowl., combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice and chives. Stir in the ground spices, and salt and pepper to taste. Put the potatoes in a large bowl, cutting any large ones in halves or quarters. Add the celery, bell pepper, onion, and dressing. Toss gently so that potatoes don’t fall apart until all the ingredients are well combined. Cover and chill for at least an hour for the flavors to combine. The salad may be made a day ahead. (Tonics)

Monkfish sofrito
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp turmeric
a cardamom pod, cracked
6 Tbsp fish stock or water
salt and pepper to taste
1½ lb monkfish, cut into four pieces
parsley or coriander leaves to garnish
Heat the oil in a pan large enough to hold the fish in a single layer. Add the garlic, lemon juice, turmeric, cardamom, stock and seasoning. Slowly bring to boil. Add the fish pieces, cover and cook gently for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked, turning the pieces frequently and adding a little water if the liquid evaporates. Transfer the fish to a warmed serving dish, pour over the sauce and sprinkle with chopped parsley or coriander. (The MacMillan Encyclopedia of Spices and Natural Flavorings)

1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp turmeric
1½ tsp Garam Masala
6 oz long-grain rice
1 pt fish stock or water
10 oz cooked smoked fish, roughly flaked
salt and white pepper
2 oz butter, melted
2 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
fresh parsley, chopped
Fry the onion in the oil until it begins to brown. Add the spices and rice and cook for a minute more, stirring well to coat the grains. Pour in the stock or water, bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or so, until all the water is absorbed and the rice is al dente. Add the fish and season. To serve, stir in the melted butter and chopped eggs over a moderate heat for a minute or two, correct seasoning and sprinkle with parsley. (The Hot and Spicy Cookbook)

Krupnikas (Liqueur)
2 rhizomes dried ginger
2 rhizomes dried turmeric
1 Tbsp caraway seeds
10 whole cloves
10 whole allspice
3 sticks cinnamon
1 vanilla bean
10 cardamom pods
½ whole nutmeg
rind from one fresh orange
rind from one fresh lemon
pinch of saffron
4 cups water
2 lbs honey
1 quart 190-proof alcohol
Crack rhizomes of ginger and turmeric with a kitchen mallet or other heavy object. Add with the rest of the spices to the 4 cups of water and bring to a boil in a saucepan. Turn the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about an hour. It should be reduced by half. Turn off the heat and allow to steep while you prepare the honey. In another large heavy saucepan bring the honey slowly to a boil while skimming off the foam. Strain the spice water into the honey and remove from the heat. Slowly stir in the alcohol. Bottle and allow to age six months. (Ginger: East to West)

Gobi Dum (Cauliflower)
2 lb cauliflower
5 Tbsp ghee, mustard oil or any other cooking oil
1 pinch of asafetida
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste
½ tsp chili powder
1 inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into slivers
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 ½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp garam masala
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp natural yogurt
2 Tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
Wash and cut the cauliflower into small florets with long, thin stems. Heat the ghee or oil in a wok or a non-stick frying pan. If using mustard oil, heat to smoking point, then reduce the heat. This takes away the pungency and gives the oil a sweet flavor. Add the asafetida and cumin seeds. Fry for 20 seconds and then add the cauliflower florets and cover tightly and leave for 1-2 minutes. Remove the lid and stir-fry again for 1-2 minutes. Cover tightly and leave on a medium heat for a further 1-2 minutes. The cauliflower should now have a brownish appearance. Repeat this process until the cauliflower is a golden brown, taking care not to burn it. Lower the heat, add the salt, chili powder, ginger, turmeric, coriander, garam masala, lemon juice and yogurt, if used. Mix well, cover tightly and cook on a low heat until the cauliflower is tender, about 10-15 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the fresh coriander. (A Taste of Kashmir)

Roast Turkey
9 lb turkey
1 green pepper, finely chopped
2 tsp ginger
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cups half-cooked brown rice
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp garam masala
Preheat oven to 325F. Wash the turkey and remove its skin. For the stuffing, mix together the green pepper, ginger, onions, and rice, 1/2 tsp vinegar and pack it into the bird. Prepare a paste of turmeric, black pepper, garam masala and the rest of the vinegar. Rub it onto the bird. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes for each pound. Baste frequently with butter and the turkey’s own fat. Remove the foil to brown the turkey 20 minutes before taking it out of the oven. (Creative Cooking with Spices)

Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica, Dan Bensky & Andrew Gamble, Eastland Press, 1993
Dyes from Plants, Seonaid Robertson, 1973, Van Nostrand Reinhold
Exotic Spices, Rosamond Richardson, Salem House, 1985
Ginger East to West, Bruce Cost, Aris, 1984
The Green Pharmacy, James A. Duke, Rodale, 1997
Herbal Medicine, Rudolf Fritz Weiss, MD, 1988
Herbs and Spices: A guide to culinary seasoning, edited by Waverley Root, 1985
The Healing Herbs, Michael Castleman, Rodale Press, 1991
The Hot and Spicy Cookbook, Sophie Hale, Quintet Publishing, 1983
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Julia Lawless, Element, 1995
The Indian Spice Kitchen, Monisha Bharadwaj, Dutton, 1997
The Complete Book of Herbs, Spices and Condiments, Carol Ann Rinzler, Facts on File, 1990
The Spices of Life, Troth Wells, Second Story Press, 1996
A Taste of Kashmir, Geeta Samtani, Merehurst Ltd, 1995
What Herb is That? , John and Rosemary Hemphill, Stackpole Books, 1997; ISBN: 0-8117-1634-1

HERBALPEDIA™ is brought to you by The Herb Growing & Marketing Network, PO Box 245, Silver Spring, PA 17575-0245; 717-393-3295; FAX: 717-393-9261; email: URL: Editor: Maureen Rogers. Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. Material herein is derived from journals, textbooks, etc. THGMN cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information contained in any reference noted herein, for the misuse of information or any adverse effects by use of any stated material presented

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Avocado…….could save your life


Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 01-01-2015

Avocados. Again. Eat them.

Persea americana
[PER-see-uh am-er-ih-KAH-nuh]
(Syn Persea persea)

Family: Lauraceae

Names: avocado pear, Aguacate, Ahuacate (Spanish); Ahuacatl (Nahuatl); alligator pear, persea, zaboca, l’avocat (French); ‘āpuka, ‘āpoka (Cook Islands); pea (Fiji); avoka (Niue, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga); ‘āvōta (Cook Islands (Ngaputoru)); bata (Palau); alageta (Chamorro, Guam); advocaat, ashue, palta.

Description: The avocado is a dense, evergreen tree, shedding many leaves in early spring. It is fast growing and can with age reach 80 feet, although usually less, and generally branches to form a broad tree. Some cultivars are columnar, others selected for nearly prostrate form. One cultivar makes a good espalier. Growth is in frequent flushes during warm weather in southern regions with only one long flush per year in cooler areas. Injury to branches causes a secretion of dulcitol, a white, powdery sugar, at scars. Roots are coarse and greedy and will raise pavement with age. Grafted plants normally produce fruit within one to two years compared to 8 – 20 years for seedlings.
Avocado leaves are alternate, glossy, elliptic and dark green with paler veins. They normally remain on the tree for 2 to 3 years. The leaves of West Indian varieties are scentless, while Guatemalan types are rarely anise-scented and have medicinal use. The leaves of Mexican types have a pronounced anise scent when crushed. The leaves are high in oils and slow to compost and may collect in mounds beneath trees. Avocado flowers appear in January – March before the first seasonal growth, in terminal panicles of 200 – 300 small yellow-green blooms. Each panicle will produce only one to three fruits. The flowers are perfect, but are either receptive to pollen in the morning and shed pollen the following afternoon (type A), or are receptive to pollen in the afternoon, and shed pollen the following morning (type B). About 5% of flowers are defective in form and sterile. Production is best with cross-pollination between types A and B. The flowers attract bees and hoverflies and pollination usually good except during cool weather. Off-season blooms may appear during the year and often set fruit. Some cultivars bloom and set fruit in alternate years.
West Indian type avocados produce enormous, smooth round, glossy green fruits that are low in oil and weigh up to 2 pounds. Guatemalan types produce medium ovoid or pear-shaped, pebbled green fruits that turn blackish-green when ripe. The fruit of Mexican varieties are small (6 – 10 ounces) with paper-thin skins that turn glossy green or black when ripe. The flesh of avocados is deep green near the skin, becoming yellowish nearer the single large, inedible ovoid seed. The flesh is hard when harvested but softens to a buttery texture. Wind-caused abrasion can scar the skin, forming cracks which extend into the flesh. “Cukes” are seedless, pickle-shaped fruits. Off-season fruit should not be harvested with the main crop, but left on the tree to mature. Seeds may sprout within an avocado when it is over-mature, causing internal molds and breakdown. High in monosaturates, the oil content of avocados is second only to olives among fruits, and sometimes greater.

Cultivation: The avocado tree (Persea americana), when grown by a hobby gardener is normally grown from seeds removed from ripened fruit. There are two acceptable methods of doing this, either by sprouting the seed in water or by actually planting the seed in soil. Many people start avocado trees as novelty house plants by piercing the seed with its pointed end up, partially through with toothpicks on three or four sides to hold it on the top of a jar or vase partly with water and few pieces of charcoal (to keep the water sweet) just covering the base. In 2 to 6 weeks, when roots and leaves are well formed the plant is set in potting soil. Unless they’re moved into soil within a few weeks or months after germination, they’ll begin to deteriorate. They are also easily sprouted in a well-drained 4- or 5-inch pot of porous, fertile soil. The top of the seed should just barely peek above the surface of the soil. If the soil is kept fairly moist and the temperature is between 60 and 70 degrees, the seed will begin to sprout and a pretty, leafy plant will develop.
When the seedling reaches 12 inches, it should be pinched back to about 6-8 inches to produce a rounder, fuller plant. Avocados grown inside thrive in sun or in a good, lighted location. Once they’ve filled their pots up with healthy roots, they should be potted in larger ones. Repotting should be done in the spring. Well-rooted plants should be given a dilute liquid fertilizer every week or two. Watering should be done so that the soil never becomes really dry but isn’t ever soggy and waterlogged. They should be fertilized with a balanced houseplant food every two or three weeks in the summer and about every six weeks during the winter. It’s also a good idea to mist the leaves of your Avocado if the air in your home is very dry. Indoor trees need low night temperatures to induce bloom. Transplanting should be done in early spring. Potted plants should be moved outdoors gradually, so they can acclimatize themselves, and adjust to the new elements.
Avocado trees are very versatile in their adaptability to different soils, but they prefer a rich loose sandy loam. They will not survive in locations with poor drainage. . The desirable pH level is generally considered to be between 6 and 7. They will grow in shade and between buildings, but are only productive in full sun. The root system is extensive and will choke out nearby plants, so they should be given plenty of room–up to 20 feet. However two or three trees can be planted in a single large hole to save garden space and enhance pollination. Once established the avocado is a fairly tough tree.
For commercial production, the largest seed are planted in gallon cans and the seedlings are then grafted to a root rot tolerant clonal scion. When the stem of the graft reaches about ¼ inch in diameter, the top is cut off leaving a whorl of buds just above the graft. A 4 inch band of black tar paper is formed into an extension of the can and filled with vermiculite and placed in a dark box with high temperature and humidity. When growth is some 3 – 4 inches above the vermiculite, the plant is removed into the light where the upper portion quickly assumes a green color. The tar paper collar is removed, the shoot is severed from the seed and then placed in flats where the cuttings are rooted in the conventional manner. Any seed may also be used for rootstock, but Mexican types make the strongest growth and are the most often used. Plant cleaned seeds as soon as they are ripe. The seedling plants are ready to bud the following year. Budding is done in January, when suitable buds are available. Larger stocks are worked by bark grafts in the spring. Scions are collected Dec – Jan after the buds are well-formed. Paint and cover the graft with a moistened plastic bag and place a vented paper bag over the whole.
Avocados do well in the mild-winter areas of California, Florida and Hawaii. Some hardier varieties can be grown in the cooler parts of northern and inland California and along the Gulf Coast. The northern limits in California is approximately Cape Mendocino and Red Bluff. Avocados do best some distance from ocean influence but are not adapted to the desert interior. West Indian varieties thrive in humid, tropical climates and freeze at or near 32° F. Guatemalan types are native to cool, high-altitude tropics and are hardy 30 – 26° F. Mexican types are native to dry subtropical plateaus and thrive in a Mediterranean climate. They are hardy 24 – 19° F. Avocados need some protection from high winds which may break the branches. There are dwarf forms of avocados suitable for growing in containers. Avocados have been grown in California (Santa Barbara) since 1871.
Commence feeding of young trees after one year of growth, using a balanced fertilizer, four times yearly. Older trees benefit from feeding with nitrogenous fertilizer applied in late winter and early summer. Yellowed leaves (chlorosis) indicate iron deficiency. This can usually be corrected by a chelated foliar spray of trace elements containing iron. Mature trees often also show a zinc deficiency.
Columnar cultivars require pinching at early age to form a rounded tree. Others need no training. Current orchard practice avoids staking. The best results are obtained by fencing the tree with plastic mesh for the first two to three years. Container and dwarf trees will need constant staking. The skirts of avocado trees are sometimes trimmed to discourage rodents, otherwise the trees are usually never pruned. Branches exposed to sun by defoliation are extraordinarily susceptible to sunburn and will surely die. Such branches should always be whitewashed. It is better to avoid any pruning. Most cultivars are ill-adapted to espalier. They are too vigorous. Avocado fruit is self-thinning.
Rats and squirrels will strip the fruit. Protect with tin trunk wraps. Leaf-rolling caterpillars (Tortrix and Amorbia) may destroy branch terminals. Avocado Brown Mite can be controlled by powdered sulfur. Six-spotted Mite is very harmful; even a small population can cause massive leaf shedding. A miticide may be required if natural predators are absent. Snails can be a problem in California. Two fungi and one virus cause more damage than any pests. Dothiorella (Botryosphaeria ribis) canker infects the trunk, causing dead patches that spreads to maturing fruit, causing darkened, rancid smelling spots in the flesh. Flesh injury begins after harvest and is impossible to detect on outside. Mexican types are immune to trunk cankers but the fruit is not. The disease is rampant near the coast and has no economical control. Root Rot (Phytophthora cinnamomi) is a soil-borne fungus that infects many plants, including avocados. It is a major disease problem in California. Select disease-free, certified plants and avoid planting where avocados once grew or where soil drainage is poor. The disease is easily transported by equipment, tools and shoes from infected soils. Once a tree is infected (signs include yellowing and dropping leaves), there is little that can be done other than cut back on water. Sun Blotch is a viral disease that causes yellowed streaking of young stems, mottling and crinkling of new leaves and occasional deformation of the fruit. It also causes rectangular cracking and checking of the trunk, as if sunburned. It has no insect vector but is spread by use of infected scions, contaminated tools and roots grafted with adjacent trees. It is important to use virus-free propagating wood.
The time of harvest depends upon the variety. Commercial standards requires fruit to reach 8% oil content before harvesting. Mexican types ripen in 6 – 8 months from bloom while Guatemalan types usually take 12 – 18 months. Fruits may continue enlarging on the tree even after maturity. Purple cultivars should be permitted to color fully before harvest. Guatemalan types can be stored firm, at 40 – 50° F. for up to six weeks. Mexican types discolor quickly and require immediate consumption. The avocado fruit does not ripen on the tree – once mature, the fruit must be picked, and will then ripen in a few days, faster if stored with other fruit such as bananas. Fruit can be left on the tree until required, rather than picked and stored.

History: Avocados probably started life in Peru, where it is believed they were originally cultivated 8,000- 9,000 years ago. In Mexico, the avocado’s wild relatives date back over 9000 years. The Aztecs dubbed the fruit ‘ahuacatl’ and ate it mashed on corn tortillas. By 1527 the Spanish had carried the fruit to Spain and from there it made its way to other parts of the world. Henry Perrine is said to have planted the first domesticated avocado in Florida in 1833.

Constituents: Leaves & bark: volatile oil (methylchavicol, alpha-pinene), flavonoids, tannins. Fruit pulp: unsaturated fats, protein (about 25%), sesquiterpenes, vitamins A, B1, B2

Properties: astringent, emollient, diuretic (leaf), antibiotic (seed)

Medicinal uses: All parts of the tree are used medicinally. The leaves, bark and even the pit and peel of the fruit are used in treating a full spectrum of ailments from skin problems and muscle pains to chest congestion, wounds and diarrhea. : the leaves are anti-tussive; a decoction is used against arthritis pains. Avocado oil is used for hair – and skin care. The leaves contains an essential oil profile not unlike anise, which may account for its culinary use.
In Chilean folk medicine the leaves are used for respiratory ailments, including cough, as a stomach tonic, and to regulate menstruation. The leaf is most used medicinally, although other parts are used also. It is also considered an emmenagogue. According to Weniger and Robineau (1986), extracts of the fruit and leaf significantly stimulate rat uterus in vitro and the infusion spasmatic effects on pig small intestine and rat uterus. They also investigated a group of antitumor flavanoids called flavan-3,4-diol. These flavanoids injected into tumors appeared to reduce tumors partially in animals.
The avocado is rich in potassium, lack of which can lead to depression and exhaustion. Avocado also contains vitamin B6, which helps iron out the mood-swings in women suffering from premenstrual syndrome. Thanks to their vitamin E and B content, they also aid in the relief of stress and sexual problems such as infertility and impotence. Every dieter thinks that avocados are fattening, but calorie for calorie they offer super nutritional value. Their high content of monounsaturated fats -especially oleic acid, like olive oil -makes avocados one of the most powerful antioxidant foods. It is this property that offers protection against heart disease, strokes, and cancer The avocado’s flesh and oil have long been popular with traditional practitioners as a skin treatment and it is now known that chemicals in the avocado stimulate the production of collagen, which helps to smooth out wrinkles and give skin that wonderful young fresh look cheaper and safer than either injections or dermabrasion. Avocado is also a good source of vitamins A and E, which are excellent for the skin, whether the avocado is eaten, or pulverized and used as a face mask. Because the fats in avocado are easily digestible and it contains antifungal and antibacterial chemicals too, pureed avocado is an excellent food for invalids, convalescents, and sick children. Clinical feeding studies in humans have shown that avocado oil can reduce blood cholesterol.
Avocado leaves and the bark of young stems stimulate menstruation and can induce abortion. Being astringent and carminative, the leaves are taken for diarrhea, gas, and bloating, and are considered valuable for relieving coughs, for liver obstructions, and for clearing high uric acid levels, which cause gout. The rind of the fruit is used as a remedy to expel worms. The mashed fruit pulp is a nourishing food and is considered to have aphrodisiac properties. Used externally, the pulp is cooling and soothing to the skin. Avocado is applied to suppurating wounds and to the scalp to stimulate hair growth. The expressed oil of the avocado seed nourishes and maintains skin tone. It softens rough, dry, or flaking skin and, massaged into the scalp, improves hair growth.

Dosage: For colds, high blood pressure, coughs, fever, diarrhea, or painful menses, boil 3 leaves in 3 cups of water for 10 minutes and drink 3 cups daily before meals.
Make a poultice of the mashed leaves for headaches, rheumatism, or sprains.
Grind or mash the seed, boil in 2 cups water for 10 minutes and drink 1 cup hot 2 times daily for intestinal obstructions.

Cosmetic Uses: Known for its high vitamin E content, the pulp is used in the extra-emollient skin creams.
Moisturizer: Put an avocado through the blender and mix a teaspoonful of honey to it; add the same of lemon juice and sufficient yogurt to make it into a stiff cream. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then massage into the face and neck until the cream has disappeared and leave on overnight.
Night Cream: Put an avocado through a blender (after removing the stone) and mix the juice into a 4 fl oz of warm almond oil, stirring until it is thoroughly mixed. Add a small quantity of white beeswax to make it set and while still warm, pour into a screw-to pot. Massage a little into the face and neck at bedtime, until it is absorbed.
Hair Conditioner: Put an avocado through the blender and to the juice or pulp, beat up the yolks of 2 eggs. Massage well into the scalp and hair and leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly in lukewarm water containing a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.

Household Uses:
Dye Recipe:
6 or more avocado pits
½ tsp chrome
¼ lb wool
1 gallon water
Cover the pits with water and boil for about 2 hours, using pit skins also. Be sure not to let them boil dry. Strain out the plant material and add enough water to make about 1 gallon of dye ooze. Dissolve the chrome in the hot ooze and enter one skein of hot, wet wool. Cover, simmering for 30 minutes or more, or until you like the color. Cool, and rinse until the water runs clear.
Color: Rosy brown
With alum: rosy tan
With cream of tartar: rosy tan

Toxicity. Fresh and dried leaves, bark, skin, and seeds are toxic to cattle, goats, horses, rabbits, birds, and fish. Severe mastitis may result in lactating goats fed 20g leaves/kg body weight. Doses of 30g leaves/kg body weight or more can cause edema and cardiomyopathy.

Ritual Uses: Gender: Feminine. Planet: Venus. Element: Water. Powers: Love, Lust, Beauty. The Egyptians revered avocado. Eat the fruit to become infused with lust. Grow a plant from the pit in your home to bring love into it.. Magical wands made of avocado wood are potent all-purpose instruments. Carry the pit to promote beauty.

Culinary Uses: The avocado is very popular in vegetarian cuisine, making a good substitute for meats and cheeses in sandwiches because of the high fat content. The fruit is not sweet, but starchy, flavorful, and of smooth, almost creamy texture. It is used as the base for the Mexican sauce known as guacamole (simply an abbreviation of aquacate mole, or “avocado sauce” in Spanish). Use avocados to replace yogurt, milk or flax oil in a tropical fruit smoothie.
Not every avocado tree produces leaves suitable for use as a flavoring; the best ones come from the hardy late-ripening Mexican breeds of avocadose. The tree must be mature and grown in the right location. Mexicans say that the worse the fruit, the more flavorful the leaves are on a given tree. These long, shiny dark green leaves have an herbal anise taste, and are especially favored in Puebla and Oaxaca in Mexico. They are used in broths, stews, and moles and are especially good with fish, chicken and beans. Lightly toast the whole avocado leaves, either slowly in a low oven or quickly on a grill. When they have cooled, you can store them in a sealed container, keeping them away from heat and light. The leaves may then be used whole, simmered in a liquid and removed, like a bay leaf; or they may be ground fine with the other seasonings in a mole, such as the thick, black, chocolate mole of Oaxaca. Larger avocado leaves are also used as wrappers or to lay down a bed of flavor for foods to be steamed, such as chicken or fish. To intensify the flavor, place another layer of leaves on top of the food before steaming. The leaves are known as Hojas de aguacate.

Avocado Soup
2 Tbsp avocado oil and 1 Tbsp walnut oil or 3 Tbsp fruity olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 piece of ginger, 1 ½ inches long, peeled and minced
3 serrano or jalapeno chili peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced
4 cups chicken stock
3 ripe avocados, preferably the Haas variety
2 limes
½ cup sour cream
2 Tbsp half-and-half
¼ cup cilantro leaves, very finely minced
1 tsp ground coriander
10-12 radishes, 1 standard bunch
black pepper
Heat the avocado oil or two tablespoons of the olive oil in a saucepan and add the chopped onion. Sauté for 5 minutes and add the garlic, ginger, and 2 of the peppers. Sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the stock, simmer for 10 minutes and remove from heat. While the stock and vegetables are simmering, cut avocados in half, and seed and peel them. Chop the avocados, toss them with the juice of 1 lime, and place about half the avocado in a blender container. Add hot stock and vegetables until container is about ¾ full and process until the mixture is smooth and liquid. Repeat with remaining avocado and stock. Chill the soup thoroughly, preferably for several hours. To make the cilantro cream, stir the sour cream and half-and-half together, add the chopped cilantro, the remaining chili pepper, the ground coriander, and salt to taste. Chill until you are ready to use it. Cut the radishes in small julienne and toss with the walnut oil or the remaining olive oil, the juice of ½ lime, and salt to taste. Chill until you are ready to use them. Taste the chilled soup and add salt and more lime juice to taste. Ladle it into chilled soup bowls. Top each serving with a tablespoon of cilantro cream and a tablespoon of julienned radishes. (The Good Cook’s Book of Oil & Vinegar)

Avocado Cream Sauce
1 large ripe avocado
1 Tbsp lime juice
¼ pint thick sour cream
1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Halve the avocado, discard the stone and scoop out the flesh. Mash, process or liquidize the avocado flesh with the remaining ingredients to a thick cram. Serve ass soon as possible. Especially good with chili-based dishes. (The Hot and Spicy Cookbook)

English Avocado Salad
2-3 ripe avocados, halved and pitted
Juice of ½ lemon
4-6 oz (110-170 g) Stilton cheese, crumbled
2 cups (500 ml) black seedless grapes, halved
2-3 Tbsp (30-45 ml) sour cream
Freshly ground pepper to taste
½ cup (125 ml) chopped toasted walnuts
Lettuce leaves for garnish
Scoop the flesh out of the avocados, chop coarsely, and toss with the lemon juice. Set the empty avocado shells aside. In a separate bowl, mix together the Stilton, grapes, sour cream, and pepper. Gently stir in the avocados and spoon into the reserved avocado shells. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and serve on a bed of lettuce. Serves 4 to 6.

Avocado Rice
¾ cup chopped onion
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
6 Tbsp butter
2 cups raw rice
5 cups chicken stock
½ tsp saffron threads, crumbled
salt to taste
1 ½ cup chopped avocado (about 2 large)
4-5 Tbsp lemon juice
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
Sauté chopped onion and garlic in butter over medium heat till soft but not browned. Add rice and stir till coated with butter and completely hot. Add broth, saffron and salt, and bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally to distribute the saffron. Reduce heat to lowest point, cover and cook 20-30 minutes, till rice is tender. While rice is cooking, peel and seed avocado, then chop into small pieces. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning until rice is done. Stir avocado and parsley into hot rice. Taste for salt. This dish may be kept warm in a covered pan over simmering water for an hour or two. Do not add avocado and parsley until time to serve. (Southern Herb Growing)

Frijoles Negros
Serves 6 – 8
1/2 lb. salt pork (optional)
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups dried black beans (about 1lb)
1 tsp. epazote
1 tbsp. toasted crumbled avocado leaves
5 cups water
4 cups beef or chicken broth
If using pork, cook over medium high heat in a 4 or 5 qt. pan until fat begins to melt. Sauté onion and garlic. Sort beans and discard debris; rinse well. Add beans and epazote to pan and pour in broth and water. Raise heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours (or until beans are tender). Add avocado leaves in last 15 minutes. If beans are too soupy, boil over medium high heat, stirring often until thickened. Salt to taste. Serve with chopped green onions, tomatoes and chile flakes.

Beef Casserole with Chili and Avocado Leaves
2 3/4 lb beef short ribs
5 cups water
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 cup green beans, cleaned and cut into thirds
2 guajillo or cascabel chiles, stems removed
1¼ lb tomatoes, halved and seeded
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
½ cup water
3 avocado leaves, optional
20 squash blossoms, cleaned and chopped,
3 zucchini, cubed, optional
2 cups potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
For the chochoyotes (masa dumplings):
4 oz prepared tortilla masa, or mix 1/2 cup masa harina with 1/3 cup warm water to form a soft dough
1/2 tablespoon lard
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
In a large saucepan, cover the short ribs with the water and salt; cook until the meat is just about falling off the bone, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Just as it starts to cool, skim the fat off the stock, and reserve. Remove the meat from the bones, discarding the fat and tendons. Cook the green beans in boiling, salted water until just tender, and drain. Puree the chiles, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and water in a blender until smooth. Pour into a soup pot with the reserved stock, avocado leaves, squash blossoms, and zucchini, , bring to a boil, and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes.
To make the chochoyotes: Mix all the ingredients together until well blended. Form 3/4-inch (2-cm) balls and make a small indentation on one side of each with your finger. Add the dumplings and potatoes to the broth and simmer for about 15 minutes until cooked. Add the green beans and meat, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste and serve.

Black Bean Soup with Prawns
5 oz black beans, washed & soaked overnight
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp oregano
1 bay leaf, or 2 avocado leaves
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic , chopped
1 medium tomato, peeled & chopped
salt & black pepper
¾ pint chicken stock
½ lb peeled raw prawns, cut into ½ ” pieces
4 Tbsp dry sherry
In a medium saucepan combine the beans, cumin, oregano, bay leaf or avocado leaves with 1¼ pints water. Bring to the boil over a moderate heat. Boil for 10 minutes, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the beans are very tender- about 40 minutes to an hour. Cool a little. Remove and discard the bay leaf and pour the beans and liquid into a blender. Heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is soft. Add the tomato and simmer until the mixture is well blended, 2 or 3 minutes. Season to taste and add to the blender. Reduce the mixture to a smooth puree and pour it back into the saucepan. Stir in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer over a moderate heat. Add the prawns and cook for just 2 minutes until the prawns are just cooked through. Stir 1 tbsp sherry into each serving.

Ensalada Verde
2 avocados, peeled and sliced
1 large cucumber, thinly sliced
1 cup pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives
1 14.5 oz can cut green beans drained
1 15-oz can green peas, drained
1 15-oz can asparagus spears, drained
½ cup olive oil]2 Tbsp herbal vinegar
1 clove garlic, halved
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dill
¼ tsp black pepper
Garlic Sauce
2 egg yolks
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Arrange avocados and next 5 ingredients on a serving platter or combine in a bowl. Combine olive oil and next 6 ingredients. Blend well. Pour over vegetables. Chill several hours. Prepare garlic sauce just before serving by beating egg yolks and garlic together. Using a fork or whip, slowly beat in oil and lemon juice. Season as needed with salt and pepper. Pour over salad. Yield: 6-8 servings (Today’s Herbal Kitchen)

Hot Stuffed Avocados
3 avocados
6 Tbsp vinegar
6 slices garlic
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp four
1 cup cream
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ t salt
dash pepper
1 Tbsp grated onion
¼ tsp celery salt
2 Cups crab meat
dash of cayenne
¼ cup sharp cheese
Cut avocados in half and remove pit and put 1 Tbsp vinegar and 1 garlic sliver in each half. Let stand 30 minutes. Make a sauce with the remaining ingredients except cheese and cook until thickened. Pour vinegar and garlic from avocados and fill with creamed mixture. Gate the cheese & sprinkle over avocados. Bake at 305F for 15 minutes until cheese melts. (Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Mine)

Chocolate-Avocado Mousse
4 tsp unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water
½ cup chopped, soft, pitted dates
2 medium-large ripe avocados
1/3 to ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (start with less and adjust upward)
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp pure stevia extract powder
2 Tbsp rum or 1 tsp natural rum extract, optional
¾ cup cold water or ice
finely grated zest of 1 orange, colored part only
Slowly sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small saucepan. Warm over low heat, without stirring, until completely dissolved, 1-2 minutes. Cover and remove from heat. Add gelatin mixture to blender or food processor with dates. Process until frothy, about 60 seconds, and turn off machine. Add remaining ingredients except orange zest. Cover and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape sides with spatula. Taste; add more cocoa if desired. Fold in orange zest by hand, then scrape mixture into 6 small bowls or wine goblets. Chill for 1-3 hours until set before serving. Refrigerate and use within 5 days or freeze. (Herbs for Health June 2004)

Salmon With Herb Sauce
6 salmon steaks (6 oz each)
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 cup 35 per cent whipping cream
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 Tbsp each chopped fresh mint and parsley
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp fresh chopped coriander
1/2 tsp each ground cumin and Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 clove garlic
Sauce: Measure all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Season to taste, if necessary. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours for flavors to blend. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the sauce and use remaining sauce to brush on salmon during cooking. Brush salmon steaks with butter. Preheat grill to medium. Place salmon steaks on grill. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side, brushing cooked sides with sauce. Serve salmon steaks immediately with reserved sauce.  Makes 6 servings.

Avocado Cress Salad with Radicchio
2 large ripe Hass avocados
1 lemon
dash or two of Tabasco
2 or 3 Tbsp olive oil
2 small firm-ripe tomatoes, about 8 oz diced
½ cup diced mild onion such as Vidalia or Walla Walla
½ cup diced celery
1 cup packed cress leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small head radicchio, about 6 oz or 1 small head red leaf lettuce such as red oak leaf
cress sprigs
Halve the avocados and scoop out the meat, leaving about ¼ inch next to the skin. Rub the avocado halves with half a cut lemon. Dice the avocado meat into ½ inch cubes and toss them with the lemon juice to taste, Tabasco, and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Mix the tomatoes, onions, celery, and cress leaves with the diced avocados. Season with salt and pepper. Fill the avocado shells with the vegetable mixture. Arrange the radicchio leaves and cress sprigs on four salad plates. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the avocado halves on the salad leaves and serve at cool room temperature. (Herbs in the Kitchen)

Cosmetics From the Earth, Roy Genders, Alfred Van der Marck Editions, 1985; ISBN: 0-912383-20-8
Dyeing the Natural Way, Frances E. Mustard, Greatlakes Living Press, 1977; ISBN: 0-915498-68-5
Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, Scott Cunningham, Llewellwyn Publications, 1982, ISBN: 978-0 87542-122-3
The Good Cook’s Book of Oil & Vinegar, Michele Anna Jordan, Aris Books; 1992; ISBN: 0-201-57075-0
Herbs in the Kitchen, Carolyn Dille & Susan Belsinger, Interweave Press, 1992; ISBN: 0-934026-73-4
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Mine, Susan A. McCreary, 11597 Strawberry Patchworks Book, 1991; ISBN: 0-9608428-5-3
Rainforest Remedies, Rosita Arvigo and Michael Balick, Lotus Press, 1993, ISBN: 0-914955-13-6
Southern Herb Growing, Gwen Barclay, Madalene Hill, Shearer Publishing, 1987; ISBN: 0-940672-41-3
Today’s Herbal Kitchen, The Memphis Herb Society, 1995; Tradery House; ISBN: 1-879958-28-7

HERBALPEDIA™ is brought to you by The Herb Growing & Marketing Network, PO Box 245, Silver Spring, PA 17575-0245; 717-393-3295; FAX: 717-393-9261; email: URL: Editor: Maureen Rogers. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Material herein is derived from journals, textbooks, etc. THGMN cannot be held responsible for the validity of the information contained in any reference noted herein, for the misuse of information or any adverse effects by use of any stated material presented.

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