Health Benefits of Nutmeg
11:20 AM | Author: Atie
Nutmeg is actually the seed of a tropical fruit thought to have originated in New Guinea (the same fruit that gives us mace, actually!). The seeds are light brown on the outside, oblong-shaped, and about an inch long. Inside, there are densely packed layers of starchy tissue and fragrant oil.

The spice tree is a large evergreen plant that thrives well under tropical climates. A fully-grown tree reaches about 50-60 feet in height and is the source of nutmeg and mace, two valuable spices. The nutmeg fruit, in fact, is a drupe, about the size of an apricot, which when ripen splits up to reveal single centrally situated oval shaped hard kernel known as "nutmeg spice." The seed is closely enveloped by crimson-red colored lacy or thread like arils known as "mace." Both spices have a similar warm, sweet aromatic flavor.

Nutmeg tree yields up to three times in a season. Once harvested from the tree, the outer coat or husk is removed and discarded. Just underneath the tough husk is the golden-brown color aril, known as "mace," enveloping nutmeg kernel. Mace is gently peeled off from the kernel surface, flattened into strips, dried, and sold either as whole or finely ground. The nutmeg kernels are then dried under sun for several days to weeks. At larger commercial set-ups, this process is done rather more rapidly over a hot drier machine until the whole nutmeg rattles inside the shell.

The shell is then broken and shriveled nutmeg kernel is taken out. Finally, nuts are dipped in limewater in order to prevent insect infestation and seed germination.

Health benefits of nutmeg
  • Nutmeg and mace spice contains many plant-derived chemical compounds that are known to have been anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.
  • The spicy nut contains fixed oil trimyristin and many essential volatile oils such as which gives a sweet aromatic flavor to nutmeg like myristicin, elemicin, eugenol and safrole. The other volatile-oils are pinene, camphene, dipentene, cineole, linalool, sabinene, safrole, terpeniol.
  • The active principles in nutmeg have many therapeutic applications in many traditional medicines as anti-fungal, anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, digestive, and carminative functions.
  • This prized spice is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese and copper are used by the body as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for red blood cell production and as a co-factor for cytochrome oxidases enzymes.
  • It is also rich in many vital B-complex vitamins, including vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A and many flavonoid anti-oxidants like beta-carotene and cryptoxanthin that are essential for optimum health.
In fact, since ancient times, nutmeg has been used as a remedy for various ailments or to improve health in general. Here are some of the health benefits that nutmeg provides.

1. Brain Tonic
During ancient times, Roman and Greek civilizations used nutmeg as a type of brain tonic. This is because nutmeg can effectively stimulate your brain. As a result, it can help eliminate fatigue and stress. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, nutmeg may also be a good remedy. Nutmeg can also improve your concentration so you can become more efficient and focused at work or at school.

2. Pain Relief
Nutmeg is also an effective sedative. In fact, nutmeg is a staple in ancient Chinese medicine. The Chinese used the spice to treat inflammation and abdominal pain. Use nutmeg if you are suffering from aching joints, muscle pain, arthritis, sores and other ailments. To relieve the pain, apply nutmeg oil to the affected areas.

3. Indigestion Relief
If you suffer from digestion-related problems like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, flatulence and so on, nutmeg can effectively offer you relief. Nutmeg oil relieves stomachaches by removing the excess gas from your intestines. Nutmeg can also boost your appetite.

4. Bad Breath Treatment
Because of its antibacterial properties, nutmeg can also effectively treat halitosis or bad breath. As you probably know, bad breath is usually caused by a build-up of bacteria in your mouth. Nutmeg can rid your mouth of these bacteria. This is the reason why nutmeg is a common ingredient in many brands of toothpastes. Nutmeg can also be used to treat gum problems and toothaches.

5. Liver and Kidney Detox
Detoxification is an important factor of good health. Diet, pollution, stress, tobacco, medication and other external substances can lead to the build-up of toxins in your organs. The liver and kidney are two of the organs where this toxic build-up usually develops. As a tonic, nutmeg can clean your liver and kidney and remove these toxins. If you are suffering from a liver disease then nutmeg can also be beneficial. Nutmeg is also effective in preventing and dissolving kidney stones. When your liver and kidney are successfully detoxified, they can perform their function better.

6. Skin Care
If skin care is one of your priorities then you might want to incorporate nutmeg into your regimen. Nutmeg can actually help you achieve smoother and healthier skin by helping you treat several skin problems. A scrub made from nutmeg powder and orange lentil powder can help you remove blackheads, a type of acne characterized by pores clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells. If you suffer from acne marks, nutmeg can also help make your scars less noticeable. What you need to do is mix some nutmeg powder with some honey to make a paste, which you will then apply to the acne marks.

7. Sleep Aid
If you have difficulty sleeping at night, drink a cup of milk with some nutmeg powder. This will help you achieve relaxation and will induce sleep.

Although nutmeg is said to counteract stomach distress from gas, do not try any home remedies without first consulting your physician. Nutmeg is also an astringent and stimulant, as well as a purported aphrodisiac.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
1:51 PM | Author: Atie

Matricaria chamomilla, commonly known as chamomile, German chamomile, Hungarian chamomile, wild chamomile or scented mayweed, is an annual plant of the composite family Asteraceae.

Many have noted that Chamomile has a distinctly apple like taste and aroma and in fact the word Chamomile as we have come to know it comes from the ancient Greek word Kamai-melon or ground apple. In Spanish the name for Chamomile is pronounced Manzanilla or "little apple."

Chamomile is used in many traditional remedies today included but not limited to a cure for the common cold, inflammation of the skin, bronchitis, fever and the liver. It is also an appetite stimulator and is also good for gallbladder complaints. One herbal medicine guide has even claimed that you won't have nightmares if you drink chamomile tea before bed.

Chamomile was called the "Plant's Physician in the past because they claimed that it was such a good companion plant. It's been said that if you plant chamomile near a sickly or drooping plant that 9 out of ten times the plant will recover.

Chamomile Tea is one of the most popular herbs in the world and is available in many different forms. The most prominent way in which this herb is relished is as a tisane, or herbal tea, its non-caffeinated herbal concoction made by pouring hot water over the leaves, stems, and roots of plants. You can make your own chamomile tea with other plants like lavender or tulsi to vary the flavor, or drink it alone.

Chamomile has many health benefits, especially for digestion. Chamomile can be used to treat abdominal pain, inflammation of the intestine, and as a sleeping pill (sedative). Moreover, it can be used to make herbal tea, by adding 2 tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers per cup of tea. To cope with abdominal pain (inflamed), it is recommended to drink a cup of chamomile tea every morning without breakfast for 2 or 3 months.

Chamomile is a popular herbal remedy. Available in two varieties – German and Roman – chamomile is used as an anti-depressant in addition to its use as a disease alleviator. 

Here are the top five health benefits of chamomile.
  • Muscle relaxant and for menstrual cramps
One of the top uses of chamomile is for muscle relaxation. It can be used as a balm or a tablet. Alternately, one can brew one’s own chamomile tea. Two to three cups a day is ideal to de-stress and keep muscles relaxed. It also calms muscle spasms during menstrual cramps.
  • Aids sound sleep
Chamomile has components that have soothing properties. Take it before going to bed and it will help you sleep better.
  • Soothes the stomach
Chamomile soothes stomachaches and helps alleviate bowel problems. It also helps with digestion.
  • Fights the common cold 
A cup of hot chamomile tea will help fight common colds as the herb has antibacterial properties.
  • Heals wounds faster
Apply a paste of chamomile flowers on wounds to make them heal faster.

In addition to the above benefits, chamomile is considered to be good for preventing the escalation of diabetic ailments. Chamomile oil is a good remedy for skin ailments and also helps improve skin quality. For stomach ailments, muscle spasms, and help in falling asleep, use about one tablespoon of dried herb per cup of water. Pour boiling water over the herbs and allow to steep for about 5 minutes. Strain and enjoy.

Some people have serious allergic reactions (including anaphylaxis) to chamomile. If you are allergic to other plants in the same family such as daisy, ragweed, aster, chrysanthemum, or marigold you should use caution when using chamomile.

Chamomile should be avoided during pregnancy because it may act as a uterine stimulant and therefore increase the chance of abortion.

People with bleeding disorders or on blood thinners should avoid chamomile, as it contains coumarin and may increase the chance of bleeding.
Pale purple coneflower
1:11 PM | Author: Atie
Echinacea pallida (Nutt.), commonly called pale purple coneflower, is a species of herbaceous perennial plant in the family Asteraceae. It is sometimes grown in gardens and used for medicinal purposes. Its native range is the south central region of the United States.

Flowers are single on end of stout hairy stem, with 15-20 purplish pink to nearly white rays (petals), each 1½ to 3 inches long and less than ¼ inch wide, with three notched teeth at the tips. Petals grow out and up, hanging down with maturity. In the center is a large round reddish brown disk covered in tiny brown disk flowers with white pollen.

Leaves are mostly basal, with stem leaves widely spaced and alternately attached on the lower half of the stem. Lower leaves are long and narrow, to 8 inches long, ½ to 1 inch wide, on long stalks, becoming smaller and stalkless as they ascend the stem. Edges are toothless and there are 3 distinct veins along the length. Stems and leaves are hairy and rough to the touch. Stems may be green or purple tinged, rarely branched.

Similar species: Glade coneflower (E. simulata) has yellow, not white pollen; it occurs mainly in the eastern Ozarks.

Size:  Height: to 3 feet.

Habitat and conservation:  Occurs in prairies, glades, savannas, openings of dry upland forests, pastures, roadsides and railroads. Along with other flowers in the genus Echinacea, this plant is often targeted by unscrupulous "root collectors" who sell them to manufacturers of herbal medicines. Such vandalism is one reason laws were enacted restricting the collecting of plants from Missouri's public highways.

Distribution in Missouri:  Scattered statewide, although apparently absent from the Mississippi Lowlands; in the eastern Ozarks, glade coneflower (Echinacea simulata) tends to predominate.

Human connections:  Though scientists debate its efficacy, this and other echinaceas are used for medicinal purposes and are threatened by root diggers. Laws restricting collection have been enacted to protect wild populations. Coneflowers are easily grown in gardens and are available at native plant nurseries.

Ecosystem connections:  The seeds of coneflowers are eaten by goldfinches, whose late-summer breeding time corresponds with the abundant seed set of these and other sunflower-family flowers such as goldenrods, ironweed and others. The tough rootstocks of coneflowers prevent erosion.

Purple cone flowers are used to make herbal teas that are designed to strengthen the immune system, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Native Americans commonly used the purple cone flower for medicine, according to Today more than 200 medicines are made from purple coneflower extract.
Hempedu Bumi (Bile Earth)
10:37 AM | Author: Atie

Bile Earth
Scientific name: Andrographis paniculata
Family: Acanthaceae
Common Name: Bile earth
Other names: The root story, sambilata, nivalembu, king of bitter, all-Tita
Location found: Malaysia, Thailand, India, Indonesia

The plant of the tiny while flowers at the axils is a herb known as Andrographis paniculata. The Malays call it Hempedu Bumi (Bile of the Earth)/Pokok Cerita (Plant of Tales) while other locals call it the antibiotic plant. Hempedu Bumi is a medicinal plant that grows in India, China and South East Asia. The name in Malay means ‘Bile of the earth’.  It is very bitter and is nicknamed ‘King of Bitters’.

The Chinese call the plant Chaun xin lian. It is widely cultivated in China, Thailand, the East and West Indies and Mauritius . This medicinal plant is also popular in South East Asia and India. It is one of the ingredients used in traditional herbal formulations.

Research on this herb has shown its effectiveness against several strains of the HIV virus. It prevents the virus from infecting healthy T-cells and inhibits the spread of infection, while other studies show that the herb is able to fight HIV in cells even after they have been infected. This action is the same as AZT, a commonly used AIDS drug with a number of debilitating side-effects, including a low blood count.

Other reported applications include its use in cases of malaria, dysentery and herpes.

The global flu epidemic of 1918 was one of the most devastating infectious outbreaks in world history - more virulent even than the Black Death in the 14th century - killing 50 million people worldwide. No country escaped its onslaught but in India, Hempedu Bumi [Andrographis paniculata], was credited with stopping the spread of the deadly virus.

Nowadays in the West, those who use ‘alternative medicine’ turn to this plant to prevent and treat the common cold. Research has indicated its effectiveness against upper respiratory infection by increasing the body's resistance . It is also an expectorant (promotes mucus discharge from the respiratory system)

Scientists have discovered that this herb helps boost the immune system by stimulating the production of antibodies and macrophages - large white blood cells that scavenge foreign matter.

Hempedu Bumi extracts are also showing promise in relieving diarrhea associated with E.coli bacterial infections.

Bile earth leaves can be used to lower high blood pressure in addition to treating diabetes. Boil the leaves and drinks.  The leaves can also treat wounds by grinding the leaves and put it on the wound. Chemical substances in the leaf can break the fat molecules that have clogged bloodstream causing blood pressure to increase. Leaf boiled water that has bitter trigger it to break down fat molecules. But it is undeniable that taste bitter, and sour so difficult to separated local natural herbal medicine. But the taste does not attract a large part of our society. They prefer to taste the sweet and salty. Of sweet and salty in excess can cause certain diseases. But if we balance the tastes are good for health. 

Currently scientists are focusing on the herb’s ability to prevent the formation of blood clots and prevent the re-clogging of arteries after angioplasty - a technique used to treat blocked arteries by inserting a balloon into the blood vessels which is then inflated to widen the artery.

Further research reveals that the herb activates fibrinolysis, a natural process in the body in which blood clots are dissolved. It also relaxes the smooth muscle in the walls of blood vessels and has a blood pressure-lowering effect. It performs as well as many conventional drugs but without the harmful side-effects, the herb is hypoglycemic – it can reduce blood sugar .

This herbs can be a good treatment for diabetes, high blood pressure. asthma, arteriosclerosis, chest pain due to heart disease, malaria, fever, stimulates the activity of the stomach, tonic, restore body functions, snake bites and venomous stings.

In fact, this plant is also suitable for treating insect bites. The easiest way is to take a few leaves and crush. Rub in place bitten. But it is more popular in the treatment of high blood pressure and fever. The usual method is that we need to take a few leaves and clean them. Then soak the leaves in a glass of hot water and let it heat water that is warm. After that, drink slowly. It tastes quite bitter, particularly for the first time you take it. But bear in mind, as other herbaceous plants often do not drink very much in a day. Enough to drink once a day.

Planting material can be propagated using seeds. Bile earth can be planted on the ridge with 30 cm spacing between plants in the row and 30 cm between rows. Collection of revenue shall be carried out at 8-10 weeks after planting with trees cut 5 cm from ground level. Fertilizer rates needed for sandy soils is 10 t / ha chicken manure and 500 kg / ha NPK compound fertilizer = 10:10:10. Only 250 kg / ha of semi-organic fertilizer needed for alluvial soils. Dry yield potential is in the range of 1.0-1.5 t / ha.

Generally, bitter herbs have an affinity with the heart, liver and gall bladder. Hempedu Bumi has an amazing broad range of beneficial properties. It is used in a variety of herbal traditions. Found in the Indian Pharmacopoeia, it is prominent in at least 26 Ayurvedic formulas. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Hempedu Bumi is an important "cold property" herb: it is used to rid the body of heat, as in fevers, and to dispel toxins from the body. This herb is also used in SE Asia traditional medicine. 
What is garcinia cambogia and is there any benefit to this fruit? 

Garcinia cambogia is a subtropical tree that grows on the islands of Indonesia. It belongs to a species of trees that are native to Asia, India, Australia and southern Africa. Garcinias are also called mangosteens, saptrees and "monkey fruit." They thrive in the warm, moist climates of tropical forests.

Garcinia cambogia trees produce small, pumpkin-shaped fruit that are sometimes called assam fruit. Brindleberry, gambooge and tamarind are other common names. 

The fruit is usually yellow or green in color, but some trees produce orange or red fruit. In Malaysia knowns as asam keping or gelugor.  Garcinia cambogia fruit has a sour flavor which makes it difficult to eat whole like an orange or apple. However, the dried fruit rind produces a flavorful, spicy extract that is popular in traditional cooking. The extract is also used to cure and preserve foods.

Found across Southeast Asia, India and central Africa, people have long used the dried gambooge rinds for chutneys or curries, and sometimes as an aid for stomach problems. But in the late 1960s, scientists identified a substance in the rind of the fruit called hydroxycitric acid, or HCA, which has some potentially attractive qualities. 

Some studies say HCA works, and some say it doesn't. Animal studies of HCA showed that mice taking the substance ate less, lost weight and produced less fat from sugar. The main things that garcinia does is that it suppresses the appetite which means that you will be eating less without noticing it. So it’s an excellent protection against over eating.

Also it manages the seratonin levels. Seratonin is a hormone which tells us when and how much to eat. Every time when our seratonin levels are low we are tempted to eat. In most cases seratonin levels will get low if we are in a bad mood. The only way for us to feel better is to eat something. This is wrong.

Garcinia regulates our seratonin levels and it’s a great ally for emotional eaters. The extract is derived from the rind, which is dried and cured and contains hydroxycitric acid, or HCA, a substance advertised to “block fats and sugar, while suppressing appetite.”

In traditional medicine, healing practitioners use the extract as a stool softener or laxative to treat constipation. Some dietary supplements and energy drinks contain Garcinia cambogia extract.

How Does Garcinia Cambogia Work?

The hydroxycitric acid in Garcinia cambogia halts the production of citrate lyase, an enzyme that is linked to carbohydrate metabolism. Since the enzyme converts excess carbohydrates into fat, stopping the fat-making process is good news for dieters. HCA also stops the production of triglycerides and bad cholesterol, and it may even burn extra carbs.

Dr. Mehmet Oz and other nutrition experts recognize Garcinia cambogia as a “miracle weight loss food.” In some studies, dieters who took HCA supplements lost between two and three times more weight that those who used a placebo. Some experienced mood elevation and sleep improvements after taking Garcinia cambogia.

Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects

Garcinia cambogia supplements are growing in popularity in the diet industry, and they are generally safe for healthy adults. The natural weight loss remedy curbs hunger and stops food cravings, especially for carbohydrates and sweets. In healthy adults, side effects are minimal and rare. However, HCA supplements are not recommended for diabetics, pregnant women, children and Alzheimer’s patients.

Dieters typically take Garcinia cambogia supplements in capsule form. Quality is based on the percentage of hydroxycitric acid contained in each capsule. The experts recommend at least 45 percent HCA for best results. Most dieters take this “miracle supplement” three times a day, about an hour before each meal.
Laksa Leaves (Daun Kesum)
11:12 PM | Author: Atie
Daun kesum is an essential ingredient
for making laksa. Without daun kesum, there is no way your laksa can be complete. At some places in Malaysia, daun kesum is refered to as "daun laksa" or laksa leaves. The English name for it is most probably Vietnamese mint but not really sure because the real Vietnamese mint is maybe slightly different but still belongs to the same family. Daun kesum is a member of the mint family. The leaves are green and will turn yellow and then brown when they start withering. The stalks will grow and grow if you let them but, trim the tips to let them branch out.

Other than laksa, the leaves can be used as an additional herb when you make nasi ulam, nasi kerabu and when you make asam pedas or other fish dishes. It can be sliced thinly as garnishing, eaten raw or added in sour spicy soup like laksa.
The smell of this minty herb is strong and unmistakable. Therefore, it is good to be used in a fish dish with gravy to counterbalance the fishy smell.

To start planting the herb is very simple indeed.
Get a few stalks of fresh daun kesum from the wet market or if your friend has a herb garden, ask for some stalks from her.
Place the stalks in a jam jar or glass filled with 1 cm of water. Let them sit for a few days until a substantial length of roots can be seen growing at the bottom of the jar.
Transfer your stalks into a container filled with damp earth. Cover about 2.5cm of the stalks in the dirt. Make sure the bottom of the container has some small holes to let excess water to flow out. See, it is easy to grow your own daun kesum.

The herb needs very little maintenance except for enough water to ensure the earth it is planted in is always damp. Oh yes, also plenty of sunlight. You can place the herb pot at the window sill or if you have a balcony, place it there. It grows well in your backyard too.
Fertilizer made of compost is good for the leaves. Old wives have this tip to nourish your herbs: use the bloody water that remained after washing and gutting your fish to spray on the leaves and earth, it is supposed to be full of nutrients for plant. Do this treatment every two weeks or so.
Daun kesum grows very fast. Given good care and enough water, within a week you can already have a bunch filling up your ice-cream tub already.

1. Medicinal Properties
According agree: bearded anti-inflammatory effects downstream gas, stimulate digestion, except welding style, active blood poison.
It has been used in folk such as the following cases: 
- Full stomach distension sluggish digestion using a handful of laksa leaves crushed clean drinking water squeezed. 
- Nasal flu: a handful of bearded, ginger 3 slices, 20g laksa leaves, 20g shiso leaves 16g marjoram, 16g calamus, 10g chuanxiong and 10g angelica .Combination all of them inside the pot .slow cook about half hour and drink it
- Snake bite treatment: a handful of crushed mustache juiced drink to the victim. Residue cover on where the wound bandaged jack (to do sooner or good results)
- Diarrhoea, abdominal pain due to cold: 16g laksa leaves (dried), white Atractylodes 12g, 16g marjoram, 12g wage Jiang, 10g cinnamon, 4g ginger, 4g baking powder. Pour 2 cup of water, 1 cup of sharp longer. Day in 2 divided doses.
- Feet of drinking water: mustache crushed up on where to get hurt. Or crushed spots where water remains sore. Day 2 time (keep the wound will dry to prevent multiple infections)
- Acne is the stage pointed mustache outline a handful, a few grains of salt. Two crushed, boil up into bands. Day1. This method for all cases of pimples, pressure will is in the early stages. Effects: Anti-inflammatory, blood work, poison. 

The best of hibiscus tree
1:58 PM | Author: Atie

The hibiscus is commonly known in Asia as the shoe flower because it is used to polish shoes. The other names are sorrel, rosemallow and China rose. Hibiscus flowers are the big showy blossoms that grow nearly everywhere in warm, tropical climes. Hibiscus flowers are busy members of the mallow family, there are hundreds of different hibiscus species.  The hibiscus is an evergreen bush that is found commonly in warm and tropical regions.  There are over two hundred species in this family. The flowers are large and brightly colored, shaped like a horn or trumpet, and some species will change color as they age. The pistil and stamens often protrude dramatically from the horn of the flower, adding to it's reputation as a showy blossom.The flowers do not have any scent however.  Hibiscus flowers can be used for decoration, for paper, and as a food product.

There are a variety of colors ranging from bright red to light blue. People often graft plants to get flowers with double colors and increased number of petals.

The Chinese herbal remedies use hibiscus for various treatments. Chinese women make a dye out of flower extract and apply it to the eyebrows and the hair. The flowers are crushed and applied to the hair before taking a shower. This is believed to help remove dandruff and increase hair growth. The flower and leaf extract is mixed with herbal oil and sold.

Hibiscus is used for making ayurvedic and herbal medicines. Ayurveda uses hibiscus parts like leaves, flowers and roots to cure headaches, swelling, menstrual cramps, hair care, colds, venereal disease, induce short term infertility and stimulate menstruation. It is also used as a laxative. People use the hibiscus flowers to make chutneys, soups and curries.

For cooking hibiscus flowers are most commonly use in herbal teas. It has a reputation for a cooling affect on the body. The Pharoahs used hibiscus tea, and today it's still common as a toast in Egyptian weddings. The flowers have a tangy citrus flavor, to make the tea you'll need to boil hibiscus flowers for about 30 minutes, add sugar, and chill. If you're using the large red hibiscus flowers the tea will have a beautiful crimson color. Hibiscus tea is popular in cocktails in the Caribbean, and it can be used to enhance non-alcoholic fruit drinks. Hibiscus flowers can also be used in salads, as an edible garnish, and in candies. Hibiscus tea helps in reducing blood pressure. It can be included in the daily diet of high BP patients. It also helps in decreasing the cholesterol level. The antioxidants and high level of vitamin C in the hibiscus flower protects the body against diseases and gives the skin a special glow. It is also known for its diuretic properties.

There are no serious side effects caused by hibiscus use. Pregnant and lactating mothers should avoid hibiscus intake because it is known to stimulate menstruation. It is always safe to use home made herbal preparations of hibiscus.

But the most popular and conspicuous use for hibiscus flowers is decorative. Tucked behind a pretty girls ear, or set out as a decorative center piece, the large colorful blooms are ubiquitous in warm weather vacation spots. Hibiscus flowers do not require water, the blooms will stay viable until they're time has passed, with or without watering. Hibiscus flowers last only one day, maybe a bit longer if kept in the fridge, but new blossoms are usually just an arm's length away and they do continuously produce a lot of blooms.

Growing Hibiscus
Growing hibiscus is not an arduous task. The occasional gardener can grow hardy hibiscus with good success by following a few simple suggestions. The first task for growing hibiscus is to select an appropriate site. The plant site should have adequate sunlight. The sunlight should be fully available for at least 6 to 8 hours a day.

The second growing condition that needs to be addressed is the soil. Hibiscuses are quite adaptable to soil types. Providing a location with highly organic soil will greatly enhance growth and flower production. To increase organic matter, it may be advisable to mix sphagnum peat moss into the planting soil. After planting, the soil needs to be kept moist constantly for the first year or two. When they are fully established, they can accommodate some drought or excessive moisture.

The hibiscus tree is a rapidly growing tree that needs yearly pruning to promote new growth and prolific flowering. Pruning allows you to remove dead or diseased wood and shaping gives you an elegant tree that you can enjoy for years. Young hibiscus trees can be trained to grow in a box hedge shape if regularly maintained. 

Hardy hibiscus plants are not as prone to insect or disease problems. They may have occasional outbreaks of spider mites and Japanese beetles. Controls for these pests may be purchased at the local garden center. Growing hibiscus is a task that is very rewarding, especially when the first filmy, light bloom presents itself in your garden.

Nowadays, people like to shape a Hibiscus Tree. Here is a simple step to do that.....

Step 1
Wipe the blades of your pruning shears with alcohol. Sanitizing hand gel works great and you can find it in grocery stores.

Step 2
Select a long and out-of-proportion branch. Look a third of the way down the branch until you spot a leaf node that is aimed in the direction you want the new growth to grow.

Step 3
Prune off the branch just above this leaf node. Leave 1/4-inch of wood between the cut and the eye.

Step 4
Move on to the next branch, following the above steps, until the hibiscus tree is shaped the way you desire.

Step 5
Trim diseased or dead wood. Follow the branch back until you locate live wood. Keep following the branch down until you notice the next visible leaf node and prune the branch off 1/4-inch above that node.

Simple tips & warnings
Hibiscus are tropical plants and require moisture. Water frequently enough that the dirt in the pot doesn't dry out.

Feed your hibiscus every other week with a fertilizer for acid-loving plants.

Prune hibiscus during the early spring for best results, although new growth can be lightly pruned to retain shape throughout the season.

Hibiscus trees will do well outdoors on a patio or deck for the summer months, but bring the plant inside before frost to winter until the next spring.

Balik Adap (Mussaenda villosa wall)
1:29 PM | Author: Atie

Scientific name: Mussaenda Villosa wall
Family: Rubiaceae
Common Name: Back adap
Location found:  Bushes and swamps

This plant is commonly found in villages around the bushes. It also grows wild in the lowlands and swamps, and it is easy to recognize if it is during flowering.   The leaves are composed of a mixture of green leaves and white. The flowers are orange and some white. Most of the people used the leaves as "ulam" (salad).

It is used to treat fever by squeezing the leaves into the water and then this water is used for scarce (wetting) the patient's head to lower his body temperature.

This herb also used as an alternative for herbal steam bath by most elderly people. It so refreshing and removes the body odor...


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