Mint family are very hardy perennials with vigorous growth habits. Mint, left to its own devices, will spread quickly and become a nuisance. However, it is very popular as a flavorful herb and the plants can be grown easily. Just try to chose a spot where you won?t mind the rampant growth or grow it in a confined space. Width: 18 to 24 inches (45 - 60cm). However plants will spread much further. Days to Harvest: Seed germinates in 10 - 15 days. Full size plant depends upon variety and growing conditions. Usually within 2 months. Exposure: Sun / Partial Shade USDA Hardiness Zones: Depends on variety. Peppermint is very cold hardy, down to Zone 3. Spearmint handles the heat best, up to Zone 11. Description: Mint really wants to be a ground cover. The long branches grow upward and then flop over and root, spreading the plant wherever it can reach. The spikes of white or pinkish flowers are attractive, but brief. However, they do attract bees, butterflies and even birds. Most mint plants are hybrids and will not grow true from seed. Design Suggestions: Many mints work well in herbal lawns. They will need to be kept mowed, if you plan on walking on them. But this will help control their spread and the scent will make the work more pleasant. Otherwise I highly recommend planting mint in pots and keeping them on patios or paved areas. There will be more than enough to harvest and you won?t have the high maintenance of keeping the plants in check. Suggested Varieties: Peppermint - The best for mint flavoring. (USDA Zones 5 - 11) Orange Mint - One of the tangiest of the fruit flavored mints. (USDA Zones 4 - 11) Apple Mint - Apple. Mint. What?s not to like? (USDA Zones 5 - 11) Pineapple Mint - Variegated offshoot of apple mint. (USDA Zones 6 - 11) Growing Tips: Mint is one of the few culinary herbs that grows well in shady areas, although it can handle full sun if kept watered. Cuttings of mint will root easily in soil or water and mature plants can be divided and transplanted. However you can start new plants from seed. Sow outdoors in late spring or start seed indoors about 8-10 weeks before the last frost. Keep soil moist until seed germinates. Mint prefers a rich, moist soil with a slightly acidic pH between 6.5 and 7.0. If the soil is somewhat lean, top dress yearly with organic matter and apply an organic fertilizer mid-season, after shearing. To contain the roots and limit spreading, you can grow mint in containers, above or sunk into the ground. Be careful to keep container mints from flopping over and touching the ground. Stems will root quickly, if given the chance. Harvesting: Snip sprigs and leaves as needed. If you don?t harvest your mint regularly, it will benefit greatly from a shearing mid-season. At some point, you will probably notice the stems getting longer and the leaves getting shorter. That?s the time to cut the plants back by 1/3 to ½ and get them sending out fresh new foliage again. You can do small patches at a time, if you have a lot of mint, and prolong the harvest season. All cuttings can be used, dried or frozen for later use. You can use, dry or freeze the cuttings. Pests & Problems: Sometimes gets rust, which appears like small orange spots on the undersides of leaves. Use an organic fungicide and try to allow plants to dry between waterings. Stressed plants may also be bothered by whitefly, spider mites, aphids, mealybugs Recipe Suggestions for Enjoying Your Fresh Mint
THE DANCING PLANT
Desmodium gyrans is well known as the “Telegraph Plant” and famous for its movement. The small lateral leaflets will rotate on their axis, moving in jerky motions under the slightest influence of touch, sunshine, warmth or small vibrations. At night they droop downwards.
HERBAL REMEDIES FOR COMMON CONDITIONS
Today I want to write about herbal plants with medicinal values. I have tried few of these herbs my self and was surprised to see how well they work. So when you have that bad tootch ache next time, you may want to try a herb instead of taking that pain killer. The effects of herbal medicine changes from person to person, so use this information at your own risk.
- Zingiber officinale - Adrak, Sunth, Piper nigrum- Kali mirch : Cold
- Glycyrrhiza galba - Jethimadh, Mulhathi, Solanum xanthocarpum - Kantakari / Kateri, Adhatoda Vasica- Adulasa, Adosa: Cough
- Barleria prionitis- Kantsaria, Vajradanti, Zingiber officinale - Sunth, Adrak Dried, Ferula assa-foetida - Hing: Dental issues
- Hydrocotyle Asiatica, Bacopa Monnieri - Brahmi, Eclipta alba - Eclipta prostate - Bhangra, Bhringraj, Glycyrrhiza galba - Jethimadh, Mulhathi, Terminalia bellirica - Baheda, Bahera : Hair Problems
- Picrorrhyiza kurrosa - Kadu, kataki, Swertia chirrata - Bhucharitta, Kariyata, Zingiber officinale - Sunth, Adrak Dried, Ricinus communis - Erand leaves, Castor leaves: Head Ache
- Carum copticum - Ajwan,Ajowan,Ajwain,Yavani: Spastic bowel, flatulence, dyspepsia, sluggish digestion, chronic hiccups, belching, sinus congestion, asthma, menstrual cramping, renal calculi, depression.
- Punica granatum- Pomegranate: Dysentery, diarrhea, hyperacidity, dyspepsia, menopause, prostate problems, circulation.
- Coriandrum sativum - Coriander, Cilantro: Bloating, flatulence, irritable bowel syndrom, worms, allergies, cystitis, dysuria, fevers, respiratory problems, heavy metals.
- Elettaria cardamomum - Cardamom: Bloating, borborygmus, colic, indigestion, coughs, asthma, nausea, morning sickness, painful urination.
- Curcuma longa - Turmeric: Infections, ulcers, dyspepsia, diabetes, gallstones, skin diseases, conjunctivitis, cysts, endometriosis, dysmenorrhea, fevers, septicaemia, high cholesterol.
- Ferula asafoetida - Asafoetida (Hing,Hingu): Flatulence, cough, constipation, palpitations, aphrodisiac, whooping cough, sciatica, convulsions, arthritis.
- Cuminum cyminum - Cumin seed (Jeeraka, Jeera): Antiseptic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, galactagogue, antispasmodic
- Aloe indica, Aloe vera, Aloe barbadensis (Kumari,Ghee kunvar, Kunvar patha) - Cuts, burns, infections, constipation, enlarged liver or spleen, hepatitis, bursitis, cystitis, vaginitis, bronchitis, asthma, tumors.
- Allium sativum - Garlic (Lasuna, Rasona) :Gastric disturbances, food poisoning, candida albicans, catarrh, myalgia, sluggishness, high cholesterol, clotting, infections, blood pressure.
- Piper nigrum - Black pepper (Maricha) : Dyspepsia, cough, pharyngitis, headache, diarrhea
- Asparagus racemosus - Wild asparagus (Shatavari) : Galactogogic, antispasmodic, anti diarrhetic, demulcent.
- Zinginber officinale - Zinginber officinale (Shunti, Ardraka) : Stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic, expectorant, emmenagogue, antiemetic
- Ocimum sanctum - Holy basil (Tulsi,Tulasi,Divya,Vishnu-priya) :Demulcent, expectorant, anticatarrhal, antispasmodic, anthelminthic, nervine, tonic, diaphoretic, digestive stimulant, antiparasitic, antibacterial
- Cinnamomum zeylanicum - Cinnamon:Antispasmodic, carminative, aromatic, astringent, expectorant, stimulant, diaphoretic
Disclaimer: These herbs may not cure your condition, see your health care professional immediately if you have a bad reaction after using these herbs.
LYCHEE FRUIT HEALTH BENEFITS
Translated from Chinese as ‘gift for a joyful life’. The lychee fruit contains vitamins and minerals that promote a healthy diet, it is sweet and delicious and it has been enjoyed joyfully by natives of southeast Asia for centuries.Lychee contains flavonoids in its pulp which prove very effective against breast cancer.
Lychee fruit is that it is a great source of vitamin C, a vitamin that the body does not produce naturally. Vitamin C helps the body to fight heart disease and cancer. Vitamin C is good for our bones, skin and tissue, and therefore is a very important vitamin to our overall good health.Through the high content vitamin C content of the lychee fruit, the fruit benefits those suffering from colds, fevers and sore throats. Lychee also helps the body to digest food properly for the best nutrition and an added boost of health.Lychee also contains phosphorous, calcium, magnesium and protein. Though the lychee fruit is native to Asia, the popularity and reputation of the fruit as a healthful fruit has contributed to the commercial growth of lychee trees in California and Florida. Lychee can be found in Asian supermarkets in cans or dried or they are found in jellies, jams, marmalades or sauces in Asian cuisine.
NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN
A colorful display of many different orchids is seen at the New York Botanical Garden in New York. The botanical gardens will open their annual orchid show to the public on March 2, 2013.