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Natural Product Radiance

A Bimonthly Digest on Natural Products

 

 

VOLUME 3

NUMBER 3

MAY – JUNE 2004

 

 

 

CONTENTS

 

Feature

 

Sustainable Agriculture Methods to Combat Desertification ─ The Israeli Experience,

Raanan Katzir                       

138

 

 

Article

 

Caryota Palm Sago ― A potential yet underutilized natural resource for modern starch industry,

P Rajyalakshmi         

144

 

 

Use of Neem products in groundnut pest management in India,

V Nandagopal and M P Ghewande                                    

150

 

 

Tea ― Role in health and diseases,

Devi D Bansal, Anuj Singla and Ravneet Boparai                                            

156

 

Green Page

 

Propagation prospects of Caterpillar Mushroom,

Virendra S Rana                          

167

 

 

Apiphilic plants in agro-forestry,

Ashis Ghosh                           

170

 

 

Ayurvedic Tips

 

Healthy recipes,

Dr Sapna Bhargava                                                 

171

 

 

Explorer

 

Herbal paste for eczema,

Jyoti Kumar                        

173

Natural biocides and biofertilizers,

Ashis Ghosh                                                      

173

 

 

Internet News

 

Lesser known traditional uses of Aerva lanata (Linn.) Juss. ex Schult.            

194

Can traditional farming systems combat global warming?          

194

Rice bran oil is good for horses                                    

195

Utilization of paddy husk for making activated carbon and household detergents    

195

Fresh tomatoes can be preserved in wood ash                    

196

Fenugreek seeds as cosmetics                                                  

196

Apple components improve asthma risk                                

196

New Small Scale Industrial Possibilities Based on Natural Resources       

197

 

 

Projects/Schemes

 

UNDP Project to conserve gene pools of medicinal plants                                         

192

IVRI Services                                                                  

193

TIFAC projects                                                                       

193

 

 

Exhibition/Conference

 

National Symposium on the Emerging Trends in Indian Medicinal Plants                 

199

Classified Digests

 

Beverage                                         

174

Dye                                                                  

175

Food                                                                        

175

Fruit          

176

Fuel          

178

Gum         

179

Insecticide/Fungicide               

179

Paper & Pulp                                                                      

182

Poultry                                                   

182

Therapeutics          

183

Tissue Culture                                                  

188

Vegetable                                                                               

189

 

In Brief                             

190

Readers write        

136

Book Review                                                             

203

Subscription form                                                                

206

Index                            

207

 

Feature

 

Natural Product Radiance

 Vol.3, May- June 2004, pp. 138- 143

 

Sustainable Agriculture Methods to Combat Desertification ─ The Israeli Experience

Raanan Katzir

 

Traditional desert nomad agriculture in Israel is based upon growing wheat under rain fed conditions and sheep grazing on harvested wheat fields, as well as growing fruit trees in oasis. What characterize the desert are low precipitation, high evaporation, diverse and extreme climatic conditions, intensive solar radiation and vast land areas. Israeli arid land is composed of five distinguished regions, each with specific characteristics, resulting in few types of modern agriculture. Advanced agriculture in the desert takes advantage of producing off-season vegetables, as well as flowers, fruits, mostly palm dates for local and export markets and fodder for animal husbandry.

 

Cultivation of tilapia fish is also practiced widely, as is the raising of ostriches. Greenhouses, in which growing conditions are fully controlled, are very common. Water is the most limiting factor. Water resources include: conducting water from out-region resource, the use of saline and thermal water, the harvesting of rain water, the recycling of sewage water and desalinized sea water. Drip irrigation to economize the use of water and using saline water, are the dominant systems. Reforestation based upon soil conservation-works and rainwater harvesting is applied.

The main reasons for success in agricultural production under arid conditions, is the skilled and knowledgeable human resource.

 

 

Article

 

Natural Product Radiance

 Vol.3, May- June 2004, pp. 144- 149

 

Caryota Palm Sago― A potential yet underutilized natural resource for modern starch industry

P Rajyalakshmi

 

A lot of interest is currently being focused on the possibilities of exploring the less familiar plant resources existing in the wild. Caryota urens Linn. is a semi-wild species traditionally managed and used in native dishes, often a principal food for tribals during lean season in many parts of South India. Sago obtained from this palm has greater potential for exploitation in starch based food industry. An easy and viable method of purification of sago for removal of colour and astringency goes a long way in its maximum utilization in food industry. Tropical countries should consider taking advantage of the unique properties of sago in the development of cost effective and quality rich products.

 

Keywords: Caryota palm sago, underutilized, potential use, starch based food industry.

 

IPC Code; Int. cl.7― A23L1/0522, C08B30/02, 30/04, 30/12

 

 

 

 

Natural Product Radiance

 Vol.3, May- June 2004, pp. 150- 155

 

Use of Neem products in groundnut pest

management in India

V Nandagopal* and M P Ghewande

 

Indiscriminate use of synthetic pesticides in the groundnut ecosystem lead to killing of useful organisms, contamination in the food chain, pollution in the air and water. Though neem, Azadirachta indica A. Juss. is indigenous to India, has been in limited use in the agricultural ecosystem. The potential of the neem as pesticides has been verified in groundnut crop by few researchers in India. The mortality of jassids, aphids, leaf miner in groundnut, action on hairy caterpillars are reported in literature. The negative aspects of neem as pesticides have also been reported. Integrated pest management includes a judicious blend of a multi-pronged approach either reducing the incidence or delaying the build up of the intensity of insect complex. So far, the work done in groundnut ecosystem has been reviewed in this article.

 

Key words: Neem, pesticide, leaf miner, jassid, aphid, early leaf spot, late leaf spot, IPM.

 

IPC Code; Int. Cl. 7― A01N65/00

 

 

 

Natural Product Radiance

 Vol.3, May- June 2004, pp. 156- 166

 

Tea ― Role in health and diseases

Devi D Bansal*, Anuj Singla and Ravneet Boparai

 

Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. This article discusses its origin, types, processing, and various chemical constituents. Further, the role of tea in nutrition and its health benefits in various diseases have also been summarized.

 

Key words: Tea, Camellia sinensis, Green Tea, Black Tea, Oolong Tea, White Tea, chemical constituents, health benefits.

 

IPC Code; Int. cl7A23F3/08, 3/12, A61K35/78

 

 

 

Green Page

 

Natural Product Radiance

Vol.3, May-June 2004, pp. 167-169

 

Propagation prospects of Caterpillar Mushroom

Virendra S Rana

 

Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Sacc., a fungus of the ergot family Clavicipitaceae, is a medicinal mushroom with amazing potential and has been known and used in China for nearly two thousand years. It is commonly known as Winter Worm and Summer Grass. In China it is known as Caterpillar Mushroom and Kira in Pithoragarh, India. It is generally found during April-June. Since the natural range of this mushroom consists of only a small area in the high mountains of Tibet and Nepal, its price in world commerce has always been among the very highest of any raw medicinal feedstock. During 2001 it is reportedly sold at the rate of Rs 80,000 per kilogram. In Pithoragarh, it is locally used as potent aphrodisiac and the people sell it at about Rs 15 per fungus and Rs 40-50 thousand per kilogram.

 

The propagation of the fungus in situ or in laboratory possesses remunerative potential for the economy of the Himalayan people at high altitudes and entrepreneurs throughout the country.

 

Keywords: Cultivation, medicinal, fungus, mushroom, Cordyceps sinensis, Winter Worm, Summer Grass, Caterpillar Mushroom, Kira, economics. It is a parasite and infects the larvae of Sphinx moth, Hepialus armoricanus and grows on head of the caterpillar.

 

IPC code; Int. cl.7― A01G1/04, A61K35/84.

 

 

. 

Natural Product Radiance

Vol.3, May- June 2004, pp. 170

 

Apiphilic plants in agro-forestry

 Ashis Ghosh

 

Honey and wax, the products of bees derived from bee- hives have enormous curative properties. Honey production varies with the quality and quantity of nectar present in different flowering plants.       Bees also never like all the plants for taking nectar. They generally select the bright coloured and scented flowers having sufficient nectar. For the management of bees and getting honey throughout the year bee keepers can select plants according to their flowering season. The mobile bee-keeping boxes may be placed in the selected fields through out the year in rotation during the period of anthesis. Some plants suitable for this purpose have been enumerated below along with their flowering season.

 

Keywords: Apiphilic plants, agro-forestry, cultivation, bee keeping, honey.

 

IPC code; Int. cl.7― A01K53/00, 59/06

 

 

 

Ayurvedic Tips

 

Natural Product Radiance

Vol.3, May- June 2004, pp. 171- 172

 
Healthy recipes

Dr Sapna Bhargava

 

Rice Water, Radish vegetable, Ginger Slices, Salty Mint Lassi

 

 

 

 

Explorer

 

Natural Product Radiance

 Vol.3, May- June 2004, pp. 173

 

Herbal paste for eczema

Jyoti Kumar

 

Eczema is an obstinate skin disease, very common in Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand. A herbal paste prepared by using two herbs and oil was found to effective in treatment and cure of this skin disease may further be explored clinically as well as pharmacologically.

 

For the preparation of the paste 50g each of apical portion of the shoot and inflorescence of Celosia argentea Linn. (Hindi - Sufaid murgha) and Allmania nodiflora (Linn.) R. Br., respectively, was mixed with 100 ml Pongamia pinnata Pierre oil. This paste was applied at 12h interval for a week. The duration of the herbal treatment depends upon the intensity of the disease, age of the patient and efficacy of the combination of the herbal medicine.

 

 

 

Natural Product Radiance

 Vol.3, May- June 2004, pp. 173

 

Natural biocides and biofertilizers

Ashis Ghosh

 

An application of biocides and organic manure to crops has been found useful to control hazardous effect of insecticides and fungicides on living beings. Many farmers use following biofertilizers and biopesticides to enhance plant growth and reduce disease incidence in various crops.

  1. Ash of dried and burned leaves of banana is reported to increase underground crop yield.

  2. Mustard - aphids can be controlled by foliar spray of wheat flour solution

          (8g flour in 1 litre of water).

  1. Foliar spray of the mixture of toddy containing Datura metel Linn. seeds dust can be done for controlling caterpillars.

  2. Lantana camara Linn., Cajanus cajan (Linn.)Millsp. and neem leaf extract acts as a preventive measure against late blight of potato.

  3. Water-hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes Solms) leaves extract is sprayed on brinjal, potato and tomato crops to obtain luxuriant growth.

 

Foliar spray of the fern Dryopteris filix-mas (Linn.) Schott is done to increase resistance against powdery mildew in pea.

 

 

 

 

Classified Digests

 

Dye

 

Natural Product Radiance

 Vol.3, May- June 2004, pp. 175

 

Natural dyeing of jute pulp

 

The non-conventional raw materials for paper industry include jute caddies, jute feshwa, jute root cuttings, etc., which are used to make different grades of paper and paper-board. Scientists at National Institute of Research on Jute & Allied Fibre Technology, Kolkata attempted to identify suitable synthetic/natural dyes for imparting colour to jute pulp and standardize the process technology to make different coloured papers in an economic way by handmade process.

 

Results have revealed that the pulp can be dyed with synthetic colour with  bright shades if the cooking of the pulp is done with  10% or more chemical and further bleached with sodium hypochlorite. Brown coloured handmade paper can be produced if well cooked and bleached pulp is dyed with natural dye extracted from bark of Garan tree, Ceriops tagal (Perr.) C. B. Robins. a mangrove tree, found commonly in Sunderbans region of West Bengal [Chattopadhyay & Mondal, IPPTA J, 2004, 16(1), 41-47].

 

 

 

Fruit

 

Natural Product Radiance

 Vol.3, May- June 2004, pp. 176

 

Orange peel possesses curative power

 

Oranges are well-known for their vitamin C rich juice. Orange peel, which is used for pectin extraction is abundantly available from juice processing units as byproduct. Recent USDA scientists have found that the pectin, a carbohydrate, present in its peel have health-promoting effects. Pectin, has prebiotic properties. Prebiotics are nondigestible foods or nutrients that increase growth of beneficial, probiotic bacteria in the large intestine, where they stimulate health and help curb foodborne pathogens.

 

Prebiotic carbohydrates, also known as oligosaccharides, are found in certain fruits and vegetables and are beginning to be used in food products and animal feeds. Now, antiadhesive prebiotics have been discovered that may prevent pathogens from binding to intestinal walls. Research is under way to find new, cost-effective methods to extract pectic prebiotics [Hotchkiss, Agric Res, 2004, 52(3), 23].

 

 

 

Gum

 

Natural Product Radiance

 Vol.3, May –June 2004, pp. 179

 

Subabul seed gum as suspending agent

 

Leucaena latisiliqua (Linn.) Gillis syn. L. leucocephala (Lamk) de Wit, L. glauca Benth. is commonly known as Lead Tree and in Hindi- Subabul or Vilaitibaral. It is a fast-growing shrub or a small tree up to 9 m. Flowers small, whitish or pale yellow, in globose heads appear during April – August. Fruit dark brown straight, flat, 15-20 seeded pod; seeds dark brown, small. The plants are found throughout the plains up to 500 m.

 

The application of plant gum in various industries is increasing due to their low cost, availability and good for health. Demand for natural gum has necessitated exploration of newer sources of gum.

 

The seeds of Subabul are reported to contain large quantity of non-toxic gum. Researchers at Ranchi and Dehra Dun evaluated the usefulness of the gum as a suspending agent. During study suspensions of sulphadimidine powder were prepared with different concentrations of Subabul seed gum and Tragacanth gum and compared. Results indicate that this gum may be used as a pharmaceutical adjuvant and as a suspending agent depending on its suspending ability and the stability of the resulting suspension [Verma & Razdan, Indian J Pharm Sci, 2003, 65(6), 665-669].

 

 

 

Poultry

 

Natural Product Radiance

 Vol.3, May- June 2004, pp. 182

 

Ashwagandha root powder improves egg production in layers

 

In Ayurveda ashwagandha, Withania somnifera Dunal root powder is used as growth promoter. Scientists at Nagpur Veterinary College, Nagpur studied the effect of ashwagandha root powder on growth and egg production in layers.

 

The study was undertaken for a period of ten weeks. A total 24 commercial laying White Leghorn birds 32 weeks of age were randomly selected from the flock maintained at college poultry farm. Birds were divided into three experimental groups. Group 1 (control) was given only feed and fresh drinking water; group 2 was given 5 g ashwagandha root powder mixed per kg feed. Group 3 was given 10g ashwagandha powder mixed with per kg feed. Daily feed consumption, water intake and weekly body weight were recorded. The egg production, egg weight, egg-shell thickness were recorded and analysed.

 

The average egg production of layers during the first week of experiment was 5.37 ± 0.41, 6.00 ± 0.23 and 6.25 ± 0.25 egg in groups 1, 2 and 3, respectively. The average egg production was higher in group 3 as compared to group 2. In ashwagandha treated group egg-shell was also superior because ashwagandha is known to be a source of calcium and phosphorus. Thus inclusion of ashwagandha root powder at the level of 5 and 10 g/kg feed is helpful in maintaining body weight and it can be used as antistress in hot environment [Bhoyar et al, Indian Vet Med J, 2003, 27(2), 153-155].

 

 

 

Therapeutics

 

Natural Product Radiance

 Vol.3, May- June 2004, pp. 184

 

Anti-leishmanial effect of aqueous onion extract

Leishmania spp. are intracellular parasitic haemoflagellates that infect macrophages of the skin and viscera to produce disease in their vertebrate hosts. Three major clinical manifestations of leishmaniasis are recognized: visceral, cutaneous and muco- cutaneous leishmaniasis. The disease usually presents as fever, weight loss and hepato-splenomegaly with biochemical abnormalities of hyper-small gamma, Greek-globulinemia and pancytopenia. It has received increasing attention in developed countries because of the growing number of cases seen in AIDS patients and the occurrence of viescerotropic L. tropica disease among Persian Gulf war participants.

 

Pentavalent antimonial drugs, have remained standard treatment for visceral leishmaniasis since the 1940s. These drugs not only have several adverse effects but drug resistance and treatment failures are becoming increasingly common especially in immunocompromised patients who often fail to respond or relapse. Amphotericin B and its new lipid formulations are used as second line of treatment. However, these are severely limited due to prolonged length of therapy and adverse reactions. Thus, there is still a need for development of new and safe drugs. Onion has had an important dietary and medicinal role for centuries, hence, Saleheen and others at The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan and Institute of Biochemistry, University of Balochistan, Quetta, Pakistan studied the anti-leishmanial effect of aqueous onion (Allium cepa Linn.) extract (AOE) on leishmanial promastigotes in vitro. Five leishmanial strains in the promastigote stage were studied in vitro. Seventy-two hours inoculation of AOE gave an IC100 and average IC50 values of 1.25 mg/ml and 0.376 mg/ml, respectively, against all leishmanial strains tested.

 

During experiment fresh onions were peeled, cut into small pieces, crushed in a blender pre-cooled at 4 °C and onion extract was prepared. Concentrations of AOE ranging from 10 to 0.07 mg/ml were tested for its anti-leishmanial activity. The concentration of 1.25 mg/ml was found to be leishmanicidal for all the leishmanial strains tested, whereas 50% parasites of all strains were found to be dead at an average value of 0.376 mg/ml after 72 hrs of treatment [Saleheen et al, Fitoterapia, 2004, 75(1), 9-13].

 

 

 

Vegetable

 

Natural Product Radiance

Vol.3, May- June 2004, pp. 189

 

Dehydrated carrot products

 

Carrot (Daucus carota Linn.) is a popular vegetable recommended by physicians for better eyes and digestion and glowing skin. Because of its multifaceted application, various processing methods have been developed for different products or to extend its shelf-life.

 

Scientist at Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad done a study on sensory evaluation, b-carotene retention and shelf-life of dehydrated carrot products. Dehydration methods like hot air drying, solar drying, freeze drying, fluidized bed drying and microwave drying are commonly practiced. But during experiment it was observed that sun-dried carrots had maximum loss of b-carotene (71%) followed by solar (52%) and hot air cabinet drying (42%). The b-carotene content of dried carrot chops, shred and powder were 24.7, 22.5 and 23.9 mg/100g, respectively. It was also observed that dehydrated products can be stored for 3 months and among the products carrot powder had higher b-carotene retention (68%) during storage [Suman & Krishna Kumari, J Food Sci Technol, 2002, 39(6), 677-681].

 

 

 

In Brief

 

Natural Product Radiance

 Vol.3, May- June 2004, pp. 190

 
Polymer fibres as a soil substitute

 

A substitute for soil has been developed by DuPont. The growth medium comprises polymer fibre balls, each of which consists of randomly arranged crimped polymer fibres having a length of 0.5-60 mm. Depending on the type of polymer used, the balls may or may not be biodegradable but in any case they offer good water retention with excellent drainage, oxygenation and thermal insulation. Such fibre balls may also be used for precision sowing of seeds and application of nutrients and pesticides [World Textile Abstracts, 2003, 35(12), 8560].