Archive for the ‘Plants’ Category

Traditional herbal medicine in Far-west Nepal

2010 Dec 13
Plant species have long been used as principal ingredients of traditional medicine in far-west Nepal. The medicinal plants with ethnomedicinal values are currently being screened for their therapeutic potential but their data and information are inadequately compared and analyzed with the Ayurveda and the phytochemical findings.
Methods: The present study evaluated ethnomedicinal plants and their uses following literature review, comparison, field observations, and analysis.
Comparison was made against earlier standard literature of medicinal plants and ethnomedicine of the same area, the common uses of the Ayurveda and the latest common phytochemical findings. The field study for primary data collection was carried out from 2006-2008.
Results: The herbal medicine in far-west Nepal is the basis of treatment of most illness through traditional knowledge.
The medicine is made available via ancient, natural health care practices such as tribal lore, home herbal remedy, and the Baidhya, Ayurveda and Amchi systems. The traditional herbal medicine has not only survived but also thrived in the trans-cultural environment with its intermixture of ethnic traditions and beliefs.
The present assessment showed that traditional herbal medicine has flourished in rural areas where modern medicine is parsimoniously accessed because of the high cost and long travel time to health center. Of the 48 Nepalese medicinal plants assessed in the present communication, about half of the species showed affinity with the common uses of the Ayurveda, earlier studies and the latest phytochemical findings.

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Olive Oil from the Top of the World

The Olive Oil Times
2010 Nov 09
For Hartmut Bauder, the second part of life has been a fruitful time. Mr. Bauder, a German entrepreneur who in a previous life worked as a manager for chemical company BASF, settled in Nepal after retirement to put up the country’s first olive plantation.
Mr. Bauder, who has a Nepalese wife, developed a love affair with olives early on in life. The setting for the romance was Provence in Southern France, where Mr. Bauder grew up and fell in love with all things Mediterranean. When he retired at age 57, he looked to form a business that he could grow with his wife.
An Italian olive project on the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India served as the template for Mr. Bauder’s venture. The project, which was launched in Himachal Pradesh, became subject to close scrutiny from Mr. Bauder. He regularly visited the site and consulted with the project’s resident experts.
With the help of Nepalese friends, Mr. Bauder invested NRs 17 million (about $240,000) to form Himalaya Plantations in 1994. For most of its existence, profit has eluded the company, causing the venture to continue adding equity. Currently, Mr. Bauder holds 80% of the company’s NRs 32 million ($450,000) equity. Himalaya Plantations just had its first profitable year.
Olives, like wine, depend on the “terroir” or the growth factors of its location. This includes the soil, water, weather, temperature, clean air
and altitude of the area where the fruits are growing. Mr. Bauder said
that olive production in Nepal is unique because the climate is the exact opposite of Europe. “The main differences are the latitude at which we grow olives, the altitude and the climate. Europe has sun in summer and rains in winter, in our area it is the reverse,” Mr. Bauder said.
Except for three months of monsoon weather, Nepal has abundant sunshine for most of the year. Temperatures range from -2 degrees Celsius in January to 35 degrees Celsius during the summer months.
Mr. Bauder chose Chitlang Valley as the home for Himalaya Plantations. Chitlang Valley, which is located three hours south of Kathmandu, is an idyllic location that is exclusively agricultural in spite of its proximity to the Nepalese capital. The company has an eight hectare-plantation that contains 2,000 trees.
“When starting to look for an ideal place, we set a few criteria: not more
than three hours driving distance from Kathmandu, it must have an altitude up to 2000 meters (6,562 feet) above sea level in order to get enough chill in winter, terraces facing south for maximum sunshine and availability of roads and electricity,” Mr. Bauder said.
Oddly, Mr. Bauder said that he was never sure if Himalaya Plantations would turn a profit. “We definitely did not know whether we would see part of our money come back,” he said. That didn’t stop him from doing all he can to make Himalaya Plantations a viable business. Together with friends from Italy, he checked local conditions to see if it was indeed possible to grow olives in Nepal. Skeptics insisted that a Mediterranean climate is required for growing olives. Mr. Bauder saw things differently, due to knowledge that olives can grow in poor soil.
To start with, Mr. Bauder bought ten hectares of land in two separate areas in Chitlang Valley, which he later named Tuscany and Vinci after Italian towns famous for olive oil cuisine.
Himalaya Plantations has had a long struggle with anthracnose, a common fungus that is the bane of olive farmers around the world. The disease, which has no cure, has long been a problem for olive farmers in South America, Australia and South Africa. The fungus had forced the company to harvest ahead of time, thereby limiting olive oil production.
After years of not turning a profit due to the disease, Mr. Bauder considered giving up on Himalaya Plantations. Things changed when Mr. Bauder met Gideon Peleg, an Israeli expert who works as the technical director of the olive project in Rajasthan in Northern India. “(He) told us that he does not see any reason why we should not
succeed in Nepal,” Mr. Bauder said.

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Hot Skin Care: Nature’s Gate Holiday Sets perfect

Monsters and Critics/Advertisement
2010 Oct 29
The coolest, hottest most unique gift ideas and best new products for everyone this Christmas and Holiday season. From clothing to jewelry, spirits to skincare and everything in between, here is one of the tried and true finds for the Monsters and Critics Best of Holiday Gift Guide for you to check out:
Finding a thoughtful, useful gift that is affordable for many people you want to remember this holiday season was made a bit easier thanks to one of our favorite natural skin care companies, Nature’s Gate.
All Nature’s gate products are made right here in the USA, and are never tested on animals.
Recycled paper makes up the packaging. Their products are without Parabens, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth/Coco Sulfates, synthetic fragrances, animal derived ingredients and are completely Phthalate-free.
If you are looking to purchase Holiday Gifts for loved ones, friends, teachers, coworkers or anyone you need to acknowledge, Nature’s Gate has two fabulous gift sets, the addictive scented Ginger Tea body wash and lotion and Orchid liquid soap and hand cream, available this holiday season. Both sets are under $10.
This holiday season, Nature’s Gate offers a way to help other countries. A portion of sales of the gift sets go toward Nature’s Gate’s partnership with WaterAid America- a nonprofit organization that helps underdeveloped countries build sustainable water systems.
The Body Wash, Body Lotion, Liquid Soap and Hand Cream are created featuring ingredients abundant in Nepal and India, countries facing water crisis. Holy Basil, Ginger, Spirulina along with Black, White and Green Teas blend together to nourish, protect and provide antioxidants to the body.
Excellent gift ideas that won’t break the bank.

For full story click here.

Cut your laundry costs with soap nuts

2010 Dec 06
What’s the deal with soap nuts? I love that I can avoid plastic packaging by using them, but what are they actually made of? Are they natural and biodegradable? Or are they just condensed detergent?
Soap nuts are a natural, biodegradable and petroleum-free laundry soap alternative. They grow on trees in Nepal and India, but they’re not nuts; they’re actually a fruit. You might also see them sold as soapberries. The tree itself is from the genus Sapindus. (Think back to biology class.)
Soap nuts contain large amounts of saponins in their shells, which are a natural surfactant. Surfactants are compounds that lower the surface tension of a liquid, and so can be used as detergents or foaming agents. You can find soap nuts in many health food stores, organic grocers or online. All you do is add four or five of them, in a small cloth bag, to a load of dirty laundry. You can reuse that pouch of soap nuts for a few loads.

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Magical uses of Rhododendron : National flower of Nepal

May 02, 2011
The Rhododendron is the National flower of Nepal. The hills and mountainsides range of Nepal are decorated with different colours and shapes. The Greek translation of Rhododendron means ‘Rose tree’. The hills of Nepal are coloured red, white or pink during the blooming season of Rhododendron. This flower also got national recognizing as national flower in Nepal. The genus and species which is dark red in colour is Rhododendron arboreum which is called as ‘Lali Gurans’ in Nepali. There are more than thirty species of rhododendron in Nepal, with dozens of varieties in all sizes and colors.
It has been reported that the plant is of anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective functions against related diseases, which is probably due to its anti-oxidant efficacy sourced from flavonoids, saponins and phenolic compounds.
Rhodondendron is use for different purpose
Medicinal uses
Rhododendron arboreum’s nectar is brewed to make wine and is effective in diarrhoea and dysentery. Its Corolla is administered in case of fishbone stuck in the gullet. Snuff made from the bark of the tree is excellent cold reliever. Young leaves can be processed into paste and applied on the forehead to alleviate headaches.
Rhdodendron campanulatum is also used as snuff and is effective in case of cold and hermicrania. Also the species is used in curing chronic rheumatism, syphilis. The dried twigs and wood are used by Nepalese against phthisis and chronic fever. On being burnt its smoke causes irritation.
Rhododendron cinnabarium is used in making flavoring agents, jam etc. The fried corolla of the species is liked by local inhabitants in Sikkim which taste delicacy while it is poisonous to animals.
Rhododendron setosum is used in making of aromatic oil, perfumery and cosmetics.
Extract from the Rhododendron thomsonii is used as natural insecticides as in valley of North Sikkim, while it is toxic/poisonous to human beings.
Rhododendron lepidotum and Rhododendron anthopogum’s leaves are used as incense in Buddhist Monasteries. The flowers are used as offerings to pay homage and for decoration purpose at social occasions.

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