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Notes from Aug. 19

by: Meghan Shah

Notes from Aug. 19 HORT 3440

Meghan Shah
GPA 3.78

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In class notes
Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants
James Affecter
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Meghan Shah on Monday September 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HORT 3440 at University of Georgia taught by James Affecter in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views. For similar materials see Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants in Biology/Anthropology at University of Georgia.

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Date Created: 09/12/16
Notes from Aug. 19 – Old World Spices Key: Vocab Word Family/Genus/Species Name Compound/Component Part(s) Used  Black pepper:  Piper nigrum ○ Pollinated by the wind ○ The flowers are basically the female parts ○ When the fruit is growing, it’s green; when it’s ripe and ready to spread its seeds,  it’s red. ○ There’s a post­harvest process to get black pepper. ▪ When the fruit is still green and not yet ripe, the fruit is dried in heat and we  get black peppercorns; those are ground up so we get black pepper. ▪ There are a few other processing methods to get a few different kinds of  pepper (white and green)  Green pepper comes from unripe fruit  They are treated so that the retain their green color and then are dried  White pepper comes from ripe fruit  Once harvested, the skin and fruit is removed and the naked seed is  dried  Cinnamon: Cinnamomum verum (cinnamon); also C. zeylanicum   ○ Cinnamomum aromaticum (Cassium) ○ Sasafras is in the same family ○ True (Ceylon) cinnamon is from Southeast Asia (Shri Lanka) ○ What we use is the stem ▪ Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of Ceylon trees  Copissing is the name for the process of cutting lengths to harvest.  The roots are left behind, because cinnamon can regenerate its stems  The bark is carefully harvested, rolled up, and then dried. ­ A quil is the standard length ○ Cinnamon is used in many different types of food as well as many kinds of  products  Nutmeg and Mace – Myristica fragrans ○ Two spices derived from the same plant. ○ Originally from the Spice Islands (Moluccas/Maluku Islands of Indonesia) ○ They have yellow fruits that look like apricots ▪ They split open to reveal aril   Aril – the fleshy cover over a seed; often edible, it encourages animals to  eat and thereby transport the seeds; birds spread them over the islands  Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis) is a local plant that produces aril  In pomegranates, the red part around the seed is aril   Nutmeg is from the seeds – you grate/grind the seeds  Mace is the aril. ○ Nutmeg trees are dioecious ▪ Dioecy is a characteristic of a species meaning that it has distinct female and  male parts on individual organisms.    Separate male and female trees  Some plant species produce both reproductive parts on each  individual. ○ Mace tastes like Nutmeg, but milder ○ Nutmeg contains a toxic chemical call myristicin ▪ It’s a hallucinogenic  ▪ Nutmeg psychosis produces an unpleasant high with painful side effects  It has a 12­hour lag  Side effects include convulsions, heart palpitations, nausea, and  dehydration  There’s no specific antidote ▪ In low doses, nutmeg is used medicinally for nausea, bloating, and diarrhea.  Nutmeg oil is traditionally applied to the skin as a counter­irritant to relieve  aches and pains  Cloves: Syzygium aromaticum ○ Comes from a type of evergreen tree ○ In the same family as eucalyptus ○ From Spice Islands originally ○ We use the flowers, specifically the flower buds ▪ Harvested by hand and dried out ▪ The commercial spice is obtained from the dried and unopened flower buds of the clove tree ○ The Portuguese were the first to get access to them ▪ The Dutch took over and kicked them out.  The Dutch controlled all of the trade while they exploited and abused local  natives  Dutch East Indian Company ▪ In 17790 (200 years later), the French managed to smuggle seeds out and  planted them in Tanzania ▪ Now cloves are widespread across the globe. ○ Clove oil is an anesthetic that’s used as a remedy for toothaches and sore teeth  and gums  Ginger: Zingiber officinale ○ From Southeast Asia ○ Grows in the shade ○ Evergreen and perennial plants ○ We harvest the base of the stem, the rhizome. ▪ Rhizome is the part of the stem that’s underground ○ Look like roots ○ Plant grows horizontally ○ One of the first spices of the “Orient” known to Europeans ○ It warms the stomach and aids digestion ○ Reduces nausea ○ It’s carminative ▪ It dispels gas from the intestinal tract ○ Characteristics of the Ginger family: ▪ Perennial ▪ Herbaceous (not woody) ▪ Aromatic ▪ Simple and alternating leaves ▪ Thick rhizomes ▪ Found all over the world ▪ Cardamom – Elletteria cardamomum (we use the seeds) ▪ Galangal – Alpinia officinarum ▪ Turmeric – Curcuma domestica  Turmeric has anti­inflammatory properties  Curcumin is the primary component of turmeric


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