Ginger

Category: Natural
Published: Monday, 30 March 2015
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ginger stepsGinger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant in the family Zingiberaceae whose rhizome, ginger root or simply ginger, is widely used as a spice or a medicine. It is a herbaceous perennial which grows annual stems about a meter tall bearing narrow green leaves and yellow flowers. Ginger is indigenous to southern China, and was spread eventually to the Spice Islands, other parts of Asia and subsequently to West Africa and the Caribbean.[2] Ginger was exported to Europe via India in the first century AD as a result of the lucrative spice trade.[2][3] India is now the largest producer of ginger.[2]

Other members of the family Zingiberaceae include turmeric, cardamom, and galangal. The distantly related dicots in the genus Asarum are commonly called wild ginger because of their similar taste.

Ginger produces a hot, fragrant kitchen spice.[8] Young ginger rhizomes are juicy and fleshy with a very mild taste. They are often pickled in vinegar or sherry as a snack or just cooked as an ingredient in many dishes. They can also be steeped in boiling water to make ginger tea, to which honey is often added; sliced orange or lemon fruit may also be added. Ginger can also be made into candy, or ginger wine, which has been made commercially since 1740.

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Vetiver

Category: Natural
Published: Monday, 09 March 2015
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vetiverChrysopogon zizanioides, commonly known as vetiver is a perennial grass of the Poaceae family, native to India. In western and northern India, it is popularly known as khus. Vetiver can grow up to 1.5 metres high and form clumps as wide.

Vetiver grass is grown for many different purposes. The plant helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion, but it can also protect fields against pests and weeds. Vetiver has favourable qualities for animal feed. From the roots, oil is extracted and used for cosmetics, aromatherapy , herbal skincare and ayurvedic soap .

Vetiver (Khus) is also used as a flavoring agent, usually through khus syrup. Khus syrup is made by adding khus essence to sugar, water and citric acid syrup. Khus essence is a dark green thick syrup made from the roots of khus grass (vetiver grass). It has a woody taste and a scent characteristic of khus.

The syrup is used to flavor milkshakes and yogurt drinks like lassi, but can also be used in ice creams, mixed beverages like Shirley Temples and as a dessert topping. Khus syrup does not need to be refrigerated, although khus flavored products may need to be.

Vetiver is mainly cultivated for the fragrant essential oil distilled from its roots. In perfumery, the older French spelling, vetyver, is often used. Worldwide production is estimated at about 250 tons per annum.[12] Due to its excellent fixative properties, vetiver is used widely in perfumes. It is contained in 90% of all western perfumes. Vetiver is a more common ingredient in fragrances for men; some notable examples include Dior's Eau Sauvage, Guerlain Vetiver, Mr. Vetiver by Une Nuit a Bali, Zizan by Ormonde Jayne and Vetiver by L'Occitane.

Indonesia, China, Haiti are major producers.

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Nutmeg

Category: Natural
Published: Thursday, 05 March 2015
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nutmeg thumbThe common or fragrant nutmeg, Myristica fragrans, is native to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas, Indonesia.The essential oil obtained by steam distillation of ground nutmeg is used widely in the perfumery and pharmaceutical industries.

The oil is colourless or light yellow, and smells and tastes of nutmeg. It contains numerous components of interest to the oleochemical industry, and is used as a natural food flavouring in baked goods, syrups, beverages, and sweets. It is used to replace ground nutmeg, as it leaves no particles in the food. The essential oil is also used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, for instance, in toothpaste, and as a major ingredient in some cough syrups.

World production of nutmeg is estimated to average between 10,000 and 12,000 tonnes per year, with annual world demand estimated at 9,000 tonnes; production of mace is estimated at 1,500 to 2,000 tonnes. Indonesia and Grenada dominate production and exports of both products, with world market shares of 75% and 20%, respectively.

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Galangal

Category: Natural
Published: Thursday, 05 March 2015
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galangal thumbGalangal is a rhizome of plants in the ginger family Zingiberaceae, with culinary and medicinal uses originating in Indonesia.

In its raw form, galangals have a dissimilar taste from common ginger. They are available as a whole rhizome, cut or powdered. The whole fresh rhizome is very hard, and slicing it requires a sharp knife.

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Cloves

Category: Natural
Published: Wednesday, 04 March 2015
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cloves stepsCloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum. They are native to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia, and are commonly used as a spice. Cloves are commercially harvested primarily in Indonesia.

Cloves are used in the cuisine of Asian, African, and the Near and Middle East, lending flavor to meats, curries, and marinades, as well as fruit such as apples, pears or rhubarb. Cloves may be used to give aromatic and flavor qualities to hot beverages, often combined with other ingredients such as lemon and sugar.

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