Economically Useful Plants and Entrepreneurial Botany
Answer the following questions
15. Write the cosmetic uses of Aloe.
Answer: (i) ‘Aloin’ (a mixture of glucosides) and its gel are used as skin tonic.
(ii) It has a cooling effect and moisturizing characteristics and hence used in preparation of creams, lotions, shampoos, shaving creams, after shave lotions and allied products.
(iii) It is used in gerontological applications for rejuvenation of aging skin.
(iv) Products prepared from aloe leaves have multiple properties such as emollient, antibacterial, antioxidant, antifungal and antiseptic.
(v) Aloe vera gel is used in skin care cosmetics.
16. What is pseudo cereal? Give an example.
Answer: (i) The term pseudo-cereal is used to describe foods that are prepared and eaten as a whole grain, but are botanical outliers from grasses.
(ii) Example : quinoa - seed from the Chenopodium quinoa plant.
(iii) It is a gluten-free, whole-grain carbohydrate, as well as a whole protein.
17. Discuss which wood is better for making furniture.
Botanical name : Tectona grandis
(i) It is one of best timbers of the world.
(ii) The heartwood is golden yellow to golden brown when freshly sawn, turning darker when exposed to light.
(iii) Known for its durability as it is immune to the attack of termites and fungi.
(iv) The wood does not split or crack and is a carpenter friendly wood.
Botanical name: Dalbergia latifolia
Rose wood is native to India.
(i) Indian rosewood has yellowish sapwood and dull brown to almost purple coloured heartwood.
(ii) The wood is characterised by fragrant, heavy, narrowly interlocked grained and medium coarse textured. It is a durable and heavy wood and is suitable for under water use.
(iii) Wood is used for making furniture, army wagons, temple chariots, cabinets, railway sleepers, musical instruments, hammer handles, shoe heels and tobacco pipes.
Furniture is made using teak wood / rose wood.
18. A person got irritation while applying chemical dye. What would be your suggestion for alternative?
Answer: An orange dye ‘Henna’ is obtained from the leaves and young shoots of Lawsonia inermis. The principal colouring matter of leaves ‘lacosone” is harmless and causes no irritation to the skin. This dye has long been used to dye skin, hair and finger nails. It is used for colouring leather, for the tails of horses and in hair-dyes.
19. Name the humors that are responsible for the health of human beings.
Answer: Three humors namely Vatam, Pittam and Kapam are responsible for the health of human beings and any disturbance in the equilibrium of these humors result in ill health.
20. Give definitions for organic farming?
Answer: Organic farming is an alternative agricultural system in which plants/crops are cultivated in natural ways by using biological inputs to maintain soil fertility and ecological balance thereby minimizing pollution and wastage.
21. Which is called as the “King of Bitters”? Mention their medicinal importance.
Botanical name: Andrographis paniculata
Andrographis paniculata, known as the King of Bitters is traditionally used in Indian systems of medicines.
Active principle: Anodrographolides.
Medicinal importance : Androgrophis is a potent hepatoprotective and is widely used to treat liver disorders. Concoction of Andrographis paniculata and eight other hers (Nilavembu Kudineer) is effectively used to treat malaria and dengue.
22. Differentiate bio-medicines and botanical medicines.
Answer: Medicinally useful molecules obtained from plants that are marketed as drugs are called Biomedicines. Medicinal plants which are marketed as powders or in other modified forms are known as Botanical medicines.
23. Write the origin and area of cultivation of green gram and red gram.
Answer: Green gram
Botanical name : Vigna radiata
Origin and Area of cultivation : Green gram is a native of India and the earliest archaeological evidences are found in the state of Maharashtra. It is cultivated in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Red gram / Pigeon pea
Botanical name: Cajanus cajan
Origin and Area of cultivation: It is the only pulse native to Southern India. It is mainly grown in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat.
24. What are millets? What are its types? Give example for each type.
Answer: The term millet is applied to a variety of very small seeds originally cultivated by ancient people in Africa and Asia. They are gluten free and have less glycemic index.
Types of Millets:
(a) Pearl Millet
Botanical name : Pennisetum americanum
(b) Finger Millet - Ragi
Botanical name : Eleusine coracana
Botanical name : Sorghum vulgare
(d) Little Millet
Botanical name : Panicum sumatrense
(e) Foxtail Millet
Botanical name : Setaria italica
(f) Kodo Millet
Botanical name : Paspalum scrobiculatum
25. If a person drinks a cup of coffee daily it will help him for his health. Is this correct? If it is correct, list out the benefits.
Answer: Drinking coffee in moderation provides the following health benefits:
(i) Caffeine enhances release of acetylcholine in brain, which in turn enhances efficiency.
(ii) It can lower the incidence of fatty liver diseases, cirrhosis and cancer. It may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
26. Enumerate the uses of turmeric.
Answer: Turmeric is used as a spice and also has medicinal properties.
(i) Turmeric is one of the most important and ancient Indian spices and used traditionally over thousands of years for culinary, cosmetic, dyeing and for medicinal purposes.
(ii) It is an important constituent of curry powders.
(iii) Turmeric is used as a colouring agent in pharmacy, confectionery and food industry. Rice coloured with turmeric (yellow) is considered sacred which is used in ceremonies.
(iv) It is also used for dyeing leather, fibre, paper and toys.
(i) Curcumin extracted from turmeric is responsible for the yellow colour. Curcumin is a very good anti-oxidant which may help fight various kinds of cancer.
(ii) It has anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral activities.
(iii) It stops platelets from clotting in arteries, which leads to heart attack.
(iv) It is used to treat Alzheimer’s disease due to its property to cross over blood brain barrier.
(v) It is one of the traditional medicines used for wound healing.
27. What is TSM? How does it classified and what does it focuses on?
Answer: Traditional Systems of Medicines (TSM):
(i) India has a rich medicinal heritage. A number of Traditional Systems of Medicine (TSM) are practiced in India some of which come from outside India.
(ii) TSM in India can be broadly classified into institutionalized or documented and non-institutionalized or oral traditions.
(iii) Institutionalized Indian systems include Siddha and Ayurveda which are practiced for about two thousand years.
(iv) These systems have prescribed texts in which the symptoms, disease diagnosis, drugs to cure, preparation of drugs, dosage and diet regimes, daily and seasonal regimens.
(v) Non-institutional systems, whereas, do not have such records and are practiced by rural and tribal peoples across India.
(vi) The knowledge is mostly held in oral form. The TSM focus on healthy lifestyle and healthy diet for maintaining good health and disease reversal.
28. Write the uses of nuts you have studied.
Answer: Cashew nut
Botanical name : Anacardium occidentale
Nuts are simple dry fruits composed of a hard shell and an edible kernel. They are packed with a good source of healthy fats, fibre, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Example : Cashew nut
(i) Cashews are commonly used for garnishing sweets or curries, or ground into a paste that forms a base of sauces for curries or some sweets.
(ii) Roasted and raw kernels are used as snacks.
Botanical name : Prunus dulcis
(i) Almonds are often eaten raw or roasted and are available as whole, sliced (flaked), and as flour.
(ii) Almond oil is made into almond butter or almond milk, which are used in sweet and savoury dishes.
(iii) Almond helps in promoting HDL (High Density Lipids).
29. Give an account on the role of Jasminum and Rosa in perfuming.
Answer: Jasminum :
(i) The essential oil is present in the epidermal cells of the inner and outer surfaces of both the sepals and petals. One ton of Jasmine blossom yields about 2.5 to 3 kg of essential oil.
(ii) Jasmine flowers have been used since ancient times in India for worship, ceremonial purposes, incense and fumigants, as well as for making perfumed hair oils, cosmetics and soaps.
(iii) Jasmine oil is an essential oil that is valued for its soothing, relaxing, antidepressant qualities.
(iv) Jasmine blends well with other perfumes. It is much used in modern perfumery and cosmetics and has become popular in air freshners, anti-perspirants, talcum powders, shampoos and deodorants.
(i) Rose oil is one of the oldest and most expensive of perfume oils. The oil is concentrated in the epidermal cells on the inner surface of the petals.
(ii) Rose oil is largely used in perfumes, scenting soaps, flavouring soft drinks, liqueurs and certain types of tobacco, particularly snuff of chewing tobacco.
(iii) Rose water (panneer) containing much of phenylethyl alcohol and other compounds in dissolved confectioneries syrups and soft drinks.
(iv) In India, the water is much used in eye lotions and eye-washes. In addition, it is sprinkled on guests as a ceremonial welcome.
30. Give an account of active principle and medicinal values of any two plants you have studied.
Answer: Medicinal Plants:
(i) Medicinally useful molecules obtained from plants that are marketed as drugs are called Biomedicines.
(ii) Medicinal plants which are marketed as powders or in other modified forms are known as Botanical medicines.
Botanical name: Phyllanthus amarus
Origin and Area of cultivation: The plant is a native of Tropical American region and is naturalised in India and other tropical countries.
Phyllanthin is the major chemical component.
Phyllanthus is a well-known hepato-protective plant generally used in Tamil Nadu for the treatment of Jaundice. It has been scientifically proved that the extract of P. amarus is effective against hepatitis B virus.
Botanical name: Justicia adhatoda.
Origin and Area of cultivation: It is native to India and Srilanka.
Active principle: Vascin
Adhatoda possess broncho dilating property. The decoction is used in treating many bronchial disorders such as cough, cold and asthma. It is also used in treating fevers. The extract forms an ingredient of cough syrups.
31. Write the economic importance of rice.
Answer: (i) Rice is the easily digestible calorie rich cereal food which is used as a staple food in Southern and North East India. Various rice products such as Flaked rice, Puffed rice / parched rice are used as breakfast cereal or as snack food in different parts of India.
(ii) Rice bran oil obtained from the rice bran is used in culinary and industrial purposes.
(iii) Husks are used as fuel, and in the manufacture of packing material and fertilizer.
32. Which TSM is widely practiced and culturally accepted in Tamil Nadu? - explain.
Answer: Siddha system of medicine:
(i) Siddha is the most popular, widely practiced and culturally accepted system in Tamil Nadu. It is based on the texts written by 18 Siddhars.
(ii) There are different opinions on the constitution of 18 Siddhars. The Siddhars are not only from Tamil Nadu, but have also come from other countries.
(iii) The entire knowledge is documented in the form of poems in Tamil. Siddha is principally based on the Pancabuta philosophy.
(iv) According to this system three humors namely Vatam, Pittam and Kapam are responsible for the health of human beings and any disturbance in the equilibrium of these humors result in ill health.
(v) The drug sources of Siddha include plants, animal parts, marine products and minerals. This system specializes in using minerals for preparing drugs with the long shelf-life.
(vi) This system uses about 800 herbs as source of drugs. Great stress is laid on disease prevention, health promotion, rejuvenation and cure.
33. What are psychoactive drugs? Add a note Marijuana and Opium
Answer: Phytochemicals / drugs from some of the plants alter an individual’s perceptions of mind by producing hallucination are known as psychoactive drugs.
Botanical name: Papaver somniferum
Opium is derived from the exudates of fruits of poppy plants. It was traditionally used to induce sleep and for relieving pain. Opium yields Morphine, a strong analgesic which is used in surgery. However, opium is an addiction forming drug.
Cannabis / Marijuana
Botanical name: Cannabis sativa
(i) The active principle in Marijuana is trans-tetrahydrocanabinal (THC). It possess a number of medicinal properties. It is an effective pain reliever and reduces hypertension.
(ii) THC is used in treating Glaucoma a condition in which pressure develops in the eyes.
(iii) THC is also used in reducing nausea of cancer patients undergoing radiation and chemotherapy.
(iv) THC provides relief to bronchial disorders, especially asthma as it dilates bronchial vessels.
(v) Because of these medicinal properties, cultivation of cannabis is legalized in some countries. However, prolonged use causes addiction and has an effect on individual’s health and society.
34. What are the King and Queen of spices? Explain about them and their uses.
Answer: Cardamom is called as “Queen of Spices”. In India it is one of the main cash crops cultivated in the Western Ghats, and North Eastern India.
Botanical name: Elettaria cardamomum
(i) The seeds have a pleasing aroma and a characteristic warm, slightly pungent taste.
(ii) It is used for flavouring confectioneries, bakery products and beverages.
(iii) The seeds are used in the preparation of curry powder, pickles and cakes.
(iv) Medicinally, it is employed as a stimulant and carminative.
(v) It is also chewed as a mouth freshener.
Botanical name: Piper nigrum
Pepper is one of the most important Indian spices referred to as the “King of Spices” and also termed as “Black Gold of India”. Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are the top producers in India. The characteristic pungency of the pepper is due to the presence of alkaloid Piperine. There are two types of pepper available in the market namely black and white pepper.
(i) It is used for flavouring in the preparation of sauces, soups, curry powder and pickles.
(ii) It is used in medicine as an aromatic stimulant for enhancing salivary and gastric secretions and also as a stomachic.
(iii) Pepper also enhances the bio-absorption of medicines.
35. How will you prepare an organic pesticide for your home garden with the vegetables available from your kitchen?
Answer: Preparation of Organic Pesticide
(i) Mix 120g of hot chillies with 110 g of garlic or onion. Chop them thoroughly.
(ii) Blend the vegetables together manually or using an electric grinder until it forms a thick paste.
(iii) Add the vegetable paste to 500 ml of warm water. Give the ingredients a stir to thoroughly mix them together.
(iv) Pour the solution into a glass container and leave it undisturbed for 24 hours. If possible, keep the container in a sunny location. If not, at least keep the mixture in a warm place.
(v) Strain the mixture. Pour the solution through a strainer, remove the vegetables and collect the vegetable-infused water and pour into another container. This filtrate is the pesticide. Either discard the vegetables or use it as a compost.
(vi) Pour the pesticide into a squirt bottle. Make sure that the spray bottle has first been cleaned with warm water and soap to get rid it of any potential contaminants. Use a funnel to transfer the liquid into the squirt bottle and replace the nozzle.
(vii) Spray your plants with the pesticide. Treat the infected plants every 4 to 5 days with the solution. After 3 or 4 treatments, the pest will be eliminated. If the area is thoroughly covered with the solution, this pesticide should keep bugs away for the rest of the season.