Capsicum in Hungary: Production regions, cultivars, growing and processing technology

Climate of Hungary Hungary is located on the north latitude 46°—48°. It means Hungary is on the northern border of the paprika growing area. The vegetation period is relatively short. Late spring frost may occur between 15—20 April. In some cases the first autumn frost may come at the end of September, but definitely in the middle of October. Almost the whole area of the country is suitable for paprika growing given its temperature, precipitation and sunshine-hours. There are no striking differences in climate from region to region, although the sunshine-hours are the highest on the southeast part, and the precipitation is the least (about 2,000 hours and 500 mm per annum, respectively), while the sunshine-hours are less and the precipitation is more (about 1,800 hours and 700—800 mm per annum) on the western part of the country. Production regions Sweet Capsicum Sweet Capsicum can be grown in any Hungarian region except along the western border of the country where the precipitation is higher and the temperature is lower than the average. Only 8—10% of the country’s soil and climate conditions are unsuitable for growing sweet Capsicum. Nevertheless, as traditional growing regions evolved, immigrant Read more […]

Polygonum hydropiper L. (Water Pepper)

Distribution and Importance Polygonum hydropiper L. (family Polygonoceae) is a member of a genus of some 175 species. It is a semi-erect (25-75 cm) annual herb with a branched stem and lance-shaped leaves, carrying its greenish-pink flowers in slender racemes (). The species is widespread in most parts of Europe, temperate Asia, and North America, and it also occurs at scattered sites in North Africa. Across its main range it is abundant in the verges of ponds and ditches and on waterlogged grasslands and water meadows. Polygonum hydropiper is not grown commercially but has found an exceptionally impressive range of uses in folk medicine and also as a culinary herb, and this has led to the adoption of a rich variety of apt local names, e.g. fireweed, arsemart and smartweed are examples of some 20 English regional names in addition to the accepted vernacular name of “water pepper“. The flower heads have little odour but all the aerial parts have a bitter acrid taste and contain vesicant compounds that blister the skin upon repeated handling (). Medicinal use of Polygonum hydropiper goes back to Dioscorides (ca. 60 a.d.) and tinctures of foliage are used as diuretics, diaphoretics, and to arrest gynecological bleeding Read more […]

Healing Powers of Aloes: Pharmacology and Therapeutic Applications

Constipation Aloe latex possesses laxative properties and has been used traditionally to treat constipation. The old practice of using aloe as a laxative drug is based on its content of anthraquinones like barbaloin, which is metabolised to the laxative aloe-emodin, isobarbaloin and chrysophanic acid. The term ‘aloe’ (or ‘aloin’) refers to a crystalline, concentrated form of the dried aloe latex. In addition, aloe latex contains large amounts of a resinous material. Following oral administration the stomach is quickly reached and the time required for passage into the intestine is determined by stomach content and gastric emptying rate. Glycosides are probably chemically stable in the stomach (pH 1–3) and the sugar moiety prevents their absorption into the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract and subsequent detoxification in the liver, which protects them from breakdown in the intestine before they reach their site of action in the colon and rectum. Once they have reached the large intestine the glycosides behave like pro-drugs, liberating the aglycones (aloe-emodin, rhein-emodin, chyrosophanol, etc.) that act as the laxatives. The metabolism takes place in the colon, where bacterial glycosidases are Read more […]

Garlic (Allium sativum)

Medical Uses Garlic is used for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, infections, and cancer prevention. Historical Uses Called the “stinking rose,” garlic has been used by the Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, Romans, and native North Americans to heal many ailments. In the early 1900s, Dr. W Minuchin, a physician who was interested in the effects of garlic, performed clinical trials that showed its usefulness in treating tuberculosis, lupus, diphtheria, and infections. Growth Plant garlic cloves in the spring, about 2 inches deep and 6 inches apart, in well-drained soil. Planting garlic around vegetable plants helps to repel insects; planting it around fruit and nut trees helps to repel moles. Harvest the garlic when the top of the plant dies. Garlic: Part used • Bulb Major Chemical Compounds • Allicin • Ajoene • Selenium • Saponins • Fructans • Potassium • Thiamine • Calcium • Magnesium • Iron • Phosphorus • Zinc Garlic: Clinical Uses Garlic is used for hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, infection, and cancer prevention. It is approved by the German Commission E and the World Health Organization for hyperlipidemia and atherosclerotic vascular changes. Read more […]

Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Tea Tree Oil: Medical Uses Tea tree oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is also used for acne. Historical Uses In folklore, tea tree oil has been used for its antiseptic effects and to treat fungal infections and coughs. During World War II, 1 percent tea tree oil was used to prevent skin injuries in munitions factory workers in Australia. Growth A tea tree is a small tree or shrub with heads of stalkless yellow or purplish flowers. Part Used • Leaves, extracted by steam or water distillation. Major Chemical Compounds • Linalool • Terpinolene • Alpha-terpineol, made up of primarily monoterpenes and alcohols. Tea Tree Oil: Clinical Uses Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties and antifungal properties. It also is used for acne and herpes simplex. Mechanism of Action Major chemical compounds in tea tree oil are active against Candida albicans (), trichophytons, Staphylococcus aureus, and Trichomonas vaginalis (). Tea Tree Oil: Dosage Acne: Use a swab to apply directly to acne cysts twice daily. Avoid the eye area. Onychomycosis: Use a swab to apply to fingernails or toenails twice daily. Avoid getting oil on the skin. Contraindications • Tea tree oil should not be Read more […]

Cervical Dysplasia: Discussion Of Botanicals

Blood Root The blood-red color of the sap from the roots of blood root led to its traditional use as a blood purifier. It was used as an emmenagogue, in the treatment of respiratory conditions, as a strong emetic, and for the treatment of fungal infections and ulcers. By the eighteenth century, blood root was used topically to treat indolent chancres and tumors as an ingredient in the popular “black salve,” an escharotic treatment that was used topically for the treatment of tumors. Extracts of sanguinarine, an alkaloid from the herb, have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiviral, antiproliferative, and apoptotic activities, and are under active research for the treatment of cancer. Sanguinarine, an alkaloid compound fund in blood root, is a potent inhibitor of NF-kappa B activation.’ Sanguinarine is an ingredient in dental hygiene products, for example, toothpaste, used for its antiplaque activity and in the treatment of gingivitis. There is controversy over the safety of its use in dental products, with contradictory research over whether it may cause malignant cell change and lead to the development of leukoplakia. Most studies have concluded that the extract is safe for dental Read more […]

Basil: Current Views

Looking for references to basil in more current texts, the herbals which do not mention it are far greater in number than those which do. Bairacli Levy (1966) is fascinated by the herb and recommends it for culinary use, as an insecticide and as a powerful tonic stimulant and nerve remedy. It is advised for nausea, severe vomiting and indigestion, as well as topically for snake and spider bites and scorpion stings. Schauenberg & Paris (1977) list the infusion of the entire dried plant as a gastric antispasmodic, carminative and galactogogue. Ody (1993) has a more extensive monograph, listing the actions of basil as antidepressant, antiseptic and tonic, stimulating the adrenal cortex and preventing vomiting, while acting as a carminative, febrifuge and expectorant. She proposes several combinations: as a tincture with wood betony and skullcap for nervous conditions, or with elecampane Inula helenium and hyssop Hyssopus officinalis for coughs and bronchitis; as a juice mixed with honey in a syrup for coughs, or the juice in a decoction of cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum and cloves Syzygium aromaticum for chills. Topically, it can be mixed with honey for ringworm and itching skin or the fresh herb can be rubbed on Read more […]


ANTIFUNGAL AGENTS are antimicrobial drugs used to treat infections caused by fungal microorganisms. They may be antibiotics produced naturally, or purely synthetic. Fungal infections are not usually a major problem in healthy, well-nourished individuals. But, superficial, localized infections, such as thrush (caused by Candida albicans), and athlete’s foot and ringworm (caused by Tinea fungi of the dermatomycoses group), are common. These can readily be treated with topical application of antifungals. Severe infections occur most frequently where the host’s immunity is low, e.g. following immunosuppression for transplant surgery or in AIDS. Unfortunately, the most potent antifungal drugs taken systemically tend to be toxic. Amphotericin is a complex amphoteric polyene ANTIBIOTIC that binds to cell membranes and forms a pore through which ions can pass, with consequences that include loss of potassium ions from within the cell. Since the antibiotic binds more readily to fungal cell membranes than mammalian, its action is relatively selective. It can potentiate the action of certain other antifungals, and it may be used with flucytosine. Also, it confers antifungal activity on rifampicin (normally antibacterial). As Read more […]


ANTIBIOTICS are, strictly speaking, natural products secreted by microorganisms into their environment, where they inhibit the growth of competing microorganisms of different species. In common usage, the term is generally applied to a wide range of chemicals, whether directly isolated from mould ferments, their semisynthetic derivatives, or synthetic chemicals showing some structural similarities. Also, in everyday language the term is used to denote drugs with a selectively toxic action on bacteria or similar non-nucleated single-celled microorganisms (including chlamydia, rickettsia and mycoplasma), though such drugs have no effect on viruses. In this loose parlance even the sulphonamides may, incorrectly, be referred to as antibiotics because they are antimicrobial. More confusing is the fact that a number of antibiotics are used as cytotoxic agents in cancer chemotherapy (e.g. bleomycin): see ANTICANCER AGENTS. Further, partly because of the recent development of high-throughput screens for lead chemicals, a number of new drug chemical classes have arisen from antibiotic leads (e.g. the CCK antagonist asperlicin and derivatives, from Aspergillus spp.). The antimicrobial antibiotics have a selectively toxic Read more […]

Olive: Clinical Use. Dosage

Olive oil has been studied as a stand-alone entity in some studies; however, it is generally studied as part of the Mediterranean diet where it is the principal source of fat and considered a key contributor to the diet’s many healthy benefits. As a reflection of this, research into the Mediterranean diet is included in this monograph; however, the contribution of olive oil to these results remains unclear. In contrast, olive leaf extract has not been significantly tested under clinically controlled conditions, so evidence is mainly derived from traditional, in vitro and animal studies. Clinical note — What is the Mediterranean diet? The Mediterranean diet studied in most trials is based on the traditional diet of Greece. It is low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat (oleic acid:omega-9 = 18:1), mainly from olive oil; high in complex carbohydrates, from legumes; and high in fibre, mostly from vegetables and fruits. Total fat may be high (>40% of total energy intake), but the monounsaturated to saturated fat ratio is around 2. The high content of vegetables, fresh fruits, cereals, and olive oil guarantees a high intake of beta-carotene, vitamins B6, B12, C, and E, polyphenols, and various minerals. CARDIOVASCULAR Read more […]