AS A FOOD
- Young leaves of Cycas cooked as vegetables.
- ‘Sago’ starch obtained from pith and cortex of the stem of Cycas revoluta (Sago palm), Cycas romphi, etc.
- Seeds of Pinus gerardiana (Pinus nuts/Chilgoza) are edible. They are eaten after rosting.
- Zamia is a rich source of starch.
- “Kaffir bread” prepared from the stem pith of Encephalartos.
AS A MEDICINE
- Leaves of Cycas circinalis and Taxus are used as Medicines.
- Pollen grains of some Cycas have necrotic effect.
- Anti-cancerous drug called “taxal” is obtained from the bark of Taxus.
- Oil of Juniperus is important.
- One of the Ginkgo’s greatest properties is its immunity to serious disease.
- EPHEDRINE: Drug Ephedrine is obtained from Ephedra, a Gymnosperm.
- It is used in curing respiration ailments, cold cough, including asthma.
- An aromatic beverage, known as “Mormon Tea” is also brewed from the species of Ephedra in Southwestern U.S.
- The rhizome of Ephedra gerardiana are utilised as fuel in Tibet.
- Ephedra antisyphilitica is used in the treatment of syphilis.
Gymnosperms possess soft wood.
The some is used in preparation of light furniture, plywood, packing cases, Match sticks, railway sleepers, etc.
Saw dust is employed in making linoleum and plastics.
- Wood of Picea rubens (red spruce) is especially important for music industry.
- Picea is an important source of pulpwood.
- Terpentine is obtained from Abies balsemea.
- Wood of Juniperus is used in making holders, pencils and scales.
- Bark of Larix yields a tannin.
A number of Gymnosperm woods are used in the manufacture of paper. They include Picea, Abies, Larix and Pinus.
Needles of Pinus and other Conifers are used in making fibre boards that are used in making packing cases.
Resin is plugs the places of injur. Resin helps in sealing female cone after pollination, Scaly leaves around leaf bases and apical buds. Resin retains water. It is anti-septic and toxic to pests.
AS A ORNAMENTAL
- Species of Cycas are used for decoration purposes.
- Ginkgo biloba possess beautiful ornamental leaves.
- Thuja, Pinus, Taxus, etc. are grown in parks.