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Chaga Mushroom

A gift from the Gods

Chaga mushroom, is a fungus in the family Hymenochaetaceae classified as “Inonotus obliquus”. It’s a parasitic fungi that grows on birch and other trees. The sterile conk is irregularly formed and has an appearance similar to burnt charcoal while the inside varies from reddish-brown to yellow-orange.

Rather than being soft like a mushroom, chaga is hard, almost as hard as wood and nothing like any common mushrooms. In fact, chaga is the most nutritionally dense of all tree growths. Like any plant that survives in harsh climates, chaga concentrates natural compounds for its protection, and that is why it is so powerful. It actually strengthens the host tree on which it makes potent phytochemicals, including

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Turmeric

A plant vital for good health

Tumeric powder that is cooked before use

One of the most popular of the Indian spices, turmeric is also known as halad or haldi and its botanical name is Curcuma longa. Turmeric is a perennial herb with short and thick stem and multiple branches with unforgettable aromatic smell. The stems are underground (called rhizomes) and have food, medicinal as well as ritual value.

Turmeric is regularly included in Indian cookery for giving musky mouth watering flavour and beautiful yellow colour to recipe. See the Golden Milk recipe below.

The use of turmeric starts from day 1 in Indian life. A mixture of turmeric+ split gram floor+ milk is used to give bath to

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Cinnamon

A delicious sweet spice – Cinnamomum verum

We all know the rhyme ‘cinnamon and spice make all things nice’. Cinnamon of course is a spice best known for flavouring cakes and sweets, it’s great sprinkled on top of hot chocolate drinks although it can be mixed into almost any hot drink, especially coffee.

Cinnamon was once one of the world’s most highly sought after commodities, it has been in use for thousands of years as a medicine, an embalming agent, a means of preserving food, and as a flavouring. The earliest reports of cinnamon date back to ancient Egypt in 2000 B.C. Cinnamon is also described in the Old Testament as an ingredient in anointing oil.

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) is

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Tongkat Ali

Also known as Eurycoma and Longifolia Jack

Tongkat Ali is a tall slender shrub which grows wild along the hilly slopes of the rainforests of S.E.Asia and in Malaysia it is sometimes referred to as the ‘herb of a hundred healing qualities’ by the people of south-east Asia. It has of late been identified as also having unique male sexuality improvement qualities.

Research has shown that Eurycoma Longifolia Jack contains several phytochemicals (plant chemicals) that increase the level of testosterone the sex hormone required for male sexual functions, It is also required in the development of the sexual organ and the brain.

The New Straits Sunday Times reported on 30.5.99. That according to Dr. Johan Mohd Saad of University Malaya,

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The Garlic You Eat

Do you know what you are eating?

Garlic is native to central Asia and it has been in use for more than 7,000 years. It is celebrated for its flavour and the way it complements foods.

It has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region and a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Commonly it is grown in home gardens and for the best crop, it’s planted on the shortest day of the year.

Until recently every country grew its own garlic, but not any more. As with many other products, China has become one of the worlds largest producers.

Times are changing

California was once renowned as the garlic capital of the world and an exporter of

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Sage

Salvia Officinalis

Sage before flowering

There are many sage varieties and here we are referring to White sage, a common culinary herb native to Southern Europe, but now cultivated worldwide. Its botanical name, Salvia, stems from the Latin “Salvere” – “to be in good health, cure or save”. This indicates the wide range of beneficial effects the herb has:

Healing uses: Sage is anti-fungal, antiseptic and astringent. A simple infusion can treat gingivitis, or sore throats:

Sage Infusion: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried sage or 1 tablespoon of fresh sage. Leave to stand for 15-20 minutes.

This should be swilled about the mouth daily to treat gingivitis, or gargled to treat a sore

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Lavender

Lavandula angustifolia

Lavender

Ahhh the sensual aroma of delicate Lavender. This lovely herb is great to have in your garden for both its visual appearance and its fragrance. It is loved by the bees when its in flower and by the birds after the flower heads have dried off. The dried flowers are often hung about the home and placed in potpurris and wardrobes for freshness and to discourage insect pests.

This powerful but gentle essential oil can take much of the credit for the revival of Aromatherapy today. It’s use dates back to ancient Rome and Greece and was used by the Egyptians in the mummification process. There are over twenty eight distinct species and a multitude

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Henna

Lawsonia inermis

Temporary body decoration with henna

The Indian name for henna is mehendi, it’s a medium sized multiple branching shrub with small pinkish white flowers in bunches. The leaves, flowers, seeds and bark of the plant are the useful parts and are used for medicinal as well as cosmetic purposes. When crushed, the leaves leave a fragrant and pleasant smell behind. Leaves are used both in fresh as well as dry form. The name henna arrived from the Arabian word hina, meaning scent.

Henna is cultivated in many parts of world, most commonly in India. The leaves contain coloring matter, which leaves behind a reddish colour and pleasing odour. A paste prepared from fresh crushed leaves or from

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Devil’s Apple Weed

Solanum linnaeanum

Devil’s Apple is a nightshade species native to South Africa and is considered an invasive weed in Australia and the north island of New Zealand. This poisonous plant bears a tomato-like fruit and it has some important medicinal properties that helps to cure many but not all skin cancers.

Solanum linnaeanum is a nightshade species known as Devil’s Apple and, in some places where it has been introduced, apple of Sodom. The latter name is also used for other nightshades and entirely different plants elsewhere creating confusion with other nightshade species like Jimson weed, Thornapple, Devil’s snare, Datura, Moon flower, Toloache, Devil’s trumpet, Devil’s weed, Jamestown weed, Stinkweed, Locoweed, Pricklyburr and Devil’s cucumber. Solanum linnaeanum may be also

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Rosehip Oil

A tonic for troubled skin

Rosehip flower

Rosehip oil is the oil extracted from the seeds of a rose bush that grows wild in the south of Chile, the sub alpine ranges of southern New Zealand and South Africa. The oil pressed from the Rosehip seed contains an amazing 77% of essential linoleic and linolenic fatty acids.

Fatty acids have very important functions in the regeneration of skin cells and repair of damaged tissues. Over the years, Rose Hip Oil has been shown to retard the signs of premature ageing and provide excellent results in the treatment of burns, scars and unsightly spots on skin.

There are several parts to using rosehip oil to reduce skin damage.

The nutritive

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