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Gardening

Things that grow and how to grow

The most nourishing food that we humans can eat is what grows from the soil. In effect the minerals and nutrients in the soil are converted into fruits and vegetables making them easier for us to assimilate. Some plants are nutritious and some are poisonous, but some medicinal. But in order to sustain ourselves and human life on this planet, we all need to be able to grow our own food as well as nurture and own souls and the two activities fit nicely together.

Hemp the Wonder Crop

An opportunity for humanity suppressed

1 acre of hemp that takes less than six months to grow can be used to produce as much paper as it takes 4 acres of trees which takes 50 years to grow

For tens of thousands of years, hemp has been used all around the world in a wide range of products from foods, medicines, rope, clothing and even plastics. It is a very versatile crop that grows almost anywhere and it even improves the soil in which it grows.

It was widely used throughout the world to the 1930s when the oil industry was beginning to boom and they discovered that they could make plastics from oil. But hemp oil is also

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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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The 1080 Debate

The people vs big brother

Fatally poisoned and waiting for death

1080 is a metabolic poison that is extremely toxic to all air-breathing organisms. It blocks the body’s muscle and organs ability to absorb energy from its food, and results in a slow and inhumane death, typically 8 -24 hours for birds, 2-4 days for large mammals. There is no known antidote for this deadly poison.

New Zealand has a very real problem with introduced species of plants and animals that are displacing all indigenous species. To control weeds, the country is pouring massive amounts of Roundup and other highly toxic weed killers over the land that end up in the food chain for us to consume.

Similarly,

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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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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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Hoodia Gordonii

A South African Cacti

Used for centuries, the San bushmen of South Africa consumed Hoodia on a regular basis during times of food scarcity and on long hunts to reduce the sensation of hunger and thirst.

Hoodia is a cactus-like succulent plant which contains substances that dramatically reduces hunger, appetite, and thirst. South African medical researchers in have identified compounds called sterol glycosides, present in Hoodia gordonii. The pharmaceutical industry has been so impressed by research findings with Hoodia that there have been multi-million dollar deals to try to make drugs or food additives from constituents of Hoodia, however making a drug or synthetic derivative is not consistent with its traditional use as an appetite suppressant by native South Africans

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Aromatherapy

The health benefits of fragrance

The fragrance of Rosemary enhances memory.

Aromatherapy came about when a French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse seriously burned himself one day while working in his lab. Gattefosse thrust his burnt hand and arm into a container of pure lavender oil and gained almost instant relief. For this reason, lavender oil should be part of every first-aid kit for the immediate treatment of burns.

But not only that, in the days that followed, his hand did not present with all the normal signs of a serious burn and his arm healed remarkably quickly leaving no scaring. Gattefosse was so intrigued by this he dedicated the rest of his life to what be named “Aromatherapy”.

But

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Ginseng

Panax ginseng

Also known as schinsent, jintsam, five-fingers and tartar root, Ginseng has long been used as a medicinal herb in Asia. Its names, which translates from Chinese as “man” (gin) “essence” (seng) indicates the esteem in which is it held.

While it has gained immense popularity in the West recently, it has been used in Britain as far back as the reign of Charles II, when it was worth three times its weight in silver.

Healing uses: Ginseng improves the general well being of individuals. Specifically, it is crediting with boosting the appetite, decreasing stress levels, increasing stamina, improving concentration, enhancing physical and mental performance and aiding general healing. To obtain these benefits, a dosage of 1/2-2g of dried

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