In-depth articles on food, cooking, health and alternative medicine, environmental sustainability, exotic travel and more. Reviews of the most informative books, and Tall Tales…

For Gen X Eyes Only

To organize work in such a manner that it becomes meaningless, boring, stultifying, or nerve-racking for the worker is criminal; it would indicate a greater concern with goods than with people....

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Rose Hips on the Tree of Life

--Recipe for Rose Hip Soup-- Unlike people, roses probably do not consider themselves as having a purpose in life. But if a rose bush did have a mission, I expect its greatest sense of achievement would come from creating, not just a whole lot of beautiful flowers, but the grand array of round, red rose hips which come after them.…

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Cradle to Cradle Dishwashing

I am a long-time a convert to the soapnut craze. I first noticed these little fruits in Burma/Myanmar where they use them in their traditional shampoo. A couple years ago I discovered that their popularity has really grown in Western countries and now you can spend top dollar on powdered soapnut laundry soap and other commercial products. The best way to use these berries from all perspectives is to simply use them as is in your laundry, or to make them into laundry detergent (see below). Powdered soapnut berries are not really a viable product and anything that has things added to it to make the shelf life longer is a step in the wrong direction. Follow this link for more practical information about soapnuts, how to use them and links to various online stores in various countries.

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Mankind’s Old Friend Fenugreek

An interesting property of fenugreek is it's affinity for certain wild yeasts, which are beneficial to the digestive tract as well as being useful in the fermenting process of making traditional dosas or idlis, by attracting wild yeasts to the batter. Fenugreek is a great adaptogen.

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Experiencing Coriander/Cilantro

Published in the column A Flirtation With Herbs in Healthy Options Magazine, New Zealand, April 2009 I was away for much of the summer, helping my sister with her newest addition to the family. As a result, my balcony garden didn't do so well. My spaghetti squash died, my nasturtiums were killed in an aphid infestation, my calendula was ravaged…

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The Pleasures of Fennel

The ancients believed all knowledge was transmitted from the gods via the lacy branches of fennel. This plant family forms a bridge between ether and earth, and may be the reason that fennel is used to assist digestion and balance the nervous system.

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Gotta Grow GARLIC!!!!

Extra Pungent and Powerful…

“It is truth, garlic gives man youth.”

–cry of 5th century Greek garlic street hawkers

Allium sativum has been called many things from bountiful bulb to poor man’s treacle

Liliaceae: Lily Family. The other members of this family-the onion and leek, also contain many of the same compounds that are in garlic to a lesser degree and are therefore used quite similarly in most cases.

History and Mythology:

Garlic is the name given to the leek (herb) with gar (spear) shaped leaves and phallic flowers. Perhaps referring to the belief that garlic imparts warlike properties and raises passion. Its Latin name Allium sativum is derived from al = burning, sativum= harvested. It is uncertain exactly where it originated but it is believed to be from either Central Asia and/or Siberia.

William Harvey who published a revolutionary book The Motion of Blood in 1628, was intrigued by a folk remedy for colds which placed a clove of garlic in the stockings overnight. This generally led to the smell of garlic on the patient’s breath the next morning, and reinforced his ideas of how blood circulated around the body. The other well-known connection between garlic and blood is the herb’s traditional property of repelling vampires.

Garlic was also reported to destroy a magnet’s power of attraction. Galen described it as the rustic’s theriac, (meaning heal-all or antidote to poison). Garlic has been used for thousands of years for both culinary and medicinal purposes all over the world.

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