Season Awareness Day - Winter Solstice

Season Awareness Day - Winter Solstice


This is the season when water is the dominant element. It is the time of feelings, a deep Yin time. Winter is the time to replenish yourself and bring all the constitutions into balance. Read what you can do to balance yourself.

Plants Communicate Using An Internet Of Fungus


Hidden beneath the surface and entangled in the roots of Earth’s astonishing and diverse plant life, there exists a biological superhighway linking together the members of the plant kingdom in what researchers call the “wood wide web”. This organic network operates much like our internet, allowing plants to communicate, bestow nutrition, or even harm one another.

The network is comprised of thin threads of fungus known as mycelium that grow outwards underground up to a few meters from its partnering plant, meaning that all of the plant life within a region is likely tapped into the network and connected to one another. The partnership of the roots of plants and the fungi is known as mycorrhiza and is beneficial for both parties involved; plants provide carbohydrates to the fungi and in exchange, the fungi aids in gathering water and providing nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen to its partnering plant.

This fungal network has been found to allow plants to aid one another in growth and flourishing. University of British Columbia graduate Suzanne Simard was the first to show that trees such as the Douglas fir and Paper birch were capable of transferring carbon to smaller trees that may not be receiving enough sunlight, allowing seedlings to grow in the shade of other trees. Simard believes that many of the world’s seedlings would not be able to survive if it weren’t for the lifeline this network provides.

A study conducted by Ren Sen Zeng of the South China Agricultural University found that this interconnectivity also allows for plants to warn one another of potential harm. In the study, the team grew potted pairs of tomato plants where some of the pairs were allowed to form mycorrhizae. When the fungal networks had formed, one plant of each pair was sprayed with Alternaria solani, a fungus that causes early blight disease in plant life. Air-tight plastic bags were used to assure there was no above ground interaction. After 65 hours, the team tried to infect the second plant of each pair and found that those with mycelia bonds were far less likely to contract the blight and had much lower levels of damage if they did contract it than those with no mycelia.

A similar study was done by University of Aberdeen graduate David Johnson and a team of colleagues that showed Broad Beans also utilized the fungal network to eavesdrop on one another for impending danger. As hungry aphids fed on the leaves of one of the Broad Bean plants, the plants connect via mycelia began to excrete their anti-aphid chemical defenses, while those that were not connected had no reaction.

"Some form of signalling was going on between these plants about herbivory by aphids, and those signals were being transported through mycorrhizal mycelial networks."
-David Johnson

Like our internet, this fungal connectivity is also susceptible cyber crime, terrorism, and even warfare. Some plants, such as the Phantom Orchid, do not have the chlorophyll necessary for photosynthesis and must leech the necessary nutrients for survival from surrounding plants. Other plants, such as Golden Marigolds and American Black Walnut Trees have been found to release toxins into the network to hinder the growth of surrounding plants in the fight for water and light.

Some research suggests that animals such as insects and worms may be able to detect subtle exchanges of nutrients through the network, allowing them to more easily find savory roots to feed on; however, this has never been conclusively demonstrated in experimentation.

"These fungal networks make communication between plants, including those of different species, faster, and more effective. We don't think about it because we can usually only see what is above ground. But most of the plants you can see are connected below ground, not directly through their roots but via their mycelial connections."
-Kathryn Morris

The more we learn about this phenomenon, the more our understanding of the plant life of our planet will continue to change. Perhaps one day, we may be able to peacefully map out these complex fungal networks to appreciate them in their entirety.

Fleming, Nic. "Plants Talk to Each Other Using an Internet of Fungus." BBC Earth. N.p., 11 Nov. 2014. Web. 19 Mar. 2015.

Harley, J. L., and J. S. Waid. "A Method of Studying Active Mycelia on Living Roots and Other Surfaces in the Soil." Sciencedirect. Department of Botany, University of Oxford, England, n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2015.

Photo Sources


Botanologia, The English Herbal or History of Plants

Author: H. Rhodes.I. Dawks.J. Taylor.Salmon, William,
Subject: Early works to 1800HerbalsMateria medica, VegetablePlantsPre-Linnean worksrbgenr
Publisher: London : Printed by I. Dawks, for H. Rhodes ... and J. Taylor ... ,
Possible copyright status: Permission to digitize granted by rights holder
Language: English
Digitizing sponsor: Missouri Botanical Garden
Book contributor: Missouri Botanical Garden
Collection: botanicusbiodiversity

Full catalog record: MARCXML Read more https://archive.org/details/mobot31753003488134


10 Things You Can Do With Aloe Vera

The miracle skin saver

Your mom was onto something when she snipped off the tip of an aloe leaf and squeezed it onto your sunburn. The plant has been shown in studies to help heal minor wounds eight days faster than standard dressing, not to mention it’s an antibacterial and contains vitamins and minerals that can ease eczema and psoriasis flare-ups. But creative and enterprising beauty experts are using it for a lot more than the occasional cut or rash; they’re using it to get gorgeous, too.   Read more  http://www.prevention.com/beauty/beauty/10-things-you-can-do-aloe-vera

What Are the Benefits of Chewing Raw Garlic?

Traditionally called stinking rose or rocambole, garlic is more than just a spicy, pungent addition to food. It was used as long ago as ancient Egyptian times as a traditional remedy to maintain health and treat disease. The potential health benefits of garlic reside in its natural components, which include allicin, a compound that is produced when you chew and crush fresh garlic.

Active Components

Intact cells in garlic contain a natural compound called alliin. When you crush garlic cloves by chewing them, alliin is released from broken cells and contacts a garlic enzyme called alliinase. Alliinase converts alliin into a volatile oil, allicin, which is a main active ingredient in crushed garlic. Garlic also contains other oils, called ajoenes and terpenes, as well as several water-soluble compounds. Some amino acids, vitamin C, calcium, iron and other minerals are also components of fresh garlic. Read more http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-chewing-raw-garlic-3104.html

10 Healing Benefits of Ginger

Ayurveda gives ginger the status of a virtual medicine chest. That’s because this wonder spice has time-tested, digestion-friendly properties, in addition to its numerous other health benefits. In India, ginger is liberally used in daily life. Ginger-infused chai is a household favorite, and it’s grandma’s antidote of choice for battling cold and flu.

On millions of dining tables in India, you’ll see matchsticks of fresh ginger that have turned a soft pink from being soaked in lemon juice and salt: a zingy accompaniment to any cooked meal.

Let’s give this knobbly root a closer look.

10 Terrific Benefits of Ginger

1. Haven’t been feeling hungry? Eat fresh ginger just before lunch to stoke a dull appetite and fire up the digestive juices.

2. Ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body.

3. Ginger clears the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including the pesky sinuses that tend to flare up from time to time.  Read more 

27 Medicinal Plants Worth Your Garden Space

Playful as kids are, accidents happen. And the accident that befallen me at 7 years old was the feeling of the hot exhaust pipe of a motorcycle kissing the skin of my leg. Grandma was around and saw it. Immediately, she took out a knife and slice the thick lower part of the aloe vera plant by the garden and rubbed the exposed end on the burn.

Looking back, I realized that it was important to have medicinal plants around the house cause you never know when you might need them. So here are a list of plants that have the highest medicinal value compared to the other million species around the world worth planting around the house.

1. Aloe Vera

The aloe vera grows only under the sun with well drained dry or moist soil. Although the plant tastes like turd, it’s still edible. The sap from aloe vera is extremely useful to speed up the healing and reducing the risk of infections for :

  • wounds

  • cuts

  • burns

  • eczema

  • reducing inflammation

Apart from its external use on the skin, aloe vera is also taken internally in the treatment of :

  • ulcerative colitis (drinking aloe vera juice)

  • chronic constipation

  • poor appetite

  • digestive problems

2. Marsh Mallow

The plant of which marshmallows were once made of. The root is taken internally to treat :

  • inflammations and irritations of the urinary and respiratory mucus membranes

  • counter excess stomach acid

  • peptic ulceration

  • gastritis

Externally, the root is applied to :

  • bruises

  • sprains

  • aching muscles

  • insect bites

  • skin inflammations

  • splinters

The leaves are very edible, unlike the aloe vera. They can be added to salads, boiled, or fried. It is known to help out in the area of cystitis and frequent urination.

3. Great Burdock

It requires moist soil and can grow shadeless. The great burdock is the pretty famous in the area of detoxification in both Chinese and Western herbal medicine. The root is is used to treat ‘toxic overload’ that result in throat infections and skin diseases like :

  • boils

  • rashes

  • burns

  • bruises

  • herpes

  • eczema

  • acne

  • impetigo

  • ringworm

  • bites

The leaves and seeds can be crushed to poultice it to bruises, burns, ulcers and sores.

4. Pot Marigold

It grows in almost any type of soil condition. It has no problem with nutritionally poor, very acidic or very alkaline soils, just as long as it’s moist. Well known as a remedy for skin problems, the deep-orange flowered pot marigold variety is applied externally to :

Internally it is used to treat fevers and chronic infections.

The tea of the petals tones up circulation and, taken regularly, eases varicose veins.

Applying the crushed stems of the pot marigold to corns and warts will soon have them easily removable.

5. Gotu Kola

The gotu kola acts on various phases of connective tissue development and stimulates healing of :

  • ulcers

  • skin injuries

  • decreasing capillary fragility

  • stimulation of the lipids and protein necessary for healthy skin

Leaves are thought to maintain youthfulness. Crushed leaves are poulticed to treat open sores. The gotu kola can also be used to :

  • treat leprosy

  • revitalize the brain and nervous system

  • increase attention span and concentration

  • treat venous insufficiency

6. Camomile

With a sweet, crisp, fruity and herbaceous fragrance, has long been used medicinally as a remedy for problems regarding the digestive system. It has a soothing and calming effect in the area of aromatherapy, used to end stress and aid in sleep. The entire herb is used to treat common aches like toothache, earache, shoulder pain and neuralgia.

7. Globe Artichoke

A bitter tasting plant that requires a lot of sun, the cardoon has become important as a medicinal herb in recent years following the discovery of cynarin. The cardoon leaves, best harvested before flowering, helps to :

  • improve liver and gall bladder function

  • stimulate the secretion of digestive juices

  • lower blood cholesterol levels

  • treat chronic liver and gall bladder diseases

  • jaundice

  • hepatitis

  • asteriosclerosis

  • early stages of late-onset diabetes

8. Chinese Yam

A type of yam that can be eaten raw, the chinese yam can be easily grown, succeeding in fertile, well drained soil in a sunny position. It is sweet and soothing to the stomach, spleen and has a tonic effect on the lungs and kidneys. It is used internally to treat :

  • tiredness

  • weight loss

  • loss of appetite

  • poor digestion

  • chronic diarrhea

  • asthma

  • dry coughs

  • uncontrollable urination

  • diabetes

  • emotional instability

Externally, it is applied to :

The leaf, on the other hand, is used to treat snakebites and scorpion stings.

9. Echinacea

One of the world’s most important medicinal herbs, the echinacea has the capacity to raise the body’s resistance to bacterial and viral infections by stimulating the immune system. It also has antibiotic properties that helps relieve allergies. Basically, the roots are beneficial in the treatment of sores, wounds and burns. It was once used by the Native Americans as an application for insect bites, stings and snakebites. The echinacea grows on any well drained soil, as long as it gets sunlight.

10. Siberian Ginseng

The siberian ginseng has a wide range of health benefits, mostly as a powerful tonic herb that maintains good health. Its medicinal properties are used for :

  • menopausal problems

  • geriatric debility

  • physical and mental stress

  • treat bone marrow suppression caused by chemotherapy or radiation

  • angina

  • hypercholesterolemia and neurasthenia with headache

  • insomnia

  • poor appetite

  • increasing endurance

  • memory improvement

  • anti-inflammatory purposes

  • immunogenic purposes

  • chemoprotective purposes

  • radiological protection

11. Great Yellow Gentian

The great yellow gentian root is a bitter herb used to treat digestive disorders and states of exhaustion from chronic diseases. It stimulates the liver, gal bladder and digestive system, strengthening the overall human body. Internally, it is taken to treat :

  • liver complaints

  • indigestion

  • gastric infections

  • aneroxia

12. Sea Buckthorn

The sea-buckthorn has been used throughout the centuries in China to relieve cough, aid digestion, invigorate blood circulation and alleviate pain. The branches and leaves are used in Mongolia to treat gastrointestinal distress in humans and animals.

The bark and leaves are used for treating diarrhea, gastrointestinal, dermatological disorders and topical compressions for rheumatoid arthritis. Even the flowers are used as skin softeners.

The berries on the other hand are used together with other medications for pulmonary, gastrointestinal, cardiac, blood and metabolic disorders. Fresh sea buckthorn berry juice is known to be taken in the event of :

  • colds

  • fever

  • exhaustion

  • stomach ulcers

  • cancer

  • metabolic disorders

  • liver diseases

  • inflammation

  • peptic ulcer

  • gastritis

  • eczema

  • canker sores

  • general ulcerative disorders

  • karatitis

  • trachoma

13. Tea Tree

Even the aborigines have been using the tea tree leaves for medicinal purposes, like chewing on young leaves to relieve headaches. The paperbark itself is extremely useful to them as it serves to line coolamons when used as cradles, as a bandage, as a sleeping mat, as material for building humpies, as an aluminum foil, as a disposable rain coat and for tamping holes in canoes.

The leaves and twigs, eventaully made into tea tree oil, is anti fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and deserves a place in every household medicine box. Tea tree oil can be used to treat :

14. Lemon Balm

The reason the plant is called lemon balm is because of the lemon minty scent of the leaves. The flowers, which appear during the summer, are full of nectar. The crushed leaves, when rubbed on the skin, are used as :

Infusion of the leaves with water are known to treat :

  • colds

  • fevers

  • indigestion due to nervous tension

  • digestive upsets in children

  • hyperthyroidism

  • depression

  • mild insomnia

  • headaches

15. Peppermint

Peppermint is sometimes regarded as ‘the world’s oldest medicine’, with archaeological evidence placing its use at least as far back as ten thousand years ago. Pepeprmint are naturally high in manganese, vitamin A and vitamin C. Crushed leaves rubbed on the skin help soothe and relax the muscles. Infused peppermint leaves are used to :

  • reduce irritable bower syndrome

  • against upset stomachs

  • inhibit bacterial growth

  • treat fevers

  • flatulence

  • spastic colon

16. Evening Primrose

The young roots can be eaten like a vegetable, or the shoots can be eaten as a salad. Poulticed roots of the evening primrose is applied to piles and bruises. Tea made from the roots have also been used in the treatment of obesity and bowel pains. However, the more valuable parts are the leaves and bark which are made into evening primrose oil, known to treat :

  • multiple sclerosis

  • premenstrual tension

  • hyperactivity

  • eczema

  • acne

  • brittle nails

  • rheumatoid arthritis

  • alcohol-related liver damage (alcoholics, this is for you)

17. Ginseng

One of the most highly regarded medicines in the orient, the ginseng is reputable in its ability to promote health, general body vigor and prolong life. The roots are used to :

  • stimulate and relax the nervous system

  • encourage secretion of hormones

  • improve stamina

  • lower blood sugar levels

  • lower cholesterol levels

  • increase resistance to disease

  • treat debility associated with old age

  • treat lack of appetite

  • treat insomnia

18. Turkey Rhubarb

Known mainly for its positive and balancing effect upon the digestive system as a whole. Even children may use the turkey rhubarb as it is gentle enough. The roots act as an astringent tonic to the digestive system while larger doses are used as laxatives. Other than that, it is also known to treat :

  • chronic constipation

  • diarrhea

  • liver and gall bladder complaints

  • hemorrhoids

  • menstrual problems

  • skin eruptions due to accumulation of toxin

19. Sage

Salvia, the Latin name for sage, means ‘to heal’. Internally, the sage is used for :

  • indigestion

  • flatulence

  • liver complaints

  • excessive lactation

  • excessive perspiration

  • excessive salivation

  • anxiety

  • depression

  • female sterility

  • menopausal problems

On the other hand, it is used externally for :

  • insect bites

  • skin infections

  • throat infections

  • mouth infections

  • gum infections

  • skin infections

  • vaginal discharge

20. Wu Wei Zi

Low doses of the fruit are said to stimulate the central nervous system whilst large doses depress it, while regulating the cardiovascular system. The seed is used in the treatment of cancer. Externally, it is used to treat irritating and allergic skin conditions while taken internally to treat :

  • dry coughs

  • asthma

  • night sweats

  • urinary disorders

  • involuntary ejaculation

  • chronic diarrhoea

  • palpitations

  • insomnia

  • poor memory

  • hyperacidity

  • hepatitis

  • diabetes

21. Milk Thistle

It protects and improves the function of the liver (take note, alcoholics). Taken internally, milk thistle helps to treat :

  • liver and gall bladder diseases

  • jaundice

  • hepatitis (liver inflammation)

  • poisoning

  • high cholesterol levels

  • insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes who also have cirrhosis

  • the growth of cancer cells in breast, cervical, and prostate cancers

  • the effects of a hangover

22. Comfrey

Comfrey contains allantoin, a cell proliferant that speeds up the natural replacement of body cells. It is reputed to have teeth and bone building properties in children. Safer to use externally than internally, comfrey is used to treat a wide variety of ailments ranging from :

  • bronchial problems

  • broken bones

  • sprains

  • arthritis

  • gastric and varicose ulcers

  • severe burns

  • acne

  • cuts

  • bruises

  • sprains

  • sores

  • eczema

  • varicose veins

23. Feverfew

A tea made from the whole plant is used in the treatment of arthritis, colds, fevers etc. It is said to be sedative and to regulate menses. An infusion is used to bathe swollen feet. Applied externally as a tincture, the plant is used in the treatment of bruises. Chewing 1-4 leaves a day has proven to be effective in the treatment of some migraine headaches.

24. Fenugreek

Fenugreek seeds are nourishing and taken to :

  • encourage weight gain (take note, anorexics)
  • inhibit cancer of the liver
  • lower blood cholesterol levels
  • treat inflammation and ulcers of the stomach and intestines
  • drain off sweat ducts
  • for body building
  • for late onset diabetes
  • poor digestion
  • insufficient lactation
  • painful menstruation
  • labor pains
  • freshen bad breath
  • restore a dull sense of taste

25. Slippery Elm

The inner bark of the slippery elm can be ground into nutrient-rich porridge-like soup that serves as an excellent remedy for sore throats. Other than that, it can be used to soothe the digestive tract. The bark of the slippery elm was used as an abortion tool, moistened with water and inserted into the cervix, before it was banned by certain countries like the UK.

26. Stinging Nettle

Long known as a nutritious addition to the diet and as a herbal remedy, the stinging nettle leaves have been traditionally used to :

  • cleanse the blood

  • treat hay fever

  • arthritis and anemia

  • excessive menstruation

  • hemorrhoids

  • rheumatism

  • skin problems like eczema

  • nettle rash

  • chicken pox

  • bruises

  • burns

27. Agnus Castus

Beneficial to female hormonal system, the agnus castus seeds and fruits are used to rectify hormonal imbalances caused by an excess of estrogen and an insufficiency of progesterone. It acts upon the pituitary gland, reducing the production of certain hormones and increasing the production of others, shifting the balance in favor of the gestagens, hormones that ‘secure’ pregnancy. Thus it has a wide application of uses in malfunctions of the feminine reproductive system and has been used with great effect in :

  • restoring absent menstruation

  • regulating heavy periods

  • restoring fertility caused by hormonal imbalance

  • relieving premenstrual tension

  • easing the transition of menopause

Healthy Herbs: 25 Of The Best For Your Body

There are a number of delicious foods you can eat for the sake of your health -- but still, all too often, we hear complaints that healthful food just doesn't taste good.

Enter herbs and spices. The aromatic flavorings can transform a dish without adding calories or fat (for the most part). But many of the roots and seeds and leaves and flowers pack surprising additional health benefits of their own. From promoting longevity to fighting pain and more, here are 26 of the healthiest herbs and spices of all time, as nominated by HuffPost Wellness Editor, Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald. Read more http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/healthy-herbs-spices-healthiest_n_2089007.html

5 health benefits of fresh herbs

Boost brainpower with rosemary

Here’s a great reason to keep a pot of fragrant rosemary in your kitchen: Recently, scientists at the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre in the U.K. reported that having higher blood levels of one of this herb’s main chemical compounds—absorbed from its aroma—was linked to the speed and accuracy of study participants’ cognitive performance. The higher the level of the compound in the blood, the better the outcome.





Prevent breast cancer with parsley

Toss parsley into salads for its high levels of apigenin. A study in Cancer Prevention Research showed that when rats with a certain type of breast cancer were exposed to apigenin, they developed fewer tumours and had delays in tumour formation compared to rats not exposed. Apigenin blocked the creation of new blood vessels required for tumours to grow and multiply.

Soothe your colon with peppermint

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects up to 20 percent of Canadians and many more women than men. Last year, scientists at the University of Adelaide in Australia showed how peppermint helps to relieve IBS by activating an anti-pain channel in the colon. It reduced pain-sensing fibres, particularly those activated by eating chili and mustard.

Fight inflammation with oregano

Research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that when mice with inflamed paws were treated with oregano’s active ingredient—beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP)—the swelling subsided in 70 percent of cases. E-BCP links to structures in a cell’s membrane, inhibiting the production of substances that signal inflammation.

Get your antioxidants from fresh thyme

Sprinkle fresh thyme on salmon or chicken that’s headed for the grill: Among fresh herbs, thyme has the second-highest amount of antioxidants (sage has slightly more), according to its oxygen radical absorbance capacity—a measure of a food’s ability to fight off disease-causing free radicals in our body. Thyme is also a very good source of vitamins A and C, as well as iron and dietary fibre. Read more http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/nutrition/5-health-benefits-of-fresh-herbs?slide=5

How spices and herbs could reduce salt and fat

 Britain is on the brink of a health crisis with one in four adults already obese and the figures set to climb to 60 per cent of men and 50 per cent of women by 2050.

Three in every 10 children aged between two and 15 are overweight or obese.

Being overweight raises the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke.

Obesity and diabetes already costs the UK over £5billion every year which is likely to rise to £50 billion in the next 36 years.  

Why have people become so big?

Processed food contains large amounts of fat and salt, often as a preservative so that food lasts longer.

Because fat and salt is cheap, it is used to mask the lack of flavour in food which has become bland through over-processing.  Read more http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/dietandfitness/11193969/How-spices-and-herbs-could-reduce-salt-and-fat.html

Fresh From Appalachia: Chinese Medicinal Herbs

Traditional Chinese medicine is gaining acceptance in the U.S., though still largely as a complementary treatment.

Mainstream doctors are mixed on its effectiveness. Still, as alternative treatments gain traction and the demand for Chinese herbs grows, farmers in Appalachia are responding.

The Blue Ridge Center for Chinese Medicine in Pilot, Va., is surrounded by miles of mountains, forests and farmland.

Outside the building, small plots of Chinese medicinal herbs grow on terraced slopes.

"A lot of these herbs we are going to let flower and be pollinated and grow for the seed because there is such a need for the seed," says David Grimsley, co-director of the Appalachian Medicinal Herb Growers Consortium, a new project based at the center that teaches others how to grow native Chinese herbs in Appalachia.

At the Appalachian Medicinal Herb Growers Consortium, the goal is to raise plants that meet the quality standards demanded by clinical practitioners.

Read more http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/10/26/359023810/fresh-from-appalachia-chinese-medicinal-herbs?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=2050

Hellooo Numen: The Healing Power of Plants…

Plants have been around for over 400 million years. That alone garners some mad respect, right? They lap dinosaurs by 200 million years for crying out loud! So it would make sense that they have a lot to teach and share with us about life. So why, then, are we underestimating and underusing these amazing sources for healing? It’s true that we as Canadians have access to some of the best medical care in the world, and man, am I ever glad it’s there when I need it! But plants have been around longer than I can even wrap my head around. Perhaps it’s time we give credit where credit is due and give them a chance before we leap to our North American medical system for help. We can be a part of changing our thought process around the way we think about North American medicine and alternative health remedies. We don’t have to choose one or the other, so why not reap the benefits of both? Instead of continuing to be enemies, they can be allies and work together.

My journey into Iridology began over 10 years ago in Ontario with an appointment for a personal Iridology analysis. Since then, in some way or another, this journey has been closely linked to the use of herbs. So it made total sense to me to expand my knowledge of herbalism after completing my Iridology course. The two modalities work so well together! It’s through the study of herbalism that I was introduced to the film “Numen.” “Numen” (a term used to describe an animating or magical force in something), is a documentary primarily focused on the healing power of plants, but in the film they bring up many other thought provoking ideas and themes. I’m not new to the world of herbs, but I had never given much thought as to why they make sense and why people continue to use them as their (often primary) health aid. 

So where and how do we begin? For me, this question felt so overwhelming – I didn’t know where to start. I knew I wanted to change the way that I interacted with the world (specifically plants and herbs) around me, but I felt like if I couldn’t do it all, then it wasn’t worth doing anything. I learned that you need to start with small pieces, one thing at a time (and quite possibly a couple of failures as well… my first garden attempt was a disaster.) And guess what, the creators of “Numen” are so great, they’ve even given you a list of 10 ideas that you can do now to start expanding your plant and herb world! (You can click here for the list.) #1 on their list? It’s “Learn to identify three medicinal plants you don't already know that grow in your region and learn their uses.”

Read more http://www.solumvitawellness.com/blog/2014/10/9/hellooo-numen-the-healing-power-of-plants

RECIPE: Autumn-Inspired Spiced Cider Recipe | Yoga Journal

The shift in weather and daylight hours as summer fades to fall can be unsettling, making us more vulnerable to moodiness and stress. Tired of being whipped around? Try this special potion—a spiced cider with grounding and immune-boosting herbs—crafted exclusively for Yoga Journal by Andy Bottagaro, potion maker at Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place in Boulder, Colorado.


32 oz apple juice
1⁄2 cup dried holy basil leaf
2 tbsp dried orange peel
2 tbsp dried rosemary
1 1⁄2 tbsp crushed cardamom
1 1⁄2 tbsp dried ginger root
1 tbsp dried peppermint leaves
1⁄2 tbsp ground nutmeg
1 1⁄2 cinnamon sticks
story essence of your choice



In a large pot, bring 32 oz apple juice to a near boil. Add 1⁄2 cup dried holy basil leaf, 2 tbsp dried orange peel, 2 tbsp dried rosemary, 1 1⁄2 tbsp crushed cardamom, 1 1⁄2 tbsp dried ginger root, 1 tbsp dried peppermint leaves, 1⁄2 tbsp ground nutmeg, and 1 1⁄2 cinnamon sticks. Turn off heat and let steep for an hour. Strain herbs and sip. Or, if you’re so inclined, add 13 drops each of the essences of chicory flower, beech flower, and rose quartz (available at natural grocers or essencesonline.com). Finally, infuse with a story essence—i.e., read a story (find Shine’s “Melody Moonlight” tale at shineboulder.com) over the drink. Serves 4.

Article from: http://www.yogajournal.com/recipe/recipes/recipe-autmn-inspired-spiced-cider/

Foraging news from a grandfather forager - How to eat maple seeds & blossoms

I love everything about the maple. The flower essence is the drama remedy. It's message for anyone obsessed with drama but constantly whining is, "cut the shit, you love the drama, get into it or stop whining."

The tree is also a good communicator. Years ago a maple told my freind that it would be coming down. Later that night around midnight there was a loud sound like a gun shot and the tree gently laid itself over the cabin my friend was sleeping in. That is why we call our work awareness and herbs. Wake up and listen to the plants.

Below are a couple of links to some articles I found on eating the maple.

How to Eat Maple Seeds

If you have a maple tree, you probably get an overflow of their seeds once a year. The good news is, these are edible.[1] When cooked, they taste like a cross between peas and hominy.[2] They can also be eaten raw or dried and thrown in a salad. Follow these steps for the best flavor.

See pics......

Ever eat a maple blossom?

Personally I love to munch on the young fresh green buds. I ahve also made a delicous Tai Curry out of more developed buds. Here is a link to other eating ideas.

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Maple Manna | Eat The Weeds and other things, too

Maples: How Sweet It Is

It’s amazing what you can do with two trees and a cow. Maple walnut ice cream. It was the prime ice cream of choice when I was young. It can still be found regionally, sometimes, and never overseas. Then I have to settle for chocolate ice cream, another marriage between bovine and bark.


Maple leaf, think Canadian Flag

While maples are associated with colder climates, several species of maples grow in the South and at least four of them in Florida, two of them reportedly better for making syrup than the famous sugar maples of Vermont.

To anyone who grew up in northern climes, finding maples in Florida is a bit of a challenge because they aren’t the huge, craggy trees of up country. But, they are here; shorter, thinner, but just as welcoming to the forager. They all provide the same edibles: Sap, seeds, inner bark and sweet young leaves. (You did know there was more to the maples than syrup.)

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Fried Maple Leaves Are A Tasty Autumn Snack In Japan | Bored Panda

As beautiful as they are, autumn leaves can become a huge headache when it comes to clogged gutters and un-raked yards. Japan, however, has turned this seasonal flood of garbage into a tasty treat by frying their maple leaves in lightly sweetened batter.

The snack, which seems to be a specialized delicacy from the Osaka area in Northern Japan, is made by frying Japanese maple leaves in tempura batter. The pros in the city of Minoh in North Osaka preserve the leaves for a year in salt barrels, but other recipes don’t seem to demand this lengthy step.

If you want to try making them, simply dip your cleaned and dried (ideally, Japanese) maple leaves in sweetened tempura batter and fry them in hot vegetable oil – maple syrup is optional. For a more detailed recipe, check out this link.

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