Plant: Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne-PeppersCayenne Pepper

Taxonomists have only recently begun to agree regarding classification of the domesticated species of Capsicum. Although five species are described, only two, C. annuum and C. frutescens have any significance commercially in the U.S.A. Of the two, C. annuum is the most important domesticated species in the U.S.A. The only C. frutescens pepper of any significance is Tabasco. The Tabasco pepper is difficult to cross with C. annuum types. Hot peppers may belong to any of above species and others. The C. chinense varieties, Habanero and Scotch Bonnet, are considered the hottest. Continue reading “Plant: Cayenne Pepper”

Herb: Self Heal Herb

self-heal-herb-imgSelf Heal Herb

Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris ssp. lanceolata*) of the Mint (Lamiaceae) family is a perennial herb found in generally moist soils.  It occurs as a native species throughout the lower 48 states and Alaska. The specific epithet is from Latin for “common” as in “widespread.”  The subspecies name is from Latin, meaning “lance-like,” a reference to the leaf shape.  Other common names include lance-leaf self-heal and heal-all.  Self-heal grows well in various moist soils with full or partial sun in prairies, woodland borders, and roadsides.  It was widely used by Native Americans and early settlers for medicinal purposes and is still used as a medicinal herb today. Continue reading “Herb: Self Heal Herb”

Herb: Green Tea

GreenTea2What is Green Tea?

Green tea, also known as unoxidized tea, is made solely from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. The leaves are plucked, slightly withered, then immediately cooked to preserve the green quality and prevent oxidization. As a result of these methods, green teas have a much higher concentration of chlorophyll, polyphenols, and antioxidants than other types of tea. The growing conditions for green tea can be broken down between two different types: sun grown and shade grown. The leaves are generally harvested three times a year with the first flush producing the highest quality leaves. The heating process differs greatly depending on the region and the tea maker’s techniques. Some of the mainstream methods of manufacturing green tea include: Continue reading “Herb: Green Tea”

Herb: Cat’s Claw Bark

cat_s_clawCat’s Claw Bark

Cat’s claw has been used for centuries by Native Peruvians, and now you can get this effective herb as a supplement or extract. The alkaloid constituents in cat’s claw bark help support immune system wellness and digestive health. Cat’s claw grows wild in Central and South America, especially in the Amazon forest. It is a tropical vine that has small curved spines on the stem at leaf juncture. Continue reading “Herb: Cat’s Claw Bark”

Superfoods: Colostrum

Fresh-Colostrum-MilkBovine Colostrum

Colostrum is a milky fluid that comes from the breasts of humans, cows, and other mammals the first few days after giving birth, before true milk appears. It contains proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and proteins (antibodies) that fight disease-causing agents such as bacteria and viruses. Antibody levels in colostrums can be 100 times higher than levels in regular cow’s milk.

Some athletes use bovine colostrum to burn fat, build lean muscle, increase stamina and vitality, and improve athletic performance. Bovine colostrum is not on the banned drug list of the International Olympic Committee. Continue reading “Superfoods: Colostrum”

Plant: Arbinogalactan

Arabinogalactan-AG-WesternLarchArabinogalactan (AG)

What is it? Arabinogalactans have long been used as a dietary fiber and have recently been shown to significantly boost the immune system. Arabinogalactan (AG) is a unique polysaccharide, or complex carbohydrate.

Where does it come from? Arabinogalactans have been part of the human diet for thousands of years. They have been detected in seeds, leaves, roots, fruit and xylem sap of representatives of all higher plant families. Dietary sources of arabinogalactans include leek seed, carrot, radish, pear, maize, wheat, and tomato. Sources also include medicinal herbs such as Echinacea species, Baptisia tinctoria, Curcuma longa, and Angelica acutiloba, which are cultivated all over the world. Continue reading “Plant: Arbinogalactan”