Plant: Garlic

 

GarlicGarlic

Garlic has been used for centuries as a culinary spice and medicinal herb. Garlic has been cultivated in the Middle East for more than 5,000 years and has been an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The region with the largest commercial garlic production is central California. China is also a supplier of commercial garlic. The bulb is used medicinally. Continue reading “Plant: Garlic”

Tree: Arjuna

Arjuna-Tree Arjuna

Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna) is a well-known medicinal extract whose bark is extensively used in ayurvedic medicine, particularly as cardiac tonic. Arjuna refers to the bark of Terminalia Arjuna; this tree is an evergreen tree that grows in Himalayan forests. Arjuna is a medicinal herb, used in Ayurveda treatment to treat numerous disorders particularly used as a cardiac tonic. Demand for Arjuna bark, both in India and abroad has been growing rapidly for over a decade. Continue reading “Tree: Arjuna”

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”

Plant: Cilantro (coriander)

CilantroCilantro

Like politics and religion, cilantro elicits strong opinions. People love it or hate it. For some, it’s an acquired taste. Even the name of the plant can be controversial. In the U.S., the leaves are called cilantro, while the seeds are called coriander. In Europe, the leaves are called coriander, while the seeds are also called coriander. To confuse matters further, cilantro leaves are also known as Chinese parsley. Continue reading “Plant: Cilantro (coriander)”

Plant: Hawthorn Berry

Hawthorn-BerriesHawthorn Berry

Hawthorn is a plant in which the leaves, berries, and flowers are all used in naturopathic medicines.  According to the Natural Medicines physicians reference, the name has a Greek derivation, Crategus, meaning “always been there”.  It is suggested that in Christianity, the hawthorn thorns formed the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head.

Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn) is native to Britain and Europe but is naturalized in the United States and Canada. It can be found north and east of Tennessee, up the west coast from California to Alaska, as well as in Utah, Montana and Arkansas. Local and regionally known Hawthorns are C. aestivalis (commonly known as the May Haw). Continue reading “Plant: Hawthorn Berry”

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”