Saturday, April 30, 2016

The 2016 A-Z Challenge brought to you by The Letter "Z"


Hello! And welcome to the 2016 A-Z CHALLENGE!!

* confetti *

This year, I’m blogging my way through a botanical alphabet

I hope you enjoy your time here and by all means, 
come back tomorrow and see what plant I’m highlighting next! Cheers!!

***

ZHI ZI
gardenia
(gardenia jasminoides)

(photo found HERE)


Known as the happiness herb, Gardenia is helpful in cases of restlessness, irritability, anger, hypertension, and similar ailments.

Maybe we should send some to Congress.

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Gardenia is used to clear heat in cases of high fever. It is known mostly, however, for the delicious aroma of its beautiful white flowers.

It has been used to treat high blood pressure and should not be used if you're already on a blood pressure medicine. There is nothing, however, problematic with indulging in that amazing fragrance. If you ask me, taking a few minutes everyday to breathe deeply of gardenias, roses, or any other fragrant flower or herb is a calming ritual, therapeutic to mind, body and spirit. Indulge to your heart's content!

_______

And that's a wrap! The 2016 A-Z Challenge is over. Heave a great sigh of relief, kids. We've made it!

Did YOU post every day?
I did!! 
Did YOU read new blogs and meet new bloggers every day?
Nope. Me either.
That's where I drop the ball every year. If you've visited here during the challenge more than once, THANK YOU!!! I'm slowly working my way over to pay back the gesture :)

Now GO! Prop your feet up. Relax. Enjoy your weekend.

You've earned it.

***

All research references can be found in my Library of Botanical Miscellany

Disclaimer
These posts are in NO WAY medical suggestions. They are intended for informational purposes only.
If you are interested in pursuing natural, herbal remedies, get thee to a reputable herb shop (preferably one that is locally and independently owned and operated) and get educated!

Disclaimer II
It’s ridiculous that anyone writing about herbal and traditional remedies should have to put a disclaimer at the end of anything. 
Use your brain and think for yourself! Just as you shouldn't take a pharmaceutical at face value, 
do your herbal research and learn about the amazing plants around us.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The 2016 A-Z Challenge brought to you by The Letter "Y"


Hello! And welcome to the 2016 A-Z CHALLENGE!!

* confetti *

This year, I’m blogging my way through a botanical alphabet

I hope you enjoy your time here and by all means, 
come back tomorrow and see what plant I’m highlighting next! Cheers!!

***

YUCCA
(yucca baccata)
aka: Spanish Dagger, Soapweed, Soaptree

(photo found HERE)

Yucca is native to Mexico and the South West United States. It can grow in other places too; I grew up with two HUGE Yucca plants in my front yard and I'm from Georgia. Still, it is well known in Native American and Mexican folk medicine as an anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic herb.

Native tribes used Yucca for everything from making clothes to medicine. It is truly and all-purpose plant. The root is high in natural saponins which, when chopped up in water, causes it to lather. It is an effective soap substitute and was used by native tribes for cleaning clothes.

The root is a nice potato substitute and can be found in most grocery store produce departments. It's starchy and a bit sweet. Next time you go to a potluck, grab a Yucca root! It's sure to cause a sensation! Just don't grab those huge spear-like leaves. That will cause an entirely different sensation, one you do NOT want to experience! Remember I said I grew up with them in my yard. I ran into them a couple of times. Youch!

***

All research references can be found in my Library of Botanical Miscellany

Disclaimer
These posts are in NO WAY medical suggestions. They are intended for informational purposes only.
If you are interested in pursuing natural, herbal remedies, get thee to a reputable herb shop (preferably one that is locally and independently owned and operated) and get educated!

Disclaimer II
It’s ridiculous that anyone writing about herbal and traditional remedies should have to put a disclaimer at the end of anything. 
Use your brain and think for yourself! Just as you shouldn't take a pharmaceutical at face value, 
do your herbal research and learn about the amazing plants around us.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The 2016 A-Z Challenge brought to you by The Letter "X"


Hello! And welcome to the 2016 A-Z CHALLENGE!!

* confetti *

This year, I’m blogging my way through a botanical alphabet

I hope you enjoy your time here and by all means, 
come back tomorrow and see what plant I’m highlighting next! Cheers!!

***

XUE JIE
(dragon's blood resin)

(photo found at www.botanical.com)

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) states that Xue Jie or Dragon's Blood has sweet, salty, and neutral properties. Sounds like the perfect temperament for a dragon to me! It is associated with the heart and liver and used in many TCM formulas geared towards those systems. The resin comes from the Sangre de Drago tree, an Amazonian rainforest tree that emits a blood-like sap when cut. This resin is known throughout South America for its healing properties and has slowly made its way into TCM.

Typically Dragon's Blood is used to treat superficial skin issues such as cuts, scrapes, abrasions, insect bites, and ulcers. When applied to the skin it creates a protective barrier or second skin that keeps out harmful impurities that could hinder the healing of the wound.

TCM is a complicated and fascinating branch of herbal study and one that is definitely worth digging into if you're interested in holistic healing. I owe it a large debt of gratitude for past and present supplements, Acupuncture treatments, and helping me fill my "X" and "Z" slots for this challenge :D

***

All research references can be found in my Library of Botanical Miscellany

Disclaimer
These posts are in NO WAY medical suggestions. They are intended for informational purposes only.
If you are interested in pursuing natural, herbal remedies, get thee to a reputable herb shop (preferably one that is locally and independently owned and operated) and get educated!

Disclaimer II
It’s ridiculous that anyone writing about herbal and traditional remedies should have to put a disclaimer at the end of anything. 
Use your brain and think for yourself! Just as you shouldn't take a pharmaceutical at face value, 
do your herbal research and learn about the amazing plants around us.



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The 2016 A-Z Challenge brought to you by The Letter "W"


Hello! And welcome to the 2016 A-Z CHALLENGE!!

* confetti *

This year, I’m blogging my way through a botanical alphabet

I hope you enjoy your time here and by all means, 
come back tomorrow and see what plant I’m highlighting next! Cheers!!


***

WORMWOOD
(artemisia absinthium)

(photo found at www.botanical.com)

The Latin name "artemisia" comes from the Greek goddess Artemis (my personal favorite) who, it is rumored, used the plant and gave the knowledge of its healing powers to the wise centaur Chiron. You may have heard of him? He was the tutor to Jason, that guy with the boat who went after that golden woolly blanket?

Wormwood is known for its bitterness and is used to expel worms, repel insects, help with indigestion and restore appetite. Commercially it is used in perfume, beers, vermouth, and -most infamously- as the "Green Fairy" in absinthe.

If Wormwood is chosen as a remedy it should only be used in small quantities for short periods of time. Bear in mind that it is not safe for pregnant women or children in any amounts.

Wormwood once had a reputation as a love potion and it was believed it could give you a dream about your future spouse. Of course, I've heard that absinthe can make you see all sorts of things. If you do use it to find Mr. or Mrs. Right, be careful and don't listen to the voices. They don't have your best interest in mind!

No matter what they say.

***

All research references can be found in my Library of Botanical Miscellany

Disclaimer
These posts are in NO WAY medical suggestions. They are intended for informational purposes only.
If you are interested in pursuing natural, herbal remedies, get thee to a reputable herb shop (preferably one that is locally and independently owned and operated) and get educated!

Disclaimer II
It’s ridiculous that anyone writing about herbal and traditional remedies should have to put a disclaimer at the end of anything. 
Use your brain and think for yourself! Just as you shouldn't take a pharmaceutical at face value, 
do your herbal research and learn about the amazing plants around us.



Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The 2016 A-Z Challenge brought to you by The Letter "V"


Hello! And welcome to the 2016 A-Z CHALLENGE!!

* confetti *

This year, I’m blogging my way through a botanical alphabet

I hope you enjoy your time here and by all means, 
come back tomorrow and see what plant I’m highlighting next! Cheers!!

***

(SWEET) VIOLET
viola odorata

photo found at www.botanical.com

The humble Violet was once the national flower of Athens. Pliny the Elder wrote that it was good for gout and spleen disorders. He also mentioned that a garland of Violets, when worn like a crown, may banish headaches and dizziness. Whether it works or not, I don't know, but I do know you'll look pretty trying :).

Since 500 B.C. Violet has been recorded to be beneficial for skin cancer when the fresh leaves are used in a poultice. The leaves and flowers of violet are used in cough syrups and for helping with upper respiratory ailments including asthma. Violet might also be helpfu lfor tumors, boils, abscesses, pimples, swollen glands, and malignant growths. 

Some say the name "Violet" comes from the Latin "vias" which means "wayside" referring to where they grow. Violet flowers are a herald of spring and a symbol of love and affection. It has been used for centuries in perfumes and the flowers can be used to make an uplifting tea. You can also candy the flowers and use them to decorate cakes! Lovely, helpful, and tasty; I'd say, Violet is dang near perfect!

***

All research references can be found in my Library of Botanical Miscellany

Disclaimer
These posts are in NO WAY medical suggestions. They are intended for informational purposes only.
If you are interested in pursuing natural, herbal remedies, get thee to a reputable herb shop (preferably one that is locally and independently owned and operated) and get educated!

Disclaimer II
It’s ridiculous that anyone writing about herbal and traditional remedies should have to put a disclaimer at the end of anything. 
Use your brain and think for yourself! Just as you shouldn't take a pharmaceutical at face value, 
do your herbal research and learn about the amazing plants around us.



Monday, April 25, 2016

The 2016 A-Z Challenge brought to you by The Letter "U"


Hello! And welcome to the 2016 A-Z CHALLENGE!!

* confetti *

This year, I’m blogging my way through a botanical alphabet

I hope you enjoy your time here and by all means, 
come back tomorrow and see what plant I’m highlighting next! Cheers!!

***

UNICORN ROOT
(true unicorn root: aletris farinosa aka: stargrass, starwort, star root, crow corn
falso unicorn root: chamaelirium luteum aka: starwort [hmmm...])


True Unicorn Root is found along the entire Eastern seacoast of the United States and is used mostly for stomach aches and for colic. The fresh root can be slightly narcotic when used in large doses. That narcotic property, however, is lost when the root is dried. When dried it is a valuable bitter tonic used to tone up the stomach. Because of this toning effect, it can be helpful to women who have a tendency to miscarriage.


This herbaceous, low growing perennial can be found in areas east of the Mississippi River. False Unicorn Root is primarily used for female issues especially infertility. If taken in large doses it can be a cardiac poison, however, when taken in moderation, this root may also be helpful for urinary weakness and liver and kidney disease.

False Unicorn Root grows in rich, moist woodlands and has lovely white flower fronds that resemble what one may think a unicorn horn to look like. False Unicorn has tiny flowers arranged in a tight spike where as True Unicorn has much larger flowers that are shaped individually like bluebells. They are bright white and look as if they've been dipped in flour.

***

All research references can be found in my Library of Botanical Miscellany

Disclaimer
These posts are in NO WAY medical suggestions. They are intended for informational purposes only.
If you are interested in pursuing natural, herbal remedies, get thee to a reputable herb shop (preferably one that is locally and independently owned and operated) and get educated!

Disclaimer II
It’s ridiculous that anyone writing about herbal and traditional remedies should have to put a disclaimer at the end of anything. 
Use your brain and think for yourself! Just as you shouldn't take a pharmaceutical at face value, 
do your herbal research and learn about the amazing plants around us.




Saturday, April 23, 2016

The 2016 A-Z Challenge brought to you by The Letter "T"


Hello! And welcome to the 2016 A-Z CHALLENGE!!

* confetti *

This year, I’m blogging my way through a botanical alphabet

I hope you enjoy your time here and by all means, 
come back tomorrow and see what plant I’m highlighting next! Cheers!!

***

THYME
(thymus vulgaris)
aka: garden thyme

(photo found at www.botanical.com)

To the Greeks, Thyme was a symbol of bravery. It is an appropriate symbol as Thyme is used for nervous conditions. It can also be a good tissue cleaner and as a wound wash. As a germicide, Thyme is great for gargles, mouthwashes, and in toothpaste. Steeped in a tea Thyme is wonderful for upper respiratory congestion.

In legend and history the little Thyme plant has been synonymous with courage and bravery. The Ancient Greeks also associated it with elegance.

Rudyard Kipling, when traveling in the Mediterranean, wrote of its fragrance as "wind bit thyme that smells of dawn in paradise". 

Mmm, if this is what paradise smells like, what a welcome to eternity!

***

All research references can be found in my Library of Botanical Miscellany

Disclaimer
These posts are in NO WAY medical suggestions. They are intended for informational purposes only.
If you are interested in pursuing natural, herbal remedies, get thee to a reputable herb shop (preferably one that is locally and independently owned and operated) and get educated!

Disclaimer II
It’s ridiculous that anyone writing about herbal and traditional remedies should have to put a disclaimer at the end of anything. 
Use your brain and think for yourself! Just as you shouldn't take a pharmaceutical at face value, 
do your herbal research and learn about the amazing plants around us.