When you look at a plant in the ground, some parts are easy to spot. Most kids could do it. Hey, there’s the flower. That there is a leaf. Done and done. But below ground, things get a bit more confusing. There are roots, sure, but rhizomes too. And some plants like tubers and bulbs exist almost entirely underground. So what are all these things?
Well, let’s break it down. Continue reading “What’s the difference between a root and a rhizome? And where do bulbs and tubers fit in?”
The journey to the heart of Peru’s Maca fields starts in the early morning in Lima. Traffic noise filling the air. Horns of various pitches and volumes competing for attention. Lima is the second largest city in the Americas. Bigger than New York, bigger than LA, bigger than even Rio or Mexico City. Only Sao Paulo is larger.
Getting out of town means hopping in a car with our supplier, putting the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean at your back and heading uphill, crawling through a traffic jam. White taxis cutting you off at slow speed. Pedestrians crossing between idling cars and buses. Until we reach the highway and start the real climb. Continue reading “Out of breath and dizzy in the high Andes home of Maca”
Quick, think of a blueberry. Think of what it’s like to pop the thin skin with your teeth. That momentary burst of mild sour tartness. Then a bright sweet flavor that spreads across your tongue. Can you picture it? Is your mouth watering just a little? This is what it’s like to eat something with just 2 flavors. Sour and sweet. Now get ready to imagine a berry that has 5 flavors. Continue reading “Tasting the berry that’s sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami all at once”
If you have your own back yard garden, then you also have some basic supplies. Some pruners, some gloves, maybe one of those cute kneeling pads. To pick Rhodiola, you’ll need all those plus a few other things. Long johns, thick boots, a parka and a plane ticket.
And until recently, you’d need something else. Russian and Chinese phrase books. Continue reading “The herb that came in from the cold”
If you’ve ever taken an herbal blend, you’ve probably asked yourself, “What’s in this mixture? Why did they pick these herbs? Why not another herb or that one I saw on TV last week?”
In a couple days, I’ll be launching a new set of products with my friends at Herb Pharm. Before the products appear on shelves and Amazon, let’s take a minute to talk about how we got here.
So if you’re wondering, here’s how I formulate an herbal mixture. Continue reading “How I Come Up With new herbal formulas”
Herbalist or no, you probably have Gentian in your home. It’s in the pantry next to that weird bottle of alcohol you got as a gift and never opened. Can’t find it? Don’t worry. Gentian is in every bar in America, Europe or wherever you’re reading this. People take it for its flavor, but it’s not what you think. Continue reading “The Egyptians wrote about it. The Romans loved it. You probably own it. You just don’t know why.”
You might recognize Chamomile from its picture on tea boxes. It has a beautiful white flower around a golden cone. We grow it ourselves on our farm in Josephine County, Oregon. Just a few rows of Chamomile in the valley under the Siskiyou mountains.
Bees love Chamomile. You can hear the fields before you step into them. The buzz of thousands of bees. It’s magical. Continue reading “Bees prefer fresh Chamomile. So do we.”
By now, summer is a distant memory. School is back in session, social activities entice, a full work schedule beckons, and holiday obligations lurk around the corner. Stressful schedules combined with dreary weather can challenge our good health goals. Continue reading “Boost Your Immunity this Season with Two Steps to Wellness”
Bitter. It’s such an evocative word—and it’s gotten a bad rap! Did you know that there’s a clear biological reason for our ability to taste bitter? Many plant toxins are extremely bitter compounds. So we developed an evolutionary response to protect us from ingesting spoiled foods and plants that bear poisonous alkaloids, lignans and other potent phytochemicals. Continue reading “Bitter Plants & Digestion”
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