The practice of Ayurvedic medicine originated in India thousands of years ago. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the term Ayurveda is a combination of two Sanskrit words: ayur meaning life and veda meaning science or knowledge. Ayurveda therefore literally means the science and knowledge of life.
Many Ayurvedic practices became established long before the advent of written records, having been passed down through the generations by word of mouth. Three ancient books on Ayurvedic medicine, the Charaka Samhita, the Sushruta Samhita and the Astanga Hridaya, were written in Sanskrit over 2,000 years ago and are known as the Great Trilogy.
In its Benchmarks for Training in Ayurveda, the World Health Organization states that there are two types of Ayurveda experts: practitioners and dispensers. Within the practitioner category are two types of therapists: Ayurveda dieticians and panchakarma therapists. The former provide dietary counseling and make herbal recommendations. The latter provides a fivefold detoxification treatment involving massage, herbal therapy and other procedures. Again it’s a literal translation; pancha means five and karma means treatment. (more…)
Patchouli is a plant species from the Lamianceae family, which also includes lavender, oregano, and mint. Although its scientific name is Pogostemon cablin, this perennial herb is more commonly known as stink weed, pucha pot, or putcha-pat. With so many names comes many uses, and patchouli’s potent aroma is what makes it a hot commodity among herb lovers today. It’s used for everything from aromatherapy to perfume and repellent.
Characteristics of Patchouli
Patchouli is native to Southeast Asia but is now cultivated throughout China, India, and parts of western Africa. It’s one of the bushier herbs and typically features a firm stem and small pale pink flowers. The plant averages two to three feet in length. (more…)
Our spring season is over, and we are busy with our fall crop. But, we are all about looking back and spend our ‘down time’ reviewing the past. We may be a ‘small business’, but we’ve always thought of ourselves as operating with the same principles as a ‘big business’. I may grow plants for a living, but my major was Business Administration and everywhere I can, those useful lessons are applied. Honestly, although our first love is growing big, healthy herb plants to fill your garden (and figuring out how to grow over 170 different types of herbs is a daunting task in itself), we also want to operate The Growers Exchange as an efficient business. That, folks, is as challenging as those plants!
Are you fond of gardening? If yes, then you must be aware of the importance of Mother Nature in any person’s life. You must be familiar with the immense joy you feel in growing tasty oregano in your backyard. So, why are you not thinking about passing this legacy to your kids?
Well, to do so, you need to teach your kids to understand the magic of nature. You need to make them realize how important it is to spend a piece of their time with nature. When we talk about nature, then the nearest place anyone can find is a garden. Go through all the information written below meticulously about how to intrigue your kids about Mother Nature. (more…)
On Saturday, April 22, 2017, we will be celebrating Earth Day. I’d like to suggest that we celebrate Earth Day every day.
What do Richard Nixon, Teddy Roosevelt and Rachel Carson have in common? No, not all presidents. We haven’t gotten that yet … a woman in the White House. So, think again. All vital participants in promoting an environmental consciousness in the US. Yes, the much maligned RMN can be credited with the creation of the EPA, as well as the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. Teddy spearheaded the conservation movement in the early 1900’s and Ms. Carson is responsible for ridding us of DDT.
Keep America Beautiful
By 1970, the world had reached about 3.7 billion people (sounds almost empty, right?) and there were some very big issues: water pollution, air pollution, solid waste contamination. I can remember riding down the highway seeing folks toss their McDonald’s bags out of the window of their speeding wood paneled station wagons. The ‘Keep America Beautiful’ folks, mostly beverage and packing industries who wanted to keep their industries free of government regulation, began promoting anti litter campaigns to encourage folks to clean up. It worked. Who can forget this image & PSA? (more…)
If you asked most people what role they thought that parsley plays in cooking, health and nutrition, they would most likely say that it is used as a garnish or decoration for other foods. It is that often ignored tuft of green bits on your plate that you have, for many years, pushed to the side in lieu of devouring everything else. This is done without a thought or care and those who make it a habit almost assuredly aren’t aware of what they are missing.
Parsley originated in southern Europe along the Mediterranean and prior to ever being thought of as food, parsley was consumed as medicine. Parsley is an extremely nutritious herb that can be easily grown in your own culinary or healing herb garden. Unbeknownst to most folks, parsley is the most popular and widely used herb in the world.
The biennial plant gets its name from the Greek word for “rock celery” and contains high levels of vitamins K, C & A as well as respectable amounts of iron and potassium. If you were ever curious about what parsley can do for you keep reading to find out the benefits you’ve been forgoing by pushing aside this little green herbal dynamo. (more…)
My guilty secret? Binge watching bad TV on Sunday afternoons after I’ve put the greenhouses ‘to bed’. I get the biggest kick out of the commercials, especially the one for a well-known heartburn medication. Basically, the message is this: stuff your face until your body produces so much acid to deal with so much food and take this pill so you can ignore the warning signs your body is giving you and keep stuffing your face.
We’ve lost the art of looking after ourselves. I know people who treat their cars better than they treat their own bodies. They know more about the intricacies of a football play than they do about their own emotional well being. We’ve become really dependent on other people and other properties to take care of what is ours; we are reliant on those ‘purple pills’ to feel good. We have started to treat the symptoms (acid reflux) but not the root causes (glutony).
Don’t get me wrong. I’m am both thrilled and lucky to have access to exceptional care in this age of ‘modern medicine’. And, we never, ever advocate the use of herbal remedies without the advice of health professionals. However, it is important to remember that for most of mankind’s history, natural medicine has been used as a preventative measure. I’m only pointing to the fact that there is an important role for medicinal herbs in the management of common health issues and in the maintenance of general health. (more…)
Humans are a fickle bunch, and try as I might, they are hard to figure. Say one thing, mean another. Say one thing, find out it wasn’t true. Commit to one thing, then change courses. Not saying I’m any different, but the dependability of nature (well maybe not weather) is something that brings me a lot of comfort. Cycles that repeat; you sort of come to depend on them. Geese come south, geese go north. Jenny wrens nesting in the same clay pots they used the year before. My mother in law’s daffodils emerging in late February, as they have been since she planted 30+ years ago. Even the sturgeon have decided the river is clean enough to make a comeback. We brought them to the brink of extinction, then we decided to bring them back. See what I mean? Fickle.
Well there is one cycle that is truly a wonder: the migration of the monarch. Their life cycle is equally awe inspiring but let’s focus on this trip! There are so many wondrous aspects of this flight, described as ‘epic’, so let’s start with this:
The monarch migration is the longest known insect migration on earth.
Chew on this: a monarch can leave Nova Scotia, Canada and travel to the mountains west of Mexico City, which works out to somewhere around 3,000 miles. A butterfly, mind you. Miracle? (more…)
“Nature is not a luxury, it is an investment”
~ Mark Tercek
CEO, The Nature Conservancy
The time is running out for many native habitats, but there is so much you can do. I have been working my land for the past 35 years, and I can now look over my conservation efforts and see that they have ‘borne fruit’. From the reclaimed crop fields to thriving natural habitats filled with butterflies, pollinator bees, quail, deer; everything that lives in our area makes their way into these ‘safe zones’. They are vital as their world is shrinking thanks to plows, mowers and not to mention other encroachments. This wasn’t a hard task; marginal crop land taken out of production and planted as early succession natural habitat. This effort was supported by state and federal programs available to landowners ~ it wasn’t a ‘break the bank’ effort, and we were also flooded with great information as well as direct payments from these programs.
You don’t have to own a farm to make a difference. A yard will work. But, you do have to have a commitment to leaving your land in better shape than you found it. We call it stewardship, and firmly believe that each of us has both a right and responsibility. (more…)
Ever since humans discovered the many, powerful uses of herbs and spices, they’ve been fascinated by their smells, their tastes and their medicinal purposes. What many people fail to realize, is that the simple herbs and spices that are growing in their gardens and sitting in their kitchen cabinets have had important roles in the history of human civilization. Before modern refrigeration, spices were one of the only ways that people could keep their food from spoiling or enhance its flavor.
Herbs were around before the advent of contemporary medicine, so mixing plant ingredients together in a homeopathic remedy was the only option for relief from some illnesses. From the opening up of the spice trade in Asia in the Middle Ages to the misdirected spice seeking voyage that led to America, spices and herbs have played a powerful part in our legacy as a people. Here are some of the most storied tales of the most popular herbs and spices used today. (more…)