Relax! Relax! Relax!

The lavender plant (Lavandula angustifolia) grows from two to three feet tall and produces small purple-blue flowers that appear on the stalks in attractive slender spikes. While fine lavender is native to the western Mediterranean region, lavandin, a hybrid lavender plant, is now widely cultivated elsewhere in Europe, the United states, and Australia. It successfully grows in well-drained soils enriched with plenty of sunshine.
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Chive Talkin’

Color your plate while battling bugs.

Chives are part of a large genus of approximately 500 species of perennials that contain bulbs or underground stems. This mostly strong-smelling allium herb includes garlic, onions, scallions, leeks, and chives-all belonging to the lily family. Various allium species have been cultivated since earliest times-a favorite of Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans-and are universally important as vegetables, flavorings, and medicinal plants.
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Marsh Mallow

Used in traditional European medicines for more than 2,000 years

During the cold, winter months, many cold sufferers reach for something to soothe their irritated, sore throats or alleviate their persistent dry coughs. Preparations that contain extracts of the root or leaves of the marshmallow plant may provide relief. Due to its soothing properties, marshmallow root is often added to herbal throat lozenges and extracts that can be found in healing teas or syrups.
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Nature’s Powerful Cold-and-Flu-Sympton Supressor

The European or black elder (Sambucus nigra) is a deciduous tree belonging to the honeysuckle family. It grows to about 30 feet in height and is found throughout Europe and Central Asia. A smaller tree, the North American elder (Sambucus canadensis), flourishes across most of Canada and the northern United States. In America, the plant is more commonly known as elderberry.
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Bothersome Weed or Useful Digestive Aid? Dandelion greens are popular in some parts of the country as an ingredient in soups and salads. They provide a very rich source of vitamin A, containing a significantly higher content than broccoli or Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, kale, and collards. In addition, the roasted root of dandelion-and its […]


A Mint By Any Other Name

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) makes its appearance as a strongly aromatic, needle-like foliage with small lavender-blue flowers that bloom in clusters in the late spring and early summer. The plant normally grows about one to two feet tall, but can reach as high as six feet. In warmer climates, rosemary plants serve as hedges or ground cover for slopes. Ancient Greeks and Romans knew this shrub well. In their world, it enjoyed a reputation for improving memory and rejuvenating the spirits. Greek scholars wore garlands of rosemary during examinations in order to improve their memory and concentration. Shakespeare also wrote that it improved recollection.
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Herbs That Pack an Anticancer Punch

Several commonly used culinary herbs have been identified by the National Cancer Institute as possessing compounds that protect us against cancer. These “defensive” herbs include those belonging to the onion, ginger, mint, and parsley families, as well as flax. Use them regularly to flavor soups, stews, sauces, dips, salad dressings, entrĂ©es, vegetables, and stir-fry dishes.
They contain a diversity of active phytochemicals (such as flavonoids, terpenoids, phthalides, and sulfur compounds) that can produce a serious punch, combating the proliferation of cancer cells.
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Cactus Prickly Pear

Helps Normalize Blood Sugar

Parts of the prickly pear cactus have been used in various ways throughout the world. The Aztecs extracted the milky juice from the plant and mixed it with honey and egg yolk to provide an ointment to treat burns. The Chinese dressed abscesses with the fleshy pad of the plant. The Indians used the fruit for food and also made syrup from it to treat whooping cough and asthma.
In Italy, the flowers have served as a diuretic. A tea made from the blossoms has treated colitis. In Israel, researchers found that the dried flowers may be used to battle an enlarged prostate.
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Horehound and Mullein

Nature’s Double-barreled Assault on Colds and Coughs


Most mints have a pleasant aroma and inviting taste. Not this one. Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) tastes bitter and boasts very little aroma, although the leaves do offer a tangy smell when rubbed together. The plant is indigenous to Mediterranean Europe and central Asia, but has now become established throughout central Europe, Australia, and North America. All for good reason.
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Pass Me the Licorice

An ancient remedy finds modern

Licorice is commonly found in the traditional herbal formulations of many cultures. It has been used therapeutically for centuries in both Eastern and Western medicine to treat various conditions. Today, licorice is the most commonly used herb in traditional Chinese medicine, often administered in combination with other herbs.
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