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A flower essence is the subtle energetic form of medicine made from flowers that address our emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. They are a vibrational form of medicine that works primarily on the emotional and spiritual body. It is receiving the connection and wisdom from the plant itself. Flower essences do not contain any plant material and are not herbal extracts. This means there is no medicinal potency to them in the scientific sense. What they are, however, is a solution that contains the energetic imprint of the plant used. Not all medicine has constituents that act on a scientific level to produce a result. Some remedies, like flower essences, work on an energetic and ethereal level, offering another firm of healing. Energetic medicine moves forces and can help to cultivate joy, good health, and vitality. Other examples of this type of medicine include Qigong, mindfulness meditation, Reiki, etc. Origin…

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The black walnut tree has been used for thousands of years as a medicine. Black walnuts (Juglans nigra) grow wild across the United States and are the second most cultivated walnut in North America, following English walnuts. Black walnut trees were an extremely important food source and traditional medicine to many North American tribes. Many people think of black walnut trees as a nuisance. They drop their nuts and hulls on driveways, roadways, and lawns, and if they aren’t picked up immediately the green fruit rinds turn black and will stain sidewalks and driveways. This can sometimes leave behind a mess homeowners don’t want to deal with. Walnut bark, leaves and nuts all contain a chemical called juglone, which is toxic to horses, cows and other animals, causing serious health issues that can be fatal if left untreated. Many farmers remove walnut trees in locations they plan to raise livestock…

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The ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba), is one of the oldest living tree species on Earth. It has a fascinating history that dates back millions of years. Originating in China millions of years ago, the ginkgo tree has survived many major extinction events and geological changes. Fossils of ginkgo leaves have been found from around 270 million years ago, during the Permian period. This makes it a living fossil, as it has remained relatively unchanged for millions of years. Ginkgo trees have played an important role in human history as well. In ancient China, ginkgo was considered a sacred tree and was planted near temples and palaces. Its fan-shaped leaves were admired for their beauty and symmetry. Ginkgo leaves were also used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat various ailments, including memory improvement and respiratory issues. During the 18th and 19th centuries, ginkgo trees were introduced to Europe and…

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Detoxifying the body is certainly not a new fad, although it has become increasingly popular in recent years. Historical humans had many different forms of detoxification, and many of those practices were based around religious beliefs. However some forms of detoxification came naturally. For example, after a long cold Winter, humans would gorge on fresh nutritious foods that would stimulate the digestive tract and cleanse the lymphatic system. This helped to detoxify the system and jump start the immune response. Why Detox? 1. Remove Toxins: People nowadays have grown accustomed to the processed foods they are eating and realized they need to make a change. Unfortunately, we live in a world where pollutants abound. We are frequently exposed to dangerous poisons from our surroundings, food to housekeeping and beauty goods. The good news is that our bodies are built to cleanse themselves. Processed foods, sugar, and animal products, on the…

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Usnea, also known as Old Man’s Beard, is not a plant but a lichen—a symbiotic relationship between an algae and a fungus. Lichens appear to be a single plant, but they are really fungus and algae that grow together. The botanical name is Usnea spp, but there are many different species in this genus—all of which are medicinal. The botanical name is also the common name: simply called “usnea”. Many refer to this lichen as “old man’s beard”—however, like many common names, that can refer to various plants. So the botanical name is always the most accurate. Usnea barbata is one of the most well-known species, however, the various species of usnea are difficult to distinguish from one another. The good news is they are considered to have equivalent medicinal uses. The best way to positively identify usnea is to gently pull apart the strands and see that it has…

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American ginseng, known by its Latin name of Panax quinquefolius, is a slow-growing medicinal plant that produces a fleshy, white root and umbrella-shaped flowers which produce red berries. For hundreds of years, ginseng has been a valuable medicinal plant to the indigenous Americans. Ojibwe Midewiwin, spiritual leaders skilled in medicine, used the root for digestive troubles and pain relief. Muscogee people used a poultice of the root to staunch bleeding and a tea to treat respiratory conditions and fevers. The Meskwaki people of the Great Lakes region have used it as both an aphrodisiac and as a panacea, a “universal remedy for children and adults.” Ginseng was also highly prized by the Cherokee and was one of only a handful of plants taken with them on the Trail of Tears to what is now Oklahoma. American ginseng is slightly different than Asian or Korean ginseng (Latin name Panax ginseng) which…

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There are many medicinal herbs that are good for the heart, but none quite stand out like Hawthorn. Hawthorn (genus Crataegus), also called thornapple, is a genus of thorny shrubs or small trees in the rose family (Rosaceae), native to the north temperate zone. Many species are common to North America, and a number of cultivated varieties are grown as ornamentals for their attractive flowers and fruits. Hawthorn has played an important role in historical folklore throughout the world. In Europe hawthorn was believed to be a tree of magical enchantment and is strongly associated with Beltane, the ancient festival celebrating spring. In Celtic mythology it is one of the most sacred trees and symbolises love and protection. It is also believed that the crown of thorns that adorned Jesus’s head during the crucifixion was made of hawthorn. The importance of this tree and it’s medicinal and magical value wasn’t…

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Elderberry capers are a delicious twist on a traditional recipe.

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Beneficial weed

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Prostate health is just as important to men as breast and ovarian health is to women. Common prostate disorders such as BPH exist in over half of all men. By age fifty, 50% of men will suffer from BPH. That number jumps to 70% among men aged 60 to 69 and around 80% of men over 70 years of age. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) — also called prostate gland enlargement — is a common condition that effects as men as they age. An enlarged prostate gland can cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms, such as blocking the flow of urine out of the bladder. It can also cause bladder, urinary tract or kidney problems. The severity of symptoms in people who have prostate gland enlargement varies, but symptoms tend to gradually worsen over time. •Frequent or urgent need to urinate •Increased frequency of urination at night (nocturia) •Difficulty starting urination •Weak urine…

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Woodear mushroom (Auricularia auricula-judae), is a type of mushroom, native to Asia. Also known as jelly ear mushrooms, kikurage, and tree ear fungus, the wood ear mushroom is named for the ear-like folds and vein texture on its fruiting body. It grows broadly throughout North America and is an excellent fungus for beginner foragers as its fairly easy to identify. Wood ear mushrooms have been cultivated in China since 600 A.D. They have gained popularity around the world, but are still a prized ingredient in China, Japan and Thailand. Wild wood ear can be picked off tree branches, while farmed wood ear mushrooms can be cultivated on various plant-based structures, from sawdust to straw. You can obtain them fresh from the wild (with proper identification of course) or purchase them in dried form from any Asian supermarket or health food store. Wood ear mushrooms are known for being low in…

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White pine (Pinus strobus) is a fast-growing, medium-sized conifer tree with long needles and a very straight trunk, growing up to 100 feet in hight. Native to north-eastern parts of North America, with varieties growing in the mountains of Mexico and Guatemala, white pine became an important resource for many indigenous tribes. The inner bark was an available food source that was eaten by either boiling it, or grinding it into a powder which acted as a flour alternative. This pine flour was not used in the way we use flour today, to bake breads, cakes, etc. This was added to pots of stew to thicken it and add needed nutrition. White pine was also used as a material source. Before the arrival of Europeans, many eastern tribes used the huge, straight trunks of white pines for dugout canoes. Pine pitch was also made from the sap and used as…

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Homemade persimmon bread is a delicious healthy treat from the forest

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In early Spring, you may start to notice tiny purple flowers popping up in your yard or garden. Chances are these are violets, a beautiful edible flower with so much potential. Violet flowers are from the Viola genus and are one of the first beautiful blooming flowers we can find in early Spring. Found all over the Northern Hemisphere, South American Andes and Hawaii, violets can beautifully adorn any cuisine. The common wild violet is a native wildflower which tends to favour woods, thickets and stream banks. This is a low-growing perennial which features heart-shaped leaves and large blue-violet flowers (sometimes yellow or white). Each flower appears on its own leafless stalk. Depending on location, the flower blooms from early spring into the early summer months. Purple/blue tends to dominate the wild violets although they are also yellow and white. The flower has an inner white area and is somewhat…

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The old saying “born with a silver spoon in your mouth” had a meaning that implied more than just a wealthy person. It also meant a healthy person.  In colonial times, the upper class seemed to show less signs of sickness, and lived longer fulfilling lives then the average peasant. Wonder why? This health wasn’t just due to the fact that they weren’t working as hard. They certainly didn’t work as hard as the average peasant, but they were still exposed to the same hazards and germs. What was different was that the upper class was eating off of “acual silver” dishes and silverware.  Every time these items were used, tiny particles of silver would chip off and be ingested. Silver coins were also placed in water containers to keep the water from spoiling. Of course, when this water was consumed, it provided health benefits. Some say this is when…

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Great remedy for those middle of the night ear infections

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The oldest form of administering medicine in the world.

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