Published December 12, 2013
Brugmansia, known among people of South America as the “tree of the evil eagle,” is a potent medicinal and psychoactive plant that has played a prominent role in South American Andean and Amazonian medicine and shamanic practice for centuries.
Published December 04, 2013
The latest plant to bliss out users and worry law enforcement officials is kratom, a Southeast Asian tree related to coffee, the leaves of which are chewed to produce a pleasant buzz. Indigenous to Thailand and Malaysia, kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is making its way into parties, festivals, kava bars and a variety of places where aficionados are employing it to get high.
Published November 20, 2013
The native people of Amazonia have long possessed a secret that the rest of us are newly discovering. A common palm fruit that plays an important role in the Amazon native diet also yields precious beauty oil.
Published November 14, 2013
I’m annoyed. Yes, annoyed. Why? Because at least 100 or more media outlets around the world have touted “Suguki” – better known as pickled turnip – as a flu remedy, when it is no such thing. Think of this as an urban myth gone viral.
Published November 06, 2013
I first encountered the strange and luscious edible plant known as dragon fruit at a gas stop a few hours out of Kuala Lumpur at a fruit stand. After cutting the fruit into quarters, I bit in deeply. Instantly I was swooning from the mildly fragrant, juicy consistency. Dragon fruit is really something.
Published October 23, 2013
Carver, Massachusetts contains the greatest concentration of cranberry production in one place in the entire world. The town, just a few miles from Cape Cod, is home to major cranberry producers, whose fruits find their way into juices, sauces, and nutritional supplements.
Published October 16, 2013
At 4:30 a.m., the searing African sun has not yet set the dusty, drought-stricken Namibian countryside ablaze. My friends and I peer into the fog that drifts across the dirt road we are traveling. Our task is to hike out into the bush, to see the sustainable harvesting of the anti-arthritic herb “devil’s claw.”
Published October 09, 2013
While women undergo menopause, it appears that middle-aged men also experience their own very significant period of change called andropause – sometimes referred to as man-o-pause.
Published October 02, 2013
In South America, both in urban settings and in the Amazon, I have encountered a fragrant wood used as incense and known as palo santo, which means “wood of the saints.” Appropriately named, the aroma of palo santo (Bursera graveolens) is heavenly.
Published September 18, 2013
When you consider that our skin is the largest organ of our bodies, it’s understandable that there are so many remedies for dealing with topical troubles.