Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Plant Moringa Trees for Hunger and Hope

Moringa oleifera is a nutritive fast-growing tree, which is native to India. I learned about this tree a couple of years ago from my friend Aminu Ibrahim from our SolarNetOne project at Katsina State University in Nigera. and I just had to try growing it. This tree has been shown to be capable of reducing malnutrition in areas of West Africa where 25% of children die of malnutrition or related diseases. This plant grows well in areas such as these with drought and poor soil, and it grows wild in many areas where hunger is a severe problem. Locally grown Moringa was used in Senegal to significantly reduce malnutrition in infants, nursing mothers and pregnant women in Senegal by adding a small amount of leaf powder to the diet. Moringa is exceptionally nutrient dense. It has the highest protein ratio of any known plant, and contains all essential amino acids (those that the body cannot synthesize). There are no known side effects to taking Moringa, and it is very easy to digest. 25 grams (0.88 oz) of dried Moringa provides the suggested daily requirements for children: 42% protein, 125% calcium, 60% magnesium, 41% potassium, 71% iron, 272% vitamin A, and 22% vitamin C.

Here is a video that I found about Moringa's use in Senegal.

I have been growing Moringa in Central Florida (USDA zone 9a) for the last two years. I purchased my seed from Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO) in Fort Myers Florida. ECHO is a non profit whose mission is to network with community leaders in developing countries to seek hunger solutions for families growing food under difficult conditions. I was very happy that my Moringa trees survived the freeze we had over the winter. The Moringa tree pictured in this blog post is of my largest tree a couple of months after the freeze. New branches grew up from the base after the freeze killed the above-ground portion. I am told that this tree will grow very well from woody cuttings. I have also learned that this plant can be grown indoors if UV light is available. My brother has started a facebook group to promote growing and sharing about this plant. My next step with this plant will be to get trees started from seed or cutting at the Fair Share Garden in Daytona Beach. "Fair Share" is an Urban Garden Project of Salt of the Earth, Inc. a 501(c)-3 nonprofit organization. The purpose of the garden is to grow food for local low income families in need.
Moringa Oleifera on Foodista

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Savannah Artist Tamara Garvey

Tamara Garvey is an amazing water color artist and we are members of two of the same teams, Etsy Twitter and Unique Women in Business. Tamara is a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design and has a B.S. in Biology from Mary Washington College. I love her nature inspired works. Tamara is the featured artist on the Etsy Twitter Team this week. Be sure to check out her interview.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Earth Day Garden Pictures from this Weekend

We had a great time at the Fair Share Garden in Daytona over the weekend. If you were not able to make it on Saturday I hope that you will be able to come out for one our next events. I will be out of town, but the next Garden event will be May 9th on World Fair Trade Day.

We started out with a great workshop on container gardening by Master Gardener Myrna Moore. I learned a few tricks from Myrna. When arranging blooming annuals in containers, plant them densely to encourage blooming, and don't forget to dead-head.

If you are making Earth boxes, you can add charcoal from fish tank suppliers to the water reserviour to prevent fungal growth. Also if you are making an earth box, it is better not to include regular Florida sandy garden soil so as to prevent nematode infestation. To determine if you have a root bound plant in a pot, water it and see if the water comes straight out the bottom. Avoid letting potted trees become root bound. If the roots start to spiral around the pot, that pattern of root growth will be with it for the life of the tree. This can lead to strangulation and death of the adult trees.

Getting some work done in the garden! Volunteers planting Loquat Trees, edible beauty berry bushes and Chicksaw plums.

Our tortoise stuck his head out to say hello on and off throughout the day.

We had a big group of kids at this event. Here they are with Caina from Green Halloween learning about Earth Mother and Celebrating Green.

Arrow and Moira are painting pots for their tomato starts.

The vendor tents. Found and Fused Glass jewelry by Michelle Davidson.

Pottery by Mehg

The Aquarian Bath table.

We finished up the event with a workshop on Sundials by Jason. Here he is getting ready for the presentation.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Week 9 Herb Blog Contest with Nature's Gift

At Nature's Gift we have been pleased and excited about hosting this week's contest. The hard part has been trying to decide what to offer as the prize!

We chose Deluxe Personal Inhalers from our new shipment, filled with the winner's choice of several healing synergies.

We'll ship one of these pretty purse-sized inhalers filled with your choice of our SineEase Synergy for easing sinus pain and congestion, Happy Morning Synergy, recommended for easing the nausea of morning sickness, but also helpful for motion sickness, etc., or our research based depression fighter "Citrus Smile."

To be entered in the contest, respond to this post, here, and at all the blogs listed below.

To make the contest even more exciting, ONE lucky entrant, drawn from one of the listed blogs, will receive a signed copy of Marge's Book "Essential Oils and Aromatics".

You may check these links for some of the reviews, from the Journal of the Northeast Herbal Association, or from The Massage Therapy Journal.

Remember all of the blogs below are participating, so visit all of them and post to increase your chances of winning.

The Essential Herbal

Herbs from the Labyrinth

Patti's Potions

PrairieLand Herbs

The Rosemary House

Nature's Gift

Torchsong Studio

SunRose Aromatics

Garden Chick

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Computing Spotlight: SolarNetOne

I don't usually make posts about technology on this blog, but I am making an exception, because today is Earth Day and my husband, Scott Johnson, has invented a remarkable eco-friendly Solar powered computing system. The name of the system is SolarNetOne. The following is a short interview I did with Scott to introduce my blog followers to this project.

Cory: What is SolarNetOne?

Scott: SolarNetOne is a system we developed that combines a photovoltaic solar power source with some of the most energy efficient computing hardware available to yield a total package that is perfect for sites off the grid.

Cory: How is this solar powered computing solution significant to Earth day and reducing carbon footprint?

Scott: As the internet and the number of internet users grows, so does the global "power bill" for computing in general. Our system represents a big step forward in lowering and greening the total energy consumption of Information Technology. For example, a computer lab with five modern PC's would draw in the neighborhood of 2 kilowatts, while the Solar Net One, even with all its additional features, draws only slightly more than a 100 Watt light bulb.

Cory: What were the most important factors in choosing an Earth-friendly computer network design?

Scott: I would have to say a) power consumption and b) longevity of the equipment. The former reduced the load on the power grid or alternative energy system, and the latter keeps the electronics out of the landfills for as long as possible.

Cory: Is open source software and linux a significant factor into creating sustainable computer networks?

Scott: Absolutely. Our open development method means that many eyes see our code. I may write 100 lines of code to do a given job. If we were a proprietary software house, that would be the end of it. Instead, another programmer may know a trick I don't and bring the lines of code down to 50. Now the computer only has to work half as hard, with the processor using half the electricity to perform the instructions. Later, another programmer trims it down to 10 lines of code. Now we are using 10% of the energy to perform the same task. Expand this to cover millions of lines of code, and it adds up significantly. On a side note, this is why our software also runs significantly faster on the same hardware.

Cory: What is the best solution for someone that would like to have a green computing system for the home or office?

Scott: SolarNetOne or a variant thereof! Seriously, on a smaller scale, an energy efficient laptop can provide all the computing most individuals need, and can easily be run on solar power.

Cory: I know you have done a lot of computer hardware recycling in the past. Do you have advice for people who are throwing out computers that are too slow or are broken? Do you have any creative upgrading, recycling or reusing ideas to share?

Scott: is the champion of open source recycling. with many more chapters opening up, they are becoming a powerful force in computer

Celebrating Earth Day with my Daughter

I'm having a quiet day at home with my daughter Moira today Celebrating Earth Day. I do whatever I can to encourage her in the way of organic gardening, so that she can learn to grow food thereby cutting down on our carbon foot print from importing foods. We just made a stepping stone for our garden project today. Large stones are great in the garden. They are fun to move every once in a while in the company of our resident chickens, who love to feast on the insects hiding beneath them. Part of our organic gardening learning process has been through our volunteer work at the Fair Share Garden in Daytona, where Joel Tippens has started an urban garden to grow food for low income families in need and teaching people how to grow food for themselves. At five years old Moira now knows that peanut shells and banana peels don't go in the trash, she will take them and put them in the compost pile. She is already a teacher, explaining to neighbors that the raised bed we built is for growing plants. When it comes to foraging, although she herself prefers the taste of the omega rich weed Purslane for a garden snack, she is still able to direct her best friend, a 6 year old girl, to a fresh leafy snack from the protein, vitamin and mineral rich Moringa trees that are just coming back from the winter freeze.

This weekend Moira received two new baby hens for her birthday, so we are also spending time with these little peeps today. These two hens will be added to our small flock of 3 hens. Our chickens are an important part of our garden, providing a rich source of nutrients for our compost pile. I'm so happy that Moira has learned the process of raising chickens; she received our first baby chicks last year for her fourth birthday and even as a very active energetic child she was able to care for them successfully. For me as an adult it took a few years of dreaming and building up the courage to give chicken raising a try. I trust for Moira it will be very simple for her as an adult to raise hens if she wishes and teach others to do so. She is a great helper for collecting eggs. The new little peeps are a really neat new hybrid breed called Black Stars. They are progeny from crosses of Rhode Island or New Hampshire Red Roosters with Barred Rock hens. This specific cross generates chicks that are easily identifiable by their foliage, so there is no danger of ending up with a rooster instead of a hen. This is a really important trait when choosing chickens for children if roosters are not desired. These hens are also good layers of dark brown eggs.

Moira and I also pulled out one of our cooperative educational games today too. The name of the game is "A Beautiful Place" and it teaches children 4 years old and up important concepts about taking care of the earth and good deeds, for example turning off lights and water, throwing away trash, planting a garden, and recycling. We got this game from, where it is actually on sale right now for 50% off. Progressive Kid has a number of games for teaching Earth friendly concepts.

If you are in the Volusia County area, why not join us at our Earth Day Celebration at the Fair Share Garden on Saturday April 25th from 9-1:30. We will have a number of free gardening workshops for adults, and I will be teaching an introduction to gardening class for children. For more information and to register fro the class visit my etsy shop.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Take a Tour of the Herb Spiral at the Fair Share Garden

Some of you may have read my post in January about the Herb Spiral that we built at the Fair Share Garden a couple of months ago. It is amazing to see how much different it looks now. The Lemongrass in the center of the spiral is looking especially healthy and happy. We received Lemongrass and Kentucky mint donations from Pasha Middle Eastern Food in Daytona. Spiraling out from the Center, the Aloe vera's are recovering well from the shock of being transplanted from my father in law's garden. Next to the Aloe, there are white chrysanthemum's, also known as bai ju hua, that I salvaged from someone's trash in Ormond Beach a while back. White chrysanthemum flowers are useful for tea or as an eye wash for red irritated eyes. Oregano is next to the chrysanthemum flowers, and was taken from a division in my garden where it is growing like mad.

The plants in outer curve of the spiral include Kentucky Mint, Yarrow, Dill, Patchouli, Chives, Holy basil, Rose geranium, and Artemesia argii. Many thanks to Rachel Jackson of Barberville who donated the Yarrow and Dill for the Garden. I had been concerned that the yarrow might not do well in the full sun, but we have regular irrigation by volunteers, so it has not been a problem, and it is really thriving. The Holy Basil came from second generations seed from my Holy Basil plants. There are three varieties of Holy Basil, this is the wild Holy Basil, also known as Vana Tulsi or by it's official nameOcimum gratissimum. I love making tinctures or cough/tonic syrup with my Holy Basil. It's really nice fresh too. Holy Basil is an adaptogen and tonic herb. It is unique as a tonic in that is can also be used for people with acute infections due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties. The rose geranium came from cuttings from my garden. The Artemesia argii came from self seeded plants in my yard. I originally acquired this variegated Artemesia plant from Bastyr's Herb Garden in Seattle. The Chives were purchased from the Sea Side Herb Society of Ormond Beach. The Patchouli was purchased from Maggie's Herb Farm of St. Augustine. The Patchouli sold out so quickly at last year's herb faire, so I was happy that they stocked it up for this year's faire. I will be teaching two herbal classes at the farm in St. Augustine this summer.

What is next for the herb spiral? I have planted a number of seeds and am waiting to see if they will come up. Some of the seeds include Red clover, Yellow Dock and Moringa oleifera. I have also started a medicinal tree and shrub section of the garden which is right next to the herb spiral. I will post about it later in the summer as it starts to fill in.

If you are local to the Central Florida area I hope that you can come visit us at our Earth Day Celebration this coming Saturday on April 25th from 9:30-1:30. There will be a number of free workshops, and a children's gardening class. The full schedule for Saturday can be found in this previous blog post.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Winners From Week 7 Blog Contest

The following are the winners from my week 7 blog contest. These winners will receive a choice of either a lavender spearmint lip balm in a tube or a Lemon Lime lip balm in a tin and 20% off their next purchase at Aquarian Bath. The grand prize winner was from Patti's Potions. Patricia Rose (pmorello) will be contacted to receive an additional 2 soaps with her lip balms.

Aquarian Bath ikkinlala
The Essential Herbal visionquest2020
Herbs from the Labyrinth honeylover
Patti's Potions pmorello
PrairieLand Herbs homesteaderbelle
The Rosemary House craftygardener
Nature's Gift clothesknit
Torchsong Studio nhsarab
SunRose Aromatics hippiefairylover
Garden Chick feralmoon

I am getting ready for my daughter Moira's 5th birthday this weekend! If you are a winner then you are welcome to email me your choice of lip balm and address. Otherwise I will be getting back to everyone later this weekend after the festivities or on Monday to confirm your choices and addresses. My email address is aquarianbath at gmail .com

Friday, April 17, 2009

Week 8 of the Herb Blog contest Featuring The Rosemary House

The winners for Aquarian Bath's week 7 blog contest are coming in from the participating blogs. I will be posting them in a separate blog announcment as soon as they are all in. In the meantime we are ready for week 8 of the blog contest!

Bertha Reppert (1919-1999) was the founder of The Rosemary House and our mum. She was a Renaissance woman ahead of her time when she opened a herb and spice shop in a conservative East coast town in 1968. Convinced that once everyone learned about herbs they would love these plants as much as she did, she became an avid educator about the secrets of herbs. Lecturing, writing and always promoting herbs, Bertha Reppert became a mentor to many. This weeks prize is a copy of her last herbal and one of our very favorites.

Bertha Reppert's TwelveMonth Herbal features 365 herbal essays one for each day of the year. Written like she is speaking to a friend this book is fun, informative and easy to read. Many folks have told us they reread the book every year and make their own daily notes in the margins. Be sure to leave a comment to this post and at the other participating herbal blogs (see the links below) for your chance to win this clever book (an $18.00 value) filled with herbal lore, recipes and crafts (priceless). Sisters Susanna, the herbalist, and Nancy, the culinary artist, continue to share their Mother's love of all things herbal at The Rosemary House, the herb and spice gift shop, and at Sweet Remembrances tea room.

The following blogs are also participating, so stop over, post a comment on these blogs for additional chances to win this weeks giveaway AND the chance to explore some cool blogs.

The Essential Herbal
Herbs from the Labyrinth
Patti's Potions
PrairieLand Herbs
The Rosemary House
Nature's Gift
Torchsong Studio
SunRose Aromatics
Garden Chick

The Rosemary House (where a list of winners will be posted on the 24th)

Check back we have a couple more weeks of give-aways!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Week 7 of the Herb Blog Contest Featuring Aquarian Bath

Welcome to week 7 of the herbal blog contest! This week we are featuring Aquarian Bath your source for all natural gentle soaps, herbal balms, salves, deodorants, and spa pillows. Aquarian Bath's soaps, balms and salves are either unscented or lightly scented with only pure essential oils. This week, enter to win you choice of a Lavender Spearmint Lip balm in a 0.15 oz tube OR a Lemon Lime Lip Balm in a 0.25 oz slide tin, and 20% off on their next order with Aquarian Bath.

The Lavender Spearmint Balm is made with Extra virgin olive oil, Shea butter, Beeswax, Castor oil, Spearmint and Lavender essential oil.

The Lemon Lime lip balm is made with Coconut oil, Shea Butter, Castor oil, Beeswax, Jojoba, Lime and Lemon Essential oils, and Zinc Oxide, a mineral used in sunscreens.

To win one of these lovely balms, enter by posting a comment in response to this blog entry and take a chance at winning! Entrants must include their email address to be eligible to win. US and Canadian residents are eligible. You can receive additional chances to win in the following ways:

* Tweet about this blog contest on including @aquarianbath in the tweet. Come back and log your tweet with a comment to receive 1 additional entry.
* Visit and join Aquarian Bath's fan page on Facebook. Leave a comment so we know you joined to receive 1 additional entry.
* Make a comment about your favorite item from Aquarian Bath's etsy or 1000markets stores to receive 1 additional entry.
* Make a purchase with Aquarian bath to on etsy or 1000markets to receive 3 additional entries.

*The following blogs are also participating, so stop over to enter with them for additional chances to win AND the chance to explore some cool blogs.
Aquarian Bath
Make a purchase from one of these 9 host blog's online stores to receive 2 additional entries and leave a comment at the host's blog's contest:
The Essential Herbal
Herbs from the Labyrinth
Patti's Potions
PrairieLand Herbs
The Rosemary House
Nature's Gift
Torchsong Studio
SunRose Aromatics
Garden Chick

One lucky winner from one of the 10 host blogs will be contacted to receive 2 free soaps of their choice along with their lip balm and 20% off coupon, so be sure to visit and enter at all 10 blogs.

The winners will be announced at the Aquarian Bath blog when the results are in from all participating blogs. Enjoy.

Keep coming back and keep entering. We have some great prizes coming up, and we'll be having the contests until the middle of May!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Introduction to Traditional Chinese Nutrition Featuring Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts

There are are a number of vegetables, fruits, and nuts which are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a part of nutritional healing. Foods have been shown to be capable of helping the body to heal itself. A food that has special beneficial properties is generally very safe, because they have been used widely by many people. Some exceptions you may consider would be for persons with life threatening allergies to foods such as peanuts, or that honey is contraindicated for babies. In China you can go to a specialty restaurant in which you will be served a meal appropriate to your health pattern. The herbalist will check your tongue and pulse as a part of the standard intake, and then you receive an appropriate meal served for your condition. What is served for one person will be different for the next.

The best choice for foods to be used to promote wellness are those grown by organic methods with out chemical pesticides. The worst choice is fruits and vegetables grown outside of the US, such as Chile and Mexico, where regulations of chemical pesticides is less strict than the US. Another poor choice especially for raw fruits and vegetables are those that are genetically modified (GM). This topic is discussed in Jane Goodall's book Harvest for Hope. Wild and domestic animals both avoid feed from genetically engineered foods in favor of natural foods. While conducting experiments in the United Kingdom, Dr. Arpad Pusztai found that GM foods were less nutrient dense compared to non GM foods. Further he found that animals who were fed raw GM foods suffered immune deficiencies and internal tissue damage, specifically the thymus, spleen, brain, liver, testicles, intestines and pancreases, while animals fed the same GM foods in the cooked form remained healthy. Pusztai concluded based on his results that the process of genetic engineering itself was responsible for the organ damage and immune dysfunction. GM foods are unlabeled as such in the US, which is another reason to choose organic food.

Traditional Chinese herbs and foods are characterized by their flavor, temperature, the systems of the body that they act on, and their specific action on the body. Naturally sweet foods such as sweet potato, pumpkins and squash are said to act on the Stomach and Spleen to benefit the digestive system. Pungent foods such as onion and ginger can open the Lungs to help clear a head cold. Sour foods such as lemon and cider vinegar are often used to relieve irritability caused by stagnation and congestion in the Liver. The first way in which herbs and foods are described is by nature which includes: hot, warm, neutral, cool or cold. Second, they are described by flavor which includes: sweet, pungent, bitter, sour, salty, or neutral. Some foods are very easy to identify by taste, for example anyone could tell you that a lemon is sour. In this way the action of foods with a particular flavor was determined through observations by Chinese herbalists over time. The flavor of more subtle tasting foods has been determined by deductive reasoning based on their functions. Generally speaking the herbs and foods are said to act on one or more of the TCM organ systems partially in relation to their flavor. The TCM paradigm has it's own vocabulary which does not precisely correspond with biomedical terminology. Organs listed refer to the TCM organ system:

* Bitter foods act on the Heart and Small Intestine.
* Pungent foods act on the Lungs and Large Intestine.
* Salty foods act on the Kidneys and Urinary Bladder.
* Sweet foods act on the Stomach and Spleen (corresponds well with the biomedical pancreas).
* Sour foods act on the Liver and Gall Bladder

The following are a few of the more common fruits, vegetables and nuts used therapeutically in traditional Chinese nutrition with a brief description of their nature, flavors, actions and indications. These are foods that can either be grown or easily purchased in the Daytona area. Starred* foods indicate those which we plan to grow in the Fair Share Garden either this Spring or as Winter crops.


* Celery* is sweet, bitter, and cool acting on the Stomach and Liver. Celery is used in Chinese nutrition to clear heat from the Liver and promote urination to remove excess water from the body. Celery can help to relieve hypertension, vertigo, headache, flushed face, red eyes, boils and swellings.

* Pumpkin* is considered sweet, neutral and slightly bitter acting on the Lungs, Spleen and Stomach. Pumpkin has been used successfully in a Chinese clinical study for helping the body heal from simple bronchial asthma. The participants ate about a pound of steamed pumpkin mixed with honey and sugar each day. Seminole pumpkin will grow easily and prolifically in Volusia county. Seed is available at in Ft. Myers

* Purslane* (Portulaca oleracea) Purslane is considered sour and cool acting on the Spleen, Liver and Large Intestine. It is an amazing Florida wild food that grows easily from seed. It is a succulent and can be found in most neglected yards and waste areas. It will even grow in cracks in a sidewalk. Give it adequate water and it will grow quickly and easily. It can be eaten raw or added to scrambled eggs or salads. Purslane clears toxicity and inflammations, promotes blood circulation and reduces swelling. It is used in Chinese medicine in high doses for treating dysentery with blood and pus in the stool, for blood in the urine, for swellings and boils, strept infection of the skin (Erysipelas), and vaginal discharge. By western herbalists purslane is also noted for being rich in antidepressant substances. It is high in Omega 3 fatty acid, Vitamin C, proto-Vitamin A, Calcium, Potasium, Magnesium, Phenylalanine, and Tryptophan.

Pickled Purslane Recipe: Fill 2 pint jars with washed and drained Purslane stems. Boil together for one minute 1.5 cups of Cider Vinegar, 1.5 cups water with 1/4 t peppercorns, 1 crushed clove of garlic, and 4 T of sea salt, 1/2 celery seed, 1/2 t mustard seed. Leave 1/4 inch of head space and store in the fridge.

* Carrots* are regarded as sweet and neutral acting on the Lung and Spleen. Carrots are said to strengthen the digestive system to reduce slow digestion. They are served to reduce maldigestion and prolonged dysentery and cough.

* Green onions* grow wild in Volusia county. The green onion is smaller compared to the commercial varieties, but the properties still apply. Green onion is considered to be pungent and warm acting on the Lungs and Stomach. Green onions are most often used together with fresh ginger to treat common colds that have the following symptoms: chills, low fever, head ache or upper back & neck ache. It is also used for cold abdominal pain, constipation, urine retention, dysentery, boils, and swellings.

Green Onion and Ginger Brew for Common Cold with Headache, Body Aches and Chill:
Boil together a few slices of ginger and the white parts of few green onions sliced diagonally, and a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar or honey in 2 quarts of water. Simmer for 30 minutes. Drink warm and wrap in a blanket to sweat out the cold. Regular onion can be substituted if green onion is not available.

* Mulberry Leaf* (Morus alba AKA Sang Ye) Mulberry leaves are cold, bitter and sweet acting on the Lungs and Liver. The leaves stop cough associated with common cold or chronic dry cough. This is a great herb to brew for lung troubles from smoke or heat damage. Brew up a 1/2 oz by weight of dry leaf in a quart of water and drink. These leaves are also cooked like spinach and served as a food to nursing mothers in China. It is also helpful for people with dry itchy eyes and is beneficial to menopausal women.

Nuts and Seeds

* Walnuts* are characterized as sweet and warm acting on the Kidneys and Lung. Walnuts (AKA Hu Tua Ren) are given as herbs in Chinese medicine in the following cases: asthma, moistening the intestines to relieve constipation, chronic cough, low back pain, impotence, and frequent urination.
* Peanuts are considered sweet and neutral in temperature. They are used to sooth and balance the digestive system. Peanuts can moisten the intestines for constipation due to dryness. They also are used for dystenary with pus and blood in the stool, as well as for treatment of boils.
* Sun flower seed* is also sweet and neutral in temperature. The indications are very nearly identical as those listed above for peanuts.


* Watermelon is sweet, cold and acts on the Heart, Stomach and Urinary Bladder. Watermelon is specific for preventing and stopping heat stroke. Watermelon reduces urine formation to help the body retain water. It is also helpful for people with difficulty urinating. Watermelon can also soothe a sore inflamed throat. It is high in Lycopene, a naturally occurring red plant pigment with antioxidant and anti-anticancer properties. Watermelon is high in Vitamins A and C, as well as Iron.
* Tangerine* is considered sweet, sour and cool acting on the Lungs and Stomach. The tangerine peel, known as Chen Pi, is used as an herb in TCM for digestive stagnation and phlegm. The juice is useful for relieving thirst, regulating digestion, stopping vomiting, poor appetite, dry mouth, dry or barking cough, cough with yellow persistent phlegm. Citrus including tangerine is normally not suggested for healthy babies under one year old because it can cause diarrhea. However it is used specifically in Chinese nutrition for helping relieve infants who are constipated. Tangerine is especially helpful for relieving constipation in people with dry lungs or dry stools. Tangerine may aggravate people who are prone to cancer sores; use with care.
* Banana* is sweet and cold, acting on the Lungs and Large Intestine. Bananas are used for clearing toxins and inflammation. It is useful for relieving thirst from diseases with fever, as well as constipation, and bleeding due to hemorrhoid. Bananas are also high in Potasium and Vitamin A. Bananas can aggravate the digestive system of persons with Spleen Qi deficiency which is characterized by gas, bloating, loose stools, and scalloped tongue edges.

Online resource Energetics of food chart

Kitchen Wall Chart with Properties of Foods

Suggested Reading: Healing With Whole Foods, by Paul Pitchford., Chinese System of Food Cures by Henry C. Lu., Recipes for Self-Healing by Daverick Leggett., Harvest for Hope by Jane Goodall., Healing Power of Minerals, Special Nutrients, and Trace Elements by Paul Bergner., Miracle Tree by Monica Marcu.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Fair Share Urban Garden & Artisan Market: Earth Day Celebration

The Fair Share Urban Garden will be hosting an Earth Day fund raiser the morning of Saturday, April 25th. The event will feature workshops for all ages and an artisan market with fair trade crafts, natural herbal balms, soaps, functional pottery, fused glass and found jewelry, native plant seed sales, and more.

Workshop schedule:

9:30 AM Container Gardening with Master Gardener Myrna Moore. FREE

10:30 AM Children's Introductory Garden workshop. Children under 12 should arrive in play clothes and bring vegetable food scraps that they have collected for composting. They will paint a clay pot with a baby tomato plant during the class. Parents are encouraged to pre-register their children online at, $10 per child to benefit the garden.

11:30 AM Celebrating the “Green” Way by Ciana Maglio of Green Halloween® FREE

12:30 PM Presentation: "Sundials in the Garden" Why isn't the Sun due south at noon? Is the Sun ever straight overhead in Daytona Beach? Come learn about the Sun's motion through the sky and how to tell time with sundials. Paper sundials will constructed and demonstrated. This workshop will be led by Jason Aufdenberg who is an assistant professor of Physics and Astronomy at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach and a Fair Share Urban Garden Project volunteer.

The Fair Share Urban Garden & Artisan Market is located at 345 White Street in Daytona Beach behind the Daytona Beach Lion's Club at the corner of White Street and Willis.

The Fair Share Urban Garden Project is a sustainable urban agriculture program of Salt of the Earth, Inc., a local 501 (c ) 3, nonprofit organization. For more information visit or contact Joel Tippens at or 386-451-9003.

Sundial photo by SEWilco with permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this photo under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

Week 6 of the Herbal Blog Contest

Welcome to week 6 of the herbal blog contest! This week, enter to win a .15 oz. Healing Wand from Prairieland Herbs! These healing wands contain herbally infused certified organic olive oil, locally produced beeswax, vitamin E, essential oils of tea tree and lavender, and are the perfect size for your pocket, purse, or diaper bag. They work wonders on cuts, scrapes, rashes, burns, dry skin, hangnails, etc.

To win one of these useful and natural healing balms, simply enter by posting a comment in response to this blog entry and take a chance at winning!!! Don’t forget to include your email addy so we can contact the winner! The following blogs are also participating, so stop over to enter with them for additional chances to win AND the chance to explore some cool blogs.

Herbs from the Labyrinth
Patti's Potions
PrairieLand Herbs
The Rosemary House
Nature's Gift
Torchsong Studio
The Essential Herbal
Garden Chick
SunRose Aromatics

Keep coming back and keep entering. We have some great prizes coming up, and we'll be having the contests until the middle of May!