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“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison[…]

Rosmarinus Officinalis Rosemary’s piney aroma and bittersweet flavor work well in both sweet and savory foods, and it has been a staple in herb and kitchen gardens for many centuries. The herb also has a long history of use as a fragrance in soaps, lotions, and cosmetics. Since[…]

Salvia Officinalis Classic seasoning herb for poultry and many savory dishes, sage is a highly aromatic, shrubby perennial native to the northern Mediterranean coast. The genus name, Salvia, comes from the Latin salvere, meaning “to be saved” or “to be healed.” Sage was sacred to the ancient Greeks[…]

Serenoa Repens The dark purple fruits of saw palmetto—about the size and shape of olives—were an indispensable dietary staple among Native American tribes for perhaps as much as 12,000 years before Europeans set foot in this part of North America. When settlers arrived, they added saw palmetto to[…]

Hypericum Perforatum The sunny yellow flowers of St. John’s wort harbor a strange secret. Bruise the delicate petals and they seem to bleed. The blood-red liquid is an oil released from tiny, dark-colored glands scattered along the petal margins. In ancient times, a plant that “bled” was assumed[…]

Stevia Rebaudiana Commonly known as sugar leaf, honey leaf, or sweet leaf of Paraguay, stevia is a small South American shrub whose narrow leaves are nearly 50 times as sweet as ordinary table sugar. The Guarani Indians of Paraguay employed the herb medicinally as a tonic for the[…]

Thymus Vulgaris Tiny thyme leaves contain a volatile oil with remarkable antiseptic properties. The ancient Etruscans and Egyptians used thyme oil for embalming their dead. Many early cultures associated thyme with death, and the minute, pale purple flowers were thought to provide a resting place for the souls[…]

Curcuma Longa Turmeric is the source of the brilliant golden-orange spice that gives many curries their peppery, somewhat musky flavor and ballpark mustard its bright yellow hue. It comes from the rhizome of a stately, large-leafed perennial that belongs to the same family as ginger. Turmeric is mentioned[…]

Hamamelis Virginiana, H. Vernalis Despite its common name, the plant has little to do with witches. The witch of witch hazel is likely derived from the Anglo- Saxon wych, meaning “pliant” or “bendable.” It refers to H. virginiana’s traditional use as a source of forked branches used as[…]

Valeriana Officinalis Greeks valued Valerian greatly as a medicinal herb. They used it to cure a variety of ills, notably insomnia. Some 2,000 years later, Valerian is one of the best sleep-inducing sedatives in the modern herbal medicine chest. Therapeutic Uses Nervousness Insomnia Anxiety Valerian is the most[…]