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– Ken McCarthy
Ken McCarthy interviews Klaus Ferlow, master herbalist and leading North American advocate of sturdy, fast-growing, versatile Neem tree.
Called “arista” in Sanskrit, it means “perfect, complete, imperishable.” It’s also known in India as the “village pharmacy.”
The neem tree grows rapidly, even under challenging desert conditions, anywhere where there is no frost.
The leaves, flower, twigs, bark, roots, oil, and oil cake are all useful.
Uses include: non-toxic pesticide, … Read more
In the 1980s, NASA spent millions of dollars on how to deal with unhealthy indoor environments.
They were interested in the big challenge of purifying air on space stations and long space flights.
Here’s what they came up with…
The simplest plant to take care of:
Sansevieria laurentii, also known as “mother-in-law’s tongue” and “snake plant.”
The original NASA paper is here:
– … Read more
Matthew Wood talks about the traditional Native Americans approach plant medicine and healing.
Being forest dwellers, Midwestern and Eastern native people developed special expertise in the use of roots and barks.
Wood is the author of:
– Seven Herbs, Plants as Teachers (1987)
– Vitalism, The History of Herbalism, Homeopathy, and Flower Essences, originally entitled The Magical Staff (1993)
– The Book of Herbal Wisdom (1998)
– The Practice of … Read more
The Japanese call it shinrin-yoku which translates very roughly to “forest bathing.”
The good news is it reduces the stress hormone cortisol and boosts your immune system.
The better news is you don’t need a bathing suit to particpate.
The great news is you don’t need to do much of anything – other than to get yourself into the woods – in order enjoy the full benefits.
Japanese scientists have … Read more
One of my favorite places: The New York Botanical Garden.
One of my favorite projects there: Their thirty year project to discover and study the medicinal plants of Belize in respectful conjunction with local healers.
Here’s the whole story straight from the people who lived it.
PlantWisdom.org did an in depth interview with Rosita about her life and work and you can listen to that here.
The book they’re … Read more
Ethnobotanist and herbalist Rocio Alarcon grew up in the Andean highlands of Ecuador in a family that respected and used plants, depending on them for their daily survival.
As a young adult she received an academic training and then went to the Amazon to conduct her real studies.
In this talk from the excellent YouTube channel Herb TV, she discusses the social dimensions of ayawaska use and other shamanic practices … Read more
In the previous post, we introduced Richard Evans Schultes though a short video and excerpts of an interview conducted with him later in his life.
In this video, his student and protege Wade Davis goes much deeper into Schultes’ story.
Absolutely fascinating and excellent preparation for seeing the new movie “Abrazo de la Serpiente” (Embrace of the Serpent) – which I’ve now seen three times.
If this account of Schultes’s … Read more
Do trees talk to each other?
Yes they do and their communication is mediated by fungi beneath the surface of the ground.
This communication enables trees and other plants to share resources, thereby helping the whole forest to flourish.
Here’s a quick overview of the key principles from Dr. Suzanne Simard.
She’s Professor of Forest Ecology in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences at the University of British Columbia.… Read more
A first draft of the “tree of life” for the roughly 2.3 million named species of animals, plants, fungi and microbes — from platypuses to puffballs — has been released.
A collaborative effort among eleven institutions, the tree depicts the relationships among living things as they diverged from one another over time, tracing back to the beginning of life on Earth more than 3.5 billion years ago.
Tens of thousands … Read more