Native American medicine traditions

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 healing forest

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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

Ancient Wisdom, Modern Practices

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

Insights from the healing forest

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

Wade Davis on Richard Evans Schultes

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?

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

The tree of life

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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

Study: Living among tress gives you a health boost

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A massive study of trees and human health in Toronto yields results that confirm what many sensible people feel.

Trees are good for you.

How good?

The statistics show that having ten or more trees on your block gives the health benefits of being seven years younger.

Yeah. Wow!

Original article:

Neighborhood greenspace and health in a large urban center

Popular article from Toronto Star:

Living on tree line streets Read more

All the plants in New York’s Central Park – Cataloged

01Daniel Atha put on his waders and ventured slowly into the Pool, near West 103rd Street, one of several bodies of water in Central Park. He was after a broad-leaved yellow pond lily and an iris of indeterminate species.

He carefully collected the two specimens, along with a baseball bearing Derek Jeter’s signature. After he studied the iris for a moment, his face brightened. He thought the flower might not … Read more

How many trees are there?

01There are roughly 3 trillion trees on Earth—more than seven times the number previously estimated—according to a tally by an international team of scientists. The study also finds that human activity is detrimental to tree abundance worldwide. Around 15 billion trees are cut down each year, the researchers estimate; since the onset of agriculture about 12,000 years ago, the number of trees worldwide has dropped by 46%.

More…….

– Ken … Read more